|Mark's temporary home in ICU's VIP suite|
|Dr. Sharkey - We honestly LOVE him!|
We are here with full hearts. The 5 weeks Mark was home with us was an incredible gift - such simple, ordinary days when taken away - then restored - become precious. We enjoyed family meals together, watched our winter TV shows, he took Reilly out driving then to Caribou, kissed the girls goodbye before school every morning, went to Mass...the normal flow of everyday life but in sharp focus and savored. Living 'one day at a time' and trying to direct our minds to be in the 'here and now' only have been our saving grace. Thinking about the past tends to bring on tinges of grief and sadness for what's now impossible and missing from our lives. The future is full of uncertainty and many difficult days ahead. With mindfulness, returning to this wonderful moment right now has been an anchor.
We truly believe we have a reservoir of peace because of the love poured into our hearts to overflowing by so many of you! Friends traveled from out of state to visit, meals were delivered with cheer and love, we celebrated our annual 'Winter is Almost Over' party with friends last Friday at our house. Mark has received the most amazing notes - words of encouragement, love and hope. Mark's boss, Connie, flew in from DC on Monday to visit and another Gallup colleague and friend, Shane Lopez, literally the world's leading researcher and author on Hope, came up from Lawrence, KS. It was a thrill to see Mark so happy during these times ...animated, funny, engaging, thoroughly enjoying the moments and resulting encouragement from time with dear friends. They gave us a break from the reality of this challenge and allowed us to forget for a time. We will never be able to repay this outpouring of generosity but know that it has sustained us, buoyed our spirits and gotten us through. Please keep it coming!
Our hearts are full as this season of waiting is coinciding with the season of Lent. The last night we had at home with Mark was Ash Wednesday and we received our ashes together as a family. “Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19)...true...but we're praying fervently for more time. I also had a sense to pray for the donor and their family everyday of Lent as I believe the heart intended for Mark is coming soon. That the time remaining will be meaningful and spiritually significant for the donor. Will you join us on this Lenten journey and pray with us? Your prayers, love and support add to our reservoir of faith and hope as we wait for Mark's new heart! Please stay with us!