by Kay Heitsch : I can not tell you the shock I felt when my husband Bill told me he was thinking about driving an 18 wheeler across the country…
For all of our married life, Bill had worn a suit or a sport coat with a shirt and tie to work. Bill even had training in the Twin Towers in New York City.
My first response to this truck driving excursion was, “You don’t even know how to drive a truck!” Bill’s response was, “I know, I’m going to go to truck driving school.” I thought he had lost his mind but after being married for over 40 years I had learned to go with the flow.
After Bill finished truck driving school he asked if I wanted to take a road trip with him. At first, I was hesitant but then I thought, “Why not!” When I climbed into this big semi I had no idea what this trip would hold. I brought along some yarn and knitting needles for something to do. I started to knit little cell phone sacks where I place a Bible verse. I gave these away to several people along the trip.
I saw very few women traveling with their husbands. However, one night we were sitting in the truck watching what I called “the dance” as truckers were maneuvering to park when I noticed a woman walk by with a man that I presumed was her husband. I don’t know why but I told Bill I was going to go in and try to find this lady and give her one of the little cell phone sacks.
I jumped out of the truck and walked into the truck stop. I looked all around but I didn’t see her so I looked in the bathroom; there she was brushing her teeth.
I have never had too much trouble talking with strangers so I just started to talk to her. I don’t know exactly what I said but I must have mentioned I was traveling with my husband. At first, she was quiet then asked, “Do you know why I started to ride with my husband?” Of course, I didn’t, so I asked why. She went on to tell me how her teenage son had died in a motorcycle accident in 1988 and she didn’t like to stay home alone.
I could hardly believe it! I shared with her that my teenage son Todd had also died in a car accident in 1988. We both stood in silence for a few seconds. Wow, now we found out we had something else in common. I quickly introduced myself and she did the same.
Mary expressed that she had not been able to talk to anyone about her son’s death because she felt that no one would understand. I let her know she was free to tell me anything she felt comfortable with. With tears in her eyes, Mary began to tell me her story. After she shared about the day of her son’s tragic death we were both crying. We gave each other an understanding hug knowing the pain we both had experienced.
Suddenly we realized we had been talking for some time. Mary expressed that her husband would be wondering what happened to her. When we opened the bathroom door there was Mary’s husband patiently waiting.
Mary still had tears in her eyes as she told her husband about our conversation. She expressed to him how grateful she was that after all these years God had brought someone she could talk to who would understand.
You know, at first, I didn’t know why I wanted to find this stranger and give her a cell phone sack, but I do know now. There is always a reason we meet new people. I truly believe God arranged our meeting so Mary could share her story with another mother who understood the pain of losing her child.
About the author: Kay is the mother of three children and grandmother of two. Her oldest son Todd was killed instantly in a car accident when he was 16. It was shortly after Todd’s death that she entered into a personal relationship with God. From that day on her life has taken a radical change for the better.