Lost letter from dying mum returned to daughter 15 years later - after being found in second-hand bookshop
A lost letter from a dying mother to her little girl which was found in a second-hand bookshop has been returned to its rightful owner after 15 years.
Bethany Gash, 21, thought she would never again see the loving words her mother Lisa wrote to her after the note went missing in a house move when she was aged about six.
Gordon Draper, owner of Bondgate Books in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, recently found the letter and a photo in the same envelope, tucked in a pile of books.
It reads: "If your dad is reading this to you it is because I have died and gone to heaven to live with the angels."
The loving mother explained she had a "poorly chest" and an operation to fix it had not worked.
It continued: "I will always be in the sky making sure you are alright and watching over you so when you see a bright star, like in the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, that's me.
"I hope you don't forget me because I'll always be your mam."
The note also reminded her to look after Rosie - her pet rabbit.
Bethany said: "I haven't seen this letter for about 15 years.
"For it to be returned to me in such good condition is absolutely amazing - the lengths that they went to, to find me."
Her father Keith had read her the letter after her mother died of cystic fibrosis, aged just 36, but it went missing.
Bethany said: "I think it was possibly put in a book for safe keeping, but it has been discarded when we moved.
"I didn't think there would be a chance of ever seeing it again," the customer service adviser from Ferryhill said.
Bethany will show the letter to her son Oliver, 19 months, when he is old enough to understand.
"I can look back at it at any time I want and the words in it are so close to us," she said.
"This is the last piece of my mum that I have."
Mr Draper was "overwhelmed" that he and his friend Albert Mark were able to return it following an appeal in the Northern Echo newspaper to find "Bethany".
He said: "She is really made up that she has got the letter back. She thought she would never see it again.
"She had given up looking for it.
"I'm very pleased."