When 12-year-old Taylor Smith suddenly died last week, her family found comfort and strength in a letter the Tennessee girl wrote to her future self last spring that was stowed away.
Smith, of Johnson City, Tenn., died Jan. 5 of complications from pneumonia leaving behind her parents and older brother. A student at Liberty Bell Middle School, Smith was active in her local youth ministry and was very faithful in her beliefs.
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"If it's God's time, it's God's time, and he loved her more than we could ever love her. So much so that he said 'come on,'" her father Tim Smith told CBS-affiliate WJHL-TV
. "A lot of people are probably wondering why it's so easy for a father whose just lost his daughter to say something like that, to not curse God, to not hate God, the only thing I can say is that right now it's easy for me to trust God because my baby girl trusted him."
Though her untimely death crushed her family, they found comfort in a letter she had written to herself to be read in 2023.
"Dear Taylor, how's life? Life is pretty simple 10 years in your past
, I know I'm late for you, but I'm writing this early, so congratulations on graduating high school, if you didn't, go back and keep trying, get that degree," she wrote to her future self. "Do you have your own place yet? If we're in college what are we majoring in? Right now I want to be a lawyer."
The Smith family says the letter, which they found in a box in her bedroom, is a perfect example of how Taylor lived her life.
"Her dad said what made her so special was she had the wisdom of an adult but the faith of a child," Taylor's aunt, Kathy Oakes, told the Johnson City Press
The last line of Smith's letter was especially poignant.
"It’s been 10 years since I wrote this. Stuff has happened, good and bad. That’s just how life works, and you have to go with it."
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