Trash Truck

When Max was little, he used to love trucks. He was especially fond of trash trucks, which weren’t automated in those days.   The trash man had to pick up the cans and empty them into the truck. The whole operation was very noisy.

Every Thursday morning, at the sound of the truck in front of our house, Max would scream excitedly: “TASH TUCK!”   We would stand at the window to watch.

One day, the driver noticed Max at the window. He was a big black guy in a sanitation department uniform, wearing a cap and gloves. The guy waved, and smiled. I can still see his face, lit up by the dazzling grin.

I said something like, “Look honey, the guy is waving to you!” Max nearly had a heart attack from sheer joy.

What a great trash guy! What a great moment! I have always treasured it, like so many others, small moments that make up your life as a mother. You think they’ll stretch out ahead of you into the future – forever.

I called a hot-line tonight, for the first time. A very nice lady named Ginger was there to help. I wish she could fix everything.

61 Responses to “Trash Truck”

  1. Ash Says:

    Ginger can’t fix anything and neither can I. But please know that there are people here, people that have never even met you and we can still feel your pain. I know that you are hurting and i think about you. I think about your loss and I think about it even when I feel joy in my life. Please know that even though the internets is nothing but a series of 0’s and 1’s that there are humans out here, ones that are sending their very best red lipstick wishes for you. And these wishes are beyond the mystic universe, they are beyond monetary value, and that they are to you, another mother, from another mother and they wish nothing more than to heal you….much x’s and o’s and if I could take away a second of your pain, I would. Much love…xoxoxox

  2. Alicia Says:


    I would offer words, but words don’t always help. I’m here for you if/when you need me.

  3. Andra Says:

    I was, many long years ago, in a shoe shop in Melbourne with my sister and my 2 year old son, who was also very fond of trucks, and he also had trouble saying the word properly.
    My sister has no children and doesn’t understand the ways of sons and mothers so, when my son, Sam, saw a particularly terrific truck passing by he bellowed out in a shop full of shoe buying ladies, “Look Mummy, fuck, fuck.”
    I was not remotely concerned but my poor childless sister ran around the store assuring everybody that he meant to say “truck”.
    It still sticks in my mind as a “moment” to remember.
    Sam also used to call Kentucky Fried Chicken “Fucky Fry” – sounds reasonable to me.
    Sister, use every means available …. whatever gets you through the night/day I always think.
    Much love

  4. Make Do Style Says:

    Our trash trucks are still loaded by guys and kids still love a trash tuck. The memories are wonderful if somewhat painful. Big hugs xxx

  5. Penny Dreadful Vintage Says:

    Lovely story. I’m glad you called someone, it can help enormously. xxx

  6. Dru Says:

    Big hug to you, Sister…..I’m glad Ginger was able to help, and I wish we could help you more.

  7. hilda Says:


    if only we could wave our magic wand… i’m thinking of you and wishing you strenght, lot’s of it.

  8. Stella Mayfair Says:

    i can’t even begin to tell you how much i wish that there was a way to make that pain go away, and to simply undo, or magically make un-happen, your loss. much love. xo

  9. Ann Says:

    I love you, Sister. Big hugs to you. I am with you always, all of us here are. I think of you every day and send everything good I’ve got across the miles. I’d give anything to change this last year, make it different and take the pain away.

    Keep telling everyone who will listen about Max. Share the memories, his music, his story and his light will shine on forever. xoxo

  10. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    Oh hun…another ginger out there wishes she can help. But she can’t, so instead she just sends love, hugs, wishes, all those things.
    And that was a nice trash truck man. It reminds me of whenever I see kids going by on a train or an open-top bus, and they always wave, and their little faces light up when someone waves back.

  11. Hitler's Mom Says:

    Why don’t you just kill yourself, Sister Wolf?

    Shit or get off the pot.

    **This comment is from a mentally ill man who wants all procreation to stop because he wishes he’s never been born. He is a scourge to us all, in that his vehemence may infect troubled minds and have consequences. I have asked him before why he doesn’t end his life if he hates it so much. Now, he thinks he’s having the last laugh or something. Jim, it’s cunts like you who make me want to live forever!

  12. Iheartfashion Says:

    Wish I could say or do something helpful, but sending you much love.
    Xoxoxo Janet

  13. Cybill Says:

    Well aren’t you a little sweetie Hitlers Mom, bless your heart.

    Sister Wolf, I’m thankful that you can find people like Ginger. I’m like Janet, I just wish there was something I could say. Take care of yourself.

  14. Sonia Luna Says:

    Those memory, the little moments are precious! I’m glad you reached out to someone who can help you get through this, all I can do is send my love and again tell you to be strong and to take good care of yourself!

  15. tartandtreacly Says:

    Take heart and take care, Sister Wolf.

  16. Jazmin Says:

    Sending all my best thoughts and happy vibes to you Sister Wolf. Take care of yourself.

  17. Dana Says:

    Wishing I could help. Damn.

  18. TheShoeGirl Says:

    I think we all wish she could fix everything for you. :( Or at least that someone could.
    That’s a really sweet memory though. <3

  19. liz Says:

    such a beautiful memory. xo

  20. Catherine Says:

    First time commenter here, sending you love. Can’t imagine what you must be going through–but what is being a mother but heartbreak?

  21. honeypants Says:

    I’m sorry! I love you!

    And that is a cute story – sweet baby Max will be alive in your memory forever.

  22. Bag Snob Tina Says:

    That is the sweetest memory.

    My 6 year old boy loves trash trucks, too. He often wants me to give them cookies… Today is trash day, maybe I will wait outside with a plate of cookies.

    Sending you love and light.

  23. Aja Says:

    Hitler’s Mom, how about you don’t comment here any more. That sort of nastiness is absolutely not welcome in this space.

    Funny Sister Wolf, I was the opposite. I was terrified of the trash truck. I thought it was going to eat me (for real). Sometimes memories are all we have. Hold on to it, for it is yours and no one can take that away from you. No one can fix everything, but there are those like Ginger that are there to help you out along the way.

  24. Marky Says:

    Here’s to fewer moments of the grief utterly taking over and more moments of wonderful memories like the tash tuck.

    I’m glad Ginger was there to listen.

    Recently I’ve learned that grief is highly specific–that is, no one can feel or will feel what you’re feeling. No one. All anyone can say to someone who’s grieving is “I’m sorry.”

    I’m sorry. I really am. And thank you so much for this blog. Reading it is often the highlight of my day.

    Love to you.

  25. Cat Says:

    I will light a candle for you and Max and your family, Sister Wolf. I know it is not much and I don’t know if my prayers will make a difference, but I will keep doing it anyways with all the faith I can find in myself. Stay strong and fabulous, Sister.

    Hitler’s Mom: Why don’t you go and find something better to do with your life.

  26. E Says:

    Glad you found Ginger, Sister W – and hope talking to her helped you find some comfort and maybe some peace of mind – I hope so.

  27. dust Says:

    I’m glad you shared your sorrow with someone that can give you a real hug, hold your hand and say that it’s all gonna be fine.
    A lot of cyber support from over here.

  28. Nickie Frye Says:

    So sweet! I wonder if I will remember these little things as my kids grow up. They do or say something hilarious ever day. I should write it down, but that’s not always practical.

    I’m a new reader, so I don’t know what’s going on, but there is One who knows & I will bring your concerns before His throne today. Even if you don’t believe, I do & it’s the best I can do. I’m going through some hard things right now too & I refuse to be broken by them. When I can’t stand, I call on someone to hold me up until I regain my strength. I will be stronger for this in the end & so will you! Believe it.

  29. Juli Says:

    Isn’t it the greatest when the trash truck people wave at the kids? Our street sweeper guy is great too. He always waves and one time he even stopped and let a kid sit up in the truck. Despite all the Hitler’s Moms out there, it’s comforting to know this world also comes with a multitude of Gingers and nice trash disposal people. Much love to you today Sister. xo

  30. Ann Says:

    I love you, Sister. Big hugs to you. I am with you always, all of us here are. I think of you every day and send everything good I’ve got across the miles. I’d give anything to change this last year, make it different and take the pain away.

    Keep telling everyone who will listen about Max. Share the memories, his music, his story and his light will shine on forever. xoxo

  31. Claudia Says:

    Hola HermanaLoba (sisterwolf-en espanol) I just started reading your blog not too long ago and I have to thank you very much for showing how much a mother’s love means to both the son and the mother. I have a blond haired, never stopping little man (Marley) and ever since I read your blog I appreciate and enjoy him EVERYDAY! There are days when he gets on my last nerve and I remember that he will only be mine (completely) for a very short time. I cant tell you how many times I’ve cried for your lose and I can not imagine the pain you feel and the sadness that has invaded your heart. But then I read a story like todays and I know that Max never left you, he’s there in every word and thought and story. Max will always be your little man looking out for the next “tash tuck”. Thank you for being a great mom, you are an inspiration to all moms. Have a wonderful day filled with Max’s stories.

  32. Andrew Robot Says:

    The thing is if anything happened to you….lots of people would be so horribly sad. Your iconoclastic viewpoint is So unique and that is terribly hard to find in our age.
    Whereas one only needs to look in the comments section of any website to find a cowardly comment by yet another cowardly impotent fucking asshole who has no friends and Who probably lives with his or her parents

  33. Make Do Style Says:

    Hitler’s Mom – of course the fact you use such a pseudo name says it all – that you are a waste of fucking space. Now fuck off – sorry for swearing folks but I’ve had enough of stupid idiotic, mindless, judgemental people leaving facile and nasty comments here.

  34. Aja Says:

    Yes. I’m with Make Do. Hitler’s Mom should fuck right off.

  35. Style Odyssey Says:

    “Tash tuck”…Such a sweet story.
    I’m so sorry. Please take care.

  36. Nicole Says:

    I lost one of my best friends to suicide in the beginning of helps to pretend that she’s been abducted or run away to Costa Rica…I feel like I’ve been blessed with all of the chaos of my grad program that I haven’t really had time to feel anything. It’s those moments of calm that things start sneaking in and ripping you a part. The only thing that helps seems to be talking about the memories. Your memory makes me feel like I can hear your son saying it, and I hope that means that he hasn’t actually left your side at all. Sending you love and support.

  37. Layers&Swathes Says:

    My little sister used to call them ‘tfucks’.

    Hitler’s mom seems like an interesting character. I think she needs a herbal tea and a brownie. Something to take the edge off…

  38. Audi Says:

    What a wonderful memory. Just think of how it must have made the trash collector’s day to see a little boy in complete awe of what he does, while most adults just take him for granted.

    I’m so glad there was a kind person on the line to help you, and that you picked up the phone and found her.

  39. Desiree Says:

    I wonder if Hitler’s Mom would say that to your face – or to anyone face-to-face. If so, there are involuntary institutions with lots of lovely, floaty medication for people like that.
    SW, your words sucked me into a time machine and blasted me back nearly 20 years. My Max was a “truck man” and hero-worshipped the buff, chesty blokes who emptied our bins – life without him now would seem … probably much the same as you’re feeling now. Keep sharing the memories, we’re listening.
    PS I just realised my URL has been linking to someone else’s blog – eek! Fixed.

  40. Babsalicious Says:

    My heart goes out to you.

  41. theresa Says:

    Thinking of you…sending you mountain air. sometimes it helps.

  42. Cricket9 Says:

    SW, hugs and good vibes from Ottawa…Ash said it all.
    I wish Mr. Hitler’s Mom would take his medication.

  43. Tanya Says:

    A bowlful of Abilifys to Hitler’s Mom. A series of hugs to you. Max sounds like a wonderful human being.

  44. Bessie the Buddha cow: Says:

    You and Max are always in my heart and prayers.

  45. Bevitron Says:

    Oh, Sister Wolf that memory is an absolute delight! Such a great exchange between Max and the tash tuck man. I love hearing little memory jewels like that. Even though they’re not mine, they’re so vivid that they stick with me like they were. I’m glad that you spoke to Ginger; you have a hot line of sorts here, too, it seems like – such great readers (with the odd insane exception, of course) who clearly love you & send the best kind of energy.

    Oh Andra that is so funny about your son calling Kentucky Fried Chicken “Fucky Fry”!! I’ve always called it Kentucky Fried Colonel and now I think I’ll combine them – it’s “Fucky Fried Colonel” from now on!

  46. kt Says:

    A virtual hug from me, to you. I am experiencing grief in my own respective situation, and I still must be in the stage of denial. I cope enough to go on with my routine. Though when it does hit, and out of nowhere, I crumple regardless of what I’m doing and where I am. I can’t begin to fathom how these moments must be like for you, in your situation. I hope that these messages bring you comfort in knowing that people can connect with you in a very real way, albeit in a kind of surreal forum. You are appreciated.

  47. Sister Wolf Says:

    Ash – You made me cry. xoxo

    Andra – I love that. Max used to shout from his car-seat, “Fastards!” when someone honked at me.

    Honeypants- thank you honey! That is comforting.

    layer&swathes – Haha. Max used to call wasps “waspspsps” I still call them that if I see one.

    Bevitron -You are always a comfort

    Claudia – that you for your incredible compassion and sweetness!

    kt – Im sorry for what you’re going through. Thank you for taking the time to help.

    All you commentors are so amazing. I don’t know how I came to deserve such kindness and support, It give me strength even if it makes me cry. I’m just grateful.

  48. Hallie Says:

    Sister, this brought tears to my eyes. Every morning when I change RJ’s diaper, I sing the “ABC” song to him and get a huge, joyful smile. It is the highlight of of my days. When we walk with the stroller, he is fascinated with school buses and points to them with a smile. These are the moments that make my heart continue to beat. Your boy left us too soon and the thought of it simultaneously pisses me off and makes my heart feel heavy. The world is shittier without his lovely spirit. Much love to you as always; you and yours are continually in my thoughts.

  49. Hallie Says:

    Wow, just saw Hitler’s Mom’s comment … typical douchebag just screaming for attention. Like an above commenter said, a bowl of Abilifys to that one ..

  50. Cat Says:

    my comments don’t seem to go through =(.
    Anyways, what you did to deserve kindness and support was to light up our days with your words. Sometimes they are funny, others sad, they are strong and sometimes a bit harsh but they are 100% Sister Wolf and we love it. Well, that and of course your lipstick.

  51. Cat Says:

    ( | _ |\
    O O *** <— tash tuck?


  52. Erika Says:

    That is a beautiful memory. I’m going to hug my mom. I think we forget how much love our parents have for us sometimes.

  53. Erika Says:

    I also feel I should say that your son loved you very much. Life is very hard sometimes. I am sorry that he had to go through what he did and that you also have to go through so much. I am sure he would not want you to feel so much pain or sadness.

  54. Jlynn Says:

    I turned on my TV the other day just as Max and his slide guitar came bursting out of the “Nickel and Dimed” meat-locker. It was cool to see him on the big screen.

    btw thanks for sharing the tash tuck story; I like to think of you as a happy young mother and Max as an exuberant little boy…

  55. Sister Wolf Says:

    Jlynn – !!!!!!!!!! My heart just skipped a beatT Thank you SO MUCH for this. xoxo

  56. Sister Wolf Says:

    cat – Ah what a cute tash tuck! Big blessings to you and xoxo

  57. Another old biddy Says:

    Forgive yourself, Sister Wolf, as you would forgive others.

    Max already knows how you feel about him and he would want you to find the peace of mind and happiness that you deserve. Release yourself from the hurt and anger so that your relationship with Max can become even more honest, open and profound than before.

    And in case you need to be reminded, you are already loved, for who you are. :)

  58. JK Says:

    Thank you Sister Wolf.

  59. LeFacade Says:

    I read this and Im scrambling everywhere to find a box of kleenex. What can I say, Im an emotional person. I lost my best friend and former boyfriend almost 2 years ago now in a freak accident that still can never be explained. I know its totally different since your a mom but this story about the truck reminded me of him. His dad owned a construction company and he grew up with a passion for trucks. Everytime we drove past one he’d point with the kind of excitement a kid who visits the zoo for the first time has. Thanks to him I know all different kinds of trucks and escavators—useless info to me but a reminder of how we remember these things so clearly when the people we love are taken from us.


    ps. Ive been reading your blog and Im trying to start my own. your my biggest inspiration at the moment but honestly it sucks at the moment. working on it!

  60. Nickie Frye Says:

    OMG. Ok, I’m just putting the pieces together here. Sister Wolf, I am so sorry for your loss. This is my greatest fear. Last year my best friend was killed by a drunk driver in front of her 3 & 5 year old daughters, & her husband was almost killed in the accident too. Sometimes things happen & we are like WTF??!!! But the story doesn’t end there. It’s what we do with it as we walk through the grief & anger. For instance, my friend’s husband has forgiven the man responsible for the accident. He went to speak on his behalf at his trial because there had already been enough grief & heartache. The two of them went on to produce a video together against drunk driving that will be shown at local high schools. Unfortunately this loss is part of your testimony now. But look what you are already doing with it! You are rising up. Even if you can’t see it, I can & I don’t even know you! Peace be with you. I will be reminded to pray for you continually as I wear my wolf necklace. 😉

  61. Elizabeth Says:

    I teared up unexpectedly while reading this entry Sister Wolf…thanks for sharing.

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