Anyone who owns a cell phone understands well about the voids and black holes of coverage. Although most people with cell phones who hardly ever travel will rarely be bothered by the nuisance of the void, truck drivers who crisscross the countryside on a daily basis in the quest of getting from A to B on time pass through the void often. Being the wife of a trucker, I am also affected.
When I last spoke to my husband to tell him I was calling it a night and heading to bed he warned me that he would be disappearing into the void today. That means that I will play hell getting a hold of him. I appreciate when he warns me of this fact because otherwise I would worry if I tried nonstop to reach him and couldn’t.
Communication between truck drivers and their families has come a long way since I was a little girl. When I was growing up there were no cell phones. My Dad entered the void as soon as he pulled out of the driveway. If there was an emergency and my Mom needed to reach my Dad she had to contact the state police and have him tracked down, pulled over, and informed to call home. In other words, as soon as he left she was on her own. Any problems that arose she had to deal with herself. My Dad would call home every Wednesday and Sunday night like clock work. As a kid I remembered how hard it was to find things to say to my Dad on these occasions. He would be gone 2-6 weeks at a time. When he was home he was always busy working on his truck. I got used to him being gone and because of that I became extremely close to my mom and shy around my Dad. As much as I loved my Dad, I don’t really feel I got to know the man he was until he took an early retirement and was around all the time. That is when I discovered what a cool, funny guy he was. It was then that I truly began to appreciate him and the sacrifices he made to give his family a good life.
With the invention of cell phones communication between truck drivers and their families opened up considerably. My kids don’t see their Dad any more than I seen mine, but they do talk to him daily. Because of cell phones he is able to still be part of their daily lives. He hears about their successes and consoles them on their bad days. Thanks to the camera and video capabilities he was able to see my daughter dance during the parent observation sessions of her class. He is able to see how my son looks in his new haircut, or even the award he received for integrity almost immediately. If anything is going to go wrong it usually manages to do it while he is on the road. I still have to deal with whatever comes to the best of my ability ultimately alone. The only difference is that with cell phones his input and advice is only a phone call away. Having him in my ear is better than not having him at all. It has always given me great satisfaction to know I handled a situation on my own, even if he was giving me his two cents in the process.
No, cell phones will never replace being home with us, but they do shed light on the void. He is still present in our daily lives, except for when he enters a void of non coverage and then we only need wait until he reaches the other side to communicate until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.