I read an inspiring story this morning.
The story recounts the discovery of a bottle with a note in it amid Superstorm Sandy debris in Patchogue, New York. A temporary worker hired to assist with clean up found it. The note inside the bottle said "be excellent to yourself dude." The note also had a phone number on it, so Brian Waldron, one of the workers who found it, called the number. Stories like the one he discovered on the other end of that call fascinate me. And inspire me.
Mr. Waldron discovered the note had been written by a 10 year old girl, Sidonie Fery, back in 2001. The bottle hadn't traveled far, a couple of miles, but the story was bigger than the path it took. When he talked to the little girl's mother who answered his call, he discovered Sidonie, then 18, fell from a cliff in Switzerland in 2010 and died. Mrs. Fery was clearly still grieving her daughter's death, and she found comfort in the surprise discovery of the note written over a decade ago.
Sometimes a note need to splash around in the water for a few years to arrive right on time.
Mrs. Fery knew right away her daughter had written the note when she heard the quote "be excellent to yourself dude". The quote was from her daughter's favorite movie - "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." She said she interpreted the note as a personal message from her daughter - not to worry.
It's a great story. But the greatest part of the story to me was found in one of the last lines of the AP account. It reveals that Mr. Waldron filled up another bottle with sand from where they found the bottle with the note so he could give it to Mrs. Fery. You get the impression this was his idea, and I find it to be an incredibly thoughtful thing to do. After talking to Mrs. Fery, he knew how much the note meant to her. He had no reason to consider a gesture beyond that, but he did.
The quote on the note - "be excellent to yourself dude" - comes from a more popular quote in the movie which says "be excellent to each other." I doubt Mr. Waldron knew that then or even knows that now. But he was indeed excellent to each other, and he leaves me wondering where I might find a bottle of sand, and who in my life might need it.
Read the entire story here: