Not a Day …

My friend Sonya wore shiny silver shoes.
 

My friend Drason looked sharp in a purple bow tie.
 

Guests entered the sanctuary through a rainbow of bright-colored balloons, and nobody who was in the know wore black.  A banner above the door welcomed friends with this scripture, but even I wasn’t prepared for what happened when the worship music began …
 

Scanning the crowd, I saw tissue packs being passed, chins resting on chests, grief gripping hard as the service opened in prayer.  When the music began, I saw guests murmuring lyrics with blank stares, hymn words choking in the throat.
 

Then:

A chorus of praise.  No funeral dirge here.

And my friend, my soul friend, a mama bereft, a woman undone, did a miraculous thing.
 

Bless the Lord O My Soul … and she was on her feet, arms raised toward heaven.

She was praising her God, her rock, the One who knew, too, of losing a son.
 
She preached more gospel to me in that moment than I have ever heard in a sermon.


And I have no doubt that  the prayers of the faithful are what buoyed her up then, lifted in the way that only prayer can do.  Those same prayers gave Drason the strength to walk jelly-kneed to that podium and pay tribute to his boy, his long-awaited son, in the way that only a father could do.


I saw amazing things on Saturday, and like one who has witnessed burning bush or leper healed, I cannot shut my mouth.  So I’m here to say: this site was created not just for one day.


Celebrating Bane is not a day.
 

Though there are a million miraculous moments from that celebration that I hope to write about here, our tribute to his life did not cease when his body was buried.   His legacy will reach further than just that one day … you can look in his mama’s eyes and see that.


Today, with all of the busy of the last week over and done with, those eyes awaken to a new day that, like all days for awhile, will be a hard one.


And that’s where you come in.  


If you really want to Celebrate Bane, I want you to  speak up.


If you were there on Saturday, I want you to name something that blessed your soul from that service.  If you weren’t there but wanted to be, I want you to say so.  If you haven’t even met this family but will commit to pray for them in this difficult time, I want you to say that — and mean it — out loud.


In the Comments section below.


Sonya and Drason are not able — just yet — to come here and read, but when they do, I want them to see a long scroll of well wishes waiting for them.  I want them to know that we didn’t stop our celebration when the last song had played.  I want them to know that   we. will. not. forget.


Sign your name or stay anonymous, but post them a comment.  Then Facebook this or Tweet it or call your husband over from the kitchen and have him post one, too.  


Let’s love on this family through our words, and let’s keep loving on them through prayers.


I saw my friend praise God in the midst of the unimaginable … and with our prayers and our words this family can continue to do so.

  1. -t-

    we have not met. we may not this side of heaven. because of Him we are family.

    may you continue to find your everything in Him.

    i know you know, but be remembered: He is big enough and bigger still.

    in His time may His perfect peace be yours.

    in Jesus' name.

  2. Ashley Sanders

    I am not a writer and even if I was words cannot describe what I felt during the celebration of small, sweet baby Bane. To borrow a phrase from Bane's awesome dad, Drason, I was set "on fire for my Heavenly Father". The praise came from my heart and I stood in awe of my friends. They were not mad but joyful for their son to be with his Heavenly Father.
    Sonya has always been special to me for she is the one who pointed me to the Light so many years ago. She was the one who invited me to church and changed my life forever. Now it is her baby boy who change my life again. Thank you so very much Baby Bane.

    Ashley S.

  3. Melissa

    Your story has sat on my chest since Kelli wrote about it yesterday. My prayers from Canada are with you…

  4. Lindsay

    I AM praying for you, and though I've never met you, my heart hurts for you. As a mom, a Christian, and someone who has lost someone I love, I feel your pain. May God be with you.

  5. Jodi

    I will pray.

  6. jeana

    I am so sorry for you loss. I will keep you in my prayers for strength, comfort, and healing.

  7. Anonymous

    Sonya and Drason my heart is heavy for you both-you have been on my mind all week, and I'm praying for your strength during this difficult time. Having recently lost a child that I never got to see or hold-hearing about your loss has made me think about how difficult it would be to go through the experience you are-I'…m truly sorry. I fully believe that one day I will meet my child and you will hold your sweet little Bane in your arms again-God Bless You!!!!-Abbey Marvin

  8. Annesta

    You are a true disciple of Christ and one who is most certainly demonstrating love to those in need. May God be near to you as you minister to this family in grief and may He wrap His loving arms around Sonya and Drason. I came here from a blog that is in the gratitude community and do not know this couple. God does.
    I will commit to pray for them.
    grace and peace to you
    ~a

  9. JoAnn

    I will pray for you and your family. This is hard.

  10. Anonymous

    You are in my prayers!

  11. Anonymous

    what a joy and honor it was to be present in those moments on saturday. i will always be thankful to have been allowed to be apart of that little boys life!
    tiff

  12. Anonymous

    my thoughts and prayers are with you!!!

  13. Anonymous

    Baby Bane changed my life on Saturday. A day when I took part in a Home Coming like I've never experienced before. A day when I couldn't believe my ears when the pastor said that Sonya was singing praise songs just moments after Bane's passing. My memory is FOREVER stamped with the visual that I too witnessed of Sonya leaping to her feet with praise at the start of Bane's Coming Home Celebration. I made a commitment to the Lord that day…..and today I make a commitment to keep this sweet precious family in my prayers. Thank YOU Sonya and Drason for sharing Bane with us all. I'm at the edge of my seat waiting to hear all the stories of victoy due to your amazing witness of faith and God's grace. Love you guys….RV

  14. Matt and Shelley Pevahouse

    Where to begin…Tuesday night of August the 10th. Sonya, you held Bane so tightly, stroking his hair, speaking to him so softly as his nurse tenderly took his hand and footprints. Drason prayerfully spoke over you and Bane. When the nurse asked you if you had a favorite song you always sang to Bane you didn't reply with Twinkle, Twinkle. Nor did you reply with patty-cake. You beautifully sang What a Friend We Have in Jesus. The first of many testimonies to come. The strength that you and Drason presented, although not just from your own but from God, was undoubtedly amazing. Watching you hold onto to Bane's sweet picture all throughout Friday and Saturday it was as if you KNEW that although his body was beside you, it was not him. For he was already with our Savior, not looking back. You held onto the 5×7 of the Bane you had for 9 months, right there on your left hip. Then…Saturday. A pit in the bottom of my heart and stomach was all I had felt that morning. How can I get through this? How can Bane's mommy and daddy get through this? Then my answer came. It was the Holy Spirit speaking to all of us that day through Pastor Lindon, the choir, and Drason. The answer, in fact, was Jesus Christ. Sonya and Drason, as oddly as this may sound, you two allowed me to get through that difficult day. Watching you glorify God, so grateful, so peaceful, and with every ounce that you had inside of you, it opened the way for everyone else sitting with you all to also glorify God. While your arms were reaching high to Him, other hearts were calling out for salvation. You both made it so clear that life is so precious, it is a gift. All of our days are numbered as it says so in the Bible. Your individual strength and your marriage proclaimed that week that life is not about the little stuff, it is about how you love one another and how you live your life for God. I can never properly thank you for the living testimony you were to me, to Matt, and to so many others. I am grateful for you both. I love you both dearly. Saturday night, as I held close to Kate, I decided to take extra time to hold her and to rock her. With Bane in my mind, I sang to her. I sang What a Friend We Have in Jesus and I know Bane was listening. Love, Shelley

  15. Alyssa

    I was never able to meet your sweet baby Bane. I can tell you that his story along with your courage and strength has moved my spirit. I will continue to pray for your family. Love Always.

  16. ~ Tisha ~

    Thank you for sharing Blane's Story with us. From the moment I heard the news of his passing, I said a prayer for you all and have everyday since. Life is like a ripple in water, you may be touched once but the effects ripple on forever.. Just as this sweet baby boy has to all those lives that will forever be changed by the works of the Lord. We may not understand why but we know where that precious baby is now. May you all keep your eyes on the Lord and your faith strong. I'll keep you all in my prayers for many days to come. God Bless you always..
    In Christ Love~ Tisha w

  17. Anonymous

    I am so sorry for your loss!! I wish I could have been there Saturday to celebrate baby Bane's wonderful life. Even though it has been many years since I have seen you guys, I still remember what great people you both are. I will continue to pray for you, Sonya, Drason, Livi, and all of your family and friends. If you ever need anything please let me know!!

    Love and Prayers,

    April Sherrill McEwen and Family

  18. Jennifer Mangrum

    Sonya and Drason, I have known the both of you since high school, we have seen each other on ocassion when you guys were home and at church. I don't know the pain of losing a child, but I do no the pain of losing someone very close and can't wait to see them again in heaven. This person was very young as well, I believe that God is building his army in heaven and is using our loved ones in some way. I pray for you guys that God will send you comfort, but it sounds as if you guy are empower by your loss and is using it for God's great purpose! Bless you both and your dear little Livi!

  19. rachel @ perfectly imperfect

    i'm writing to you (whom i have not met) with tears for your pain & your beautiful son… prayers for the days ahead of your family… questions for the Lord about this difficult world we live in & why we aren't already Home. i'm so sorry… and i'm thankful that you are reaching out to our God to hold you. i will continue to pray & praise the Lord who is loving your handsome little man up close & in His arms.

  20. Christy Williams Blaylock

    Where to begin, Tuesday night a post was left to pray for a family in need. I began to pray. A few hours later I then found out what was going on. As a mother my heart was aching for these dear people. I could not imagine what they were going thru. Saturday rolled around and I couldn't imagine how things were going to be. A friend told me not to wear black, which was totally out of my comfort zone, so I put on the brightest color in my closet, yellow. We walked into the church and all you saw were bright, beautiful, lively colors. The first praise song began and I knew I was in for a real treat. The praise songs continued and I continued to glance at Sonya and Drae. Sonya was praising God lifting her hands to him and Drae was worshiping and at the same time embracing his wife and best friend while holding their beautiful girl. Tears wept down my face as I could not fathom being in this position. Drae got up and spoke. You could see the love for his family all over his face. He was so unselfish and worried about everyone but himself. He knew his God was with him. He wanted to make sure everyone else knew what a mighty God he served. At one point in the service the preacher said as they were praying over Bane, he turned around and Drae stated that he was not mad at God and that Sonya was singing praise songs. If that is not pure faith then I do not know what is. Their faith in God is just astonishing to me. I crave to have that kind of faith. Bane's celebration will live in my heart always!! I was truly touched on this day. My prayers will continue.

  21. Craig and Bethany

    Years ago, my mother-in-law lost a son just a few months older than Bane. We haven't forgotten. And still, I haven't even met him. Yet. It will be the same for Bane. Thanks for letting us share in him.

  22. Kerri and Joey Woodard

    We were so sorry to hear about Bane. He was a beautiful little boy, and he will be missed. You and Drason are in our thoughts.

  23. Christie Stump

    I'm praying for your sweet family. I'm so sorry for your tremendous loss. I'm rejoicing over a little man that is so well-loved and whose story doesn't end here. I'm praying you will feel your Heavenly Father's arms around you…and know He is holding your precious Bane until you meet again.

  24. Rebecca B

    Ever since I heard the news, I have not been able to get y'all out of my mind. I really wish I could have made it Saturday but please know that I was praying for you all. I'm still praying. Reading these stories, I am brought to tears all over again. Your strength amazes me, and I hope that I am soon as strong a mother and Nick is as strong a father as Sonya and Drason are. I also hope that Nick and I are as strong in our faith as you two. You amaze me, and I'm continuing to pray.

  25. Carrie

    I was not there on Saturday to celebrate Bane, but my sister Tori and her husband Derek were. My mom and I spent over an hour listening to the retelling of the celebration of Bane's life, and though we know that it wasn't even close to being present, even the story touched us and ministered to us. So many things about the story stand out to me, but one of the most amazing was how Sonya and Drason were comforting others. As I mentioned in another comment, they remind me of Paul and Silas after they were beaten and imprisoned singing praises, encouraging others. It means so much to know that our faith – our Father – does make a difference with the bottom falls out. We will continue to love you through our prayers.

  26. Courtney

    Sonya and Drason,

    Bane was with us only 9 short months
    but his impact goes well into eternity.
    It wasn't what he did here in his short stay on earth that touched so many for the Kingdom,
    but what the two of you did after he left us that changes it all.

    Watching you two praise God in your storm with arms held high changed the lives and hearts of so many. The Holy Spirit was visible all around you. The love of God abounded.

    Because of you our Father in Heaven was exalted. Because of you many of us slowed down a bit and held our kids, our spouses a little longer and realized life is short. That we are just like a vapor. Because of you, we saw God.

    You witnessed to others,
    you proclaimed Christ to us who know Him and to others who don't.

    Your boy won souls to Heaven by your very own witness. Praise be to God.

    You both are some of out bestest friends, our family. You both have grown our faith. You both are treasures in our hearts.

    Know that Bane will not be forgotten. And prayers will not stop for you both as you face each new day.

    I love you both always, COURT

  27. Anonymous

    I have never met you or your precious boy….but i sit here weeping for your loss and am moved beyond words reading this post.I will be praying for you during this time,faithfully praying for the Holy Spirit of all comfort you to carry you through….

  28. Jenny

    Isaiah 61:1-3 "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release the darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."

    Our sermon on Sunday led me to this scripture and I smiled at God for sending me a Word to help describe what I witnessed on Saturday. As so many have already mentioned, I was overwhelmed by Sonya and Drason. As my big teddy-bear of a friend got up there to pay tribute to his beautiful son, I just sat there and wept. I wept for a father who had such a short time with his son here on earth and I wept for the love of another Father who sent His only Son to die for me, Sonya, Drae, Livi and sweet baby Bane. I couldn't get the picture of that precious smile beaming even brighter as he basked in the Glory of God Almighty. Sonya and Big Daddy D, thank you for showing us how to wear "a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair".

    I love you both and will never cease praying!!!

    J White (and Rooster)

  29. Anonymous

    ….weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:4-5

    You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:11-12

  30. Hayley

    Bane's Home Going Celebration was truly the most amazing experience I have ever been a part of. I went to the service, honestly dreading it, not knowing if I could handle it, having a little girl who is only 5 weeks older than Bane, but I decided to put aside my fears and come to celebrate Bane and love on 2 sweet friends. When the service started, it started with tears, watching you guys kiss Bane and "tuck" him in, then more tears as Monty spoke and read that amazing poem. Then, it was time to worship our Lord, and I could tell, many were so timid to be worshiping and praising at such a time….but it was quickly made known that it was ok…more than ok, to worship our Lord and Saviour….it was made known by the jumping to your feet, arms raised, praising the One who knows your pain, the One who holds you together. It was the single most inspiring and moving sight I have ever witnessed, that moment changed me. Oh, what a worship time it was. I could hardly sing for the tears streaming down my face, but for once this week they were not tears of sorrow, but tears of awe and praise for our Heavenly Father who was obviously going to do some amazing work that day. When Drason headed to the front to speak, there was a knot in my stomach waiting to hear what he had to say, but his words were not of sorrow and grief, but of faith and hope….and on top of that, you were reaching out to others in YOUR time of pain…wow, if we could all be so selfless. I am forever changed, not just by the life and loss of your sweet boy (who I had the pleasure of hanging out with a few weeks ago, and it's true…his smile is THAT good) but by the lives of you two. God is going to do amazing things with your story, your lives, your loss, your faith, and your love. Thank you for your commitment and love for the Lord….thank you for allowing your loss to be used for God's Kingdom…it was not in vain….lives were changed & souls were won because you allowed yourselves to be used in a time when most would not even be able to put one foot in front of the other. I love you guys and I will pray for you, Drason, Sonya, and Livi until my dying day.

  31. patti White

    May the prayers of His people hold the banner of God's love over you. When you are weary, let those who love you and our Father God lift your arms for you as we all praise Him. Allow the heavenly Father to give you peace that passes all understanding. Grieve, but as one who has hope. I do not have any beautiful words to say or any reference for your grief, but I know who I believe in and He is able. Blessings Patti White

  32. Grace and Fam

    Sonya & Drason,
    What a testament of your faith on Saturday. Cam and I were so moved by those precious words Drason spoke and the songs that fill our hearts back up. We will CONTINUE to pray for perseverance, peace and rest. We love you and will never forget the example you have set through this time.
    always, cam, beth & gracey g.

  33. Melissa Tummins

    My family had the privilege of meeting this sweet baby for the first time a couple of months ago at Dawson's birthday party. He had a big smile on his face and you all were a beautiful family. Though I do not know the pain you are feeling, God does. Through God your hearts will heal. I pray for each of you and also pray that through your experience many hearts are won to God. That would be AWESOME! God has just welcomed another precious angel to Heaven! Your angel is resting in God's arms!

  34. Emily Lavenue-Roberts & Chad Roberts

    my dear roomie and wonderful husband,
    i knew your faith was strong, but did not realize the full extent of how much you loved the lord and how your lives are such a testament to him. your strength, faith, unfailing love, compassion and concern for others amazed me. my heart was breaking for your loss and while i wanted to try and comfort you in this difficult time, it was you who comforted me. you are an inspiration to me and i am now inspired to try and live by your example – to love god more and be more selfless. your passion for god and strength on saturday was the biggest testament of faith that chad and i have ever seen. i will forever be changed by you guys and will try to live a life that is more filled with the spirit and forever grateful for the wonderful gifts god has given. i give extra hugs and kisses to anne-london now in honor of sweet baby bane. i am constantly praying for you all and will continue to do so. i love you, my sweet roomie sonya and lovely friend dra. hugs and kisses to little livi. – emily, chad and anne-london

  35. Graceful

    I am a stranger to you, but your precious Bane has settled into my heart, where he will stay forever. I am praying for you today and always.

  36. Jacqueline

    As I read the blog & all the comments my heart feels torn into a million pieces. I can not imagine the pain of losing a child. Although I do not know your family personally, you and your beautiful baby Bane have touched me to the pit of my soul. What an inspiration you have now become to me & so many others. Your strength & courage are unimaginable to me, & I am envious of your trust in your faith. I have prayed for you many times & will continue to do so. Thank you for letting us be a part of this bitter sweet testament to God, & know that you have truly touched the lives of many.

  37. Alexis Hallum

    I will pray for you and your family, everyday.

  38. Anonymous

    I did not know your little Bane or the family but I will continue to pray for your family. I have not stopped thinking about your family since last week and just know that we care and are praying for you. God Bless You

  39. Bill and Amanda

    I love you and your love for the LORD. We will be praying.

  40. heather ryan morse

    praying in winterville, ga. don't know this family, but know Christ..and know His love supersedes any tragedy.

  41. keLi

    Thanks to all who have left comments … we are reading these to Sonya and Drae, and they are a small, good thing on a difficult day.

    Keep 'em coming — and please keep praying…

  42. Emily Dufty

    I was very sorry to miss Bane's celebration of life. I continued to pray and keep everyone at the ceremony in my thoughts all day on Saturday. I know from this blog and other's comments that it was a moving, inspirational moment that touched many lives.

    When the expected response is anger, the love and faith demonstrated by Sonya and Drason was beyond impressive. I have always loved, respected, and looked up to Sonya and Drason. I said to a friend last night that they are two of the best people that I know. I, in my anger and confusion, ask how can this happen to them – those fantastic, loving, faithful people. Sonya and Drason have looked beyond that, and driven by purpose, will seek to make the world a better place through their loss. Admiration doesn't even begin to express what I feel.

    I only had the pleasure of meeting Bane once, when I rubbed his little foot as Drae held him at the Christmas party. But, I am eternally grateful for that meeting. Sonya’s comment that Bane would have made the world a better place, just like his dad (and his mother too) is incomplete. I thoroughly believe that Bane has already made the world brighter and will continue to do so through his beautiful parents and family. I love you, Sonya and Drason.

  43. Leigh Collins

    Your family is in my thoughts and prayers through this unimaginable time!

  44. jbrady1911

    "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

    Sonya we use to play together very often as little girls and I still have many memories of that time. Even though we have not seen or talked in many years when I heard the news of your sweet boy my heart was breaking for your family. I immediatly started praying and will continue to each day. I cannot imagine your pain. But reading through this blog I am seeing what an amazing woman that you are. I wish I could have made the celebration. I think reading about it doesn't touch the surface of how God was glorified. It is very evident that you and your husband helped to change many lives that day. I am so very sorry for you loss. My prayers are with you.

    Jennifer Johnson Brady

  45. Anonymous

    Sonya and Drason. It took a while for me to choke up the courage to visit this site. I took a deep breath said a short prayer and just read every single word. It took another 10 minutes of wiping my eyes just so I could see the computer screen to type…but I just stared searching for words of comfort. Please bare with me.
    You guys had briefly stepped out by the time I made it to the church Saturday so I was unable to give you a hug. Sonya, my lady you are a rare gem. Remember our hilarious ride to the car lot when I first started working with you. “Umm, Sonya are you sure we’re going the right way?” I hope I was able to make you smile with that.:) I cannot imagine your heartache and cannot find the words as you can tell with this rambling post. However I can tell that you guys are surrounded with so much love and support and that, along with your faith, will help you endure through the pain. Bane. How precious. How sweet. (sigh) It has taken me now 42 minutes to write these few words. I hope you charge my rambling to my head and not my heart. My family and I will continue to pray for all of you.

    Life’s Weaving

    Life is but a weaving
    between my God and me;
    I may not choose the colors,
    He knows what they should be.

    For He can view the pattern
    Upon the upper side,
    While I can see it only
    On this, the under side.

    Sometimes He weaveth sorrow,
    Which seemeth strange to me;
    But I will trust His judgment,
    And work on faithfully.

    'Tis He who fills the shuttle,
    He knows just what is best;
    So I shall weave in earnest
    And leave with Him the rest.

    At last, when life is ended,
    With Him I shall abide,
    And I may view the pattern
    Upon the upper side.

    Then I shall know the reason
    Why pain with joy entwined,
    Was woven in the fabric
    Of life that God designed.
    ……………..Author Unknown

    With Love, Morenike

  46. Anonymous

    Sonya and Drason,
    I am in awe at your strength and the passion that you have shown so Bane's life will leave a lasting impact. You have already been so successful and so many people have seen God through you both. We are praying for you daily and pray for peace and comfort during this time. We love you both.
    Jesse and Amanda Pilkinton

  47. Whitney Thomas Newsom

    Sonya and Drason (and little Livi),
    Not a day has gone by that I haven't thought of your family and sent up my prayers for you to feel God's peace. I also pray that Bane is enjoying his time our Father as we all hope to one day. I wasn't able to come on Saturday, but I am amazed at the strength you have shown in such a difficult time.
    God Bless you, and may he bring you through this as only He can.
    Whitney

  48. Anonymous

    Sonya & Drason,

    May the Lord of hope continue to cover you in His grace and peace. It is evident you have honored Him in your storm and for that you will be blessed. The lives you have changed you may never know, but know that nothing has been in vain. We could not celebrate with you Saturday, but we were with you in spirit and will continue to praise God for your sweet Bane and to pray for strength for all of you.

    Livi, we pray for precious memories that only a sister can have of a little brother. We pray that every moment you shared will be etched into your memory and bring you joy for years to come. We pray you will forever remember the strength of your parents during this storm and that you will continue the legacy that your precious brother began in his short time here on earth.

    Unending love and prayers.

    KW

  49. Kristin Elder Maner

    I love you dearly sweet Sonya and my heart literally aches for you and continues to be so truly touched by the postings on this blog regarding the ceremony of the celebration of Bane's life. I hate that I missed being there in person but have been praying for you ever since I got the news and will continue to do so. I know without doubt that you and Drason will do amazing things with this charity and look forward to being a part of it. I love you so dearly and wish I was living in Tennessee to give you a tight squeeze. I love you and am just in awe of the things I keep reading and the inspiration that I know that little boy's life and their loving parents are going to bring to others out there. God Bless You! —-Kristin Elder Maner

  50. Susie Lavenue

    How can one small life change so many around him? The power of God is working a miracle in many lives through the life and death of Baby Bane. Only God can change tragedy into inspiration and tears into joy. His loving presence has been abundantly felt this last week.
    I so wish that I could have attended the celebration of his life on Saturday with Emily and Chad, but keeping Anne-London brought me comfort as well. Sonja and Drason, with every fiber of my being, I know that you will hold Bane again in heaven, and that whatever pain that you face in days and years ahead will be wiped clean in that shining city on a hill.
    Praise God for your faith and for what it will mean to those around you. Your actions have already changed Emily's life, I believe. She has seen your rock-solid foundation of faith and it is leading her deeper into her own. And for me as well- your strength gives me strength. Jim and I continue to pray for your family every day. When difficult days come, please remember that nothing (not even death) can separate us from the love of God in Jesus. God bless you both and God bless Livi too!
    Love- Susie Lavenue

  51. Anonymous

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son, Bane. I know the pain that you are feeling…there are no words to describe it. We lost our 2 1/2 yr old daughter, Kara, on 12/26/09, and the pain continues. We also share your struggle with not knowing 'why'? Kara's death was determined as SUDC–Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood. This means that there are no explanations as to why our healthy, happy child went to sleep on 12/26 around 8:30 pm, and never woke up. I am so encouraged to hear that your faith is strong…that is truly what has helped me and my husband survive these past 7+ months. Knowing that we will join Kara in heaven gives us hope, and the strength to carry on. I will pray for your family, as the prayers of many we don't personally know have been lifted up for us–and we are truly thankful.

    With hope,
    Kathy Lang
    http://karaannelang.blogspot.com

  52. Anonymous

    Sonya and Drason,
    I pause now to think of your precious child, Bane. The world, if only for a moment, has stopped spinning and time stands still. An angel has entered heaven, God's court, His chamber, His home. And all the saints in heaven rejoice at Bane's coming. There is no time in this place, no sorrow, no work to be done. It is a place of peace and comfort, of love, worship and CELEBRATION! It is home! And in only another moment, you will be reunited with him once again. But for this moment we pause and give thanks for your dear child, and we pray for God's indiscribable peace to carry you, to hold you and sustain you. And with everyday that passes, we will remember the impact that such a young little boy had on so many, and the witness that you two have demonstrated through him. Yes…we will remember and we all will be forever changed!

    Prayers lifted,
    Shipp and Beth Weems

  53. Rachel (Brown) Gresham

    Sonya and Drason,
    I have thought about you every day since I heard about your sweet boy. Both of your beautiful children are so lucky to have you as parents. I hope you know how much you mean to so many people, and what a wonderful example you are. God bless you.

  54. Anonymous

    Our dear sweet friends Sonya and Drason we have loved you both since we moved to TN and became neighbors. Brokenhearted does not touch how we felt when Richard told us about sweet precious Bane (I can see his dear smile and big dimple right now) As we watched you both at the celebration of Bane's life We saw what God can do for two broken parents. You reached out from your pain and gave God the Glory. What a blessing you both were and are to so many. May His loving arms continue to hold you close in these days ahead. You know we love you both and beautiful Livi what a treasure she is. Our prayers are with you all constantly.
    Love,Joe & Greta

  55. Dale Weed

    Sonya and Drason,
    I have been praying for you so much, and will continue to pray that God will give you a peace that passes all understanding. You've been such a testimony of God's love and care. I pray that He will continue to strengthen you and heal your broken hearts. Some of my favorite verses-
    Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psa. 55:22
    Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Psa. 68:19
    For I hope in Thee, O Lord; Thou wilt answer, O Lord my God. Psa. 38:19
    May God hold you close now as He holds Bane close, and bring glory to Himself through Bane's little life. We will continue to lift your family up in prayer to our Father.
    Love,
    Dale and Allen Weed

  56. Angela

    Just stubbled upon this blog through another blog. My heart is breaking for you guys and I just wanted to say I will be praying for this family to feel the comfort and peace that only God can bring in this horrible time.
    -Angela

  57. Kimberly Steinmetz Unland

    Sonya and Drason,
    I think of you and pray for you and your beautiful children every day. Your faith is amazing and an inspiration to us all. Thank you for reminding us all that we need to turn to God rather than away in difficult times.
    ~Kimberly Steinmetz Unland

  58. Tammy Anderson Javellana

    Sonya and Drason,
    I'm so sorry I didn't know about this until today! I've been reading about the celebration and how you both gave strenth to others through this time, which doesn't surprise me at all. Sonya, you were one of my favorite parts of college!! And Drason, everytime I saw you, you were always smiling and uplifting. You both are truely remarkable people and I have been truely blessed to have been in just a small part of your lives. I'm not really sure what to say but I wanted ya'll to know I'm thinking of ya'll and have over the years! May God's peace continue to be with you all and you will be in our family's prayers! love you guys!

  59. jennynobleanderson

    Sonya was my best friend in graduate school. Watching her sweet family grow over the years in pictures and e-mails has been a blessing. When I find myself in situations where strength is needed, I so often reflect on the countless tidbits of wisdom given to me by Sonya. Her lust for life is, was, and will continue to be contagious. Her committment to her family and her faith is, was, and will continue to be humbling. And the impact that she, Drason, Livi, and sweet Bane will leave on this earth is, was, and will be more profound than she's likely to ever realize.

  60. Rashaunda "Neisey" Beasley

    Wow. Words cannot explain how overwhelmed I feel right now. My daughter asked me if I had looked at Bane's page and I had not since it was first set up. And now… Wow.

    When my baby brother Drason called me on TUESDAY night, August 10, 2010, sobbing "I had to let Bane go today," I was in complete disbelief. As I drove to Vanderbilt I hoped that I had misunderstood him. Unfortunately, that was not the case. When I entered that hospital room and went first to Sonya, she said, "No. I'm okay. Drason needs you." Wow again. What words to say? I had none. I simply held, hugged and kissed my baby brother and prayed for him in the Spirit while he held his baby boy. I am grateful that after a few moments I felt Drason's spirit lift, and shortly thereafter he was ready to let the nurse have Bane.

    Over the next couple of days "Sonya's Girls" as I call them were feverishly preparing for the celebration. Wow again. Sonya and Drason are so very blessed to have such great friends. They planned and delivered in such a way that still leaves me in awe. Yes, such fervor is expected of family, but this group of ladies are TRUE FRIENDS.

    Yes, there were rough spots that first week as we can all expect there will continue to be. However, I simply want to say that I too was in awe of the strength and faith exhibited by Drason and Sonya during these heart-wrenching times. Wow. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU BOTH. When I thought that we would have to continue to lift them up, I witnessed them even during the visitation supporting each other, loving on each other, holding and kissing each other, rubbing noses 🙂 Wow again. They managed to lift each other even in their distress. The genuine love they share is amazing.

    Finally, I know through it all, we are more than conquerors and whatever the devil intends for bad, God will always, ALWAYS work for our good. So, I end this post with one of my favorite verses, Romans 8:28:

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

  61. Anonymous

    I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy and steadfast love, because You have seen my affliction; You have taken note of my life's distresses. Psalm 31:7

    My faith is insprired as I read of your love For God in the midst of this very difficult time. But be assured; weeping lasts for a night, and joy comes in the morning. God Bless, our prayers continue for you and your family. N

  62. Gloria

    I don't know you, but I'm praying for you right now.

  63. Zander's Zest for Life!

    i have been at work all day, but to be totally honest I have not been able to do one thing productive…for work anyway. I have been very productive in my thoughts and in my prayers lifted to our Lord this day, and productive in reading and reading every word i could on this blog. Yes, i've been here many times. most of the times it was at home and with two small children….well, you all get the picture.
    I sobbed and sobbed just now reading the post from Drae's sweet sister, Neisey. I was downstairs with sweet Livi the night Bane left this world. I had been on the 5th floor with Sonya and Drason and lots of close family and friends…but as time ticked away and Bane seemed to be slipping more toward Heaven….I prayed that God would use me somewhere I could be most used….that's when HE said go be with Livi. So I did. She was very glad to see me. Even though Karen was taking very good care of her, she seemed glad to see a more familiar face…she knew something was not 'just right'. I layed down beside her and began to sing Oh How I love Jesus very quielty to her and within just a few verses she was OUT. Not sure if it was that she was tired or my singing! LOL Yes, Sonya and Drae have been unspeakably strong and standing with the Mighty Savior holding them strong! I have lots i'd like to write about in due time, but one thing I'd like to say is tha this past Saturday I had the wonder priviledge of spending my day with Sonya and Livi. I knew as I dorve over to Franklin that this was a day I'd never forget and boy was it?!? Sonya was so strong and so vibrant and so ever ready to share all that the LORD had done for them in the past week. She read the blog and was blessed beyond measure when someone posted something@ (SO POST, POST, POST) It blesses the soul! Sonya asked if I'd help her go through some of the things from the funeral and from the hospital the night of…I prayed deep inside…"God give me strength"! She was so precious going through all of Bane's things..it was absolutely priceless. she touched everything and lifted her eyes toward her maker and giver of all life…she lifted her soul toward heaven and even though she did not say it out loud I know she was thanking her GOD for those precious 9 months…..thanking HIM and giving HIM all her Honor, Glory and her Praise. She read cards that keep pouring in…and she laughed. She smiled and she laughed… a lot on Saturday. We had a good day… Strength that only God can give came pouring out!! We ventured out to get groceries and headed home…but first we would go to Chick-Fillet..and it was there we played the Bane-Bane game! What a joy and honor to be in that car as we went through the drive thru and she wanted to purchase the car behind us…and in so doing reached into her deep purse and pulled out one of those precious BaneBow cards to give to the car with a HUGE HOPE that with that one small Bane gesure…..would change a life that ONLY Christ can change. I'm so glad she is my sister….I am so glad we had that day together…i will never forget it as long as i live. i ache with love for you sonya gay.