Girl’s Balloon Letter to Deceased Dad Gets Reply 436 Miles Away

Lisa Swisley found the balloon, which floated 436 miles. (Photo: Lisa Swisley/ABC)

For her late father’s birthday on January 6,  Ashlynn Marracino wrote a letter and sent it floating on a star-shaped balloon.

One day later, Lisa Swisley stumbled upon the 16-year-old’s request.

“I showed up at my restaurant and a customer handed it to me,” said Swisley, who owns two restaurants in Auburn, California. “I noticed there was writing on it and I got very teary-eyed.”

Ashlynn, a student in Whittier, California, wrote a note to her dad on a balloon that ended up traveling 436 miles to Auburn.

“You have missed so much and I miss you,” the balloon read. “And I love you, miss you like crazzy!”

Ashlynn continued by filling her dad in on what she’d been up to. Then, she finishes the letter by pleading with her dad, asking for him to send her a sign.

That’s where Swisley came in.

PHOTO: Sixteen-year-old Ashlynn Marracino sent a balloon to her deceased father on his birthday.
Sixteen-year-old Ashlynn Marracino sent a balloon to her deceased father on his birthday. (Photo: ABC/Lisa Swisley)

After reading the letter, Swisley searched and reached out to Ashlynn on Facebook.

“I thought it would be cool to send her something to show my support,” Swisley told ABC News. “I jumped on a pay-it-forward page I follow on Facebook, and asked people to contribute.”

Members of the community in Auburn began sending care packages to Ashlynn, with some notes sharing their own experiences of losing a parent.

“It’s all been so unbelievable,” Swisley said. “It’s the fact that the balloon landed in front of me and I decided to do something about it. It never occurred to me not to.”

Swisley and Ashlynn have connected via Skype since their story has gone public.

“I think she is adorable and a really sweet girl,” Swisley said. “I asked her if she wanted the balloon back and she said if people can see it and be inspired, we should keep it here. She is an amazing young lady.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s