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Time Heals All

--Kirsten Weiss

One of my sisters was killed in a car accident a month ago today. We were close, and it’s been hard. Unsurprisingly, I haven't been writing much. It’s also changed what I want to write about.

My sister Karen and her husband, James, were killed in a head-on collision. The other driver swerved onto the shoulder, overcorrected, and slammed straight into their pickup. It happened in an instant.

I don’t think there was any way James could have avoided the crash. He always drove exactly the speed limit—my family teased him about it. And I keep wondering if he’d gone a MPH faster or slower that morning, if they’d spent an extra moment to chat with someone at the supply store, if they’d stopped an extra second at a light, if the whole thing would have been avoided or at least not been so deadly.

But none of that happened. Instead, chance took them out with the precision of a trained hitman.

Since their deaths, I’ve been noticing all sorts of odd synchronicities. I like to think they’re messages from the universe, or from Karen. It’s highly probable I’m deluding myself. But I think synchronicity—meaningful coincidence—is real and that it's related to luck and chance.

And I bring that up because since the accident I can’t stop thinking about luck, chance, fate. What the hell did Fortuna have against Karen and James? What does it mean? (Yes, it could be meaningless—probably is meaningless, but I keep grasping for meaning anyway).

Studies have shown that you can position yourself for greater luck, but is there more to it? Could there be such a thing as Luck, capital L, an actual force in the universe? Are there people who are lucky not because of their behavior, but just… because?

So I’m setting aside Whispers of the Witch and turning to a different mystery in the Mystery School series with the theme of luck. (Fortunately, it doesn’t matter which one gets published first). But since I’m starting this book—Shadow of the Witch—from scratch, it’s knocked my publishing schedule off course.

I plan to publish the book The UnTarot: Witches’ Wisdom Unveiled, with the lessons from the Mystery School, probably in May or June. And I have an idea for a new Tea and Tarot mystery. But I’ve got to get the “luck” witch mystery out of my system first.

Here's a bit about my sister, Karen:

Selfie of Karen and James Mulder at the beach.
Karen and James Mulder.

Karen Weiss Mulder, 52, of San Mateo, CA passed away suddenly on February 2, 2024 in Cooke County, Texas, after a tragic car accident while driving with her husband, James Mulder. Her husband, James, succumbed to his injuries on February 8th surrounded by family. Karen leaves behind a beloved son, Zack Weiss, her brother Raymond, and her sisters, Alice and Kirsten.

Karen was born on December 20, 1971 at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, CA. Thus began a lifelong passion for all things Stanford.

She was a woman of unshakeable grit, starting a career in pricing on the back of her Stanford history degree, and working her way up to Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officers of The Hoover Institution. Though she’d recently built her dream home in Texas, she was determined to continue the work she relished, and she commuted between Texas and California.

Karen was a brilliant, complicated, and persistent woman. No crumbling trail or long-distance run could defeat her. She limped through one a vacation to South Carolina and Georgia on an undiagnosed broken leg, resolved to enjoy herself with friends and family despite the pain. Afterward, she told her astonished sisters she’d had a wonderful time.

December 8, 2018, Karen married James Mulder in a holiday-themed wedding at the Presidio, on a lawn overlooking the Golden Gate. Her dog Barnaby played ringbearer, and her new father-in-law presided over the ceremony. And though the weather was San-Francisco cold, Karen ensured her guests stayed warm with wine and dancing.

Karen loved country music, San Francisco sports teams, and Christmas (nearly every room in her home had its own tree). Her career, church, and interests led to lifetime friendships that she treasured. But she loved her son Zack above all.

Although she is gone too soon, Karen lived deeply and leaves those who knew her with a legacy of faith, love, and laughter. She taught us that love is everything, and life is short, so always remember to have fun.


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