Nothing makes our hearts ache more than losing a loved one. But sometimes grief has a beautiful way of bringing people together.
Four years ago, Chastity Patterson of Newport, Arkansas had to say goodbye to her father. But the 23-year-old has made sure he’s remained an important part of her life by texting his old phone number every day.
While Jason Ligons was not her biological dad, she insists he was her parent in every way that counts. In fact, he was a father figure to many children in her community. She took to Facebook to explain their relationship:
He never missed a school dance, prom, my games, and YES he would give me long talks about my mouth and attitude. I had to introduce my boyfriends to him (If I was allowed to date), and he would act like a normal dad and give us the long talk. I’ve cried with him, told him everything, and even became very independent because he took the time to love me and show me what happiness looks like.
In the years since he passed away, Chastity has found comfort in texting him. Obviously, she never expected a response, but the day before the fourth anniversary of Jason’s death, one came.
She had sent him a heartfelt message detailing everything she’s overcome and achieved. She explained that she’d won her battle with cancer, graduated college with honors, had her heart broken, and fallen in love again. “It’s been four years since I lost you, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss you,” she concluded. “I just wanted to say I love you, and I really do miss you.”
Little did she realize that someone had been receiving her texts. A man named Brad had been assigned Jason’s phone number, and that day, he finally decided to tell Chastity how much her messages meant to him.
“I lost my daughter in a car wreck August 2014, and your messages have kept me alive,” he said. “When you text me, I know it’s a message from God.”
Chastity was so touched that she shared screenshots of their conversation on Facebook, writing, “Today was my sign that everything is okay and I can let him rest!”
Thanks to Brad’s moving response, she’s found an extra bit of peace and closure — and so have the many people who have read her post.
What a sweet reminder that no one is alone in their suffering. Life can throw extremely difficult things our way, so we’re thankful for every kind person who has comforted someone in mourning. Thank you, Brad and Chastity, for touching our hearts by being so brave and vulnerable.
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