My Family 11.26.82

I started this email blast well over a month ago, revising it every time I came back to it. Forgive me for my lack of communication.  You’ve been on my mind and in my heart.

a) I’ve never been busier in my life; b) Tasks that used to come so easily seem to take a lot longer to accomplish this year; and c) I’m running on fumes.  My heart is still very raw and I’m still getting used to life without my mother as well as getting used to being in the public eye talking about her – the woman she was and the gifts she left behind.

This takes a lot of energy… but I am trusting the process.

Trust the Process

Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 31 (thirty-one-derful according to my friends) though I feel I aged 10 years this year.  Honestly, there is much to be grateful for and this birthday I was again reminded of the immense amount of love and support I have from friends and family near and far.  My 31st trip around the sun consisted of talking to my best friend and Fairy Godson in New Orleans, cleaned the house immaculate, created art and dedicated it to my loved ones, took over a section in a local club (Lizard Lounge) with 15 of some of my favorite people and danced the night away to one of my favorite bands, Session Americana.  It was truly a soul fulfilling day/night. Even the times I broke down and cried, I found it healing to not hold back my grief and tears.  I miss my Mom and my both my Mum and Dad are heavy on my mind this birthday.

Sidebar – I suggest taping your parents, children, and/or someone who is special to you singing the “Happy Birthday” song.  I did and I’ll cherish it forever.

For YOU From Moi

November 12th marked  nine months since my mother left this earth to carry on her agenda in her divine realm.  How fast the time has gone.  It still feels like yesterday when she and I spoke about what to pack for her visit to New Orleans.  She was planning on leaving three days after she died to spend a week in my new apartment •*¨*•.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*• Life.

 As you most of you know, so much has happened between her passing and now.

I started grad school at Lesley University this fall studying Dance Movement Therapy.  This  is a profession I was born to do and both my mother and I knew it even before I was accepted.  I’m enjoying the material and the process of healing myself through authentic movement.  I’m just at the beginning stages of detailed intensive case study on myself that I hope will help others who have had significant losses in their lives process their grief through body-centered therapies as well as other mindful exercises such as controlled breathing, writing, visual art, yoga, and more.  My own grieving process feels very natural.  No medication, a lot of crying, and sharing publicly and in group therapy settings.  I never knew it could be so healing.  Though the interviews can be emotionally draining hours later, I love talking about my mother …the resilient, hard-working, selfless woman she was…

Flower Mamas

I’ve had the opportunity to share my experiences with donating my mother’s organs and tissue dozens of times and am still filling my calendar with speaking dates for the next few months.  Below you will find a list of publications who covered Carmen Tarleton and my mother’s story since Carmen revealed her new face to the world.  Balancing interviews and school is challenging but I’ve managed to keep my composure and keep up with school work.

♬♪ Radio Interview 

NPR’s All Things Considered with Melissa Block 

✿~`~,~~Video Interviews~~,~`~✿

The Katie Couric Show

Press Conference ~ Carmen Reveals Her New Face 

Voice of America Interview 

The Verge (Article and Video)

Al Jazeera America (still waiting for the DVD to arrive in the mail – not online)

German TV (N/A)

German TV Shot

Chronicle is planning a 30 minute segment as well…

Printed Interviews

Daily Mail UK (very thorough)

NY Times 

Reader’s Digest – 20 page article – publication date pending (soon)

NY Times Magazine“The Lives They Lived” tribute

This story was picked up by publications all over the world.  The Daily Mail Online was the best out of the dozens I read.

Speaking Opportunities

New England Organ Bank – Training for new representatives

New England Organ Bank – Conference for ICU Nurses and Hospital Staff

UMASS Worcester Hospital – Nursing Professional Development Department


I knew that my mother helped many people, though I thought it was close a dozen.  I just got word today that I was off by 200!!  My mother’s beautiful and healthy body helped over 200 people.  This brings me comfort in knowing she has helped so many:

  • Liver
  • Left and Right Kidney
  • Facial graft
  • Heart for research
  • Bone: 194 grafts produced, 190 distributed to the following states/country:  Maryland, Massachusetts, and Utah; also to South Korea.
  • Skin: 13 Grafts Produced / None have been distributed yet to date / All Grafts will be used for Breast Reconstruction Post-Mastectomy.

My mother is famous. So famous, in fact, right now a flora-graph is being created in her honor for the 125th Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena California on New Years Day.  Her portrait will be made up of organic materials, such as flowers, coffee beans, and seeds.  It is then mailed out to Cambridge MA where, on December 17th, I’ll be hosting a ceremonial decorating party for my mother at The Dance Complex to place the finishing touches on the flora-graph.  It is then mailed back to be placed on the Donate Life Rose Bowl float.  Donate Life is flying my sweetheart, Brian, and I out to participate and pay tribute to my mother.

Read her bio and find out how you can pay tribute by dedicating a rose to be placed on the float.

Mom Rose Bowl

If you’d like to see the slideshow I made for Mum’s memorial service click below:

My Mother is Love

For all of you who sent sympathy cards, I know I’ve told most of you in person how much your words truly meant to me.  I do plan on reading them all again and taking time with my “thank you’s” and one-by-one you’ll all know how I truly feel.  I will keep your words close to my heart as the days pass.

Since it’s Thanksgiving, I would like to share a few things that I am grateful for.  A list I should carry around with me as a constant reminder.


  • The 30 years I had with my mother.  Through all of our experiences we knew we had each other to lean on.  I am proud to to be her child and proud of the way I was raised.
  • My cat Chai Love.  A big ol’ tiger cat that loves unconditionally and doesn’t know how much he has changed my life.  Great traveling buddy, I might add.
  • My supportive and loving boyfriend, Brian.  He challenges me, makes me laugh, and is extremely helpful in so many situations. I love you.
  • My life long soulmate friends I have here in Cambridge/Somerville.  Words cannot express how honored I am to be in your lives.  You beautiful, positive, creative and supportive spirits inspire me everyday.
  • My family members who were always there but not close, who then became a positive loving light in my life when I felt like I was drowning. I love you so much.
  • My new friends post-Mom’s passing.  I cannot wait to spend more quality time with you and learn your stories and dance with you.
  • The very few high school friends and MCLA friends I still have who continue to amaze me as I lurk around on your facebook pages ❤ I miss you.
  • My friends down in N’awlins. You show me how to let go of my inhibitions and be my funky self.  I love your city.
  • The Good-Stone’s. I must single out my FAIRY GODSON, Alexander Jazz. MeMe love’s you. EMJ ❤
  • Letter’s I receive from strangers moved and inspired by my mother’s story.
  • Carmen Blandin Tarleton. Need I say more?
  • Norma Canner – the founder of Lesley’s Dance Therapy program.  You have paved a way for me to follow my dreams of helping people, young and old, express their playful creative natural selves and, in turn, heal themselves.  To start a movement through movement.
  • My apartment (almost 6 years in the same place) and my roommates.  We tell each other all the time how much love we have for one another.  We’re quite lucky.
  • My mobility.  I don’t take for granted that I can twirl and bounce.  I’m blessed to have these big hips, tiny feet and hands, and a head that can whip around while I dance.
  • ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Music♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ The universal language.
  • Easily accessible food options.  Again, we’re very lucky.  Food is love and comfort.
  • Kind hearted and selfless people who do what they can to help others when they’re in need by reading the signs, using common sense, and who believe in you because they see you.
  • My mother’s friends.  I feel your love and I know how much she loved you all.

I think that’s all the energy I can give in one blog.  I do plan on writing a year review before the new year which will include our summer road trip with Mom’s ashes, family visits, and more…

Write to me.  Call me.  Send telepathic messages. And I hope to spend some quality time with you all in the new year.

Gratitude ☆*:·. Choose happiness…

Marinda SnowMarinda Snow Righter