Letting go of a foiled flower bed

For me, it’s one of those things you see but you don’t see.

It’s been in the back yard area for a number of years now, a disabled truck that I’m confident to say is not an eyesore to any neighbors.

It just looks like a truck waiting patiently for a driver to take it somewhere.

And in this case, the journey will be to the junkyard, and the “driver” will be a tow truck.

That’s not a decision made lightly, I assure you, especially since I’m writing this, knowing it’s a column that’s going to run today, which is Father’s Day.

It was my Dad’s truck, and he died in 1993.

The 1979 Ford F150 lived on, though, and got use through the years.

It would be borrowed on those occasions of needing a truck to haul something, but other than that, it didn’t get a whole lot of use.

I think my mom was secretly protective of it, so selling it was certainly never an option she’d consider.

And if you borrowed it, you’d better return it to your father’s standards, i.e., gas in the tank, clean, etc.

It meant too much to my mother to part with it, not because it was transportation she relied on or needed. Not because she was going to drive it around and actually use it, given she’d never had a driver’s license her whole life.

The truck was Dad.

Its presence brought comfort, a feeling that even though Dad was gone, there was still some physical sense of him being around.

You could look at the truck and imagine that he was maybe off mowing grass out back or weeding a garden somewhere, sight unseen.

It was a connection, just like our German Shepherd named Paco.

When my mother found Paco dead one day, she grieved my Dad’s death anew, because that faithful canine who often road shotgun in the 1979 Ford F150 truck was a connection to Dad, too.

Fading connections can be an emotional force to reckon with, to be sure.

So it was a surprise in the years after Dad died that Mom out of the blue gave the truck to Better Half.

It got renewed use for a while, this once very attractive two-toned blue truck, and quite honestly made me happy any time I heard the sound of it arriving, anytime I rode in it, even when the heater didn’t work all that great.

When it was beyond repair, its permanent “garage” became a spot in the back yard area, where, as I say, it’s one of those things you see but you don’t see.

Better Half weed whacked around it.

I kept threatening to flip it into a flower bed, make it a floral focal point to enjoy from the back porch.

But it’s time to let it go. It’s been a good ride, high on memory mileage.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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