When Alissa Parker lost her daughter Emilie in the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting, she started a life-changing journey to answer soul-searching questions about faith, hope, and healing. As she sought for the peace and comfort that could help mend her broken heart, she learned, step by step, how to open her heart to God's Grace and will.
One step brought her face to face with the shooter's father, where in a pivotal and poignant meeting, she was given an opportunity to forgive. Another step brought her into the sheltering compassion of her community as family, friends, and even strangers reached out to buoy her up with their shared faith. And several miraculous manifestations of Emilie's continued presence and influence lifted her heart and will validate the faith of every Christian.
The story of Alissa and Emilie reminds us that the bonds of love continue beyond this life and that despite tragedy and heartache, we can find strength in our family and our faith.
I clearly remember the day that Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children and 6 adults. I was at the elementary school I work at now. I remember the horror I felt as the details started to come in. But the emotions I felt were nothing compared to those of those who lost a loved one that day. Alissa Parker's 6-year-old daughter was among the twenty children whose mortal lives ended that day. In this book, she walks the reader through her experiences both leading up to that day and the year that followed. I'll admit that I shed plenty of tears reading this tender account of a mother's love for her daughter, and the grief that followed her loss.
As Alissa and her family struggled to deal with this tragedy in their lives, they sought for a way to somehow find healing in the face of utter heartbreak. I can't really do Alissa's account justice, I can just recommend that you read it. Yes, it's a story of tragedy and grief, but it's also a story of family, friends, and compassion. It's a story of evil choices made and the resulting anger and bitterness that often accompany such things. But it's also a remarkable story of forgiveness, and peace, and God's love. The photographs that accompany the story reveal a beautiful little girl who touched the lives of many, far beyond her years, both in life and death.
I admire Alissa's willingness to share such an incredibly difficult experience with the world. And even more so the tender experiences of prayers answered. While the story revolves around a tragic event, it still manages to show beauty coming from ashes and the love that God has for his children and His willingness to help us through the challenges we face.
I am currently working as a elementary school librarian which I love. I enjoy sharing books on my blogs of which I have two (Geo Librarian and LDS and Lovin' it). I also review for School Library Journal.