I have another letter from Darren I would like to share. You should first know about the support of the community and friends around us during this time. It was huge!! The youth group/college group at Paradise Alliance that surrounded Darren during this time was tremendous! They would often come over, sing around Darren, pray for him, or just hang out with him so he wasn't so lonely. Not to mention they played a huge role in helping raise support of his non-FDA approved treatment in Texas for his tumor.
In reading Darren's letters I have realized some of the loneliness and isolation he felt. Can you imagine being stuck in the same room 24/7 as a 20 year old? Life is happening all around you, you can hear your siblings coming and going, you can hear the laughter the joys around you, yet you just sit, helpless to the situation. This has been a harder realization for me, I wish I had spent more time with him, just to be in his company. I do remember time with him, I just wish it was more, I wish I could have filled some of that loneliness.... I wish I would have just shared what was going on in life. All of this makes me realize even more how great of a support the college group was, how they were such a great source of encouragement during what was probably the loneliest time in Darren's life.
Here is another of Darren's letters
The college group is over right now and we are doing a video tape interview. They're going to ask a lot of tough questions about my life now and testimony. I want to try to be an encouragement and use the situation God has allowed me to be in to glorify Him. It's great having friends over. I'm watching a lot of B-ball these days sine the "big dance" started. I'm rooting for the UCLA Bruins and Georgetown.
Paradise is really beautiful! It is kind of looks like Big Bear, but has more trees and mountains..... What do you dream about? Dreams make life exciting! Also hats off to your role in leadership. You would be amazed at the influence you can have. You may not think you're making a difference sometimes, but you are!
The college group just left, it went great! All my friends told stories about me and my Plymouth Fury. Dave's story was the best! This is what he said
One day Dave took me 4 wheeling, way way way deep into the woods. We caught our breath and then I exclaimed " I've got to get home, I' supposed to cook dinner in 45 minutes.... Hamburgers my specialty!"
Dave said "WHAT!"
we jumped into the car and were going to have to fly home! The road was so bad you couldn't walk your dog down it! The vibrations bruised my rump so bad that I could hardly sit for a week! I was actually holding on to the front seat so tight it actually ripped out of the jeep! We made it home ok........
All my Love,
The letter has a lot more, but some things I may choose not to share in all of the letters. He is right about Paradise, it is so beautiful, I miss it often, even the smell. It is one of the gems of California.
The thing that stuck out to me the most in this letter is when Darren says, " I want to try to be an encouragement and use the situation God has allowed me to be in to glorify Him. " What Darren? use the situation God has "allowed" you to be in? What a perspective change, it was like a priviledge to him! Most people would complain, grumble, or be mad at God, but instead what Darren's sees is a situation where God is using him. And God certainly did use him, for all of His Glory
And I also loved how he said "You may not think you are making a difference, but you are." He is speaking to me even now, sometimes hearing these words as a mother is all the encouragement I need. Oh how I miss him and so wish he was sharing life with us.
I know God used Darren in tremendous ways, but sometimes I still can't help but think what life would be like with him still around, with a family of his own....