Yesterday I decided to have a pity party for myself. Thankfully it only took me a restful night sleep to snap out of it.
This evening I noticed an interview on CBS with Emilie Parker’s parents, a little victim of the Sandy Hook Tragedy, the news anchor mentioned that Alissa, Emilie’s Mother, had started a public blog. I quickly searched it, found it, and began to read her archives but it was one posting in particular that really touched me, “An Unexpected Letter.” In it she writes of a charcoal drawing of Emilie she received only days after the shooting. The drawing was accompanied by a letter,
I was immediately impressed with the drawing and was convinced it must have been drawn by a seasoned artist. To my surprise, it was drawn by an amazing seventeen year old girl who wrote us one of the most touching letters. In it she said, “Your daughter touched one more life….my own. At the time of all this occurring I was pleading with God to give me a sign on which path to take with my life, to be an artist, a path that was unsure and I feared, or to peruse a more generic career, that may not mean happiness. This is the sign I was asking for. I realized my passion is for art, it is what I was meant to do. Next year I am attending…….State University and I’m going to major in Art. I will always remember that little girl whom inspired me to follow my dreams, that beautiful girl named Emilie Parker.”
Alissa goes on to share the dreams she had envisioned for Emilie–she remembers practicing her sight words nightly and making sure she could read every book her teacher sent home. In the end, though, Alissa realizes it’s not the memory of which sight words Emilie could or couldn’t remember or which reading level she had advanced to…
After loosing Emilie, it is strange how I value all these moments so differently now. I don’t care nor do I remember which sight words she had down, but I remember how much we laughed and cheered together while we practiced them. I don’t remember what reading level she had achieved, but I do remember snuggling up with her on the couch and watching the excitement of a whole new world being discovered through her eyes in the story she was reading. At meal times, she didn’t always eat her vegetables and she could never seem to stay in her seat….but there was never dull moment as Emilie would tell us story after story and we would all laughed together as a family. I look back and have no regrets about Emilie’s life with us. It wasn’t about being perfect or always doing the right thing; it was about experiencing and loving life together as a family.
She goes on to reveal her hopes that her daughters fulfill their passions in life–that they choose a path that will make them happy most of all. She marks that she hopes she can make her daughter proud with the life she chooses to go on living.
Much of my bad day centered around my disappointment and uncertainty in my choices. Wondering how I will make a career out of the education I have pursued. This post gave me a new perspective, though, that is, we only have one life to touch our dreams and make others proud. We just have to follow the possibility, take the risk, and remember what counts is the experience and memories we sketch along the way.