About four years ago we had to finally break down and buy a handicapped accessible van . Prior to buying the van I was getting in and out of a regular car. But when I made the choice to use a power wheelchair I knew that I could not fold a power wheelchair up and put in a regular car.
- When I made the decision to buy an accessible van, I just did not want to buy just any old van. I did not want to buy a van that looked like a so- called soccer mom van, nor did I want a van who’s color was going to be a institutional gray or white. I wanted to make a statement and that just what I did. Every year in Edison new jersey there is Ability Expo where if one is disabled you can go to the expo and see all sorts of new gadgets and toys to help make one life easier. There are all sorts of different vendors that carry the newsiest and coolest brands of items Such as: showers chairs for your tub, The coolest of brands of wheelchairs to what’s the hottest thing in toys for children who are disabled It is truly the show of shows.
- My mission that day was to find the one of the kind van that nobody would ever have. Exploring the many different accessible vans was no small task .Indeed you not only have to worry about how many miles per gallon of gas the van will economically get , but you have to look at such things as to where the conversion was done in relation to where the fuel line is connected to the van. Is the van too low to the ground. Does it have a power doors and locks, do you want a manual ramp, or do you want an electric lift. And most of all what type of financing is available for these pricy vans. So overwhelming needless to say. It really all comes down to want one needs and wants. It all so individual a choice .
- As my husband and I explored the many array of different accessible vans we knew the day was drawing to a close, and I thought gee we have not found anything that has really neither caught my sense of style , or for that matter my packet book. Then the Ah ha moment came as we rounded a corner to yet to look at another set of vans when this Candy red apple Honda element came into view. This Honda van literally called out my name. KATHY……….. I been looking for you.I was hooked The van had everything I needed and what my husband wanted in a van. It had style it had grace it was the Honda of my dreams. The van was cool in that the wheelchair was able to sit along side the driver. It had plenty of room for storing items needed for traveling or for hauling around. It had a manual ramp which was great because we did have to worry about possible repairs to an electric lift. And it had ( SUID SIDE DOORS ) This is were the both front and back doors open up side by side. Needles to say Well we bought the van right there and then without even ever test driving it. It took about six weeks to order and Honda even had it shipped right to our house right off of the assembly line. I was floating on air.
- As we waited for the Van to arrive I decided that I wanted to give the van It’s own identity and give it it’s own unique name. One day when I was at work my unit had our once a week lunch together. I brought up the subject of naming my new candy red apple Honda. Well everyone on my team was throwing out different possible names such as :Big Red, Candy, Apple jack and the like. When of all sudden I head this very faint voice from our team Say you have to name the van Tinker Bell. This very faint voice belong to this guy named Scotty who is a person that has an intellectual disability. Scotty who we thought this conversation about naming the van was going over his head. Just piped out the words You have to name the Van Tinker Bell. As my team looked up in much surprise as to what Scotty was saying we then asked him why do I need to give the van the name Tinker Bell? Scotty replied saying very matter of fatally well everybody know what Tinker Bell told Peter Pan, and we all said all at once no what did Tinker Bell tell Peter Pan , and Scotty said Tinker bell said “if you want to fly you have to believe” Well folks that was it. There was not even a single dry eye in the house. Scotty then said to us why are you all crying and I said to Scotty you are a very smart guy who has a lot of wisdom. I then said to Scotty you just named my new van Tinker Bell. I said thank you to Scotty, and I gave him a huge hug He then said I am not hugging no girl and proceeded to go out of the room. You never ever know what true gifts life can give you.