Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
- TITLE: Bridge Over Troubled...Gephyrophobia
By Patricia Turner
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Why “Bridge Over Troubled Water” happened to be the song playing on the radio as I approached my greatest fear: the cantilevered bridge over the Hudson River called the Tappan Zee, I could only wonder. In this case, the wide river seemed calm. The bridge, on the other hand was more than a little troubling.
“My version of the song would be “Water Under Troubling Bridge” I commented to my brother who was sitting in the passenger seat.
“I said I’d drive. You really don’t have to do this Meg.”
My hands were moist and my mouth dry, but I answered him firmly.
“No Rick, I’ve got to conquer this. I’m not going to be like that poor lady I read about in the paper who never left Staten Island in thirteen years, to go on vacation with her family, or even to visit her sister, all because she was afraid of crossing a bridge.”
Rick rolled his eyes. “I read that too. Can you imagine? Why didn’t she just take the ferry?”
Gephyrophobia it was called; the fear of crossing bridges. This was common enough to have a name. That might have given me some comfort, if the actual bridge hadn’t been looming over me at this moment.
“I can do this,” I said.
“You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you.”
I looked over at Rick, but he had his Walkman earphones in and was looking out the window.
I realized I had heard the words in my head. I thought back to when I first heard them…
I was six years old, and my first bicycle was both exciting and scary.
Dad said “You know what sweetie? You can do anything because Christ is with you always and gives you the strength.”
He was right of course, and I learned to ride that bike like a champ, racing up hills and jumping curbs before I was seven.
I choked, gripping the wheel tighter, remembering the last time that I heard them…
The cameras in the news helicopters showed the disaster from all angles. The double-decker Oakland Bay Bridge had collapsed onto itself, a section of the upper deck crashing down onto the lower deck. The 1989 earthquake that measured 7.1 on the Richter scale caused bolts to shear that held that section. Amazingly, only one fatality was recorded, that of a motorist whose car fell from the collapsing upper deck.
One indirect fatality was not officially associated with the disaster on the bridge that day.
My father, on his way home from work on the lower deck that afternoon, survived the collapse, sustaining only a broken leg. The leg became infected though, forcing its subsequent removal. But the infection spread and built up fluid in his lungs in the hospital. Two weeks after the bridge disaster, my father died.
Through those long and frightening days by his side, I remember that he kept repeating it to us: “We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.”
His voice and those words in my head, encouraged me on as I drove onto the main cantilever span of the Tappan Zee, praying.
“I am your Bridge Over Troubled Water,” I heard my Savior say.
Though a fictional account, elements of the story, such as the reference to the woman on Staten Island, and the Oakland Bay Bridge disaster along with the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, are true.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.