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Falling Apart at the Seams: Today’s Hell

The truck overheated today, water hissed out from underneath the hood as I went into near panic mode in the parking lot of Tractor Supply Co. My poor Ford Explorer spewed her coolant onto the ground in a violent temper fit that almost matched mine to come. I carefully popped the hood hoping to be able to pinpoint the source of the problem because all the coolant was gone. I could tell a hose wasn’t the problem, meaning most likely it was my radiator. With the heat index the temperature outside way 104 degrees, and with no air conditioning in the truck, this meant sheer misery as we waited for a ride. I have AAA roadside assistance, so my wife called them after texting her mother to come pick up our two children so they wouldn’t have to sit in the heat.

When she called the roadside assistance for a tow (I do all my own work on our vehicles) we were told initially that because she called and the service was in my name that we could not do an unattended tow, and would have to wait for the driver to arrive. She was told that the driver was only 45 minutes away. This was around 11:45 this morning, at 12:30 the driver still hadn’t shown up and the heat was well on its way to something akin to the Sahara Desert. We had been in the hot vehicle for over an hour at this point because we HAD to be with the truck. My mother-in-law had already picked up the kids (15 and 11) to take them home to wait for us until we were able to make it home. On the plus side, we found my wife’s truck keys that she had lost.

My wife called AAA again to ask where the tow truck was at around 12:30 and was told that it was going to be 1:20pm before they arrived, nearly two hours of sitting in a hot vehicle because if we left (she wouldn’t leave me alone to wait in the heat by myself) the driver wouldn’t tow the truck home.

It was 1:10pm before the driver arrived and then informed us that he didn’t think AAA was going to cover the tow because my truck wasn’t registered. To explain, I have farm use tags on my truck, I really can’t afford the money to tag and title it right now, so we just use it within the restrictions of the Farm Use tags.

To say that I was livid would have been like saying that a Siberian Tiger was a house cat. I was pissed. I had waited in the heat for this truck for two hours and now they weren’t going to cover the tow!?!
I lost my cool, not that I had any after staying in the heat for that long.
My wife finally got the tow situation worked out while I sat in the truck shaking because I was so angry and so close to losing the last shred of self-control that I had.

If I had the part or money for the part, I could have completely changed out the radiator in the parking lot and gotten home before the tow truck showed up. When I got home, it took me less than ten minutes to pull the radiator from the truck, only to find it was absolutely no good, there isn’t even a way to do a temp fix until payday.

Now my truck is sitting in the driveway at my house waiting until next Friday, so I can go to the junkyard and pull a used radiator from another Explorer and replace mine, and my wife has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and I have a therapist appointment as well.

Why does it seem that no matter how hard I work towards making my family’s lives better everything seems to be falling apart at the seams? I have to fix my truck now, which puts us back to square zero on trying to attend my brother’s wedding in Vietnam towards the end of August. Also, we have a birthday coming up on August 1st for one of our children. Things like this make me feel like I’m losing hope for anything in life other than a hard time.

I get so depressed when I see the e-mails that GoFundMe sends me, bragging about raising 500k for this person or 110k for that person. I can’t even raise 3500 to attend a wedding; I’m beginning to wonder if something is wrong with me.

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