INDIALANTIC, Fla. (WFLA) — A passionate Florida man who fills his Facebook page with scenic photographs of the beach and the treasures that wash ashore, made a discovery that will tug at your heart. What he plans to do about his discovery will make you cry.
Steve Mershon is from Lakeland but now lives just south of Cape Canaveral in Indialantic. If you were to look at his Facebook page, you would get the impression that he spends a lot of time on the beach. Mershon takes pictures of colorful sunsets, pretty palm trees, and foamy waves crashing on the beach. He also takes photos of the stuff he finds, like barnacle-covered sunglasses, bottles and flip flops.
A few days ago, Mershon was having a cup of coffee at Indian Harbor Beach before starting work at his job as an electrician. A soda bottle caught his eye. But, it was not just any bottle. This one had a letter tucked inside. He posted a photo of the bottle on his Facebook page and wrote this:
After work that day, Steve went home and carefully removed the letter from the bottle. It turned out the letter was from a kid and it was written in English. The letter looked like it was written by a child, it contained a few spelling errors and a word missing from a sentence, which made it both charming and heart-wrenching.
“Dear Daniel, I’m relly (sic) 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 friend Jonothon Torres”
Mershon speculates that the boy may have thrown the bottle in the water at the beach a few days to a few weeks earlier. Another possibility is that it was thrown from one of the many cruise ships that leave Port Canaveral, which is nearby.
Mershon said he was surprised about the content of the letter. He thought a name and address might be inside. “It was so unexpected,” he told WFLA.com. “He just broke my heart, I couldn’t get the kid off my mind.”
The letter inspired Mershon to pay it forward and write his own letter to make sure others see the love in Jonothon’s heart.
“The kid deserves to know the letter’s been found. I wrote him back to let him know what a good kid he is,” said Mershon.
Mershon posted photos of the letter and the bottle to his Facebook page along with the following message:
Mershon’s Facebook friends were touched by his post and what he plans to do with the letter and bottle.
“So much love, warmth and goodwill in these letters. Just beautiful… and you are the coolest of the cool,” wrote Wendy Hall.
“Awesome Steve. God please let Jonathan Torres know his message of love touched so many. Amen,” wrote Christine Sheehan Manning.
“Awe. That is so sweet and well written. And your right it did fall into the right hands. God bless,” wrote Stephanie Cleveland.
Mershon says he hopes social media will help his letter get to Jonothon.
“I wanted my letter to find him. I don’t need to find him,” said Mershon. “The journey of that letter is just the beginning. He’s already spread so much joy,” said Mershon.
As of this writing, Mershon’s post has been shared by his friends more than 100 times. No doubt it will be shared many more times in honor of Jonothon and Daniel’s friendship and a beach combing man with goodwill in his heart.