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“Pain nourishes courage. You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.”   -- Mary Tyler Moore




Sometimes a word of encouragement and a gesture of reaching out can make all the difference in a life. I was happy to see this new story from long-time favorite 2TheHeart author Dorothy Casper.  Welcome back, Dorothy!



by Dorothy Casper


Hurriedly, I walked out onto the patio to shake the small area rugs. Thinking all the while of the other mundane things that needed to be done, I noticed the crocuses were just peeking through the cold, dark earth and the hyacinths were up ready to bloom. I sat down on the step to get a better look and felt the warm sun.   It was cool, really too cool to sit outside without a jacket but I hardly noticed because the fresh, clean smell of yesterday's rain along with the morning sun put new energy into my soul.  

For a few moments my heart sang; yes, right then every thing did seem right with the world.  For a few minutes I was able to put aside the trials that beset me when I had stepped out into the fresh air. Evidence of renewal was everywhere.  The further I looked the more evidence I saw. After the long winter and the weight of snow and rain the fragile little plants were anxiously pushing their way through the warming earth to once again brighten the lives of all who would take a moment to look at them.

I thought of the times that I had always felt I was too busy to just sit and drink in the beauties around me - seeing them from the car window was enough. But then on our wedding anniversary thirteen years before my husband and I sat in the doctor's office as he announced a diagnosis of breast cancer.

The nearest treatment center was three hours away. The proposed regimen was, I would take treatments five days a week and could go home for the weekends.

The thirty treatments were marked off on the calendar but I could not understand why my body would not cooperate with me.  Finally my doctor informed me that I was suffering the ill effects of radiation, called pneumonitis. Such was my new interruption.  It manifested itself as a severe case of pneumonia.  I struggled with extreme tiredness, severe coughing, chills and high fever.  Unlike other respiratory diseases, it does not respond to antibiotics.  Days dragged into weeks and I often thought bitterly, "When will this end?"

Gardening and flowers had been my passion. Every day, I looked out the windows to see if I could see any of my flowers peeking through the earth as the snow melted. I told myself, "they will never make it and neither will I."

This was a new way of living for me - discouragement had never been a part of my life but now….Early one morning my phone rang and a very busy religious leader asked me how I was feeling.  As he continued to talk to me, I began to hear answers I had been struggling with and praying about.  For one of the Lord's busiest servants to take time for me was so gratifying and very humbling.  Our conversation brought the relief I so desperately needed.  Even though physically, there remained a mountain to climb, I had now received inspiration to help me understand some of the injustices of life.

The next morning dawned a beautiful spring day.  I was determined that I would walk around the lawn and stop at each flowerbed.  As I stopped to rest at the edge of the first bed, I could hardly believe my eyes.  There were little green shoots everywhere, each reaching upward to the light and straining for the warmth of the sun. 

Just like the perennials, I too had come through the long hard winter.

Thirteen years later on our 50th wedding anniversary, the doctor confirmed that I did indeed have a battle ahead of me this time the treatment would be chemotherapy.

I had once again come through a long, hard winter, battling cancer again.  This time the battle was Lymphoma and once again I had reached for the warmth and strained for the light.  Light that only God could give.  As He gently guided and I often resisted, His love continued.  Everywhere I look this morning I see what is truly a gift from God.  I will never again take life for granted. God is in His Heaven and that can make all right with the world.

Yes, each day brings its own priceless miracle - the renewal of life and a promise of tomorrow.


Dorothy Casper  copyright 2007


Writing is an obsession for me. Pen and paper are my dear friends.  Regardless of the problems that come my way writing them down give me direction. I guess you could say reading and writing are my therapy for the ills in the world.  See my previous stories "A Valentine Remembrance", Don't Practice Your Mistakes", "Memorial Day: A Time To Remember", “Lessons From The Drivers License Bureau” in the 2TheHeart story archives.



It’s been a while since I’ve awarded the 2TheHeart “Make a difference” award! I love this web site and hope you will visit it and take a few moments to de-stress with its uplifting quotes and beautiful scenery.  Enjoy! If you would like to recommend another worthwhile web site, email me at

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