Bailey Sellers' dad passed away four years ago, but she's been getting flowers from him every year since
For the past four years, Bailey Sellers has gotten an extra special birthday gift from her late father.
Mike Sellers died of pancreatic cancer in 2013, but thought ahead when it came to his daughter Bailey. Since her 17th birthday, Bailey has received a bouquet of flowers from her father along with a sweet note.
“I had no idea I was getting these flowers, whatsoever,” Bailey, now 21, tells PEOPLE. “When I turned 17, I got home one day and I found a bouquet of flowers on the front porch. I had no idea who they were from and I was very surprised.”
She has been receiving the sweet packages every year since her father’s death. The most recent bouquet and note came last week, just in time for Bailey’s 21st birthday on Sunday.
“My favorite line [in the note], I have it memorized, is ‘You will always be my most precious jewel ever given,’ ” Bailey says. “That really spoke to me.”
She shared a photo of the flowers and the note on Twitter in a now-viral post that has been retweeted more than 350,000 times. In the note, Mike, wrote: “This is my last love letter to you until we meet again.”
Bailey is the only of her three siblings to receive the yearly gift, but she says that’s likely because of the special bond she shared with Mike in the months leading up to his death.
“He was my best friend and I looked up to him,” she tells PEOPLE of her father. “I think he left me flowers because he knew I would be taking it the hardest.”
Bailey, now a student at East Tennessee State University, was in high school when Mike was diagnosed with cancer, and with her older siblings all moved out with families of their own, Bailey decided to be homeschooled at 16 to care for her ailing father.
“I got homeschooled pretty much so I could spend time and take care of my dad while my mom worked to take care of us,” she says.
Bailey says she got her father’s medicine, drove him to where he needed to go, cooked his meals and spent time with him — “I talked to him about how scared he was,” she says.
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She says her choice to leave school was a tough decision to make, but she doesn’t have any regrets.
“The experience made me a better person. If I wouldn’t have gotten homeschooled, I wouldn’t have seen him suffer everyday and I wouldn’t have understood,” Bailey tells PEOPLE. “When he did finally pass, it was kind of like happiness and sadness combined. I was happy that he was no longer suffering and he was in a much better place now … That experience made me grow up and mature.”