A teenager has reminded us all to appreciate our parents more by sharing a letter her mum wrote her before she died.
Hannah Summers, from Indiana, shared the emotional letter on Wednesday, saying: “Please hug your parents a little closer and never take them for granted because you never know when you could lose them.”
The 18-year-old’s mum, Peggy, died on Tuesday after being diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer last summer.
Peggy wrote letters for Hannah and each of her siblings in June, before undergoing surgery.
Peggy began her letter by telling Hannah: “If you are reading this then the surgery did not go well.”
“Please don’t be mad, bad things happen in life and we have to learn to deal with it no matter how much it hurts,” she wrote.
“Remember that I am still with you and still just as proud of you as I always have been.”
Hannah said reading the words for the first time was an emotional experience.
“It was so hard to read, but at the same time it brought me so much comfort,” she told HuffPost UK.
“I don’t think anything else could be more perfect to show the type of person my mum was – always worried about others before herself and such a great mother to all of us kids.”
Towards the end of her letter, Peggy left a message for her potential future grandchildren.
“If you have kids someday make sure they know how much I love them and wanted to be there to see them,” she wrote.
“You are going to do great in life and I will be smiling with you through all the important moments.”
Hannah said she knows her mum would have found it difficult to write the letters.
“I can’t even imagine how hard it had to have been for her to write the letters, but I think she knew it was something we would need in order to get some type of closure,” she said.
Her tweet about the letters has been has been liked more than 250,000 times, with more than a thousand people commenting to send the family their love.
Many have also shared their own stories of loss.
“My mum passed away 13 years ago from cancer. She tried to write me a letter on her last day and didn’t have the strength. Cherish her words,” Twitter user Kim Holsapple said.
Brooke Laughlin added: “My mum passed also and she wrote me a letter exactly a year before just ‘in case.’ I treasure it daily. So sorry for your loss, stay strong.”
Hannah said her family have truly appreciated all the kind messages.
“It’s been amazing to see how many people her words have touched all over the world,” she said.