For the love of boys and trucks
I had been thinking about how I had never really written about my little blue pick-up truck. Well actually, it was my Papa’s (pronounced Pawpaw) truck. Long ago, I lived with my grandparents in graduate school. That time of my life remains one of my most special. One day after classes, my Mama (Mawmaw) told me that they were working on their will and were wondering if there was anything that I had my heart set on. Looking back, the conversation was quite comical.
How about one of the cedar chests?
Sorry shug, your cousin has already asked for those.
How about your bedroom furniture?
No, I’m sorry that is going to your Momma and Daddy.
How about the kitchen chairs?
Well, um, no hun. Another cousin has already spoken for those.
(Eyebrows raised) The old stool we used to all play on?
(Exasperated) Well, how about you just give me that old truck and the lawnmower. That ought to be about good.
I don’t rightly know all the circumstances, but the old truck was sold off much to my broken heart. I loved that old green Ford my Papa drove when we carried out our adventures. But some short time after “my” Ford was sold; he purchased a little blue pickup.
As time wore on, my Papa slipped further away from us due to dementia. Slowly, his memories and recollections just faded away. He began to forget generations of people. All of us grandkids morphed into one of his children. By the time he arrived at the Alzheimer’s unit at the nursing home, there were only two things he remembered with certainty.
He knew that my Mama was his gal. And the second thing he remembered was he had a little blue truck. Of course, how we found out about that memory was something else. Papa (who went by Mr. Reed at the home) was being pushed down the hall by another gentleman. When asked where they were going, the other man told the nurse that they were going to take Mr. Reed’s little blue pickup for a spin.
After he passed away, Mama gave the pickup to my dad. I think he just felt wrong about it, and he turned around and gave it to me. When we drove it back from our meeting spot in Arkansas, we told Reed that the truck would be his someday. From one Reed to another.
As we know, that plan didn’t turn out as hoped. For nine years, she’s been used to haul anything too large or too messy for our other vehicles. In January, plans began to fix up that little blue truck for Sawyer. Eighteen years old and only 62,000 miles. We figured she has a few more years left in her. My parents told Mama what we were doing, and one day I got a call from her saying that she knew that Papa had to be so proud knowing that one of my boys was driving that truck.
Today as I was driving down the road to one of my kiddo’s VIA (Very Important Appointments), I heard a song that had the tears flowing down. It was the confirmation I needed to know that I really was meant to write this blog. My thoughts were tied to my heartstrings. I love it when God sends those heavenly assurances.
Take a listen below and hopefully you will see what I mean. And, in case you were wondering, the place I feel closest to my Papa is in that truck. And you better believe if “Sweet Home, Alabama” or anything Hank Williams, Sr. comes on, we crank it way up!