Emilie Parker, 6: One of many victim’s stories worth telling
All of the stories of the many victims of Adam Lanza and his madness are worth telling. And it was Adam Lanza and his madness that killed so much innocence, not any implement, or number of them, gun, or otherwise. Six-year-old Emilie Parker stood out so soon for me because it offered a glimmer of hope and inspiration amidst so much horror.
Among the 20 children killed is Emilie Parker, the daughter of Robbie and Alyssa Parker who grew up in the Ogden area. They still have family in Utah, family that like so many others boarded flights and headed to the small town of Newton, Conn., to offer and receive what comfort they can.
Her parents were actually photographed here – see below.
Robbie and Alyssa Parker leave a firehouse staging area following a shooting at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. where authorities say a gunman opened fire, leaving 27 people dead, including 20 children, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
The photo below is from a slide show here in this story via KSL.com, with an additional story here. Emilie Parker (below, right) was the oldest of three children. The quote below is from her grandfather, Randy Parker.
“My son and his wife are tucking their children into bed, and there’s an empty bed. And it breaks my heart,” he said.
Emilie Parker’s father Robbie Parker is quoted in another story via the AP. I can’t imagine his pain, or the vision that allows him to speak as he does there. Perhaps it’s part shock, or part needing to go on for his other children. Maybe it’s a form of grace he’s being given simply to endure. I have no idea.
Emilie Parker, 6, student
Quick to cheer up those in need of a smile, Emilie Parker never missed a chance to draw a picture or make a card.
Her father, Robbie Parker, fought back tears as he described the beautiful, blonde, always-smiling girl who loved to try new things, except food.
Parker, one of the first parents to publicly talk about his loss, expressed no animosity for the gunman, even as he struggled to explain the death to his other two children, ages 3 and 4. He’s sustained by the fact that the world is better for having had Emilie in it.
“I’m so blessed to be her dad,” he said.
There’s a Facebook page and fund set up on Emile and her family’s behalf. I’d encourage readers to visit and support Emile and her family, along with the many others impacted by this tragedy. I simply cannot imagine what they find themselves forced to endure.
A Facebook page called the Emilie Parker Fund was set up Friday, eliciting heartfelt sorrow among strangers, friends, well-wishers reeling from the tragedy.
“I’ve been crying for you all day,” posted Suzy Steed. “I’m so very sorry for your loss. I will continue to pray for you.”
Wrote Angela Hoerst, “Sweet baby … robbed of her life too soon. You have all of my tears this day little one.”
Friends say the tragedy is the second to hit the family in just a few short months. The girl’s grandfather and Alyssa Parker’s father, Douglas Cottle, of Ogden, died in October — 10 days after a bicycle crash in a race he participated in from Logan to Jackson, Wyo.