Tragedy. It’s always unexpected. And for days, my mind has raced. The what if’s, the whys, and the please, Lord, no.
A dear friend of our family and local police officer and his K9 dog were struck by a drunk driver while their car was parked in a median. They both did not survive.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again
The shock was almost too much to bear. I know his parents, his siblings, his grandparents. We went to high school together. We haven’t seen much of each other in recent years, but he was still such a bright light in this area. Everyone who encountered him was touched by him. It’s so hard.
Most recently, I saw him about 3-4 weeks ago. He passed me on the highway in his patrol car and waved on the way by. When he pulled into the gas station, he threw his arm out of the window and waved, and I waved back. Brayden asked me “Mommy, do you know that police officer?” I said yes, that is my friend Casey. His job is to keep us safe. Brayden says “wow, mommy, that is SO COOL that you know him!”
We attended the visitation on Saturday. We were in line at 8:45am and at noon, we were just getting done. That in itself was a testament to Casey’s life. He really was everything everyone said he was. A hero. A friend. A true colleague. A brother. A son. He died doing what he loved, and his 5 year K9 partner, Draco, went with him. Casey’s mom said in an interview that it was like God knew they couldn’t live without each other. I believe that.
It’s hard to put that into words. I am angry, heartbroken, sad, and lost. Death hits me hard anyways as I am a very emotional person. But seeing people you know and care about and are in contact with just broken– it’s just so, so sad. And at the expense of someone who made a bad decision to drink and drive? Unexplainable.
Casey, you have taught me a huge lesson. LIVE life to the best you can be. You did. You accomplished more in your 29 years than most people do in their lifetimes. I want to live it like you did. No regrets. Being the best I could be 100% of the time. Thank you for your service not only to our community and nation, but to your friends. You make us all want to be like you. Your memory lives on in our hearts, and I am so proud to call you a friend.