why i write here: lover of my soul-friend (part two)

Drae and Livi Drae:  he carries her, but she has him wrapped

[to read the first part of this series, click here.]

If I had no other reason to love Drason Beasley, I would still love him fully, solely for the way that he has loved — and continues to love — my soul-friend.

But the thing is,  I love him all on his own.

Far more than being just that guy on the right side
of all of her wedding photos, I count him as my own friend:
a man who has  my respect, my admiration, 
my love.  

Unlike the rocky start that Sonya and I endured, my friendship with Drason took quickly.  Not surprisingly, since Drae is a hard guy not to like.  In high school, he was one of the few people I knew who seemed to get along with everyone:  teachers, lunch ladies, and students of every stripe.

Class of 1998: Go Cougars!

The jocks  gave him fist bumps in the hallway.  The gothic kids  broke their sullenness when Drason buddied up beside them.  The country boys offered him a plug of chewing tobacco.  Flipping through old photos, it’s hard to find one picture where he’s not smiling.

As promised:  the afro money shot.  Enjoy.

I liked Drason as a compatriot in tomfoolery:  that guy would try anything once.  He was fearless.  Optimistic.  He genuinely cared about people.  

He inspired me.

It’s true, some of these positive qualities could get him into trouble.  His fearlessness (and probably an extra measure of high school boy bravado) got him into a pickle once, and the mental image of this makes me laugh out loud every time it comes to memory.

It involves Drae: a big, burly guy.  And  a steep hill.  And  a small bicycle.

Showing off on his bike in the parking lot after school, Drae decided to ride up a hill and straight into the “open court” area of the building.  He pounded the pedals, picking up speed.  I watched the look of determination, his eyes focused intently, until …. gravity.  Drae battled gravity heroically, and I nearly peed my pants.

Gravity always wins.

Thing is, that focus and determination is the way that Drae approaches all that he does.  He’s the first person to find the silver lining in a tough situation, and the last person to give up.

He inspires me.

And today I watch the same ol’ Drae aiming his fearlessness straight at the eye of a terrible storm.  And I’m inspired, not just by what he said at his son’s celebration, but by   what his actions say  each and every day to those around him.

Building a legacy … making a difference … giving your life to others even as you grieve … that’s a tall order:   a steep hill.  

And Banebow — his heart’s call — is a grass-roots dream being built from the bottom up:  a small bicycle.

But there’s one thing that Drason is sure of, and his confidence is contagious:

God always wins.

From the ashes of grief and pain, my friend Drason is  leading  a charge and  following Christ — and where he leads, I will follow.

And that’s  why I write here.

[tune in tomorrow, friends, for there is still one more post in this series — a secret post that even Sonya and Drason don’t know about, but one that has been heavy on my heart]


  1. Jenny

    I have only known Drason for a few years but I couldn't have said it better. Big Daddy D – just the thought of you brings a smile to my face and can brighten my day. I miss your big ole laugh and thoughtfulness. Can't wait to see you on Saturday.

  2. Matt and Shelley

    Loving the bicycle story!! You couldn't have said it better! He always has a huge heart in whatever he does. He is always ready and willing to help "carry" anyone!!! Just like the time we were hiking to our campsite when I sprained my ankle, he didn't hesitate to let me jump on his back to carry me the rest of the way down. He is a great friend, a Godly husband to our soul-friend, and ever-loving father to his two precious children.