Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"An Open Letter to a Mother"

This is not my story. But it is a story of so many people. A sentiment shared worldwide. I didn't write this though. I'm not the instrument nor the voice for this piece of art. 
I share this with you, my readers, on behalf of one who sent me this beautifully moving story. A mother's story. A daughter's story. A story of love and appreciation. Is this....your story? 

So I'm sitting in my truck people watching. We're great people watchers, we truck drivers. We've very little else to do when we are parked for long periods of time. I noticed a truck that has been sitting here for almost two days hasn't moved nor started. Each morning it has that covering of frost on it that indicates not just a sleeping truck,  but an empty truck. I assume the truck driver is home for a few days off.

Well this afternoon I went inside to get something to eat and when I came back out the doors to that truck were open and there was a car pulled alongside of It . I see a woman, probably in her mid fifties, taking bags of groceries out of the car and putting them into the passenger side of the truck.

I'm assuming she's the "wife of ". She doesn't have the look of a "trucker". Don't judge me, a trucker can spot another trucker. I also see periodically the tell-tale movements indicating that someone else is inside the truck. A fact that is verified when a bag of trash is tossed out the door and into the parking lot. Without missing a beat, the woman picks the trash up and takes it to the nearby trash can.

This is the point at which I begin to suspect that this is not the "wife of", but the "mother of". Because quite frankly, only the mother of a spoilt, indulged, disrespectful, lazy truck driver would pick up his bag of trash without letting him hear about it. This is further verified when she pulls sheets and blankets out of the back of the car and refolds them before handing them up. Only a Mama would do that.

Another indicator is the fact that she never once got into the truck. None of this is what bothers me the most, though. It's not even when she hauled his oversized duffel out of the back of her car and manhandled it into his truck, or even the large cases of water that she struggled with. What struck me most was when she got ready to leave.

Body language indicates that she was waiting for her son to come out and say goodbye to her. He chose instead to kneel on the seat, hang his head out the door and say goodbye to her with a mere wave and few words.

I wanted to scream at him "hey, jerk! Your Mom deserves a hug! She wants you to give her a hug!"

This made me think of the goodbyes that I say to my mother. The time she came to the yard to help me load my truck up to leave. I cried when I hugged her bye. I cried for the first few miles of that load. I am unapologetic about this, I hate leaving my Mom. We bicker and argue and stress everyone around us out with it. But, every single time that I see my mother in person, the goodbyes are always tearful. No one understands that about us, why we always have such a hard time saying goodbye. But, that's okay...they don't need to "get it". We do.

I never know, not for certain, when I will see her again. Or if I even will. We don't get to see each other more than twice a year, not in person.

I would like to tell that truck driver that he should kiss his mother goodbye, that he should hug her, tell her he loves her, because he might not come home, or she might not be here when he does.

I might be 30 years old, I might be a grown up, I might be a mother myself, but one day my mother will not be here any more. She will not be here to hug me,  kiss me, and tell me she loves me.

One day she will not be here, and I will regret every time I did not hug her, kiss her, and tell her that I love her.

See, for the first time in our lives (that we know of) my mom is sick. This scares me. It reminds me that she won't, in fact, be around forever. She's okay with this. She has made her peace with the inevitable end of her time here on earth.

I have not.
I do not.

The thing that I know, that I think this man child of a trucker doesn't that when his mother dies, a piece of him will go with her. He should take more care with the treasure entrusted to him. He should appreciate what he's got here, before all he can appreciate is the memories of what he had.