Journals Past – AF Brat 1

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 6th 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 my 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 retrospect.

My friend Pam Parker in ninth 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.

She 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 goodbye.”

I didn’t believe her. I wrote her once.  She did not write back.

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