Dying mum's letter returned to daughter after bookshop find

Bethany Gash
Image caption Bethany Gash said it was "absolutely amazing" the letter had been found

A woman has got back a letter written to her as a little girl by her dying mother after it turned up in a bookshop.

Bethany Gash, whose father read it to her after mother Lisa died in 2001, "never thought" she would see it again.

But, this week it was found by a second-hand bookshop owner and Ms Gash, now 21, believes the book it was hidden in disappeared during a house move.

It meant "absolutely the world" that bookseller Gordon Draper had found her.

Image caption The letter was discovered when it slipped out of a book given to a second-hand bookshop

"It's absolutely overwhelming considering something so small can mean so much to someone," she said.

"A lot of people would just disregard it as something stupid, just a little old letter."

Mr Draper, who owns Bondgate Books in Bishop Auckland, said he just had "to do something" and returned the letter in person, after BBC Tees tracked down Ms Gash.

"I can't emphasise how pleased I am," he said. "Absolutely amazed."

Before she died, Ms Gash's mother had bought a lot of books for her daughter in his shop, he said.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption The letter was found in an old envelope along with a photograph of Bethany and her mother, Lisa

In the letter, Mrs Gash said: "If your dad is reading this to you it is because I have died and gone to heaven to live with the angels.

"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.

"Don't forget me because I'll always be your mam".

The letter was in an envelope with a photograph of Ms Gash, who now lives in Ferryhill, County Durham, sitting on her mother's knee.

"I had a feeling that they were missing but I never actually acted upon that," Ms Gash added.

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