I did something really stupid before I started writing this post. I went back to see what I had written on this day last year and the year before. I was thinking about going back to my old blog to read the posts from each of the previous years. But I haven’t done that yet. I may not do that at all. Because, by the time I got to the end of the post from two years ago, I was in tears.
It’s not because I’m sad. The grief that still exists eleven years after my Dad’s death has nothing to do with sadness. It has everything to do with missing him.
I haven’t been sad about Dad passing away for a long time. Maybe I’m lying to myself about how these emotions really work. In these moments when I miss him so much that it hurts, am I allowing sadness to creep back in?
Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with feeling sad. I don’t know… I’m not sure I even know where I’m going with this. In fact, this has nothing to do with what I’d planned to post today. So I’m going back to my original plan.
Several years ago, I got on Facebook and asked people who knew Dad best to share their memories of him. What follows are just a few of those incredible reminders of how good a man Grayson Lee Peck was.
- So many good memories. I would say my favorite was his laugh (chuckle I guess you would say). It would always come after a dry humorous line and always with you and April. –Landon (my cousin)
- There are a lot of memories I could share–but his ability to sing anything and anywhere were outstanding! –Debra (friend)
- When we would take a road trip every Monday night to sing with you in Kim’s choir in Bluefield, we made an evening of it–we solved all the world’s problems. –Jake (friend)
- …The many times that your dad would chirp like a bird, and then stop… look around with his head slightly hunched down, his eyes rolling around, like… is there a bird in the room? Such great memories! –Teresa (my mom)
- Lee had a very giving, selfless heart. He never wanted to be in the limelight. Even when he sang he was so humble. I’ll never forget the first time he sang at North Roanoke. I had never seen him before and I was amazed at what I heard. I can hear his voice in my head and am so thankful that I was blessed to have known him. –Gayle (friend)
- A lot of people have mentioned how well you’re Dad sang and I too loved that (will never forget him singing his heart out with the old oxygen tank right by his side. What an inspiration to keep on going when the going gets tough), but having him in my Sunday School class at different times, that guy could also put many a chef to shame with his cooking skills. –Kim (friend)
- I remember several of the things mentioned above about your dad: his humor, his voice, his sausage balls and other delectable baked goods. But, when I think about your dad, I also think about the fact that he was unpretentious. He always seemed accepting and without a lot of preconceived criteria for how others “should” or should not be. I really think that was a gift to our family. –Lindsay (my cousin)
- What comes to mind instantly is how shy Lee always was. When he was a little guy, he was the one ducking his head or hiding behind Mom or Dad’s leg. I remember once we were visiting Freddie and Popi who had an old-style wringer type washing machine in their kitchen. Lee didn’t like the spotlight and would hide under the washing machine….thinking “if I can’t see them, they can’t see me!”–Nancy (Dad’s sister)
- My favorite was when he told me that he put my senior year picture on the fridge just before I came to visit so it would look like it had been up there the whole time. I was just glad he had finally taken down my 5th grade picture! –Summer (my cousin)
Like I said, these are only a few memories that people shared. I know I said it was stupid of me to re-read those old posts, but I don’t regret the tears I shed. Because, in reading these words and sharing these memories, I’m able to enjoy even more laughs. Those of you out there reading this post may not even crack a smile at some of these, but that’s only because you didn’t know him.
I wish you had.