Mrs. Sellers, a junior psychology student at East Tennessee State University, is the youngest of four siblings. She was 16 years old in 2012 when her father slept most of Christmas, her favorite holiday, and her family realized that something was wrong. Doctors found tumors spread throughout his body and determined he had pancreatic cancer in Stage 4.
In the middle of his second year of high school, he decided to leave school to study at home while caring for his father. She would get her medicine and cook for him while her mother, Kristi Sellers, was at work, and the time together united them even more.
"I'm really happy that I did it because I have to spend every second with him, and I do not regret it," he said.
Eventually, when her care became too much for Mrs. Sellers, her mother also stayed at home. Mr. Sellers died on August 25, 2013.
When she received a flower delivery three months and a day later, neither she nor her mother knew who had sent them until they read the note, said Mrs. Sellers. A year later, as promised, the next flower delivery arrived.
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"Happy birthday number 18," he wrote. "Open your wings and fly, I will always love you, Dad."
The annual deliveries brought mixed emotions for Mrs. Sellers.
"Everyone knows I hate my birthday," he said. "I do not want to celebrate it, it's just a reminder that it's not there anymore, and at the same time, I can not wait because I get those flowers, it's a reminder that he's still here with me, but at the same time he's not."
I was especially anxious for your 21st birthday. But two days before her birthday, after a stressful shopping day on Black Friday, she was surprised to find the flowers waiting for her at home, this time a little early.
She brought the flowers in, and could not make it through a note prayer before she "lost it," she said. While the flowers of the previous years used to have brief greetings, this time a handwritten note with butterfly stickers was attached. His mother read the rest of the letter, with the whole family crying.
This is my last love letter until we meet again. I do not want you to shed another tear for my child because I'm in a better place. You are and always will be the most precious jewel that you gave me. It's your 21st birthday and I want you to always respect your mom and stay true to yourself. Be happy and live life to the fullest. I will still be with you through each milestone, just look around and there I will be. I love you Boo Boo and happy birthday !!!! Dad
She said she was not sure if she would continue to fear her birthdays. She knows that she plans to get her own flowers every year, with a white rose to represent her father.
Mr. Sellers was his basketball coach when he was between 4 and 15 years old, and said he never saw him more excited than when his team won a national championship in 2012. He was a strong Christian, loved the chests of tickets and talked about Jesus, she He said.
She thinks he prepared the flower deliveries because "he was worried that he would take it harder," he said. He left items for his brothers who are locked up for important events like weddings and births, and his mother promised he would not deliver them until those days, he said.
Mrs. Sellers said she had been encouraged by the response on social media, where people said it made them appreciate their parents more, and parents said they aspired to be like her.
"It's overwhelming and exciting that everyone knows who Mike Selling is," she said. "It makes me very happy."
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