“This bottle contains the ashes of my son, Brian, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed on March 9, 2019. I’m sending him on one last adventure,” the note read.
Sgt. Paula Pendleton was on duty when someone reported finding the glass bottle to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. The bottle, which was cast into the waters on Aug. 1 from Destin, Fla., held notes, a small bag containing human ashes and four $1 bills, the Walton County Sheriff's Office shared on Facebook.
Pendleton, who lost her husband suddenly in April 2018 at age 50, was touched by the unexpected find.
“Who would have known when it washed up on our shores it would have gotten to me?” Pendleton said in the Facebook post.
In another note found in the bottle, a girl identifying herself as Brian’s daughter shared the heartbreak her family went through, and why they decided to include some of his ashes.
“Hi, my name is Peyton,” the note read. “I am Brian’s daughter. When my father passed, I was 14 years old. It has struck our whole family pretty hard and, so far, it has been a very hard road. But, like my granny said, he loved to be free. So, that’s exactly what we are doing.”
In addition to the messages, there was a list of email addresses and phone numbers for the finder of the bottle to use in order to contact to let the family know where Brian's journey had taken him.
“If you find it, please call or text me and let me know, then kindly set him free once again,” the note read.
Pendleton reached out via text to let the family know she had the bottle and was making arrangements to return it to the sea.
“I am putting the note back into the bottle with Brian’s ashes and delivering it to a friend who is a charter boat captain,” she wrote. “He has offered to bring Brian way out into the Gulf so he can continue his adventure. But, before that, I want you to know he got to do a ride-along with a deputy before drifting out once again.”