From the time I started a family at the age of 20 my main job as a father was to provide, better myself to better my kids life. I took on jobs after jobs to get experience to move up the ladder. I pride myself to learn everything I could so the next company I went to I had the experience and knowledge they was looking for, and with that I could name my own price. Moving up in the side of manufacturing I was landing better jobs after the next. I was putting in 16 to 17 hr days, 7 days straight. most weeks I had 120hrs in come end of day Sunday. I would come home tired, dragging my feet, my kids so happy to see me but all I wanted to do was shower,eat, and go to bed. Years went by but I kept pushing and pushing to do great. Seeing pictures of my kids enjoying there new games, their own big screen TV in there rooms, there new swimming pool outside. I felt like I was doing it, I felt like I was accomplishing my goals, but I wasn’t there yet. I know my family had goals and a life they deserved, I kept working my way up, finding jobs that would pay me even more for the experience and knowledge I had. One day I had a call from a company wanting to sit down with me, this was it, this is what iv been working for. I took the interview, they wanted me to fill the position as a general manager of a multi million dollar company. Everything was falling into place. I got a six figure salary my own office and I was in control of a manufacturering company. I was so happy. I knew I wouldn’t have to work the long hours, I’d be able to get home at a decent time and enjoy time with my family. I started the new job and everything was going great. I got to pick my kids up from school and spend time with them everyday. I was living the life, then the company called me and said, Jordan we need you to pack a suitcase for the week, your going to the Georgia plant to get things straightened up down there. I thought to myself no big deal. what’s a week, then a week turned into three weeks then two months then half a year. I couldn’t take being away any longer. I packed my bags and I headed home. I felt releaved but I knew I had to find something else and fast and making the same amount of money but this time I wanted to be my own boss. I talked to the wife and I decided I wanted to buy a semi truck. I took the class, got my cdl and bought my own truck. I was my own boss and making my own schedule. How can you beat that, I started finding loads and hitting the road. I would stay out a few days then come back home for a few, it was a good work life balance, money was good, family was happy and we was getting by. I was hitting the road hard, getting good loads, proud to tell my wife to look at the bank account. Then my truck broke down, I had plenty of money to fix it no big deal. back on the road making money, then the truck broke down again. This time costing me more in repairs and week without the truck running, after a few mouths my kids started calling me more often asking me to come home sooner, so I did. I started not going out as much and spending time with them. My wife ended up pregnant so i hit the road even harder knowing I had another child that would look up to me knowing I was the provider for them. Months went on and as we got closer to the due date I parked the truck. Our baby girl was born. I didn’t want to leave her side. I let the truck sit for months and helped out around the house and taking care of the baby. Spending money on formula, clothes, and diapers money started running out. So I went back out on the road but I didn’t realize during the months I took off the freight rates dropped. I wasn’t making the money I use to. Fuel prices kept going up and my profits kept going down. So I started taking longer trips and staying out for weeks at a time, did this for months, then I started not feeling well. I knew something was wrong. I made my trip to Texas from ohio and got unloaded and headed to a truck stop. Once parked I went in and got a shower and a hot meal, back out in the truck I still didn’t feel right. I stayed at the truck stop for two days. I finally convinced myself I needed to head home, empty trailer with no load to pick up I started my way back home, as night time came around I noticed my vision was acting up, then i kept getting thirsty, it felt like I couldn’t drink enough. I pulled off the road and called it a day. The next day I was feeling fine so I started my trip, about 4 hours in and a few energy drinks I was back to feeling dizzy and confused. I knew I needed to get home so I kept pushing forward, another day passes and I’m finally home. Trying to be the guy I am I try to play it off like I’m ok and I just wanted to be home, but I started getting worse. My wife could see something was wrong and forced me to the hospital. They did test after test and finally told me I had type one diabetes. I thought ok so a few changes in my every day life, no big deal. Then the doctor said I wasn’t aloud to hold my cdl being a type one diabetic. I went and seen other doctors and they confirmed everything the hospital said. I had to get a new medical card with the approval from a doctor but they wouldn’t sign the forms. I started to feel like I failed. I was going to lose everything. I was going to let my family down, to me I failed myself and I failed my family, my new challenge was to learn my new lifestyle living with diabetes, it started out on a bumpy road. kept getting highs then lows, as I’m learning my new lifestyle money started getting tight and we was missing payments. One car got taken away then a month later are other car got taken away. Now we barely have any money left and no transportation. On top of that my kidney results came back and i have early stage kidney disease, I really didn’t want to live anymore, every day waking up and just asking why, why did i have to still be breathing, having to ask for help with food, bills, and asking to use a vehicle. I couldn’t have gotten any lower in my life. I was losing everything around me. My kids had to of thought I was a failure and I wouldn’t have blamed them. Till the other day, outside with my kids, I seen something I havnt seen in a long time. I seen real smiles, not the kind of smile you know someone is taking a picture and you put that half ass smile on your face, but real smiles. then it hit me, I failed them from the very beginning. I told myself what I needed to do and the father I needed to be but really I wasn’t a father at all. 11 years passed and I was never there for them. when they needed me the most I wasn’t there. When they had a bad dream and needed me I wasn’t there, when they wanted to learn to ride a bike or learn a sport I wasn’t there. Everything I worked so hard for didn’t matter because I wasn’t there, at the end of there day all they wanted was me to be there. Standing there in that moment in the back yard with them seeing everything they had get ripped away from them they had a real smile on there face, they had what they always wanted, I was there. I missed them growing up, I missed so many special moments. Now I’m here, but I don’t know for how long.
By: Jordan Koerber
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