His Truck


I hop into my truck, turn on the CD player to disc one, song one and I hear “Moved on down to sweet home Alabama in 1974. Had to get out of Music City and I had to get off the road”, the opening lines to Hank Williams Jr’s, “Feeling Better” from his New South album released in 1977.


When people see me driving my dark gray 2005 GMC Sierra, crew cab, 4-door, 4×4 pickup truck I’m sure I look like any other guy driving any other truck.

What they don’t know and I, of course, wouldn’t expect them to is that this truck was my brother’s.

My brother, Jason, was my only sibling. Jason passed away February 16th, 2010 of a rare illness. I’ve written about my brother, his illness, being his caregiver and his passing several times over the past few years.

After he passed away the executrix of his estate, Julie, believed that Jason would have wanted me to have his truck. Julie was Jason’s first wife and the mother of his three beautiful children. Julie knew and appreciated the relationship between my brother and I. I think Julie was right; I think Jason would have liked for me to have his truck.

Jason and I were extremely close to one another. We could finish each other’s thoughts and make each other laugh till we wheezed and cried. We had our own shared sense of humor and inside jokes. We shared a love for America, politics, sports and country music. We were brothers. We were buddies.   

Me and Jason in 2005 in New Orleans. One of my favorite pictures of us. 

To say that I love this truck is a understatement. It means the world to me. Its value to me has nothing to do with Kelley Blue Book. I really do understand that this GMC is just a truck. Someday it will rust or maybe have too many mechanical problems to repair and eventually I’ll have to get a new vehicle. I can tell you, though, I’m trying to care for, maintain and ‘baby’ this truck as much as possible and keep it operational for as long as I can.

Why do I work so hard to keep Jason’s truck mechanically sound and spotless inside and out? Because it’s a piece of him. I can sit in it and know he sat in this same driver’s seat. Sometimes I catch a scent that smells just like it did when I first rode in it with my brother in 2005 and how it must have smelled when he last drove it in 2008. I have many, many memories of being in this truck with Jason: Conversations. Laughter. Singing along with the music. Kids in the backseat. And many more.  

Some standout moments:

Jason had a problem with Kenny Chesney. While riding along in his truck, he explained to me that Kenny needs either sing country music or what my brother called “boat music”; you just can’t combine the two styles. Kenny’s bare feet, tight jeans, tank tops and cowboy hat on the beach wasn’t something that sat well with my brother. Note: My brother was apparently wrong in this instance and would be disappointed to know Kenny Chesney has made a very good living blending country and beachy, boat music styles.

I can remember the drive when my brother introduced me to Shooter Jennings music. The song “4th of July” was cranked up loud and Jason’s young daughter, Madeline, was belting it out from the back seat.

I still smile when I think about times we listened to Tim Wilson’s comedy CD called “It’s a Sorry World”. And  Roy D. Mercer CDs where he prank calls unsuspecting people. Jason and I laughed our wheezy, out-of-breath laughs until we had tears rolling down our faces.

I drove his truck to take him to doctor visits when he was sick but the memories that I cherish most are the ones that are still vividly clear in my mind from when he was healthy. The last time he and I were together when he was healthy we drove around contemplating getting matching tattoos but we couldn’t decide what tattoo we wanted to get and where to go to get it. All the while, disc one in the CD player is playing in the background. It’s Hank Williams Jr.s’ album, New South.  We both sang along with Hank, Jr. when he sang, “Moved on down to sweet home Alabama in 1974. Had to get out of Music City and I had to get off the road.”

The picture of Jason that I keep in the truck.  

10 thoughts on “His Truck

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  1. Hi Chad! This is Susan – Julie’s mother. I don’t know what to say or how to say it, but this blog was the most touching, beautiful thing I have ever read. I woke up this morning, came outside with my cup of coffee ☕️ and I’m sitting here with tears (lots of them), streaming down my face. I was one of the fortunate ones who knew Jason, as you know. I loved him so much. I’m real close to Madeline, and we talk of him often. Thank you, Chad and Bobbie, for this blog. It means the world to me. I can’t wait to see him again in Heaven. He was absolutely amazing in every way ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Susan. Surely, didn’t mean to make you cry but it’s a great feeling knowing that my brother is remembered so fondly by you and that you reflected on your memories of him this morning.


  2. Hey Chad it’s Daren Irvin I loved your article Jason was my best friend and I too miss him. We had a lot of great times together . Jason was a deep thinker most people probably didn’t know that especially when he had a few to drink . We would talk about life and family and faith pretty funny now thinking about two drunk teenagers talking about these things after a long night of raising hell but it was pretty common for us . He once told me he would die young and wanted Outlaws Reward by Hank Jr played at his funeral. I remember getting kinda mad at him for talking like that but he was serious. When the time came I was in shock I had just visited him and he seemed physically healthy .I forgot about this until after he passed but now I think of him every time I hear that song . Thank you for keeping his memory alive .


    1. Daren,
      Thanks for sharing your memories of Jason. Amazing, the conversations you can have after a few beers. 😀
      You’re absolutely correct about Jason. He was a deep thinker, very well read and a well rounded man.
      Very opinionated as well.
      He could talk about hunting, fishing, the military faith, politics, history and religion as well as home repair and repairing vehicles.
      I think that’s one of the things that made him so lovable. He could talk to anybody.
      I wish his prediction on thinking he would die young wouldn’t have come true, that’s for sure.
      Thanks again for sharing your memories of him with me. It’s always nice to hear stories about Jason.
      I know he really appreciated your friendship.
      Take care Daren.


  3. Another nice article. Thanks, Chad. I had a voicemail from a friend who died suddenly. I held onto it for several years after his death. Listening every once in a while to refresh the memory. When it got accidentally deleted, it was like I lost him all over again. Hold on to the truck as long as it’s a good memory. It’s only an object, but it feels like it brings you closer

    Liked by 1 person

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