Editor’s note: A few weeks ago I did a story that really touched my heart. It was titled “A message of comfort from a bottle.” The story was about Jana Shinn and how she took comfort in writing a message to her mother, Debra Lee Goodwin, who passed away in May of 2010. In the story, Shinn explained that her mother’s passing was very hard on her and she wanted to do something in her memory, so five years following her mother’s death, she did just that.
One thing Goodwin had always wanted to do was to go to the beach, but due to her medical condition, it was not a possibility for her to enjoy. About five years after her mother’s passing, Shinn and her family decided to take that trip to the beach that her mother had so desperately wanted to take.
While on their vacation, Shinn wrote a letter to her mother. She told her how much she was missed and shared things in the letter that had been going on in her life since her mother had died.
After writing the letter, she took a bottle, inserted the letter, and also enclosed a program from her mother’s funeral. Once everything was in place, Shinn cast the bottle into the ocean at North Myrtle beach, never expecting to hear any more about it or it’s contents.
It has now been over 10 years since Goodwin gained her wings, but recently, Shinn received the surprise of a lifetime, her bottle had been found!
In 2018, the Caughman family traveled from Ohio to Myrtle Beach in celebration of a baby reveal and the soon to follow adoption of their son.
On the evening of July 12, 2018, while relaxing on the beach, the family noticed a bottle floating in the water. David Caughman decided to swim out, grab the bottle, and take it back into the beach where he, his entire group, and several bystanders gathered to see what was inside.
Caughman frantically opened the message inside the bottle and began to read the letter. As the letter was read, the entire group cried tears of joy.
“On this evening we celebrated life. Newborn life, adoption, and memories of our mothers that had passed on before us,” Caughman said.
In everything they had come to celebrate, the recent death of Laura Caughman’s mother was weighing heavy on her mind.
“That message was a huge blessing to me,” she said.
It was Laura Caughman who researched the information in the program from the bottle and was able to locate Shinn on Facebook.
Caughman explained the story to Shinn of how they had found the letter and how much comfort it had brought to their family.
She told Shinn about their reasons for going to the beach and how it was a time of celebration.
Shinn and the Caughman’s have grown close over the letter and the families have bonded in their similar stories.
“I love you and don’t even know you,” Shinn said in a message to Caughman. “It’s crazy how God works with his angels, I can’t explain it.”
Shinn asked Caughman if they threw the bottle back into the ocean or kept it, but Caughman said they have held onto the bottle and all of its contents. Eventually, they hope to add to it and return it to the water in hopes of others finding it and receiving the joy they have all received from a simple message of comfort from a bottle.