Promises to Drew

Drew Batavia with Joe and Katey, photo by Cheryl Batavia

Promises to Drew

Drew, I held your hand

as you left the world behind,

and I made promises to you.

I never cry…I stopped crying long ago,

but I am crying now as I remember.

Some promises I have kept

better than others.

I like to think you would be happy

with the way your autobiography turned out.

Your brother Mitch finished your book.

Your mother and I supported his efforts

for more than a year.

The Don Quixote in a wheelchair

that Mitch drew for you in high school

is on the cover.

I know you would approve.

I promised to raise our children

as you would have wanted

them to be raised, and I did my best.

Our children are grown up now,

and the struggles of life continue.

We have cherished our memories of you.

Our children remember your wise advice

and try to follow your example…

You left some pretty big shoes for us to fill!

I have made a new promise

for our grown-up children:

I will be their mother till the day I die

and always love them as I always loved you.

I know that you would be happy

that I have found someone to grow old with,

as you wished me to do.

He is someone I know you would like.

Drew, I wish I could have done more

to keep my promises to you.

I hope you would approve

of the things I have done.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Drew’s autobiography, Wisdom from a Chair: Thirty Years of Quadriplegia, by Andrew Batavia and Mitchell Batavia is available on Amazon.

12 Comments

  1. Kritika, thank you for your encouragement. I have been working on this poem for 10 years. Even 17 years after my husband’s death, it was difficult to finish. He was an incredible human being who, in spite of quadriplegia, had remarkable achievements and always did a lot for others. He died at the age of 45.

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  2. This trips with emotion, in a good way, even after 17 years. Emotion seeps through every seam and love and tenderness shout from the puddles below.
    That’s a wonderful picture full of joy and happiness.

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. Cheryl, I’m so happy for you. I wouldn’t be surprised if Drew hand-picked him for you and sent you to Chile’s! But, I know seeing you secure and happy would be his greatest joy.
    I read his book. I cried all the way through. Just hearing him talk and tell his stupid jokes, in his voice. It was such a gift. You all did an amazing job completing it for him.
    Sending you love and the very best wishes in your 2021 marriage. ❤
    Lisa B.(from Lincoln High)

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa, for your kind words. ❤ Your reading and responding is very much appreciated. Drew did tell me that if he died, he wanted me to remarry. In some ways, he and Robert are very much alike. I do think Drew would approve of Robert and be glad to see me happy after all these years.

      So glad you enjoyed the book! Fifteen years later, it was still difficult to write about Drew. It took ten years of painful rewrites to finish "Promises to Drew." Now, the pain has finally receded and joyful memories remain. 🙂

      I tried to contact you several times. I was sorry we lost touch. You can email me if you would like to catch up. gulfcoastpoet@gmail.com.

      I hope that you are well. Please know that you always had a special place in Drew's heart. Best wishes for the New Year! ❤

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