In memory of Emerson Batsche

BY SUZ ROBINSON, Guest Columnist
Posted 6/12/20

Here he came, this blue eyed child racing after his older brother and sister to the morning games at Clapping Hands Farm located just west of Pittsboro. He must have been around 6 years old. From the …

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In memory of Emerson Batsche

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Here he came, this blue eyed child racing after his older brother and sister to the morning games at Clapping Hands Farm located just west of Pittsboro. He must have been around 6 years old. From the looks of him you could tell he hadn’t been out of bed long. His sandy brown hair had cowlicks sprouting up and it appeared that he was allowed to dress himself. I laughed aloud as I watched him race after his siblings.

How wonderful to be so carefree!

I quickly became friends with his entire family. Fast forward a few years and he was trying desperately to be as good a skateboarder as his older brother. However, as I’d watch them racing all through Pittsboro, it was obvious that he just didn’t have the knack of it yet. Again, I’d pass by laughing as I watched the interaction between the two brothers.

Then, I saw another side of Emerson. He had joined his mother at a gathering of Buddhists from around the country. He had chanted with hundreds and felt the love that arises from each of us when we join with others to spread love, peace and compassion. This same love was apparent when I took his brother and him tubing down the Haw. We had just put in at the Bynum Bridge when he noticed something sparkling in the water. He dove from his tube and came up with pieces of costume jewelry that had sunk to the bottom of the river. The glistening blueness that emanated from his eyes almost caused me to weep.

He was so filled with joy! “Look what I found, Suz! Let’s go get the rest of it, Forest! We now have presents for Mom and Kailie,” he said. With that the two brothers took turns diving beneath the service to see what treasures they could unveil.

The years continued to pass and Emerson now joined Forest as we painted the mural across from the old General Store, now known as the Pittsboro Roadhouse. Their mom would pick them up after attending school in Bear Creek and drop them off with us. They were so very, very happy to be a part of the community mural we were creating. I can still see them the day the two of them, along with their good friend Tony Sanders, placed large traffic cones upon their heads and began dancing for the rest of us who had gathered to paint that day. Without a doubt these were two brothers who loved one another, their family and life itself dearly.

Years passed and the next time I spent any measurable time with Emerson was after the unexpected death of his very good friend Laura Summers. These two bright lights had written their own lyrics and music for songs that they performed together. Emerson joined me as we sat in Laura’s room with her mother. I listened and felt their deep love for her as the two of them showed me her treasures and shared stories about her life. Later, I asked Emerson if he’d be willing to share a few words at her memorial service that was to be held at Shakori Hills.

At first he declined; however, he reflected deeply upon his loss and asked if his mother could read his words, should he be unable to speak them. This simple request by him showed me once more how very close he was to his mother. The two of them had hearts that reached out to all humanity. Their connectedness was so intense, so phenomenal and so endearing. The day of the service, as Emerson arrived, the look he gave me let me know that he had reached peace with himself and Laura’s departure. I knew intuitively that he was ready to share with everyone there the depth of their friendship and the tremendous loss he was feeling.

As he spoke tears flowed freely from many of our eyes. This type of love shared openly and freely seldom occurs in our world, especially today.

That day, I knew the magical child was now a magical man who was unafraid to express himself with all of his creativity. Through his poetry and music he attempted to reach all of us to help us understand that we are all apart of a much greater whole. I can only imagine the good works he will now be offering all of the universe.


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