Saturday, August 23, 2008

Built FORD Tough

* * * * * * * * * *

Well, today was tough. I recently listed Aaron's Ford truck online to sell. Well, my brother listed it for me. I held off for 8 months. I was dragging my feet because I knew that once the truck sold, I would have a really hard time watching it drive away. This truck was our first major purchase after we got married. Aaron needed a truck and was watching online to find the perfect one. He finally found one that he wanted really bad, but it was up in Oregon. The price was right, so he flew up to Oregon and drove this truck home to Utah by himself.
Aaron loved this truck. He babied it and kept it in really great shape. He was always out tinkering around in the engine or with the wheels or with the lift. He was all about having a really nice and tough looking truck.


Here is a great photo of Aaron with his truck. We were down at Yuba Lake with part of my family. Earlier that day, my Dad and Mom's motor home had gotten stuck in the soft sand and Aaron knew his truck was tough enough to pull out the motor home, so he attached a tow rope and pulled the motor home out with ease. Later, Aaron decided to launch the wave runners and told my brothers to let him know immediately if we started to sink. Well, as soon as it started to sink, my brothers told Aaron he better get out of there, but as soon as he started to pull forward, he sank in so deep... we weren't going anywhere. We tried for hours to get the truck out of this hole, but had no luck. Finally, we called AAA and they came to the rescue... so we thought. They parked their rig about 50 yards up the beach and as they started to pull Aaron out, they got stuck as well. He was in there good. So, they stopped trying to pull Aaron's truck and used his truck to pull them out and then they were able to pull Aaron out after a while.
Aaron loved telling the stories of his truck down at Yuba Lake. They were good bragging stories about his truck. Here is what it looked like after:




Recently, I was visiting with Aaron's friend, Austin, and he had a great story to tell me. I had never heard this before, so I loved this story and thought it was so funny. This is exactly how Aaron felt about trucks. This is what Austin wrote down for me:

' We were riding along in Aaron's truck listening to some old country song,
"I've Got Wanderin' Eyes. Yes I love the ladies, but my heart always stays here at home."
So I jokingly asked Aaron, "Do you have wandering eyes?" He didn't even hesitate, he said, "Not even close. I have wandering eyes for nice trucks and boats." '


This is the neck tie and a photo of Aaron Jr and me that Aaron had hanging from the rear view mirror. I hated taking those down.


As I was cleaning out Aaron's truck today, I ejected the CD that was in there. This was the last CD Aaron had put in. I told you he loved Chris LeDoux. The # 3 on it means that it is #3 of his Chris LeDoux CDs. To keep his original CDs nice, he made copies of all of his Chris LeDoux CDs. I think they go up to # 30 something.


This is just after they handed me the money and I handed them the title. They probably thought I was so strange. I was crying most of the time they were there looking at it. They had asked why I was selling it and I told them that Aaron had passed away, so at least they knew that. I couldn't hold the tears back though. I know this photo looks like I am happy and smily, but there are tears behind that smile.


They are driving it away here.

Ode was there to watch it drive away as well. I remember so well everyday when Aaron would come home from work, Ode would be at the door wagging his tail before Aaron had even pulled in the driveway. He could hear the roar of the deisel engine all the way down the street. I will really miss that sound. I always loved hearing it as he started it up in the mornings and especially when he got home.


As I was cleaning it out and while they were test driving it, Aaron Jr kept asking to go for a ride in the truck. As they were pulling out of the driveway, this conversation took place:

Aaron Jr: "Daddy's truck"
Leslie: "Yeah, that's Daddy's truck"
Aaron Jr: (reaching for the truck) "I wanna hold it"


It tore me to pieces.


I kept these floor mats. One funny thing about FORD floor mats is that Aaron even had rubber FORD floor mats like these in our Lexus. People always got a kick out of seeing them when they rode in that car.
I actually love the slogan 'Built FORD tough'. Anyone who knows Aaron knows how big and strong and tough he is. Friends and family were always telling stories about amazing things that Aaron was able to do because he just had so much strength. When I would hear that slogan 'Built FORD tough', I would relate it to Aaron. I even thought about putting that on the headstone for a while. It is just SO Aaron.
I know it is probably strange to some people that it would be that difficult to watch Aaron's truck go, but it was difficult. One of the most difficult things I have done so far. There are just so many memories attached to that truck. Watching it drive away, I honestly felt like another big piece of Aaron was gone.
One of the things that is the hardest about this is that Aaron Jr being so young doesn't have that many memories of Aaron, but anytime he saw that truck, he said 'Daddy's truck'. He would want to sit in it and play and just be in it. It is one more thing that Aaron Jr won't have as a reminder of his Dad. That is heartbreaking.

I love you Aaron...
* * *

18 comments:

amanda said...

What a journey you are on. A heartbreaking process. Each part is a step toward healing though. Let your troubled heart be healed.
I think of you always and send my love:)

dani said...

dear leslie,
i really wish you weren't going through any of this... you are such a sweet soul with a gorgeous baby boy (who is also built ford tough by default;).
i don't know what i would do if death were to take my john from me (as he is gone for a long weekend motorcycle trip) before i'm taken from him, but i would hope that i could be half the woman you are/have been in my journey.
i love that you have the ford matts in your car. that is just perfect...
take care my good and sweet friend!!!
love,
dani

Leslie said...

Oh wow. I dont think Ive ever cried so hard at a blog before. You are an amazing woman. And an amazing mom. That part about Aaron Jr wanting to hold it. That got me. Continue to be strong, (as strong as you can be).

Tabitha said...

Each and every step that you take along this path ~ must just be so hard. You are a wonderful person Leslie and you are doing what has to be done ~
I too shed tears at the words you wrote in this post ~ my heart just aches for you so much.
love and hugs XXXXXX

Mindy said...

I don't think you're strange at all to have attachment to Aaron's truck! So many memories, and sentimental value attached to it. I'm sure it was hard to let it go. I love you!

LL said...

oh Leslie, that must have been hard to let go.
Luckily, the memories (and photos) will stay with you.
You're amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

That was such a hard day for you. I hope you won't have any more that are as hard as that.

Love to you, Leslie.

Jane

Anonymous said...

Oh man!! I was fixin to go to bed and I just thought that I would check your blog. Shouldn't have done that because know I am crying!!! The picture of the tie and pictures are what got me. I will still keep you in my prayers. My heart still hurts for you and I do not even know you!!! FAMILIES ARE FOREVER!!!
Jenny

Joann said...

Leslie,
I have dreading the post that said you sold Aaron's truck. Man! How he loved that thing! I think that next to you and Aaron Jr. it was his most prized posession! I hope that the pictures and music Aaron loved will help you make it through this most difficult step! Know that I LOVE YOU!!!

Kristi said...

I remember the Yuba Lake day. I was so worried for him about his truck, but Aaron didn't seem to bothered by it. He probably knew just how tough his truck was.
I am sure it was difficult parting with something that reminded you of him so much.
We are always thinking of you and Aaron.

Seesalou said...

when you guys had to stop by for one reason or another, i could hear aaron's truck coming from a mile away. i'll never forget when you came to secretly drop off my coffee table & book shelf. both times i had a wee little hunch because i had heard that familiar roar and had thought "hmmm. what could they be bringing in the truck?!". anyway. i am sure this was super hard for you. at least you still have pictures and the memories that are attached. love you.

The Heiners said...

I am such a car person, so I can totally imagine tying so many memories to a truck/car. Today's entry has inspired me to not cringe at all my neighbors when I hear their trucks roaring by. I will know that someone, somewhere loves the sound of it bringing their family home. Again, I come to your site to give you love and support and I'm always taking away more than I give. Thank you, Leslie, for being so special.

April said...

Tears stream from my eyes to see, even just pictures of, his Ford drive away without Aaron behind the wheel. Oh, how hard that day must have been! I remember waiting for Aaron and you to make it to my parents house for Sunday dinners, and when I heard that loud engine coming up the road I got sooo excited. Still, whenever I see huge Ford trucks like Aaron's, or even just hear loud truck engines, I get little butterflies of excitement in my stomach... the feeling that I will soon see my brother, my friend. How I miss that 'built Ford Tough' man!

Liz said...

Leslie I can not even impagine how hard that was for you. I am so sorry that you have to deal with that stuff.

Jennifer Miller said...

Leslie! This is your long lost friend Jenni Miller! I had NO idea this is the path your life has taken! I found your blog while I was looking at Karlynn's and I was so excited to see pictures and hear of how you and your family have been all these years. As I read through your blog I had to pause several times to take care of the emotions that were forming in my eyes as the memories came flooding back to me of the connection and understanding I felt with you and Lisa as we would talk about Bruce and Shawn (our brothers). I miss that. I miss you both very much. I would love to hear from you if you get a moment. My email address is jennisbenz@hotmail.com. Take care of yourself. You have an adorable son! Love, Jennifer Miller

Emma-Kate Castricum said...

I know how you could have become so attached to Aaron's car. My husband has something similar only we call it a ute not a truck, he adores it. Because it's also diesel and LOUD I can alway hear it coming down the street. It always warms my heart when I hear it because I know he's home.

What a hard day it must have been.

Em

Emma-Kate Castricum said...

I know how you could have become so attached to Aaron's car. My husband has something similar only we call it a ute not a truck, he adores it. Because it's also diesel and LOUD I can alway hear it coming down the street. It always warms my heart when I hear it because I know he's home.

What a hard day it must have been.

Em

Jyl said...

Aaron Jr. will appreciate these detailed accounts you have written about his dad in the future, I cant imagine how hard it was to sell the truck.,... you... Leslie, are built FORD tough!