For those of you who don’t know me, my first name is Trevor. My middle name is Michael, named after my dad. I’m the 3rd of dad’s six kids – Jamie, Heather, Trevor (me), Breanne, Ryan and Veronica. My dad is hard to describe. Physically imposing in stature, his size was clearly the first thing people noticed, but inside was a tender heart and a free spirit whose thirst for adventure was virtually insatiable. Dad seemed fearless. He did nothing gingerly. He was a full-speed-ahead kind of man, who lived by a “go big, or go home” mindset. He grew up in a severely broken home, the oldest of seven kids. But with very little positive influence in his youth, he still managed to be the best dad anyone could hope for. When we were little, dad was gone a lot on the road, driving trucks long haul (a trade influenced by his dad, and passed along to his brothers, a couple of his kids, and even my sweet little mom). I don’t recall feeling like we missed out on time with dad, as compared to other kids my age. The quality time together was what counted. And to me, personally, riding with dad in the truck was the best thing on Earth – I just couldn’t get enough! When dad would leave on another trip, I’d cry. I always wanted to go. Whenever he returned, we would climb all over him in excitement to see him. I liked to go out and play in his trucks, and search for the latest accessory he may have added since I last saw the truck. Several times in my school years, dad would bring the truck to the school for “show and tell” and let all my classmates see the truck, inside and out. He’d also tell the kids of all the places that he’d been and, sometimes, taken us kids. My dad was larger than life, not only to me, but to my peers, as well. Not only could my dad beat up your dad, but my friends would boast that Trevor’s dad could beat up other dads, too. I hated it when dad had to leave. The sight and sound of the truck rolling away was heartbreaking. When I was little, I remember clinging to him, or tugging his arm in an effort to delay his departure. I loved him being a trucker, but I hated when he had to leave. He gave scratchy kisses to us kids, and then mom would kiss him goodbye, then send him on his way. My dad passed away on December 10, 2012. I wrote the following piece in hopes of capturing my raw, random thoughts, while they were flying through my mind like little windows passing at a rapid pace, each with their own view. My dad blessed me with a vivid and creative imagination, which was nurtured by my mom, and is now invaluable to me. I hope to remind people of his best traits when they see me. To be the spirit and image of my dad has been my desire all my life. I miss my dad.
By Trevor Hardwick
Memories are crashing through my mind,
Of times we had and things we’ve done.
As a flood of mixed emotions,
Bear down upon me, one by one.
I can feel you lifting me,
Tossing me high above your head.
And it’s too late to ask you to,
Repeat the words of wisdom that you said.
I can hear the semi as it pulled,
Into the driveway late at night.
And I can hear you shifting gears,
As you pulled away and faded out of sight.
I can hear you singing,
In the white noise of the C.B. radio.
And I can see you through my tears,
Each time you said its time for you to go.
Sometimes when I walk up to my truck,
And then I open up the door.
I can smell vanillaroma and armorall,
And I think of you some more.
I can even feel your massive hands,
The way you lifted me inside.
I was always so excited,
Just to be the one to get to ride.
I recall, I studied how you stood,
And how you talked and how you dressed.
I always tried to emulate you, dad,
Because, I simply, was so impressed.
Sometimes when I hear the crackle,
Of a Harley on the open road.
I think of all the places you have been,
And all the stories that you told.
I can see the tattoo’s on your arms,
Your handlebars and your grips.
I can see your hair out in the wind,
And that big grin upon your lips.
Dad, I know you’re with me,
As I’m looking in the mirror.
And when I speak and someone says,
They swore that it was you they hear.
You were like an eagle flying free,
And somehow longing to belong.
But you were mine, and you were all,
My brothers’ my sisters’ and moms’.
I can see your legacy it’s carved,
Into your grandkids’ very souls.
And I can hear your heartbeat,
In the thumping as my 18-wheeler rolls.
Someday I will see you,
At a truck stop late at night.
And I’ll be thinking ‘bout you,
When I see polished chrome and lights.
I miss you dad, but I hope you know,
I will see you once again.
Forgive me if these memories fade,
To black and white as time creeps in.
I know where to find you,
Anytime I take a look around.
I see you in my own reflection,
I hear you in a lonesome diesel sound.
I remember watching as you left,
And how unguardedly I cried.
I remember pulling on your arm,
And mom was kissing you goodbye.