Remembering Drew

Samantha Patterson, Editor in Chief

October 3, 2021 was a day full of tragedy, anger, tears, shock, and utter sadness. I spent most of the day crying, thinking of how to put my thoughts and feelings into words that would also honor Drew in some way.

Drew was one of my oldest friends; I am lucky enough to say I have known him the majority of my life. We were in the same first grade class when we were six years old and continued to go to the same elementary school together until the fifth grade.

Over the years, we drifted apart, going to different schools, but I have been able to hold onto the memories of our friendship at Grahamwood Elementary, and make new ones during our time together at Rhodes.

When I think of Drew, I think of the smile that took up half of his face, his crooked smirk, the jokes he would make in passing, and his horrible handwriting we would always joke about in school.

I remember laughing with him as he took spelling tests on a computer, and it would keep autocorrecting. I remember joking with him about how he used to hold a pencil incorrectly. I remember playing kickball with him on the playground, accidentally tripping him, and him absolutely wiping out, cuts and grass stains all over his knees. I remember being so embarrassed about doing that to him, and while he was in pain, he was still so kind to me afterwards. I remember having a crush on him when we were ten for five whole days because he was the goofiest kid in class.

After years of not seeing one another, I saw him again walking out of Hassell Hall with his trombone in hand. I couldn’t help but scream his name, run up to him, and give him a big hug. Seeing him smile that big smile again was oddly comforting.

I’m happy I have been able to know Drew for over 15 years. I can’t help but smile when I think of how we started school together fifteen years ago and would finish together as well.

Most of all, I feel so lucky that I was able to see him the Friday of homecoming performing with the Jazz Band. When I talked to him after the concert, he was wearing a black polo with the Babalu logo on it. I asked him why he was wearing that and Drew, a musician and human person, said “This is the only black shirt I own,” while I laughed at the avocado on the right side.

I’m so glad I got to hear his laugh again, but it doesn’t feel like enough to end a 15-year long friendship. I know many of us are left with this feeling of wishing we had said or done more. I wish I could have known that was going to be my last interaction with him so I could say more, share my memories of him, let him know how embarrassed I was when I tripped him playing kickball in the third grade.

I had no idea Drew’s effect on my life was this great. I implore you all to reminisce about your time with him and share your memories. Let’s support one another, and especially those close to him, by coming together and acknowledging the life we were lucky to enough to be a part of.