When the cabbie dropped me off Friday afternoon, there was a silver van in our parking spot!
The busyness of the last week in Tampa left me in a state of blur as far as home goes, so I was kind of surprised to see it there, even though I was the one who parked it there exactly the previous Friday.
Typing it out like that makes me realize we need to go somewhere today, so it is driven more than once in a couple of weeks!
Here's the story of the van coming to it's new home.
He drove me from home to Ride-A-Way in Beltsville, Maryland - about an hour away.
One of the ladies in the office pulled up my paperwork, and one of the guys went to get our van!
They pulled it out front and showed me how the door and ramp were fixed to automatically deploy. They also put a mat down over the carpet in the back. This is helpful for two reasons: 1. It will be easier for Michael to roll on than carpet. 2. It will be easier to clean than carpet.
Then, Randy, the Ride-A-Way General Manager informed me that they did all of the repairs AND serviced the van for us COMPLETELY FOR FREE!!
You guys, this blessing just keeps getting better!
Ride-A-Way just happened to be having lunch there that day, so they invited me to join them.
After the van presentation at Walter Reed a couple of weeks ago, I was already impressed with how these people work together to get adapted vehicles to our wounded warriors, but I got to see all of them in action and it was awesome!
This truck is for a quadruple amputee named John Peck.
Pretty soon, I was on the road home. I didn't plan well, though, and I was heading home without a GPS, and an almost-dead phone.
So, yeah - those things plus the fact that I felt like I was driving a giant silver school bus - were a little crazy.
He was so ready to check everything out.
Here he is on his inaugural roll-in:
But Brokaw... he was not feeling the ramp!
After I got Michael all tied down, we went for a little drive. Around our apartment complex.
I felt like I was in Driver's Ed. Mini-van driver's ed. I tried braking suddenly and turning quickly - to see how Michael was able to hold himself up.
He did pretty good.
Because Michael doesn't have any control of his abdominal muscles, he has a hard time holding himself up, unless he is holding on.
So - we ghetto-rigged a way for him to stay upright while riding in his wheelchair.
No, it's not a back to school thing.
It's a hold-his-shoulders upright kind of thing.
And it worked just great!
That very night, we took our new van out for date night.
We went to Macaroni Grill. And I wore a dress. And heels! People. You don't realize how big of a deal this was! Because we have this van, I am able to be a woman again. I able to wear a dress without having to hike it up and show my world to the world if you know what I mean. I'm able to wear heels because I don't have to lift my husband into an SUV.
This was just the FIRST of many dates we are going to have because of this amazing van. Thank you again to everyone involved in sharing this gift with us. A special thank you to Ride-A-Way Beltsville for hooking us up with some awesome, free service!