On the third anniversary of Darlene Rippon’s mother’s death, she wrote her a letter. Rippon just knew she needed to “talk” with the woman who raised her.
“I remember you telling me how you would never forget how you felt when you saw me and held me after I took my first breath the day I was born,” wrote Rippon. “Mom, I will never forget how I felt when I held you, when you took your last. I guess that is the true circle of life.”
She rolled the message up, put it in a bottle, and released it into the shallow creek in John U. Lloyd State Park.
“I didn’t care who got it. It could end up wherever. I just wanted it to go into the universe,” Rippon said.
Eight months later, something incredible happened. Two college students, Julia Adams and Merilene Austria, found the bottle. They read the profound message and were moved by it. They gave the letter to Christopher Leon, a park ranger.
“We were all very touched by it,” said Leon. “It seemed deeply personal, somewhere between a goodbye to someone loved and just a nice way of remembering them. It definitely made an impact.”
Then Rippon got a call from the Sun Sentinel. A reporter told her that her letter was discovered not too far from where she had left it.
Almost a year later, and somehow, it was as if her mother was writing back to her.
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