Man’s Heartmelting Response To A Child’s Sad Message In A Bottle

When you live near a beach, you tend to find all kinds of stuff washed ashore. Usually, it’s pieces of driftwood or seaweed or salt foam. Sometimes it might be odd-looking animals and/or their remains. Other times, sadly, it may even be just a few pieces of the literal tons of garbage that we’ve littered our oceans with. Every now and then, though, you may find something pretty cool.

Steve Mershon is an electrician who lives in Indialantic, Florida. He loves living by the beach, and takes a walk along the shore every morning before he goes to work. Usually, he takes pictures of the scenery and wildlife, and sometimes finding oddities to take home as a souvenir. One day, however, he found a bottle in the sand that made him pause.

While most people would have dismissed it as litter and maybe tossed it away, Steve noticed there was a piece of paper inside – a message in a bottle. He decided to open it up and take a closer look. It read:

“Dear Daniel, I’m really sorry that you passed away and if you were alive me and you would be playing football, soccer, and basketball and be playing with Mattew [sic] and Oscar and Brandon. I am in the fifth grade and you were my best friend and our favorite song was Austin Moon and I hope you [have] fun with Jesus. From your best freind [sic] Jonothon Torres.”

After he read this heartbreaking letter from a little boy, Steve felt he had to respond. Here is what he said:

“Dear Jonothan Torres. My name is Steve, and I found your note in a bottle on a beautiful Tuesday morning, April 19th. First of all, let me tell you what a strong little man you are for writing your best friend that letter. You show so much love in your heart way beyond your years.

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Your parents, friends, teachers, myself, and all of my friends who know I found your letter are so proud of you. Daniel is a lucky guy to have you as a best friend. I’m so sorry he passed. As your letter states, you guys must’ve played a lot of sports together with Mathew, Oscar, and Brandon. I’m sure Daniel would want you to know that when you guys are playing sports, he and Jesus are watching and rooting for you. Perhaps your next touchdown, goal, or basket you can dedicate to your best friend Daniel.”

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“I don’t know where you threw your note in the ocean, or how long it was in the water, but it landed in the right hands, Jonothan. You see, I find lots of things on the beach, and the best ones I keep. I have shelves full of wood, shells, sunglasses and, yes, bottles. Jonothan, your bottle, with your letter to your best friend, is the most beautiful thing I have ever found.”

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“It would trump anything in my collection. But I can’t. Won’t. You threw that bottle out to show your love for your best friend. It is meant to be shared. I took pictures of it, and shared it with friends on my Facebook page. It tugged at many heartstrings, Jonothan. But it’s going to be shared with more people. Like I said, it fell into the right hands.”

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“You see, I think Daniel put the bottle ashore where I found it, and his friend Jesus led me to it. I’ll tell you why. I’ve had plans for a few weeks to go way out on the ocean on a big cruise ship. I’m going to take your letter and your bottle with me. I’m going to add my own little letter to it, Jonothan, and put the cork back in it, and when I find the deepest, prettiest, most blue water I can find, I’m going to throw it back in.”

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“So someone else, along with their friends, can see the love in your heart. You’re a good man, Jonothan. I’m hoping maybe, just maybe, the world can see the love in one fifth grader’s heart, and we can, one by one, all get along. Peace, little man!”

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