I thought to myself while sitting in the bus that it's just incredible how anyone – especially beings with high emotional capabilities – can overcome such grief, suffering, and hopelessness. Now, cetacean emotions would definitely be different from ours but that's not to say they don't feel pain or grief.
I'm sure there have been instances where Lolita has felt like giving up, where maybe she even considered suicide. Cetaceans have the ability to end their life whenever they want – their breathing, unlike ours, is manual. One of the dolphins who played Flipper, Kathy, did this one day. But Lolita, for whatever reason, chose to keep living despite everything she has endured. In fact, she was captured because of the strength seen in her unique personality. Dr. Jesse White, a veterinarian for the Miami Seaquarium at the time, called her "so courageous and yet so gentle."
With all these things in mind, I stared out of the bus window, letting out a sigh. The doors shot open with a muffled pop. I stumbled out, wiping tears off of my face, and started to trudge home. As I cried and stepped onto the trail that led to my house, a crystal-clear "T" cut a hole in the clouds. The rays of the sun pierced through this hole, the only light to break through. Maybe I just needed a symbol to find hope again, but I took the T as a representation of Lolita's original name, Tokitae (meaning "nice day, pretty colors" in Coast Salish). A chill ran down my spine and I erupted into tears.