Publisher’s Perspective

The saddest times are the hardest


Depression is a curse on humanity.

The sadness and emptiness engendering it is a plague upon the heart, mind and soul.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I have been just about as sad and depressed as a human being can be — and I can’t shake it.

The biggest cause of this depression hammer blow came on Nov. 30 when I received an absolutely shocking and devastating call in the evening. My good pal and fun-loving friend Jarrett Falks died unexpectedly at the age of 28. An hour before his death I had been sitting by him telling jokes, being teased, looking at pictures of his new baby girl Blakely and generally having a wonderful time. He was one of the funniest and upbeat guys I have ever met. Then, pfff, an hour later and he is gone.

Jarrett is the third good friend of mine that has passed away since I moved to Gonzales 13 months ago. Early in the year it was Keith Carter, the co-owner of the Long Branch Saloon. I was with him on a Saturday night and he was gone on Monday.

Then in May, my buddy Pete Wilkerson died unexpectedly after having back surgery. The night before he underwent the knife, he promised to have me over to his house for steaks if I would bring some of the Becker’s Vineyard wine that was left over from my Craft Beer, Wine and Art festival. I quickly agreed and said I would see him in a few days. The very next day he was dead.

Also, on Friday, my friend and former colleague Shelly Stamport called the office and informed us her house had caught fire and her family lost almost everything. She had lost her mother just two weeks before.

I am wondering to myself, what is going on here? Why this rash of horrible misfortune for my friends and colleagues? Is there something in the water that no one knows about? I have lost friends before, but never three in an eight-month period of time that I liked and loved as much as these three men. I am having a hard time processing all of this.

I believe the Good Lord doesn’t give us any more than we can handle, but I am about up to my eyeballs with all this sadness right now. Coping with depression and lost of love ones is never easy, but unrelenting, unreasonable and unexplainable circumstances that lead to loss of life, home and love all at the same time are taking their toll on my psyche. Plus, throw in the end of an almost five-year personal relationship and you have the depression grand slam.

Now if this all sounds a bit morose and a request for pity, it is not. I will get through this, and hopefully God will provide me with answers to my questions and sadness.

What I am writing this for is a plea for your prayers: not for me per se but for the families who are devastated and directly affected by the loss of their parents, husbands, and possessions. Please pray for my friend Jessica, her daughter Blakely and all the families related to Jarrett and Jessica in this unforgiving time. Pray for LeeAnn and her boys and all the Mays and Wilkersons. Keep Karen Jacobs and their boys in your thoughts and prayers.

And last but not least, please keep Shelly, Shelby and their boys on your prayer list. Maybe together we can all get through this and make next year a happier one.