First let me tell you about Lin because he is my new friend and I already know he is very special. Mr. Larry Hunnicutt was sailing on the Carnival Fantasy September 6th to 11th, 2010. I had already been aboard a month and was looking forward to heading back to Italy.
As I wandered onto Lido deck I spotted “Major”, a beautiful black Labrador. I also saw a man sitting alone next to the dog, his name is Larry or as he prefers to be called “Lin”. Animals on ships are rare so naturally I had to go over and ask for a cuddle from the dog. After all, I’m the sort of person who pets stray cats in Jamaica and spends the rest of the day plotting how I can get the poor thing passed ship’s security.
The conversation started pretty standard: “Hi, can I pet your dog? what’s his name? oh he’s so beautiful!” Lin was very receptive although I’m sure he gets asked these questions all the time. In fact I saw for myself how true this was. Major was the star of the show kind of like when I walk next to my gorgeous friend Cyndy who is a blonde, blue-eyed actress and I’m the invisible friend.
I asked Lin if I could join him at his table and before I knew it we were heading for the Mongolian buffet together for lunch. Lin is a sweet man and I immediately felt his “glow” as a beautiful person. I wanted to learn more about him and also take part in making his cruise a memorable one. This was his first and he was pretty excited about it which gave me a renewed excitement about being there. Who better to show a guy around a ship than a former crew member who also happens to be the Staff Captain’s wife?
We found each other every day and spent hours chatting on the Serenity deck. My husband met us for a drink at the Sushi bar and we even toasted to Lin’s late wife Sue because it would have been her birthday. Five days later we exchanged emails and promised to keep in touch.
Lin gradually lost his sight at 20, he met his wife Sue, who was a school teacher and married her. They always talked about taking a cruise but never booked the ticket. It was just out of reach financially and so it never happened. Lin lost Sue suddenly two years ago. She was in her early 40’s. A tragic loss, now it was just Lin and his dog Major. But what I saw in Lin that day I met him was a light of hope. He is a man who has had some major hardships and yet he was friendly, gentle, patient and smiling.
Carnival Cruise lines opened up the port of Charleston, SC and suddenly a cruise became affordable for Lin. Albeit during hurricane season but what the heck. He is now hooked on cruising and already talking about the next one.
I told Lin about Stelle and he sent me emails of support. I hardly know this man and yet I could feel he was genuine and sincere in his words.
Lin has started a goal to name a Guide dog after his late wife Sue. He will participate in a Walk-a-thon and has created a website for donations and his goal is to raise $3,500. I hope that my readers will help me make Lin’s dream a reality. Click on http://www.sitstaygive.org/majorshouse to read his story and make a donation.
It’s an easy goal and I know we can fill up that bone! I would personally like to dedicate this post and this fundraising drive to the memory of my very own Stelle and also to all my readers for sending their love and support during my loss.
I love you guys!!! Big fuzzy hug, Leah