PATCHOGUE, N.Y. — More than a dozen years ago, a 10-year-old girl scrawled a message on a piece of notebook paper, sealed it up in a green plastic bottle, and tossed it into the ocean to be swept away and forgotten. The girl grew up, went away to school, and died in an accident at age 18.
It took Hurricane Sandy to churn up the bottle and the memories of a little girl in the exuberance of childhood.
A sharp-eyed worker cleaning up the beaches in the Long Island village of Patchogue just before Thanksgiving spotted the bottle amid piles of garbage washed ashore by the hurricane’s powerful storm surge. The note inside was signed Sidonie Fery and contained a New York City phone number.
‘‘I was just sobbing when I heard they had found it,’’ said Mimi Fery, the girl’s mother. ‘‘These are very, very kind people.’’
This weekend, Fery will return to the seaside village about 60 miles east of Manhattan where she will thank the parks workers and attend a ceremony where a small plaque will be dedicated as a remembrance to Sidonie, who died in a 2010 fall from a cliff in Switzerland while attending boarding school.