by Diana Jordan
THE HEART-STOPPING telephone call I received late on a Friday night in December from Richard Carlson's wife makes no sense at all to me. She tells me, "Richard's energy was just too big for his body."
Earlier that week, I was struggling with the meaning of life, and Richard Carlson, the bestselling author of the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series, popped into my head. So--stepping over the line from professional friendship into intensely personal-- I call him.
How does he life, I wanted to know. How does he handle uncertainty, setbacks, pain?
Richard's voice was warm and cheerful, as usual. I asked, "So what is life all about--karma, God, destiny?"
And Richard told me that we are gifted in ways that support our destiny, and we do have control over our lives. "Bad" things happen--but it is our response that matters, how we handle our emotions. We go to great places in life, not by making huge corrections, but by implementing tiny changes in our course as a pilot would.
The next day this 45-year-old man who looked and acted 10 years younger, who was still madly in love with his wife and still entranced by his two teenage daughter, got on a plane to New York to promote his newest book, Don't Get Scrooged, and died of a heart attack.
When Kris Carlson calls, she says she misses her soul mate. "He is still with us," she says.
I miss my friend who walked his talk. Who gave me every nuance of every moment. That's the meaning of life. Richard Carlson truly lived like his heart was in it.