The widow of a man whose dying wish was to travel the world has granted it – by putting his ashes in a bottle.
Gordon Smith died of a brain haemorrhage in March last year before he had the chance to go globetrotting.
So his wife of 25 years, Beverly, was determined to let him fulfil his dream.
Eighteen months later, the 58-year-old’s ashes have already been found twice by people walking on the beach.
‘Gordon’s death was a total shock,’ said Mrs Smith, 56, who lives in Big Pine Key, Florida.
‘We had just got back from Costa Rica, we had only been home two hours and he became very ill. He died 24 hours later.
‘I wanted to give him this last adventure. I put a note in the bottle explaining what I’d done and asking people to return it to the sea if they found it. Then I dropped him into the sea.’
Hotel owner Judi Sydney was the second person to spot the bottle during a morning stroll on Key Colony Beach. He was 48km (30 miles) down the Florida coast.
‘I couldn’t believe it when I got a call from Judi saying: ‘‘I’m having breakfast with your husband,’’ she said.
‘Both the phone calls I have received are a tribute to human kindness and humanity itself. It was just a way of rekindling his life and he loved to meet new people.
‘It is amazing because it would have been our 27th wedding anniversary. It is like he is coming back to life each time.’
After calling her, Mrs Sydney put the ashes and her own note into a new plastic rum bottle – so he could have ‘a little more fun on the way’.
Her family said bon voyage by putting him back into the ocean from the Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon, Florida.
‘His father was from Glasgow but he never went,’ Mrs Smith said.
‘Who knows he might end up seeing his relatives in Scotland and that would be the icing on the cake.’