(audience applauds) - I can't wait
to talk to you guys about this.
This is such a moving story.
That's why we included it in this show.
My next guest has an incredible
and an inspirational story for y'all.
She's a freshman in high school,
and earlier this year
her father passed away unexpectedly.
In her grief she found a unique way
to honor his life,
and in doing so she touched the life
of a total stranger halfway across the country.
Please welcome 14-year-old Peyton.
(audience cheers) So first of all,
tell us about your dad.
- My dad was my best friend.
Me and him had this bond that was completely inseparable.
We would talk about anything and everything,
and sadly on March 9th he did pass away unexpectedly
due to a heart disease that went unnoticed.
- And we are doing everything
to keep his memory alive, including necklaces.
And he loved to ride motorcycles,
and so when I saw this motorcycle necklace I needed it.
- Is he a Harley man?
- Any motorcycle. - Any motorcycle (laughs).
- Just a motorcycle.
- He's a rebel.
- Yes (laughs), and this is an ashes necklace.
So it has some of his ashes in it already.
- That's so beautiful, and so you said
your grandmother did the same as well, right?
Did y'all, did everybody kinda--
- She has an ashes necklace too.
I'm pretty sure hers is in the shape of a heart.
- [Kelly] Ah.
- And it says "Son" on it, maybe.
- [Kelly] Yeah.
- I'm not sure.
- That's a really beautiful way to remember someone,
and still carry them with you.
- Thank you.
- My daughter is five.
She's obsessed right now with life and death
and she doesn't understand it all.
So it's a very beautiful way
for me to even get to tell her,
"Hey, you always have a part of the person with you."
It's a very very special thing,
and I love it. (audience applauds)
Here's the thing.
So what you did, though, is the message in the bottle.
Where did you get that idea,
to kinda do that?
- My grandma told me about it,
and it was just a bottle.
I had ashes in it,
and I had a note from both my grandma and I,
explaining like what happened
and how hard it hit our family.
- [Kelly] And that was your big thing, right?
You wanted, he always wanted to travel.
- He loved traveling.
He would do anything he can just to be anywhere.
- That's so cool, he really lived.
- Yes, for sure. - That's a beautiful,
- And from there it exploded into this beautiful thing
for us to remember him.
- Yeah, it's a gorgeous thing.
Where did you take the bottle?
- I'm from right outside of Dallas.
- Yes. (Peyton laughs)
Yes, me as well. (audience applauding)
- And I had some cousins
who were going out to Florida on vacation,
and they agreed to take the bottle
with the ashes and the note,
and we also added a few dollars
in case it was found like outside of the U.S.
- So what happened next?
You put it out there, and what happened?
- The next day, it washed up about 20 miles up
into Walton County,
and this amazing woman,
she found it and she texted my grandma
and we were just in shock.
- 'Kay, so I wanna read this.
It says, "Hello, my name is Sergeant Paula Pendleton.
"I work for the Walton County Sheriff's Office.
"I've had a very interesting day,
"one that includes your beloved son
"and loving father Brian.
"I found your note and wanted to let you know I cried.
"I am now putting the note and the money
"back in the bottle and am delivering it
"to one of my fishing charter buddies
"so he can drop Brian way out in the gulf."
Brian's your dad.
"While he's out there,
"he can travel and explore this great big world.
"Therefore, Brian got to do a ride-along
"with a deputy sheriff before he drifted out
"on his adventures once again."
I thought that was so beautiful that,
so touched by your message,
and it went out to the world.
So did you ever get to actually speak to her?
- We had some brief text messaging,
and last week I actually got to meet her over Skype.
- [Kelly] Oh, that's cool.
- And hearing her voice just put me into shock
because I got to connect with her personally,
and I also felt my dad with that (laughs).
- Okay, oh, you are so mature for your age.
I'm not handling it well, you are.
So you haven't met her in person, only on Skype.
- Right. - And you got to have that,
that's so funny.
This whole show, honestly,
is based on connection.
I feel like everyone's really divided right now
in our country,
and I think it's so beautiful what you did.
Ended up doing this connection (audience applauds)
that you didn't expect.
- And I thought it was really beautiful.
So Peyton, I have a surprise for you.
You don't have to wait to meet her in person anymore,
'cause Sergeant Paula is here today.
(audience cheers) Come on out.
(Peyton laughs) (uptempo inspirational music)
I'm really just crying.
I'm so happy for her, it's fine.
Gosh you guys, okay.
Come on over, come on over.
Oh my gosh, woo.
- I'm not crying, you're crying.
- You're crying, I'm perfectly fine.
You can sit here.
- [Paula] You can go that way.
- You look beautiful in your uniform,
by the way. - Well, thank you.
That's what I go for. (audience cheers)
- So this is why,
we didn't mean to throw you, - Hello (laughs).
because I know I have black under my eyes.
Let's make sure that beautiful face is seen.
So you say, Sergeant Paula,
that you were actually. (Peyton laughs)
She went from crying to laughing.
That's me, that's me in a range of emotions,
in one day. - Yeah (laughs).
- But you say you were meant to find this bottle.
Why do you say that?
- Yes, well last year I lost my husband.
It was sudden.
We took him to the hospital and they said,
"Go home and get your affairs in order."
And so I brought him home,
and had seven days with him.
And he was a chef and a boat captain.
And he loved to travel,
and ironically enough,
where I sent the ashes out with my husband
is where Brian washed up at, the next beach over.
- [Kelly] Wow.
- So I was meant to meet her.
- Isn't life insane like that?
Let me help again. (Peyton laughs)
I'm such a mom right now,
and I probably have black all over my face.
- You don't. - Can you do that for me too?
- You look great, you look great.
- You've got waterproof mascara I guess.
(group laughs) - Get out here.
- I know, we didn't get waterproof.
We didn't get waterproof. - It was.
It probably was, you're just me.
And same thing happens to me.
But do you want to say anything to her in person?
I know you got to talk on Skype,
but I thought,
we wanted to surprise you
'cause honestly we felt like
this was just a magical story.
And like I said, this whole show
is about connecting people again.
I feel like we're so lost in our friends
and lost in our own little egocentric world
that we don't think outside of ourselves.
And this was such a beautiful moment.
Do you have anything you wanna say to her?
- I love you (cries).
- I love you too, baby girl. (audience applauds)
- I know it's kinda hard to talk.
I mean, how crazy is it?
Do you think, are y'all those people?
I think everything happens for a reason,
even the really crappy stuff, and--
- Well like, you can imagine.
- [Kelly] You have to believe that now, right?
- Absolutely, I spoke to Peyton over Skype.
And we spoke text messaging
and this was very hard,
keeping this from you, by the way.
And we were absolutely supposed to meet,
and I just want you to know, Peyton,
that from here on out
if you need anything in this world ever,
you can call me night or day.
I'm here for you.
- I mean, do y'all have,
I feel like there are things that have happened
in my life, that I feel like are just so,
well I feel like my life sometimes is like that.
But do y'all have situations like that,
Chris and Kirsten?
Do y'all have anything like that
where it's just,
it was meant to happen?
Like some kind of a--
- I mean, I feel like now.
- Even about, you know,
I was talking to Chris about working on "Fargo"
and meeting Jesse, and you never know
where you're gonna meet your soulmate in life.
You don't never know when that happens.
But to have those things is so precious.
- And Peyton actually,
she's so bright and she started a Facebook page,
which is "Brian's Journey," - Yes (laughs).
- And the comments that we've received on this
are so positive.
I mean, 90% of them are how our story or her story
has helped them with their grief
and got them through this,
so not only are you a big spirit and soul,
your dad's lookin' out for you,
but you're a strong woman.
I'm here for you.
- [Peyton] Thank you. (audience applauds)
- [Kelly] And you're leaving something beautiful.
- Thank you.
- You're leaving something beautiful.
So we want to build upon that okay?
'Cause by sending that message out into the world,
you connected with someone
who was going through the exact same thing as you,
you know, loss.
And that connection helped you both,
and I think it's a really beautiful thing,
so this show is all about connections.
So your story inspired me to find a way
to connect more people.
And we don't even have to go to the ocean
if you don't want to.
I wanna start something where everybody in the world,
you could, your dad could travel
all over the world.
Your husband go all the world,
so let's use this viral moment, you know.
Let's go online.
If anybody out there wants to share a picture
and a message from a loved one,
use the hashtag #messageinabottle on Instagram.
Unlike a physical message in a bottle,
where only one person can find it,
this is a way for your loved one's message
to travel the world to connect to people,
to help and inspire,
and heal, by the way.
It's always very healing to talk to somebody else
that's going through it,
and just to share in that grief,
not to sit in it but to understand it.
And I just was so blown away by this,
so we wanted to start this whole campaign online,
for your dad Brian, for your husband,
just to really make that connection possible,
'cause I really do think
that we all need more connection in our lives,
and I thank you for that. (audience applauds)