An 23-year-old Arkansas woman messaged her father every day for four years following his death, but likely didn’t expect she’d ever get a response.
That is, however, precisely what she got one day out of the blue.
Chastity Patterson said she got the “shock of her life” on Thursday when she received a return message from her late father’s mobile telephone number.
Patterson would text her father every day as a way to keep his memory alive. But on the night before the fourth anniversary of his death, she sent a text that she likely assumed would, of course, go unanswered.
The message said, “Hey Dad, it’s ME. Tomorrow is going to be a tough day again.” Patterson continued, recounting the events of her day and and highlighting her accomplishments, which included graduating from college and triumphing over a bout of cancer.
The following day, Patterson received a message from a man named Brad, who had apparently taken over her father’s old phone number at some point after his death. Brad told Patterson that he’d lost his own daughter in a car crash in 2014, and that he had been reading her messages daily, admitting that they kept him alive during his mourning.
A portion of his response message read, “Hi sweetheart, I am not your father, but I have been getting all your messages for the past four years.”
“My name is Brad and I lost my daughter in a car wreck August 2014 and your messages kept me alive,” he added. “When you text me, I know it’s a message from God.”
Brad went on to express his admiration for the young lady later in the message.
“I’m sorry you lost someone so close to you, but I have listened to you over the years and I have watched you grow and go through more than anyone,” he continued, “have wanted to text you back for years, but I didn’t want to break your heart.”
Brad added, “You are an extraordinary woman and I wish my daughter would have become the woman you are, thank you for your everyday updates, you remind me that there is a God and it wasn’t his fault that my little girl is gone.”
On Thursday, Patterson shared on Facebook a screenshot of the message she received from Brad. At the time of this writing, it has been shared more than 287,000 times.
She captioned the screenshots, “I text my dad everyday to let him know how my day goes, for the past Four years! Today was my sign that everything is okay and I can let him rest.”