Reports of truck drivers in Canada participating in a “Freedom Convoy” to protest oppressive government policies touches both long and heartfelt memories with me. While not intending to wade further into the political nature of the issue, I harken back to the days when my own father was a truck driver.
For three decades, beginning in 1960 until his career-ending heart surgery in 1990, my father made his living on the roads. As a boy, I watched my dad come home from church every Sunday and change from his suit and tie into his driving uniform. As my mother prepared our dinner, he’d pack a small suitcase and then ready himself for another week of driving.
The life of a truck driver is not easy – for both the driver and his family.
After enjoying what was typically either a fried chicken or a beef roast, Dad kissed Mom and hugged me, then walked out the door and drove 8 miles to the terminal, where he would retrieve his truck. Except for rare Wednesdays when he returned to reload, and had time for a quick change and shower at home, we did not see him again until Friday night or Saturday morning.
With no cell phones in those days, we never knew exactly when my father would pull back into the driveway. As a boy, I eagerly anticipated hearing Dad’s first strong footstep on our wooden front porch. No one stepped up on the porch like he did. When I heard that step, I knew my dad was home. There were years when we were concerned he might miss Christmas – but thankfully, he never missed even one.
In many ways, truck drivers are the backbone of America. In previous decades, men like my dad transported cargo from factories to stores – from coast to coast. Dad hauled furniture for most of his career and using only a hand truck (he called it a “two-wheeler”), had to unload the cargo himself.
Truckers move America, in more ways than one. Whether private or commercial, union (my dad was a member of The Teamsters) or nonunion – these individuals deserve our support.
I once worked for a former U. S. Energy Secretary, and supervised a move he made from Virginia back here to Colorado. When the mover came to load the furniture and learned the identity of his client, he pleaded with me: “Can he please do something about diesel prices? They are killing me!” Well, former politicians have no sway, so I was unable to help. Over twenty years later, his plea rings true. I guess the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Truckers are essential. They’re vital to American businesses – which means they’re vital to you and me.
Somewhere along the line, Dad bought an original painting in a truck stop which showed a truck driver navigating his way through a storm. Behind him with an arm around his shoulders was the Lord Jesus Christ. That painting hung above my parents’ bed for over 25 years until the Lord called both my parents home, just a few years apart.
Looking back, that painting comforted us during the many days and nights Dad was out on the road in harm’s way. I remain forever grateful the Lord answered our many prayers through those years – and hope and pray truckers everywhere safely and securely reach their destinations, too.