Aaron Casey's Journal
Just Do It!
Written Dec 5, 2013 10:28am by Aaron CaseyI'm not talking about the Nike commercials of old. I'm actually talking about my ability to write. All of my being has a desire to write, and from what some have told me, I am very capable of doing well. I have said before, and will say again, I do not feel as if I'm as good as the perception is, but I appreciate the vote of confidence. However, my writing commitment has left a lot to be desired. So today, I figured I should just do it. Just write!
When I set this journal/blog up, I did so at the recommendation of friends and family. Well, mostly family. It was done to communicate my thoughts, share the emotion and provide updates of my battle with cancer. Now, with being given a cancer free prognosis, I struggle with continuing writing on this platform. Yes, I still want to share my thoughts but feel that sharing here might defeat the purpose of the original design. Yet, some of those thoughts and experiences are still cancer related I just have neglected sharing those here. What to do? Well, just do it!
Over the last couple of weeks I have been asked to share my life publicly. Share about different things and at different times. Sure, I can do that, and I will. One time before Christmas and once after the first of the year. One at a youth group, one as a video to be shared at any time at any place for a pastor to share as he sees best. I feel honored to be asked to share...but there is one minor problems. Not a major problem, and not one that can't be overcome or is going to affect my ability to share. No, that problem is the one I call the Moses problem.
In Exodus 3 and 4 Moses meets God and receives a calling to deliver the people of Israel out of Egypt. God shows him miracle after miracle to answer Moses' question of how to prove that God was indeed sending him to speak and deliver. This exchange lasts through all of chapter 3 and into chapter 4. Yet, in Exodus 4:10 we find Moses questioning God's selection of speakers. Moses wasn't eloquent, was in speech and tongue and basically afraid to speak to the masses. I like to think he had stage fright, was afraid of what others would think and afraid that no one would believe him. He begged God to use someone else to deliver the Israelites. In the ultimate bargaining method, God agreed to use someone else...BUT still use Moses! Yeah, great bargain! God used Moses' brother Aaron's mouth while only if Moses told Aaron what to say.
And what does this have to do with me? Why do I feel like I have a Moses syndrome? Well, I don't really have stage fright. I have taken public speaking classes. I don't have any cool rod to snake to rod again miracles up my sleeve (or leprous hands either). And I don't have a brother that I'll be speaking through. BUT, I am confounded as to why God is seeking to use me. I truly don't feel as if I have anything "special" to share and I don't feel as if there has been a huge miracle that occurred. Yet, I do know that God said, "Just do it." So, do it I will.
As I prepare for my moments of sharing, I also contemplate where this blog is and how best should I continue writing. I have determined that I shall keep this blog AND restart my Blogspot page. This blog will have occasional posts with cancer related thoughts/moments. My Blogspot will have all the rest of what I desire to share. If you feel so inclined, hop over to subscribe to my Blogspot. Lastly, I am also entertaining the thought of writing a self published book. Not quite sure it will occur, nor what that would contain if it does happen. So, hopefully this post, and the future posts will entertain you.
Thank you all for your time, love and support. This blog has indeed been a very therapeutic tool for me. I pray that at least one of my writings has blessed you as well. Know that Janda and I love you all and pray that you feel that love no matter where you are. Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season.
Written Aug 26, 2013 11:24pm by Aaron CaseyTonight is the last night that I have an elementary student in my house. Tomorrow morning when I wake, I will have two students attending secondary schools. WHAT??? Yeah, there is definitely mixed emotions about this. And, I guess you could actually say that life has been this way for a couple weeks now as Rachel has been going to volleyball practice since fall sports started. Reality though...or maybe denial is telling me tomorrow is the day in full force.
As I sit here thinking about this and much more, I find myself relaxing to the sounds of chaos, rage, brutal honesty and words of truth. Yes, this is a strange mix to lump into one sound, especially when attached to the word relaxing. But, in my twisted and demented mind, it is the best way to describe what I listen to. Somehow, the music also provides a great motivator to writing, as well as providing some analogies that I feel must be shared.
My music of choice tonight is the christian metal band Impending Doom. Brutal is how I would describe their music. Having seen them live, chaotic would also describe their music. This music, and other bands similar drives Janda nuts. Better yet, brings her to a point of rage. Polar opposite of my relaxing. Yet, this polar opposite is very similar to something that I have thought a lot about today.
Last night Ethan and I had the misfortune of seeing two performances from MTV's Video Music Awards show. I'm not one to watch the VMA's, but I am curious enough to know what my kids might be listening to and how the artist presents themselves. Thankfully, neither of my kids listen to the two artists that E and I watched. Yes, all three of us know the music of the two artists (or a couple songs here and there), but as a whole do NOT intentionally listen to their music. This is the polar opposite of what I would watch or listen to. Curiosity drew me to last nights show though.
Sadly, there are things one can't unsee. If you have watched the news, read the gossip sites, or followed the social media banter, you know what I speak of. This blog is not about these artists, it is about the polar opposite. What I saw and heard last night, and what I am listening to now are nowhere close to being related other than they are musicians and they both provide performances that are unforgettable - no matter the outcome.
But how does this relate to cancer? Really, it doesn't...unless you look a little deeper. Cancer is an unforgettable diagnosis. There are times I still shake my head in disbelief that I have/had cancer. Many times I've had to put on an unforgettable performance of mental toughness to make it through days. There are days I had to take center stage no matter how much I really didn't want to. And, there are days that I just want to get on stage and let the rage of the music take over knowing that it might drive some people away as they don't see the beauty.
Now I think, how did people respond to me during those moments? During the moments of me putting on a poker face hoping that they don't see my pain? Hoping that my days of being on stage playing for the world to see wasn't seen as fake, but a stage being used to share gratitude to those helping me. Did they see with disgust? Amazement? Pain? Ignorance? Mostly, did I perform/act in a way that brought shame and disgust to those I cherish the most.
What I can say is thankfully I didn't have a foam finger or look like a tweeked out mermaid while on my stage. To that fact I can relax and rest assured that my polar opposite is something I can be proud of.
Oh, The Time Flies...Part 2
Written Aug 21, 2013 6:14pm by Aaron CaseyRemember that last post about summer and how fast time flies. Yeah, well, time didn't slow down any after I wrote the last blog. However, many things have occurred since then. No, I'm not going to highlight those happenings...well, maybe I will, just not all of them. I will provide probably the BIGGEST highlight of all, hopefully giving all of you some joy today.
Where to begin? It is said that every story has a beginning. Yes, I agree with this statement. However, all of you know my beginning. Not much I say about a beginning will grab your attention. Today feels different. After listening to a song from one of the many bands I listen to, and can say is close to one of the best live bands I've seen, I've drawn encouragement to start at the end. Why? Well, because The End Is Where We Begin.
August 8th, 2013 is my end of life WITH cancer! Dr. Malyapa confirmed that my 40 days of treatment at UFPTI worked as it should have. Cancer cells are dead. Because of the type of cancer, I will always have the mass/tumor in my neck, but unless it returns, I have no cancer in my body. The time Janda and I spent in Jacksonville was indeed hard, but the reward of lifelong friends, memories and no cancer have made those two months of 2012 well worth it.
July 2013 saw the end of another year of baseball season. What a long season that saw Ethan's team win both of the leagues they played in this year. It also saw Ethan play every position except catcher and 1st base (even though he was putting on catcher gear just moments before game time when the starting catcher finally got to the field). Despite the hardships of the season, and the many times it felt as if the season would never end, Ethan had a very successful year and paved the way for more success in the near future.
July 2013 also saw the end of Rachel's swim season with the Municipal Pool. She had two successful swim meets. She started not knowing what a swim meet looked like and ended with successfully conquering the flip turn. The only disappointment she had was not being able to participate in the final swim meet - which happened to be the Championships. Yes, she was bummed. Yes, she had a valid reason for missing them - road rash and an arm that would move (bike crash aftermath).
June 2013 marked the end of elementary school for our house. I have two words for this milestone. YIKES!!! OY!!! I think that sums up June.
As for my contemplation that I was in the midst of doing in the last blog, that has not ended. Sadly, since the last blog there are marriages that I am close to that are ending. These marriages are crushing me emotionally and consuming a good portion of my thoughts. I know that things happen in a marriage, and sometimes those things should destroy the marriage. However, I am a firm believer that if you believe the vows you took and made promises to live by, then anything can be put back together. I am also a firm believer that if you believe what the Bible says, then your marriage is no exception to what the Bible says a marriage should be. No, my marriage, and any marriage I know of, is not perfect. BUT, Janda and I are perfect for each other and despite our struggles and hardships, we made a promise to each other to love and cherish no matter what the circumstance. It is not easy, but we do it. In respect of those I love going through something in their marriage, know I am praying for you and am not condemning you, I'm merely sharing my thoughts.
Also, and probably lastly in this blog, I continue to contemplate how I interact with others. There are indeed things I have screwed up, just as any other normal person does. But how am I recovering from those screw ups? We all have relationships we rely on throughout our days. How are you interacting in those relationships? When you screw up and hurt someone, are you ready to admit your failure? Are you ready to see things from another perspective? I'd like to think I can answer these questions for me personally, but I'm not certain my answers will be ones that I want to hear.
See, my thinking is truly complex (at least in my eyes) and just a slice of it is all I dare divulge. I would love to share more of the twisted living hell of my pea sized brain, but it probably would confuse you even more than it confuses me.
I am so blessed and thankful to be able to share the end. In learning of my end, I discovered a whole world of beauty that God created for our enjoyment (foreshadowing of next blog). I pray you find an end that you can call your beginning. When you do, I would love to hear about it. Thank you for dropping by and reading. Never forget that we love you and know that God loves you even more.