By: Emily Eileen Moreshead
‘Everything is connected!’ is the phrase I remember from devouring my latest read, ‘An Unseen Angel, written by Alissa Parker. Alissa is, if unfamiliar, the mother of Emilie Alice Parker, one of the twenty-six souls lost at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. While you’d assume the novel is a hard sell because of the subject matter, it was actually a very comforting book. It helped me to see this child in a light other than the shadow surrounding her untimely demise. It was a captivating read, a privilege to be able to share in one family’s journey from tragedy to a ‘new normal’.
Born on May 12, 2006, Emilie Parker has held a special place in my heart ever since her death but knowing her through her parents helps me to see her through her life. She was a kind, generous, little girl who would go out of her way to help her younger sisters, her parents, her family, strangers even. She was a person who saw the light in another’s eyes and not the darkness, and she cultivated it in herself! Quite the artist, Emilie always noted the familiar ebb and flow of life and remarked that ‘everything is connected!’ on more than one occasion. She, at six years old, already saw the infinite possibilities that the world can hold. What a feat for an adult, never mind a child! Emilie has shown more love, care, and compassion than many and this little angel will stay in my soul forever. What a testament to her parents who we have only come to know through tragedy.
Tragedy does not define us, though, and I truly believe that if Emilie had lived through what was the most traumatic day of her life, she would be the little girl helping the rest of us to heal, hope, and continue on in an uncertain world. Because despite the disparities of life, we as individuals can always change our focus to trust, believe, and hope. We must. The angels we have walking beside us can help. Angel Emilie.