Abby Van Metre recently turned 18. She lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and hoped to receive an iPhone for her birthday, but instead she got an antique wooden box that had been locked for 17 years. When she celebrated her first birthday, family members and friends all wrote her letters which she could read when she was 18. They were put in the box. It was sealed, and Abbey never knew about it. The contents of the time capsule touched her heart. Here's why.
Abby Van Metre / Facebook
"I started crying. It was sheer happiness that I got one more conversation with loved ones, one more 'I love you,' one more piece of advice," she said. One letter from an uncle who died three years ago in an auto accident, hit her hard because "it was like talking to him again." But some of the notes evoked laughter. One of her cousins, who is now a big, burly Marine, was seven when he wrote his letter to the one-year-old baby. He enclosed his favorite Pokemon card, and wrote, "When you open this, can I please have that back?" Abby's mom filmed opening the box and posted it on Facebook, hoping their 300 friends would see it. A few days later, it had been viewed by millions from around the world. Was Abbey disappointed not to get an iPhone? "I wouldn't trade this gift my parents gave me for anything," she said.