Full Pantry, Empty Heart

Full Pantry, Empty Heart June 24, 2010

The life of a military family is full of ups and downs. Great assignments, tough jobs, deployments, new doctors, packing, moving, friends, family.

For the last two years we have been living in a multi-family apartment building in central Germany. This heightens both the challenges and rewards of being an Army family living on an  Army post. On Monday I lost my best, best Army-wife-mom friend. She lived in the same stairwell as me, we had children of similar ages who got along swimmingly. We shared values and passions for reading and being outdoors. We lived through a miscarriage, emergency room visits, a deployment, a two-week trip to Rome and countless family struggles together. Our husbands work late hours, so we regularly spent three hours together on some playground or other in the afternoons. She was my female sanity check, she grounded me. She had a way of saying the same thing my husband was trying to get across to me, but making it more palatable.

So, on Monday she headed back across the Atlantic, with her family of five in tow. My pantry is full of her condiments, dry pastas and diet sodas, but the shelves of my life seem to have gaping holes without her. I know that the richness of our families’ friendship has enriched us all for the long haul, but sometimes the near term seems so bleak. I ask for your prayers for everyone’s healthy adjustments to our new situations

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  • Oh AWOL, my heart breaks for you reading this. I know how precious good friends are. After leaving the Army and then later, law school, we had to say goodbye to such bosom, dear friends. It was so difficult and filling those emotional holes was a real challenge. I will pray for your heart, for you to find some way to fill the void, for your future pals, and for the past ones–that God would bless your connection despite distance. He has done so with us very graciously. Current contractions being offered up for you… xo

  • Kat

    AWOL, this is so hard! We’ve also said good-bye to many friends, and it truly is heart-breaking, especially when you don’t know the next time that you might be together again. The only consolation that I can offer you is that my parents are still best friends with the friends that they made 25-30 years ago, while living overseas. They may only see each other once every few years, but some of my fondest childhood memories involve these families.
    Praying for your heart during these tough days!

  • Right Said Red

    So tough AWOL! Prayers for you and your friend during this rough time of transition!

  • Oh, this really broke my heart and struck a chord. We live in a college town and each year we are faced with friends leaving – it’s not quite the same as your situation, but I can relate. I hope that you stay in close contact with them – and that a new, almost as wonderful family moves into their apartment.

  • This must be so hard… friends like that are such a blessing, and saying goodbye would be so sad.

  • Mary Alice

    We have moved so many times and I have really come to believe that God sends us the right friends at the right time — some to be mentors to us, some for us to mentor, some peers for us to pal around with. AWOL, it sounds like this great friendship was just such a blessing, but you will be sanctified by reaching out for new friends, I bet some scared, pregnant army wife is going to write to her mom soon saying that she met a woman with amazing “older” kids!

  • Kerry

    Oh praying for you!!
    And trying to ignore the feelings I’ll have in 2 weeks for our military move to the opposite coast.

  • Oh, I don’t believe I’ve commented here before, but I am compelled to now. I know the kind of friendship you are talking about, and I am lifting up your aching heart right now.

  • Marty McWatters

    Oh, baby…… I am all watery-eyed myself just reading your note and seeing your friends all support you with such compassion through their responses to your post. Having lived a transient military life as a child and then again as an adult, I am asking myself which is harder…..leaving your friends behind or being left behind. I think my vote is for the latter.

    When you are moving away there is so much adrenaline and momentum with all the uncertainties, decisions, demands (and adventures) involved in that process. When you stay put, and really close friends move, you feel the hole much more acutely. Sort of like the difference between trying to sit on a two-legged stool versus walking on stilts. Your summer activities with the kids will give you the momentum you need to stay upright after the Carney’s departure and I know Mary Alice is right on target with her comment about some new young mom who will find you soon.

    I also know that Sherry was very special to you because she was someone walking just ahead of you with children a bit older than yours and sharing the same values on many very personal issues. You are blessed to have your Builder Buddies always but especially now and I thank the Good Lord for his providence in connecting this special group of women.


  • kit

    This struck a chord with me…I acutely remember my dear friend leaving me after a tour in Key West in the early 80’s…we had both had babies, and spent tons of time together..and 30 years later, I remember it so well. Hang in there, and thank God for skype, facebook, and the like! It will help soften the blow , maybe…I’ll be praying!