Friday, October 29, 2010

It's been busy, as you might conclude from my long absence. I'm not sure exactly what I've been doing though--that never-ending laundry, sewing a quilt from my son Matthew, housework? I don't know, but here we are.

I am sitting in a Starbucks here in Wheaton Maryland while my mother-in-law gets her hair done in the mall across the parking lot. Hiking over here with my laptop over my shoulder, I see all sorts of people, including the early morning mall walkers. This time, they included a young man: I noticed his foot first, realized he had a prosthetic leg, that he was wearing shorts, and a white t-shirt with black lettering that said "Wounded Warrior Project." He was with a young woman and both of them were very intent, maybe on getting him out of the mall as it begins to fill up with Friday morning shoppers. For a brief moment I wanted to stop him, to ask how he's doing, where was he wounded? but since it seemed unlikely that I'd get through that without crying and he did not need my burdens while he's concentrating on getting well I didn't do it. But maybe he wanted to share his burdens? If I see him again, I hope I have the courage to speak.

Faye Fiore's story appeared in the Los Angeles Times (just go to and search for Doerflinger)--it was a truly lovely story and the pictures that Carolyn Cole took were great (though I still hate pictures of myself). Just before it appeared, I put on my Facebook status that I wasn't sure how this 15 minutes of fame was going to turn out, and afterwards I thought, "That was about 14-1/2 minutes too long!" but I am really glad we got a chance to tell the story. As a result, a lot of people actually looked at this blog and I hope it gave them some insights into what we've gone through. A lot of people friended me on Facebook too, and now I have a much expanded Gold Star Family. I haven't talked much with them, but I know they are there and that's important.

And, even though I am an introvert, I do enjoy public speaking so on Veterans' Day I get about three minutes to speak at the dedication of Veterans' Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. At least this won't include a temporary eternal flame as was suggested once. I am not big on eternal flames--sooner or later the gas will run out and then what will they do? Better to just light the occasional candle with its limited lifespan--we can keep on doing that for a very long time.

The weird thing about writing this blog is that I do tend to go for several weeks between entries, but I'm always thinking about what I want to write. Then, when I sit down, I end up writing about something that happened that very day instead of all the profound thoughts I had last week. Witness my wounded warrior. And, also this morning, NPR did a story about a memorial service for a soldier held in Afghanistan. I spent most of the story crying so I didn't really hear much except the wind across the microphone.

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