What's a Dead Husband to Do?
Me, newly-widowed, cruising at 60 miles per hour in my most precious possession, my beautiful turbo-diesel pickup truck, the most valuable thing I own, the oh–so–essential tow vehicle for my little trailer home, and the only thing left me by my darling husband.
Considerable forces of nature and fate, about to converge on Colorado state highway 115.
This is the scene that confronted Hawk, my most beloved late husband, 42 years a trucker, previous owner of the vehicle in question, and ever my protector when we ran team the last four years of his life.
The Law of Free Will leaving him helpless to intervene without being asked, Hawk watched this crisis unfold from his heavenly perch. Rounding the curve, my dire situation was instantly evident to me. Nowhere to swerve without rolling the truck; no way to stop in time. My beloved vehicle was already smashing and crumpling before my mind's eye.
Instinctively, I did exactly what I had done dozens of times while driving big rigs with my expert husband. "HAWK! HELP!" I yelled, at the top of my lungs. He always was a sound sleeper. He’d learned to sleep like the dead in Vietnam.
Never mind that this time he wasn't sleeping in the back. Never mind that he wasn’t there to leap up and start issuing emergency instructions as a big engine spluttered and smoked or tires rolled off into the distance. Never mind that he'd been dead for two months. This was my knee-jerk reaction as a result of talking to him non-stop since his death in April, passionately sure he could hear.
Even as I cried out for him, I leapt into action, moving to stand on the brake with all my weight, knowing it would still not be enough.
Hawk swoops in
But instead of landing on the brake, my foot got caught. To this day I have no idea what it caught on. There was absolutely nothing there to catch it. As I struggled with this inexplicable interference, the steering wheel was suddenly, shockingly, ripped from my hands.
I was left grabbing at thin air. The newly asphalted road was smooth as silk, no potholes or gullies or other unevenness to explain the bizarre behavior of the steering wheel. Spinning at first hard to the right, then just as dramatically to the left, the wheel executed an intricate series of maneuvers as I continued to snatch at it helplessly, my hands repeatedly slipping off as I failed to regain control.
The two monstrous beasts blocking the lanes were, typical for their species, wholly uninterested in the drama playing out behind them. The nose of the truck was about to strike them both, but they showed no awareness, no concern. Slowly, casually, as if idly grazing a rich patch of weeds, they took a couple of steps apart.
A split-second later, the truck blew harmlessly between them with barely an inch to spare.
Hawk had saved the day.