Saying Goodbye

Friends Throw Parade Before Family Moves to Florida

OnThemed around the movie “Lilo and Stitch” is one of the many cars that took place in the parade. It was decorated with flowers, posters and even the characters. Stitch was Daily’s favorite Disney character.

With social distancing measures in place, seeing friends is more difficult than ever. Students were unable to celebrate life events with their friends, so others got creative and started doing drive-by parades. On May 2, eighth-grader Rachel Daily got a special surprise, a good-bye parade from all of her friends.
“Just knowing we’re stuck in our houses, not being able to say goodbye to our best friend,” eighth-grader Landrie Graham said. “We did one for my cousin’s birthday and it gave me the idea to do it for Rachel.”
The Daily family is planning on moving to Florida the week of May 18 and left two weeks before to go look at houses to move into. When they return to Gretna, they will be considered high-risk, which meant Daily could not go out and see her friends before she left for the last time.
“When I saw the line of cars full of my friends, I didn’t know how to react,” Daily said. “I was trying to hold back tears while I was smiling, looking at what great friends I had. By the end, I was balling my eyes out knowing that this might be the last time I see them in a few months.”
All of her friends knew about Daily’s love for all things Disney, and most of the cars were decorated with some sort of Disney theme. These themes included Whinnie the Pooh, Lilo and Stitch and Tinker Bell. Along with the parade, her friends brought her gift bags.
“We knew Rachel loved Disney so we decided to do Disney themed cars,” eighth-grader Marin Eby said. “We all made sure that no one had the same theme, and everyone got to pick their theme and everyone was happy with it.”
Daily was not the only one to receive the surprise. Her siblings knew about the parade, but they did not know that their friends would also join in on the action. The Daily’s parents worked to keep this a secret and helped to reach out to their friends. It was especially hard for their mother, Miss Kileen Larsen.
“Surprises are really hard for me, I get so excited about it that I want to share it usually,” Larsen said. “This time it was different with all that is going on in the world and in our lives, I knew this surprise was needed. It was touching to me that Rachel’s friends would think of not only her, but her siblings.”
At the end of the parade, a few of the parade participants stopped by to say goodbye to their friends, some tears were shed, and another memory made. On May 2, Daily went with her parents to Florida to pick out their new home.