Mike Parker In Memorium

Mike Parker In Memorium

By Eduardo Martinez

Eduardo, Jovanka, and Mike on the Richmond Greenway for the MLK Day cleanup

A giant has fallen,
Greater than the sequoia towering above others
Roots embedded in the past
Rings encircling every year of endeavors
Reminding us that “the circle will be unbroken,”
This circle of community formed by his force
His vision, his words, his compassion.

I wasn’t in the forest when the tree fell
But I can imagine the rush of air making way
As the branches swish their way to the ground
Whispering the words of John Donne:
“Death be not proud…”
Followed by the thunder of the trunk
Shaking the ground like an earthquake.

I’ve spent days trying to find words
Eloquent enough to share your name
But they’re lost like the letters of a Scrabble game
Scrambled as they fall from the table.
Every memory of you tumbles, a kaleidoscope
Of words I wish I could have shared
And you in the back of my head
Reminding me that we as individuals
Are worthless as solitary words
Until we string ourselves together
As sentences, paragraphs, stories,
Until we lift our voices in song
To celebrate the sky
With stars within our reach.
Because you’ve shared that light in your eyes,
My story will be your story
And every act of kindness that comes from my heart
Will be from your hand and your smile
That says, “well done.”

Eduardo Martinez is a two-term Richmond City Councilmember and RPA Steering Committee member. He announced his candidacy for Mayor of Richmond on January 15, the day Mike passed away. Until several days prior, Mike provided Eduardo's campaign team with invaluable guidance and support.