Ever since Ashlynn Marracino's father passed away from a brain aneurysm in 2010, she has been honoring his birthday with a special tradition. Each year, she writes him a message on the side of a balloon and releases it into the sky. She explained to Today.com that she figures it's her best chance to reach him from a distance. "It makes me feel like he would receive it," she said. "Seeing it go up into the sky and disappear. It feels like a weight has been lifted off your chest."
But this year something incredible happened: She heard back.
The day after she sent her airborne message, the balloon landed more than 400 miles away in Auburn, California — not exactly heaven, but there were some modern-day angels there. They found her balloon outside of a restaurant aptly named Local Heroes. Lisa Swisely, the restaurant owner, searched for the 16-year-old girl on Facebook — and found her. "She asked, in the letter, to send her a sign," Swisely told WTVR CBS 6, "So, I don't know, maybe it came here for a reason."
Swisely posted on a Pay It Forward Facebook page asking people in her community to send donations and notes so she could put together a care package for Marracino. By the time it reached Marracino, it was filled with love from people who care.
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