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Terri Barnes, in her Spouse Calls column in the Stars and Stripes, has a pretty good piece. She rightly points out the toll that constant moving, when associated with the military, has:

I’m beginning to hate clean, empty houses. I have seen too many of them. A few assignments ago, it was easier to start all over. Each move adds names to our Christmas list and pictures to the scrapbook, but it leaves an empty feeling that grows harder to fill each time.

I erase an entry in my address book, write a new one, erase again and again. Eventually the paper is worn out, and I can’t put another name there. Some spaces just have to stay empty.

But the emptiness reminds me of what used to be there: The imprint of so many names that I can’t list them all. They have left their mark. I could work frantically to fill in every blank, trying to get rid of the empty feeling, but some empty spaces need to stay that way. It leaves room for what I can remember, but can’t carry with me.


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