Taylor, Sue and myself stood at the east sidewalk entrance looking out over the fog covered Golden Gate Bridge on my 50th birthday. My mind was in awe at the beauty. I’ve watched several TV specials about the construction of this beautiful structure.
I could feel the vibration in my feet from the cars driving by and we were still standing on solid ground, almost like the bridge was talking to me. I lifted my camera, click. As I lowered it to my pocket I said, “beautiful”.
I don’t think a half a second passed and Sue replied “I hate it”. My head spun and our eyes met, I could see the depth of how this bridge was haunted her. How could I see such beauty, yet 24” away this beautiful mom saw such pain?
Just over three years ago, Sue’s son took his life at post 61. I didn’t know Jacob, but after spending the day with Sue as we drove from Sacramento to the bridge I started to learn more and more about him.
A couple times she mentioned that she sat outside the night before and asked Jacob to send dolphins for our walk on the bridge. Honestly, I didn’t give the request much thought. It’s not that I didn’t believe in her, I simply base my life on what is tangible.
Yet I understand far to well, “when we do things that may seem insane to others, we are actually grasping to understand our own lives, which in turn lead us to our reality”. I respected her belief as when I was looking for signs from my son, others looked at me in disbelief.
Much of the walk to #61 was in silence. Every now and then we would stop and peer over the edge or grab the rail to keep my balance as I looked up to see the fog roll past the mighty steel. As a builder of things, I was in awe. I could hear the men hollering and tossing hot rivets, even if it were only in my mind.
As I approached post #61, everything about myself turned to Jacob. What he was thinking, feeling and seeing. Transporting myself within his spirit that seemed to linger in this space. It wasn’t something that I expected, but I felt as though we stood as one.
My right hand grabbed the rail, than my left and I peered down to the water. Just below post #61, two dolphins played. Jacob, it was good to meet you yesterday. If only in spirit, you changed my life. There wasn’t any other place on this earth that I would have rather been on my birthday.
I never dreamed I would be here, in this moment of time. Yet Jacob will live on within me forever, this experience stacked neatly upon the last. It is who I am. It is who I choose to be. It’s good to be home within. Be safe and well, but more importantly, be yourself.