how an end becomes a beginning …

This post was written after a conversation with Sonya, when I asked her to describe what she’d felt that day, the morning of Bane’s celebration.  Anyone who knows Sonya knows that she speaks raw and real, but I don’t think even she was prepared for the way this story ends … have tissues ready — you’ve been warned.

I remember clouds.

Wisps of gray like cotton unfurled, strewn across the morning sky.

Dark clouds, heavy with rain, hung above me.  Haze, both outside and inside.

The view would have been breathtaking:  front porch facing fields of green and gold, tall grasses swaying as morning sun peek-a-booed over the hillside.

But nothing was beautiful today.

Nothing was beautiful or okay or right, in this world where one could wake to a sunrise filled with baby gurgles and morning bottle – only to lose a sweet boy child by nightfall.

I sat with my arms empty, my soul emptier.

All joy had fled.  The world was gray and foggy, without color.

Then: voices from inside the house, preparations being made for this, the day of the funeral.  The day of the burial, of the final goodbye.

I wasn’t ready.

My mind wouldn’t stay in the present tense; it kept looping back through the past, a video montage of every regret flashing before my eyes.

I had wanted to dance in the rain.

On that day, just weeks ago, while the windshield wipers squeaked in song during my daily commute, I had promised.  Had promised myself that I would break out of the  monotony of work-eat-sleep, would be the kind of mother that I had enjoyed having, the kind who trades functional for fun, who makes her kids  slap-happy  with spontaneous adventures.

When we get home, I said, I’ll take them out to play in this rain.  We’ll  get muddy on purpose  for no good reason.  I’ll hear their laughter peal through puddle splashes.

But home was a blur  of spilled sippy cups and toddler tantrums, and in that blissful domestic routine, habit overpowered.  Bedtime came with no rain dancing at all. 

I had lost my chance.

Lost my baby.  And my chance.

A hand on my shoulder drew me back to the present, to that porch, that hazy morning view.

The hand was my husband’s, that big, strong hand with the ring I’d slipped on that day, eight years ago, when we promised each other “in sickness and health.”  When we promised “for better or worse.”

He let it linger there a moment, speaking volumes in our shared silence.

“Want to go for a walk?”

I blinked hard, trying to clear my head, trying to lift tired eyes toward his.

“We can’t.  It’s raining.”

And the words spoken out loud jarred me, caught me off guard, like they had been spoken by someone else.  I heard in them a call; I knew what needed to be done.  So I grabbed his hand, ran down the steps of that porch, and pulled us both into the dew-soaked grass, a light sprinkle falling softly on our shoulders.

We held hands and just put one foot in front of the other … crossed the field with God-words spoken, prayers lifted up begging strength for this hard, hard day. 

And it felt just a small bit better, his hand in mine, our hearts pointed heavenward.  We walked on, feeling warmth settle on our backs, morning sun peeking from behind a cloud.  We turned to face it, to let the light shine on our tear-streaked cheeks, and my breath stopped.

There, in the sky, a beauty like I had never known before.

A rainbow.

Faint, like a whisper, but rich in color.  A rainbow in the sky above us:  a command to draw our eyes upward.

Say what you want about weather conditions, but this was no mere meteorological incident. 

God spoke in the sky that day.  My son sent his smile to me  in a beautiful arc of color. 

That moment helped Sonya and Drason get through a hard day.  

And that “banebow” (which is what they will forever be called, now) became a great symbol for them, as they began to understand a greater purpose to which God was calling them: to help others through hard days, in the name of Christ and in honor of their precious son, Bane.

Stay tuned in to this blog in the days ahead, as Banebow Foundation, a project so new, has already begun changing lives.

Watch and see how the plans of God — and the willing hands of his servants — can turn an end into a beginning.


  1. Alyssa

    What an awesome story Sonja and Drason have to hold onto! What an amazing experience for an AMAZING couple. My prayers continue.

  2. Anonymous

    Amazing and precious story. What a sweet God we serve that even in the darkest of times, He still the only visible light. Thanks for sharing. So excited about Banebow. We love you guys.
    The Pilkintons

  3. Jeana

    i'm here !!
    have found out how to post!
    sonya and drason, i love you both so much my heart hurts. i read this blog and feel so much of you in it. i am so excited to play the game that i keep a silly look on my face of great expectance of what is to come, i'm sure. i know Banebow is gonna be Big!!
    i'm ready…

  4. Diane

    My nephew-in-love, Brian Eppers, shared this page with me. What a precious thing to be allowed into your lives at such a vulnerable time. And, what a treasure you are to take your tragedy and turn it into so much triumph! Plase know I will be praying for you and for your efforts. What a blessing it was to read this post today! May God grant you peace and hold you close as you move forward with "Banebow"!

    Many hugs…………..

    Diane Chandler

  5. Anonymous

    This is a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing this and my heart is with you and your precious family!!

  6. Anonymous

    Blessings to you both and what a precious tribute to your son. May God hold you close always.

  7. Anonymous

    Incredible!!! What a great tribute to your sweet, sweet son! God is and will always use this in your lives, keep trusting and gripping onto our Lord and Savior!

  8. Cassidy

    I wore my banebow bracelet, that I bought Sunday, to school yesterday, and I had about 7 of my friends ask "what's banebow?" And then once i told them the story they all wanted a bracelet. Is there anywhere I could get them?

  9. keLi

    @ Cassidy,

    We are working on getting a link to them on the blog, but until then, just shoot us an email at, and we'll work out the details of getting them to you.

  10. Anonymous

    this is a beautiful story. i know your little boy is watching and waiting to see you again.

  11. Anonymous

    Even though my heart is broken, and I had planned in my mind that I would keep playing with that precious child at every opportunity, letting him clutch my forefingers daily taking tiny steps down the hall. I wanted to see him soon step out on his own with the same courage he had right here in the living room of our home when he learned how to get on those knees and crawl bravely after his toy.I was in a Grandmother's heaven witnessing his big bright eyes and sweet,sweet smile at each accomplishment. At the time it seemed that this would never end and I would have these pleasures on and on. But today, when I look at his crib still standing exactly as it was as he was pulled from it on August 10,2010,I realize that precious little Bane-boy has gone to be with our Jesus—–and he is only on THE OTHERSIDE, waiting there for all of us who will love the APPEARING of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST! Halleilujah!What a wonderful Day!Iwill get to see "Baney" AGAIN. Thank You God for this HOPE!