Emilie was extremely excited, Alissa wrote, when she found the perfect gift: a Belle Barbie doll dressed as a ballerina. On the blog, Parker wrote: “Emilie said, ‘Joey loves Barbies and she loves tutus. Joey can’t talk mom, but she always touches my fluffy skirts and my Barbie backpack, so I just know she will love this!’”
The day after the shooting, Parker grabbed the invitation off the fridge. She said she wanted to make sure Joey knew that Emilie cared so much for her.
“The next morning,” Parker wrote, “Robbie told me there was a list of all the names of the children from the shooting posted on the Internet. … I read over the list as fast as I could. I felt sick as I read each name and recognized almost all of them as Emilie’s friends. One name in particular stuck out to me; it was Emilie’s friend Josephine Gay, or Joey for short.”
She contacted Joey’s mother and told her how sad she was about not giving Joey Emilie’s gift.
“Her response was so incredible,” she wrote. “She said, 'You know what, I know those kids are having a birthday party in Heaven.' I was so thankful for the sweet vision that came to my head of all those little angels, together playing and singing 'Happy Birthday' to little Joey.”
She wrote she had an instant connection with Joey’s mother, Michele.
Parker said writing stories like that have given her a voice.
"A lot of people want to know what's going on, but they don't want to have to constantly call and ask for updates, but they can feel connected through our process as well," Parker said.
Each entry shows great sadness but also extraordinary love from a mother blogging to heal. Several things have helped her in her healing, she said
“I think my kids have been extremely instrumental in my healing process," she said. "The things that they say to me, just being a mother and caring so much about your children, it’s been interesting to have them be so instrumental in my healing.”
On March 1, Parker wrote about helping her daughter Madeline write a card to send up to heaven for Emilie. The card said, “Dear Emilie, I hope that you are fine up in heaven. So I know that you talk in my heart. Love Madeline.”
“I wrote down her sweet little message word for word,” she wrote on the blog. “Sometimes I feel like she is teaching me more than I teach her. I love that girl.”
Parker also takes a lot of comfort in her faith. “I think a major, major contributor has been the many, beautiful prayers that have been offered on our behalf,” she said.
And she finds comfort from family and most important, she said, from her husband.
She recalled going to Utah to bury Emilie. "I don't remember conversations or decisions I heard that took place. Just fog," she wrote.
She said she will forever be humbled by the love and kindness she felt from Utahns.
“In Salt Lake, we got the biggest hugs from all those there in Utah when we came during a very tough time in our lives,” she said getting very emotional. “It was so amazing to feel that love and support from so many people. I don’t know if we will ever be able to adequately say thank you to all those who provided that for us. But we are so grateful for all the support that we received in our little home base of Utah.
"We hold a special place in our hearts for all of you.”
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