Remembering a friend in writing can help heal the soul

Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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By KC Smith

Cooleemee Correspondent

My friend, Grimes “Bimmy” Parker, passed away recently and I can’t bring him back.

Early Monday morning before I was about to jump in the shower before leaving to take care of our granddaughter, my husband said my name in a way I knew something was wrong.

“Bimmy passed away last night,”

It was like a silver magnet pulled me quick to Jeff’s chest and I held him tight.

“I thought they were working on removing the fluid from his heart and then they will treat his kidneys and wake them up?”  That was what I was praying for, but it didn’t work out that way.

Wait a minute.

He didn’t teach me how to plant peanuts. Planting and harvesting peanuts would be the coolest thing, I thought, because he did it every year.  Every time I see a bag of peanuts still in the hull, I smile because I knew someone in my town who plants these things.

I’m sure he would have taught me, if only I had asked.

Duke Street isn’t a street I drive down often but several times when I did he would be sitting in a chair, in front of his garage in the driveway with his leg crossed.

I can imagine the conversations we would have had, if only I had stopped by for a visit.  Regret can send you in a whirlwind of thoughts when someone close to you passes away.

“But wait, I was gong to, I could have, I should have.”                    

Those thoughts sure don’t fill the void.

The memories lift me up though and I saturate my mind in them.

When he called me and asked me to be on the basket ball camp board I was so honored.  The first Grimes Parker Basketball Camp Invictus stands out in my mind the most. All the dreams and hopes, ideas and plans that he and Steve Fleming had came into fruition that day and I’m so happy I was there along with so many other volunteers  to see the magic happen.

“So what do you think KC?”

“I thought it was fantastic Bimmy and I can’t wait for the next one.”

So many great ideas come to us and then, “whew, it would take a lot to make that happen” and then put it in our back pockets or worse, throw it away. If only we had held on to that thought, that dream, that idea.  To think how many lives would have been richer.

There is never a good time to loose a friend or loved one.  No matter how prepared we try, those times are out of our control.

Writing a letter to Bimmy, and telling him how much he enriched my life is a healthy thing to do. Putting thoughts down on paper clears the mind and heals the soul.

I hope his chair will be sitting where he used sit in that driveway, so I can drive by, stop and leave a note or two.

Grimes  “Bimmy” Parker, a Master of Cooleemee, will never be forgotten.

Feel free to contact me,, or 336-250-1133. I would love to hear from you.