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Trucker's Last Letter

A Trucker's Last Letter

I found this letter on another trucker's wife website. I loved it so much because my husband is also a truck driver. From what I understand this is a true story. So, have tissues ready. It is a tear jerker.

Steamboat Mountain is a man killer,
and truckers who haul the Alaska Highway
treat it with respect.
Particularly in the winter,
the road curves and twists over
the mountain and sheer cliffs drop away
sharply from the icy road.
Countless trucks and truckers
have been lost there and many more
will follow their last tracks.
On one trip up the highway,
I came upon the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
and several wreckers winching the remains
of a semi up the cliff.
I parked my rig and
went over to the quiet group truckers who were
watching the wreckage slowly come into sight.
One of the Mounties walked over to us
and spoke quietly.
"I'm sorry," he said, "the driver
was dead when we found him.
He must have gone over the side two days
ago when we had a bad snowstorm.
There weren't many tracks.
It was just a fluke that we
noticed the sun shining off some chrome."
He shook his head slowly and
reached into his parka pocket.
"Here, maybe you guys should read this.
I guess he lived for a couple of
hours until the cold got to him." I'd never seen tears in a cop's eyes before.
I always figured they'd seen
so much death and despair they were immune to it,
but he wiped tears away as he handed me the letter.
As I read it, I began to weep.
Each driver silently read the words,
then quietly walked back to his rig.
The words were burned into my memory and now,
years later, that letter is still as vivid
as if I were holding it before me.
I want to share that letter with you and your families.
--Rud Kendall
December, 1974

My Darling Wife,
This is a letter that no man ever wants to write,
but I'm lucky enough to have some time
to say what I've forgotten to say so many times.
I love you, sweetheart.

You used to kid me that I loved the truck more than
you because I spent more time with her.
I do love this piece of iron-she's been good to me.
She's seen me through tough times and tough places.
I could always count on her in a long haul
and she was speedy in the stretches.
She never let me down.
But you want to know something?
I love you for the same reasons.
You've seen me through the tough times and places, too.

Remember the first truck?
That run down "ol' cornbinder" that kept us
broke all the time but always made just enough money
to keep us eating?
You went out and got a job so
that we could pay the rent and the bills.
Every cent I made went into the truck
while your money kept us in food
with a roof over our heads.

I remember that I complained about the truck,
but I don't remember you ever complaining
when you came home tired from work
and I asked you for money to go on the road again.
If you did complain, I guess I didn't hear you.
I was too wrapped up with my problems to think of yours.

I think now of all the things you gave up for me.
The clothes, the holidays, the parties, the friends.
You never complained and somehow I never
remembered to thank you for being you.
When I sat having coffee with the boys,
I always talked about the truck, my rig, my payments.

I guess I forgot you were my partner
even if you weren't in the cab with me.
It was your sacrifices and determination
as much as mine that finally got the new truck.

I was so proud of that truck I was bursting.
I was proud of you, too,
but I never told you that.
I took it for granted you knew,
but if I had spent as much time talking with you
as I did polishing chrome, perhaps I would have.

In all the years I've pounded the pavement,
I always knew your prayers rode with me.
But this time they weren't enough.

I'm hurt and it's bad.
I've made my last mile and I want to
say the things that should have been said so many times before.
The things that were forgotten because
I was too concerned about the truck and the job.

I'm thinking about the missed anniversaries and birthdays.
The school plays and hockey games
that you went to alone because I was on the road.

I'm thinking about the lonely nights you spent alone,
wondering where I was and how things were going.
I'm thinking of all the times I thought of calling you
just to say hello and somehow didn't get around to.
I'm thinking of the peace of mind I
had knowing that you were at home
with the kids, waiting for me.

The family dinners where you spent all your
time telling your folks why I couldn't make it.
I was busy changing oil;
I was busy looking for parts;
I was sleeping because I was leaving early
the next morning. There was always a reason,
but somehow they don't seem very important right now.

When we were married, you didn't
know how to change a light bulb.
Within a couple of years,
you were fixing the furnace in a blizzard
while I was waiting for a load in Florida.
You became a pretty good mechanic,
helping me with repairs, and I was mighty proud of you
when you jumped into the cab and backed up over the rose bushes.

I was proud of you when I pulled into the yard
and saw you sleeping in the car waiting for me.
Whether it was two in the morning or two in the afternoon
you always looked like a movie star to me.
You're beautiful, you know.
I guess I haven't told you that lately, but you are.

I made lots of mistakes in my life,
but if I only ever made one good decision,
it was when I asked you to marry me.
You never could understand what it was that kept me trucking.
I couldn't either, but
it was my way of life and you stuck with me.
Good times, bad times, you were always there.
I love you, sweetheart, and I love the kids.

My body hurts but my heart hurts even more.
You won't be there when I end this trip.
For the first time since we've been together,
I'm really alone and it scares me.
I need you so badly, and I know it's too late.

It's funny I guess, but what I have now is the truck.
This damned truck that ruled our lives for so long.
This twisted hunk of steel that I lived
in and with for so many years.
But it can't return my love.
Only you can do that.

You're a thousand miles away but
I feel you here with me.
I can see your face and feel your love
and I'm scared to make the final run alone.
Tell the kids that I love them very much
and don't let the boys drive any truck for a living.
I guess thats about it, honey.
My God, but I love you very much.
Take care of yourself and always
remember that I loved you more than anything in life.
I just forgot to tell you.

I love you, Bill

~ml m

Thank you Sassy!!!!