A Year On The Road Pt. 1

I never knew I’d be a “trucker’s wife”. When I met my husband in 2008 he shared his dream of becoming a truck driver with me and although he spoke about it often, I still didn’t run out to purchase a Von Dutch hat and brush up on my CB lingo. After nearly three years of him being out of work and our relationship near irreparably frayed, he did it.
   I will never forget that week; when I came home from work that Monday evening, my husband announced he had applied for and secured an over-the-phone interview, by Tuesday he had been given orders to board a bus on Friday bound for Southern California. Aside from my hours at work, my husband and I had spent all of our time together and now I was faced with him being gone for at least a few weeks.
   The two nights leading up to his departure I did exactly what a good wife would do, I helped him pack his bags, making sure to include lots of socks and underwear and I secretly placed several love notes throughout his luggage and wrote him a letter to read while on the bus. We drove to the bus depot at 10 p.m. and had nearly an hour to sit in the car together. I’d cry and we’d talk and I’d cry some more. His bus was called to load and I had to go back outside and watch for him from the parking lot.
Those few weeks we expecred to be apart turned into two solid months. I spent two whole months sleeping on the couch. We had a nice full size bed with lots of blankets and space but I just couldn’t do it. He slept at varying times so our schedules quickly grew conflicting and that relationship that seemed to be hanging on by a thread was only staying intact by my hope that his time away from me would make our lives better. I focused on the pride I felt about the fact that he was (going to be) a truck driver, a hardworking noble career instead of wondering why our bank account said purchases were being made and he had no idea where the money went or the fact that I couldn’t pay our rent. Our phone conversations were strained and often ended in us fighting and me in tears.
As my home life was being mutilated by distance and lonliness, my work life was taking on a transformation of its own; my boss had put in her notice and a new girl was taking her place, rules were quickly changed and my faithfulness to making the transition easier on my staff was reprimanded. I spent many nights worrying about my job in addition to my marriage. To add insult to injury, I learned my husband was talking to other women and exchanging photographs with them. I had to make a choice and having been at my job for eight wonderful years, I felt my time was through. I could still save my marriage but that meant I would have to be near my husband to do so. I moved back in with my parents for several months as I put plans into play, packing up the home James and I had created and putting it all into a dark musty storage unit.
I got through those rough months with the help of wise words from family members and a new found bond with other trucker’s wives. It was amazing to meet other women feeling the same insecure, frustrating and sometimes hopeless feelings that I did. There were veteran wives that reassured me it was normal and offered ways to make it easier.
I enveloped my worries in shopping for things to take on the truck that would make two people living in such a small space easier. I read articles and blogs by truckers and their wives about storage and cooking on the truck, packed my bags accordingly and then took the leap (or rather the two large steps to get into the rig). I had to give our beloved cat to a stranger who said she had a good home for her, I had to say good bye to my one year old nephew who was the light of my life as well as my parents and sister who had always been so close to me. I gave up everything and I had never felt more terrified in my entire life, but I didn’t take that as a bad sign. I realized it just meant I had a lot to be thankful for; a career in child care that had given me so much wisdom and lasting friendships with wonderful kids and parents, my own family that had loved and supported me all the way and lastly, the insight into how strong I really was. I had been through my own personal hell in just a few short months with the man who vowed to always be by my side, on a highway somewhere across the country. I carried myself through it, I could surely carry myself through this next chapter.

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