In a recent blog post (12/30/09 – New Life Rises at the 2010 Rose Parade), we wrote about honoring one of Maryland’s tissue donors, Tarrence Regan-Mitchell during the 2010 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. On New Year’s Day, and several days leading up to the parade, Tarrence’s mother Tamala, was able to travel to California to take part in all of the activities leading up to the big event, including putting the finishing touches on her son’s floragraph (a visual representation of Tarrence made from seeds and flowers).
We asked Tamala to chronicle her adventure in Pasadena and share it with us and all of you. Of course she said yes. “It was my pleasure to be there, to meet new people from all over and share our stories of our loved ones together. I am so humbled for the opportunity,” she added.
So, here is Tamala’s commentary from her adventures at this year’s Rose Parade. We hope you enjoy her experience almost as much as she did.
“We are finishing up the float, I am having the time of my life, I did a cry of joy” – Text message from Tamala (Dec. 31, 2010) putting the finishing touches on Tarrence’s floragraph. She will receive the floragraph in early 2010 to keep and cherish.
“Working on the float – it gives me a better perspective, learning how important our message is” – thoughts during the final preparations of the float.
“I have been so moved from all of the love and warmth from the staff, family members, and others during the entire trip. Thanks LLF and the entire Donate Life community for doing what it is that you do” – Tamala at one of the Rose Parade receptions for float riders and participants.
“There are really no words to describe the true essence of being honored, seeing the floragraph, seeing the floragraph on the float, and being able to be a part of the process. I feel like a kid who has everything and I truly do give thanks to my son, God, and the entire staff of Donate Life” –reflections on her overall experience.
One of the best things about being a member of The Living Legacy Foundation is having the opportunity to meet and get to know our wonderful and amazing donor families and transplant recipients – many of whom are LLF volunteers. Like Tamala, their positive outlooks on life and heroic stories of courage, generosity and second chances inspire everyone at LLF to put forth our best effort every day.
Thanks Tamala for sharing such a special and joyful experience with us.