ROCK HILL, S.C. -- A Rock Hill woman paid tribute to her grandson by putting a special a message in a bottle and throwing it in the ocean.
Mason Jace was only seven months old when he passed away.
“He was a happy baby. He loved to explore, he would study everything,” said Tammy Elmore.
Tammy is Mason’s grandmother.
“When we took him to Hilton Head, the sea turtles got his attention," Tammy said. "When they will swim he would get all excited. That was the only trip we got to take him on.”
Unfortunately, his life was cut short.
“He suffocated on a blanket too big for the pack and play,” said Elmore.
In July, Tammy honored her grandson by putting a message in a bottle.
“I’m doing this for my grandson Mason Jace who passed away at the age of seven months," she said. "He loved the sea, sea turtles and exploring. “
The bottle was thrown in the ocean at Anna Maria Island in Florida. Tammy thought she’ll never see it again.
“I hope someone finds this message. Please let us know if you find it so we can see where our sea turtle explored.”
One week later, her hopes were fulfilled.
“I found it while I was snorkeling for shells and stuff,” said Deb Rowe. Deb is from Dahlonega, Ga.
“Upon reading it and finding out the short time he was here, Mason was here he was quite the little explorer,” she said. “You know really had a connection with sea turtles, that happens to be my favorite animal as well.”
She posted pictures of the bottle and message on Facebook. And 41 shares and nearly 300 likes later, it reached Tammy.
“Me and my whole family were ecstatic and so excited,” Tammy said. “Just by looking at that note, you know so much about him without ever meeting him.”
It also holds Mason’s legacy -- one that will continue swimming to his favorite place on Earth -- as he watches from above.
“Next time I’m in the Caribbean, I am going to put the bottle there with the original contents and add my own special note,” Deb said. “...And watch Mason travel around the world.”
Tammy and Deb plan to meet soon. Deb plans to make an annual donation to a sea turtle organization in Mason’s name.
Meanwhile, Tammy, Mason’s grandmother has started a foundation here in York County donating to families dealing with the passing of an infant.
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