[On June 2] I attended a memorial service that I never imagined I would attend, a memorial no parent could imagine attending. The passing of my daughter Sophia touched and affected so many people, from law enforcement and search-and-rescue personnel ... to Sophia's day care providers, her friends, [and] people who only knew her from what they read in the newspapers.
I am so thankful that we were able to come together to remember my beautiful daughter. ... Without the incredible support shown to my family over the past weeks it is doubtful that I could have reached a point where I am able to write this, let alone get through life on a day-to-day basis. To all of those people I give my heartfelt thanks.
I especially want to thank the staff and administration of Humboldt State University and the HSU Children's Center for so graciously providing the space for us to come together. Over the past years Sophia and I spent much of our time at the university, Sophia loving her school as much as I loved mine. We could not have thought of a more appropriate place for this gathering.
We also would like to thank Sun Valley Floral Farms for their wonderful donations. Sophia's room is filled with flowers, cards, and photos today. That room shines bright with the love that will always be expressed for her. To Naomi Steinberg, for her spiritual guidance and Joanne Rand for the beautiful music we are deeply grateful.
When Sophia's relatives from Chile arrive we plan to hold a more private ceremony, possibly one where Sophia's ashes will be spread with the winds both here and far away in her mother's home country.
There are countless families who are out there experiencing tragedies of their own. We stand together with them and share in their grief. I hope that their communities are as strong as ours and can extend the same kindness and compassion that my family has experienced over the past weeks.
-- Robert Parker