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Because of Casey, I have...

As 2010 approaches, it is that time when we tend to look back on the past year and all of our experiences. What have we learned? How have we changed over the course of this past year? How have our lives been different since Casey left us on July 17th, 2009? What has Casey taught us or inspired us to do?

Please use this forum to reflect back on 2009. How have you changed from before July 17th to after? Please share any stories: anything that has been difficult for you, or inspiring for you to accomplish. Have you done anything Casey would be proud of or look down and smile at your actions?

Also, do you have any resolutions or goals set for 2010- any projects you started or thought up but need to continue to make a reality?

What have you done so far in your life, in 2009, because of Casey?

Tags: 2009, Casey, Goals

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I rarely will answer my phone in my car. In fact, I have developed a habit of putting my phone on silent when I get in the car or putting it in the glove compartment.
Everywhere i go i have a different outlook on how i see people and the way i treat them. I see everyone as equal and try and provide them a new friend or helping hand.
Because of Casey I have felt more compassion towards people. I have become closer to her family and friends. I have put others needs before mine. I have volunteered more. I have given charitable donations to Casey's causes. I have shown more love to my friends and family. I have been a better friend. I have been trying to become a better Christian person. I have been putting my trust in God as I try to make sense of the past five months. I am making sure that I pray more especially for the Feldmans and their extended family. I am telling people I love them more often. Because of Casey, I am appreciating everything in my life. Because of Casey I am not taking life for granted and living each day to the fullest. Thank you Casey.
Because of Casey, I have been actively trying to make my friends more of a top priority in my life. I've tried to find small ways to show them daily that I care for them and love them. I try to be more patient with others, and more understanding. I appreciate the gift of my own life and don't want to waste a day of my life. I have set higher and wider goals for myself, and have said "yes" to experiences that I normally would have passed up because I was too busy/tired/nervous.

I've focused on showing my inner strength through outer strength with setting bigger goals in running. My post-it with 2009 goals said "run a half marathon by 2010," my note for 2010 says "run 2 half marathons, and run a full marathon." I want to stop thinking about all the things I want to accomplish in my life, and I actually want to start doing them and not wasting any time. I've gone back to Animal Haven more frequently and want to continue to do so in 2010. Casey lived every day deeply, and I try to appreciate every hour on this Earth, like Casey did, and I know she would appreciate her hours if she were still here.

Casey, you have made me a better person-- friend and daughter. I knew you would have an impact on me as we grew up beyond college together, but you have managed to do so more than I could have imagined you would, even without you here physically.
Because of Casey I have become closer and have strengthened my relationships with my friends and family. I have also tried to get to know people better than I have before. I take the time to tell those I love that I love them more often. I try to be the best person that I can be each and every day.
I am reminded to cherish the people around me and never take a moment with them for granted. I realized people can be here one moment and gone the next and i need to tell them i love them and how much they mean to me before its too late.
Casey, you will always have a permanent place in my heart, thank you for always being there for me and making wonderful memories with me. I am a better person for knowing you.
Because of Casey I tell those that are close to me that I love them. It might seem like something small but the truth is, we don't say it enough.
I reflect daily on all that I have to be grateful for and have tried to spin that grateful attitude into acts of kindness and hope that it has a contagious effect on those I come in contact with...and I also thank God often for the physical, mental and spiritual health which enables me to consistently be there for those connections in my life that mean so much to me.
Knowing Casey certainly changed me in so many positive ways it is sometimes hard to put into words. Internally I have become acutely aware of the people around me, and how my actions and words affect them. I have realized the precious gift that we all are to each other, that so many times goes overlooked. Externally, I have started donating blood whenever I am eligible with the Red Cross at school. Additionally, I passed up receiving gifts for Christmas, and instead donated to the German Shepherd Rescue and the Walnut Street Theatre (where Casey and I used to go at least once a year to see shows) in order to perpetuate her spirit.

To me, the world is a better place because of Casey, and it continues to become better with each and all of our actions as a result of knowing her.
I have connected with more people and at a deeper level then at at any time in my life. I have come to realize that the relationships with others are the most precious of life's gifts. I no longer take them for granted and make more time to cultivate them. I love you Casey and thank you my sweetheart, for the positive impact that you have had on my life and that of so many others.
A friend had said to me recently, "It is almost as if a part of Casey was reincarnated into you this semester." I smiled and replied, "She inspired me to live my life and that is exactly what I am doing." Casey and I were alike but also different in many ways; while she thrived at any opportunity to have a great time and live life, I was always a little more reserved. I have realized that I need to take chances more often. Because of Casey, I have lived my life more in five months than I have my whole life prior to her passing away. Casey was always helping me to step out of my comfort zone and try new experiences. She always encouraged me to keep in touch with old friends and to go out more often to have a good time. It is no secret that Casey just loved to have fun! I am taking all of the advice that she has told me all along and putting them into action. I am strengthening relationships with my friends and family and being more openminded. I was blessed to have Casey as my best friend. As we always used to say, "Love you gorgeous!"
I think the most important thing I've experienced as a result of Casey's loss is to realize that anything is possible when you try to approach life's challenges with a positive attitude and an open heart. To me it is such an inspiration what Joel and Dianne have done - to turn such a tragedy into a celebration of Casey's legacy - a legacy of love and hope and compassion ... and to turn that into action ... It is truely remarkable and I thank you for it. We have all been touched by Casey's spirit thanks to you. xxoo


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