Sunday, May 10, 2015

Coach Smith's Parker Tree Dedication Letter

Parker's Tree was dedicated this past Saturday and sits near the main entrance of campus.
Note: Coach Smith sent me this letter yesterday evening after the conclusion of a day of honoring Parker. Beginning with a 5K race (Parker's Run) out at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and the dedication of a tree on campus in a small ceremony.

Dear Catdome Family,

Whenever you experience a great loss in your life there is an immediate tidal wave of emotion and grief.   If you are fortunate to have a support group around you, there is an outpouring of support and concern that will help you survive that depth of grief.    However, time passes and the world moves on.   For those most affected by the loss, the devastating and crippling immediate pain diminishes, but what is left is a constant hole and sting.   From an outside observation it is easy to believe a person has moved on and healed, but the truth is one will never fully heal from losing someone they love.   All it will take is an unexpected trigger to present itself and that constant small sting will ignite and flare up.

I believe to best honor someone you have lost; you do your best to honor them with how you choose to live everyday.   You fill that hole inside you with your faith, and you fill that hole inside you with the memory of whom you lost.   If you make that person part of your life, you will never fully lose them.

I believe our program is attempting to do that with Parker Moore.   We really miss him.   During this time of year in the weight room he is noticeably absent, as he was such a great trainer and worker.    We have much diversity in our football team:  geographical diversity, financial diversity, ethnic diversity, urban/rural diversity, religious diversity.  We are a true melting pot in many ways, except one.   All these young men want to be part of our Culture.  They want to be immersed in Excellence and learn to do things the Linfield Way.  That is why they came here.  That is why we have had so many students over the years choose Linfield, and why such an unusually large and talented group of recruits choose Linfield this year.

Today we celebrated Parker Moore and the life he lead with a 5K Run put on by our business department and business majors.   Linfield also dedicated a Tree, Landscape, and Plaque in honor of Parker over by TJ Day Hall in a small ceremony.   I thought this was an appropriate time to share with all of our supporters and alumni who experienced this tragedy with us, how we are doing.   I know that many of you hurt vicariously for us this fall and I want to recognize and honor that with this small update. 

I want to share these notes for the words I spoke about Parker today:

Parker was the Model Linfield Football Player
He Loved Football, He was of High Character, He was Talented
Every coach fell in love with him- the first time they met him.
    -Parker embodied everything we want this program to be
    -He IS what we want the Linfield Football Stereotype to be
We know he was not perfect, but He was everything Good about Linfield.

Team Focused- Parker put others above himself
Great Worker-   Parker was a true Man of Action
Mentally and Physically Tough
Yet, Compassionate-  Parker cared about others
He was funny and witty- he got people,
Parker brought levity and humor, and intensity, all at the same time.
And those eyes and smile, it would get you.

I know everyone in our program is a better MAN from having known Parker;
and we are all Better men from having lost Parker. 
The perspective we have gained about what is truly important to live for,
and his example of how to live a rich life, are gifts he has given this team. 

Our team has gotten perspective much earlier than they would have.  
Giving us more time with which to make a difference with our lives.

I believe from having lost Parker, the McMinnville community is closer than ever.
The Parker Run today was a testament to that.

I see our campus is much closer as well.

However, I believe the full effect of Parker Moore’s life is still to be seen and felt. 
I believe our Nation will be positively influenced through the lives of Parker’s teammates.
They have seen first hand what it is like to live as a Compassionate Man of Action.
Someone who did not sit and whine, but rather rolled up his sleeves and gladly did his share of heavy lifting.
He also did the lifting too heavy for others around him to bear.
His Teammates have witnessed what living a full life looks like.

They have seen what it means to put others first, and to be a Wall for others in times of need. 
They have also seen what it means to be a Hammer, when action is needed. 
Input does in fact equal output.  
The input Parker has given his teammates will make a difference in their own lives,
and these young men will go out into our Nation and be the leading citizens in their communities.  
The Full effect of Parker Moore won’t be felt until several generations from now when countless diverse men and women are living lives enriched and enhanced through contact with Parker’s teammates.

It was an honor to coach you Parker, I hope we have made you proud.
More importantly, I hope we continue to make you proud. 
You have set the standard high for us, but we will give our utmost to try and reach it.

Well Done Mr. Moore.
I love you Parker
There will be a 3.5K Memorial Run/Walk put on by the McMinnville Police Department September 20th.  Also in September, Linfield will be dedicating a memorial for Parker that will be built over by the football stadium.

Coach Smith