I attended the funeral service for my second cousin Casey Douglas Adkins on Monday and was moved for many different reasons. I reconnected with my extended family on my mother’s side after years of not keeping in touch.
When I first saw my cousin Dee, Casey’s mom, her voice sent me back to my childhood, it brought me comfort hearing her soft familiar words. In a split second after hearing Dee’s voice, the time that had passed was gone. Doug, Casey’s dad stood tall and was the strength of the family, just as I remembered. Corey, Casey’s brother had the same strength, he too was a father to a young 6 year old boy who looked just like him.
To lose your son at any age would be unbearable, Casey lost his life at 28 years old, it was an accident. I hadn’t seen Casey since he was very young, but after hearing the tributes from his close circle of friends, I felt as though I had a real sense of who he had become. I had some regret for the first time in my life. I had not been a part of someone’s life whom I was classified as family. I sat feeling a sense of guilt that I had a seat in the “reserved family” section where any one of his friends should have been sitting.
When Casey’s close friends stood strong and spoke of their friend, it reminded me that there really are a lot of good solid people out there, we just haven’t met them yet. The voices of these young men who articulated their personal memories of Casey so vividly, have just started to live their lives; Stuart, Josh and Michael to name a few spoke from their hearts and brought tears and laughter to everyone sitting speechless.
Family shouldn’t just get together for weddings and funerals, we are connected and we miss out by not doing so. The passing of Casey is a tragic reminder of how life can be cut short. Casey was a soul who brightened every life he was a part of. He was known for his contagious smile, loud sneeze, athletics and great attitude towards pretty much everything. He will be greatly missed.
Life sometimes throws us challenges that make us all become more aware of what is most important, family, friends, health, attitude and moral fiber. It’s how we decide to deal with these challenges that counts.
So although I personally didn’t know Casey as well as others, in the end he touched my life as well by making me more aware of how important it is to live life with no regret, stay connected with those you love and face life’s challenges with a positive attitude.