NEWPORT, ARK (WFLA) – A text exchange between a grieving woman and a stranger is making a lot of people cry this week, WFAA reported.
Chastity Patterson, 23, of Newport, Arkansas, has been texting Jason Ligons, for the past four years to cope with his death.
Patterson said Ligons was not her biological father, but she loved him as such.
Every day, she would text his number to let him know how her day is going and to keep him updated on major life events.
On the night before the anniversary of his death, Patterson sent Ligons another text.
“Hey Dad, it’s ME. Tomorrow is going to be a tough day again!” she wrote. “It’s been 4 years since I lost you and not a day goes by that I don’t miss you.”
Patterson also mentioned that she beat cancer, graduated college and is keeping her mother “on her toes.”
“I just wanted to say I love you and I really do miss you!” she wrote.
A short time later, to her surprise, Patterson got a response from his cellphone number.
“Hi, sweetheart, I am not your father, but I have been getting all your messages for the past 4 years,” wrote the stranger, who called himself Brad. “I’m sorry you lost someone so close to you, but I have listened to you over the years.”
Brad explained that he hadn’t responded to her text messages because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings, and that her messages helped him cope with the loss of his daughter, who died in a car wreck in 2014.
“Your messages have kept me alive,” he said.
“I’m sorry you lost someone so close to you, but I have listened to you over the years,” Brad continued. “You are an extraordinary woman and I wish my daughter would have become the woman you are.”
Patterson shared a screengrab of their exchange on Facebook.
“Today was my sign that everything is okay and I can let him rest!” she wrote.
The post has more than 170,000 reactions and 300,00 shares.
“Wow, I’m crying over here,” said Chandra Gray.
Patterson responded to the thousands who were touched by her story with this message:
“If you take anything from this, know that everyone will experience pain and everyone will lose someone they love. Regardless if that person is a friend, parent (Nonbiological), animal, child or even a role model. No one can tell you how to cope and no one can tell you how long, but you need to do it. For me, it was calling and texting, others write, visit the gravesite, drink or even put their picture by the bedside so they don’t feel alone.”