Family members of past donors and recipients gathered at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere to celebrate life on November 12 as Donate Life Tennessee held its traditional celebration, ‘Tenn. Donor Services’ Celebration of Life’ with invited guests in the gallery of the Croft Center Building.
“The Celebration of Life is an opportunity to share a memory of your loved one by submitting a photo an/or a tribute,” said Marsha Williams of Tennessee Donor Services (TDS). The excerpts were used in a presentation. Family members were asked to include a photograph of those to be remembered for a quilt block for the Donor Family Quilt.
“The quilt has been lovingly created by donor family members in memory of those who have given the gift of life,” said Williams. “Each quilt square incorporates pieces of memories commemorating the life of your loved one.”
The program began with words of comfort for the families from a donor parent, Jo Ann Farrell. This was followed by words from a heart recipient, Dee Stewart, after which Shawnah Singleton, TDS Family Care coordinator, made donor recognitions.
A moving portion of the ceremony was the pouring of sand from one vile into different urns.
Dazia Kelton’s siblings chose pink sand as it was her favorite color. Dazia was a 14-year-old who passed October 23, 2014. Her memory was shared at the ceremony by her twin sister, Gamezia; another sibling, Tyriq Vaughn; her mother, Takeasha Bann; other loving family members, including her father, grandfather, grandmother and auntie.
“We will always continue to love and cherish our beautiful Lady Bug,” said Janice Johnson, Dazia’s grandmother.