Twenty-Five Yellow Balloons

Last week my husband and I were sitting on a Florida beach shortly before sunset when a young woman approached and asked us to take a picture of her standing in the surf.  She was holding a bunch of yellow balloons.  “My friend died on January 3rd,” she said, “and today would have been her twenty-fifth birthday. She lived in Colorado and always wanted to see the beach. I’m releasing these twenty-five balloons in her honor and friends in Colorado Springs are doing the same today.” She stood in the breaking surf and we shot some beautiful pictures.  She made a video for the Facebook friends that the two of them had in common and invited us to watch it with her.  “Goodbye, Princess, we love you,” were her last words on the video.  Then she hugged me, walked out over the ocean on the Lake Worth Pier, held her arm up high and set free the twenty-five yellow balloons where the wind blew them toward the setting sun.

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5 Responses

  1. Greta says:

    This reminded me of my son John’s memorial in our back yard. John died at age 31 of a very fast leukemia. He was gone in two weeks. After all had said their remembrances, his his sons aged 6 and 10 released 31 white balloons as we all looked up and said our silent prayers.

  2. Mogie Sabine says:

    The 25 balloons is very touching. It made me think of how I feel each evening as I close down my computer for the day. My screen saver has a wonderful photo of my last two dogs smiling out at me. Honest, they are truly smiling because it was such a happy day for them. I remember it well. Sadly, after more than 16 years with us, they both died last year. Each night I find myself earing up as I close down my computer. Perhaps I too should release 16 balloons for each of my wonderful dogs. I miss them so much. Thanks for the wonderful message and thought, Mary. And being a dog person yourself, I know you can relate to how I feel about my precious hairy children. Mogie Sabine

  3. Mary Kunkel/Lightly Tethered Admin says:

    Oh Kai, thank you. I cried there on the beach, I cried when I wrote it and I cry again every time I read it and think of it. I like to think that this young woman’s presence is now written on the wind.

  4. Loretta says:

    thank you for capturing this beauty mary and sharing it with us all…

  5. Kai Kunkel says:

    I’m reading this from the van after dropping off the kids at school. Crying. It’s beautiful. xo

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