Tragedies happen every day all over the world. Some tragedies impact us more than others because they hit closer to home. We all have tragedy in common. We all experience so much pain at some point in life that we question the purpose and we go completely numb.
This past Thursday, here in my community of Paso Robles, one such tragedy happened. Jana Carlson, wife and mother to four children was accidentally struck and killed by a truck her husband was driving in the parking lot of the winery where she worked.
Since starting to work with the winery I have had the opportunity of chatting with her on several occasions and she struck me as someone that was extremely kind and you could tell she adored her children. One of the times I was in there chatting with her, my wife and son were with me and after leaving I remember my wife and I mentioning how cool she was and again, how much she loved her kids.
I remember being amazed that she had four kids because I feel over the top busy with just one. There are just certain things that stay with you when you meet certain people and that was absolutely one of them, the other being this kindness that just seemed to freely flow out of her. She is gone far too soon and my thoughts are with the family as they try to find a way to settle in to their new reality.
Now to my soapbox…we see so much hate and lack of compassion every day. We see it on the news (international, national, and local), we see it on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and we can even see it in our own homes. I don’t understand. It’s like we simply forget the fragility of life. We forget that we won’t be here forever and neither will those that we love and care about.
As corny and kooky as this may sound to you, we have got to find a way to enjoy more of our moments. We have got to find more compassion and use it. We need to agree to disagree on certain things. We need to be okay that people have different thoughts, ideals, and opinions than we do. There has to be a way to be kinder to one another. I know that tragedies will not stop…it should serve as a common thread amongst all of us and be the catalyst for compassion.
My hope is that Jana’s passing can serve as yet another reminder that we are given this gift that can be taken away at any moment. I hope that her passing will make each of us be present in our moments a little bit more. I hope her passing pushes us to set aside the trivial daily crap and embrace the time we have with our family, with friends, or even when we have a rare moment of solitude. I hope we can pause and hear our breath…feel our heart beat. That my friends, is all we have.
If you would like to help the family I know of an online fund as well as a website they are using to schedule meals to be brought to the family. You can also check out the Facebook page, Help For The Carlson Family, where they are coming together to offer other things like stuff for a future auction fundraiser, etc. If you don’t want to help this particular family you don’t have to…help another family going through a hardship, help your neighbor, help someone in your own community…just do something. Thank you.