Saturday, December 21st, I woke up fairly early from falling asleep so early the night before. You know that pit in your stomach when something just doesn't feel right, but it's even worse because you don't have a clue what it is? My mom called me in a panic, I could hear the shaking in her voice, trying not to cry. She told me what that bad feeling I had was. All I could hear was, "I think Landon passed away." There was no way. I had just seen him with friends laughing as he always did hours before I went to bed the night before. It was impossible. I got on social media, read the comments in complete disbelief. Did you feel that darkness come over you? I did. How was it possible? Everything just seemed so normal. Everyone was finishing finals, graduating, picking up their last Christmas presents, going home to see their families, gathering around their Christmas tree.
If you're from Kentucky, 95% of you have probably heard of Landon Kasey. Because honestly who hasn't? He did everything, and he was great at it all.
Sitting back and reading all these posts, just goes to show the true impact Landon had on his 22 years of life than most of us will have on anyone in a lifetime. I met Landon through our lake family when we were very young. Although him and I were only a few months apart, we always had this bond ever since we met; as he had with everyone. The Kasey family is a special kind of family, especially to raise someone like Landon to be who he was today. They always had their door open to anyone and welcomed you with open arms and that's how Landon was, too. I see all these posts saying he never met a stranger, and that couldn't be a more accurate statement.
When we first met, we were 7-8, and we met at a wakeboarding competition. The lake/wakeboard family is a different dynamic and when one falls, we all do, when one hurts, we all hurt. As unexpected as this is, I don't think any of us could've ever prepared to lose such an amazing soul who made such an impact on so many hearts.
I remember thinking even back then: "Who is this kid?" "He is literally amazing." He could do literally everything. He became a pro wakeboarder not long after that; and I remember us talking about it and how crazy he thought it was that it was him, but I told him he deserved it and he did. He could draw, paint, write, make friends with anyone, talk to anyone, take photos, he was an entrepreneur, he was doing backflips around the world and anything under the sun, you think of it, he could do it. The sky was the limit for him and he was unstoppable. His smile was contagious. You couldn't be around him for long without bursting out laughing or breaking out in a smile from one of his corny jokes. He was someone you couldn't laugh when hearing that laugh, feeling the joy and love he had for everything, getting a big hug from him, even if you just saw him yesterday.
It breaks my heart for everyone that knew and loved Landon; to know they'll never get to see him doing what he loves ever again or talk to him again about the things he was most passionate about.
He convinced me to be confident enough in myself to learn to wakeboard and do competitions, even though I never entered one. You were one of a kind and you were a special one. Just as you made everyone else feel.
There was a light in him that no one else has. His spirit is something you just don't come across everyday. So how do you deal with the loss of someone so special and someone who didn't deserve this? How do you come to terms with it? The truth is, God is bigger than our plans. Although our hearts may be breaking, he's doing what he loves most in Heaven and in some way, that gives me a peace to know that.
Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."His laugh will always be something embedded in my brain. His passion for life will never be forgotten and I think every single one of us can learn something from him. Tomorrow is never promised. We keep losing great people and young people. I shouldn't have to watch my friends parents bury their children, but here I am, again. I will never understand it, but as I said, God is bigger. God is greater.
I will forever cherish every memory we had together. Thank you for everything you taught me in this world.Thank you for showing me my love for photography. Thank you for the laughs, the tears, the hugs, the fun times, the crazy times. I'll never forget all of the wakeboard competitions, the lake days/nights, that trip to Indy, all of the texts and phone calls we had, or the annual Kasey 4th of July firework show, to falling asleep after a long day on the boat or you taking my senior pictures in the blazing hot weather, and laughing in the back seat about the dumbest things and our moms thought we were crazy. I could never write down every memory I have of you, but know I won't forget anything.
"Here's to the ones we got, cheers to the wish you were here, but you're not. Cause the drinks bring back all the memories and the memories bring back you."
I hate we lost touch and weren't the friends we used to be, but I hope you knew the impact you made in everyone's life. You just never know when someone's last day is going to be their last and you won't get to say what you want to. Appreciate the time you have with the people around you. Hold on to your loved ones. Make sure they know you care; another day is never promised. God must have needed the amazing soul that He made you to be. Fly high, my friend. Until we meet again..
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die,a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh,a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up,a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend,a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate,a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
This has always been my favorite verse and has brought me a lot of healing and hope; as I hope it does for others, too.