In my final preparation for my swim of the North Channel in Ireland, I went for a two hour swim here in Maine with my good friend Yoko. As we swam parallel to the shoreline, I suddenly noticed something bobbing in the water. I was intrigued. As I swam, my curiosity peaked. It was a bottle....not just any bottle. There was a message in this bottle. Suddenly I felt like a young child finding a hidden treasure. I was so excited to see a paper scroll with a tiny purple ribbon carefully placed inside this bottle. Yoko and I looked in amazement and wondered where did this special bottle travel from. We joked that maybe someone threw it off the Old Orchard Beach Pier only a half-mile away. Then, we though it may have traveled from a distant shore. The bottle was tightly sealed with cork and wax. As we reached the beach, many beach goers were intrigued, too. Many children were guessing what the message said. I decided to contact my local newspaper so they could enjoy sharing this heart warming treasure with their readers. Little did we know, the message we were about to read was not from a tourist, or a young school-age child, or someone from a far-away land. As I removed the scroll from the bottle, I was surrounded by many tourist and beach goers. Many parents and their children stood nearby as I began to read this message: "To our Baby Bear, We are finding it very difficult to put into words our hopes and dreams for you. But even harder to imagine the person you will grow up to become. All we can really wish for is that you are born into this world healthy, strong and that we are well enough equipped to guide you throughout your life, in every way you may need us as parents. You are sure to teach us as much about this world as we teach you. We promise to be patient and kind when you hit the many rough patches you are sure to have to endure when reaching for your goals; supportive when we may not see eye to eye; because you will always be our baby boy. There is always something special about a first in life, and you will always be our first child, our first real learning experience, our first priority, and our first reason to want to be the best parents we could ever be. But in the end our biggest wish is that you find all the happiness in your own life, as much you have brought to ours. Love always, your parents "
I omitted the name of the parents. Their message to their son is sincere and heartfelt. I don't know who they are or where they live but they have deeply touched me with their profoud message to their son. I will always treasure finding their "message in a bottle" as one of the most cherished moments in my marathon swim career.
I hope one day to meet them and let them know how much they touched my life. I hope they read this posting and contact me. Thank you. email: firstname.lastname@example.org