Tomorrow will be the day that all this hard work will pay off for Smiles From Drew. Tomorrow will be opening ceremonies for the Santa Fe YAFL. All the planning and bugging people to buy things. People will finally be able to see what it has all gone to. They will be able to see the smiles on these boys faces and finally see what I have been trying to do.

What I have noticed though is that giving is addicting. Once you get that feeling of love coming from you to another person for no other reason than for them to be happy you get hooked. I want to do more. I don’t want to stop at football. I have always thought that if a child would like to do something you should foster that. The sad part is that for whatever reason that can be hard at times. Drew loved sports, I’m not entirely sure where he got that from bur if  a ball was involved he gravitated towards it. It would never fail just when I thought we would get a breather from games and practices he would come walking in with another permission slip that he wanted me to sign so he could play whatever was next.

The rules were simple if you wanted to play you had to keep your grades up and you had to finish what you started. If you chose something you did not like that’s ok, you know not to sign up for it the next time. You weren’t allowed to quit in the middle of a season just cause you thought it was hard. Life is hard and following through is a skill you will need when you are in the real world. Like I said before, Drew did about every sport there is. There were some sports that he did not care for at all and there were sports and activities he did to impress a girl. Football happened to be the one he liked the most. Drew was a big guy and had always been bigger than his class mates. When he was on the football field it didn’t matter. He wasn’t different. He was a part of a team and he loved it.

I asked him one time why he liked football so much, what was it about football he liked. He said “Mom, football is like chess. You got to know what your opponent is thinking before he does it.” Drew was really good at using his mind to solve puzzles and I could see him figuring things out while on the field. It was a good match for him. Just because football was his true love that didn’t stop him from doing other sports. He did basketball, he really liked playing it but he was slow. With the way his mind worked though he was a really good shooter. He could figure out all that angles and directions so he knew where he needed to get the ball into. He did basketball all through elementary and some middle school. Then there was baseball. I’m not sure he really liked baseball but he loved being out on the field. He loved being around his friends and he loved the sunflower seeds. He was just as content to be singing songs in the dug out as he was hitting the ball. I’m pretty sure he only played baseball so he could socialize more with his friends. And boy did he socialize.

I hope sometime soon his friends and team-mates will be able to tell some of the stories of Drew. I would love for all our Smiles supporters to get to know him. He was such a good kid. He was so funny and he loved to make people laugh. He was at his best when the people around him were happy. He would tell me all the time “Just Love Me…” in a voice only he could do. Drew, I will love you and I will always love you. I will work hard for people to know you even if it’s only from stories. You are worth people knowing.

If you would like to know about Smiles From Drew or would like to help you can visit our Facebook page Pay it Forward for Drew Lighthall/Smiles From Drew or visit our website at Thank you to everyone that has helped us get this far and thank to everyone that will help us get farther.


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