Youngest ran off to join the Air Force. He got through base camp with flying colors and will be based in Florida.
Everything in the house reminds me of him, particularly everything in the refrigerator.
We used to go through three blocks of cheese a week. Now the cheese gets dried out and crusty. Bags of fruit grow moldy because we can't eat it fast enough. I buy less and less adjusting to this change. The grocery bill has shrunk to a fraction it once was. The refrigerator is half empty most of the time. Its glory days are over.
I had a lot of those same problems after Dave died. Never realized how much he ate. It took me a couple of years to figure out how to feed just one and not have a lot of stuff go bad.
I've found the freezer is my friend. I cook up a big batch of beans and eat what I want, then into individual serving sized plastic bags they go so I can get them out whenever I feel like it. Same thing with chicken: pound the chicken breasts flat, fill the bag with some apple juice and freeze it. Make hamburger patties, eat what I want, freeze the rest, cornbread freezes, almost anything except fresh fruits and veggies freezes well and thaws and eats well. Your cheese will freeze so you don't have to have any moldy cheese again.
As far as missing someone, that's something I can't help with. You just have to learn to live with what you've been given (or what's been taken away).
Mander, would he have room in his locker for a small tape recorder...ie mail "voice mail" to you? I suppose if he has a smart phone, he could record messages and email them to you (I only have a dumb phone, so don't know the ins and outs). I suspect boot camp does not allow much free time, but now he's out, maybe he could be persuaded to call you more often (or set up a time you could call him).
Don't forget to tell him how much you miss him, of course. Snail mail still exists, too. If you want to go old-fashioned, mail him some homemade cookies, I guarantee that will go over well with him and his buddies :-) They may kid him, but they'll be pestering him for the next box :-))
One Christmas 18 years ago we had 1 son living in Korea and the other 1 in Japan. They were both employed as English teachers. We had no idea where life would take either of them. The older one is now with his wife and 2 daughters in a house 6 minutes from here. The younger one [now 39] is in the south end of Vancouver, a 25 minute drive from here. When the last one left home I was confused. For the first time I was seeing a noticeable surplus in my checking account at the end of the month.
"Let's take Dad's car. There's more gas in it." I can recall the moment looking at my bank balance, wondering: where is all the money coming from?
You get used to food going blue and furry. You freeze 1/2 of each load of bread. You have a written list of dish recipes so you remember to use the weird stuff you bought. Do without for a couple of days (don't shop daily.)
I've learned. My bank account is healthy because I've learned what to buy a dozen at a time and what to buy, just once in a while.