Friday, January 15, 2010
I received an email a few minutes ago from a journalist-friend regarding journalist Erik Parker, the husband of Aliya S. King, a writer-friend of mine. Erik is in Haiti, not able to leave, and clearly from this YouTube video risking his life. He took this video with his iPhone minutes after the quake.
This is the closest to home that this tragedy has hit for me. While I probably haven't had a conversation with Erik in more than 5 years, I know this brother. He's a great writer and to see him entering into a structure that looks like it will collapse any second and come out with a debris-covered child in his arms was just unbelievable.
I'm so struck by his bravery and his immediate willingness to step in where help was clearly desperately needed. I sent my immediate prayers and good thoughts to him, Aliya and their daughter. I've been watching the incredible news coverage, and have found ways to help. But seeing Erik in the midst of this tragedy and knowing the anguish that his wife and child must be feeling makes it so much more real and honestly, scary, to me.
In the last hour, Erik's twitter update said that he may be on his way home. You can follow Aliya and Erik on Twitter to see their updates. They are smart and engaging writers that always have something clever and insightful to say.
I also just found out that the father and young sister of another friend, Jodine Dorce, of Jodine's Corner, are safe in Haiti. Jodine is co-producing a fund-raising effort with Leatrice Ellzy (Brown Girl Excursions) of the National Black Arts Festival and Keith Brown of the Hushbox called Love : Haiti - A Night of Music to Support the Humanitarian Effort in Haiti on Sunday, January 17 at Churchill Grounds Jazz Club, 660 Peachtree Street in Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. Featured artists include Joi, Mausiki Scales and Common Ground Collective, Chanda McKnight, Russell Gunn, Big Rube, Avery Sunshine, Ken Ford, Luis Carreras, Vinx, DJ Vando and others.
If you are unable to come to Churchill Grounds I encourage you to log on to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/love-haiti where they will be streaming live and taking donations online.
I hope that if you have loved ones affected by this tragedy they are okay. I hope you are cherishing the loved ones you see everyday because we are not promised tomorrow. I hope you are not sweating the little things because they are not important. And I hope you are doing your best to live your life to fullest because this is the only one you have!
I wish you health, peace and happiness, JD