Thursday, August 20, 2009

1944 Letter from Lt. Allen Ditzler

I was cleaning the upstairs bedroom when I noticed a piece of paper flutter off the table and onto the carpet. As I picked it up, I noticed that is was a copy from a newspaper article. I read the title: Lt. Allen Ditzler Visits Belfast, Ireland. Denise's dad, served in England during WWII. Although I have only known him as Raymond Ditzler, his "legal" fist name is Allen. His middle name is Raymond.

I took Eda Bea (Denise's mom) to Starbucks for a tall mocha. I ordered a grande soy latte with dolce cinnamon syrup at 139 degrees. Eda Bea motioned that she wanted to sit on the soft lounge chairs outside, where we could enjoy the fresh air and the sound of speeding cars from the street and freeway. As we sipped our hot libations, I leaned towards her, smiling widely and with a loud voice to challenge the rustle and tussle of the traffic, I blurted, "Hey mom, I found a copy of a newspaper article from 1944 signed by Ditz." Her eyes widened and filled with tears. Stutteringly, she spurted out, "He was my husband." She searched in her purse for a tissue with which to wipe her tearing eyes as she repeated, "He was my husband." The tears flowed as her lips quivered. She tried to apologize for crying. I patted her knee and explained, "You are entitled to cry for those you love mom. Heaven knows I cry for Jeremy." She breathed out a big sigh and requested a regular coffee.
Flashing lights from a police car returned her composure. She took a few sips and requested that I drive her home. As we drove past the flashing lights I noticed the motorcycle cop writing out a traffic citation. She smiled, being grateful for the distraction. I will take her out again today. I will read the letter in a place that is more conducive to heartfelt listening.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sawdust Festival

Mary Michelle Denise at the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach, California

House above the Festival Grounds with a view of the ocean.

Denise, Mary, Michelle and I enjoyed a day at the Sawdust (Art) Festival.