Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Second anniversary

The second anniversary of Casey’s death will be on July 17th. The night before she died I asked her if she was happy – I don’t know why, but I did and she answered “yes.” She said that she was happy in the moment but also with respect to her life as a whole. She had so much energy, excitement, vitality, compassion and love and, also a ton of self-confidence. She knew she would be a successful reporter and she knew she would make a positive difference in other’s lives. I knew it also. After telling me she was happy she smiled and that is the last conversation I had with her, the last time I saw that pretty smile and the last time I saw her alive.

Before her death I would often say I was blessed because my wife and children were healthy. I did know that life and health were gifts and not guaranteed. Now one of my children is dead and my wife is not so healthy as she grieves the loss of her daughter. Life has lost that comfortable rhythm and joy and I don’t look too far into the future anymore as it is too painful to contemplate all that Casey has lost and we who loved her have lost. I am no longer blessed with the good health of my children and my wife but I am blessed with the gift of the support, understanding , compassion and kindness from so many. That includes many being kind enough to ask me to speak to their groups-survivors of devastating injuries, family members of those who have died and young people in driving school/education classes about distracted driving.

While I do not look too far into the future personally, I do see the future as offering many opportunities to help others and at the same time help me by telling Casey's story. Listening to and supporting others as they mourn or contributing to making the highways safer feels right for me. We will be performing a day of service in Casey's memory on July 17th and I know that will feel right also.

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