ERIC HUFFMAN: I used to be religious, born again, in the Bible Belt, until I decided it was all a lie and went searching for truth, beauty, and goodness elsewhere. More than a decade later, I’m now a pastor, but I’m still not religious. And I’m still searching for the truth, beauty, and goodness of God in everyday life. I’m Eric Huffman, and this is Maybe God.
ERIC: Sometimes people think because of what I do I’m supposed to have a better window into God’s plan. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why doesn’t God answer our prayers? Where is He when innocent people suffer? I feel unqualified to answer these questions because there are times when I ask them too. Times when I can’t see God’s plans unfolding. I just see people I love who are hurting for seemingly no good reason. The past year has been one of those times for me, especially the past six weeks.
ERIC: One month ago, today, I watched in shock and disbelief as something awful and inexplicable happened to a family that I really love. I want you to hear their story. Two years ago, Casey and Dorian strolled into my church, The Story Houston, for the first time. They’d both been burned by church before and they were deeply skeptical and sarcastic about all things religious, which I think is one of the reasons we hit it off. That’s how I met them, but they met each other four years prior, on a blind date.
DORIAN GRAY: “Oh, he’s so handsome,” was the very first thing I thought about him. When I walked up, he was wearing a pink shirt and blue jeans.
ERIC: The shirt you have on right now?
DORIAN: So, I walked up, and he was standing there in a pink shirt, tall, handsome, his hair was combed to the side, boots, and the very first thing I thought was like, “And, that’s my cowboy.”
ERIC: Casey and Dorian were set up by mutual friends, and their first lunch date at a restaurant in Houston lasted four hours.
DORIAN: We just had stories to tell each other, and we were talking over each other, and just sharing and pouring our hearts out.
ERIC: On day one?
DORIAN: On day one.
ERIC: What was it about him in particular, at that point, that just makes you fall head over heels?
DORIAN: He is a huge personality, right? And so, instantly, his way of getting to know me was to tell stories about himself that were pretty, sometimes, disparaging, like, embarrassing stories about himself, which made me feel really comfortable with who I am. And at that point in my life, I had kind of been through a dark, dark time, and he made me feel so special and so welcome from the word go.
ERIC: Probably safe to share your embarrassing stuff.
DORIAN: Right. He’s, you know, “Oh man, one time I was at a football game and I threw up all over the porta potty,” and I’m like, “Why are you possibly sharing this with me,” but, “Oh my gosh, last week, I was at work and I did something really stupid.” And so, it peeled back those layers of fronting very quickly.
ERIC: How long did it take for y’all to get serious?
DORIAN: Well, let me tell you what really happened.
ERIC: All right. Tell me.
DORIAN: Ok. So, we left our first date and I was completely smitten with him. I, like, skipped like a bunny rabbit to my car. He didn’t offer to kiss me, which I thought was a little weird because I felt very kissable in that moment.
ERIC: How could you not?
DORIAN: How could you not want to kiss me right now? And I texted him and said, “Thanks for lunch, that was really fun, I had a great time.” He texted me back and he says, “Hey, you’re really great but I’m not really at a place in my life for this right now. You seem really cool and I loved our conversation but I’m out.”
DORIAN: And I thought, “Oh my gosh, mister ‘be who you are, and I am who I am’ four-hour lunch is telling—like, rejecting me?’
ERIC: Yeah. It didn’t add up.
DORIAN: I know. I wrote him back and I said, “Hey, no problem, dude. Because there is another handsome guy in a pink polo standing right behind you. And if it’s not you, it will be him. So, you need to figure it out.”
ERIC: You said that in a text message?
DORIAN: I did. I have the text message and I still read it and I’m like, who is so bold? But I knew that he didn’t know what I knew.
ERIC: So, what did you know at that point that he didn’t know?
DORIAN: I knew that he was worth loving.
ERIC: Do you think that’s what he didn’t know?
DORIAN: I did. I think he struggles with that all the time.
ERIC: Do you think at that point he liked you too much to bring you into his chaos?
DORIAN: Yeah, right. His life was a mess and he didn’t want to bring somebody else down with him.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:04:44]
CASEY SMITH: I love you, bean.
CHILD: What was my name when I was in mom’s stomach?
CASEY: Oh, that’s a good question.
DORIAN: Trick question.
CASEY: I think it was Rose. I think we had Rose pretty early on picked out for your name.
CHILD: What was Madison’s name?
CASEY: I think Maddy. I think we had her name picked out pretty early.
COLE: What was Jack?
DORIAN: I don’t know. I don’t think we had nicknames for you guys in my belly. Who thinks that dad should cook dinner tomorrow night?
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:05:14]
ERIC: When they met, Casey and Dorian each had two children from previous marriages; Casey had two girls, Rose and Madison; and Dorian had two boys, Jack and Cole, all around the same age. Dorian’s divorce and custody arrangement were already settled, but Casey was in the middle of a custody battle with his ex-wife.
DORIAN: And I thought, “Well, you don’t know how strong I am, because I’ve done this, and it gets like this, but it gets better too. And I’m going to be here on the ground floor. We’re going to do this together.”
ERIC: Who proposed and how did the proposal happen?
DORIAN: Well, he was super excited to get married again—no, that was not the case. No, he wasn’t. It was something we talked a lot about. He wasn’t sure that was something he wanted to do again. It felt like a big risk, and with our children, he didn’t want to mess them up any more. They had been through so much. Where I came from was, we need to show our children that marriages can fail and that you can dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and do the hard work to make a marriage. It was really important to me that we solidified our relationship in that way.
ERIC: About a year into dating, Casey brought Dorian to their favorite beach in Galveston, Texas. Dorian loved to pick up shells, so Casey planted a ring under the most perfect shell he could find.
DORIAN: He got down on one knee. He professed his love for me. He told me I was everything he ever wanted and so much more, and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and our family. And then, I hear my name being called behind a truck. I’m like, who is calling my name when the dude I’m going to marry is right here on this public beach with me?
ERIC: It’s the other guy in the pink polo?
DORIAN: It’s not the other guy in the pink polo. Spoiler alert. It was two of his best friends who he had recruited for, I don’t know why, with huge long scope cameras. They had been across the beach and they photographed the whole thing. Memories are my love language, so he knew that would be really important to me. It was pretty amazing.
ERIC: One of the things about Casey that kinda drives nuts is—
DORIAN: This should get interesting.
ERIC: What a high bar he sets for loving a woman. I almost don’t want my wife to see Casey’s Facebook wall because of the things he writes about you, and the pictures, and the thoughtfulness, you know? The planning ahead and stuff.
DORIAN: Well, then, I should tell you what happened next.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:07:44]
OFFICIENT: We are here today to formalize the union of Dorian Gray and Casey Houston Smith. It’s traditional…
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:07:50]
ERIC: In 2014, with their four kids by their sides, Dorian and Casey were married at a park in Austin.
DORIAN: Our friend wrote a ceremony for us. We read a book at our wedding that had really become a part of our story as a family called, Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:08:07]
FEMALE: I wanted you more than you will ever know. So, I sent love to follow wherever you go. So, climb any mountain…climb up to the sky! My love will find you. My love can fly!
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:08:18]
DORIAN: And then we wrote vows to one another, which was amazing, and we began and ended each of our vows in the same way, which is:
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:08:27]
DORIAN: Every day,
CASEY: Every day,
DORIAN: In every way,
CASEY: In every way, I choose you.
DORIAN: I choose you.
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:08:31]
DORIAN: Every day, in every way, I choose you.
ERIC: Not just once but every day.
DORIAN: Every day. In the hard moments. And then, Casey, of course, flips the tables on me and wrote the most beautiful vows to our children.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:08:46]
CASEY: Cole, Jack: my handsome boys. I want you to know that we will always be here for you. I love you as my own and I will work to be the best father example for you as you grow. Thank you for being good brothers to each other. And to Rose and Madison…
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:09:07]
DORIAN: Beautiful. And we got down on our knees and our kids surrounded us and he just spoke to them about how they are all a family and how they all need to be there for one another no matter what. And that they choose each other because we chose one another. So, then I was supposed to say vows to the kids and I totally had to nod off. I didn’t realize we were doing it like that.
ERIC: How could Casey do that to you? Give you a heads up or something?
DORIAN: I mean, just like a clue, like, “Hey babe. I’m going to blow your socks off.”
ERIC: You know what Casey was thinking in that moment was like, “How could you not write vows to our kids?”
DORIAN: Right. “Clearly, they’re part of our family, babe.”
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:09:43]
CASEY: Rose and Madison: I love you girls. You light up my world and hold my heart. I will always be here for you and nothing will stop me from being in your lives. I love you with all of my heart…
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:09:57]
ERIC: Casey loved their blended family just the way it was.
DORIAN: He had boys to do boy stuff with. He has—our daughters are the ultimate daddy’s girls. So, it was perfect to him. And I felt like they each needed someone to bring the family together. So, someone that they each identified with on a DNA level, right? It sounds weird, but biologically, we’re combined as well. And I wanted a sibling, or two. That was a big fight. It was really the only thing Casey and I fought about. But we fought about it.
ERIC: He did not want—
ERIC: So, who won?
DORIAN: Well, I did win. I did win.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:10:38]
DORIAN: You want to try your first spaghetti? Mmmm.
CASEY: Did he like it?
DORIAN: He’s doing great.
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:10:47]
DORIAN: He came to me and said, “When you love someone the way I love you, you give them what they want.” I don’t know that that’s always true, but our little boy is a testament to the idea that two families can really become one. He’s a little bit of all of us. Everyone sees themselves in him. He’s a hot mess.
ERIC: He is. I love him to death.
DORIAN: Me too.
ERIC: Life seemed pretty picture perfect in Casey and Dorian’s family, especially after the addition of their son, Gray. But in 2015, Casey lost the long custody battle over his girls, and Rose and Madison moved two hundred miles away to live with their mom.
DORIAN: So, we went through a custody battle with our daughters, which was pretty messy. When it was over, to me, I said, “That’s what the judge found and so we make peace with the ruling.” And he didn’t get to that place, and so, I didn’t know for a long time how hard that was for him to be away from our girls more than we had been before. How I eventually found out that had impacted him the way it did was when he started losing weight, suddenly, rapidly, and started questioning everything about our lives that I felt was sacred and safe. Because he was so larger than life at that time, even depressed, he was the guy that walked into the room, high fives everybody, is hugging the whole room, and so I knew something was off. I didn’t really realize to what extent until I started to find some things that made me think he was considering taking his own life.
DORIAN: Yeah. And, I called his best friend and I was like, “Ok, I knew something was going on but we have a huge problem on our hands and he’s gone quiet. And I can’t crack the nut. I don’t know what’s going on here.” What I ended up finding out was that he had actually been struggling with drugs and alcohol behind the scenes. I knew he liked to drink, I like to drink. Who doesn’t like a beer every now and again.
DORIAN: Right. Or whiskey. But he had isolated in a way where he was drinking and using drugs alone to numb the pain. I didn’t realize that. More importantly, I didn’t realize that he had quit on his own, and when he did that, chemically his body was altered. His brain didn’t know how to work without those coping mechanisms, and it sent him sliding. It was such a surprise to me to find out that he was battling these things that I thought were just kind of ancillary parts of our life.
ERIC: Whereas you thought you were one unified front, you’re realizing that he’s in this other world.
ERIC: And at the same time, you want to punch him in the face for doing this to you, you want to high five him for quitting on his own and, like, what an awesome thing that must have been to try to undertake.
DORIAN: Right. I didn’t get to the high five part for a long time.
ERIC: I’m sure you didn’t.
DORIAN: I’m going to be honest, I was so angry. We were living two different lives and I prided us on being a couple that was always so close, so vulnerable and honest, right? And so, to have found out that there was this long-term, behind the scenes struggle, it crushed me. It crushed him to watch it crush me. There was so much shame, so much shame about it.
ERIC: You know, it’s funny, what you said about him being larger than life because in my experience, it’s almost always that guy that’s larger than life who walks into a room and makes everyone else comfortable, makes everyone else laugh, that guy is always hurting the most, deep down. So, he puts up that front a lot and it’s well intentioned, but man, it’s a dark place to be.
DORIAN: So, I never heard of that before.
ERIC: The first time I met Casey, I didn’t understand the darkness he was fighting. In 2016, he and Dorian showed up at my church with big smiles on their faces when their son Gray was only a few months old. They both consider themselves spiritual but not religious, but something about the culture at The Story made Casey feel at home from day one. After visiting for the first time, they didn’t miss a single Sunday for over a year.
DORIAN: I think it’s important to note that although he felt like The Story was his home, I don’t think that he felt like Jesus was his home at that point. We were wrapped in doubt in a lot of ways because of what had happened with our daughters, and, kind of, some of the things we had been through in life, we had felt comfortable in a place where doubt was accepted, because that is a lot of where we were on our own journeys.
ERIC: It took Casey nine months to open up to me about his addiction. On the patio of a local coffee shop, he interrupted our conversation about the Star Wars film, Rogue One, to tell me he was in some deep trouble. He’d secretly been using illegal drugs for months and Dorian had uncovered the truth. He said they were talking about splitting up. He said he was going to enter an inpatient rehab facility. I watched Casey fighting his addiction one day at a time. We often prayed together for God to grant him the serenity to accept the things he cannot change, the courage to change the things he can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Even though it seemed impossible, he knew he had to win this battle, because living without Dorian and the kids was infinitely worse than living without drugs.
DORIAN: I think that, in a lot of ways, church helped it to come out, because it gave him a space for forgiveness. The person that had the hardest time forgiving was him of himself. He couldn’t understand why some addicts don’t get better. He felt privileged, but in a way that it felt heavy. Instead of it feeling like a gift, it felt like a burden.
DORIAN: And that was a big struggle for him.
ERIC: Yeah. On June 26, of 2016, you guys brought all five kids to church and I had the awesome privilege of baptizing your baby. After that service, which I’ll never forget, Casey wrote to me and just said, “Hey man, I want to say thank you again for making today incredible for our family. It means the world to us and we feel so fortunate to have found you and our church. Thank you all for doing an amazing job. Dorian and I have already taken so much from the messages we have been able to hear so far.” And then he says, “I hope you and your family are having a great evening. And I hope that we can hang out soon.” He never ended any of his messages to me in that season without saying, let’s get together. There was always, let’s hang out again soon.
DORIAN: Absolutely. Right, let’s do it again. Let’s talk.
ERIC: Yeah, that’s just who he is.
DORIAN: He never intended to have a final communication with anyone, ever, right? There was always a hook in it, which, as his wife, was sometimes annoying. I’m like, can I please just hang up the phone and not have to worry about what you’re going to ask me in an hour when you call back to tell me you love me?
ERIC: You’ve told me, too, that he would invite third wheels out on your dates just to catch up with people on your dates.
DORIAN: We never went anywhere alone. You know, “Hey babe, let’s grab sushi tonight.” I get to the sushi restaurant and there’s eight other people there and I’m thinking, “What? Ok.”
ERIC: Yeah, this is our date night.
DORIAN: We never had dinner at the house that someone wasn’t invited to. If he made a steak, he always made an extra. He had a relationship with our mailman.
ERIC: Yeah, that tells you all you need to know right there.
DORIAN: Right. I was looking at his phone the other day and he has a voice recording of himself driving through a restaurant, ordering his food, and then getting to the window and telling the woman how amazing she is. And that she was making people’s days, one grilled cheese and one hamburger at a time.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:19:03]
MARCIA: Good morning, how are you doing today?
CASEY: I’m great, how are you doing?
MARCIA: Fantastic, thank you.
CASEY: Ma’am, what is your name?
CASEY: Marcia, I just have to tell you thank you. You are literally the most polite person I’ve ever met at a drive through.
MARCIA: I appreciate that.
CASEY: I cannot thank you enough. You are fantastic.
MARCIA: Cool. All right. Thank you.
CASEY: Have a great day. Take care.
MARCIA: I will.
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:19:23]
ERIC: It meant a lot to him, man.
DORIAN: It did. He wanted people to know that they were awesome. Even when he didn’t feel like he was. And somehow, that brought him up, sharing love.
ERIC: In May of 2017, Casey and Dorian had just weathered one of the biggest storms of their lives. They had adjusted to their daughters living in another city, Casey was sober, their careers were going great, and Casey had just gotten back from an annual float trip in Austin with a group of friends they call the River Buddies. That’s when I ran into Casey and Dorian outside of our kids’ elementary school. The first thing that I noticed was his swollen leg. He was limping around, and I said, “What’s going on?” He said he thought maybe he caught something out in the river out in Austin.
DORIAN: Can we say what it was that he said?
ERIC: You can tell them what he said.
DORIAN: He said he had river AIDS.
ERIC: River AIDS, from the hippies in Austin.
DORIAN: Right, from the hippies in Austin. And he wasn’t a limper, he wasn’t someone that liked to show weakness. Hence, the depression and the addiction that happened behind the scenes. So, for him to be out there really favoring his leg it was kind of a big deal.
ERIC: Right. And so, tell me what happened that weekend.
DORIAN: I said to Casey, “Something is weird. Let’s just go to the local ER, right up the street. I’ll call a babysitter.” I actually called a babysitter we had never used before and said, “Hey, hang out with the kids. I’ll put the baby to bed. We will be back in an hour.” And Casey hates doctors, so I was really selling it. So, I said, “Worst case scenario, the ER says it’s nothing, we will go grab dinner, I’ll have a drink and it will be just a cool, fun way to spend time together and wind down.”
ERIC: But did you have a feeling it was something else?
DORIAN: I had a feeling something wasn’t right because he had been limping for a few weeks at that point. He had been to Urgent Care a couple of times, he had done steroids, he had done antibiotics. And so, in my mind, we had kind of treated everything that it could be and why wasn’t he feeling better?
ERIC: Dorian finally convinced Casey to go to the emergency room. They were still in good spirits, and after a few hours of taking selfies and joking around, a doctor walked in.
DORIAN: He looks a little pale and he says, “Hey man, so, we did an ultrasound of your leg and you have a pretty large blood clot, which is why it’s swollen.” And he said, “That’s kind of a big deal, but we can treat it here. The reason, however, that we have made you wait is your white blood cell count is incredibly high.” And he said, “We kind of thought our machine was broken, so we sent your lab work to another ER and had them run it. And then, when theirs came back, we thought, what are the odds that two machines aren’t properly calibrated? So, we sent it to a third, and then we took our own blood samples and ran them through the machine as a control. And, your counts are very high.” And Casey and I were like, ok, so what does that mean? And the doctor said, “Well, you are on steroids, and steroids cause white blood cell counts to go up.”
DORIAN: And he said, “It could be that it’s the steroids, but between the blood clot and the really high white blood cell count, we think you need to go to the actual hospital.” And Casey and I were like, “This is so annoying. Obviously, it’s the steroids. These guys are being super cautious, they don’t want to be sued. Oh my gosh, we have an 18-year-old babysitter at our house right now.” And so, we’re like, “Ok fine. We will load him up. I’ll drive him to the main hospital.” And the doctor says, “No. He’s not stable enough for you to take him anywhere. We want to put him in an ambulance.” And Casey says to the doctor, “What are you not telling us?” And the doctor said, “Well, there’s a lot of things that it could be. But sometimes these white blood cell counts and blood clots together, they can sometimes indicate a cancer.” And Casey and I were like, “Oh my gosh, drama queen.”
ERIC: You didn’t buy it?
DORIAN: No. He doesn’t have cancer. We had just worked through the darkest periods of our marriage and really reunited, and our kids were healthy, and things were going well, and it was summer, which is our favorite season, and we had six vacations planned. We were really, clearly hitting our stride, so it was not cancer. And we are so silly at this point. I don’t want to call it stupid, but probably stupid, that we are taking selfies in the ambulance. And we are like, “How funny is this story about to be,” when we are like, “Here we are in the ambulance because that doctor thought something silly was going on, and we are fine.”
ERIC: When they got to the hospital, they were rushed through a packed, holiday weekend ER, straight to a private room. That’s when Dorian began to suspect this was more than just something silly. Days passed. Doctors ordered one test after another. No one would give Casey and Dorian any answers.
DORIAN: Until we had this doctor come by, he was a student, and I said, “Ok, we got here a couple days ago, and you all said, probably steroids, maybe cancer. And over these next few days, he’s had a bunch of tests, but nobody is telling us what’s going on. So, what’s the story? Do you know something we don’t know?” And he looked at Casey and he looked at me, and he was a young kid. It was probably two o’clock in the morning. And he says, “Here’s what I can tell you. If I’m taking a test tomorrow and it lists your statistics on the test and your current diagnosis, my very first answer is cancer. It’s the only thing that makes sense. What I’m trying to figure out is what kind.” No if, but what kind.
ERIC: Casey was diagnosed with a rare cancer called B-cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. The next day, he started the first of several rounds of aggressive chemotherapy to treat the cancer. Doctors said the prognosis was not good, but Dorian and Casey tried to maintain a positive outlook.
DORIAN: It’s a bump in the road and we sure didn’t see it coming, but if anybody can beat this, after everything that Casey has been through, it’s him. He’s that guy. At first, I actually remember talking to you about, like, I think he’s got his head in the sand a little bit. Someone needs to wake him up and tell him he has cancer, because he was like, “All right, so here we go. What’s step one? Where can we start and, hey, can I get out of the hospital, because our youngest daughter is graduating from Kindergarten and I want to go to her graduation. But then I’ll come back.” Like, no problem.
ERIC: I remember having conversations with Casey during that season about, you know, about how God is going to work a miracle here and God is going to come through. I think what we meant then, he and I, is God’s going to heal him and then Casey is going to have a great story to tell. Just a few days after his diagnosis, Dorian started a Facebook group to keep their friends and family informed. She called it Save The Catfish.
DORIAN: Catfish is Casey’s nickname. It has to do with playing beer softball. Do you ever play softball in a beer league? A bunch of grown men who really should have lives but don’t yet, get together and play softball together?
ERIC: Yes, I’ve been in that league.
DORIAN: Yes, ok. So was he. And he was really good, and so they called him Sea Bass, which is from a movie, I believe, Dumb and Dumber.
ERIC: I believe you’re right.
DORIAN: I think that’s it. He was Sea Bass and he was at the top of the order. He once hit an in the park, grand slam with his parents in the stands.
ERIC: Oh, come on. It doesn’t get any better.
DORIAN: I mean, it’s like every man’s dream, right?
ERIC: Yes, indeed.
DORIAN: So, he’s in his twenties, they’re living the life, and then he hits a bit of a slump. And it’s not a pretty one, and it really sticks around, and he gets terrible. He can’t swing the bat.
DORIAN: Yeah. He got really horrible, really quickly. And so, they moved him down the batting order, as they should have, and he went from Sea Bass to Catfish. It kind of stuck. If you knew him, he, I’m not going to say he’s a bottom feeder, because I married him and that would be weird—
ERIC: Yeah. What does that make you?
DORIAN: Right. Eh—catfishy trash. It’s just bad. It’s all bad. But he is someone that, like we talked about before, he sometimes played to the lowest common denominator so that everybody was welcome. And so, it was tongue in cheek, but even our kids call him Catfish at times.
ERIC: I just thought he always looked like a catfish. I thought that’s why you called him Catfish.
DORIAN: Because he has a small head? Whiskers?
ERIC: I don’t know. I guess because of the name maybe I just projected catfish onto his face like that. I just always saw a catfish when he smiled at me.
DORIAN: No, it’s a baseball reference.
ERIC: For several months, Save The Catfish was the first thing that I looked at every morning. It helped me and the whole Story Houston community feel more connected to Casey. And soon enough, people all over the world were following Dorian and Casey’s journey. Over a thousand complete strangers sent them love and prayers as the chemo took its toll and the gravity of this battle set in.
DORIAN: It really was a source of comfort for us, and it was also something that I look forward to going back and reading, and seeing kind of how dark those days were, and looking forward to joyfully being able to say, “Man, that was awful, but look at where we are now.”
August 15th: Asking for some prayers this afternoon. About 20 minutes after I left for work today, Casey began to feel nauseous. He was home with our oldest boys and started throwing up and it was a lot (a whole lot) of blood and blood clots….EMS took Casey by ambulance to MDA.
Update: Casey is now being held in a medically induced coma. When they tried to wake him up a second time from anesthesia he threw up more 'fresh' blood. So they are keeping him asleep and 'comfortable' in hopes that they can get…
August 18th: Look who got out of bed to walk! This is the most alert and vibrant he has been and it's absolutely incredible…Tuesday afternoon I didn't know if we would ever see this smile again. God is good!
August 21st: Good news friends - Casey has been discharged from the hospital & is now home. When we were leaving the ICU a couple days ago, the PA who took care of Casey pulled me aside to tell me that she could not believe his recovery. She said for him to have been so grave and then to now be so well, makes no logical sense. God is good ya'll. Prayers work.
Here is the plan going forward: Casey is being prepared for imminent stem cell transplant. We are still learning what the entire transplant process will look like, but have been told that Casey will be in the hospital for about 30 days and then will need to be in isolation…
August 23rd: If you are hoping to visit Casey, sometime in the next two weeks or so is the time to do it. Casey will return in-patient at MD Anderson two weeks from today, to begin the process of receiving a stem cell transplant. From sometime around then until approximately mid-January, Casey will be isolated…
September 6th: 6 days until Casey receives his transplant…Yesterday, Casey went back in-patient to receive high-dose chemotherapy (called literally, near death chemo) to kill all his white blood cells. And on September 12th, stem cells donated by an anonymous donor are given to Casey. September 12th will be day zero, and then we will begin the infamous count to one hundred days, which is a huge marker for success in transplant recipients. The biggest risk is obviously death, either from the chemo, or a side effect like bleeding or pneumonia…
ERIC: Casey and Dorian knew the stem cell transplant would be risky, really risky, but they also knew it was the only hope for saving the Catfish. To prepare Casey for the transplant, doctors said they first had to take him to death’s door. The rounds of near-death chemo destroyed every white blood cell in Casey’s body, completely wiping out his immune system. The day of the transplant, Casey posted this message from his hospital bed:
Today is the big day, friends! I admittedly didn’t get a wink of sleep just because I’m excited about what today means in terms of everything else going forward. I have no doubt been feeling rough with this mega-chemo round, but I have been given unique powers to simultaneously expel fluids out of every part of my body at an incredible rate of speed!
Everyone has asked me how I’m doing, and I always say that I’m doing great and I feel very lucky. That doesn’t take anything away from the challenges my family and I have faced, and will continue to face, but it’s my chosen perspective. I firmly believe you find what you seek, and if you’re looking for the bad in something, it’s always there to reveal itself to you. But this also works with the good. If you look for that, you will absolutely find it as well. It is a choice in what you want to focus on.
In this case, I have fiercely looked for the good…Our family has come together in a way none of us could have ever imagined. The love I had always had for Dorian pales in comparison to what is in my heart for her when I see her now. The way I look at our children, the relationships these struggles have built, mended, and strengthened; it’s nothing short of a miracle.
My relationship with God that had been growing leading up to this has been exponentially closer as a result of this. I completely feel in His hands and fully taken care of, a piece I never could have imagined before this.
So I am left feeling humbled, and grateful and blessed and fortunate and protected and hopeful and loved and lucky and looked out for, no matter what the end result of all of this may still be. The outcome won't change any of that. But the opportunity to even have a positive outcome means everything. It's enough for me. I've been through much harder trials and I've been carried through all of them.
DORIAN: And so, he had a stem cell transplant on September 12th.
ERIC: Successful, and really meant he had beaten the cancer. Like, the cancer was gone at that point.
DORIAN: They do a bone marrow biopsy at 30, 60, and 90 days. They did Casey’s at 30, and there’s something called a Chimerism test, which indicates, basically, how well you’ve grafted the cells. At 30 days he was a perfect score. He was cancer-free and he was fully engrafted. Even the doctors were like, “This is incredible.” The cytogenetics had changed, the bad chromosome was gone. He was, for all intents and purposes, perfectly cancer-free.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:33:58]
NURSE: …Because this piece is removable, and if you’re not careful, you can twist it off as well.
DORIAN: I’m taking it to show the kids that you’re learning how to do it. They’ll be super proud of him.
CASEY: That’s already ok there.
NURSE: Yes, that’s clean.
CASEY: And do the same thing with the v.
NURSE: Yes, that makes it easy.
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:34:18]
ERIC: On day 53, post-transplant, the nurses at MD Anderson prepared Casey to go home. Dorian and Casey would still be quarantined for another 47 days.
DORIAN: All of our children had to be moved out of our home. If I saw them, I would have to go home and shower, change all of my clothes, before I came up there.
ERIC: During that time, how did you keep your head on? You weren’t able to be around your kids, you had to be a source of support for Casey, and you have a job and all this other stuff too.
DORIAN: Yeah, full-time job, blah, blah, blah.
ERIC: Yeah, how did you manage that? Especially being kind of isolated from people?
DORIAN: I can only tell you that it is something that I personally cannot wrap my head around, and I lived it. I was supported by people that I didn’t know. Things showed up at my house that I needed, like toilet paper and groceries. People printed out my work and brought it to me. My job was amazing, they were so flexible. We FaceTimed with our kids, but it was hard.
ERIC: How little—or, infrequently, did you see your baby?
DORIAN: I saw him, maybe, once a month. There were times—when I dropped him off, he only said “Mommy,” and “Daddy.” I would pick him up a month later and he would say 20 or 30 words. I missed, and so did Casey, we missed all the fun stuff that happens between eighteen months and two years old.
ERIC: He was with your mom during that time?
DORIAN: Yes. So, something interesting that happened through this is I had an estranged relationship with my mom for a very long time. When Casey was diagnosed, I needed someone who could take a two-year-old, or, a one-and-a-half-year-old full time. She said she would do it. So, he went to live with her, and they took care of him just like I would.
November 6th: 55 days since the transplant: born again and SET FREE!!!! Casey has stabilized enough to return HOME! We are stupid excited. And nervous. Much like bringing home a newborn, it’s both a relief and a feeling of doom.
Day 59 and Casey’s 40th birthday: A year ago, we were thinking of what kind of trip we would like to take this year for Casey’s 40th. Mexico? Puerto Rico? Never imagined that instead we would be so ‘grateful’ to be spending his birthday here, at the outpatient clinic at MD Anderson. Six months ago, we found out that without this transplant, Casey had about a year to live. So, to be turning 40 today, with a bright future (though perhaps long road) ahead is nothing short of a miracle.
November 23rd, Day 72: The road to this day has been much different than we ever anticipated... This battle has brought so many amazing things to light. We have friends and a community around us that will literally do ANYTHING for us. We have seen shaken relationships solidified and finally let go of relationships that weren’t healthy. We have prayed together and over one another. We’ve talked about Jesus, and death and fear and joy and we’ve looked each of those things in the face. We are grateful in a way that defies logic.
December 11: Dear Cancer, you suck! So over this.
Day 90: Casey came to MD Anderson last night via ambulance. His condition Sunday had deteriorated steadily over the weekend to the point that he and I just didn’t think it was a good idea to let that continue and so he was brought into the ER and admitted.
December 15th, Day 94: Things haven’t gone as well over the last 48 hours. His body is exhibiting new symptoms...We had a frank conversation with his in-patient team today. We had held day 100 has the ‘worst case’ scenario of him at least feeling a bit like himself and being able to function at home, on his own. But that feels light years away…We are happy to hear that even in all of this, they think life can and will return to normal. But we are digging deep to find more fight.
February 1st, Day 141: This has been a roller coaster ride. Earlier in the week, Casey had really begun to improve and was spending more time awake and making strides and breathing. But the last couple of days…well, they haven’t been good.
After a lot of struggle, the team was able to determine that Casey’s lungs have small holes which are leaking oxygen into his chest cavity...They also found out that his pneumonia has worsened in the last week…We have had ALL of the emotions. Joy, fear, pain, hope, and dread. Seeing him lay there, totally unaware: I’m also relieved. He hates hospitals. He hates tubes. He would be happier sleeping this off. Eight days into his ICU stay, we still don’t know much, but what we don’y know, God does.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:39:38]
DORIAN: Daddy, we’re going to read a book. Are you ready? Ok, it says:
Wherever you are, my love will find you.
I wanted you more
than you will ever know.
So why is it love to follow
wherever you go.
It’s as high as you wish it, it’s as quick as an elf.
You’ll never outgrow it…it stretches itself!
So, climb any mountain…
climb up to the sky!
My love will find you.
My love can fly.
DORIAN: Can you fly? Yeah?
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:40:14]
ERIC: As things kind of got worse, the lung infections just compounded, Casey’s condition worsened, you would bring the kids in. You would bring baby Gray in and sit him on the hospital bed. How did Gray process that?
DORIAN: He was always excited to see his dad. Tubes, Casey can’t open his eyes, he’s asleep, and Gray would, ‘Hi daddy! I love you!’ He actually says, “I yuv you. I yuv you, daddy.” The very first time I took him back there, he said, “Daddy, wake up. Wake up!” And I just remember thinking, “Listen, Casey. Wake up. It’s time to wake up. We’re ready to play.” But him and Gray would still have these moments where Gray would be driving a car up Casey’s leg and Casey hasn’t opened his eyes in 12 hours, and Casey would open his eyes and look right at him. And,
ERIC: He had the trach and couldn’t talk.
DORIAN: He couldn’t talk. But he knew he was there, and he would blink at him. I think the most powerful thing that happened, in all of this cancer, we had really shielded our children from how sick Casey was. We wanted them to know that he was sick, but he was going to get better. That was always the plan. So, they didn’t see their dad in a hospital bed or a hospital gown until December. And then, when Casey really took a turn for the worse in January, we brought them in before he was trached, when he was in ICU. They were able to interact with notes—they wrote notes to one another and had really sweet moments and hugs.
DORIAN: And then the next time they came, he had a lot of tubes down his throat and he wasn’t awake anymore. I hadn’t told them that he wasn’t going to make it, but I had offered them each some time alone if they wanted to talk to him. Casey’s oldest daughter, who is his heart, she is a spitting image of Casey, they had a very special bond. She asked, while I was in there, I was taking a video and I was playing for her what he called their song. I was playing their song and she was talking to him and petting his head, and I said, “Is there anything that you need in this moment?” And she asked to be alone with her dad. And she’s 9. And she stood there and petted his head, and I don’t know what she said, but she talked to him for like 15 minutes, and when I walked back in the room his eyes were wide open, and they knew.
DORIAN: They both knew. You know, people talk about the Holy Spirit and it sounds like, it sounds real crazy, like psychics and weird, just—
ERIC: Snake handlers?
DORIAN: Yeah. Like weird stuff. People talk about the Holy Spirit and I’m like, “Ok, like, you’ve really gotten a little too into this church thing. You should probably take a step back from the Kool-Aid,” but in that moment, I knew that the Holy Spirit was there with them and that that was a gift. Because, when we told our kids that Casey’s lungs weren’t working anymore, she knew, and she was able to help her siblings understand that daddy was ok. She knew he was protected, and loved, and that she was too.
ERIC: I’ve been to bedsides, a lot of death beds. It just comes with the territory.
DORIAN: I’m sorry.
ERIC: I’ve never been to a deathbed like that one that day, one month ago, today.
DORIAN: One month ago, today.
ERIC: It was the most celebratory, bizarre, wonderful and awful thing I’ve ever been a part of. How many of us were in that room?
DORIAN: I think 18 people were in the room.
ERIC: It’s a small room.
DORIAN: It’s a very small room. We were essentially sitting on top of one another.
ERIC: You were on the bed with Casey for most of that time.
DORIAN: I was in the bed with Casey for most of the time, just telling him how much we love him. And, if we couldn’t have a steak dinner on a Tuesday night by ourselves, we surely weren’t going through this alone either. He wanted his people there for every part of his life, for the good stuff.
ERIC: The river buddies were there.
DORIAN: The river buddies were there. His very best friend from junior high, from elementary school, college friends.
ERIC: The best nurse in the history of human kind.
DORIAN: The absolute best nurse in the history of human kind who literally held our hand and walked him home.
ERIC: And helped us out with a shot of whiskey down the tube.
DORIAN: I was wondering if we were going to go there today. We did give him a shot of whiskey. He was sober for twenty months and a few days, but he went out just the way he would want.
ERIC: I remember you saying one of Casey’s worst pet peeves was drinking after people.
ERIC: And he got the first drink—
DORIAN: He did.
ERIC: And then the rest of us took our shot.
DORIAN: Yes. And then we passed the bottle.
ERIC: For anyone who is listening, this was totally impromptu.
DORIAN: We didn’t go to the hospital room and say, “Let’s take a shot of whiskey as Casey dies.” Who would do that?
ERIC: One of the river buddies pulled out a flask.
DORIAN: Yes! Narwahl, the guy that married us, the holy one, has a flask of whiskey in his pocket, which was totally appropriate, and actually, needed.
ERIC: I almost couldn’t believe it when he stopped breathing. Even though we knew.
DORIAN: Even though we knew, I still, today, hear the door open downstairs and think, “Oh God, thank you for coming home now.” Like, “What have you been up to?” Gosh. That took longer than I expected. I couldn’t believe it even when I could read the machines. I had been by his bed for almost 40 days, and even though I knew that’s where it was headed, I just kept expecting for him to sit back up and tell us a joke and tell us we were all taking stuff a little too seriously and needed some Jesus, you know? Like, you guys are so dramatic.
ERIC: You mentioned earlier that Casey, at first, was cool with God and even coming to church, but he wasn’t necessarily all in with Jesus. Did you see that change at all in him, and what did you witness?
DORIAN: Man, I saw that become something he couldn’t stop talking about. About what Jesus meant to him. I remember standing in the very first hospital room that we were ever in, and this nurse came in and they started talking about the Gospel, and what Jesus had done in His life, and how special that relationship was to him, and did she know Jesus? And, what did she know about Jesus? And, did she have any questions? Because, I might not have the answers, but I’d love for us to answer these questions together, because I’m going to be here, getting chemo, not going anywhere.
ERIC: A captive audience.
DORIAN: Right. He would pray with people. He would pray with his nursing team. He looked forward to a lot of things when he got better, but I think one of the things he looked forward to the most was coming back to Bible study.
ERIC: Right. Monday morning, 7am.
DORIAN: Yes, is not Casey’s hour. He is a night owl and he loved that community. He went back into the hospital on a Monday, where him and I had negotiated that I would let him go but I would sit in the waiting room and he couldn’t touch any of y’all, because I’m not sure any of you shower.
ERIC: We don’t. Not on Monday morning.
DORIAN: Right, it’s seven o’clock in the morning. But that he could sit there and listen and see you guys because he missed you all so much. Instead, he went to the hospital that day and he never came home.
ERIC: There are some people that know Jesus cognitively, and then there are some people that get Jesus. I’ve always felt like Casey got Jesus. I think that was reflected nowhere, I think, more profoundly than the service you planned. The celebration of life that we refused to call a funeral that we had five days after he died.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 00:49:18]
NATHAN BONNES: Good afternoon. We’re here to celebrate the life of Casey Smith. The amazing life he lived on earth, and his eternal life with Jesus, which is his reality now. Would you all stand and sing with us.
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:49:52]
DORIAN: When Casey and I first met, he gave me a CD, and the CD was called, In the End, and it was a mixed tape, basically. I mean, who in 2012 was still making mixed tapes? Casey Smith. He had a soundtrack for everything.
ERIC: In 2012.
DORIAN: He had a playlist for everything. He gives me this CD. I’m like, “Cool. It’s a little depressing though bud. These songs are kind of sad. Is it a break up cd? What’s the story?” We’ve been dating maybe a month. He said, “No, that’s the soundtrack of my life. Those are the songs I want played at my funeral. That’s why it’s called In the End.” I’m like, “I don’t really understand why you’re sharing this with me.” And he said, “Well, I want my funeral to be a party.” And so, when he passed, the only thing I knew in that moment was it had to be a party.
[AUDIO RECORDING STARTING 00:50:41]
MALE: Casey is just one of the great loves of my life, and he ended up with friends from everywhere. I was sitting at BB’s, eating crawfish with him, and this guy walks by and Casey is like, “John! Holy crap!” And he stands up and he’s like, “Bring it in.” and he holds him by the shoulders and is like, “You look so good. Man, it’s great to see you. We’ve got to get together.” And he walks away, and I was like, “Who was that?” He’s like, “That’s John. He works at Smoothie King. You never met that guy before?” And I’m like, “No, Casey.”
MALE: Throughout all of my time knowing him, he was always like, you have to be a part of what I’m doing, or I have to be a part of what you’re doing. He calls me, and when he calls me, he’s like, “Hey man.” “Hey, Casey.” He’s like, “I’m going on a date at that cool taco place that we were talking about.” And I’m like, “That’s amazing, dude. Have fun.” And he’s like, “No, no no, you’ve got to come with me on the date.” And you probably, to this day, still wonder why I just showed up and, like, just started eating tacos.
MALE: But then, so a couple years later, Matthew Houston and I are sitting around and Casey calls and is like, “Hey man. What are you doing?” I’m like, “Hanging out with Houston.” He’s like, “So, I am going to propose to Dorian this weekend.” I’m like, “That’s amazing, dude.” He’s like, “Yeah, so get ready for that.” We’re like, “What?” He says, “You’ve got to be there. You have to be there.” So, I turn to Houston and I’m like, “Uh, we have to go to a proposal, so get your camera.” So, anyway, it goes on and on and on like that and the last part of it is when Gray was born.
MALE: Casey calls and is like, “Hey man.” “What’s up, buddy?” He’s like, “So, Dorian is going to have a baby in, like, an hour. You need to put some pants on and get ready, because it’s going to be awesome if you’re there.” I’m like, “I’m in a meeting.” He’s like, “Well, not in 30 minutes, you’re not going to be.” And I was like “All right.” So, I walk in and Dorian is like, “Hey, look, there he is, it’s a party.”
[AUDIO RECORDING END 00:52:42]
DORIAN: I Started kind of sorting through his journals looking for wisdom. What I found was a list of a hundred things he wanted to accomplish in life. Number 100, and this is a quote, was, “Have my funeral be a party.” And it was like he gave me a big hug. And it helped me know what I knew, which is I know his heart. And it guided us the next couple of days as we completed planning and celebrated him exactly as he wanted. He said, in the prose that followed, he wanted a New Orleans style band. Well, I had already arranged gospel music, because he loved country gospel. And I had already arranged a bagpiper, which he had mentioned at one point he wanted. So, I drew the line at New Orleans style band, right? We’ve already arranged all this music, so the only thing on your funeral party wish list that you won’t have is a New Orleans style band.
ERIC: Get over it.
DORIAN: Sorry dude. You’re dead. Heads up in heaven, you know where my heart is, but I can only do so much with five children, by myself, without my best friend.
ERIC: But what happened?
DORIAN: So, we published part of his hundred things that he wanted to accomplish in life in the program at the funeral. In that five hundred people, four hundred people, there was a musician who can play some New Orleans style music, who then gets on the phone and rounds up a group of musicians. I don’t want to call them ragtag, because they show up to the funeral after party and lead the most incredible New Orleans style second line through the middle of a sub-division in Houston.
DORIAN: People were coming out of their houses in the yard, marching up and down the street with us. It was a true, New Orleans, spinning umbrellas, waving towels experience, because that’s what he wanted. But that’s also our community. People got his bigness, and they said, “Cool, you’ve got a party,” and, “Cool, you’ve done all this,” but Casey was the guy that knew someone, everywhere we went, all the time. Those people showed up that day.
ERIC: Since then, a month has passed. Have you felt like people, as we are prone to do, have just moved on? Or do you feel, do you continue to feel supported, and loved, and looked after?
DORIAN: Both. I hope this isn’t a trick question, but both. I feel loved and supported and I feel lonely and afraid. I feel loved and supported by people that I never would have expected to feel it from. The people that have hung around the most aren’t the people—if you had asked me five years ago, who do you think will be there for you? They are not those people. They are people from our church, who just keep showing up for no rhyme or reason. Who just keep bringing meals and keep sending me text messages. They are old friends of Casey’s who never really knew me but loved him. They are some of my closest friends, but they are just not the people I would have listed that are still there for me. And then, I feel very lonely, because he was my best friend. Some people say, “Don’t have your husband be your best friend.”
ERIC: Who says that? That’s awful advice.
DORIAN: Yeah. That was you. You gave a sermon about it. But he was my best friend, and I miss him and all of these little moments. I miss someone telling me I’m beautiful.
ERIC: I think what I would miss is, I don’t know anyone funnier than Casey, but the second funniest person I know, that might be you. I think you were destined for each other. It’s that kind of destiny that’s like, it’s hard to wrap my head around this whole thing, right? Because we had so many rays of hope. So many times, where we said, “Ok, that was a struggle God wanted us to learn something in. We learned it. Thank you, God. Now, let’s move on.” And so many different glimpses of that. Then, he was gone.
DORIAN: Right. I think, you know, Casey had a unique ability to be like, “Chill out, Dorian. It’s never as bad as it seems. We’ve got this. God’s got this.” And I miss that hope that he always had. Hope against hope. Hope like a puppy dog is hopeful, because they’re kind of dumb and they don’t know better, right? He had this eternal hope and optimism that it was just going to be ok because he was Casey Smith.
ERIC: Toward the end there we exchanged a couple text messages about, like, how and why God? I remember one text from you in particular where you were like, why would God let me know someone so amazing and wonderful and perfect for me only to take him away from me? If this was his plan, then why? Have you had a chance at all yet to reflect on that and to deal with those questions?
DORIAN: No and yes. I find that I have more questions than answers, even now. I was asking why and now I feel like my questions are more centered around what’s next.
ERIC: You continue coming to church.
DORIAN: I had to, because it’s such a spiritual wasteland to be with the person that you believed with. We prayed together, we read the Bible together, we talked about God together and then now he’s gone. I start to wonder, kind of the place I’m at now is, I feel like our friends are really moving on from the why and the how and they’ve embraced that he’s gone, but I’m still not quite there yet. I feel like maybe they’re wondering why and how I still believe in a God that took my best friend. And I worry about that, in some ways, you know? Am I stupid?
ERIC: Everyone who looks at this from the outside would say, you know, from your Facebook page, God didn’t save the Catfish.
DORIAN: Right. God didn’t save the Catfish. So why do you keep believing? And what’s interesting to me, and the thing that I’m praying about to the God that I’m not sure listens to my prayers, is that I can keep clinging to the rod and the staff and that I will be led to a place where this doesn’t feel impossible. I don’t know how I’m going to walk out of here today. Some days I don’t know how I’m going to feed my kids in ten years, or how they’re going to go to college, or how God might disappoint me next.
DORIAN: I just keep praying that I can cling, and that even if people think I’m dumb for continuing to serve and believe in a God that has failed me, Casey used to say all the time, “No matter what happens to me, God’s son hung on a cross, nailed in front of His mother, betrayed by His best friends. No matter what happens to me it won’t be that bad.” And that’s my hope right now. That no matter how bad this is, it’s not that. That God that loved His son and let it happen, He can love me through trial, and He can love me through pain.
ERIC: Is that what you think we all have to learn from Casey? I mean, he was hurting, physically, for a long time when he said what you just said about Jesus hanging on a cross. Its like, he had been through the closest thing to a cross that I can imagine. Poked and prodded and uncomfortable. And miserable.
DORIAN: And miserable. And he just knew that no matter how bad it was, that it wasn’t going to be that bad. It couldn’t ever be that bad, and that everything was a blessing. Cancer was a blessing. Casey was blessed by cancer. Casey was blessed by the struggle.
ERIC: That’s another level.
DORIAN: It’s another level. The level of gratitude he felt for the gifts he had was something, it’s something right now that I struggle with because I don’t feel grateful. If Casey could choose anything for us right now, he would choose gratitude. He would want me to thank people in real life, for ‘thank you’ to always be on the tip of my tongue. For praise to always be the first thing that I whisper in the morning. That’s what he would want for us.
[AUDIO RECORDING START 01:02:32]
CHILD: The story of our family is called Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You.
I wanted you more
than you ever will know.
So I sent love to follow wherever you go
It’s high as you wish it. It’s as quick as an elf.
You’ll never outgrow it…it stretches itself!
So, climb any mountain…
climb up to the sky!
My love will find you.
My love can fly.
Make a big splash! Go out on a limb!
My love will find you. My love can swim!
It never gets lost, never fades, never ends…
If you’re working…
or sitting with friends.
You can dance until you’re dizzy…
paint ‘til you’re blue…
There’s no place, not one,
that my love can’t find you.
And if someday you’re lonely,
or someday you’re sad,
or you strike out at baseball,
or you think you’ve been bad…
Just life up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That’s me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.
In the green of the grass…In the smell of the sea…
In the clouds floating by…
at the top of the tree...In the sound
crickets make at the end of the day…
“You are loved. You are loved. You are loved,” they all say.
My love is so high and so wide and
so deep, it’s always right there, even
when you’re asleep.
So, hold your head high
and don’t be afraid,
to march to the front
of your own parade.
If you’re still my small babe,
or you’re all the way grown,
my promise to you
is you’re never alone.
You are my angel, my darling,
my star…and my love will find you
wherever you are.
JULIE MIRLICOURTOIS: Maybe God is produced by Eric Huffman, Brandon Duke, and me, Julie Mirlicourtois. Our sound engineer is Pat Lowry. Our editor is Brittany Holland. And the music is by Nathan Bonnes. If you have questions or doubts you would like us to address in upcoming episodes of Maybe God, email us at [email protected], or start a discussion with us on our Facebook page, Maybe God Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe today on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app.