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Cling Tightly

Written By Maddison Stafford

Current Series: What Peyton Means To Me

When Oakley reached out to me about writing a blog post on who Peyton was/ what he meant to me, I of course said yes without hesitation! Little did I know how hard it would be…Not because I didn’t know what to write, but because there is SO much I could say about Peyton!

I was blessed to have grown up with the Weddle family, as we were neighbors for fifteen years. My family and I were often referred to as “the neighbors with the pool” because the boys would spend the majority of their summers hanging with their friends and swimming! Growing up being the only girl in a neighborhood full of boys was tough, but I always remember Peyton including me in everything they did! Through the years, Peyton and I created a bond that was more like family than best friends. He was my right hand, my go to! Even in our ups and downs, that bond never wavered. Two words that come to mind when I think of Peyton are loyal and genuine.

Like I said, there is so much I could say about who Peyton was, but there are three specific qualities I admired most about him. Beginning with the fact that Peyton was the most selfless and welcoming person. Those who knew Peyton would probably agree that he would give the shirt off his back to make sure you didn’t go without. He was always putting others before himself. I loved that about him. Peyton was definitely a people person. He would befriend anyone he came in contact with, no one was a stranger to him. And if I’m being honest, for a homeschool kid, Peyton was hands down the most popular person I’ve ever known. But I truly believe that is because he made everyone feel accepted and valued. In addition, Peyton’s presence provided so many people, including myself, with a sense of comfort and peace. He just had that effect on people. Peyton was truly one of a kind. His smile had the ability to light up a room and his laugh was contagious. You couldn’t be around Peyton and not be happy.

Secondly, Peyton was a hard worker and was always dedicated to what he was doing. When I think of the hard worker Peyton was, a few things come to mind. One being catering with his Nana, another being his golf game, and life in general. He worked hard to get to where he was in life. Even when obstacles came his way, he responded with grace (the majority of the time). Overall, Peyton was dedicated to ensuring his future was successful. He had big dreams and I always loved listening to him tell me all about them.

Lastly and most importantly, I loved that Peyton was a man of God. He was a natural leader and a man of action. Peyton was extremely giving; he would go out of his way to provide for the poor and needy. He would always stand up for those who couldn’t defend themselves but did so with love and compassion. Proving that Peyton was an extremely humble person. And although Peyton was always up for a challenge, he never let fear or the thought of failure hold him back. He continually trusted in God, believing wholeheartedly that God would guide him to exactly where he needed to be. Even if that meant packing up everything and moving to Seattle for a period of time.

While the loss of Peyton was (and still is) absolutely heartbreaking, I believe the legacy he left behind is one that will last a lifetime. He impacted every person he came in contact with and I believe that speaks volumes to the type of person Peyton was. He loved well and the love he had for others knew no bounds.

I miss Peyton each and every day, but I am hopeful that I will see him again.

Until then, I will find comfort knowing he is watching over me as my guardian angel and cling tightly to the memories he and I created through the years.

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

Matthew 25:21


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