My father joined the Army long before my birth, so being an army brat was all I knew as a child. I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and resided there the first five years of my life.
My brother Bob was also born in Albuquerque. From there we moved to Florida, my mother’s family home. We lived in Florida while my father was stationed in Korea. I think my brother Bill was born shortly after we we left New Mexico.
When my father returned from the Korean war, we were transferred to North Carolina. In the third grade I attended three different schools. Two were in North Carolina and the third was in Pirmasens, Germany. We lived in Germany for four years. After Germany came Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Shafter, Hawaii; and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. When my father retired from the Army, we moved back to my mother’s hometown, West Palm Beach, Florida.
My mother loved all of the travel opportunities that came with being an army wife. She even took off on her own and traveled parts of Europe by herself. Sometimes she would take us with her.
I don’t know what my brothers felt about being army brats, but I hated it. It was hard for me to make friends when I knew I would be moving soon, or they would be. My mother said my pattern was to have only one best friend and then be crushed when, at some point, that person found another best friend.
My life became centered on reading books. I avidly read series such as The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames. I also treasured single books such as Little Men, Little Women, and What Katy Did. I remember looking forward to the day that I would be able to give my beloved collection of books to my own daughter.
I don’t remember exactly when or where “it” happened. I think it may have occurred when we arrived in Germany and started unpacking the moving boxes. I searched and searched for my books. Where were they? Eventually I went to ask my mother. Her response: “There was no room for them.” I don’t remember what they did with my books. What I do remember is that I was devastated and pulled even further into my introverted, depressed, pouting self. Of all the losses in my childhood that is still the one I remember the most.
What is the childhood memory, or the childhood loss, that you remember the most?
Written for Blogging U’s Writing 101 course Day #4: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.