My niece Casey was so genuine. I guess that’s what made her so funny at times. Last year we were up at my parents house joking about the shag carpeting that had been in the family room for at least 35 years. She commented that there were probably some shriveled up salmanders behind the couch, escapees from salamander hunts years ago. She was direct, yet compassionate, a mix only she could pull off. When the kids were big enough to go up in the hemlock forest behind the house, Joel, Andy and I took them to hunt for orange newts. Casey was very vocal about treating the creatures with care, standing up to all the boys and protecting the newts. Our boys were pretty good anyway, but Case was not about to take a chance. Last year she informed me that they had brought some into the family room and a few escaped. I bet she was upset years ago, and was able to spin it into some dark humor years later. Writing this helps solidify the memory and to highlight the character trait I admired in Casey. I’m not much of a writer, but I see what a great process it is. Missing her so much.
[Note: The photo of Casey is from the photo gallery collection Special Family Events > Aunt Marcy’s 50th BD 11/07.]