Driving cars is not enough. Drake’s passion for machines goes to the heart discovering every nut and bolt of how they work. He found himself the perfect mentor at the local gas station, an experienced mechanic who allowed him to take apart engines, carburetors, and transmissions while learning the intricacies of fine-tuning a car into a high performance vehicle. His love of autos did not stop there. Our street was home to a revolving line-up of cars that Drake bought and “fixed up.” A suped-up shiny blue ’63 Chevy Impala doing a ¼ mile in 11.9 seconds was a sporty fave that all the high school girls wanted a ride in. Later, I heard some wild stories from those girls about riding in the ’63 on dark country roads while Drake played “chicken” with his buddies. Somehow they all survived youth.
Serving His Passion, Taking Risks and Giving His Heart to It
Going after what he wants and taking risks is how he moves through life; nope, there’s not a “Namby Pamby” skittish bone in his body. His mechanical knowledge, intuitive understanding, and single-minded adherence to his passion gave him the gumption to start at the bottom of the line at an ice cream company and over the years move on and up to become the Director of Manufacturing, Engineering and Distribution for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. His insatiable curiosity to know coalesced into an extensive knowledge of every part of the business. He could not help but see how the mechanics of any operation could be improved by designing better parts and processes. He never had a thought of holding back that knowledge or using it to get ahead. He simply served his passion and gave to it.
His passion for life has never been clearer.
Hours are passing. We connect with family. Drake is not awake; his heart is in fibrillation and his fever high. One family member makes a phone call into his room and Drake wakes-up long enough to speak. His wife, by his side, is amazed at his waking up just at that moment. With a precious opportunity to hear my brother, my sister and I call and speak with him for a few moments. Off the phone, my heart bursts. Wailing, the grief now pours out of me.
In the midst of my tears, I feel him. I feel Drake’s spirit. I feel his absolute LOVE for life. No words can express the deep connection and bond that he has for Life. I feel his immense love and passion for the joy of living and wanting more than anything to be alive. At one with him, I feel him, “he is not ready to leave” and there is no connection, absolutely no connection to the “other side.” Tears streaming down my face, as the awareness of this truth fills me. The power of this Love and union with life engulfs me and takes me. His Love and passion for living astounds me. I have never felt any bond so strong.
What an incredible gift he gives me. How can I explain the enormity of the strength of the bond with life when one has such a passion for living? It is indescribable.
Drake made it through that night. He woke up the next morning and walked around the hospital with no knowledge of what occurred the day before. The doctors don’t give him long to live. What do they know? They have not felt his spirit and his longing to live. He is still here and willing his body to heal. Every day he declares, “I just want to Live.”
And…Living is what he is doing…each and every day…savoring each moment. The terrible pain he endures cannot take away the joy of living to see one more day, to enjoy the sunrise and a “creemee” (soft serve ice cream) or getting to ride in his ’55 while listening to the Beach boys.
LOVE is the most powerful force. The Passion for Life creates Miracles.