Why Does Life Throw Us Curve Balls?

Alan Swanson - an inspirationWhy is life unfair sometimes? Why does it takes turns like this, sharp turns that take those we love away from us too soon?
While we know death is a certainty for us all, it’s so unfair when it comes to those who are too young to leave this earth.

My friend Alan was 55 and while he had been through 5 back surgeries over the last several years, he was a fighter and an inspiration. His passing was not expected as he had been recovering well from his last surgery in November.

I remember, a few days after he returned home from the hospital, I was at his house telling him about a blog post I had written that day. It was about how being in business for one’s self is like learning to ride a bike.

After describing my analogy to him, Alan’s response was “Debra, life is like learning to ride a bike.” He went on to explain how sometimes his pain would be so great he couldn’t ignore it. He’d wake up, didn’t feel good & would allow himself to be depressed and wallow in “Why me? Why has life dealt me this card?”

Alan said he gave himself permission to go to that dark place for a day or maybe two. Then, he’d say “it’s time to get back on the bike”and he’d return to making the best and most of each day. He was an inspiration.

Right now, there’s a heaviness in the hearts of those Alan loved – his wife, sister, nieces and friends (of which he had many). However, he left us with a gift – the gift of love and connection.

Alan Swanson & Debra JasonIn these last 9 days many of Alan’s friends who knew each other’s names, but never met, have now come together and discovered an incredible bond that will result in everlasting friendships with one another.

While Alan’s spirit shines among us, our hearts are filled with love for him, his wife and one another.

Why does life throw us curve balls? Perhaps to wake us up, remind us to appreciate all we have and the beauty that surrounds us – beauty in people, in nature, and the small little things we may take for granted.

Today is the memorial service to honor Alan and celebrate his life as that is what he’d want us to do. Turn to someone you love today, wrap your arms around them, and let them know you’re grateful to have them in your life. E ho`omaha me ka maluhia – rest in peace my dear, sweet friend.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. I love that he gave himself permission, and then had to get back on the bike of life! Curve balls- to make us realize exactly how precious life is. Thanks for your post- and here’s to celebrating the life of your friend.
    Denys Kelley recently posted…The pot of GOLD isn’t always found at the end of the RainbowMy Profile

  2. Beautiful post and what a wonderful friend to have. I believe life throws us curve balls to help us grow, understand and appreciate life and everything it has to offer. Your gift was knowing him and that’s what it’s really all about. Family and friends 🙂
    Victoria recently posted…Better than Sex Pumpkin Cake RecipeMy Profile

    • Thank you @Denys & @Victoria. Today was the memorial and it was a beautiful celebration of Alan’s life.
      You’re right Vicki, he was a gift in my life. And family & friends are SO important. Those curve balls take us by surprise Denys, but they also wake us up & shake us up.
      Life is precious and each day is a gift. Hugs. ~Debra

  3. What a privilege to have been a tiny part of this man’s life through your writing Debra. Looking at his wonderful smile and reading about him, gave me a sense of knowing him.
    Curve balls … there are many for all of us, but they are golden balls of growth.
    Dawn Alice recently posted…Angel Tarot with Archangel Michael & Archangel GabrielMy Profile

    • It was a privilege to have Alan in my life @Dawn. And, by the numbers of people who showed up to celebrate his life today, I know I am not alone in my feelings.
      His smile lit up a room and his laughter was infectious. Thanks so much for sharing your kind words. ~Debra

  4. Debra:

    Very nice. You hit the nail on the head. I already miss Alan so much and regret the years we drifted apart. However, all this has reminded me of old friends and people I’ve loved and need to be in touch with. Thank you.

    • @Nancy, I think that is one of the beautiful gifts to come out of this experience – recognizing and appreciating the value of friends & family. And, taking time to be with them whenever we can.
      Hugs to you. ~Debra

  5. Debra,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s passing, and through your writing, I can tell he had a wonderful, inspirational outlook on life. Great post.
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  6. I’m so sorry for the loss endured by all those in Alan’s circle of life yet thrilled to watch how you and all who loved him are taking the path of increased love and support as a result.
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    • @Andrea, thanks for your kind words. Alan (and Alice) was blessed with incredible friends.
      All of us who loved him have formed an amazing bond. Not only are we wrapping our arms around Alice with love & support, but we have found comfort with one another. ~Debra

  7. How true it is that we never are promised tomorrow, so we must make the most of today. May your family be comforted at this time.
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  8. The best way to celebrate Alan’s life is to live it the way he did and would have wanted to see loved ones and friends live it. Many years ago, I read Sogyal Rinpoche’s book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and clearly remember a passage which spoke of untimely demise and the effect that it has on those close to the soul who has moved on. In many cases, the ones left behind went on to live life with renewed vigor. That is the best tribute you can give to Alan and a way of saying, “Thank you for being there on my life journey”.

    • @Vatsala, you are right that Alan would want to see his loved ones continue to live a life filled with joy. It’s difficult to feel that joy right now, but we did as he wanted by celebrating his life last week with music he loved and friends/family who adored him. Thanks. ~Debra

  9. A beautiful, inspirational tribute. You were all lucky to know your friend. I pinned this.
    Alana recently posted…How to Lose a Sale without Even TryingMy Profile

  10. What a beautiful tribute. We are lucky to have those kinds of people to have been in our lives. They really do not realize the gift that they leave to us.
    Leslie Jeansonne recently posted…Internet Marketing Mistakes & How to Avoid ThemMy Profile

    • Thanks @Leslie. I think many of us would be surprised to learn how we touch other people’s lives. Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit. Alan, touched the lives of so many in the Boulder community – that was apparent by the hundreds of people that came to pay their respects at the celebration of his life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. ~Debra

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