Tuesday, August 17, 2010

James Parker

Jen Mecca had a great post the other day about getting off the merry go round for a weekend to take time for her and her family. Here is a very good reminder why we all need to do that. It was a great post, if you missed it, check out her blog on my blog roll.

Gerry worked with James Parker at the News-Record in Greensboro years ago, both of them photographers there. If you have read the Greensboro paper for awhile you might recognize his name. Gerry had so much respect for James, he is one of the most decent people I have ever met, youth minister at his church, never used profanity, said his small prayer before each meal, strong in his faith and kind to every single person he met. James would buy a meal for a homeless person when he barely had enough for his own meal.We got a message yesterday that his daughter, who had just left for her freshman year in college had been killed in a car accident. The News-Record ran the story and it was a very hard article to read. Here is just an excerpt from it:

James Parker will never forget those awful moments Saturday morning after he looked out his front window to see two Highway Patrol officers conferring on the street.

He thought they were lost and seeking directions when they approached his door to deliver the message that is every parent’s most hideous nightmare.

“One trooper said, ‘Do you know Arielle Parker?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I’m her father,’” he said, fighting back tears. “That’s when it hit me. That’s when I said, ‘Is anything wrong with my daughter?’ ”

I'm just writing this to remind everyone with kids that are driving to tell them to watch for those stop signs. The 18 year old driving the car Arielle was in ran a stop sign and was hit by a truck, killed instantly.

I'm also writing to say, it's ok to let the clay wait if your family needs you. Clay is demanding, it requires constant attention, it's addictive, but it is not your family, not your child, not your wife or husband. Say yes to your family before you say yes to pottery. The clay will wait, you never know how long you have with your loved ones. When we got this message Wesley was out in her car with a friend. Let me tell you, all I could think was how badly I wanted her home, so I could tell her to stop at stop signs and be hyper aware while driving. I just can't begin to imagine what this family is going through right now and they have been on my mind all day. Go give your kid a hug for me!! xoxo

If you knew James and would like to read the rest of the story it is here


cookingwithgas said...

Absolutely heart breaking.
I am so sorry for their loss.
And Tracey about family- you know how I feel as I struggle through the issues with mine right now.
You have helped me though to remember that family is the number one and the clay will have to wait.

Tracey Broome said...

Clay can wait Meredith! It will all work out for the best for you, just love them all while you have them and cherish the memories they give you! I'm sure your family knows how much you care for them!!
In the story it says that Arielle spoke to her her mom at 8:46am and was killed at 9:15am. How does this happen?!?! I just can't get my head around it!

Hollis Engley said...

That's a very sad story, Trace. You do the very best you can to raise the kids, then send them out into the world and hope for the best. Not an easy thing to do. And not always a happy thing. Our son and daughter-in-law climb mountains and work in search-and-rescue. They are as careful as anyone can be, but stuff happens sometimes. Hope this family can bear up to the loss. It sounds like they're well-equipped.

Bert said...

Interesting that your post is on a day where my wife and I have spent all day by her dad's bedside waiting for him to pass. He didn't today, but should sometime this week. As you said, "Clay can wait".

Bert said...

Update: My father-in-law passed away at about 12:30 this morning.

Kari Weaver Hopkins said...

That is so sad. I'm so sorry for the pain you friend and his family are enduring.

We all need a reality check every so often. Between Jen just realizing that she had spread herself too thin to this tragic loss, it makes me want to keep the kids home from school, play games and make cookies with them. I think I'll go snuggle them awake.

Tracey Broome said...

Hollis, I used to climb and paddle whitewater and my mom fussed all the time about it, now I see why. Every time Wesley walks out the door I worry. Bert, so sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you and your wife!!
Kari,I know what you mean, this is my last year with Wesley home, she leaves for college this time next year, I just want to lock that door and keep her safe!

andrea said...

Wow. Carpe Diem. I think sending my youngest off to school really reminded me how important they are to me and why I chose to dedicate my time to be with them as they were beginning here in this fragile life.

I can only image what you and your friends family are going through. Unimaginable.

You are right... what you wrote in my blog... I will get to know me again and it is okay that it was lost for a while.

Thanks for the reminder to say I love you as much as possible and to cherish my boys, even when they don't want me too ;o)

andrea said...

just one more note... this is an amazing blog about a journey of the life with a little boy who struggled through it with pure joy. The father is an amazing writer and it always helps me to focus on what is real in my day.