My parents raised the four of us to be fully independent. My brother and I do housework, and my younger sister helped Dad with car repairs after the crash made me unable to. That’s why it’s so hard for me to ask for help when I need it. Even after 16 years together, I still sometimes push myself beyond my limits rather than asking my wife Lura for help when I should – not nearly as often as I used to, but it does still happen.
I have finally admitted to myself that now is one of those times. Our surprisingly durable Kia Sedona mini-van has finally had it. Since Lura has been out of work for nearly two years, we can’t afford to replace it – not even with a cheap car. My meager Disability payments only go so far. Without a new vehicle, and fast, we will be unable to continue running our Pokémon League, nor will Lura ever be able to find a job. Currently friends are taking us to Hillside for League and D&D Adventurers’ League, but we can’t bum rides forever.
Once I finally get the new starter installed the van will run again, but we will have to put oil in it every time we want to go anywhere – in the driveway before we leave, and in whatever parking lot before heading home. Even that is only a temporary solution. It could finishing dying at any moment, leaving us stranded by the side of the road.
The situation is further complicated by my chronic pain issues. Because of them I can’t comfortably climb in and out of cars or SUVs, so mini-vans and small trucks (like my beloved late Ranger) are our only choice. Unfortunately, as we have learned from our Sedona, used mini-vans come in two flavors: expensive and lemon. Like tattoos, good ones aren’t cheap, and cheap ones aren’t good.
Thankfully, my parents have offered part of their share of the sale of my late maternal grandmother’s house, but that only gets us most of the way to a decent van and halfway to a good one. That’s where we need your help. If you can offer even a couple of dollars it will go a long way towards getting us back safely on the road. Even if all you have to offer are your prayers, we are grateful.