Lost Behind A U-Haul

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Divorce,Lessons of Life

U-Haul truck
Did I ever tell you that I was married to Alyssa’s father, my ex-husband, for sixteen years?


Well, I just told you.

I lived most of my life in Texas and that is where my sweet daughter Alyssa was born. That is where I grew up, learned to drive, graduated, worked, bought my first home, and the list goes on. Obviously, there are a lot of memories associated with everything I looked at or touched.

That’s why I don’t live in Texas any more.

Too much pain knowing it all ended unhappily.

After the divorce, my family (Mom, sister, niece and daughter) moved to Virginia with me. Mom moved first, then a few months later I moved with Alyssa. My sister and niece followed shortly thereafter. We all love each other, but I guess you can tell.

It is a long trip from Texas to Virginia – 1,500 miles.

A very long trip.

I was even harder than just simple travel because a large portion of my life was ending. My ex-husband was nice enough to help me move by driving the U-Haul, but mentally I was a wreck.. Alyssa was with him during the long trip while I followed behind in my car.

Emotionally, that was a terrifying and heartbreaking trip. I stared at the back of the U-Haul with millions of thoughts going through my head.

“Maybe he will make the effort to change and ask me to marry him again.”

“There’s no way he is going to leave us.”

“Doesn’t he realize what he is giving up?”

“Why doesn’t he love me enough to make our marriage work?”

“I made mistakes and he made mistakes, but surely we can mend it.”

You can imagine the depths of depression.


I was emotionally lost behind the U-Haul.

During these harrowing thoughts, I kept driving.

It rained.

I just stared at the picture on the back of the U-Haul and cried.

I cried lots of tears.

My heart ached and a piece of my soul died.

It got foggy.

I kept crying.

Then I heard my ex-husband say, “Do you see the green sign we just passed?”

“No, I didn’t pass a green sign.”

“Do you see the white sign now on your right?” he persisted.

“There isn’t any signs on my right,” I said, “Tap your brakes three times.”

I waited.

The U-Haul ahead just kept going and the lights did not flash.

“I did it, but why did you ask me to do it?”

Now in a panic I said, “Pull over to the side of the road.”

The U-Haul ahead kept driving straight while my ex-husband said, “I’ve pulled over and stopped, but I don’t see you anywhere.”

I was physically lost behind a U-Haul.

In the end, I panicked and cried because I had been following the wrong U-Haul for thirty-five minutes. I was going the wrong direction altogether. Alyssa and her father waited for me to catch up after giving me many directions during numerous calls. Eventually I found them and we continued on our journey.

We reached our destination, unloaded the boxes and the story did not end “happily ever after” because Alyssa’s father left.

When Alyssa went to sleep that night, I remember sobbing until I couldn’t breathe. My body shook with racking sobs and I felt that I would never be happy again.

I know that many of you have shared this same pain whether through divorce, death or other experiences in life. But I survived the night and the next morning the sun came up to greet my big puffy eyes. If you’re reading this posting, you survived as well.

Those types of experiences change us…forever. I’m not the same girl that drove halfway across the country. I’m a better person in many ways. I’ve learned, progressed, and my broken heart healed…for the most part. The scars are there to remind me of lessons that I do not want to forget.

I was lost behind a U-Haul…

but I’m not lost any more.


“Not until we are lost do we
begin to understand ourselves.”
~Henry David Thoreau~


The Redhead Riter



This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jac April 14, 2010 at 10:40 am

Thank You!


2 panamamama April 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Wow. That was powerful.


3 C. Rose Fisher April 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm

You survived alot of heartache. Your X sounds like an ass….great that you moved on and had abundant support from your family.


4 Ash April 14, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Wow – powerful tale. The perspective from the rearview mirror on an experience like that must be incredible.

Congratulations on not only surviving, but thriving. Can't wait to read more of you.


5 Grammy Suzzy April 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I was so touched by your story, and especially your deep feelings. So many people now think that a divorce is just an easy, get it over with kind of thing. I have never endured that experience, but I thank you for taking your love…the love that created your lovely daughter…and losing it, so very seriously. Allyssa will always know she came from love, a love that was sadly lost. And thank you for sharing your ability to be sad, feel lost, and rise up the next morning to start anew. It gives me courage to go through my day, though my challenges are nothing in comparison to those you faced.


6 Pammy pam April 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm

not sure if my comment went through. great post!


7 SpitFire April 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Divorce, even if it's necessary, is hard. My ex husband was abusive, and I left him to make life better for my daughter. Even with the knowledge that I was doing the right thing, I still struggled with it. I fought wondering if maybe things would get better..was I making life harder on her by taking her away from her father….those sorts of questions. I'm glad I made that decision now though. I'm married to a wonderful man who not only honestly loves me, but truly adores our daughter as well. Thanks for this post!


8 Michelle April 14, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Oh that was gorgeous. You gave me goosebumps, although I've never been in your shoes. Thank goodness for cell phones… and for time.


9 Monica Fernaays April 15, 2010 at 12:32 am

WoW!…Thank you


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