I drive anywhere feeling like a teenager that just got his first car, but of course I am 25 years old. Why did it took me so long to get a vehicle? Well you usually spend a couple of year convincing your family that is safe that you have the same risks as anyone to get in a car wreck.
When you are a handicap person and you own a minivan (Town & Country Chrysler 2014) you tend to feel free. I drive anywhere I want, well anywhere my budget allows me anyhow. But on pay day I’m always going to the bar to play some pool and drink a beer with some friends. I drive to school and work I became a “awesome person, some one that amazes people/promoter” People always see me and say that what I do is awesome or ask me about the van and tell me where did I get it cause they need one for their grandpa or old father. Sometimes when I go out with my girl, which she is also handicap, we tend to get free food sometimes. Like the chef from the school gave us free sushi and a couple of rolls. As far as school I drive myself there. On the weekends I even make hobbies outside of the house. Alejandro, one of my best friends, and I have been talking to each other about doing an art show in a gallery in Brownsville. I manage to get an exhibition for our paintings in a cultural center close to my old university at Brownsville. It was fun driving over there and setting up the gallery and driving around promoting the art show. I guess now I see why my parents use to call the minivan a luxury thing that I don’t need. But now I think they see that it was a need because now they are able to accomplish more tasks without having to worry about driving me to other places.
The only main issue here in the valley is the parking spaces. People don’t respect the some handicap spaces are mainly for vans. It is a drag to go to Wal-Mart and see that someone with a car that could have parked in a regular handicap space is parked at a space designated mostly for vans. A couple of times I am force to park at a regular handicap space and someone blocked the side where the ramp for my wheelchair comes out. It would be handy if someone design a ramp that can come out either side of the van. That would be the best solution for it. Another possible solution, is to divide the handicap permits in to different digress. For Example, where people can park on the regular handicap parking space other where only van or mini vans can park.
Yesterday I went out with my girlfriend, Elizabeth, to eat. I went early to her work place at the Student Union of now called UTRGV (University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley) I waited for her for a couple of hours but I didn't mind because my BFF the laptop was with me. I played Starcraft 2 the hole morning it was a blast.
I been bugging Elizabeth to let me teach her how to drive. I think driving will open a lot of doors for her just how it happen to me, I want her too feel what I feel when I am behind the wheel. No, I'm not referring to the irritation of people driving like crazy on the highway. I'm referring to the taste of freedom from public transportation and rides that a person with disabilities depend on 100%. After she got out of work I notice that there was an empty parking space since we did not had anything to do so, I told her to get behind the wheel. It took us a while to try and figure how to sit her in the right position to reach the steering wheel. Although she did several mistakes like getting on the sidewalk, she did fine. I think a couple of more tries and she will be a pro.
So far, the van has been very useful I go to school, dates, work like any other person, it is like I have been set free into the world of independence. I love my van I treated like a part of me now i depend on it a lot and I know it would be there as long as i give it maintenance.