Friday, November 14, 2014

Just A Truck...

It was just a truck...

A blue truck...sheet metal, glass, rubber, fiberglass,

and probably a whole lot of plastic...

We had it for over 10 years and we just traded it for a "new to us" 2010 vehicle with about 70,000 miles on it because the 140,000 miles were beginning to cost too much to make sense for us to keep it.

And it was just a truck...

It had no feelings,

no physical needs as it sat out in the rain and snow,

no emotional needs requiring hugs of comfort and quiet understanding.

But somehow that truck carried a lot of emotions.

I vividly remember the night that my husband was at the dealership purchasing the truck.  I called him at about 5:00 and told him that our 3 month old, Braden, was getting sicker and sicker and having hard time breathing so I was rushing him into the ER and taking with us our 20 month old son, Zach.

So the sooner he could meet us there, the better.

Brian was just signing the paperwork as I called and soon he was at the hospital.

Braden was taken to the children's hospital downtown and immediately placed on life support due to respiratory failure...

for ten days we sat in the Intensive Care Unit....and hoped he would get better. When he wasn't getting better, I remember crawling into his crib with all the lines attached to him, and I told him that he was going to need to fight.

Just 3 years earlier, his sister had died 15 hours after she was born due to hypoplastic lungs at birth. She died hemorrhaging and convulsing in my arms as I kissed her and told her how much we loved her, that it was okay for her to go, and that she should look for her Grandma Ross (my mom who had died from brain cancer in 1984) and she would take care of her until I got there.

I explained to Braden that he was NOT going to get the same speech from me and that he needed to fight and live.

Inexplicably, shortly after that, Braden started doing better...and in 48 hours we were in a regular hospital room and 24 hours after that, we were home.

The truck had fallen off our radar at that point, but not off the dealership's radar.  They needed us to sign paperwork on the vehicle we had traded in when we bought the truck. We explained that we could not leave the hospital (and frankly didn't really care about the paperwork) so the salesman graciously came to the hospital and Brian left Braden's room long enough to go sign the papers.

He brought with him a gift for Braden and a book for us to pass the time...and his prayers.

Then on December 28, 2007, that truck took us back to the same ER because Braden was once again having breathing problems as he had multiple times after that first night.  We assumed it was pneumonia again...

He went in for a chest x-ray and the doctor came back with a horrified look on her face.  There was a large gray mass covering most of his torso and she didn't know if it was a tumor or a progressively regressive liver disease.

They wanted to transport him to the children's hospital downtown in an ambulance but he has autism and that didn't work well the first time because I couldn't sit with him.

We declined and drove him to the hospital in the blue truck. He looked out the window and said, "moon" when he spied a full moon.  Brian and I both remarked that we knew that what we were heading to the hospital for was going to change our lives forever but there was Braden staring out the window of that blue truck celebrating the beauty of the moon.

It set the tone for how we wanted to try to keep perspective for whatever it was he would be fighting.

It was cancer....and we've spent every day of the past almost 7 years since fighting Braden's cancer.

That truck has driven through snowstorms to get us back to the ER because he had spiked fevers that could be a central line infection which is life threatening. Snowstorms so bad all reports said to not get out on the road because it was too dangerous...but the blue truck got us to the ER safely.

There have been happy trips too...Zach's flag football games, his baseball games, drum lessons, school music programs, culinary classes...

It took Zach to his first day of preschool...then kindergarten and up to sixth grade, and it took Braden to his first day of preschool and up to fourth grade (what a huge blessing from God).

It's gone through infant car seats, booster seats, and now to just big boys sitting in its bare seats...

The truck hauled us to birthday parties for 10 years of memories, it heard a lot of little boy giggles between those doors.

And road trips....oh the road trips. Filled with me sitting in the middle of the back seat squished between the boys' car seats so I could retrieve toys, snacks, and drinks when they bellowed for them.  Two years ago, we took a road trip from Kansas City to Phoenix Arizona and the blue truck faithfully rolled through every mile and hour of endless cactus and beautiful rock formations.

That blue truck watched our boys grow up and traveled through 10 years of life with us.

But life isn't like the movie Toy Story...the truck doesn't come alive when we aren't around and have tell stories to the other trucks... least I don't think so. ;)

(I admit that when I'm donating toys or throwing away broken ones, I do wonder thanks to that movie.)

And I wonder what the blue truck would say if it was having a conversation with its friends.

I probably don't want to know....there was a lot of accidental spit up and puking incidents that occurred while traveling over the years. Some caused by chemo, some caused by really bad reflux...


There were a lot of diaper changes in the backseat because I refused to change the boys in filthy public restrooms...that was then followed by scrubbing of the truck seats...

I imagine the truck would have some of its own stories to tell, if it could...

It was just a truck.

But saying goodbye was hard.

A lot of memories, good and not so good, were made in that truck.

And I was sad to see it go.  I hope it finds good home now and that the new owners treat it well.

We still have my 12 year old vehicle so we have a vehicle with a longer history than either of our boys as I bought it while I was pregnant with Zach

...and we have a "new to us" vehicle that we can hopefully make all happy memories in.

All FOUR of us for a very long time.

Goodbye "Daddy's Truck" and thanks for the memories.

Braden saying goodbye to Daddy's Truck