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I Miss You Kasey Ranka

James earned a BA degree in Music Performance-Keyboards from Concordia University and is a recording artist, composer and producer.

Kasey Michelle Ranka... August 24, 1979 - November 5, 2008


Today Is: Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Starting today, I am beginning a "day of remembrance" for my daughter, Kasey Michelle Ranka. Kasey passed away 5 years ago, on this date, November 5.

I am looking for stories, events, the funny things, as well as the sad, concerning Kasey. Please add your thoughts in the comments section located at the bottom of this article.

RIP, my lovely daughter,


Never a Little Thing

Kasey Michelle Ranka... August 24, 1979 - November 5, 2008

14 years old in this picture, my daughter died at age 29, and as time takes flight, I realize that losing a daughter is now filled with days of remembering the good things; never recalled as little things.

As 'cute' as she was at 14, Kasey grew to be movie star beautiful as she approached her early twenties. An engaging personality coupled with her inexplicable, extreme mood swings made for a sometimes-combustible combination that played out many times throughout her life.

"Charming people live up to the very edge of their charm, and behave as outrageously as the world lets them."
Logan Pearsall Smith
1865-1946, Anglo-American Essayist, Aphorist

The quotation is perfect as it applies to my daughter. She lived life on her set terms and was non-repentant about expressing her independence.

Although trouble seemed to know Kasey, (or maybe it was vice versa, ) I knew the reasons for her "acting out". That realization made me love her all the more.

November 5, 2008

I was working that day and had just finished lunch. I drove back to my office when, about 1:30, I heard the office manager say a phone caller was on hold. I answered and immediately recognized the voice of my Aunt.

"James, (pause) James I need to tell you something."

Sensing something was wrong, I thought maybe a family member or friend was sick or had been in an accident... I plainly heard no distinct anxiousness, but I did notice she was taking her time making the point.

Then my Aunt followed with these exact words. "James, Kasey is dead."

I quickly muttered the obligatory, "what?", (A response giving time to make sure I heard those dreadful words correctly.)

Seconds later she said, "She's gone, baby."

The Little Things

At this juncture, I could take 100 different directions with this article.

I could explain how I almost immediately hit the floor after hearing this God-awful news, dropped the phone and sobbed for hours, or I could describe the bottomless pit of loss I was trapped in for weeks after her death or I could use an entirely different approach. I could traverse a contrary direction describing the beauty of watching Kasey grow from infant to adult.

Parents assume these precious lives, gifts who give so many 'little opportunities' to nurture, support and love, are going to be around forever: Or, they will live long enough, at the very least, to be there for our funerals--not the opposite.

'Little things' like:

  • Kasey's first "my-unasked-for" hug accompanied with, "I love you Daddy"
  • Her first step
  • Her first day at school
  • Her first date
  • Thousands more


Reaching tens of thousands as time passes. These 'little things' add up quickly. One would be surprised at the amount of precious opportunities given to us parents. Count them. 'Little things' like:

  • "Daddy will you read to me?",
  • "Daddy, will you take us to the mall?" Or
  • "Daddy, I love you!"

Now, more than 4 years later, knowing I will NEVER experience one more 'little thing' with my beautiful daughter is more painful than most anything else I can connect with her untimely death.

  1. I'll never know if she would have turned her confused heart around to be free of the demons seemingly always torturing her mind.
  2. I'll never know if she could have ever settled down to live happily ever after.
  3. I'll never see one more 'little thing' about my daughter.
  4. But, worst of all, I will never be able to just say, "I love you Kasey."

Kasey died November 5, 2008.

I now spend every November 5th. remembering my beautiful daughter's life. I smile as I recall some of the precious things we shared when she was very young. But I mostly cry... A lot.

The tears have a sense of their own--I own no control of my emotional steadiness as I would have on a normal day. It is always a sad day, but I notice my thinking mostly recalls the happy times we shared, and there were many of them.

I loved Kasey with a father's love... I just wanted my 29-year-old baby girl to be happy.

Kasey was young, beautiful, rebellious, energetic, loyal, spiritual and had more friends than I ever realized (evidenced by the hundreds of kids present at her funeral.)

Did I ever get angry and did we argue? Bet the farm on that one, of course we did.

During my middle-school years, "Leave it to Beaver" was popular. I always wondered, 'do families interact this way'? Ward never shouted; June was ALWAYS comforting to the boys... On and on it went.'

Nah! I discovered the insanity in that idea when first, Kasey, then my son, Ryan, came into my life. I sometimes wonder why the word "perfection" was invented because it does not exist. It is especially absent within a family setting, and yet despite the expected family upsets, we did the best possible.

The bottom line is: I miss my daughter.

I would pay any price to hear her usual greeting... "Hey Dad, what's up?" Hearing that beautiful voice saying those words over the phone ALWAYS made me feel better; ALWAYS lifted my spirit.

But her beautiful, vibrant voice is forever silenced and THAT, dear reader, will 'never be a little thing'.

© 2009 James Ranka

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