It'll be Alright

It'll be Alright

My Papaw E.O. was quite the character. He was rather fearless; in fact, there were times he was too fearless.

I experienced it firsthand back when I was in my early 20s. I was riding with my Mamaw and Papaw as we drove on I-40 through downtown Knoxville. We were in Papaw’s nice farm truck. It was the one without cow stuff on the tires and wheels. He drove it everywhere except to church or the funeral home.

Anyway, Papaw wanted to go somewhere off of Asheville Hwy to look at a tractor for sale. He took an exit and when we got to the bottom of the ramp, he realized he had gotten off too soon.

In those days, we didn’t have GPS, but my family had something better: GPSK. Grandma Pretty Sure Knows. My Mamaw was like an atlas. She was originally from Union County, so she knew all the roads in both Knox and Union counties. She tells Papaw all the different ways he could go to get back to Asheville Hwy.

My Papaw said, “I ain’t doing all that. I’m getting back on right here.” Well, there was a problem with “right here.” There was no ramp to get back on the interstate the way he wanted to go. He politely pulled the truck over to the shoulder.

“Eldred, you can’t do that!” Mamaw fussed.

I joined in. “Papaw, you can’t do that! It’s illegal.”

“It’ll be alright.” He gave a wave of his hand. At that point, I knew Papaw’s mind was made up.

“You all watch for cars.” He turned on the hazard lights and put the truck in reverse.

As we backed up the exit ramp, I repeatedly prayed in my head for the Lord to keep us safe.

To this day, I can still remember the expressions I saw on people’s faces as they drove by us. Some had looks of horror with their mouths gaped open in disbelief. Others pointed at us and laughed.

I quickly changed my prayer to “God, please don’t let me see somebody I know.”

Not only did we make it back to the interstate in one piece, Papaw reached the exit he wanted.

“It’ll be alright,” was Papaw’s outlook on life and I think it served him well. You see, my papaw not only survived contracting TB, but he was also a 3 time cancer survivor. And he went on years after a major stroke.

I watched him while he was going through all of that. Giving up was not an option for him. As long as he was able to go, he was going to. I admired that can do -“It’ll be alright”- quality about him.

I want to be fearless like that. But, I have no intentions of backing up an off-ramp unless a truck carrying chocolate over turns.

“But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NKJV)

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