The quality of this picture is even worse than the last one because this is a Skype picture. I wanted to share this picture because the blue in the background with the silhouettes fascinate me. Still more fascinating is the man in the picture.
This is Gary. He is a 35 year old former Marine, divorced with three young children, dedicated father, struggling with PTSD, juggling two jobs and pursuing a bachelors degree to ensure a stable income for him and his family in the future. Starting with an abusive mother, having to eat out of a dumpster at times, a cheating long term girlfriend and having to give up his children last year to their mother after taking care of them for 6 years (due to personal and financial difficulties) he also struggles with daily nightmares and anxiety attacks, all of which he has to deal with on his own. Even though he misses his kids, he is sometimes unable to see them for up to a month. He does not have friends in the area or the finances to maintain a social life outside of work so for him, right now, its just work and study. Yet every time I see him, he has a warm (totally to die for! ) smile that lights up his entire face. He comes up with the goofiest puns and dorkiest quotes (proud Tolkein fan and Trekkie), constantly making me laugh. Even though life has been tough and the world seems like a dark place at times, he continues to look to the future smiling with a boyish curiosity that is both surprising and impressive.
On a positive note, Gary is getting a cat in a couple of weeks and doing some pumpkin carving with his kids this weekend 🙂
Forgive my lack of creativity with the title – this is literally a picture of a dog with an umbrella. What makes it special is the story behind it.
This picture was taken on a rainy day, sometime in August 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In an overcrowded city riddled with strays, some people decide to feed a stray and claim the animal as their own. Some of them chain the stray they have ‘adopted’ outdoors to keep it from running away. This dog was chained in front of a clothing store on this particular day. It had been drizzling all day.
The first time I walked past him, he was trying to huddle as close to the store window as possible to escape the showers. I had braved through horrible traffic, my freshly pressed clothes were getting drenched, my hair was getting frizzy, my career was going nowhere, I was dating a guy who had no intention of taking the relationship anywhere, was constantly being emotionally blackmailed by older relatives to agree to an arranged marriage, a disappointment to my high achieving family, realizing I had more fair weather friends than I had thought and to top it all off, this innocent animal was struggling simply to stay dry. The world was a dark dark place for me that day until I walked past the dog again about half an hour later. Someone had put an umbrella up to keep the rain off him. And the world brightened instantly – the dog was out of the rain (and happy), in my head I said farewell to my fair weather friends, my family would have to accept me and my own marriage plans (if any at all!), the boyfriend would get a serious talk, it’s never too late to plan and start a career from scratch, frizzy hair looked kind of cool, drenched clothes must be a fashion trend somewhere in the world and I was going to use the time in traffic to finish reading A Dance With Dragons.
I smiled, took out my phone and took this picture (and hence the quality) and walked away knowing there was hope yet for me and the world, all because this dog had an umbrella 🙂