12-year-old girl dies unexpectedly, family comforted by letter she wrote herself

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — A 12-year-old girl who died unexpectedly from complications with pneumonia is providing comfort to her family even after her death.

Taylor Scout Smith passed away Jan. 5, but a letter she wrote to herself a few months ago has been like a sweet hug to her parents and older brother.

According to WJHL-TV, her family found the letter while going through some boxes in her bedroom. The hand-written letter was not to be opened for at least 10 years.

““To be opened by Taylor Smith on April 13, 2023 only unless said otherwise,” it read. It seemed Taylor intended to read it when she turned 22.

Unfolding the notebook paper which Taylor’s words were written on, the letter continued, “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 … 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.”

Taylor, who grew up in a Christian home, even asked about her relationship with God — something that did not surprise her family

“She loved God with all of her heart; she was just a very spiritual person,” Kathy Oakes, aunt, said in a phone interview with Johnson City Press. Oakes added that Taylor’s father Tim “what made her so special was she had the wisdom of an adult but the faith of a child.”

In the days after her passing, Taylor’s father said he has become more aware of his daughter’s impact on people.

“You see all the other things that she’s done that you didn’t know about, things at youth group, things at school, things where she just touched people’s lives in ways that are unbelievable,” Smith told WJHL-TV. “I’m more determined now to find what God’s will is, and right now you’re even seeing a glimpse of what God’s will is, all the people that are being touched by what’s going on, you know if even that changes the course of someone’s life I know Taylor would say it’s worth it.”

He went on to explain that many people may question how a family can be at peace with the passing of a precious child.

“The only thing I can say is that right now it’s easy for me to trust God because my baby girl trusted him,” he said.

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