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            Like Casey            by Anthony Preciado

     My cousin Casey has influenced my life in innumerable ways. Her motto was “Be kind, live a life with no regrets and don’t take yourself too seriously… dance like nobody’s watching”. These words were the guidelines for Casey’s life. I aspire to live by these beautiful words too. Casey’s attitude brought joy and happiness to everyone she encountered, even strangers she met along the way.

     The first part of Casey’s motto is “Be kind, live a life with no regrets”. She was more than just polite to people she met in the street, she was friendly and helpful. Even though
she was popular in school, she always tried to reach out and help that one struggling
 student. Casey always tried her best to be fair and inclusive. If I was ever to have a problem or need help with anything I know I could have gone to my big cousin Casey. I hope to someday have the confidence to be that kind. I learned from knowing Casey that
 by always being kind when there is an opportunity and by always creating opportunities
to be kind I will be able to look back on my life with no regrets.

     The next part of Casey’s motto is “Don’t take yourself too seriously”. Casey lived
these words to the letter. If you were looking for someone to be silly and spontaneous
with, Casey was the one! Casey never took her amazing attributes too seriously. She
could always look at anyone else and find something wonderful about them. I often take myself too seriously. I want to look outward instead of inward, the way Casey always did.

     The last part of Casey’s motto is “Dance like no body’s watching”. Casey was always comfortable enough with herself to be outgoing. She could sing to her favorite song on the radio, she could scream on the roller coaster, she could skip through the mall if she was happy. She liked herself enough to never be embarrassed by her own feelings. I see that
 as being one of the most valuable traits someone can have. This trait is contagious and makes everyone more comfortable.

     I was greatly influenced by the way my cousin lived but I was also influenced by the
way she died. Casey LeeAnne Goodwin was killed, by a drunk driver, on March 13th, 2003. I have learned how people’s choices, good and bad, can influence the lives of
others. Because Casey chose to live by the words “Be kind. Live a life with no regrets. Don’t take yourself too seriously…Dance like nobody’s watching” She has influenced me
 to try to be a better person…Like Casey.


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