Life and Legacy – Leader of Oakdale
I have to ask a favor of our readers.
It’s really very simple, but it will take effort for many of us.
I have to ask that we all slow down.
I am not talking about slowing down in business and life, although that is indirectly related to this topic. I need, I want, I ask that we all just slow down when we’re driving. To be present; put your phone in the back seat, all you need to stay focused while driving a motor vehicle.
Why this request now? Well, because, as I was recently reminded, all it takes is one distracted, rushed, and unattended person behind the wheel of a car to end a life.
Someone is late picking up my child, so I’m going to run this stop sign. A person, oh, let me respond to this text very quickly while driving at 45 miles per hour. One person’s distraction can have an instant impact not only on another’s life, but on everyone who loved them.
That’s what I’ve been thinking more recently, as I come to terms with the fact that Kellie Content has physically left this planet.
For those who didn’t know Kellie, she was the current owner of Koru Yoga Studio. That’s how I met him.
Last Sunday I attended his celebration of life, of that 31-year light of a life that was taken far too soon. As expected, there was very little visible lawn on the grounds of Bloomingcamp Ranch where we gathered to celebrate this bright light. People of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs came to not only honor a unique woman, but to support her family during an unfathomable time.
For readers who missed the March 16 newspaper report, Kellie was one of the victims of the Bentley and Patterson crash. She had just finished a Beer Yoga class at Dying Breed and was driving home with a friend when her life was taken by a reckless driver.
This woman’s life was also taken and while I don’t know what caused her to run that stop sign at accelerated speed, what I do know is that two families are now less one piece important part of a senseless accident.
No matter how old I am, premature death never makes sense to me. Yet whenever I think about why and try to figure out how it could be “that” person, there always seems to be a common thread – they lived to the full.
Now, before anyone starts an email discussing the above statement, I would like to not only reiterate but express that this is simply my experience and opinion (hence the column space ).
It’s a lesson I first learned in high school when I lost a friend in a car accident a week before graduation, and then again five years later when my best friend is also died in a head-on collision a month before college graduation.
Sadly, this list of lives taken way too soon, well for me (personally), it can go on for a while.
This morning however, I would just like to take this space to serve as a reminder, as well as to honor the special soul we will now live with in memory as she left our physical world.
Kellie was not a “close” friend of mine or a best friend, she was – just like me – a yogi who was passionate about the practice and what she could do for others.
We first met at the studio she would eventually take over.
The most succinct and accurate way I can describe Kellie is that she was shamelessly happy and I mean all the time. She was one of those souls that after spending time with her a few times, it was easy to wonder, is this girl real? And she was.
She never gave the impression of being stressed or rushed. She made time for everyone and she spread light and love wherever she went.
Sound like hippy yoga stuff? Well, it should, because that’s what made Kellie so good at what she did.
At first she was the “new” teacher always willing to fill in for a class when one of us was unable to teach. When our studio owner shared that she would need to sell or close, Kellie was all for it and we were impressed. Her love for the practice and the lifestyle she embodied was natural. Thanks to the purity of that love and a pretty shrewd business sense, the studio and its events have grown and brought a lot of attention to this former “little” studio in Oakdale, CA.
Thanks to Kellie, a special little gem was maintained in our special little town, but it was more than that.
Kellie turned out to be the energy that made the lights shine. While we had all contributed and touched lives as authentic teachers and students, Kellie’s energy drew people in…and they stayed.
Throughout his life, the lesson of “why so soon?” keep on going. Kellie lived each day as fully as anyone would have hoped.
Not to be misunderstood, it wasn’t a page planner full of checkboxes to check what makes you feel important. It was living a full life that impacted others. Spread joy, passion, laughter, love; it was Kellie.
So the next time you get behind the wheel, the clock says you’re 10 minutes late, or your phone beeps with an “urgent” text, think of Kellie, her family, her partner in the life and the emptiness they now face every day. single day.
In this life we are lucky to have the chance to know a soul like Kellie Content, we need it here. We need the lessons they teach us in “simply and truly living their best life” no matter what that looks like. Fortunately, when you live life as big and fully as Kellie did, her legacy will continue. His light will continue to shine.
Thank you Kellie… Namaste.
Teresa Hammond is a reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. It can be attached to [email protected] or by calling 209-847-3021.