Dorothy Brush, An Inspiring Columnist

By Suzette Martinez Standring
Past President, NSNC  

 Eighty-eight-year-old Dorothy Brush still writes her twice-weekly column for The Crossville Chronicle in Crossville, Tennessee. It’s been seven years since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and had refused any treatment.  In 2004, the NSNC awarded her “Columnist of the Year” because she continued to write her column and never missed a deadline despite her battle.  It’s 2010 and she’s still at it.       

 Lately, she’s been on my mind.  She is a long-time regular at the NSNC annual conferences.  I picture her: a welcoming smile, a chipper spirit, slightly stooped wearing an outlandish red-white-and-blue flag dress. Offering a pat on the arm to anyone, Dorothy exudes that rare motherly encouragement of you-can-do-no-wrong.
Prior to the 2008 NSNC conference in New Orleans, Dorothy had sent me an update on her condition: 

“My faithful band of friends and family who pray for me has been a great blessing. Just about a year ago a new X-ray showed the growth has changed some but in the wrong direction. However, I went through last year with no additional symptoms so those prayers have allowed me all these extra years and without pain. I am beginning my 5th year since the diagnosis of terminal cancer. What more could I ask? Bless you for thinking of me.”      

Here we are, 2010, and recently I sent out an email blast about “It’s All Write With Suzette,” my new column writing show in Milton (MA), and I was very touched to hear from Dorothy.  This was our exchange:
“Yours was the BEST email to receive.  How happy I am to hear from you.  How are you?  Are you still writing a column? I’m going to the NSNC conference in a couple of weeks and I know Mike and Mardi Leonard worked hard as co-chairs and I’m sure the activities will be great!  

My granddaughters are now 5 and 2 and life out here is very good.  I hope the same holds true for you.  You are one special lady who is a radiant example of someone whom God holds in his hand.”

Dorothy wrote back:  

“How can I live up to those words you wrote? I do heartily agree that God has held me in his hands for 7 great years. I think He is about to pull me to another place. I have lost all my energy but other than depending more and more on oxygen I still have no pain. Indeed I am still doing two columns a week and the very last one is ready to send when the time comes. Title? What else after all these years “30”. I do miss the NSNC meetings and please give my best to all. Assure them my spirit is there. It would be so close for me but my traveling days are done. I have no doubt the group will continue onward and upward!”      
Love, Dorothy  

I shouldn’t cry because she hasn’t gone anywhere, but if ever a person moved forward in faith and was rewarded with pain-free time to continue sharing her purpose and gift, it¹s Dorothy Brush. I continue to learn from her.  

Send Dorothy a greeting!   

Her email is: Dorothy Brush

Print Friendly, PDF & Email