Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Family Circle Celebration

Saturday we attended the Family Circle Celebration at CMH to honor Abrielle's gift of life through organ donation. We were presented with a pink rose in the vial, both like the one that was on the float.

The inscription on the vial reads,"In memory of Abrielle Neff- Children's Mercy Hospital honors the family of Abrielle Neff for their decision to donate life"

The vial was not filled with water. Instead, a card was attached to the rose that said, "This vial may appear empty, but it represents your dedicated rose that will live in the Family Circle Garden on the 2009 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, Stars of Life. Please fill it with love and give it a special place in your home for your rose will shine brightly amongst our stars."

We were also presented with a certificate commemorating the rose on the float,
and a Family Circle pin. (Sorry for the glare, but it looks like the roses in the certificate above.)

The card states,"This pin represents the families who are touched by organ and tissue donation. The large rose with the heart in its center symbolizes the donor and donor families who generously give the gift of life. The two smaller roses symbolize the recipient family and the families of those who are waiting. The green circle connects these families in donation and together they make up the Family Circle."

The poem "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was read since it was one of the meanings behind the float.

In one of the stars

I shall be living

I one of them

I shall be laughing

And so it will be

As if all the stars

were laughing

When you look

At the sky at night

Both the families from my Friday post were at the ceremony and spoke. Merle talked about his story of receiving his heart, his experience at the parade, and the work he is doing to help promote donation. We then got to see up close pictures of the float and learn more about it. The symbolism was explained and we were able to see families placing the rose dedicated in honor of their loved one. The donor family that had the florograph on the float then spoke, with the young man's younger brother talking. He talked about losing his brother in a car accident and helping with the float. This young man did such a wonderful job speaking in front of everyone. I was very impressed because he was probably 12-14 years old. Afterwards, Mady said she thought it was neat he talked about his brother and she wished she could have talked about Abby. (Maybe someday) We were also given a Willow Creek figurine called Angels Embrace - Hold close that which we hold dear.

We also had a responsive reading that always makes me cry (not like I wasn't crying any other time). It is called "We Remember Them"

In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them.
In the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.
In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them.
So as long as we live, they too shall live, for now they are a part of us, as we remember them.

The last two Midwest Transplant Network donor quilts were also there for viewing. The quilt that Abby is on still has three more squares to be added before it will be complete.

Since this is getting really long, I will continue with my thoughts and feelings on another post.

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