I was out in Chicago one very early morning hoping to catch a sunrise when I saw this man sitting here. A couple poles in the water, just sitting. I decided it would be a good shot to take with some great silhouettes. When I came back around the front I noticed this man was holding a picture and I told him I noticed he was sitting here for a while. I asked him if he came here often and he replied with a story I couldn't believe.
You see, a long time ago he had made a promise to his wife. A promise he would keep long after her passing.
Catching the sunrise is something they would often do together since they were young.
He told me they had been together since they were teenagers in Mexico and came here with very little. He told me how they worked and saved everything they could to make a life for themselves, and how during the hardest of times the sunrise held a place for them of taking time away from stresses or issues they had been going through, until one day his wife fell ill.
He went to to say that as she was in her last days, she wanted him to remember to take time to watch the sun come up. To remember to step away from burden to gain perspective and to enjoy his life. He said that he would; and after she had passed on, he found it very hard to continue his days without sorrow or apathy, and how addiction had overcome him.
He told me how at his lowest point, he stayed out all night one night and caught the sunrise. He said it was then that heard his wife words echo like a bell in his head...
He's been coming here for nine years. Every Sunday, with her picture; to watch the sun come up together. Sober.
His story broke my heart, but filled me with so much love at the same time. I shared this photo with him, and we parted ways. The rest of my day was spent in sort of reflection, I noticed more colors. More emotion in peoples faces.
I learned that even though the day may set hard, there is A New Dawn around the bend.