Saturday, December 23, 2006

Self~Portrait "suffering"

Update #9
Mark still has a high fever and is too weak to breath on his own. They are going to pack his sides with ice and we all want to see him off of the ventilator. Basically, there are no changes right now. When Mark opens his eyes and looks at me, he scowls. Deep in his soul he is crying out to me saying, What is happening to me? Take this tube out of my throat. What day is this? Are you okay Mom?
Can suffering be measured? I am weakening, the Lupus is being challenged. Before I enter his room, I tell myself that he is lucky to be alive, I am lucky that h e i s a l i v e. Is that the measurement? People who loose loved ones feel so much more than I am feeling. Is that the measurement? It is my nature to analyze all situations. I am fighting this 'first born' ingrained reaction. Live in the la la. The moments and the steps are sufferingly difficult. We are all suffering in our own way. Each one of us goes in a different direction to grab a hold of some form of sanity, only to return so that we can walk into Marks room with as much positive energy as possible. Then we walk out and each one of us runs to our corners to sip water, force feed and rest. But in between each increment of moments we are suffering. We have cried so much that we no longer hold each other, our arms are too heavy. And then there is our faith. We each have these surges of tangible hope and then you walk into his room and he begs you with his eyes and pulls on his wrists that are tied down, so he won't pull out the tube in his throat and we feel our will power and our hope drain out of the bottom of our feet, and our smiles for him begin to fade, so we leave his room and flee.......and suffer.......and the crying begins because he is suffering more than we can imagine.
My solace is the prayers that I whisper or scream into his shirt bundle.
My solace is my family that is suffering with me.
My solace is here, where I can bare my soul, get encouragement and refill my cup because you are able to keep hopeful and rational and take the time to give me words to read that tell me things about myself or the situation that are hard to keep believing, but you convince me over and over.
And when I wake up in the middle of the night...and the space beside me is cold because my husband is at Mark's side, the light of my computer screen fills the darkness around me and I, again, read your love notes until I can't keep my eyes open and can escape into oblivion.
How can I thank you? I want to hug each one of you, individually and look into your eyes and give you a grateful piece of myself. I want to tell you that you are angels to me and I need you and you are here, faithful and loyal and beautiful. "Oh, God....let them know how much I feel them with me. I am not alone because of them and feel so gratefull."


Blogger rising to the challenge said...

You said it. You are not alone.

And I'll tell you something else too, Darlene: I have never more felt like part of a community like I do when I add my comment to the dozens of other loving comments you have received. I have never before felt so secure in the knowledge that there are so many good people in this world. Reading the comments people leave for you -savouring their heartfelt terms of endearment- has opened my eyes.

I hope that Mark's fever remits soon. I am willing that to happen and sending love and energy in the hope that he will soon regain the strength to be able to breathe on his own again and talk to you.

I hate to see you suffer but I love that I can converse with you each day and contribute something here. Get as much rest as you can, darling Darlene.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Dale Smith said...

There are no words. I will be lighting a candle for Mark and your family as soon as I get home from work.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Pink Granite said...

We are all still here- hoping, reading, believing, encouraging, holding you, your family and Mark in our thoughts. Keep taking care of yourself, pacing yourself, being gentle and good to yourself. I believe the positive energy you each bring into Mark is helping him. I've experienced it in other hospital rooms, at other times. - Lee

3:08 PM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

You have been added to the prayer list at my church and I also requested prayers for you on my blog.

Sending love from Virginia!


3:10 PM  
Blogger Star said...

I agree with Vanessa. Your posts, the comments left here, all these words exchanged have had a big affect on me and that was the topic of one of my own posts yesterday. Knowing how much the love and kind words expressed here has affected me, I know I cannot imagine their affect on you.

Mark is so lucky to have you and the rest of your family on his side. He was a strong young man before the accident, and that will be to his advantage as he continues to heal (I know the healing has already begun). With the added encouragement and strength he receives from each of you as you visit his bedside, an important difference is made inside him. He feels loved, he feels cared for, he feels your faith and support bearing him up while he is unable to do it himself. Mental attitude is so important and makes a huge difference in our day-to-day existence, but more so when challenged with injury or illness (I know you know this from your own experience.)

This is such a stressful time for all of you (as you have outlined in this post), but know that your efforts make such a difference to Mark. Know that each touch on his arm, each time you hold his hand, each story you tell or song that you sing is making a positive difference to him.

As the sun goes down tonight, I pray that as the temperatures cool outside, they will also cool in his body, that the reason for the fever will be resolved and that as the fever leaves his body he will be able to truly rest and recoup his strength.

Know in your heart that you are in mine. Know that the love you have shared here through your blog is being returned to you a hundredfold.

Keep expecting miracles!

3:28 PM  
Blogger BJ said...

Darlene-I am here with you in thought and prayer. I will not forget Mark or you and your family. I will continue to pray for him and all of you that you will be given the strength you need to endure this healing time. You are a wonderful mom. I can tell from your writings that you are here for the long haul. And all of us are too.
God bless you all.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

((((((((Darlene))))))), ((((((((((Jay))))))), ((((((((Angela))))))), (((((((((Mark))))))))),((((((Darlene's family)))))))))
as I go about doing such mundane things as changing sheets, doing laundry, I repeat a Mark mantra...Mark, get well, Mark, get well, Mark, get well, Mark, HEAL!Mark,HEAL! ect. ect. Darlene, stay strong, Darlene, stay well, Jay, stay strong, Angela, stay strong!xoxxooxoxo LOVE and prayers, Cinda

3:56 PM  
Blogger Lucky Candice said...

wow, just finding out about this. My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine what you are expericing right now. Just know that Mark is in our prayers.


4:03 PM  
Blogger Laini said...

My thoughts continue to be with you and your family, Darlene. I hope to see good news and better news each day. Be well.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my favorite healing teachers told us "always hold the person that you are treating as already WHOLE and COMPLETE, already healed..."

Many of us have only every "met" Mark by looking at the lovely pictures of him on your site. In those pictures he is whole and complete. THIS IS PERFECT. You have had 24 years of holding him in your mind as being whole and complete. Through each of us, the universe is holding the vision of him as whole and complete, happy and healthy.

Sending love and blessings...

4:40 PM  
Anonymous poet said...

just checking in on you. love and hugs, darlene for you and your family. sending prayers. and i wished upon a falling star , is it ok to wish for more than one thing? because i did. take care of you and feel the love filtering through the light of your computer screen....poet

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Cape Cod Kitty said...

I found your blog a few days ago and it is the most amazing show of love I have seen and felt in a long, long time.
You and your family are very courageous and share a love which can sustain you.
Something which has helped me through similar times and challenges is to focus on your own breath as you sit beside Mark. Touch him softly and encourage him to just think about his breath. It is the most basic response and there is amazing peace in focusing on the in an out of air and it will help to slow your mind, body and spirit and bring some semblance of calm to you both.
You are truly an amazing family and your writing is beautiful. \Sending you love, constant prayers for you all and improvement for Mark each day.
Cape Cod Kitty

5:40 PM  
Blogger bronxbt said...

huge love to you darlene.

now, YOU must stay strong in order to be there for Mark.

stay healthy dearest.

jes' spent the day in Olympia with family and found myself thinking of you, Mark and your family often.

huge hugs, lurve and support.

~ B

5:49 PM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

YOU are not alone Darlene! I LOVE coming back here and seeeeeeeeing you sleep! It's calming to me somehow, I just hope you are getting enough ZZZZZZZZZ's! Sweet Dreams sweetheart! We Bloggers LOVE you, you and your family have a tender spot in all our hearts! xooxoxoxoox ps. now go back to sleep!

5:59 PM  
Anonymous glo said...

Hello Darlene, everyday I am in awe of your strength. Your baby will pull through...that brave soldier is fighting one mighty tough battle but he will come out a will see. I will keep you all in my prayers. As for the shirt thing, I completely understand. xo glo

6:30 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Oh, I wish I knew where you were, so I could come and sit with you. I don't know where you are...but I feel you are not far. Maybe just because you are in my heart.

This is so hard. So hard. You are doing the best you can! Everyone gets emotionally exhausted sometimes. It's okay. Just know that you are not alone, as you said.

...I don't know if this will help. But it is when I have been the weakest, the most broken, that God's Grace has held me the tightest. In these times when it is clear that I can't fix it, can't change it, can't make it stop or make it better...There it is. That Grace. That peace...

Everyday when I pray for you, I pray that you will feel that peace laid over your whole soul. I pray you feel it from your head to your toes. And that you are able to rest in it. And I pray this for Mark, too...Because I know his road will be long. But everyday he will grow stronger in ways you can't even see. I know this.

You are loved. And so is he.


6:31 PM  
Anonymous Teresa Sheeley said...

Today my hubby had a very rough time. He went to call me on his cell phone, but must have accidentally pressed his brother's name instead--and then he heard his voice--he broke down. The shirt you cling to now reminds me of the voice my husband clings to on that cell phone. He has called the number to hear his voice several times now today. For some reason the phone is still picking up his leave me a message . I think it is for comfort for my hubby. Christmas-time is tough around this household right now too.

Although these circumstances, his and yours are completely different we are feeling very close to your situation. Our voices are strong in prayer for Mark and for you and your family.

Tomorrow will be better.

Love you dear one.


6:37 PM  
Blogger fishface said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Mark, and your family. I have a positive feeling about his recovery. Please take care of yourself so you can stay strong for Mark. It sounds like Mark has two very loving, supportive parents at his side. There is no doubt he feels your love. I will say a special prayer for Mark tomorrow at mass. I hope all our prayers are heard and answered for you.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

My thoughts turn to you and Mark so many times throughout the day, and I've been thinking today that this must be so difficult for you physically, hoping that your lupus doesn't flare up badly and add to your difficulties. I know how important it is for you to stay strong for Mark.

Prayers from me, from all of us all over the world, are with you every minute.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Jone said...

Sending prayers to you, Mark, and your family. Hold on.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...


Again I say to you I found you through your lovely Boho sister. I don't know you, don't actually know her but have felt her and you now become part of this strange yet much needed internet community we all seem to have. I've not been able to get you off my mind. I don't know if it is because my Mom's name is Darlene and I miss her a great deal not being able to go see her now at Christmas, or because something inside me won't allow me to not hold you dear right now. Either way, day after day I think of you, your family, and your sweet son Mark. Mark happens to be my father's name so again, can't stop thinking of him. Tonight I drove with my partner to see Christmas lights and you were on my mind the entire time. As I thanked God for blessing me this year I also prayed for you and Mark. I asked God for peace for Mark. For a deep peaceful sleep that would allow him to give himself stregnth. I prayed for calmness for you and your family so your bodies will be allowed to rest a little. And, I prayed for thankfulness because in these moments when thing happen to us where we feel confused and alone we are reminded that never, not for a single moment are we alone. People, our earth angels, are always there to love, and circle and pray for us. So keep thinking of us we are all sending you love, rest and stregnth.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Shaz said...

I Can not say it better than the others but know I am here with you every hour of every day.
God Bless You D

7:41 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I just read about your son's accident. As a mother I can't imagine how you are holding up. You have to be an extremely strong person coming in second only to your son. My heart and prayers go out to your son, to you and your family. I can't say anything that hasn't already been said by so many people around the world. Please remember that your son needs you so you must take care of yourself. You have to keep healthly for him. Eat, sleep and let the world's prayers and positive thoughts heal your son.

Miracles do happen.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Alexandra G said...

I have a strong feeling there are many, many arms that also want to embrace you with hugs too Darlene. You have been in my thoughts and prayers all week and will be as long as you need them to be. My heart aches when I try to place myself in your shoes. The closest I can come to is seeing my dad so very ill too and it just hurts. I look so very forward to the day for you when Mark has the tube taken out, and each and every subsequent step that will be a part of his healing process. He is SO blessed to have you as his mother and please don't every doubt or forget that. I hope tomorrow brings light and relief, love and healing.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Goddess of Leonie said...

blessings and love to you woman...

still here, still holding the circle of light.

i want you to know i spoke you and marks name into our healing ritual at summer solstice.


8:26 PM  
Blogger Trish Ryan said...

You're not alone, Darlene. Thank you for keeping us updated - it is good to hear how you and Mark are doing - the highs and the lows. I'll keep praying prayers of God's comfort and healing for you all.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May you keep finding the strength to get through this impossible time. My thoughts and prayers are coming to you from Australia.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous mo said...

I just found your blog through another and read the story of your brave son. I am so struck by his bravery and by yours. You are facing the most difficult heartwrenching thing a mother can face. Seeing her beloved child in such a place. I will send prayers of hope and love and that you can find enduring strength to get you through this. And I will send prayers of strength that Mark will heal well. You are right when you say that he has a long road ahead of him but I truly believe when people have to face such seemingly unsurmountable obstacles, they deepen their strength and their compassion and grow in a way that you can only grow in when you face true difficulty. Thank you for updating us and sharing all of this.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Dotee said...


Every day I come to your blog to read an update on Mark's health. And am amazed (and so touched) by the outpouring of love and support that is flowing all round the world.

It makes me feel part of a loving community. And gives me faith that there are many people in this world of ours who care for others.

It lightens my heart, it truly does.

Thankyou from the bottom of my heart for sharing such a painful time with us. And sharing the beautiful moments too.

I am away for a day or to celebrate Christmas with my family but will be thinking of you. Praying for you and Mark, and your family.

Much love

Dotee xoxo

9:25 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

i hope your dear son continues to heal and that your body can stay as strong during this time as your amazing heart.

you have given everyone reading your posts a gift by sharing your stories. i personally don't believe that everything happens for a reason but i do think that we can take our experiences and learn lessons that carry us forward. by sharing your stories you have given us all a chance to learn more about what it means to love and to fight. thank you.

please take care of yourself,


9:27 PM  
Blogger Uber Mer said...

I wish there was something I could say, I wish I could give you a hug from a thousand miles away. I wish I could help Mark somehow. I think about you and your family every night... you will get through this and Mark will be okay.

Please be well.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

Continued love and prayers for you and your wonderful family from here on Cape Cod. Hoping to hear that Mark's fever has broken and he's off the ventilator in the next update.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

I've been wondering how you were doing physically, Darlene, since I know lupus and stress are not a good combination. I hope you're taking care of yourself as much as you can, even though it's really hard to do right now. Every day when I've been saying prayers for Mark, I've been saying them for you too. I'll be sending your family good thoughts as I go to sleep tonight. {{{Darlene}}}

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darlene, I am still praying for your family and son and will continue to do so. I will also continue to light candles. Please know that many people are thinking about you and trying to give you strength and hope through this difficult time.

I don't know if this is useful or not but can you play music in the room for your son. It might help calm him. There is a book called Mozart effect that talks about the healing effects on music while people are healing. Tell your son that we are thinking about him. I am sure that there are many people who have not written but are saying prayers and lighting candles.

Also, if you can...please get some sleep.

In my prayers,


10:46 PM  
Anonymous Sophie said...

There are not many words left in me, after reading you post. A tear runs down my face. Just know that your all remain in my thoughts and prayers. I hope mark will feel a bit better today. Take care. xo sophie

10:48 PM  
Blogger Libbys Blog said...

The power of the blog is mind blowing, you have seen that over the last few days! People like me who do not know you but have heard of your sons plight have gathered and keep coming back. The positive vibes generated by us all, surely can not be ignored. Surely the power of our thoughts, love and healing will help him come through!
Lots more prayers being sent

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Always praying for Mark and for you. With love, L

11:00 PM  
Blogger ~Bek~ said...

I love you Darlene... and will continue to pray for you and Mark... and for your entire family.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Claire NZ said...

I am so very sorry for your suffering Darlene.

It is now Christmas Eve in New Zealand, and I'm watching the Chrsitmassy programmes on TV. They just showed four tall, strong young men - about Mark's age - singing in harmony. Their voices were clear, strong and beautiful. I instantly thought of your Mark. The singing was so powerful that it sent gooseys up my spine. With the surge of positive energy it gave me, I took a little for myself, and then offered the rest to Mark. I pictured him lying in his hospital bed, imagined the trace of him and sent all that powerful energy to him and his bedside.

Hope and strength to you.

11:20 PM  
Blogger JanePoe said...

Your solace is your willingness to connect in love with others and to be willing to receive as much as you give in the way of love. There is no mystery that dozens and dozens and dozens of people are reaching out to you with comfort ... that is because you have been there for them, with your kind words, gentle spirit and loving soul.
Much peace and love to you sweet Dar.
deb (aka JP!)

11:51 PM  
Blogger AnnieElf said...

We are all here Darlene. We are holding you up. When you don't have the strength anymore, we will carry you with our hearts until you are on your own again. Think of us always. We are all here.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Jerri said...

Dearest Darlene, you are in my heart tonight/this morning.

32 friends filled my home this evening for a Christmas party. The moment the last guest left, I grabbed my computer to see if there was an update. Now that I know Mark still has a fever, my prayers will be centered on helping it recede.

Strength to you. Peace to you. May angels surround you and Mark and the rest of your family. May Mark feel the breeze from the fluttering of their wings fluttering, cooling his fever and warming his heart. May you be borne up on their wings and on the love of those who pray for you.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

My words seems trival, and lost in the enourmous suffering your family shares. I am here with my prayers and thoughts of healing and courage.

12:46 AM  
Blogger giggles said...

Today my daughter Pepper whose almost 21 and her boyfriend Bryan asked about Mark. As I read aloud each and every post since the accident, I sniveled and snuffled and had to stop along the way, as I went into the ugly cry. The kids stood over my shoulders with tear stained faces concentrating on each and every word. I rarely cry, it’s such an oddity, except during sappy movies. I seriously have not stopped crying since day one of Marks accident. Every corner I turn your sons face pops into my head. I am crying because I have a real heart for all kids. I adore them at any age. I listen to them with an open heart and no judgment. I cherish every unique aspect of their being. It's so sad to actually know such details of a family’s crisis. More of these types of posts and we will become a more compassionate universe. When you see some one walking through the mall in a daze….maybe, just maybe, they are in crisis. Or if they snap at the world just maybe life has dealt them a tough hand. This is a call for all people to be kind to each other no matter what. Many people walk around with inconceivable pain! Mark, sweet boy that he is, sounds very much like Bryan, a very tender, kind, loving, well mannered soul. So many things remind me of him. So I just can’t stop thinking about all of you with so much concern.

My computer has been sitting at your post all day, I accidentally left it unattended. My house is a very healing calm house. Friends often come here for solace. I hope my prayers and thoughts of love get though.

Mark in my Heart
Love Sherrie

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Suzie Q said...

Thinking of You & Your Family, Darlene, and sending much love & healing thoughts & prayers. Take care & take comfort. Angels surround you, now & always.
Warm, gentle hugs for you all ((x))
Suze xXx

1:26 AM  
Blogger gena said...

The first thing I do when I switch my computer on is check here to see how Mark is doing, and I am a stranger! but I feel for you so much, I am a mother too and I truly feel your pain, a few years ago my (then) 25 yr old nephew was involved in a really bad accident, he was in a coma for two weeks, had brain surgery, broken collarbone,damaged spleen,we were told he may be brain was awful, then suddenly, and I mean Suddenly! he awoke and started to get better! and he went on to completely recover, he now lives a normal life, I am willing this to happen to Mark,if the power of prayer is as strong as I think it is, he will get there.
Blessings to you all Darlene,
Gena xx

1:32 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

I've been worrying about your health, knowing that lupus is not a friend of stress or lack of sleep. I know you are capable of only so much but as much as I send healing thoughts and prayers to Mark, I'm also sending them to you so that your body has the strength to get thru this terrible time and that the lupus stays at bay.
I'm praying that Mark's fever comes down, that the infection doesn't travel and that you and your family get a little respite.

3:01 AM  
Anonymous Kim in IN said...

Please Darlene,take care of yourself.
Strong,brave,Mark. I hold you up to my God,light a candle in your name,and see you in my minds eye healthy,happy,full of life! Believe!!

6:05 AM  
Blogger britt said...

you are amazing. stay strong. let the power of all loving mothers enter you, let the love of your amazing family support you, we are here to support you as well.

6:22 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

I hope your postings are cathartic for you. The fact that you have come to this safe place, if only for a short time, indicates that your inner voice is taking care of you.

It was good to see you getting some rest. You will be of little aid if you get ill.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Georgia said...


Just to reiterate what everyone has already said to you, You are NOT alone and you are verymuch loved:) I cannot imagine how aweful this is for your family and I wish I knew a better way to comfort you than just to leave you comments and emails. I am putting your family on my church's Temple Prayer List ( I hope this is OK with you)
and I continue to pray. I have not had access to a computer for a few days so I am just now catching up on the last few entries. My heart is with you and your family.

Love to you sweet Darlene,

12:17 PM  

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