After a long battle with cancer, 12-year-old Athena Orchard passed away last week in England. What she left behind for her family and for all of us was a huge surprise.

Her parents and brothers and sisters thought they had said their last goodbyes, but when they looked behind a mirror in her room, they were shocked by what they found. Her father Dean tells the story:

It was a stand up mirror in her room, and it was always lent up against the wall so we never saw behind it. She never mentioned it, but it’s the kind of thing she’d do.
Athena left her family a truly inspiring message that they have generously decided to share with the world:
Here's just a small sampling of Athena's words:
Happiness depends upon ourselves.
Every day is special, so make the most of it.
Life is only bad if you make it bad.
Thank you for existing.
You could get a life-ending illness tomorrow so make the most of every day.
We should all take Athena's words to heart! Her life may have been cut tragically short, but she clearly had a big part of it figured out.
Thank you Athena, for sharing your wisdom with all of us! May you rest in peace.