In the words of Merle Haggard, “If we make it through December, everything’s gonna be alright. I know it’s the coldest time of winter, and I shiver when I see the falling snow.” The song goes on to say, “If we make it through December, we’ll be fine.” Crazy it’s December already, but I feel like I say that every time this month creeps up on me. Just today, as I was sitting here trying to think of a poem to write for the December issue, I got a call from my friends John Jaikes and (mama) Kim Grimm. They were telling me about a charity called Truckers Final Mile (www.truckersfinalmile.org), which is an organization that assists in the immediate travel, lodging, and ground transportation needs of truck drivers and their immediate families in the event that a driver loses his or her life while on the road, oftentimes, several hundreds of miles from home. I immediately found appreciation in this noble and worthwhile cause. I mean, who really ever considers these kinds of needs to be filled? It’s tragedies like the sudden loss of a loved one that none of us can avoid, but that we are rarely ever truly prepared for. And I like that this organization is focusing its efforts on the trucking community, specifically. I was inspired to write this poem in honor of Truckers Final Mile, and in memory of all those drivers out there who have driven their final mile. Perhaps not into their own driveway, but into the home of their loving Creator. And thanks go to Kim Grimm for providing the perfect photo!
THE FINAL MILE
By Trevor Hardwick
He kissed his little children, and then he kissed his wife,
Kicked the tires checked the lights, as the engine roared to life.
With dashboard lights upon his face, and raindrops on the hood,
He didn’t feel like leaving, but he left there feeling good.
It’s always tough to leave the house, and hit the road alone,
But every mile you make, is just a mile closer to home.
He left his little neighborhood, and left his little town,
By the time he hit the big road, he was finally hammer-down.
It takes a couple hundred miles, to shake the homesick blues,
But he’s doing what he loves, while he fills his old man’s shoes.
He’s headed for the Midwest, with a few stops on the way,
He should be through the mountains, before the break of day.
He’ll call her in the morning, just like he always does,
To ask her about the kiddos, and how her evening was.
Morning came but he didn’t call, which she thought was strange,
But didn’t think much of it, since he’s in the mountain range.
By lunchtime with the kids at school, she finally got a call,
It wasn’t from her husband, and the tears began to fall.
Everything was changing, in the blinking of an eye,
Her mind just kept repeating, when she kissed her man goodbye.
She only wants to see him, and to be there by his side,
But several hundred miles divide, her husband from his bride.
How can she get to him, or bring him home to her?
She simply wasn’t ready, for the cost she would incur.
Sure, the load will make its’ way, to where the load was bound,
And the truck will be retrieved, from wherever it was found.
But what about that driver, who said he’d be back in a while?
How could he have known, that this would be his final mile!