I’ve always kept a journal and stored the old ones in boxes on a self, hence they escaped the fire. The ones from my youth; however, are long gone, along with my rock and fossil collection and of course all my comics (would have been worth a fortune today). The reality of a Brat’s life is that so much gets left behind and can only be found in the dark corners of memory. And, part of my journey in this my sixth decade is to restore at least in part those long gone journals, née diaries.
Only children of military parents know
what it means to be a Brat. The toll in things abandoned because of
the moving truck weight limitations is small in comparison to the
relationships, the roots yanked up over and over again worn so thin that
transplantation becomes near impossible.
As a military family
through the 50’s & 60’s, we moved every three years. Every three
years, we got orders to move. I said goodbye to more friends and loves
and cried more rivers of tears in the first 14 years of my life than I
can remember. I know it changed me. By after my freshman year, I stopped making any more fast friends. I began to keep people
at arm’s length. I don’t think anyone noticed, nor did I, except in
My friend, Pam Parker, in eighth grade voiced what I knew in
my heart. We turned 14 together; we were fast friends for all of 8th
and 9th grade, and it ended the day we said goodbye to each other at Big
Spring Air Force Base in west Texas.
said out loud what I had yet to admit. “It ends now. I won’t write,
so don’t ask me. People always say they’ll write, and they might once
or twice, but sooner or later they all fall away. I’d just as soon do
it sooner than later. It’s easier. So, goodbye, it’s been a blast, but
I didn't believe her. I wrote her once. She did not write back.