HOUSTON (FOX 26) - It's one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. We're not talking about Las Vegas but Newtown, Connecticut.
You'll remember most of the victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were mostly 6 and 7-year-old kids. One of those little girls who went to school that day and never came home was Alissa Parker's daughter Emilie.
"Emilie would be 11 now," Parker says. "We think, all the time, about where she would be in life and how she would look," adds Parker. The mother of three doesn't have a choice except to imagine her little Emilie marking every milestone. The 6-year-old was shot to death along with 19 other first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"It's been a struggle. Of course losing my daughter was really hard to pick up the pieces but I learned really quickly to become the person I was before, just wasn't possible." The grieving mother knew she would never be the same and wanted to do something to keep other families from the same pain. So instead of joining the gun control battle or any political issue, she co-founded "Safe and Sound Schools".
"We kind of felt like it was non-productive to join an argument. We didn't want our kids lives to be defined by something divisive."
Parker is in town teaming with Houston Crime Stoppers as she works to keep schools safe.
It was December 14, 2012 when 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mom at home. Lanza then went to Sandy Hook and killed 27 more people including himself. Now the latest mass shooting in Las Vegas has taken 59 lives and injured more than 500.
"Any time I see people suffering I feel that same feeling. It doesn't just happen when those tragedies happen. It happens every day."
Parker says forgiving Lanza meant freedom for her.
"Just being in a position where I could just hand that over to God. He can judge him. I don't have to. I don't have to carry that anymore. That was very liberating for me."
The mother of three says surviving such a tragedy is a work in progress. She credits support groups, including with other Sandy Hook families, for making a world of difference.
Parker also says she has a list of things to do "a mile long" to help work through the grief. Rather than being overwhelmed by the length, she takes on one task at a time, tackling only the top item on the list and taking recovery one day at a time.