Fate Doesn’t Bother to Tell Us When We’ll Die

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But it does seem to allow for some words which might not be the flow of normal conversation.

Darrell Ward and Lisa Kelly, of “Ice Road Truckers” (IRT) on the History Channel, formed their own company this season just ended, the 10th for IRT. They had worked for Polar Industries in Canada prior to that.

Because of a delivery situation at the end of the season, they joined forces with their competitor Polar to make a delivery to a remote town in northern Canada, 200 miles from the base of Polar Industries.

Under normal circumstances the roads are frozen and the lakes are frozen, but they were in the beginning of the thawing season.

The four-truck convoy had much needed supplies that could not wait until the new delivery season. I’m sure the owner of Polar Industries made a pile of money off of it, but when he rode with Darrell to make the delivery, he would not tell him how much it was.

Frozen roads are tough enough to negotiate, and at times the trucks go bounding and bouncing along the roads even in the best of conditions. The thawing season meant there were ruts almost deep enough to hide an Army tank in, and the lakes were getting dangerously thin to try and traverse.

When they were almost at the end of their destination, such a lake was before them.  Darrell and the owner of Polar even took out an auger to see how deep the ice was. One and a half feet.

Normal depth when a truck drives across is three-feet to four and a half feet. A very dangerous situation at one and a half feet.

The owner of Polar said he could not ask them to drive across the lake, and in essence would not hold it against them if they chose not to do so. It was their choice.

They all stood there, and one by one decided to make the crossing. People talk about crunch time figuratively. This was crunch time literally, because as the four trucks drove across the thin ice, you could hear the ice crunching under the weight of the trucks and their loads, with the possibility of the truck and its load crashing through the ice to the depth of an unknown bottom. The only salvation for the driver at that point is to jump from the truck, but if the driver is not quick enough, he or she dies, because there is no way to rescue anyone. Even if someone on the surface wanted to be a hero, if they jumped into the icy water, they would be overtaken by hypothermia before they even reached the driver of the sunken rig.

Darrell’s truck was carrying a front-end loader, and the owner of Polar and Darrell unloaded it, and the owner of Polar drove it across the lake first, then Darrell, followed by Lisa and the others, the heaviest truck and load being last.

They all made it safely, and the loads were delivered, which is always a great relief for the towns involved. Apparently no freight helicopters can make these deliveries for whatever reason (wish someone familiar with freight helicopters would tell me, perhaps because of the weight of the payload).

This finale episode was filmed before Darrell’s plane crash, although the exact time I’m not sure of.

In August Darrell was flying into Montana in a private plane for the filming of a new documentary, and the plane crashed, killing him, and his passenger/co-pilot… He was fifty-two. That’s sorta halfway between becoming a man and your life span if you make it to eighty, which he didn’t.

On the last portion of this “Ice Road Truckers” show, Darrell came on to say something which to me turned out to be quite ironic. Exactly when during the season he said that was not made clear, but that might not be that important. The fact he said it is important.

He said, “I get to do what most people don’t get to do.” The very last of his words were said so fast, I’m not sure I got them exact, but they are close. “I’m fortunate to be an Ice Road Trucker.”

What a positive attitude, which I have found some people do not have. It would have been sad to say a last farewell to him by having negative words from him that were his last.

Sometimes I don’t think people think that the words out of their mouth will be their last. Maybe if they did, they would think longer about them. But some people are soured on life, I think sometimes almost from the day they are born, and never see anything good about living.

I have plenty of reasons to be soured on life. I could go into the medical aspects, but I have them elsewhere on my site, and don’t need to dwell on them.

But I have to see what my overall life has been.  Some good times, some very good times. And some not so good, but the good outweigh the bad by a long shot, and my attitude is not going to change because of some negatives.

I will go on being optimistic until my dying day. People like you better when you are optimistic, although not overly so. That is except people who have already declared their lives a total disaster. I’ve seen too many of that kind of people.

Just get away from them. You can’t change them. Don’t even try. It’s a waste of energy.

So to you Darrell Ward, you showed me something about life. Maybe I already knew it, but it sure didn’t hurt that you showed it to me again.

You won’t be on those ice roads again, and that’s a pity. Sometimes in your hauls in your truck, you gave me wisdoms about life I might not have thought about for a while. I thank you for that.

You had no idea it was your last season on IRT, but you left a lasting impression with a lot of people.

You‘re not here anymore, but what you left is your positive attitude, and that is something you can be proud of.

In the rough and tumble world of truck driving, a blue collar profession, perhaps sophisticated people don’t think you had anything to contribute to life. Were they ever wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

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