CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- It was a true labor of love: A local woman has spent the past year crafting handmade quilts for the family of Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zackari Parrish, who was killed in the line of duty.
“I kind of felt a calling to make something,” Rachel Sears said.
Sears has spent countless hours and spools of thread, using her hands to show Parrish's family that she cares.
“I can’t fathom what Gracie is going through,” Sears explained, referring Parrish's widow.
Deputy Parrish was gunned down in a New Year’s Eve ambush. His wife and two young daughters were left without a husband and father.
“If you close your eyes and imagine it, and I’m hoping that it feels like Zack’s hug, like he’s hugging his wife, he’s hugging his daughters… like he’s there," said Sears.
Law enforcement agencies from all over the world donated patches to her cause.
“Afghanistan, Germany, three different agencies in Canada, there’s Alaska,” Sears explained.
One quilt will be donated to Gracie, one will be given to each of Parrish’s daughters and Sears presented another to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office on Monday morning.
“Wow. My goodness,” one deputy said. “We know the enormous amount of work this had to be, and for you to do this -- we really appreciate it.”
“It’s a great representation of Zack,” Captain Brad Heyden with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Sears dealt with a round of setbacks during the 11-month process. For instance, her first sewing machine broke.
“The needle wouldn’t go up and down, and I was getting irritated,” Sears said.
She was also sidelined by four surgeries, but still, she persevered.
“I pushed through it because that’s what Zack would have done,” Sears said.
Although she never met the Parrish family, Sears hopes the quilts will offer some type of comfort to the family of the man who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“It’s been an honor. This was my way to give back," Sears said.