|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,
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.
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.
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:
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]