Sunday, December 24, 2006

Not Out of the Woods Yet

First, let me say that I am grateful for my husband, my daughter Angela and my son Mark.
I am grateful for that stubborn streak I have, with all of its threads, that attach themselves in a different way, to every area in my life.

~* I fiercely love my family
~* My faith cannot be removed
~* No one can tell me it can't be done

The incredible vigil that my husband has been consistently keeping has been 'super human' and it again confirms, that he is my knight in shinning armor.

My daughter has taken up the slack with grace and deep strength. She has watched her Momma fall apart and her little arms have held me up for 7 full days now. I would be lost without her.

The faithfulness of ALL OF YOU has been life changing. Our entire world has taken some very difficult hard hits this past decade and your display of support (in the midst of the busiest time of the year) has restored my hope in all human beings. I think that you too, have been a witness, as well as a participant, in this phenomenon. I think there really can be peace on this Earth as it is filled with people like you. I am not prepared to celebrate Christmas this year, but I will never forget what Christmas is about and regardless of the outcome of my situation, I have been given the greatest gift of!

Update #12~ Mark still has a fever, but it has gone down a pinch. He is still loosing blood, but less than yesterday. Today he had a CT Scan of his head for his severe delirium. He had an ultra sound in his left groin area to check for blood clots. If it shows positive, Mark will have surgery to install a net to keep any clots from traveling to his heart or lungs.
I was leery to go and see him today, not wanting to upset him and disrupt any possible healing. My husband said that we are not out of the woods yet and if anything were to happen, I would forever regret not seeing him, even if it were for just a moment. I got dressed and went to the hospital.

I entered the room and quietly walked to his side. I rubbed his '5 O'clock shadow' cheek and whispered, "Hi my love, mommas here." He opened his eyes and focused on my face. He peacefully closed his eyes and let me rub his forehead. Then the agitation began and my husband said I better go. Mark said, "Nnnnooo I want these things off of my arms. I ddoon't want to be tied down. Ddoon't go mom." The nurse came in and started scolding him for struggling with the straps and moving around. He then said,

"Ddoon't go, I waaant tttoo huuug mmmy moooom!"

He wanted to hug me.....HE wanted to HUG me?.....HE WANTED TO HUG ME!!!

They untied his arms, put down the side bar and I gently fell into his neck and chest. His big man arms encircled me and he held me tight. I took a deep breath of my sons scent and with as much strength as possible I kept telling him over and over that I loved him. He had to be told to let go of me...and again he asked me not to go. I did and I stopped just outside his door and shook from head to toe. My eyes misted over and I smiled. I felt like I had just received my first kiss and the peace that washed over me was tangible.

I fell silent all the way home, closed my eyes and relived that blessed moment over and over again. I will dream that moment, I will wake up to that moment and I will press that moment into the most precious memory of my life.

We don't have the energy to celebrate, but I was given the greatest gift of all...the purest love from a son, to his momma.


Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Sweetheart ... that is so beautiful. Your precious boy is holding on to his dear momma ... because in times of crisis it is the ones we love the dearest that we need to touch, hug and hold.
I am glad to hear of the small improvements ... I know these are baby steps, but valuable ones. I pray for Mark, I pray for his medical team, I pray for his beautiful mom, and I pray for the rest of his family.
Much peace and love to each and every one of you.
Your friend,

10:14 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I was just checking in before mass...oh, this made me cry happy tears for you. Yes, he just needed to hug and hold his mom! You are solid ground to him!
Just goes to show, no matter how old we get...sometimes we still just need our moms.

What a beautiful Christmas gift.

oxox :)

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Abby said...

I have been following your story and I am so happy that your son was able to give you this gift today. My hugs and prayers remain with your family.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Teresa Sheeley said...

I do not need to go to mass tonight either, I don't need anything but to see this love between a mother and her son. My eyes are full, full of tears and all I can feel is such deep love for this family. The meaning of Christmas is so great to me and you have made it mean even more.

My baby boy is getting ready to move to Montana, and I have just a few days left with him here--I don't want him to go--but have too.

This gift Mark gave you was the most awesome Christmas present ever. You give me strength to let my baby go away from me. You have given me eyes to see the most important things.

I am sitting here sobbing profusely and am praying the biggest prayer for you and Mark. I am glad you have a rock (your daughter) to lean on. She is most precious. And give that knight in shining armor a big hug!! He sounds heavenly. What a great dad he is being.

Please know that there is much love coming your way from this snowy corner of the world.

Love you Darlene!

10:30 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

what a wonderful story. i'm sure that special hug gave both of you strength. fingers crossed that the healing continues over the coming days. it would be a mighty fine gift to all of us to know that you were getting the good news you need to hear. i thought of your family as i spent time with my own today (Christmas in Sydney).
take care,

10:36 PM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

WoWieeeeeEEEEE! What a wonderful wondrous GIFT! Darlene! I'm soooo Glad to hear this and you have a HAPPY moment to cherish!!! Happy Christmas Eve! sweet pea! GOD BLESS us all! XOOXXOXOOXOXOX, Cinda ps. Now I can go to bed with a smile and a sigh instead of such a heavy heart! sigh

11:00 PM  
Blogger Pink Granite said...

What wonderful gifts: Mark to you, you to Mark, all of your family to each other. We are still here, holding all of you in our thoughts. Wishing you peace and increased health for Christmas. - Lee

11:15 PM  
Blogger Libbys Blog said...

What a beautiful gift he has given you, as you said to be treasured forever. My thoughts are with you and your family.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Goddess of Leonie said...

Dearest Dars,

Your boy loves you with all his heart... I know this to be true... and you are a healing angel for him... and what he said to you... he was asking you because that's what you are to him... a healing angel... he can be his most raw and honest with you as he goes through such huge physical changes...

praying for mark's temperature to go down ~~~ for the healing to be filled with grace ~~~

on this christmas day, i want to send love to you and your family.

in love and light

11:19 PM  
Blogger zorana said...

I'm so glad that they allowed him to hold his mom... We all want to hug you. Wishing for a Christmas miracle for your family.

11:22 PM  
Blogger a m y said...

This made me cry such happy matter how much us kids grow up, the truth is, a hug from mom makes it all better, at least for a moment. Mark loves you so deeply, honey, and you are his rock and strength during this time.

Bunches of love and light to you and your family. I said a special prayer for you tonight, and my entire church is praying for you, also.

11:23 PM  
Blogger amy said...

We sang this carol in church today. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day. Here is the first verse:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

In amidst the chaos may you and your family have peace today. I will pray for your son to have the quiet of God's peace in his heart and in his body.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

it's christmas morning and what a gift to read your words Dar - that hug is one to treasure forever. a mother's love can heal all wounds - i really do believe that. i'll check in on you later today. i love you sweetheart xox

12:12 AM  
Blogger swirlyange said...

I'm so happy that you got such a beautiful, sweet moment together of such pure love. You're simply amazing.
So happy for you! Being able to read this today was such a gift on this christmas day.
Lots of love,
Ange xoxo

12:43 AM  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

Darlene, this is indeed a wonderful gift, and one that had perfect timing. He adores you; he loves and respects you, and what occurred yesterday was not him. I am so happy to hear that despite the fact that he is not out of the woods, there was some progress today, both physically and mentally.

I can imagine the warmth and light that passed between you and the healing that took place in your hearts. THIS is the true representation of the bond and relationship that the two of you share.

Love and light and healing and prayers to you all this Christmas.

All my love,

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Claire NZ said...

The strength and hope a mum's hug can give is....immeasurable. Hope is so important.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Chulita said...

It was so good to hear the good news and of you to share such a special moment of your life with us. As I had said, I did light a candle and kept it on all day and each time I looked at it I would say a prayer for you, your son and the rest of your family. I just know he will pull through. May God be with you all.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Shaz said...

Hi my name is danicka,im the daughter of sharon madden,she showed me ur site and ive been crying for the last half an hour,fristly sad tears as i read about the accident,my heart breaks for you no mother should have to see their child like that,my tears turned a bit happier as i read on,im`so`glad to hear he was able to give his mum a hug im sure u couldnt think of a better chrismas present,ur boy is beautiful u must be so proud,wat a gorgeous smile!and those eyes,so warm and friendly,you have one beautiful family.i dont normally pray a whole lot but i wil pray every night for you and your family until i hear your families battle is over i wish you all the very best.

1:43 AM  
Blogger Shaz said...

Hi my name is danicka,im the daughter of sharon madden,she showed me ur site and ive been crying for the last half an hour,fristly sad tears as i read about the accident,my heart breaks for you no mother should have to see their child like that,my tears turned a bit happier as i read on,im`so`glad to hear he was able to give his mum a hug im sure u couldnt think of a better chrismas present,ur boy is beautiful u must be so proud,wat a gorgeous smile!and those eyes,so warm and friendly,you have one beautiful family.i dont normally pray a whole lot but i wil pray every night for you and your family until i hear your families battle is over i wish you all the very best.

1:44 AM  
Blogger Trish Ryan said...

This is so beautiful. I know that you're in survival mode, but please hear me that you are doing an AMAZING job loving your son. I'll be praying for you both, along with your husband and daughter today.

We all talk about how we want to make a difference in life, to use what we have inside to make the world a better place - this is what you are doing right now.

Bless you, bless you, bless you. May this Christmas be a day of new love, hope, and salvation from the horrors of this accident for you all!!!
Much love,

2:40 AM  
Blogger gena said...

Well its Christmas morning here in the Uk,and still as I have watched my own children unwrap their gifts, i am saying a silent prayer for you and your family,Bless all of you

2:46 AM  
Blogger CT said...

You don't know me, but I have been following the events in your life and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Wishing you all peace, strength and healing. x

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Sophie said...

All I can say is that I'm writing this with a big smile on my face. So happy for you! And what a gift to read this on Christmas morning!

I hope this Christmas Day will bring Mark health improvement and I wish you all a peaceful Christmas, filled with hugs!

xo Sophie

3:38 AM  
Blogger angela said...

An unforgettable Christmas gift.

Thinking of you and all your family and sending positive thoughts and prayers constantly.

This ring of support shows how the internet can work for such good.
Love and hugs,

3:42 AM  
Anonymous acumamakiki said...

I'm so glad Darlene, that you received the best gift any mama can have, that loving hug. I've thought of you and your family a lot these past days, and I'm praying that you have some respite, that Mark's fever begins to subside and that no blood clots are found.
My heart swells with the love that you and Mark were able to share in that hug.
Peace and love to you and your family. xoxo

4:52 AM  
Blogger ~Bek~ said...

So gorgeous Dar... I would have been shaking too!! YOU are *the* most beautiful healer...

I am so thankful to be able to login and get updates and everytime there are improvements, some small and some much bigger.

As always my prayers are with Mark, you and your family.

Nath, Papy {Mikaela's Dad}, Mikaela and I all said a prayer for Mark, and you and your entire family...over our Christmas lunch.

I know all our prayers combined around the world will be answered.

So much love and gentle cuddles to you Dar.

4:55 AM  
Blogger deni said...

My tears are falling after reading that.

From one mother's heart to your's, I pray fervently for Mark to be healed and that you all can celebrate his life.

May God shower you with blessings.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Thank you for sharing this most precious moment.

Holding you in light and love this Christmas day.

5:20 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

Darlene, I've never been to your site before and found it through a wonderful friend (Dottee) and just had to post a comment. Coming to you for Perth, Australia, our Christmas Day has just drawn to a close and this being the first year I've not had my family around me it's been a tough one but after reading this amazing story of your son, I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing both his and your journey with me. I wish I could give you a big hug and covey without words just how much this has meant to my heart reading your heartache and joy all wraped in one but instead I can offer you my prayers for your family as you work through this together. You are a true representative of a higher power and for that reminder I thank you. Rich blessings and much love to you and yours and know you have touched another heart tonight. God Bless, PJ

5:24 AM  
Blogger Jerri said...

That hug traveled around the world along trails blazed by the first gift of Christmas: The Christ Child, a gift of pure love. No wonder so many of us cry and celebrate as we read your beautiful description.

You and Mark and all your family continue to be in my heart and in my prayers. My children will arrive home later today (if all goes well) and together my family will pray for yours.

Of course you don't "have the strength" to celebrate Christmas in the traditional ways now, Darlene. But pure love, the TRUE meaning of Christmas, surrounds you. Your love for Mark and for others radiates from your words and is reflected back from hearts around the globe, including one here in Independence, Missouri.

Christmas blessings abound.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Shaz said...

I Believe in miracles
I believe in Mark
I believe in you and yours

To have your sweet babys arms envelop you is the most precious gift I could of wished for you this Christmas. xxx

5:57 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS are the first person I have wished that today..the 25th. My family are still snug in their beds..(Thank you God) and I needed to make sure Mark was okay...still What a fabulous gift, a hug from Mark. I always say Christmas doesn't come in a box. I said an extra prayer for your family last night and I will be thinking of you all today.
I'm crying happier tears this morning. Your husband and daughter sound every bit as wonderful as you and Mark. God Bless your family.xx

5:59 AM  
Blogger LEstes65 said...

Oh goodness, I just cried like a baby. I am so thankful for this. God, please give Darlene's beautiful family some kind of Christmas miracle.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

That hug sounds like the best gift ever. Sending much love your way today~~~~~~

6:35 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

A wonderful gift for you, in the midst of these troubles, and a strong testament to your son's deep feelings for you. You are holding him up, and he will get better :)

Our love and prayers are with you all every moment. May the Christmas angel bring you comfort and peace today.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Alexandra G said...

Who wouldn't want to hug the one and only Darlene, especially a son who must be so grateful that you are his mother. It makes perfect sense that his first hug would be to the wonderful woman who has loved him for the past 24 years and is there for him now, despite your challenges with lupus, the fear, the pain. Take care of you too Darlene. I will check in again later but I am holding you in my heart this Christmas day and send my love.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who wouldn't want to hug the one and only Darlene, especially a son who must be so grateful that you are his mother. It makes perfect sense that his first hug would be to the wonderful woman who has loved him for the past 24 years and is there for him now, despite your challenges with lupus, the fear, the pain. Take care of you too Darlene. I will check in again later but I am holding you in my heart this Christmas day and send my love.
-Alexandra G (MM)

7:18 AM  
Blogger Star said...

My first gift of this Christmas day--the encouraging words you have shared about Mark. As much as that hug meant to you, I'm sure it meant that much and more to Mark.

I will rise and begin my day knowing that the tide has turned ever so slightly in his favor. I will carry you (all of your family) with me in prayer and smile when I think of the two of you in that sweet embrace.

Sending you love, Darlene.


7:23 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

The bond that you make with your babies will always be there regardless of their age. You just had proof of that from your son. You received the best Christmas present ever. Take care of your self. People from all over the world are helping to take care of your son.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

Indeed, the truest gifts are not wrapped in paper and ribbon... but in the arms of those who love us.

7:40 AM  
Blogger britt said...

oh my god i am crying tears of amazement. every day i look forward to reading your blog hoping for signs of improvement in your boy. how incredible that he wanted to hug his mama. what a loving family! what a beautiful gift!!!! merry christmas to you and your family, we have been thinking about you all and praying for you all night. blessings blessings.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Lisa(oceandreamer) said...

Dearest Darlene, again I awaken and come here and I read your words through tears. That moment, the moment you described is the very foundation of love between a mother and child - no matter their age. The feelings you experienced were also experienced by Mark.That was a gift you gave one another. The energy of your love surges through him and will sustain him.As will his fathers love and his sisters love. (and the rest of your family)
I still have my arms around you and I am still whispering in your ear "have strength and keep your faith dear one". The love of a mother is powerful. Keep yourself well.
Much love.
With continued hope in my heart,

8:01 AM  
Blogger Laini said...

Oh Darlene, I am so glad you had that moment with Mark. Thinking of you on this Christmas morning -- I know it won't be an ordinary Christmas for you, but with all the family love surrounding you, I hope it will be warm in its own way. And I hope it will be marked with more positive turns in Mark's condition. Blessings.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Yolanda said...

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as well as all of your family.
I know the path you walk for I have been there to.
Faith and love will get you thru.He knows you all love him and he will keep fighting to get better. Each small step is a precious gift. Love is the most precious of medicines I know because I have seen it work so many times as a nurse.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

Your strength and love are a gift to all of us this Christmas. Wishing you PEACE this year, Darlene. Love, Patry

8:54 AM  
Blogger bronxbt said...

well, you made ME cry all over my keyboard....

note to oneself, buy spillproof keyboard 'cuz i'm officially a big NANCY.

so wonderful to hear about your experience... it was moving, beautiful and makes me all wiggly and happy to know you 2 shared that incredibly special moment.

stay strong. trust the doctors and as you mentioned, the strength of your family and the BOND you all share.

enjoy the SPIRIT of christmas which is really more important than anything else. (although i'm peeved that @ 34, no one's gotten me a pony yet)

much luv, and we're with you.

& mr puddins who's currently eyeing the fruitcake

9:11 AM  
Blogger gerry rosser said...

It's Christmas day, my thoughts are with you.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous mo said...

That was about the most wonderful thing I could have read today. You can see that his spirit and love are still so present, even through his pain all that medication. There really is no substitute for when a Mom can wrap her arms around her child and have them wrap her back. I hope that hug gave you both so much peace and strength.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...


Thank you for all that you have shown us. We are the ones humbled by your strength and courage to post day after day and to show your heart to the world.

Christmas has been celebrated in many places today because you have shown what true love really means.

Bless you and your family and may God keep you in His hands.

10:06 AM  
Blogger rising to the challenge said...

That was so beautiful Darlene. Mark is such a wonderful being. And I'll have you know that that doesn't surpirse any of us. He is YOUR son!
It is amazing that amongst all of his pain and struggling he found a way to breathe precious life into you through his loving hug. I'm so pleased that the medical staff made this little allowance on this symbolic day.
I'm also delighted to hear too that Mark's fever is remitting, however little, and his bleeding too. I just know he will continue to improve. He has been in my thoughts all day and he and you will remain in my heart throughout all of this.
Love from me and my family from Dublin on Christmas day,

10:14 AM  
Blogger dd said...

This just made me tear up ....I once read that mothers are the most important person to sons, even when they are older. I read once, where on the battlefield when severe injuries are present it is for their mothers, that a son will cry out.

This is about the most touching description I have read in so long. Having four sons, it just leaves me all choked up.

Dear God...please, please, please heal Mark quickly and remove the suffering and pain. Mark is so loved by so many people who have never met him in the flesh but by all who have sons or daughters, who are suffering or just living the human condition.

Darlene, what a gift he gave you with his hug. My best to all of you and blessings continue...

I wanted to get on here today, Christmas, just to check on the status...

loving you, sandy

10:47 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Hi Darlene, I have been thinking about you and Mark and the rest of your family so much over the past couple of days. I'm sure your hug and your love for your son will be a big part of his healing. Love conquers all things.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

I read this in our morning paper and immediately thought of you, Mark and your family.

Mark's wanting a hug has got to be one of the most stress-reducing things that has happened to you in days.

May his recovery continue at the appropriate pace.

May peace and love be with you all.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous glo said...

It's moments like that beautiful hug you described that make life magical!! It's great to know Mark's fever is down...even if it's just a's all about baby steps. I am so glad to have learned about your, you family and the many people that come here restore my faith in humanity. I will continue to have you all in my prayers...MIRACLES DO HAPPEN :) God bless you all. xo glo

11:30 AM  
Blogger brittany said...

This just is killing me. I can't imagine what it's doing to you. I can't imagine being strapped down with a broken back and incisions that large. His pain must be so imense. (SP?) The pain from an emergency C section was rediculous, but I can't even fathom...

Poor boy, he just wanted to hug his sweet mom.

love you, sweet, sweet.


11:52 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Blessings to you today, sweetie. May peace and healing surround your family.

12:23 PM  
Blogger kim said...

I haven't posted, but I have been praying every day.

As a mother, I feel that hug.

Peace, love and healing))))))))))).

Merry Christmas.

1:46 PM  
Blogger nicole said...

lots of love & hugs & still thinking of you and your family ...

2:11 PM  
Blogger LiteraryGirl said...

What a great Christmas gift your son gave you!

Peace to you all today and praying for a Christmas miracle.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

sending even more love to you and Mark and Angela and Deni.... i'll check in on you tomorrow when i wake up... love love love xxoo

2:49 PM  
Blogger luzie said...

Darlene, I'm in tears here after reading your update.. what a blessing this hug must have been for you, what a Christmas gift during these awfully tough days.

I prayed hard for Mark in church last night, wishing for a full recovery with no further complications.. and I'm convinved it'll happen.

If there's one thing I believe in this Christmas then it's the power of praying and wishing.. it gave me what I needed most for the holiday, and I'm sure your prayers- all of our prayers- will be heard.

Hang in there, you are an amazingly strong woman with an equally strong family around you and support coming from all parts of the country, of the world even.


3:22 PM  
Anonymous Kim in IN said...

I am crying tears of happiness for you mama!

6:08 PM  
Blogger Teri said... amazing. this one made me cry a river! i'm just in awe of your strength and courage. i am thinking about you and praying for you and Mark and your family everyday. like someone else said perfectly, we all want to hug you.

9:47 PM  

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