Robbie Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter, Emilie, died in the Newtown tragedy last month, wrote a text message that his brother, Jeremie, read to those in attendance at Jamey Newberg's event on Monday at Sherlock's in Dallas to raise money for the families of those impacted by the tragedy. Rangers fans have contributed more than $40,000 through Newberg events to the funds (and other Rangers bloggers have collected money from fans as well to increase that total).
Jeremie, who lives in Keller, went on the air with Ben & Skin on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM on Tuesday morning and read Robbie's text. Here it is:
We would like to express our sincerest appreciation for all of the support, love and prayers offered for the families of every victim in this horrible tragedy. Your support has been felt and has touched all our lives in a very personal way. Thank you is not enough and feels inadequate to express our gratitude.
Feeling that support from the Rangers organization and their fans is something that is very dear to me. I took Emilie to her first Rangers game when she was 3 months old. As I traveled around the country for my schooling and clinical rotations she also watched Rangers games with me in Seattle and Boston. She stayed up with me to watch World Series games and shared my disappointment with me afterwards. On December 13th, the day before the shooting, Emilie and I received news that Josh Hamilton had decided to sign with the Angels. I was a little discouraged. Emilie, in her way decided that she wanted to help. She suggested that we all go out to dinner to cheer daddy up! It worked and we had a very memorable dinner together, the last dinner we would have together as a whole family talking about how great the Rangers would do this year anyway!!
I am so proud to be a Ranger fan, because I know that as a fan I actually belong to a community. I am glad that I was able to share that community with my precious daughter and that the same community has reached out to her and let our family know that she is remembered and loved. Thank you for all you have done to support our family through this time. GO RANGERS!!
Robbie Parker and family
Jeremie shared some stories about Emilie on the air. He talked about how she was older than her six years and that she would spend whatever time was necessary to complete a project.
"She taught adults more about life than adults taught her," Jeremie said.
He said Emilie wanted to help people in any way she could. That included praying for Jeremie and his wife as they had difficulty trying to conceive a few years ago.
"No matter what happened, she said, 'Dad, we have to pray tonight,'" Jeremie said. "When we finally found out we were pregnant and it was far enough long that we kind of knew we were out of the woods, we called our families and let them know. The first phone call we made after our parents was to Emilie. I let her know that your prayers have been answered and my brother said that she didn't say anything, she just had this big smile on her face. She told my brother, 'They're going to have a baby now.' She handed him the cell phone, turned around and walked away like, 'My mission's done. I'm finshed. I'm going to go on.'"
Robbie took his daughter to some Rangers games, and she got a home run ball from David Murphy at one of the games. Murphy became her favorite player.
"I talked to my brother before the event (Monday) and he sent the message to me," Jeremie said. "He's been very moved by all the love and support of the people of North Texas and the Ranger fans."