Anyone who's lost a loved one knows there are countless moments when all you want is another chance to speak to them again. One little girl wanted to reach out to her great-grandma, so she did it with a balloon.
"I really do miss her, because she was my favoritest grandmother ever," said Bella Hosford, of Chapel Hill, TN.
Bella lost her great-grandmother when Minnie Sue Watts died in August 2012.
"The last day I got to see her, it was a really special day to me, because I knew that she was going to go to Heaven," Bella said. "Whenever I hugged her, the last thing she ever said to me was, 'I love you, Bella.'"
A year later, the 8-year-old girl had an idea to say goodbye: a simple note tied to a balloon and sent into the summer sky.
"Tell Mawmaw I love her," the note said.
Months passed, and life moved on.
And on Monday, came a surprise. Bella got a response when a small box appeared in the family's mail.
"Then, when you open it and you see this brown satin envelope, and then you open it up and you see the locket with a balloon, and then it all hit you," said Bella's mother, Tricia Hosford. "We stood at the end of the driveway for probably five, 10 minutes, just crying and embracing and just absorbing the moment."
Whoever did it also sent a note on the back of the one Bella wrote.
"Dearest Bella," Tricia Hosford said, reading from the note. "Mawmaw is always with you. Just close your eyes and you will see her. Love, your guardian angel."
Consider that Bella released the balloon in a very rural part of Marshall County. It could be considered a miracle someone found it at all. But for someone to do what they did?
"I have no idea. No idea," Tricia Hosford said. "It's priceless."
"I thought that it had to be from Mawmaw," Bella said.
A few days later, it still doesn't seem to make sense, and that's OK. Sometimes the best moments in life are the ones you can't quite fully put into words.
"It was a very selfless act, especially at this time of the year, that is worth volumes," Tricia Hosford said.
"If I knew who that person was, I would walk up to them and hug them on their neck and tell them thank you," Bella said.
Bella told us she plans to wear the locket to school every now and again, but not too often. She worries she might lose it, now considering it one of her most prized possessions.
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