last week when we were at the wtc memorial, my father mentioned that someone from the church where we belonged in new jersey was a survivor. he couldn’t remember his name. he said my mother would know. since we left new jersey when i was 5, i didn’t think much about it. i was certain i didn’t know him. over the past week i’ve spent some time watching videos on youtube with survivors telling their stories. i’d pretty much avoided most of it over the last 10 years, but since visiting the memorial it seemed to be calling me.
i’ve found the stories of survival and healing to be inspiring and rich. it also helps me to understand human emotions and behavior. it reminds me that all people deserve compassion all the time. you never know what someone has experienced. the videos i watched presented stories of compassion and love, resilience, will, struggle, triumph, loss, anguish, pain, confusion, horror, fear, bravery, anger, relief…this one moment in time had it all.
last night i came across this one, told by brian clark. i clicked on it because he was speaking in mesquite, texas, a suburb not far from where i grew up. i thought, mesquite? really? anyway, he rescued stanley praimnath and they became fast friends, brothers. he tells a profoundly beautiful story of his experience and what he learned from it. i started sharing part of his story with my mom today and she said, “brian clark? he went to the reformed church in wyckoff. he was in our young couples group…” i found it amusing that it all came full circle.