A few weeks ago, the world’s attention was captured by the harrowing events in Thailand, where a dozen young kids and their soccer coach were trapped in a series of undergound caves. Thankfully, after three agonizing weeks, they were all successfully rescued but there was a time when a happy ending did not seem likely.
The boys, ages 11 to 16, were eventually transported out of the cave by a team of Thai Navy Seals, and everyone is recovering. But about two weeks into the ordeal, the boys were able to get word to their parents and family members, many of whom were standing vigil outside the caves as preparations were underway to get them out.
The notes the boys sent, reprinted on CNN.com, are optimistic and hopeful, despite coming a few weeks into their agonizing ordeal.
They wrote one letter as a group, in a series of short statements, some of which served to remind those following the story just how young these kids are:
A few of the boys even got responses from their parents:
Don’t worry, I’m OK, please tell Yod to prepare to take me to eat fried chicken.
I’m waiting for you here at the cave entrance my brave son. I miss you. As you’re a strong and patient son, I believe that you will make it. We miss you. Love you, you are the only one for me.
Mom and Dad
Love you Mom and Dad, don’t worry, I’m safe already. Love to everybody.
We are here waiting at the outside. Just be strong and take care of yourself well. We are here to give you a warm welcome hug. And we also want to say thank you to your coach for being so supportive taking care of the 12 kids. So don’t be so worried.
Mom, Dad, Nick loves both of you and younger sibling too. If I can get out, Mom, Dad, take me to eat moo kata. Nick loves Mom, Dad and younger sibling.
We’ve been waiting and still waiting to meet you.
Mom, are you OK at home? Stay at home. I’m OK. Please tell my teacher too.
We are still waiting for you at the cave entrance. Please don’t be so down being there. We are waiting. Take care.
Don’t worry. I miss everybody, Grandfather, Auntie, Mom, Dad and brothers. I love everybody. I’m happy in here. The SEALs take really good care of me. I love everybody.
I want Coach Ake to strengthen his physically and mentally weak health soon. I’m still waiting in front of the entrance. For Mick, I hope you have good health there and don’t feel so down as nobody here blames you.
Now, don’t worry about us anymore. I miss everybody. I really need to go back home.
We really want to see you and we’ve been praying for you and all of your friends everyday hoping to meet you all so soon. And on the day that you all are rescued, I want you to say thank you to everyone involved in. Please believe in God and don’t be worried. We’ll be here till we meet. And for the coach, Ake, I want to say big thank you to you as you have devoted yourself in taking care of the kids. And I want you to be strong fighting against this hard time. I’m also waiting to bring you back home and to your loving family.
Night loves Dad and Mom. Don’t worry about Night. Night loves everybody.
We just want you to know that we are waiting to have a birthday party with you, my son. So please take care of yourself and we’ll celebrate together. Don’t be so worried. Now we are all here together with your grandparents and your cousins waiting for you. We love you.
Tle misses Dad and Mom. Really misses Wubwab too. Love Dad and Mom very much. Don’t worry about Tle. I can take care of myself.
We have been waiting for you all to come out. We, your mom and dad don’t feel mad at what you have done. Now just take care of yourself as it’s really damp and cold there. I’m a bit worried but I know we will meet soon. We are still waiting to see you again soon.
I’m OK, don’t worry. I love Dad and Mom and everybody.
We are here for you, and we just want you know that you have to take care of yourself. We really miss you. And please tell the coach we don’t blame him and don’t feel any guilty.
Don’t worry, Dad, Mom, Bew has just disappeared for only two weeks, I will go back and help Mom to sell every time I have a free day. I will rush to go back.
We miss you. Love you as always.
The coach not only wrote to his own family, but also to the parents of the kids in his charge.
The coach to his family
To my aunt and grandmother,
I’m OK, don’t worry about me too much. Take care of your health. Aunt, please tell grandmother to make a vegetable drink and crispy pork when I get out. I will go and eat it. Love to everybody.
Akkapol Chanthawong, the coach, writing to the boys’ parents
Dear all the parents, All the kids are fine. There are people taking really good care of them. I promise I will take care of the children the best I can. Thank you for your support. I’m really sorry to the parents.
Boys’ parents to the coach
Dear Coach, Ake, We, as your soccer team member’s parents believe in you and your spirit that you’ve been taking a good care of our kids. We just want you to know that this is not your fault. We all here don’t blame you and just want you to not to blame yourself. We all understand all the situations that have happened and we are here supporting you. We appreciate all your loving support and care to our kids. We are waiting for the news that you all get back out of the cave safely soon.
*Your aunt is also here waiting for you at the entrance.
And finally, the medic team, awaiting the boys and the coach outside the cave, wrote a letter as well. Thankfully, they were right.
From the medic team
We want you to have strong health and mind to be ready for coming back home. And we reassure that we’ll take the best care of your parents. We’re sure you’ll be safe.