Dusk 'Til Drawn

More Delicately Interconnected Things

If you’ve read any of my blog posts here, then you’re no doubt familiar with my belief that all things are delicately interconnected.

Experience seems to dictate that certain things happen for certain reasons. And at certain times. Coincidentally, this occurs among a certain group of slightly more-often-than-not less-than-certain people.


I have come to understand this phenomenon with somewhat more clarity as I’ve aged and (gasp!) “matured” a bit. I’ve found myself in situations or places that were simply far more relevant to me or to who I was to become than could be, if left to pure chance. This very often transcends mere “coincidence.” I have grown to really appreciate those moments for all that they are. I have developed a personal philosophy that within these chance moments we get a glimpse of what the meaning of life really is… And that if you’re lucky enough (and conscious of it in that moment), you can figure it all out just by having the patience to sort the facts out.

I’m nowhere near that level of maturity, but I sure as hell can make some good use of the first part of all that.

911 memorial healing field


Case in point: I had visited the 9-11 Healing Field Memorial at Tempe Town Lake a couple of years ago, and I was blessed with another of those moments via a man I never met, nor will on this Earth.

I learned a bit about Robert T. Lane.

There, in a field of three thousand flags representing the victims of that terrible day, you could read a bit about each of the people who lost their lives at the hands of some cowards, and gain a deeper understanding of the tragedy through the “human factor.” Of the thousands of cards, one just called out to me. And I understood why immediately.

He was a car guy.

His memorial card read like something I’d write. I’d focus on someone’s passion; the thing that drove them (quite literally, in this case). Anything that opened the door to what made them tick. Here, the Mom who doesn’t quite get the car thing celebrates her son as the guy who just wanted to build something cool. Along that way to building a G-Body, he became someone willing to risk his life for the sake of another. Unfortunately, one path happened to supersede the other in the most tragic of ways.


He was a selfless hero.

I had thought long and hard about that. Here I was, connected with a guy whom I had never met… We were just about the same age at the time of his death, and this laminated card, blowing in the light breeze and giving remembrance to him had provided the insight to an answer I had been seeking over many months. Oh, I’m certain that one could come up with a connection for nearly anything, but this felt a bit more direct. And it was tailor-made for the situation I find myself in.

He managed to help a fellow car guy without having even been there physically.


Bigger than any of that was having the honor of sharing the memory of a hero I had never known before that moment. Having met a fellow car guy with whom I could relate to, and finding a connection through a chance encounter in the middle of a park on a humid late-Summer day. And coming to understand that I simply needed to look at a situation from another point of view to understand it. To get past it with clarity. I’m mot going to get into my situation here; we can save that for another time. Rest assured that I left the park that day with a profoundly altered sense of perspective.

I truly hope that if his family or friends happen upon this post that they know my appreciation for their lost loved one. It’s one thing to be remembered, but quite another to have the strength of character to continue to affect another after life is stripped from that individual. Mr. Lane is a hero beyond standard measure, and I had the opportunity to experience his greatness via the random action of reading a card on a flag pole.

All things are delicately interconnected.


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Brian Stupski

Brian Stupski

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