Cassie had the most extraordinary mind. She was blessed with a photographic memory, and could quote Jung or Emerson with ease, rattle off whole passages from her favorite books, or flawlessly recite entire verses of song lyrics. And she adored music! I’ve never known anyone so deeply moved and affected by it. When Cassie found a song that truly spoke to her, it was as if the words had penetrated her very soul.
When I first met Cassie, that song was ‘New Slang’ by The Shins, and she would tell anyone who’d listen that it was the single greatest song ever written. Several years later, the film Garden State was released and Cassie was incredulous! There, on the screen for all to see, was Natalie Portman’s character espousing the exact same sentiment about ‘New Slang’, almost verbatim. From that point on Cassie became convinced that writer/director Zach Braff had overheard her talking about it, stolen her words from her, and written them into his script from her, and she would not be persuaded otherwise!
Cassie was also capable of remarkable tenderness. If you were lucky enough to win her trust, which was not something she gave easily, you were afforded solace that was endlessly soothing and free of judgement. It was the kind of comfort that only someone who’d suffered tremendous pain could provide.
To that end, no honest appraisal of Cassie’s life would be complete without addressing her childhood trauma. The abuse she suffered at such a formative age tormented Cassie her entire life de ella. Her pain from her was omnipresent, and there was always the lingering sense that it was simply too much to confront. I mention this, not as a way of excusing her shortcomings from her, but because knowing this part of Cassie’s story is essential to truly understanding her from her; and to ignore or sanitize it would be to dishonor her memory of her.
Despite these deep emotional wounds, however, Cassie fought her demons and addictions bravely her entire life. In her final years, she had not lost hope and she believed right to the very end that she could turn it all around and find a way back.
Cassie loved the children’s book ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ and she would talk about it often. The book tells the story of a stuffed rabbit who believes that the love of the boy who owns him will actually make him real. Haunted by her childhood pain from her, Cassie searched her whole life for the person whose love would make her “real.” But she doesn’t have to search anymore. She’s now held in eternal love and grace; she safe in the knowledge that she was always real, always pure, always innocent, and always loved beyond measure.
Cassie is survived by her cousin Tom, and her sisters Dana and Monique, whom she loved dearly. Along with other great aunts, uncles, and cousins on both the Drotar, Murphy, and Keller side who all have fond memories of Cassie as a sweet little girl. Several others who deserve special mention are: Cassie’s late Grandpa George, whose home was an oasis of safety and happiness for Cassie and her sisters de ella; Cassie’s half sisters Kimberly Drotar and Laura Drotar; MichaelFox; Joshua Ostrander; Dennis McDermott, for his steadfast and kind-hearted generosity; Rafael Bernadino; Jocetta Kovitch; Sandi Meesseman for opening her heart from her and her home from her to Cassie; and Mark Zubick who loved Cassie and kept her safe from her during her final years.
Published by Legacy Remembers on May 13, 2022.