Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook Hero: Robbie Parker



As the mother of a first-grader who attends public school in our violent society, news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting feels personal.  I feel the same emotional roller coaster stomach drops as I did during the four months I watched my brother drink himself to death a couple of years ago.  Senseless.  Helpless.  Life is so fragile.  If we're lucky enough to live into old age, we realize how ironic it is that just when we start to figure life out, we're dead.  For others whose lives have been taken far too young, as survivors we can't seem to stop asking why.  Why?  Why---

I've been teary-eyed off-and-on all weekend, but I've had to continue to perform in my roles as librarian, wife, and mom.  At work I see random kids walking with their parents to find a DVD on the shelf and, after catching one of the parent's smiling eyes, I nearly burst into tears at how grateful those parents must feel this weekend, having their child so near they can watch a movie together.  At home I try to think of something else to talk to Will about so I don't drive him insane with my worry, but the only other thing on my mind this weekend has been our sick kid.  So yeah, the best part of my weekend has been wiping snot from my child's nose.

It's been a really fucking awful weekend.

So how is it that this amazing dad, Robbie Parker, whose daughter was gunned down in the Sandy Hook massacre is making statements that make me feel better?  Wow.  Did he really just give us a sermon on helping others and striving for compassion the day after his six year old bright light was blown out?  That is a man of faith.  I need some of what he's believing.

This is what he said to the family of the man who shot their daughter:

I can't imagine how hard this experience must be for you, and I want you to know that our family and our love and our support goes out to you as well.

This is what he said about his daughter, Emilie Parker, and her legacy:

She always had something kind to say about anybody.

and 

This world is a better place because she has been in it.

What an amazing tribute to a person.  What more could any of us want from this life than to be known for saying kind things about others and to make it a better place?  Robbie Parker, you are my hero.  And so are you, little Emilie.