John Robert’s Truck
One of the icons of youth is your first vehicle. John saved some money and I helped him get the first vehicle that belonged only to him – a 1999 Ford F-150 truck. I thought he shouldn’t buy that truck. For one thing, I thought it cost too much. But we met the old man who was selling it for a friend and he won us over with his sweet spirit. He was so excited that John Robert was a Christian. (He didn’t give us a break in the money, but that’s another story!). I told John there would be other vehicles and maybe one he liked better … but he set his heart on this truck. I know that feeling. So I helped him buy it.
It might have been around Christmas time last year that he came in and told his mom to sit down – he had bad news. He had accidentally bumped into a fire hydrant and bent his bumper and cracked out his grill. I am guessing it was more than a bump but no firemen ever came to our house. Anyhow… mom wasn’t upset.
I hardly ever rode with John Robert in his truck. Occasionally he would tell me something that was wrong with it and I’d offer a suggestion as to what to do. Not being handy myself, I’d tell him where to take it to have it fixed. He usually didn’t do it.
After John died, our neighbor Roger took the truck and replaced the grill, tail lights, did some engine work, tried to fix a buggy a/c problem, replaced the inspection sticker that was out (for a few years!) … and wouldn’t accept a penny. That’s Roger’s kind way. I miss my neighbors.
So today I drove that truck back to Monroe. It rode great and I had no problems. Well, no real problems. The windshield wipers come on by themselves every once in a while. I remember John telling me this happened sometimes, but I attributed it to his accidentally bumping the controls. The cruise control decided about half way home that it was tired, so I had to actually drive. I haven’t had to pay attention to the speedometer so closely in a long time. The a/c is still a little buggy … but if you turn it off and back on again it works OK.
Those are the kinds of problems you live with when it’s your first car. You’re just glad to have it. And John Robert was glad to have his truck. If his friends went anywhere, they often went in his truck.
About thirty miles before I arrived in Monroe I began to cry. I miss him so much and I wish I had fixed all the little things wrong with his truck for him. God and I had a talk about this situation my family finds itself in at this point in life. I am pretty sure we won’t keep that truck forever. But for now, it’s not really ours. It’s still his. As long as we feel that way, we’ll probably hang on to it. And when those windshield wipers take on a life of their own, I’ll laugh and think of our son.
Thanks for reading.