DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- Gracie Parrish, the wife of fallen Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zackari Parrish, read a final emotional goodbye to her husband at a large funeral service held Friday.
Gracie and Zackari have two children and in her letter to her husband, Gracie speaks of her desire to leave her girls with the raw emotion and outpouring of support that accompanied their father's death.
"This is a letter I’d never thought I’d write. It is one filled with grief and sorrow, pain and heartache but it is also filled with pride and joy. Joy for the amazing 10 years I had with him and pride for the man he was.
"It’s a letter I hope my girls can read some day and feel every ounce of love I have for their Daddy. I want them to know him as the amazing father and husband 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 would 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 our 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 a love for the outdoors. I promise not to 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 choose 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 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."