When Michael Sellers got the devastating news that he had pancreatic cancer in early 2013, he knew time with his family would be short. So the father of four had to work to do: He wanted to make sure his children knew how much he loved them after he was gone.
Working with his wife, Kristy, he gathered mementos to share with each of his children. All of his children received an embroidered handkerchief that Sellers prayed over. He asked his two oldest daughters, Morgan and Abigail, to use them some day in their wedding bouquets.
Sellers made special plans for his youngest daughter, Bailey, who was 16 at the time of his diagnosis. Sellers pre-ordered flowers to be delivered to Bailey from a local flower shop every year on her birthday until she turned 21.
“We were sitting on the couch — and it was about a month before he passed away — and he said he had already done it. That this was what his plans were,” Kristy Sellers told “Good Morning America.” “He said, ‘I’m going to do it until her 21st birthday. And if she’s married, ask her significant other to send her flowers in remembrance of me.”
Bailey had formed a special bond her with her dad; she even dropped out of high school and began homeschooling after his diagnosis so she could help take care of him.
Sadly, Michael Sellers died on August 25, 2013 at the age of 56.
Just a few months later, though, on November 26, 2013, Bailey got quite the surprise for her birthday: a beautiful arrangement of flowers with a card that read “I loved you first…happy 17th! Love, Dad.”
And just as he planned, Sellers’ flowers arrived each year for his daughter’s birthday.
This year marked Bailey’s 21st birthday — a bittersweet milestone for the daughter who misses her father.
My dad passed away when I was 16 from cancer and before he died he pre payed flowers so i could receive them every year on my birthday. Well this is my 21st birthday flowers and the last. Miss you so much daddy. 💜 pic.twitter.com/vSafKyB2uO
— Bailey Sellers (@SellersBailey) November 24, 2017
This last bouquet of flowers brought mixed emotions for Bailey.
“Every year I looked forward to my birthday because I felt like he was still here with me but this is the last year I get them so it’s so heart breaking,” she wrote in a tweet.
Her tweets on her 21st birthday went viral, with thousands of views and responses:
Makes sense Bailey but I hope you can also see the message he likely intended by stopping them.
He believes in you.
He believes that you are capable of wondrous things.
He believes YOU are ready to be without the flowers even if you don't know it yet.
— Cheryl Prevor Psy.D🔥 (@DrCherylllP) November 25, 2017
ugh bailey i literally cried. i’m so sorry for your loss as i know how losing a father feels. this is so so special. i hope you had a happy birthday and know your daddy is looking over you girl 💓💓💓
— Hunter Kington (@HunterKington08) November 25, 2017
We wish Bailey a happy belated 21st birthday and thank her for sharing her dad’s story with the world!