WHITTIER, Calif. (WKRN) – A teen who wrote a heartfelt letter to her deceased father received a touching response from a stranger who lives hundreds of miles away.
According to ABC News, Ashlynn Marracino wrote the letter on a star-shaped balloon on Jan. 6, which was her 16th birthday.
The note said in part, “You have missed so much and I miss you. And I love you, miss you like crazzy!”
Ashlynn also told her dad what she’s been up to and pleaded with him to send her a sign. To her surprise she did receive a sign when the balloon traveled to Auburn, California, which is 436 miles away.
“I showed up at my restaurant and a customer handed it to me,” said Lisa Swisley, who owns two restaurants in the area. “I noticed there was writing on it and I got very teary-eyed.”
Swisley decided to reach out to Ashlynn on Facebook.
“I thought it would be cool to send her something to show my support. I jumped on a pay-it-forward page I follow on Facebook, and asked people to contribute,” Swisley told ABC News.
Since then, Ashlynn has received care packages and letters of encouragement from others in Auburn who have also lost a parent.
“It’s all been so unbelievable,” Swisley said. “It’s the fact that the balloon landed in front of me and I decided to do something about it. It never occurred to me not to.”
Since their story has gone public, Swisley and Ashlynn have connected via Skype.