"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Bottle of Love Floats Out to Sea

Last week, Daughter and I felt the two of us needed to do something by way of celebrating my mother and bringing closure to her life with us on this earth before I left to go back to Pennsylvania. Mom, Daughter and I were a trio of women spanning three generations who are more than daughters, mothers, and grandmothers ....we were blessed to have our familial relationships develop into friendships. My mother was my closest and best friend.

"We should write letters to Grandma, tie them to balloons and release them," Daughter said as we discussed what we wanted to do.

I loved the idea of writing a goodbye letter, but I thought putting our letters together into a bottle with a cork and releasing it into the ocean was just as nice. Daughter loved the suggestion. It took a few minutes to decide exactly from where we wanted to send off the bottle, Sunset Beach, Shore Acres, Horsefall or Bastendorf. After running through the list, we settled instead on the rocky banks of Coos Bay near Mom's home, not far from where she liked to take walks.

There were two criteria for what we wanted regarding the kind of bottle to carry our love letters to Mom. It needed to have a cork, and the glass was to be green. My mother was known for collecting green glass.

We settled on this bottle:
Our letters were written on the last day of my stay in Oregon. While most Coos Bay and North Bend residents were making their way out to Shore Acres for the holiday lights display featured each year at Christmastime, Daughter and I were standing on the banks of Coos Bay deciding which of us was going to toss the bottle out into its depths in hopes of catching a current out to sea. It really didn't matter who was going to do this, but we had  to figure a way to decide who it should be. 

The shadows were quickly deepening along the shore. We could tell we didn't have much time before the sun would be set for the night. The tide was slowly moving out. Turning to Daughter, I asked, "Do we have any last words?"

Daughter shook her head, "No. I think we said everything in our letters."

Poised on the shore, taking a deep breath, I tossed our hearts into the bay.

The bottle landed quite a few feet away. It bobbed a few times, then started drifting towards the currents that weave around the bend of the bay. Standing solemnly with tears brimming my eyes, I watched the vessel drift further away with our last loving words to my mother.

Suddenly, a tug boat came into view pulling a huge barge. Really? Right now?  I threw my arms up in the air and started laughing. I turned toward my daughter who was also laughing and we began to speculate the fate of the bottle.

We were certain it was going to be brought back to shore in the wake of the waves created by the barge and tugboat after they went by, but to our delighted astonishment, the bottle surfed over the top of each wave and continued to move outward and seaward, albeit slowly.

Satisfied with our mail being successfully sent off, Daughter and I turn away from the shoreline as a bottle of love floats out to sea.
The bottle is the speck almost at the very center of this photo, a bit to the left.


  1. That was a nice way and special way and for you and your daughter to say a special goodbye and love. Hugs to you and your family.