Thepopeofastoria’s Weblog

A Contribution from Bishop Czerwinski
November 13, 2008, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I had a best friend once, his name was Ben Staab. He completed suicide on New Years Eve 2005, without warning. The thing that hurt most was that he didnt think he and I were close enough that he could tell me what was wrong. I have really missed him ever since, and I have wondered if in his final seconds he thought about how I, or anyone else in our clique growing up, would feel about his death. As I have gone on, i find that the thing I am most nostalgic for is that time of life, my teens and early twenties. (When he and I were inseparable.) We didnt have to do anything, and it was always a new and exciting day for Ben and Mr. Coxworth( I was just called Joram then) . We werent the coolest kids in school, or the richest, or the most athletic, etc, etc, but were were something, if only to each other. Its strange that some things which seem innocuous a t the time turn out to be so important later, I think part of adulthood is recognizing these events. Ben and I had another friend, Bryan Czerwinski, who always had his video camera handy while we were growing up. Bryan used Ben in a lot of videos, which was strange because though he was different around us, Ben was not the most gregarious or extroverted guy any of us knew. But now, these videos stand as immortal proof of a life once lived. I came across this video that Bryan and Ben made back in 2000. I hadnt seen it in at least seven years. Watching it didnt make me sad, it just felt like the kid in the red coat was someone I might want to hang out with, just like I felt when we first met as 15 year olds. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and this year, as the Pope and I break bread with all the olther Clergy, I will be thankful for the experience of having had a best friend. Thanks to Bryan for keeping this around.