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Steve Mershon is an everyday guy who likes to take pictures at the beach down the street from his house. But one day last week, his picture time was stopped when literally found a message in a bottle washed up on shore.

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Inside the bottle he found a heartbreaking note from a fifth grader named Jonothan. The note reads:

Dear Daniel, I’m relly sorry that you pass away and if you were alive Me and you will be playing football, soccer and basket <torn paper>

<torn paper>d be playing with Mattew and Oscar and Brandon. I am in the fifth grade and you were my best friend. Our favorite song was Austin Moon and I hope you fun with Jesus.

From your best friend

Jonothan Torres

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Steve said he was “heartbroken for the little guy” and that Jonothan was a “good kid” who “poured his little heart out.

The message inspired Steve to reach out to Jonothan on Facebook, where he posted:

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.. 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.

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. 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.. 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.. 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 graders heart, and we can, one by one, all get along.. Peace, little man!