T-ball Field To Be Named In Memory Of Drew Marlow

April 15, 2008

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Cyndi Marlow stood alone in the middle of a simple, unfinished dirt t-ball field Monday afternoon. A cold wind blew across the nearby wheat field as she stood holding a small, child-size Florida Gator bat.

It was Drew’s bat. A brightly colored little bat, with scuff marks on its fat end where Drew played hard with it.

It was Drew’s dream to play t-ball. And Drew’s dad dreamed of the day he would see his son give that ball a good strong whack off a tee at the ballpark. It does not matter if a little fellow gets to first base in that first game. Dads will cheer; dads will smile with pride anyway for their sons. It’s just what dads do. Danny Marlow looked forward to that day with great anticipation.

But Monday afternoon, Cyndi Marlow stood alone on that field at the back of Walnut Hill’s Bradberry Park. She did not hold the bat dangling from her hand or just in the middle like most people hold a bat. She held the bat close to her heart with both hands before posing for a picture with Drew’s bat. On Drew’s Field.

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Drew and Danny will never see that field. Two year old Drew Marlow and his dad Danny Marlow died January 28 in an accident on Highway 97.

The Northwest Escambia Little League has voted to name the new t-ball field at the back of Bradberry Park “Drew’s Field” in honor of Drew’s dream.

“We were going to go play t-ball,” Cyndi said with a smile. “That’s all Drew talked about. “

“He would play and play with this bat, his very own Gator bat,” she said of her son, gently rubbing a finger along the handle where Drew would hold the bat.

She laughed a little. “Well, it was more like golf when he played with it. He could not really hit the ball unless it was on the floor, or unless Danny held it is his hand and let him hit it.”

Drew and Danny spent hours playing with that blue and orange bat. Dreaming of that big t-ball opening day they both just knew would come when that little boy with a big number “3” on his jersey stepped to the plate.

Danny had it all planned out, down to the jersey number. Drew was Cyndi and Danny’s “miracle baby”…he was their third attempt at in vitro conception.

“We were just so excited. But then we went to the doctor. They rate the chances of the embryo surviving on a scale of one to five. A four or below has a small chance of surviving.”

“The doctor rated the embryo as a three that was Drew. A three out of five. We knew it was all in God’s hands.”

drewmarlow.jpgAnd God blessed the Marlows with a healthy sandy blonde baby boy they named Drew.

“That’s where the jersey number ‘3’ came from. Danny always said ‘could you imagine if he was a five’,” Cyndi said. “He always wanted Drew to wear ‘3’ in his first t-ball game.”

“I kept thinking that I wanted to do something so that they would be remembered. My family was always at almost every ballgame. I wondered if they (NWE) would let me make a field and call it ‘Drew’s Field’.” When she approached the NWE Board, they agreed to make her dream a reality.

Now the rush is on…the plans call for Drew’s Field to be ready for dedication on closing day, June 6. The biggest expense, Cyndi said, will be the memorial marker for the field.

“We have quite a few volunteers ready to help us on making this happen,” she said. “I’m so excited. I have mixed emotions. I’m still sad, but I’m really excited about it. It is quite an honor for it to be named after him.”

“I still cry every day,” she said. Up this point, she has fought back the tears during our interview. Now she wipes the tears from her eyes. “It’s been hard.”

“I was overwhelmed with your printed comments,” Cyndi said, referring to a Memorial Message Board and a blog that was published here on NorthEscambia.com. Dozens and dozens of people from the community posted their thoughts and comments about the tragedy.

“I’m really sad. But it makes me feel good that he touched so many lives,” she said.

“There was this family that told me they started going to church. There was this lady that bought Bibles for her children. Drew’s story has changed so many lives.”

“Everything is for His glory,” Cyndi said. “I’ve been asked why I am not mad at God.”

“But I am not mad at God. I don’t understand it,” she said, fighting back her emotions. “I know God has a purpose. And I try to think about the good losing my husband and my child has done for others. To bring glory to God.”

“I was blessed to have him two and a half years,” she said of Drew. She paused and took a deep breath to get the words out. “I love him. I really miss him.”

A fund will soon be established at an area bank if you would like to contribute to Drew’s Field. NorthEscambia.com will post information on how you can help as soon as the fund is established.

 

To read the NorthEscambia.com blog from February 3 entitled “Go Home Truck”, click here.

To read the “Tragedy In Walnut Hill: A Memorial Message Board”, click here.

Pictured top of page: Drew Marlow’s bat on first base at Drew’s Field. Pictured middle of page: Cyndi Marlow holds Drew’s bat in the middle of what will become Drew’s Field. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

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