Marcus Austin: 10 Years Later, Still An Inspiration, A Benchmark, and an Awesome Story 

Yesterday marked 10 years since one of the best friends I have ever had passed on. Marcus Austin was simply an angel on Earth, a great person to be around, and an inspiration. 

He exemplified my #imjustdrew movement perfectly, interacting with folks from all walks of life, and overcoming many obstacles to be the socialable person he was. You see, if anyone should have had insecurities, it was Mark. He was partially handicapped for his entire life with dehabilitating spinal diseases such as socilosis. He never had full physical mobility, although he could walk. For long distances, he had his wheelchair. Appearance wise, it appeared that something was also not right mentally. This was definitely not the case as he was academically and socially intelligent. He earned two degrees and several friends in his lifetime. It’s hard to find someone from Anderson to Rock Hill to Charlotte that had a bad word to say about Mark. 

The doctors didn’t predict him to see age 15 but he saw age 30. He was also very independent, doing pretty much everything for himself except large tasks such as driving.  In the 11 years I knew him, I never heard him complain about his condition. He was very positive and always saw the glass as half full. 

He got around, traveled, studied, socialized, played video games with one hand (his left hand didn’t have full functionality) and enjoyed his 30 years. I miss talking with and hanging with this guy. A few times/year, I would venture to Anderson and pick him up or talk to his parents and brother and they would bring him up my way. We found ways to keep in touch and it was never a chore to have him riding shotgun. He was always down for a good time. 

I know Marcus is looking down at me and our fellas and is very proud. He brought out the best in so many people, and knew more about sports than anyone I know. 

I feel like I did well yesterday as it was a good, sunny, humid day in Upstate SC. But now as I write this, I start to realize what he missed on Earth, and the conversations we would have now. He is definitely the type you couldn’t give up around because he never gave up. Life stepped in and quit on him. I miss you homie and I can’t wait to see you again!

#imjustdrew 

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