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A Family of Twelve - Part I

Gerda has been a trucker's wife for over 20 years, home schools her children and has been through a lot during her husband's career. In 1994, Luke was involved in a truck accident that nearly ended his career and his life. He is still driving and is a Chaplain at a truck stop chapel! This is a story about this trucking family and an event that changed their lives.
Thanks Gerda, for sharing.

A Family of Twelve

A note from Gerda:
Hi, my name is Gerda and I have been a trucker's wife for more than 20 years. For 16 of those 20 years my husband was gone for a week at a time. He now has a nice run and is home every night.
We have ten children, seven girls and three boys, we also have a good son in law, a precious grandson, and a new-born granddaughter. I always feel for those women who have to be alone for long periods at a time, especially with little children, and it is even harder when they are teens and need their dad at home. I know it cannot always be like that. How often are we worried about our husbands on the road? Are they ok? If there is anyone out there who would like to send me a letter and would like to have a little uplift, I would gladly help.
For those whose husbands have been in accidents, I have been there and know what it is like.


㬩ck here to email . ﳰan>

My husband started driving truck in 1984. At that time we had 3 girls and I was expecting our 4th. Luke bought his first truck and worked for Laidlaw out of Hamilton, Ontario. We lived close to Owen Sound, Ontario. My biggest fear was him not being home when the baby was born, but God made sure he was there with each birth. Things where not always easy but I did have the privilege of having a young Amish girl come in and help me once a week.

Luke had his truck for about one year and had to get rid of it. He then got a job and was home every night. That lasted for a little over a year. In the meantime, we had another baby girl. Then he found a job two hours away and I would bring him to work Monday mornings and pick him up again on Fridays. We had our 5th child, this time a boy. By the way, when I was expecting him, we got stopped by a cop one Friday night on our way home and I had my first speeding ticket . My next ticket was about 2 years later with my next boy, and again with my third. This really did happen! I did have another speeding ticket just 2 years ago and I was not expecting this time but it did cost me a couple of points whereas the other ones did not. That time I told the cop, "Oh, oh another boy!" he just laughed, and still gave me a ticket but just the minimum.

䠴ook them 2 hours to cut him out of the truckﴤ>

In 1987 we moved closer to my husband's work and he was home a little more. Then he started driving for someone else. In 1989 he started driving for Laidlaw, but the winter of 1990 he was laid off. He then went to work for a farmer cutting cabbage for $5 an hour, it was hard work. I would sometimes cry in the morning when he left because I knew the job was very hard on him and we didn't make enough to make ends meet. Someone called and wanted my husband to work for an owner operator. He did but it was a big mistake - for us to make it, I had to go on welfare and guess what? I still gave my husband money for on the road. He did not get paid enough even to pay for his road expenses. A couple of months of that and he got called back to Laidlaw and started there again. He worked for Laidlaw for 2 more years, then quit and bought his own truck again. He told me, "This truck I am going to pay off, no matter what." I felt uneasy about that statement, but never said anything. He started driving for a different company, and did not bad at all. He was not home much except for weekends. In the meantime we had 3 more children 2 boys and one girl. He paid for his truck in 1994, but not in the way he had planned!!

We had a great summer. Every day my husband would take one of the kids along in the truck. It was great! They all, except the two youngest, had some time alone with Daddy. On August 7th, Luke told me, "I can't take any of the kids along tomorrow because I do not have enough money on me to do that this week." I said, "Well that is fine, I am sure they don't mind staying home." My husband left at 4 in the morning, picked up his load and left for the States. He dropped off the first part of his load and then stopped for a big breakfast. He got back on the road to go to Ohio. On the turnpike not to far from Cleveland he thought, "I want to see how much American money I have left to pay the toll." He checked, and yes, he had enough to make it on the toll road. He was just minding his own business driving along, when all of a sudden he came up to another truck going up hill. He was probably doing about 50 miles an hour when he realized the truck in front of him was stopped right in the middle of the road! There was no time to stop, nowhere to go and nothing he could do to avoid it! He stood up and said, "This thing is stopped!!!" He saw the plates disappear and it was a hit. It was a flat bed truck with a load of pipes on. The truck went ahead and the pipes went through Luke's cab and beside the truck.

God was sure watching over him that day, (just like every other day!) The pipes took Luke's hat off and pinned it to the back of the bunk! He must have fallen over just in time. He was laying across the other seat, another trucker came to see how he was, and Luke told him to get him out of the truck. But nothing could be done. They called the police and ambulance. It took them 2 hours to cut him out of the truck. Because he had lost 65 percent of his blood from internal bleeding, they evacuated him by air. When Luke saw the blades of the chopper, not knowing that he was dying, he told them "I don't need to go in that thing, I am fine." They did not tell him how bad it really was, they just told him, "Oh well, we've got it here now, we might as well take you." All he was thinking about was money, "How am I going to pay for this?" Later, he spent nine hours in the operating room!

To every truckers wife that is out there:
Did you know that these words 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee', are God's own promise to all those who trust in Him? What a comfort to know that, in every circumstance, He is always there and always faithful!
Tell your husbands if they are ever in the area of Woodstock, Ontario Wednesday night at 7, to feel free to stop in at the chapel at the TA truckstop. It's also known as the 230 truckstop, at exit 230 on Highway 401. Every Wednesday night, 8 of our children and some more kids sing over the radio there for a half an hour. Anyone interested in singing along is welcome to go in the chapel and do so. My husband is a chaplain too, and is there on Saturdays.

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