Student's simple homage to deceased dad lights up Twitter

A Tennessee college student whose deceased father had pre-paid for delivery of flowers on her birthday posted a simple, poignant thank you on social media that has caught fire on Twitter.

Bailey Sellers, of Knoxville, turned 21 on Friday.

"My dad passed away when I was 16 from cancer and before he died he pre payed flowers so i could receive them every year on my birthday," Sellers tweeted with a photo of the flowers. "Well this is my 21st birthday flowers and the last. Miss you so much daddy."

Sellers' post had drawn more than 330,000 retweets and more than 1.4 million likes by Sunday afternoon. The post drew media attention across the USA and around the world.

The 13,000 comments the post had drawn included thousands of birthday wishes and showered praise on Bailey and her father, Michael.

"Happy birthday Bailey. As a dad of three girls this made me a choke up a bit. He sounds like an amazingly thoughtful man. What a beautiful touching gesture," Rashid Ahmad commented.

Neils Olaf Bout tweeted a photo of the story in a Dutch newspaper.

"I read your story in a Dutch newspaper," he said in the comment. "What a great dad you had! Sending you flowers! Congrats to your bd yesterday! I was 21 when my dad died, i m now 50. What your dad wrote is true, he will always watch over you and guide you in the right direction!"

Country music star Cole Swindell posted well-wishes, with Bailey responding that he was her favorite singer.

"I am legit blown away by all of this..," she tweeted Sunday. For Bailey, however, birthdays have been difficult.

“Ever since my dad passed away I’ve hated my birthday, and I dread it every year because he always made it so special,” Sellers told The New York Post. “I was especially dreading my 21st because I knew it would be the last year.”

She said she broke down when she read the accompanying card. He called it his last "love letter" to her and urged her to respect her mother and be true to herself.

"I will still be there through every milestone," he wrote. "Just look around and there I will be. I love you, Boo boo, and happy birthday!"

He signed it "Daddy."

Bailey said her father would be impressed by the intense social media interest.

“He would be very proud,” Sellers told the Post. “He would honestly say it was God. He’d be very proud that it touched a lot of people.”

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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