November 9, 2009

“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” – Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson was an American journalist born in 1893.  What is remarkable about this woman is that she was the first journalist expelled from Nazi Germany, that taking place in roughly 1934. Dorothy was an avid Anti-Nazi demonstrator and was described by Time Magazine as one of the most influential women in America, behind only Eleanor Roosevelt.  I envoke this Dorothy Thompson’s name because I was fascinated by the above quote… It is so poignant and inspiring and I happened to think of it when I read the story of Elena Desserich. 

The Desserich Family - Elena is on the right


This is the story of a 6 year old girl who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Elena was given only 135 days to live and during that time, this exceptional light spent her days coloring and writing notes to her loved ones, and hiding them in places where they would be found later on, in hopes of brightening their days or more importantly giving her little sister, Grace some momentos of her big sister.  I was simply blown away by this article and the unselfish nature of Elena, that I felt it was a story that must be passed on. I can only hope that I live out the rest of my days with nearly as my courage as Elena displayed.  If you are interested the article is linked here  and so is the collection of her notes and diary that will make a new book entitled, Notes Left Behind.



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