It wasn't all bad
The last five birthdays have been bittersweet for Bailey Sellers — her father died just one month before she turned 17, but he's still been a major part of every celebration since then.
Before Mike Sellers died of pancreatic cancer in 2013, he made arrangements with a flower shop to send his daughter flowers and a card on her birthday, ending when she turned 21. Bailey, who is studying psychology at East Tennessee State University, said the final card was different from the notes she received in the past, which usually just wished her a happy birthday. This one was filled with words of encouragement and comfort, with her father writing, "I am in a better place. You are and will always be the most precious jewel I was given."
"When I opened this card, I especially felt him with me," Bailey told WATE. "It's a cold feeling, then a happy feeling at the same time." Bailey said she dropped out of high school in order to care for her dad while her mother worked, and she spent "every waking second with him." Bailey is grateful for the extra time she had with him, she said, and believes he'd be proud of what she's accomplished so far in life. Catherine Garcia