HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Gracie Parrish fought back tears as she read a heartfelt goodbye letter to her husband, in front of thousands of law enforcement and community members who gathered to pay their respects to fallen Deputy Zackari Parrish:
“I’ve written many letters to Zack.
Some were love notes while we dated. Some were letters tucked inside of his suitcase when he traveled. Other were emails that I’d write to him when my words couldn’t seem to make the cut.
They were often filled with dreams, words of affirmation, and encouragement. But sometimes they followed an argument where I was just too mad to talk, and I needed him to understand where I stood.
Letters have always been a way for me to process and express my heart, so it only felt right to compose this final letter to the love of my life.
This is a letter that I never thought I’d write. It is one filled with grief and sorrow, pain and heartache. But it also filled with pride and joy.
Joy for the amazing ten years I had with him, and pride for the man he was.
It’s a letter that I hope my girls can read one day and feel every ounce of love I have for their daddy. I want them to know him as the amazing father and husband that he was, but I also want them to know his passion for his career and desire to serve and protect.
He loved his job. As soon as he was sworn in, his blood turned blue. So in turn, mine did too.
So to my hero and the love of my life: you are my once in a lifetime. You are my hero and my best friend. You gave me a life of adventure and love. You could make me laugh so hard my cheeks would hurt. I’ll never forget slow dancing with you in the kitchen, or the way you’d hold my hand. You challenged me, encouraged me, held me accountable, and pushed me to be a better human being every day. Watching you hold our newborn baby girls and weep over them will forever be etched in my heart. I never thought I’d feel more pride than when I saw you as a daddy.
Babe, you are an amazing father, and loved your girls so well. I promise to raise our girls with the Lord as my focus. I promise to raise them in a home that bleeds blue. I promise to teach them to kick a soccer ball, have a love for music, and the outdoors. I promise that I will not teach them to drive when they turn 16 and instead get your brothers in blue to do the job.
I promise to tell them every day that their daddy loved them to the moon.
You, my love, are my hero. I am honored that you chose me to be your bride eight and a half years ago. And knowing what I know now, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
You are my rock, my heart, and my soulmate, and I am so proud of you. I will honor you and celebrate you with every fiber of my being for the rest of my life.
So save a seat in Heaven for me, and meet me at the gates when the Lord calls me home. I can’t wait to be held by you again.
All my love, forever and always.”