I am sometimes caught off guard by the power of the visual! That has been the case once again, as I encountered an unexpected situation this week. I recently had the title for my husband's pick-up truck transferred into my step-daughter's name, so that she could benefit from the sale of her daddy's vehicle. For the past two years, the truck has resided alongside the camper, where we lived for eight months while we built our new home. Buck's truck was hidden from my view all that time. I would only see it whenever I was returning home from an outing. Under those circumstances, seeing the truck never bothered me because I would be quickly distracted with getting inside the garage and into my home.
I was away from home this weekend and returned to find Buck's truck in my driveway. Jessi found a buyer for the truck, but it isn't drivable due to a brake-line leak and will need to be towed. They parked it in the driveway for easier access when they come to tow it to Baltimore. I knew of the pending transaction and assumed the truck would be gone when I returned to my home. I was totally unprepared for the flood of emotion that arrived as I approached my driveway and found the powerful reminder of my sweetheart.
Just a few days ago, I was inside Buck's truck, cleaning out any remaining personal belongings and even took pictures for Jessi to show her prospective buyer. I had no problem with it then, as I had faced the initial pain of cleaning out his truck about a month after he was called home. That experience was excruciating for me, but was beneficial in that it helped me to pour out my grief! I really thought I had fully dealt with my feelings in that area, but it is very evident that more healing is necessary in facing the association of my man and his truck. I hate that my emotions can be so powerfully affected by an object. The feeling of powerlessness and helplessness can be overwhelming as I begin to crumble emotionally each time I catch a glimpse of his much-loved emerald green Silverado. This afternoon, I closed my blinds so I didn't have to look at it any more.
It is amazing to me that the location could make that much of an impact. Out of sight; out of mind was working so well for all this time. Seeing Buck's truck in the driveway is extra hard to face, because that is where I thought it would be in my present and my future, with my precious man behind the steering wheel, smiling with his ornery grin and signing I love you through the windshield as he often did. And of course there are many memories connected to his truck, namely, our day-long first date, when he drove me to Skyline Drive; the day we fell in love. Then eight months later, when he proposed in that same magical, mountainous setting and the transmission went up as he put the truck into reverse immediately following our mountaintop experience!
I can't help but think of all the times we loaded up the truck and towed our dinosaur camper to our favorite campgrounds in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Vermont. We made so many wonderful memories on those adventure filled vacations!
The cargo was always changing as it carried everything from building supplies to prepare our previous home for the real estate market, to tons of wood pellets to heat our home and also for the cabin where my daughter and grandson lived. I can visualize the bed of the truck filled with power tools, ladders and tool boxes, equipping Buck and church family friends for the many mission trips that he so willingly poured himself into during unpaid vacation time. The truck was also used for many trips to West Virginia, filled with his hunting gear, making it possible to indulge in two of his favorite pastimes: visiting his family and the pursuit of deer meat and wild turkey. Almost always, he would return with a cooler full of venison for our freezer and an occasional turkey as well. Buck excelled in his marksmanship skills and his hunting strategies and did a great job of providing for his mom and ourselves. Such a trip was the last one he made, returning home just three weeks before his heart attack that forever changed our lives.
As hard as the past few days have been, I am thankful to relive these memories before Buck's truck finds a new home, but I will be glad when it isn't here any longer to torture me. Although I still often feel heartbroken, I know I have traveled a long way on this grief journey and the days of heartache are growing farther apart and have less intensity. God has taught me so much during these many months and I sense His Presence so often in my quiet times of personal devotion as well as times of corporate worship. I don't understand how it is possible, but I can honestly say that I have Peace in spite of the pain. I guess that's why they call it the Peace that transcends all understanding in one of my favorite verses. Such Grace He pours out! Thank You Lord!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7