KELLER — In the living room of his Keller home, Jeremie Parker wavered between smiles and tears.
The memories of his niece, Emilie Parker, bring him joy.
The reality of what happened to her and 19 classmates in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school last Friday brings him immense sadness.
"Her mission isn't over," he said of six-year-old Emilie, "she just got called to another one."
The Christmas card from his brother in Connecticut is hanging on the refrigerator door. It arrived in the mail on Saturday, not even 24 hours after the unthinkable happened.
It shows Emilie with four-year-old sister Madeline, and three-year-old sister Samantha, alongside a beaming mother and father; a family now facing something no family should have to face.
"There's no words," Jeremie Parker said, shaking his head.
Emilie was one of the twenty children killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Her father, Robbie, lived in Arlington as a little boy. His oldest brother Jeremie moved back to Texas a few years ago, and is now a middle school teacher in Irving.
Within the last couple of years, Jeremie said, Robbie brought Emilie to a Texas Rangers game back in his old hometown.
"She would walk into a room that may be dark, but when she walked in, there'd be light," Jeremie said. "She knew what her role in life was, and that was to make everyone else smile."
Jeremie said he had never met a child like Emilie. He described a girl who was kind, generous, and wise beyond her years.
"She would always see good in people. She would walk up to strangers who looked sad and ask them, 'What's wrong?'"
"We were together last year at Thanksgiving and I was having a bad day," Jeremie added, fighting back tears. "She just gave me a huge hug."
He said she was intuitive and always helpful. And that's how he pictures her final few moments on Earth.
"Emilie would be that kid in the room, helping somebody," he said, "because that's who she was."
When Jeremie and his wife were struggling to conceive, Emilie, then four years old, began praying for a baby for her aunt and uncle, without ever being told to do it. She prayed for six months straight... and her prayers were answered.
Jeremie's son Kepler is now 22 months old.
"My first phone call outside the parents was to Emilie," Jeremie said. "That's Emilie. That's what I know of my niece."
He added: "I know a nation's hurting, but Emilie would not want us to be angry and make rash decisions about anything. She'd want us to come together, love each other, forgive each other, and to make this place a better place to live."