Talk about one amazing date idea. In 2010, Brittanie Penrose, now 27, was battling brain cancer. She was on a date with Aaron Lanari when he surprised her with a bottle and said that she ought to write a note. She did so and threw the bottle off a pier in California. And you'll never guessed where it turned up three years later ... on a beach in Ipan, Guam!
"I totally forgot all about it," Brittanie said, who, thankfully and amazingly, is now cancer-free.
"I just thought it would be a really great date idea," Aaron said. "I gave her some paper and I said, 'Write whatever you want.'" Kudos to him for such a thoughtful gesture.
The bottle was discovered Thursday by George Washington High School freshman Javier Sanchez, 14, about 6,200 miles away from the pier Brittanie tossed it from.
Sanchez and his fellow students and teacher broke the bottle open. They discovered the notes from both Penrose and Lanari, who wrote one of his own. The teacher, who organized the beach cleanup in Guam, then proceeded to post a video reading the note.
"Hello, my name is Brittanie," she had written. She said she was a 24-year-old woman from Salt Lake City and wrote about her battle with cancer. Then she asked whoever found it to "find me on Facebook" and left her email address.
Reportedly, she was 22 when she was diagnosed with epilepsy, then a tumor was discovered in her brain. She had surgery and was then put on chemotherapy with medication. "A fulfilling life came from that experience," she said.
In case you wanted to know, Lanari's note included lyrics that he wrote for a song: "When intelligence is ignorant and empathy is absent, death and hate are present when joy and love are abstract." He also hoped that whoever found the bottle would "reach out and grab out of life everything they have ever wanted." Wow, sounds like a pretty standup guy, huh?
Of course, he also mentioned what was probably the first thing on all the cynics' minds out there:
"I hope they don't prosecute us for littering," he said.
They better not! A bottle that traveled over 6,200 miles for three years to help a young girl battling brain cancer escape from her tribulations for a few precious moments is something that should be cherished and celebrated. These small, seemingly insignificant yet unforgettable human connections are really what life is all about. Look at all the happiness it brought to these young kids and their teacher. It's hard to even imagine the number of bottles with forgotten notes floating around in those vast, seemingly endless oceans, just waiting to be discovered. Can't wait to read about the next one. Nice to see a story for once when so many good people are involved!
Check out more and see them breaking open the bottle in Guam:
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Image via Pacific Daily News