By Carole Robinson, Senior Staff Writer
“When it rains … be the sun.”
The Beasley Family - Bayo, Sonya, Olivia and Drason. Submitted
The loss of a child is the worst pain one can suffer. When it happens, all the days are dark and it seems the rain will never stop.
At nine-months, with his chubby little legs, radiant smile and bright, easy baby laugh Bane Beasley was beginning his toddler stage.
“He was pulling himself up and was beginning to look like his daddy,” Bane’s mama, Sonya Stokes-Beasley, said.
Bane means long awaited child.
“We had wanted him forever. We wanted to raise a son so Bane was the answer to our prayers,” said Drason Beasley, Bane’s daddy.
Sonya had trouble getting pregnant with their first child Olivia, who is almost two years older than Bane, so the couple didn’t think there would be another child.
Then Bane came along.
Then Bane was gone.
On the morning of Aug. 10, 2010, Bane woke up with a high fever.
He was admitted to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and that night, Bane Alton Drake Beasley died from a rare form of bacterial meningitis.
On the morning the Beasley family buried their 9 ½-month-old baby boy, a double rainbow spread across the sky and became a symbol of hope in the middle of agonizing grief.
They dubbed it a “banebow.”
Bane Alton Drake Beasley
For the past three years, the Beasley’s have struggled with their grief while trying to parent their little girl, who lost her brother and her “joy”.
They endured deep, dark days and long lonely nights but with love and support from family and friends and a deep faith in the Lord, the sun came out.
“I know what those dark days are,” said Sonya, who was once a social worker at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
“I thought I could do this.”
She learned she couldn’t do it alone.
In the early days of grief, exhaustion made ordinary tasks—cleaning house, making meals, washing clothes, paying bills, even caring for Olivia—seem insurmountable.
“It was so overwhelming in the beginning,” Sonya said. “We couldn’t even articulate our needs.”
“In a behind the scenes way,” a team of caring family and friends stepped in to address those immediate needs, providing Sonya and Drason time to begin healing.
Determined to give their little one’s life meaning and inspired by those who were the sun during their dark, rainy days, Sonya and Drason created a faith-based ministry to help others through the depths of despair to a place in life that is manageable.
“Faith is the only reason we never gave up,” Sonya said.
“It’s the only reason we fight against the statistic of divorce and fight for marriages, relationships, peace and sanity.”
Calling on their own journey through grief, Banebow strives to meet the physical needs of grief stricken parents until the emotional needs can be reached.
They know the days when a grieving parent doesn’t want to live anymore—they lived them.
“We want to instill hope and solace and remind them their life is their child’s legacy,” Sonya said.
Banebow provides “mental, physical, financial and spiritual assistance to families who have sustained the sudden loss of a child,” the mission statement states.
Working with those who are close to the family, Banebow develops a plan of care.
When it’s too hard to concentrate on a funeral, Banebow will organize a celebration service.
When it’s too painful to go home, Banebow will arrange temporary housing.
When daily tasks become monumental, Banebow will provide groceries, meal planning and housekeeping services.
When surviving children need to escape a grief-stricken environment, play dates are arranged with children who have also been affected by loss.
When parents just need someone to sit with them; cry with them; pray with them—Banebow will be there.
“We tell [grieving parents] they don’t have to get up if they don’t want to. Someone will feed the kids, do the wash, pick up the house,” Drason said.
“We help them get through the milestones and the triggers that happen everyday.”
It took three years for Sonya and Drason to get to the point where they shed just a few tears when talking openly about their little boy, a point where life feels manageable and a point where they found their joy.
During that time they were blessed with another baby boy. They named him Bayo Shalom, which means joy is found.
Recently, surrounded by friends and family, the Beasleys celebrated the grand opening of Banebow, Inc. located at 133 Holiday Court.
To find out more about Banebow go to www.banebow.org, to refer someone who can benefit from the services it can provide, email Sonya and Drason at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 478-8260 or send a note to Banebow, Inc., PO Box 682911, Franklin, TN. 37068.
Posted on: 10/10/2013