MARYVILLE, TN (WCMH/WATE) — A Tennessee woman received a final birthday gift from her father five years after his death.
Bailey Sellers was just a month shy of her 17th birthday when her father Mike died after losing a battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“I dropped out of high school and became home schooled so that I could take care of him so that my mom could work to take care of us,” Sellers told NBC4’s sister station WATE. “I spent every waking second with him. I only left his side at 11 o’clock at night.”
Every year on her birthday, Sellers has received flowers and a note from her father. He wrote them all before he died; complete with prepaid arrangements he set up with a flower shop without her knowledge. Now, on her 21st birthday, the last of the deliveries has arrived. This one was different from all the rest with a reminder that they will meet again.
“When I opened this card, I especially felt him with me,” Sellers said. “It’s a cold feeling then a happy feeling at the same time.”
Her birthday used to be a difficult date after her father’s death.
“I used to dread my birthday every year because of it. It makes me think of him even more,” she explained. “But at the same time, it makes me so happy knowing he loved me that much.”
Sellers said she went through depression when her father was first diagnosed, but looking back now, she’s thankful for the time she was able to spend with him.
“It was hard. It was very hard on me,” Sellers said. “I’m really glad that I did drop out of high school and become home schooled. I would’ve been more upset [if I hadn’t spent time with him].”
Sellers is now studying psychology at East Tennessee State University in hopes that she can help others through difficult times. She said her father would be proud.