Emilie Parker laid to rest; family, governor call her an inspiration to all

Published: Saturday, Dec. 22 2012 4:15 p.m. MST

During the funeral service, Emilie's father and cousins talked about the young girl's love for drawing.

"If you left her a notebook, it was like giving a kid of piece of candy," recalled Robbie Parker, who said every page in the notebook would quickly be filled.

Many of Emilie's pictures were framed and hung up around the stake center on Saturday. The songs sung during the service also held special meaning. The two opening hymns, "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Silent Night," were the hymns Emilie and her sisters had been practicing to sing at a Christmas pageant that was supposed to happen last week.

"I appreciate you guys singing that together since she won't have the opportunity to do that," her father told the congregation.

After the ceremony, Garrett said hearing those songs was a special moment.

"She had been practicing these songs, and we sang them to her because she was unable to sing them to us," said Emilie's aunt. "It was special because her little sisters were sitting on my lap and they were singing the words of the songs and they were smiling and they would go and pick a flower off of Emilie's casket and just dance, threw their flowers in the air and they were celebrating Emilie and her life today."

A choir made up of all of Emilie's many cousins said the LDS hymns, "I Am A Child of God" and "Love One Another" were songs that represented Emilie. Ben Marcheschi played the musical selection "The Waterfall" on the piano, a song that Parker said he would play on his computer and he and his daughters would dance around the room to it.

Robbie Parker also recited the lyrics to Empty Chair at Empty Tables from Les Miserables, noting that while the words seemed appropriate, it was not the way to remember Emilie. Parker recalled how is daughter loved to draw the cartoon character Puss in Boots, how she was a great communicator and could speak full sentences by 18 months and then joked how she got a lifetime of talking in during her short time on Earth.

A smile

Calebe Garrett, Emilie's oldest cousin, recalled how Emilie would make him smile just by the way she talked. He recalled her artistic and creative side and one day where he helped her draw a picture. He still has that picture.

"I carried Emilie's picture in my wallet ever since. I never knew it would mean this much to me," he said.

Now, Garrett said it's memories of Emilie that will help him get through this tragedy.

"Emilie was so special to me…remembering Emilie, we will be happy."

Robbie Parker said it was around this time of year that the family would read Christmas stories. Emilie's favorite was "The Legend of the Candy Cane." At Emilie's last Primary meeting at her ward in Connecticut, Parker said the class was talking about the symbols of Christmas and Emilie knew all about the candy cane. On Sunday, Parker said he received a  letter from Emilie's teacher about how much she had impressed everyone.

"Every time we see a candy cane we will be touched by her testimony," he wrote.

Parker said his daughter was always willing to help around the house, take care of her siblings, and because their family had moved around so much in recent years due to Robbie Parker's work and thus not able to make many friends, Emilie became that friend they were missing.

"There was something about her presence from the moment she entered this world that we knew we'd received a special gift," Parker said.

He ended his remarks with tears in his eyes, when he recalled talking to Emilie after her grandfather died about how Heavenly Father missed him, and she said, "I think Heavenly Father misses me too."

He said Emilie possessed the Christ-like attributes of pureness and innocence of children, and said little children are alive in Christ.

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