A Message to My Children

My three children: Ellen Maher, Joseph Batavia, Katey Batavia, and Joe’s dog BABY.

A Message to My Children

To my oldest daughter,

Before you existed, I wanted you.

You were conceived in love;

The next morning, I sensed your presence.

Before you were born, I loved you.

When I felt you move, I was overjoyed.

As your father placed his hand on my belly

and felt you move, I knew we were a family.

Hearing your first cry, I cried tears of joy.

You were named for my beloved Grandma.

As I nursed you,

I wished you a long and happy life.

When you gripped my finger in your tiny fingers,

I was filled with wonder.

Watching you first begin to crawl,

I knew I would have killed to protect you!

Your first word was not “Mama” or “Dada;”

You looked me straight in the eye and said, “Hi!”

Oh, the delight of that first conversation!

For a while after that, you mostly listened.

People wondered why you were so quiet…

Then everyone was amazed to hear you

suddenly speaking in complete sentences.

As you took your first steps,

I was proud of your growing independence.

With every little illness, every accident,

I felt your pain.

When you went off to kindergarten,

I had high hopes for your future.

As you grew, your every milestone

filled me with pride.

As you made a life of your own,

I watched with admiration!

To my adopted son and daughter,

though you were never in my body,

I always loved you, just the same.

You were often in my arms,

and always in my heart.

I loved you before I met you,

and I have loved you every moment since.

Your father loved you deeply

for the rest of his days.

As I have watched you grow,

your struggles have been mine.

Your every accomplishment

has earned my admiration.

Your wishes for the future

have always been my wishes for you.

Your kindness and empathy,

your courage and determination

fill me with pride.

To my three children,

Thank you for loving me.

Know that I am grateful to be your mother;

You mean the world to me!

I will always love you equally,

always be proud of you, always hope for you.

I will be cheering you on

with my final breath!

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Happy Mother’s Day to Mothers Everywhere!

We celebrate our mothers. ❤

We honor the memories of our mothers. ❤

Photo by Waldemar from Unsplash.

Love Endures, Happiness Thrives; Ongoing Effects of Hurricane Ian & Other Disasters; Karma

Photo by Freestocks from Unsplash.

Love Endures, Happiness Thrives

A baseball cap on your profile page?

You were recommended to me,

so I’ll try to engage.

You’re probably bald, but we shall see!

Someone in emails, so much like me.

Southern drawl on the telephone.

I’m sure we’ll discover an affinity…

though I don’t know if you’re “the one.”

A two-hour lunch we’ll always remember,

sharing fajitas and conversation.

Feeling like I’ve known you forever;

from that day on, I had no reservations.

Joyful hours and days when time flies,

coming to know we are soul mates,

making promises, merging our lives.

Lucky we met. We thank the Fates.

Day by day, we grow old together…

A decade of wonder and surprise.

Through all the storms we weather,

love endures, happiness thrives!

Ongoing Effects of Hurricane Ian & Other Disasters

I think the internet is finally fixed! Monday the technician tightened a loose wire at the central box! Our internet, TV, and house phones were off for five days, the third such outage since the hurricane shook things up. Robert is out $250 for a modem the internet provider had recommended. It didn’t solve the problem, and Robert returned it, but they said they had never received it and refused to refund the money.

I got up one morning last week and discovered that a tree had fallen from the wooded lot behind us onto the power company right-of-way behind our house… five months after the hurricane!

It cost $1, 200 to get this large oak tree cut up and removed. The new roof, wall repairs, and previous tree removal are covered by homeowner’s insurance, but not this tree!

What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world

and loses his own soul?

Bible, New International Version, Mark 8:36

No good deed goes unpunished!

Oscar Wilde


A corrupt quartet

sought profit from others’ loss,

but karma stepped in!

Inflicting loss on others,

without gain, they sold their souls.

On Saturday afternoon, I was shopping at Publix supermarket when a woman, who apparently spoke little English, came up from behind me. Saying “Please,” she pointed and gestured for me to reach a product on a high shelf for her. Two times I tried, and she shook her head, but the third time I handed her the item, and she said,”Thank you.” When I went to the checkout a few minutes later, I discovered that my wallet was missing.

Suddenly, I realized the significance of my encounter with the woman and told a manager what had happened. Publix security cameras clearly showed a man acting as a lookout, a woman distracting me by asking me for help, and another woman removing my wallet from my tote bag in five seconds! The theft was recorded at 3:59. At 4:15, before I even missed my wallet, the security camera at the Walmart across a four-lane highway recorded the thieves trying to use my credit cards to pay for $504.94 worth of drinks and other groceries.There must have been a fourth person filling the cart at Walmart while the other three were robbing me.

All the cards they tried to use were declined because the credit card companies’ records show that I rarely spend more than $100 at the grocery store. All the four thieves got for their trouble was $8 in cash and incriminating videos in two stores. I hope they are caught and can never again do this to anyone else!

The wallet contained my drivers license, voter registration card, insurance and credit cards, checkbook, and my $450 car key fob. I will never again put my key fob, check book, and every card I possess in my wallet. I will never again leave my wallet in a tote bag, but will carry it in a small cross-body purse or a fanny pack. You are never too old to learn to do things differently!

A Publix Manager said that in the seven years he had been at the store, no customer had ever been robbed. Lucky me…I am the first! After I waited for two hours at Publix for the police, The manager gave me my groceries for free, and one of the Publix employees took me home and brought Robert back to pick up the car. I soon had to return to the store to fill out a police report. Finally, late that night, I got a chance to cancel my cards and order new ones.

The next three days were spent at Motor Vehicles (twice) who wanted proof of residence, the bank (twice), who needed my driver’s license, and the bureau of elections. I had to change my checking account and online banking and call Social Security and insurance companies about changes in my direct deposit. I contacted Medicare, AAA, AARP…The details are endless, but I am gaining on them. Though everyone has been unbelievably helpful, it has been an ordeal!

I don’t know how I could have managed without Robert’s help! While I was waiting at Motor Vehicles and the bank, I wrote a Valentine poem for Robert and later made it into a card.

Yesterday, we went to the car dealership to replace my key fob and reprogram Robert’s. When we returned, there were eight roofers on our roof installing new shingles. Robert and I were nervous about the shingles we had selected, but we are very happy with the finished roof! The next thing we have to do is hire someone to repair the numerous hairline cracks in our walls that appeared in the weeks after Hurricane Ian…

Robert followed up his recent pacemaker surgery with a cardiologist last week. Many tests are scheduled, some this week, some after Robert’s daughter visits in a couple of weeks. Then my daughters are coming in March, and we are planning a road trip. I will post the photos!

No need to worry. I promise you, I will not be bored anytime soon!

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

❤ Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone! ❤

February 14th

May you enjoy the love of the special people in your lives on Valentine’s Day and always!

Just the Two of Us

Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah National Park. Photo from Adobe Stock Photos.

Just the Two of Us

One day we made the winding, steep descent,

enchanted by the waterfall’s sweet song.

In pools below we swam to heart’s content,

the two of us together all day long.

One day we climbed up to the mountaintop,

where winter winds had dwarfed the ancient trees,

and we lay dreaming on a sun-warmed rock,

our skin caressed by every summer breeze.

One day we strolled among the ferns so green,

a fragrant carpet on the forest floor.

Below us stretched a peaceful valley scene.

We thought our love would last forevermore.

Oh, those were golden days I spent with you,

enjoying nature’s wonders, just we two!

(C) 2011 JOHN BILOUS. Ferns in Shenandoah National Park from Adobe Stock Photos.
(C) 2011 JOHN BILOUS Shenandoah National Park. Photo from Adobe Stock Photos.
A white-tailed deer fawn standing in a meadow in Shenandoah National Park. Photo by Paul from Adobe Stock Photos.

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Dedicated to the memory of my first husband, Frank Wightman.

Another Year Together

Photo by Bolivia Inteligente from Unsplash.

Another Year Together

Together we faced

the challenges of the year

with love and courage…

disappointments and setbacks,

lucky breaks and happy days.

This new year will bring

unforeseen challenges and

unexpected joys.

Thank you for sharing the years,

walking hand-and-hand through life.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Photo by Kelly Sikkema from Unsplash.

Another Year

“Another Year Together” was written for the holiday card I put in Robert’s Christmas stocking this year. We have had a very personally challenging 2022: sickness, surgeries, extensive dental work, unexpected expenses, and family visits cancelled by weather and illness. The whole world has had a challenging year: wars, violence, storms, fires, floods, famine, supply chain issues, inflation and financial distress, a continuing Covid 19 pandemic compounded by widespread outbreaks of several other viruses…and on and on and on..

Robert and I have met the challenges of 2022, including Hurricane Ian. Although we are a little tireder and a little older, we have survived! We have also savored the pleasures of everyday life and the blessings that came our way. Our hopes are high for a better 2023, both for ourselves and for everyone worldwide.

We wish you courage for your journey, strength to meet the challenges you encounter, hope in your heart, and peace of mind. We wish you fair weather and good fortune. May you be inspired, creative, and productive. May you be surrounded by the love of family and friends.

❤ Happy 2023! ❤

Photo by Austin Schmid from Unsplash.

Man of My Dreams

Robert Snyder. Photo by Cheryl Batavia.

Man of My Dreams

Wise like a hundred-year-old oak

growing in front of the county courthouse,

witness to the comings and goings

of humankind, a student of history.

Live oak tree. Photo by Iris4me from Pixabay.

Mind as nimble as an otter playing

“now you see me, now you don’t”

among the plants, above and below

the surface of the water.

Otter. Photo by Andreas Schanti from Unsplash.

Honest and forthright as a dandelion

springing up in a manicured lawn,

never pretending

to be a lily or a rose.

Dandelion. Photo by Jan Ledermann from Unsplash.

Conscientious like a honeybee

gathering nectar from summer flowers,

nourishment to sustain the hive

when winter fields lie fallow.

Photo by Michael Coltman from Unsplash.

Playful as a kitten high on catnip

unraveling a ball of string.

Peaceable as a sleeping puppy

with a tummy full of mother’s milk.

Photo by Natalie Spehner from Unsplash.

Reassuring and comforting

like the cycles of the moon.

Warm and loving

like the morning sunshine.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

❤ Happy 74th Birthday, Robert! ❤

Robert is making steady progress after his pacemaker surgery twelve days ago. The strips of tape sealing the incision will come off in two more days. We thank everyone for your good wishes and encouraging words. ❤

Is Death as Beautiful as Love? & A Tale of Lovers’ Leap

Photo by Joao Jesus from Pexels.

Is Death as Beautiful as Love?

“Death is as beautiful as love.” I vehemently disagree with this closing line from a poem I wrote in high school. I tried hard to remember the rest of the poem and understand what was meant, but unfortunately, that is the only line I can remember. I will tell you right up front that I think there is nothing that is as beautiful as love.

Seeking insight, I tried to imagine what a beautiful death would look like, perhaps stepping in front of a bullet intended for someone else or dying in defense of your country. Those are selfless and honorable ways to die.

Making a living will ensures a peaceful death when there is no hope of recovery and provides an end to the sufferings of family members. That is a responsible and loving way to die.

Maybe it would be beautiful to die holding the hand of the one you love and plunging to your death from one of the many famous “Lovers’ Leaps.” Well, maybe that kind of death isn’t beautiful, though it might be preferable to being forced into a loveless marriage. Having heard tales as a child about a “Lovers’ Leap” in West Virginia, this is the sentimental favorite among the candidates for a “beautiful death.”

Death is natural and something we all will experience, but we shouldn’t expect it to be beautiful. I believe that what is beautiful is the love that motivated the people involved in the scenarios mentioned, and not the death itself. As I stated at the beginning, I don’t believe that anything is as beautiful as love.

Going forward, since I couldn’t reconstruct the original poem, I decided to write a poem that included the line from the original poem, “Death is as beautiful as love.” After many failed attempts, I settled for writing a poem about an imaginary young couple at Lovers’ Leap, a sort of “Romeo and Juliet of the mountains.”

Photo by Svyatoslav Romano from Unsplash.

A Tale of Lovers’ Leap

Hand-in hand, Darling,

we climb to dizzying heights

above the valley,

where our feuding families

have forbidden us to wed.

Sweethearts forever,

standing on the precipice

above our valley,

hand-in-hand, we’ll leap into

eternity together.

Will they weep for us

down in the valley of hate?

Will the feuding end?

Will they bury us side-by-side

down in a valley of love?

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Personal Note: I began writing this post in the hospital waiting room while Robert was undergoing emergency pacemaker surgery on Wednesday. He came home on Thursday and is recovering well. I may have been thinking some dark thoughts as I wrote, but the sun is shining now! A full recovery is expected in four to six weeks.


Photo by Joe Hepburn on Unsplash


Our date

with fate,

improbable, but true.

Dreams long overdue,

serendipity times two.

Talking, our hands clasped,

how swiftly hours passed!

Our commonalities so vast,

soulmates meeting at last!

Forever calls, and heart replies.

Story emblazoned on the skies.

You are everything I fantasized:

Gazing into each other’s eyes,

together growing old and wise.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Hello, fellow bloggers. I am still involved in some longterm projects, so am not responding to as many emails as I would like. I will be sharing some results of these projects soon. Also, there are some technical issues to deal with. I know I am not the only one with this problem! Please be patient with me. Thank you so much. ❤

Among Friends

Photo by Bruno Martin from Unsplash.
Photo by Zachary Nelson from Unsplash.

Among Friends

Day-by day, we live on earth.

Face-to-face and virtually, we greet each other.

Eye-to-eye, we often see.

Toe-to-toe, we engage in friendly competition.

Side-by-side, we work together.

Arm-in-arm, we walk along.

Hand-in-hand, we share life’s journey.

Moment-by-moment, we face life’s uncertainties.

Heart-to-heart, we know we are not alone.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

❤ Happy Valentines’ Day! ❤

Happy Valentines’ Day to all my WordPress Friends


to my Best Friend, Robert!

Robert and Cheryl in front of a banyan tree about 2015.

A Desert Rose

Cultivated desert roses in a garden. Photo by Meggie from Pixabay.

A Desert Rose

Our little world envelops us in love,

transcending chaos that surrounds us now,

safe haven from earth’s dark duplicity,

a green oasis, peace in desert heat.

Affection in your eyes, my hand in yours,

a gentle word, a loving touch…encouragement

along our earthly path’s uncertainties.

Your inner strength sustains my fainting heart.

When threats of war surround on every side…

vile pestilence, pollution, and unrest,

ambition fades, possessions matter less,

but love endures and blooms, a desert rose.

This poem is dedicated to Robert, who fills my everyday life with happiness and joy.
Robert in a park on the Myakka River. Photo by Cheryl Batavia.
Desert rose in the African Sahel. Photo by bory67 from Pixabay.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Like the Shakespearean sonnet, BLANK VERSE is a sixteenth century form of poetry written in iambic pentameter. Unlike a sonnet, blank verse is unrhymed. It was used extensively by Shakespeare in his plays and is found in the work of John Milton and other poets of that time.

Robert’s cataract surgery is scheduled for February 1st, and the hectic schedule of appointments begins. I may be very erratic on WordPress in February. Thank you to all who sent good wishes to Robert.

Message in a Bottle

A Fantasy

Photo by Scott Van Hoy from Unsplash.

Message in a Bottle

A Fantasy

A barefoot wanderer on the sands of time,

moment to moment, no reason or rhyme,

searching for a message in a bottle along the shoreline,

but pebbles on the beach were all I could find.

Looking for the light of my life, year after year,

I sang along with the music of the spheres,

seeking someone to sing with me as we embark,

two-by-two onto an archetypical ark.

I rowed my small boat…on dry land I planted my feet.

Miracle of miracles, soon we were dancing cheek-to-cheek!

All was bright where once were darkness and strife.

I smiled at you, the light of my life!

From each rising sun to the next rising sun,

on top of the world, under the gun,

or tossed by capricious seas, we’ve had a good run.

We’ve sailed life together, and it’s been fun!

Hand-in-hand on the beach we walk as before;

a message in a bottle washes up on the shore.

With hearts aflutter and chaos of mind,

we uncork the bottle, unsettled by what we find.

With the music of the spheres our hearts are attuned,

but the message in the bottle portends impending doom.

It says, “Tis a short voyage from cradle to tomb.”

We face an epic tidal wave…The end has come so soon!

Photo by Kampus from Pexels.
Photo by Jeremy Bishop from Unsplash.

Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia