Teen Opens Time Capsule on 18th Birthday, Finds Notes From Passed Loved Ones

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Most teens hope for some material sign of adulthood on their 18th birthday (read: lottery tickets, a new car), but Iowa teen Abby Van Metre received a gift that will be treasured above all others.

Abby’s mom, Susie Van Metre, shared a video of Abby opening her gift appropriately called ‘letters from heaven.’ It was a time capsule containing notes from family and friends written nearly two decades earlier. Check out the emotional videos above!

The idea of gifting their children time capsules came as Susie and husband Kent were thinking of gift ideas for Abby’s first birthday, she told Us Weekly. The invitations to Abby’s first party read, “[Instead of gifts] please write her a letter that we will seal until her 18th birthday.” They collected 25 letters and keepsakes that year.

time capsule 18th birthday letters
(Photo: Photo credit: Us Weekly)

The gift is more special than Abby’s parents could’ve imagined. “There are seven letters from loved ones who have passed on,” Abby told Us Weekly. “It’s so amazing that I get to have a conversation with people that I never thought I’d get to talk to again… I get to have one more last ‘I love you.’”

Abby’s most special letter was written by her Grandfather Doug. It read: “I may not be here on earth when you’re 18, but I’ll always be with you spiritually if not physically. I love you.”

time capsule letters
(Photo: Photo credit: ABC)

Her mother Susie experienced similar emotions while reading a note from her brother who passed away suddenly from a car accident. “It’s like we have a little piece of him back,” she explained.

The family’s tradition will continue as the Van Metre’s 14-year-old daughter Holland will open her own capsule in 2019. They encourage everyone with young children to adopt this idea to preserve these special memories as well. Will you try it?