The Sinking Ship


Author Unknown...


Translation by Hamza Balol


Photo of an abandoned rowboat.


The teacher was telling his students the story of a sinking ship in the middle of the sea. On board, there was a couple and a lifeboat for only one person. All of a sudden, the man pushed his wife aside, jumped into the boat, and sailed away from the sinking ship, leaving his wife to face her impending death alone. As the ship began to sink in the sea, the woman shouted at her husband..... At this moment, the teacher stopped telling the story and asked the students, "What in your opinion did she say to him?"

While most of the students replied that the woman hated her husband and insulted him for leaving her alone, the teacher noticed that one of the students was sinking deep in his thoughts. He approached the boy and asked him his opinion. The boy straightened himself and said to the class, "I think the woman said to her husband, 'Please take care of our child.', right?" The teacher was shocked by the boy's response and asked him, "Did you read this story before?" "No sir," said the boy. "I didn't read it before, but this is what my mother said to my father just before she died of the chronic disease she was diagnosed with."

"You are right," said the teacher and continued the unfinished story. The ship sank in the sea and the man returned back to his home where he took care of their daughter. Years later, the man, himself, passed away and his daughter found a notebook written by his own hand. In his notes, the man mentioned that he and his wife were in a voyage across the sea after the doctors diagnosed her with a chronic disease, telling her she had several months to live on earth. Just moments before the ship sank, the man jumped into the only chance of surviving and wrote in his notes, "Sweetheart, I wish I could give you the chance to survive and to take care of our daughter, but your disease didn't leave any other option. Don't worry, she is going to have a safe and beautiful life. My heart is filled with pain and deep sadness for this hard decision. Just rest in peace, sweetie."

"Never judge others without knowing the circumstances that forced them to take hard decisions. Strength doesn't always mean holding tightly onto something precious God has given to us, it sometimes means letting go when we are forced by destiny.

Hamza Balol is a Chicken Soup for the Soul fan and he got the chance to read more than 4,000 short pieces from this best-selling series since he joined their daily newsletter more than 11 years ago. He currently works as International Purchasing Coordinator for a medical company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for more than 13 years.  You can contact him at

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