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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


James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on August 24, 2016:


James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on August 24, 2014:




James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on July 05, 2012:

Dear Midlife Magic, As I read your insightful, sincere comment, I, too, began to tear up. Although it's been close to 4 years since Kasey died, I find myself, as in times like this, missing her so much I just want to roll up in a big ball and die. But I can't do that. I hope for a day to come when I can talk with her, hug her again, and tell her how much I love her. This is a beautiful comment: Thanks so much for wiriting it.

Midlife Magic from Canada on July 05, 2012:

I was teary as I read this. I don't think any parent could read this without feeling the way I do right now.

I loved how you write about her. Your pain comes through but you do not inspire pity but instead I feel admiration. I cannot really explain that nor do I understand it.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on June 04, 2012:

Beautiful comment, Jewel . . . thank you for taking the time to share your feelings with this grieving parent. God forbid, this should happen to any parent.

NYJewel on June 04, 2012:

A beautiful and painful interpretation of her life and death. We are always parents, no matter how old our children, til the day we die. It is a contradiction to nature, for us to bury them.

Your words were piercing, my Eyes wet and my mind anxiously screaming never let this happen to me.

dallaswriter from North Carolina on November 05, 2011:

Found this today, November 5... Thank you for being so brave to share, for loving her so well that you wanted this hub family to know her through your eyes, and especially to remind all of us, that we are always parents first......

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on December 19, 2010:

Thank you, MaynStreet. Although it has been over 2 years now, her passing makes this time of year very tough.

MaynStreet on December 18, 2010:

..I know it is over two years later - but I am sorry to hear about your daughter. I remember you telling me about her years ago..

Sorry to hear James....

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on October 22, 2010:

Thank you, Suzi. I truly appreciate your thoughts and comment.

SuziGravenstuk from Long Beach MS, USA on October 21, 2010:

James, I have written several comments now and deleted them. God bless you and help you heal. May you retain precious memories.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on July 04, 2010:

Thank you Lisa.

I wish you happiness, love and peace.

Kasey's Proud Father,

James Ranka

Lisa on July 04, 2010:

You're welcome and thank you I'm doing good, Yes I think of Kasey all the time and miss her so dearly also...She was such a wonderful friend and light of any party lol she was always so outgoing and beautiful could've been anything and done anything she wanted, her little girl is spitting image of her and beautiful also....I hope all is well also.. Love, Lisa

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on May 27, 2010:

Yes Lisa, I do remember you and Kasey were best friends.

I can still see the picture I took of you and Kasey - you guys were standing together on our front porch... both so happy; so beautiful and looking forward to life.

I'm tearing up as I write this because I am going back to a place when my beautiful daughter was still here. My ONLY wish for her now is that she has found peace, happiness and love. Thank you for the sweet words and remembrance.

I hope you are doing well.

Lisa Borel on May 27, 2010:

Hi James haven't seen y'all in years not sure if you remember me or not but I've been sitting here I think about kasey all the times she spent at my house and I spent at ya'lls her favorite food was sour cream and onion lays and pizza with sweet tea, I'll never know what happened to kasey but I always held her dear to my heart we were friends since 4th grade and I just wanted to say I loved her like a sister no matter what we went through and I am so sorry it ended the way it did for her!

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on December 27, 2009:





Falynn Szelinski on December 27, 2009:


I understand every emotion you went through while writing this, as I felt a rush of many different things while reading it. A fitting tribute to say the least, and definitely an accurate description of my dear best friend. I know especially how much you meant to Kasey, no matter if she didn't tell you often enough... We talked about it often. Thanks for writing something so touching, it made me smile, it made me cry and it made me proud to have Kasey as my best friend... If you don't mind, I'd like to share a tribute with you I wrote of her as well... I would share it privately if I had an email address for you, but this is as well as there. I don't mind if everyone reads it... I do apologize in advance for any tears it might bring though.


Remembering Kasey Michelle Ranka: (written in March '09)

As I sit here and clean my white K-Swiss to prepare for the nights events, my mind continuously wanders to Kasey. I realize that I haven't had any real closure yet, and although I don't believe that "blogging" (which I've never done before) will bring me closure, I do believe my words, thoughts and memories might trigger a happy memory in your head as well.

Kasey was one of a kind to say the least.... Let's talk about the day I met her. I had met Chelsea in an awfully awkward way (that is ANOTHER story in itself) and Chelsea had spoken many times of her friend Kasey. I didn't know it at the time, but this was the "totally hot chick" Frederick had repeatedly told me about. Anyway, Chelsea calls me to come have lunch at Casa Ole, where we'd be meeting Kasey & Alexa. (Little did I know, this was a ploy to get me to babysit so the girls could go out a-drinkin'). So, I walk in Casa Ole... And look around for Chelsea. There she is; sitting with the cutest 4 year old little girl EVER, and some girl whom I would later describe to my friends who didn't know her as "this totally hot chick"... This remains the ONLY time in history that Frederick WAS ACTUALLY NOT LYING TO ME. Anyway, so we hit it off right away, and probably only did so because Kasey had to pretend to like me anyway or I wouldn't watch Lex for them that night... And so it snowballed from there. I had done my partying earlier in life than most, so I didn't mind staying at home every night watching Alexa, because frankly it got me out of my mother's house and also because no matter how many times Alexa asked me to make her a snowcone, I loved hearing her precious little voice and totally enjoyed the time we spent together every evening. Soon enough, Chelsea was working more and staying home because she was working so much, and I took over the chore (YES IT WAS A CHORE) of Kasey's on-the-town co-hort. That was possibly the only organization that Kasey had in her life.. a 7-day schedule of where we would go after 9 p.m. based upon which club had the best drink specials and the hottest boys! :) Let me remind you, this was 8 years ago. I was 19 years old. When you were out with Kasey, you didn't need an I.D... That beautiful smile, bleach blonde hair (some days REAL, some days not), gorgeous tan and belly-baring top got you wherever you needed to go. And so we went.. More often with not, with no money, and came home more often than not oblivious to anything we had done throughout the night with a tummy full of vodka. Now come on.. You can't say it doesn't sound fun!

We continued this routine for many years... and then we got older, a little wiser and much more worn out. I used to think the times we spent partying were some of our best ever but it was actually these past few years that really drew me to Kasey. I learned of a different part of Kasey. A more vulernable Kasey. A Kasey that needed taken care of. For once in my life, she needed ME.. I didn't need HER.. And that felt good.

I'm here to tell you... I did my very best to take care of Kasey. For anyone who thinks that something they did or didn't do could have made a change in the situation we find ourselves in now without Kasey, please reconsider. Kasey was my life. My heart. My soul. My best friend. I fought for her, I cried for her, I laughed at her, I did EVERYTHING in my power to make her comfortable and none of these things could have changed the fact that Kasey was needed elsewhere and not here on Earth. Everything happens for a reason... Kasey and I put ourselves in plenty of dangerous situations and at any time in the past 8 years, the good Lord could have taken us away if need be. She went when she needed to go. This is a crazy world, there are alot of pains in every day life and some people are hurting worse than others and sometimes when you can't hurt any more or any worse, you just have to throw in the towel and understand that you've paid your dues and let Him take you if necessary. Kasey lived a good life... She has seen the highest highs, she was a mother to the most beautiful child I've ever laid my eyes on and brought much pleasure into numerous peoples lives, including mine. I would change NOTHING about the life I lived when Kasey was alive. I thought in the beginning that I could have done something more to prolong her time here with us but I know now that it was out of my hands and I pray that none of you think because you didn't call or write or whatever that you were a bad friend to her. I spoke to her every single day, sometimes 5 times a day, I saw her more than any one did and I picked up her pieces repeatedly and it has taken a lot to get to this point where I can say that I did all that I could and it isn't my fault. I feel at peace with that because I know that Kasey knows that as well.

Never once in the past 8 years did I REALLY REALLY stop and think about what it would be like to live without Kasey by my side. When it first happened I knew it would hurt, but damn it, I didn't think it would hurt this bad... I cry every single day for Kasey and that is something that no one knows. I can not get her out of my head, and to this day I still pick up the phone to call her. I am so sad that someone who was so much a part of me, a part of my routine and my other half in life... got to check out earlier than me, and did it without a kiss goodbye. I would give anything in the world to touch her again, to hear her laugh, just one last phone call, anything...

Hug your babies. Hug your best friend. Hug your husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend, Hug your Mom & Dad. Call someone RIGHT NOW and tell them you love them. It might be the last time you get the chance to do so. I tell everyone as often as I can that I love them, and I guarantee... when I'm gone you'll remember that quick "I love you" I always throw in there before I hang up the phone.

So, Kasey.. I know you're listening baby. I love you. I love you with every fiber of my being and I love everything you did for me and I love everything I experienced with you. I love the fact that I pulled out my K-Swiss to wear tonight, and I saw how dirty they were and I literally gasped out loud and said to myself, "Kasey would be SO ANGRY with me if I wore these shoes out, without washing them first!".. So, as I return to the duty of cleaning my filthy white shoes, please know that before I step out of this house, my feet will do you proud!


James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on December 11, 2009:

Thank you for the comments.

isn't it an enigma why, when someone close to you dies, you just naturally focus on the positive and TOTALLY forget and forgive the negative?

Love of Writing on December 11, 2009:

Veey nice story, or rather remembrance of your daughter. I especially like the last line :) Losing someone you love so much is never easy especially when the someone is your daughter. It's great that you can focus on the good stuff.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on December 01, 2009:

Hi Ann,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on Kasey's article. You're right, it's hard - especially difficult for her daughter. It's been a little over a years since she passed and the entire situation still seems a bit "unreal" for me. I find myself questioning the reasons for her unexpected death these days, moreso, it seems, than when she first passed. I make it by remembering the good times we shared.

Thanks again for your beautiful words,


Ann on December 01, 2009:

What a beautifil article.I know your daughter would be very proud of you.This must be hard also on Kasey's mother and any brothers or sisters.God Bless you and give you the strength to move forward.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 30, 2009:

Thank you, Gold, for those words.

I pray you are right in that my words somehow, some way can reach my daughter... this is her tribute.

Gold prices on November 30, 2009:

This is very emotional story and you have so much of courage to write about it. Nothing or no one can compensate for your loss, however, through this story you have send many good wished to the soul of your daughter via all the readers to this hub.

shah kamal on November 21, 2009:

thanks for good hub.


James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 20, 2009:

Thank you for writing and the empathy.



Pia Scriptor on November 20, 2009:

Copywriter31, I am so sorry for your loss. I commend your courage to write about it.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 20, 2009:

My daughter addressed my father as Papa (relating to your pen name).

You're right; it's not the natural order of things and it IS unthinkable.

As I told a reader yesterday, Kasey has been gone over a year and her passing still seems "unreal" to me.

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to write and for your heart-warming words, Papa Sez.

Papa Sez from The Philippines to Canada on November 19, 2009:

Hi Copywriter31, as Peggy W said it is just not the natural order of things to be losing ones child. I cannot imagine the pain...just thinking about losing one of my children brings excruciating pain to my heart. I am sorry for the loss. Your hub is so moving...

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 19, 2009:

You're very welcome.


Pseudonymous on November 19, 2009:

Thanks for sharing this beautiful hub with us. Take care.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 19, 2009:

Thank you janiek13

Although my daughter has been gone a few days past a full year, I still find it to be "unreal".

Some days are much harder than others... thanks for taking the time to write.



Mary Krenz from Florida's Space Coast on November 19, 2009:

When I hear about someone losing a child, I always wonder of the strength it takes to continue breathing. So sorry for your loss.

Exellentte on November 19, 2009:

Its so painful sir. But you know she is still loving you from heaven, and saying always 'I love u daddy'. Impact the world the best you can and leave legacies that she would be proud of. God is with you.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 17, 2009:

Thanks for the welcome, deepthought... and it was my honor to share the 'little things' about my precious daughter.



Deep from In the middle of nowhere and worldwide but still that T.O.kid from da north of America on November 17, 2009:

copywriter31 thank you for sharing such personal warm and loving memories of your beloved daughter Kasey. ...and welcome to hubpages

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 17, 2009:

Hi dohn121,

My only desire in writing this special Hub was to make it serve as a lasting memorial to and for Kasey.

If it has served to help readers realize how precious their children are, then I've accomplished a dual purpose. It is the 'little things' I will always miss and remember; when, in reality, they weren't 'little things' at all.

Thanks for taking the time to write and for your kind words dohn121.


dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on November 17, 2009:

Thank you for sharing such a personal and honest hub about the loss of Kasey, copywriter31. My deepest apologies to you and to your family. She and I were born only three years apart. I hope that you have found the strength to live for her. Thank you.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 16, 2009:

Hi James,

Sharing my story was a bit therapeutic for me; though it helped a bit, my life will never be the same. Thank you for taking time to express your thoughts and may God bless and protect your family.

James A Watkins from Chicago on November 16, 2009:

I am filled with sorrow just reading this story so I cannot imagine the depths of your pain. I have daughters 31 and 17 and son 29. Thank you for sharing this story. It surely gives me something to reflect upon.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 16, 2009:


Thank you for taking the time to write those very kind, heart-felt words.


Robert Ballard on November 16, 2009:

A great tribute to your daughter. She was beautiful. At times such as this vocabulary fails to express what our heart feels. I love you in the Lord and may the God of all grace embrace you in His strong arms and give you a deep settling peace that He alone can give at time such as you have experienced.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 16, 2009:

Thank you for taking the time to write, dfelker...

I am most appreciative for your kind words.


dfelker on November 16, 2009:

I am so very sorry for your loss. It was a beautiful article for a beautiful young lady.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 14, 2009:

Hi Peggy,

Wow! Beautifully-written and I know it was heartfelt, judging from the length of your message.

Thank you for those comforting, beautiful words.




Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 14, 2009:

So very sorry to hear about your dear daughter's death. This left a lump in my throat as I read this heartfelt tribute. I understand from my mother who not only lost her husband and both sons (my father and brothers) that losing a child is the hardest of all to endure. Just not the natural order of things.

Your daughter I am certain would be very pleased with this tribute to her, knowing that the big aching hole in your heart will gradually be filled with more and more happy memories of her in the past. She was a beautiful young lady.

Good thoughts and hugs are being sent your way.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 14, 2009:

Thank you socit2009

Your words ring true; especially in today's world.


James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 13, 2009:

Hi Michelle,

Loving hug accepted; as are your heartfelt words. Thank you for taking the time to write that beautiful message.



Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on November 13, 2009:

Copywriter, my heart is gripped with strong emotions as I read your hub. I had to slow down and pause for a little while to reflect about life and death, about joy and sorrow. You have a beautiful daughter with a wonderful smile and this is truly a lovely tribute to her. James, may you allow me to send you a loving hug?

Love and light,


(by the way, my real name is also Michelle)

To vote for this hub, please click here: https://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/come-on-down

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 13, 2009:

Dear resspenser,

I had no idea this Hub would receive such a response, but the truth is: I wrote this Hub to be a lasting memorial to and for my daughter.

I sincerely thank you for the kind words.



Ronnie Sowell from South Carolina on November 13, 2009:

Loved the hub. Makes it kind of hard to vote for myself.

So very sorry for your loss.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 13, 2009:

Thanks for the kind words, Rope.

They are truly appreciated.

The Rope from SE US on November 13, 2009:

What a wonderful story and so beautifully written. I'm so glad this hub received the nomination and that I found it! May you always have your memories and may she live on through all of your family.

James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on November 12, 2009:

Thank you Justine76,

The lone reason for writing that Hub was to honor my daughter in a way that will live on forever.

Justine76 on November 12, 2009:

Congrats on the hubnugget nomination. This was a touching story. May your memories bring you joy always.

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