At yesterday’s memorial service at Sojourn Community Church (New Albany campus) I read this eulogy that I wrote for our son Parker David Gilles, who died in childbirth this past Sunday, October 21. We are amazed at the continuous outpouring of love from our family, friends, our local church and all of you who have come to our blog or offered prayers and condolences through social media:
2012 was the year our family was blessed to have our son, Parker David, journeying with us. He joined the rhythms of the Gilles family when he was conceived the 2nd week of January. What a joyful journey began then! As His Creator was knitting him together in his mommy’s womb, God was also knitting our family together in a beautiful way. We knew God was giving us His perfect provision for our family in this precious one’s life.
Parker joined us in celebrating three family birthdays in January, two in February, one in March, one in April, one in May, one in June, one in July, too many to count in September, and finally his own on October 21st.
But prior to his birthday, we had 42 weeks of enjoying Parker’s growing presence in our lives. Every meal, every game, every story time we shared together as family around our dinner table included our little buddy. His big brothers often boasted at meal times about their big brotherness and eagerness to meet Parker. They also helped us pick out his Parker name (by suggesting possibilities like Paco, which were easy to eliminate), and not less important his wrestling name, Parker the Punisher. This was fitting given that his brothers have earned their own titles at school on the wrestling mats.
Parker may not have understood everything we said or were doing in our home, but he was surely familiar with the rhythms of his family’s life together: the sounds of housework, meal times, movie nights, NASCAR and football Sundays with Daddy, Bible reading, story time and prayer, big brothers rough-housing, mommy singing and playing the piano and guitar, daddy singing freshly-scribed lyrics (or a host of his long-time favorite tunes), family and friends in fellowship together, moments of quiet and rest, and loads of laughter. Parker was present for all our family’s moments this year and that made them all sweeter.
Parker also knew the rhythms of walking and swimming since his mommy made sure he got plenty of exercise and fresh air while he was growing inside her. And his daddy made sure he took plenty of extra hikes and walks in these last few weeks too.
And Parker, like his mommy and daddy, appreciated good food! He tasted deliciousness from all over Louisville and Southern Indiana, and even in places like Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina where he got to travel with us. He especially enjoyed ice cream. He had ice cream almost every night, in fact. And that made him (and his mommy) very happy.
We had the privilege of sharing our church family with Parker too. Not only did he join us in our gathered worship times and receive the warm hospitality of our brothers and sisters in Christ, he was a great addition to the Sojourn Music Team and came along for all of mommy’s rehearsals at home and with the band for Sunday morning worship. He was also resting snuggly inside her while she and daddy composed more than 20 songs (and countless blogs!). As a member of our family, Parker heard the Gospel every week in our conversations, prayers and songs and our pastors’ sermons.
We all watched him growing from the outside, as God was growing him inside and preparing him to know fullness of joy and life in Christ Jesus. Parker was overwhelmed with the love of Christ through the tremendous overflow of demonstrative love, powerful prayers and praises poured out to God on his behalf by all of our loved ones.
As God has given us great joy in sharing our lives with Parker for the last 42 weeks, He will continue to comfort us with joy and peace as we remember the beautiful family time we had with him here, and long for more family time together in Christ’s kingdom, where Parker is continuing his journey of knowing the Lord, feasting at His bounteous table, being held in His strong embrace, laughing and praising His name, and watching his family as we journey on here, while he waits with Jesus to welcome us into our heavenly home.
We love our Parker David Gilles, and are so thankful for God’s provision of joy and countless blessings through his life to our family. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
OBITUARY FOR PARKER DAVID GILLES
Parker David Gilles was born into the arms of Jesus on October 21, 2012 after 42 weeks of being masterfully woven together in his mother’s womb while journeying with his family here on earth. He is survived by his Daddy and Mommy: Bobby and Kristen Gilles, three big brothers: Garrett, Logan and Connor Gilles, Papa and Nana: Bob and Claudean Gilles, Great Grandma: Eleanor Creech, Granddaddy and Mamaw: Steve and Mindy Smith, Uncle Ben and Aunt Susan Smith, Aunt Julia and Cousin Jayli Smith, Uncle David and Aunt Mandi Smith, Uncle Darrell and Aunt Trisha Gilles and cousins Caleb, Collin & Mia Gilles, Uncle Scott and Aunt Emily Gilles and Cousins Sam and Stella Gilles and a score of beloved great uncles and aunts and second and third cousins.
Thank you for reading our post. You can download our 4-song worship album “The Whole Big Story” for free in the top-right sidebar of this website. We’ve also heard from many churches who have enjoyed leading these songs in worship services. If you’d like to do so, download free chord sheets from the “Gilles Music” tab at the top of this page. And you can subscribe to this blog for free by clicking the RSS icon or signing up via email in the right-hand sidebar.
– Bobby & Kristen
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