I took the ferry to work today. It was raining. I snapped this photo as I wondered what this man was doing standing in the rain, on the ferry. I noticed how he seemed perfectly content standing there in the rain.
I shared this photo on Facebook with this caption, “This guy seems perfectly content, standing in the rain, on the ferry.”
The first comment I got was, “This photo would make an interesting writing prompt.”
The next one was, “I was thinking the very same thing.”
So I replied with, “If either of you get inspired to write… I will post on my blog with this photo.”
Guess what? Someone replied with a story!
Stranger on a Ferry
by Ruth Martin
Surrounded by so many yet really all alone in my thoughts… It’s a teetering balance between the seen and unseen. People pass by and quickly head indoors to the dry. They want to escape the damp drops falling steadily. For me, the rain washes away a bit of the pain and burdens that weigh me down like an albatross around my neck. The rain is a welcomed sight. The rain allows my tears to flow freely. To flow without having to explain. To flow without having to share the hurt I feel over this latest set back in what seems like a string of many over the past months.
I lost my beloved dog. My faithful companion of more than 15 years. I’m not sure why I’m letting this hit me so hard. Most would say it’s just a dog, to get over it. But, Bentley was my dog. My buddy. He’s stuck by me in thick and thin.
No one could have guessed when the dawn’s rays broke through the clouds yesterday that within hours we’d be saying good bye.
How will I break the news to our son who’s away at college? Man, he loved that dog as much as anyone. Sure, we knew Bentley was starting to slow down but can you ever really be prepared?
The rain continues to beat droplets into my face. I stare off at the passing buildings but don’t truly see them. The release of being free to let it all out is welcomed. In some ways it washes the heartache away. It’s preparing me for something new and very different in the days ahead. As the ferry chugs along I feel both drained, at peace, and refreshed. What an emotional ride this has been. It feels as if I aged years since yesterday and only hours have lapsed.
My stop is nearing faster than I’m ready for once I step away from this rail the mask I wear must return. Once again resuming the face of a man who lost a dog and carries on like it doesn’t hurt as deeply as it does. It’s just a dog…but Bentley, if they only knew, was (and always will be) so much more to me.
Rest in peace, buddy. You’ll be missed.
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