Monday, August 02, 2010

A Piece Of My Life Is Officially Closed,

My partner and friend has died quite suddenly.
Many know of my years driving truck with Deb. We spent night and day together driving all over North America, then in 2003, after I was diagnosed with diabetes, I hung up my driving hat, and left Deb to make her way along the highway without me.

When we drove together Deb did the days and I did the nights. We traveled the highways and biways lookin for adventure. Don't know what we were more like.......Thelma and Louise, or BJ and The Bear? I guess some folks sway one way on that opinion, and some sway the other. We kinda just swayed in the wind. Half the time, hangin by the seat of our pants, haulin loads of Just-in-time freight.

Well Deb was the girly girl and I was toughy girl. Deb was 6ft tall and I skidded in just short of 5 ft. Her hair was perfect and her nails always painted, and I never painted my nails and I wore overalls or velour lounge suits, while she wore dresses. She made me seem kind of butchy, but I wasn't.....she was just way more prissy than me. A funny pair of girls rolling down the road.

We had two weaknesses......casinos and shopping. We were relentless shoppers. I was always looking for unique shirts for my boys and Deb was looking for the next bargain at Tall Girl! We knew where all the best shopping was and we would do our best to plan down-days on the road in good shopping towns. We also liked to site see. Once in a while we would get to see something really cool, or meet some really awesome people. Deb definitely taught me how to shop. She also taught me the toughest parts of my job. I learned the details and intricacies of the logistics business from Deb. We actually did make a good team. But when I got diabetes I did not have the stamina for the job any longer and I decided to retire from the long haul and stay closer to home.....teaching driving and safety instead. I missed the road. Sometimes I still miss it.

Until now I always knew that if I wanted to have one last ride in the truck I could have just asked Deb to indulge me, and I knew she would. But I never got the chance to fulfill the one-last-ride. So now that Deb has died I will turn in the dream.

When you ride together you spend more time in the truck than you do with your friends and family. We spent day and night together and then she lived here on our down time. Deb was an integral part of our family the whole time we drove together. She had a roll here. Stories about our life with Deb are part of family dinner conversations all the time.

Even though Deb's death was sudden to us, she had been sick for a while. Her friend Leigh Ann explained in a note that Deb had taken ill, and it was discovered she had multiple blood clots throughout her body. While preparing to remove the clots and repair a defective heart valve, a clot from her lung moved into her heart and killed her. It is a tragic way to die. I wish I had known she was sick. I wish I could have said, "Goodbye"

Every day I look at the map that Deb and I put on the wall upstairs. Every time we would return home we would trace out the roads we traveled in RED ink on the map. I think of the hours we spent going without sleep so we could listen to the Harry Potter books on tape while the truck rolled along. And how Deb would yell at the tape at all the bad guys.

I will remember endless evenings with our friends....playing pool....eating on Church street...and goofing around.

The most of my memories I know I have shared with her is "The World From My Small Window"......all of the photographs I have from our trucking days. A million sunrises and sunsets, mountains, and oceans, forests and deserts. The thrill of finding little cool places. Of even tough times when we would be stranded by broken down trucks in the middle of no-where....too close to Christmas....and not with our family....And of course....where we were at 9/11 and how tough those first days of unrest were, and how crazy it was with immigration during that time.....

Once we made the most of a time we were stuck in Cheyenne Wyoming, just before Christmas, so we did the Christmas shopping and set out to do crafts in the room for a week waiting and waiting for the truck parts to come in.

Or the day we were offered Lamb fries for the first time.......or the day we were chased by the tornado, or the nights we slept through earth quakes in California........or the 5 days we were stuck in the ice in Nebraska.

We were transient souls visiting the majesty of the land one freeway after another. I have traveled some of our roads since. Back to New England twice, and without her on the road with me it was not the same. I would share stories of our trips with my traveling mates, but I could never quite bring myself to enjoy the road like I used to. The view is different from the car, than the big truck.........

So my days of trucking are now officially closed. The transient chapter of my life is done with the passing of Deb. She died way too young.....Just when she finally was putting all the pieces in place too. Perhaps in Deb's next life she will become the marmy school teacher I always joked with her, she always aspired to be.......and hopefully she will give up her love for pick-up trucks and go for a Jetta or somethin!!

Deb you will not be forgotten!


DianeCA said...

What a wonderful life you shared, and a terrible loss it must be! Deb sounds like a really good person to know and be with. I am sorry for your loss, and her families.

Fida said...

My heartfelt condolences. You wrote a beautiful piece of your friend! A part of your life ended with her, but the memories will stay with you forever.

TorAa said...

I just cried when I read this wonderful tribute to your exceptional companion.
It's so hard to loose such a close friend.
I'm convinced she can read your tribute and be happy for all the great moments you had together.

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