On Sunday I received a phone call from my son in New York that his friend Drake had passed away. He was so upset he could barely talk.
I had just moved to Huntington Beach from La Habra. Steve, Venus & their boys were the first people that I met, they lived in the front unit of the apartment complex we lived in. We had a lot in common, we each had three boys. They were almost all the same age. It was also perfect because we would take turns babysitting each others kids. That way, every other weekend we would be able to go out and know that our kids were in good hands (it was hard finding someone willing to babysit three rambunctious boys.)
Venus & I would take daily bike rides down the board walk, with my little 2 year old Elijah in the bike seat. All the other boys were in school. We had so much fun, getting in shape & enjoying the beach, just having "girl therapy" which is always a MUST!
My oldest son Josh became really close with Steven & Zach, while Jullien and Drake seemed to have a rougher time hitting it off. They both were hot heads and their "play time" eventually would turn into a boxing/wrestling matches. Drake out weighed Jullien by about 30 lbs. So I wasn't surprised when I heard screaming and yelling one day. I ran outside, turned the corner to see the two 5 year olds...Drake sitting on top of Jullien, hands on both sides of Jullien's head, smacking it into the pavement.
Now, I'm not a mom who freaks out...so I pulled him off, picked up Jullien & told them that they both were not allowed to play with each other anymore until they could get along.
Once I got Jullien back home, I told him the same thing my dad told me when I was little, "It doesn't matter how big they are, make sure that you never let them get the upper hand on you, handle your business." LOL...I know not a very nice mom...but being a tomboy & raising my boys alone for so long, I didn't want to have a bunch of little sissy's so I was pretty tough.
Jullien really took that to heart, the boys would continue to have "scuffles" but I never had to pick him up off the ground again. Once Drake knew that Jullien could "handle his business" the fighting stopped. They were the best of friends after that.
When they were older, they grew closer. It's funny how the love-hate relationship in the beginning left a strong bond between the two boys.
Drake was such a fun loving kid. Always cracking jokes & making everyone laugh. He was a loyal friend, ready to defend anyone who messed with the people he cared about.
Drake's older brother Zach (21), had just passed away three months before in a freak car accident.
My heart just aches for Steve, Venus & Steven. The loss of two sons is absolutely unimaginable. Steve sent me an email asking for people to please pray for them...they are at a total loss!
Tonight we will be attending a candlelight vigil for Drake.
R.I.P. Zach & Drake...you are loved & will be missed!