It’s a story which has not only tugged at, but ripped asunder the heartstrings of thousands the length and breadth of Scotland, as well as having been responsible for an internet meltdown and a national search.
And the reason – well that’s simple. It’s a letter from a child dated December 1 this year, attached to a burst balloon found lying discarded where it had landed in a field outside Dunfermline.
Not so strange you might think; letters in bottles, balloon messages, but it’s the content of this one, and the heartbreaking circumstances behind it, which have brought many tears to bear for even the most hard-hearted and cynical amongst us.
The child , who we are hoping might be traced in time for Christmas, wrote a letter to his dead father to tell him he was in foster care now because his mother was ill, and laid bare his dearest wishes and hopes.
The letter reads as follows: “Hi dad, just writing you a letter to tell you I’m missing you and tell you news!
“I’m sure you know I’m in foster care cause mom is sick and my ear is blocked from Monday.
“Tomorrow we’re leaving. I really miss school and you. I know you are up in heaven but are you safe?
“Oh ya before I go here’s my dream and Xmas list.
“My dream is for you my daddy to put a note under my pillow that you wrote.
“My xmas list: boots/studs, Astros, rebounder net, new Premier League ball, Real Madrid jersey and shorts and rubic cube.
“Bye daddy love you.”
The photographer who found the letter, Stuart McColl started the ball rolling as he tried to find the child by launching a Facebook appeal.
He said: “This was too sad to ignore.
“I’ve never done anything like this before but it’s a tragic story so it would be great to do something to help this person who is having such a tough time.”,
And we couldn’t agree more. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the little boy could be traced in time for Christmas, when at least a small portion of his wishes could be fulfilled?
We urge anyone reading this appeal to share the story, and perhaps a Christmas miracle can be achieved.