Monday, February 12, 2007

We Will Never Forget.......

I will never forget taking this picture, just days before Mark's accident. He was wearing these very same cloths that night. The Jacket he protected because it was a gift, the shirt cut from his body by the EMT, that I wrapped into a roll because it had his smell and the pants, well...we didn't care about those, but he did! (They were brand new).

I will never forget the day he came home. This picture was taken today. Mark had lost 45 total pounds and I respectfully did not take his picture then. He said it would hurt to see himself like that. I don't blame him, because he did look ghastly. Here, he has gained back 10 pounds and little does he know, the pure joy I felt taking these pictures. Seeing that genuine smile again made it hard to focus the lens, as my eyes were welling with tears.

Yes, Mark uses a walker and hops, to get around and probably will for quite some time. He didn't want his back brace in the picture either. We are pending a couple of doctor's appointments for different evaluations regarding back surgery. I'll keep you posted about that. None of us are eager for a 4th surgery, but are confident that the right timing and decision will be made.

This is the Mark that I know and love. If you can't figure out what he might be saying, it's, "Geez mom, how many pictures are you going to take?" He should know better!

So, although this story is not yet over. it is safe to say that this healthy man is the result of many prayers, positive vibrations and people all over the world uniting in an effort to see him through a tragedy. He is a walking miracle and someone this blogousphere will never forget.

Mark thanks you, my entire family thanks you...and I cherish the friends that I have made because of this. I would not have survived without you....


Anonymous amy said...

oh my, that smile is one of the most beautiful things i have ever seen! Mark - thank you for letting your mum share (and take) those photos! i hope the healing process continues to go as smoothly as possible.
best wishes,

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Annie Morris said...


Look at you Mark, you beautiful and stunning man!!!!!!

Happy dance happy dance happy dance all over my office. You know, I am really thankful that I work from home and am therefore alone, otherwise this could get real embarrassing real quick.....

We love you so much Mark, even though we've never 'met'. Matthew will be so excited to 'see' you when he gets home from school.

Darlene, I can only imagine the joy you must have felt taking those happy, happy snaps.

Still sending prayers for the best outcome and decision on the back surgery.

Prayers also for Jay today.

With love from my family to yours,


(the outrageously happy)

3:15 PM  
Blogger Fern said...

MARK you look fablous. You are a hottie. It such a blessing to see you and how far you have come.

3:25 PM  
Blogger windyangel said...

What a joy to see these photos. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to you and MARK for letting us be a part of this miracle. Mark has such a wonderful smile. how can you not have tears when so many of us here have tears seeing these pictures?
Ongoing prayers and much love to you and Mark.
Angels be with you.

3:27 PM  
Blogger LisaOceandreamer said...

OMG OMG OMG - my heart skipped a beat when I realized these photos were taken NOW! What a joyful sight, what a beautiful sight, what a smile, what an expression, WHAT A MAN!!! I realize the road is still moving but oh the journey has come so far!
He is indeed a miracle and I feel he's our miracle too - he became everyone's son, everyone's brother, everyone's nephew, everyone's friend......prayers and good healing thoughts will continue and continue!
Love to you dear, dear Darlene...for YOUR strength of spirit, of character and of love have been HIS miracle.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Casey said...

i don't know either one of you, but i have kept up with your blog on a regular basis and have commented only a few times. but i have to say that seeing these pictures has brought joy to my heart. God knew what He was doing with Mark--He was performing a miracle! Mark, your smile is perfect, your joy is obvious, and your testimony of faith and courage is written all over you. thank you for letting your mom share these pictures. i am blessed to see your PERFECT picture!

3:57 PM  
Blogger BJ said...

Wow! I was so happy to see these pictures. Mark, you are doing so well and are such a very brave young man. Blessing to you and your family as you continue your journey of healing. We support you and love you!

3:59 PM  
Blogger The Whole Self said...

this post just made my day. i'm so happy for you. he looks amazing even though he's still healing...your mama love is magical.

4:04 PM  
Blogger AnnieElf said...

A real joy to warm a mother's heart.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

How sweet it is to see Mark on his feet, smiling that beautiful smile. He is an inspiration as are you.

I do believe that you are a prime example of the efficacy of the Law of Attraction. When you think, feel and act on positive things, they come to you. So keep up the positive thoughts. I am and will continue to send positive energy your way.

Mark, glad you were willing to let mom take the pics.

Perhaps he could be a guest poster for you one day. Just a thought.

4:14 PM  
Blogger angela said...

what a joy to see these! you and your family have been in our thoughts and continue to be :)

4:18 PM  
Blogger poet said...

i read this after i got home from work. what a beautiful reMarkable man. what a gorgeous smile and what a lucky man. mark, i said it before and i will say it again, you are a kind and gentle soul who got a raw deal, but you are living and you are surviving, and you are healing. seeing you standing there you have the same happy smile as in the first picture your mom took. that is amazing. may God continue to bless you in your continuing healing process. and may you feel the warmth and prayers so sincerely sent through blogdom. across the miles, and across the interweb.....

4:24 PM  
Blogger magicaldamselfly said...

What an amazing miracle we have here. Mark you look wonderful and what a handsome smile. We are all so happy that you are getting better each and every day. Please let us know what you hear on your surgery one way or another we will all keep the candles burning and the prayers going up for you until you are totally in the clear.

It brings tears to my eyes just seeing you standing there with a smile,,,,simply amazing.

Love to you all,

4:36 PM  
Blogger Sauntering Soul said...

What a gorgeous sight! That smile lights up a room!!!! I'm so happy to see it.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

An absolute miracle. What a great guy!

5:10 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Darlene: What fantastic pictures of Mark! What a sweetheart to let you take them knowing the world is going to see him. What a miracle we have all experienced because of you Mark, and your mom's faithful posting. We couldn't love you more. Our prayers continue for your complete healing.
We love you every day!

5:27 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

now THIS is the best post I have EVER read!
my hero. miracle man. mark.
i'm soooooo pleased that he's smiling that same ole smile!

5:42 PM  
Blogger zorana said...

Oh, what a joy to see these photos! We are all smiling with you and Mark! Always sending happy energy :-)

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Kim in IN said...

ok,that smile is lighting me up!!
Bless his heart he looks great!!!
I'm crying but they are tears of pure happiness at the sight of your boy smiling into your camera!
Bless you Mark,what a courageous young man you are!
much love,

6:09 PM  
Blogger LiteraryGirl said...

I have been waiting and waiting for this day...from right after surgery I had this image of you posting pictures of Mark for us to see post-accident and today is the day! He looks great! What a HUGE blessing and miracle he is! Praise God!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Romina Bacci said...

So good to see Mark smiling!!

Love you Darlene

6:40 PM  
Anonymous teresa sheeley said...

YAY, YAY!!!! Oh sweetie you look wonderful!!! You let your mama take a bazillion pictures of you! Look at that gorgeous smile. After all you have been through and to smile like that, you are truly a gift young man.

Hey mama Darlene, hope you are feeling well too. You are doing a great job taking care of your little one, look at him, it's so cool!!

Miss you, love you, and I just love looking at this miracle!!


6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh darlene, this picture made me so happy!! i know i haven't been commenting very much, but i have been reading every update. mark looks amazing!! SUCH a miracle, and i am so thankful that our prayers were answered. i can't wait to see how fast he continues to progress...
xo -- ruby.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...


Thank you both so much for sharing his pictures with us.

WOW to his healing!


7:00 PM  
Anonymous Cindie said...

What an amazing miracle God has wrought in your lives. Mark, you look wonderful and no one looking at these photos would ever be able to know that you had been through so much... you look great!

Your smile I know lights up your Mom's heart and all of those out here who have been praying are so grateful for that smile.

I continue to pray that the back injury will heal with or without surgery.

God Bless.


7:05 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

It's a little cliche' but I will say it've come a long way, baby.

I am soooo glad to see that he's getting better each day.

Miracles happen every day.

I am happy to see Mark gain strength and healing day by day.

Thanks for sharing. Not a day goes by that I don't have a little prayer sent your way. Take care.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Blue the Spa Girl said...

Great to see that genuine smile. You must be over the moon with happiness at seeing your boy up and smiling.
I know I couldn't be happier. He looks just as handsome as he did before.
But now he is even more handsome, having survived this with such strength and dignity.
He is a credit to YOU.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Chulita said...

I am crying right now just from looking at Mark's beautiful smiling face and thinking of how far he has come. Thank you, Darlene for taking the pictures and thank you Mark for allowing your mom to post them. It's amazing how deep the human capacity for love is--I mean, I don't even know you and yet I am so happy for all of you, especially for Mark. I guess it's all come from the same Source. Take care and much love to all.

7:54 PM  
Blogger nicole said...

aw, this is great! so wonderful to see him standing and walking and smiling. many congrats to all of you for your hard work and perserverence. lots of luck and hope things continue to go very very well!

8:29 PM  
Blogger Samana said...

Wow - what a gorgeous man! SO happy to see Mark up and smiling - joy joy joy!

Congratulations to each of you for the most amazing, loving, healing journey.

8:38 PM  
Blogger LEstes65 said...

OH man, those pictures are SO awesome! My hubby follows this story through me. I had to drag him off the couch to come look at these pictures. We are SO glad to see these. YEAH! Please tell Mark he is still gorgeous and we are all just LOVING seeing him.

I am thanking God as I look at these.


8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow...this is absolutely wonderful seeing Mark up and about and looking happy even. So wonderful...

I've been busy with out of town family for a few days and so glad to come here and see this update.

Mark look great!!! I'm thrilled to "see" your progress and smile.


p.s..thanks "mom" for posting these...

9:03 PM  
Blogger turquoise cro said...

Alleluia!!! LOL Yeah, I can seeeee him saying "Enough already!" but 10 pounds!!!! Yayyyyyy! Mark! Yayyyyyy! Darlene! Like everyone else, I've been waiting for these pics! His smile grabbed my heart as soon as I saw it! It lights up the whole computer screen! Keep smiling dear Mark and we will keep praying!!! We're still here! So GLAD and thankful YOU are too!!! Sweet Dreams darlings! xoxoxooxxo, Cinda

9:10 PM  
Blogger gracie said...

Great smile!!! There is so much behind that smile that only God has seen - the miracle, the struggle, the victory - no words can do it justice. Mark, I applaud your courage (not the least for agreeing to appear on your mother's blog!!)

9:42 PM  
Blogger Pink Granite said...

Hey Mark---
You are a gorgeous, brave, determined man with a fabulous, infectious smile!!! We are delighted you allowed your Mom to share these photos with us! Congratulations on how far you have come!
Wishing you and your whole family good health and lots more smiles...
- Lee

9:53 PM  
Blogger Jone said...

What an amazing smile of hope. So good to see your precious son on the mend.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Vesper said...

so glad to see him smiling like that!

10:12 PM  
Blogger Shaz said...

What a post to come home to OH MY GoD!!! He looks amazing and his smile is just so adorable. I am so glad for this post, so glad for his recovery, Just so damn Happy as a mum that grin is precious and remarkable I am so happy and blessed to be a part of all of this.
Love to You xxxxx

10:50 PM  
Blogger amy said...

Wow! He looks great! Of course the only thing I have to compare his "after" picture is the one that is on your blog. What a neat thing to see. Yea!

11:05 PM  
Blogger luzie said...

Oh Darlene! I was so, so, so excited to see the pictures when I came to your site this morning! THANK YOU for sharing these precious pictures with us. Mark's just gorgeous, and I love that he hasn't lost his smile during this challenge! xo

11:35 PM  
Blogger gena said...

Oh how utterly amazing! Mark looks fantastic! He looks well and happy, I know his journey continues, but looking at these pics....I think he is well on his way! What a joy to see, thank you for showing us this Darlene, and thank you Mark, you are an inspiration!

11:43 PM  
Blogger Becoming Amethyst said...

WOW! I think these tears will bring tears to everyone's eyes - I know they have to mine...

Wonderful pics, wonderful smile, beautiful man and an amazing mother ~ I'm sending love and hugs to you both

love bb x x x x x

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Sophie said...

That is a smile I will never forget.

Mark, your one beautiful strong man! And Darlene, your one beautiful strong woman!

Thank you both, for sharing these pictures. Sending you lots of hugs and love.

Now, if you´ll excuses me, I have a happy dance to perform...

XOXO Sophie

1:38 AM  
Blogger alison said...

yayyyyy!!! way to go darlene and mark! love the silly smile! keep on smiling mark! keep on smiling! :D warms our hearts in blogiland!

2:05 AM  
Blogger Cape Cod Kitty said...

Ah, the power of love, has carried you all to this wonderful point....thank you for those glorious photos, Mark and Darlene. May each step ahead also be buoyed by the that same love, faith and power.
Continued strength, peace and ease to all of your family, Darlene. You are all so amazing.
Thank you, thank you for this most beautiful post!
CC Kitty

2:45 AM  
Blogger Boho Girl said...

i love seeing the color back in his face and i think he looks fabulous! gorgeous mark.

give him a hug from us. we are so proud of his strength and endurance.

tell him he needs to put my necklace back on. not only does it make him look more cool and funky but they are blessing rings to help him through his journey! ; )

love you all and glad to hear your spirits are up.


3:18 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

He looks beautiful...thank you for sharing these photos!

4:28 AM  
Anonymous suzie q said...

OMG!! Thank You for these wonderful photo's! What a gorgeous hunk of a man Mark is! Yay, Mark! You look amazing!! :) (great taste in T-Shirts, too! ;))
More love, more light, more strength, more JOY! for all of you.
Thank you Darlene, I can't tell you how exciting it is to see these pictures. Bless you, and bless your beautiful family.

Huge Hugs,
Suze xXx

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Those photos are a testament to your Mark, in yourself, in your family members...and in all of us for allowing us to make this journey with you. Thank you for sharing these, Darlene...they're a powerful example of healing thought.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Triller said...

Oh how wonderful to see that smiling face! You go Mark!!!
Rooting for you up in snowy Canada,

5:43 AM  
Blogger gerry rosser said...

If nothing else good happens today, it will already have been a good day. Thanks for those pictures.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

I'm sitting here with teary eyes and a big smile. Those photos made my day!

Sending many good thoughts to both you and Mark, Darlene~~~~~~~~~

6:16 AM  
Blogger brittany said...

wow, he looks absolutely fabulous! I'm so happy to see these pictures of him! Horray for miracles and mighty men. I think I'll start referring to him as Mighty Mark:)Hee hee, that makes me giggle a little. Give him love for me.

i hope all is well with you, friend.


6:34 AM  
Blogger bronxbt said...

can you believe that!?
what an amazing path to recovery mark is heading down.

i never had a doubt in my mind that this would happen...
and i'm sooo pleased to see pics of that beautiful, smiling face.

darlene and fam - now, it's time to walk down YOUR OWN roads to recovery... you, hubby, kids. find your own paths and while STILL holding hands, remember all you went thru from anger to pain to joy and happiness and make sure you ALL STAY STRONG.

much lurve,

7:13 AM  
Blogger Kim G. said...

In the Old Testament when God provided a miracle, they would often stop and build a monument to mark the site so others would know what He had done. Today is one of those tributes. Look - just look - at what He has done. A living, walking, smiling, gorgeous miracle. Thanks for sharing him with us all!

7:25 AM  
Blogger angela said...

Mark looks so well and happy and smiley.
Very well done all of you.Hugs,

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in England and I've been following your story and sending you my love and now.... to see your lovely smiling face Mark! How happy the day! I'm SO glad for you all.
Thank you God!
Best photos ever! I too have a son about your age, you even look alike! So happy for you,so glad!
Love Jane

7:32 AM  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

he looks good!

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Dale Smith said...

Wow, he's a looker:) And that smile... Always in my thoughts and prayers.

8:05 AM  
Blogger daisies said...

: )

what a beautiful smile and so wonderful to see!

8:07 AM  
Blogger Star said...

Wow, this just makes me smile so big I feel like my face is made of rubber! :D It is so good to see Mark up and about.

No matter how happy seeing these pictures makes me, I know the happiness must be multiplied for you and your family. Such joy!

Sending good thoughts your way that miracles will set about working wonders on Mark's back.

xoxo Star

9:03 AM  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

Beautiful, vibrant pictures of your sweet son....looking very healthy. It is indeed a treat to see him with a smile on his face. He has come a long way in the past few months, and though the journey to full recovery is not over, I have no doubts about him getting there. Wonderful progress!!!!!!


9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, he looks great! You're being so strong, holding everything together as only a Mama can. Keep the faith and know that you're still in prayers and will be so long as you need them.

Take care!

9:38 AM  
Blogger LDahl said...

Well, I'm all blubbery and damp-eyed now! Holy cow, Mark looks great! What a trillion dollar smile. Don't ever let him out of the house again...just kidding:))))

9:48 AM  
Blogger bee said...

i am so proud of him. and proud of your whole family, darlene, for being the light that guided him through this incredible trial. this is fantastic - his progress, that glow in his eyes - i am so happy for you all, that there are absolutely no words that can do this feeling justice....

much love.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Dotee said...

Oh Darlene, my heart has flooded with joy a the sight of these photo's of Mark. He looks really , really well. And is a living, breathing miracle.

I know he still has a away to go but he has come SO far.

This is the post I have been praying for.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Gracey said...

Mark, I think you look great!! I'm so happy that you are able to "walk" have come so far. I haven't been blogging in awhile or been able to look at other people's sites for some time but I'm thrilled to see what great progress you are making! We had my church, my parents in CA, my parent's church, my brother who is a pastor and his church all praying for you! I am definitely going to have them visit the site and see for themselves what a miracle you are!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Trish Ryan said...

oh my gosh...what a miracle! Praise God, and thank you so much for letting us go through this with you and Mark. This is so encouraging, exciting, and just awesome - how amazing to see him up, standing, smiling and teasing you about taking too many pictures. HOORAY!!!!!

11:20 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

I can't TELL you how happy this makes me, Darlene!! Just really happy! Look at that smile. Just wonderful. He looks just like the soul you told us all he was.

:) :)

11:35 AM  
Blogger me-nikk said...



Fine as in, good looking, happy, and all the RIGHT things that don't include pain and suffering.

All the right things right there in THAT picture!


12:07 PM  
Anonymous Joy said...

It is so good to see your son looking so well and happy. You would guess at what Mark has been through - he looks fantastic.
Best wishes to you all,

12:19 PM  
Blogger Jerri said...

Such a joy to see these pictures. Happy, happy. Joy, joy.

Beautiful, beautiful Mark. Beautiful eyes shining with love and grace. Beautiful soul.

Thanks for the pictures. They've lifted my spirits beyond measure.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

These pictures make me so happy- for Mark, for you Darlene, and for the whole family! His smile just says it all!

12:48 PM  
Blogger k said...

as one of your readers stated OMG!

lookin' good mark...if only i were 10 yrs younger and 2000 miles closer ;)
continued well wishes for a speedy and full recovery!
bonne chance,

1:10 PM  
Anonymous meg said...

Just seeing these pictures makes me want to cry; I can only imagine how it makes your family feel, Darlene! What a miracle. I laughed a little about him not wanting pictures taken right after getting out of the hospital. Y'all will appreciate this: My sister was in an accident in Dec., and in the hospital for almost 2 weeks. The minute she came through her front door, her in-laws started taking pictures and exclaiming about how terrible she looked. Ah, yes - "Welcome home!" ;) Mark, you look great - thanks for letting us see it with our own eyes.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

Goodness! Mark looks fabulous! I am so, so excited to see him up and about.

And PS. From a girl about his age---he's lookin' pretty cute ;) Let me know when he's up for a date! :)

1:37 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

It is so marvelous to see that smile on his face, after all he has been through! He looks wonderful - what a miracle it is :)

You all remain in my thoughts and prayers, for I know the journey isn't over yet. But how far you have come!

Thank you for sharing these with us - it's such a relief for all of us who have worried and prayed and cared along with you!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Karen Travels said...

I'll have to show my kinder-babies your pic!! They keep asking about the guy who they drew cards for!

Mark - You are such a hottie!
Darlene - You are such a gret mamma!!

Love and hugs,

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

breathtakingly beautiful that baby boy of yours, d (sorry mark...a mom thing), and not just that smile like sunshine ;) his whole journey...a miracle indeed. thanks for sharing all the moments with us. it certainly makes this one that much sweeter! ps. so glad the quilt put a smile on your face - that means a whole lot to me. xoxo, mindy

6:31 PM  
Blogger StephieAnne said...

such glorious pictures! Thank you so much for posting them and making my day!

6:33 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

One small smile for Mark, one giant smile for mankind!

The smile that started in your home is rippling around the world right now! How amazing is that?

8:29 PM  
Blogger Juli said...

I am SOOOOOO HAPPY to see him up and at 'em!! I feel like screaming and cheering!! What an amazing man...

Oh this fills my heart! joyjoyjoy!

10:03 PM  
Blogger red sun said...

wow! it's amazing that he's undergone such physical trauma, because from those pictures it really doesn't show! thank you for sharing. i check in daily to see how he's doing, so it was such a wonderful sight to be welcomed by the warmth of his smile. blessings to you both.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

What a joy it is to see him smiling and standing. What an amazing gift of recovery and healing. Mark is a strong, brave soul, just like his mum. It's been, and will contintue to be, an honour to walk with you during this time of tragedy turned miracle. Lots of love to you, Deb

9:03 AM  
Blogger Libbys Blog said...

I popped over to wish you all Happy Valentines Day! Yet again it is you both, who give to us. How wonderful to see you up and about Mark, you are a very handsome man, I shall have to keep my daughters away from this blog!! lol!!

Love to you and your family this Valetines Day!


11:00 AM  
Blogger CT said...

What a fantastic smile! So very happy for you all. Wishing you continued healing and happiness.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous glo said...

Hey Mark! You look great!! I am so glad to read that you're back at home and healing. Happy V-day!! You are so blessed to have so much love...awesome!!!!

Hugs from Jersey!
xo glo

4:26 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

Mark's wonderful smile lights up his whole face and says it all..!
Darlene I am so happy for the whole family. These photos are proof that Mark has a future..!
He has a few hurdles to get over yet, but look how far he has come.
Happy Valentines you all..

5:56 PM  
Blogger ~Bek~ said...

Oh Darlene... he remains SOOOOOO gorgeous (but of course!!)
He looks wonderful.
love and hugs to you all...
Bek x

9:43 PM  
Blogger hepmomto3 said...

hheIt's fantastic to see that smile!! He looks great Darlene.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

WOW! He's looking healthy, happy and full of life. Whew!

8:54 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

HOORAY!!!!! These are pictures of the world's strongest man. Taken by the world's strongest mama.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

6:55 AM  

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