merchant mariner families

...a highly unusual, sometimes maddening,
but mostly comical way of life.

October 05, 2015

what does it hurt to hope...

   For the last 5 days I've been glued to Twitter, Facebook, CNN, the Coast Guard page, and the website Tote Maritime set up for the families of the El Faro.  I'm sure many of you have as well.  As this has unfolded, it's been incredibly overwhelming to see all of the positive thoughts, prayers, and messages of hope people have posted and sent out to the families.  This maritime community always seemed a quiet one to me, filled with people who put their head down to the ground and just worked it out.  No complaints, no 'woe is me', and certainly nothing that would draw any attention to how they exist on a daily basis.  It makes me happy to know there is (and has been) so much love, so much understanding out there for all of us as we travel through Merchant Mariner Land.
    However, within the hope there's been a disturbing amount of venom in the form of people who are quite sure they've got all the facts and are therefore qualified to speak intelligently about the ship, the crew, the company, and any other bit of minutiae that pops into their head.  "Experts" who are absolutely sure about how things unfolded on the El Faro and what the outcome will be.  I don't know, maybe they're right, but here's my question...

what does it hurt to hope?

    Each family has THE most important person in their life unaccounted for right now.  Their days and nights are filled with terror, grief, confusion, and I'm sure about a hundred other emotions.  So why isn't hope allowed?  

     Why is it so important for that hope to be smothered with about a dozen worst case scenarios you can think of?  Is it imperative to be the first one to think of a terrible outcome? What if you're wrong? 

But more importantly, who gives a shit if you turn out being right. 

So stretch your mind, have a feeling, and whatever you typed into the comment section on Facebook just now, delete it.  You're writing about someone's son, someone's daughter, someone's parent, someone's partner.  Give them the consideration they'd most certainly give you if the roles were reversed...please.

These girls have the right idea.

And in the meantime, I'm going to hope against all hope, just as I know all of the other families who don't have loved ones on the El Faro will.  For the crew, for their families, for their friends. They deserve our hope, they deserve every last bit of it, and guess what?  They deserve it from you, too.  Go on try, it doesn't hurt.           



  1. I agree with you. I've read many incredible stories of survival. Anything is possible.

  2. I'm right here with you...hoping and praying for all involved.