Notes on a Bridge

In my previous story ( My Weak End     ) I updated it on the following evening but didn’t post any photos or videos from the walk because I was having difficulty processing some of the images in my head.  And now, two days later, I am still haunted by what I witnessed on the Lions Gate Bridge.

Regular readers of my stories know that I have always had a fascination with bridges.  While living in the Maritimes, I watched the construction of the Confederation Bridge which connects New Brunswick with Prince Edward Island.  Construction started in 1993 and it was completed in May 1997 – a month before I was transferred back to British Columbia.  It was a thrill to finally drive across the bridge when it was finally opened.

Earlier this year, I began walking across some of the local bridges in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, and each crossing was memorable.  But among my all-time-favorite bridges – the Lions Gate Bridge gets my vote for the ‘most impressive to walk’ category.  One day, I hope to walk the George Washington Bridge in New York City and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  Maybe, I’ll walk them with you?

But getting back to the reason for writing about the Lions Gate Bridge.  As stated in my previously mentioned update, my walking club (Vancouver Venturers Volkssport Club) had thirty-six people attending the Stanley Park/Lions Gate Bridge walk on Sunday morning.  When we got to the bridge, I was in the last group of walkers.  We took our time walking along the bridge, often stopping to take photos – or to just stand there, saving the most beautiful views to our memory banks to savor at a later time.

As we reached the north end of the bridge, we traveled under the bridge and then began our return walk on the other side.  We had only walked a hundred feet or so, and I noticed a hand-written note tied to the railing.  And then, a hundred steps or so, there was another note.  And every so often, another one!  But at the middle span of the bridge, was a final note – and that’s when it all made sense.  I took a photo of each note.

These are the notes:

Lions Gate Bridge (facing south)
First message
A hundred steps further...
.. followed by this message...
Message from the heart
Pleading becomes urgent...
Final plea at middle span
Lions Gate Bridge (facing south)
Lions Gate Bridge (facing south)
First message
First message
A hundred steps further...
A hundred steps further...
.. followed by this message...
.. followed by this message...
Message from the heart
Message from the heart
Pleading becomes urgent...
Pleading becomes urgent...
Final plea at middle span
Final plea at middle span

In the mid-eighties, my neighbor in Burnaby had a son jump from the Port Mann Bridge.  They didn’t find his body for several weeks because of the tide.  At the time, we learned that suicides are seldom publicized for fear of copycats getting the same idea.  I remember that my neighbors Helen and Art never drove across the Port Mann Bridge again.

I wonder if the author of the Lions Gate Bridge notes knew someone who had recently jumped.  But regardless of their motive, I’m happy and proud that someone loved their fellow human being enough for this gesture of extreme caring.   Some people turn their heads or look the other way when they see people who are suffering or appear to be less fortunate but each has a story.

Little Danny (1952)

Whenever I feel down, I remember little Danny.  His biggest fear was that nobody would like him.

But that was yesterday – because today, I have you as a friend.

Dedicated to Helen and Art H.

Hugs and Love,

Danny

Today’s tune (from Danny’s library of purchased music):

Alone Again (Naturally) Lyrics

In a little while from now
If I’m not feeling any less sour
I promise myself to treat myself
And visit a nearby tower
And climbing to the top
Will throw myself off
In an effort to
Make it clear to whoever
Wants to know what it’s like When you’re shattered

Left standing in the lurch at a church
Were people saying, My God, that’s tough
She stood him up
No point in us remaining
We may as well go home
As I did on my own
Alone again, naturally

To think that only yesterday
I was cheerful, bright and gay
Looking forward to who wouldn’t do
The role I was about to play
But as if to knock me down
Reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch
Cut me into little pieces
Leaving me to doubt
Talk about, God in His mercy

Oh, if he really does exist
Why did he desert me
In my hour of need
I truly am indeed
Alone again, naturally

It seems to me that
There are more hearts broken in the world
That can’t be mended
Left unattended
What do we do
What do we do
Alone again, naturally

Looking back over the years
And whatever else that appears
I remember I cried when my father died
Never wishing to hide the tears

And at sixty-five years old
My mother, God rest her soul
Couldn’t understand why the only man
She had ever loved had been taken
Leaving her to start
With a heart so badly broken
Despite encouragement from me

No words were ever spoken
And when she passed away
I cried and cried all day
Alone again, naturally
Alone again, naturally

Alone Again (Naturally) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

About

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor living in Vancouver, BC (as in almost pregnant). His other passions include: patient advocate (he had Stage 3 Throat Cancer) ; daily power walks at the Promenade in White Rock; and of course, spoiling his dog Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).

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