Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Miracle Van

On July 25, 2011, our family van, big red, "exploded" on the way home from our wedding.  It was a disaster.  A hilarious adventure ensued that I followed through phone calls.  An ambulance ride, a tow truck, a loaner van, another breakdown, and finally a ride on the back of a tow truck back home.

But there was a bigger problem.  The engine need to be replaced.  It was a lot of money.  We were without a van.  Amy was isolated at her house in Aurora, unable to come home or to family events.  A few months of this was unbearable, and winter was approaching.

Wheelchair vans are expensive, even used ones, even really old used ones.  I watch craigslist, hoping for a miracle.  And one day, there it was.  Our miracle van.  Mom and I grinned from ear to ear on the test drive.  A new family van -- a minivan, with a dropped floor. 

We new the van was old, we new it was not a long-term solution, but this was the van that we could afford, and it was a miracle it was even available.

I'm so glad we bought that van.  Who knew it would be the last year of my mom's life?  Without the van we wouldn't have had Thanksgiving, downtown Christmas tree visit, or Easter.

The day after my mom's funeral, my husband's folks, my aunt Jane, and Amy downstate for Walker's and my graduation.  The miracle van shook and deafened its passengers, but it came through again.

It was suggested that maybe it was time to step it up, to go for the more long term solution.  It was hard for me to not love this van, this miracle.  Hard to think of getting rid of the van we so excitedly bought for my mom just a year ago.  And even harder to think that we should buy ourselves something better than what we'd bought for mom.  Then the miracle van let us know it agreed.  The battery died, and it would NOT let go of it's stinking dead battery.  As multiple people struggled on multiple occasions in sweltering summer heat to pull the battery out, we all came to agree.

After some obsessive research, Walker and I bought our second minivan (two minivans pre-30 has to be some kind of record).  Meet Blackberry Pearl, born 2010, purchased on Thursday, and on Friday, driven to Kentucky on a whirlwind roadtrip for wheelchair conversion (or as we like to call it "passenger reassignment surgery").

All week I've been singing "whatta van, whatta van, whatta mighty fine van."  We'll get her back next week.  Wish you here for this, Mom.  You'd love it. 


Allison said...
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