My Friend Grimes “Bimmy” Parker

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 care for 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 to Jeff’s chest quickly, 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, I thought, would be the coolest thing to learn how to do, and he did it every year. Every time I saw a bag of peanuts still in the hull, I would smile because I knew someone in my town who planted 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 would, he would be sitting in a chair in front of his garage in the driveway with his legs crossed. I can imagine the conversations we would have had if only I had stopped by for a visit. Regret can send you into a whirlwind of thoughts when someone close to you passes away.  

“But wait, I was going 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 with them.

I was so honored when he called and asked me to be on the basketball camp board.

The first Grimes Parker Basketball Camp Invictus stands out most in my mind. All the dreams, hopes, ideas, and plans that he and Steve Fleming had came to 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 we think, “Whew, it would take a lot to make that happen,” and then we put them in our back pockets or, worse, throw them away. If only we had held on to that thought, that dream, that idea.  How many lives would have been richer if we had pursued it further?

There is never a good time to lose a friend or loved one. No matter how prepared we try, it’s out of our control. Writing a letter to Bimmy and telling him how much he has enriched my life is a very 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 to 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 at or 336-250-1133. I would love to hear from you.