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March 29, 2004 - "The Year To Be..." by Lea McDonald
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"It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand." ~Madeleine L'Engle, Writer


Introducing the brand new 2TheHeart Prayer Team Ministry! It is with great thanks to the new Prayer Team head Joyce Heiser that I announce our new Prayer Team! Joyce, who is a 2TheHeart author and member of Angels2TheHeart, has kindly helped me to put together this newest aspect of 2TheHeart and I am so excited! If you have a prayer need or would like to join the Prayer Ministry Team, visit this page:


Lea's most recent story is such a beautiful reflection of all the good possibilities in life. I am happy to share another piece by him and encourage you to write to him and to each of our writers in response to their stories!

"The Year To Be . . ."
by Lea McDonald

It is a question often asked this time of season: "What will happen in the coming year?"

Despite the oppressive crush of cynicism from people who habitually see life's glass as being half empty, I will take this opportunity to stand as a champion, a bulwark, a veritable literary vanguard in an ongoing effort to vanquish such contemptible assaults on humanity. In turn I hope to alert you, the dear reader, as to what will be.

In 2004 I predict there will be warm sunny days set against a buttery afternoon sky in which a father will watch his son catch their first fish. I predict flowers will smell sweeter this year, and a young girl will catch her first butterfly. This year the scent of fresh-cut hay will be carried on an aromatic breeze so heavy with warm and nostalgic memories they'll need to be pulled aside by a team of horses.

As it has done for a millennium snow will fall in Pleasantville this coming year, and from it will spring the laughter of children as snowmen bounce to life while rust-worn sleigh-runners are polished like new during madcap rides down snow packed hills. Ah yes, a new year in Pleasantville, can you feel it? As our hearts and hearths glow warm with hope eternal even the coldest of souls must give way to the inspiration of promise.

I see a father this year will "find the time," and in doing so he'll "remember" how important and loved he felt when his father did likewise. I see spoons of cake mix being sought by mommy's helpers while mothers, as they have selflessly done for years, prepare food for a family picnic.

I predict a young father, while looking into his newborn's eyes, will have an epiphany in which he'll finally understand why he'd sometimes find his father smiling at him with tear-streaked cheeks. This year, as in years-gone-by, neighbors will selflessly help those less fortune for no other reason than to lighten someone's load, and in doing so they'll discover how their parents found true richness in life.

I predict a young princess will hug a Knight in Shining Armor for an act of uncommon love and sacrifice, and despite possessing extraordinary valor her father will not be able to stem his tears.

I predict a father's daughter, who's fought a historic battle with depression will win her fight and will live on as a heroine with an unprecedented drive to help others.

I predict a soldier will lower his unfired weapon from an enemy target thinking only God and he will know. I predict a man will say to a nurse, "No, it's okay, I'll feed her - she's my mother." I predict a musician will complete their song, a writer their book, a mother her family, a man and woman each other, a puppy a boy.

I predict a gravely ill woman will turn her head from a hospital bed to recognize her long departed husband extending his hand from eternity to ask for hers one final time.

Yes, next year will pretty much be like last, frogs will still jump, birds will sing and bees will collect honey as we come to understand the eternal bond of humanity and love.

Lea McDonald copyright 2003

I am a weekly columnist for a local paper and an on-line columnist for a news service. I typically write stories framing the humanity I've found in moving to the country, a place where the moral fabric of society seems a little less tattered. After leaving the corporate world as a manager of applications development for an aerospace company, I moved to the country, became a volunteer firefighter, returned to an old trade (flooring installation), and as a father of 3 boys, I have a full plate by times. Despite a full schedule, I love to write true stories of what I have found, sharing slices of life as it were.



The Letter Box:

God Blesses some people with a talent to write. He surely did so with Michael Segal. I am so sad that Marnie died, but glad to see her through the loving eyes of Michael Segal. thanks for a wonderful story. I am so busy today yet I am so glad I paused to read The Most Beautiful Rose.

Ellie Braun-Haley

Dear Susan and Michael Segal,
I just finished the Marnie Rose story with tears streaming down my face. What clinched it for me was clicking on the link to her web page and seeing what a beautiful young woman she was. I will gladly donate to the Run for the Rose fundraiser for brain tumor research. My father passed away four years ago from brain cancer and whenever I see or read of others with the illness, my heart aches for them. Susan, I didn't realize you had lost a sister to brain cancer too and I look forward to reading your book about her. I have been a member of 2TheHeart for about six months now and it feels like a family to me. Thank you to Michael Segal for sharing Marnie's story - what a wonderful and brave young woman she was. People like her continue to change the world, even after they have moved on to heaven.

Thank you,
Ronald Halstrom II

Dear Michael,
Your story touched my heart. It reminded me that life is very short and very precious and Marnie's beautiful life is an example of living it to its fullest. Thank you for sharing it. Jeanette

Making a difference, one story at a time!



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