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Friday, January 8, 2010

The Cab Ride

I get a lot of sentimental and religious email that people think I should pass on to my 10 best friends. This one is different. See what you think...

The Cab Ride
- Anonymous

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
After waiting a few minutes
I walked to the
door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a
frail, elderly voice. I could hear something
being dragged across the floor.

After
a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in
her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a
print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned
on it, like somebody out of a 1940's
movie.

By her side was a small nylon
suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had
lived in it for years. All the furniture was
covered with sheets.

There were no
clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils
on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and
glassware.

'Would you carry my bag
out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase
to the cab, then returned to assist the
woman.

She took my arm and we walked
slowly toward the curb.

She kept
thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I
told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers
the way I would want my mother
treated'.

'Oh, you're such a good
boy', she said. When we got in the cab, she gave
me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive
through downtown?'

'It's not the
shortest way,' I answered
quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she
said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a
hospice'.

I looked in the rear-view
mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have
any family left,' she continued in a soft
voice.. 'The doctor says I don't have very
long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the
meter.

'What route would you like me
to take?' I asked.

For the next two
hours, we drove through the city. She showed me
the building where she had once worked as an
elevator
operator.

We drove through the
neighborhood where she and her husband had lived
when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in
front of a furniture warehouse that had once
been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a
girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow
in front of a particular building or corner and
would sit staring into the darkness, saying
nothing.

As the first hint of sun was
creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm
tired. Let's go now'.

We drove in
silence to the address she had given me. It was
a low building, like a small convalescent home,
with a driveway that passed under a
portico.

Two orderlies came out to
the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were
solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to
the door. The woman was already seated in a
wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?'
she asked, reaching into her
purse.

'Nothing,' I
said

'You have to make a living,' she
answered.

'There are other
passengers,' I responded.

Almost
without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She
held onto me tightly..

'You gave an
old woman a little moment of joy,' she
said.
'Thank you.'

I squeezed her
hand, and then walked into the dim morning
light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound
of the closing of a life..

I didn't
pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove
aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that
day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had
gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient
to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked
once, then driven away?

On a quick
review, I don't think that I have done anything
more important in my life.

We're
conditioned to think that our lives revolve
around great moments.

But great
moments often catch us unaware-beautifully
wrapped in what others may consider a small
one.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou

May we make the world a little kinder
and more compassionate by
reminding ourselves that often it is the random acts of
kindness that most benefit all of us.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we
are here we might as well dance.

14 comments:

  1. Susan Woodall FordJanuary 10, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    Thank you for a beautiful reminder that what matters is who we are and what we do and how we live and love... it's nothing to do with what we earn or have or don't have.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you.. that made me teary and does put life into perspective :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Profound.Thanks much for the reminder that it is the simple acts in life that counts most.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a wonderful story. It brought tears to my eyes. It's a reminder to slow down in life and to always treat people with kindness. Thank you so much for posting it.

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  5. Let us all hope and pray that when it is our time to meet our ending, we had helped those that needed help, we had cheered for those that needed cheer and we had hugged someone when they needed a hug, so we too can meet up with this cab driver, or a special nurse, or a hospice chaplain that will love us enough to care.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is the kind things we do for each other ~ regardless of connection; that brings love & peace on earth. :) AMA

    ReplyDelete
  7. I too am teary eyed for that is the truth of life. I know that is how i would be and it is my hope that more people act from this place of heart.
    Thank you for touching that spot in the center of my beingness that says yes to kindness to give to receive yes to compassion yes to slowing down and opening to the miraculous right before our very eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to take time to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. God bless you richly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Let everyone remember that we need to treat our neighbours like we want to be treated that giving affection, love and kindness do not cost anything other but time and effort. When reading stories like this I would recommend we all thank people like this cabdriver and remember that God doesn't look at the riches in your wallet but at our heart.

    ReplyDelete
  10. how beautiful sorry I know it was your 10 best friends but I had to read it.......

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  11. i cried man its awesome

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this story. That is the kind of kindness that changes lives.

    ReplyDelete
  13. perhaps this beauty lady was just as much a gift to the cab driver as he was to her....it's truly not hard to make another person happy.

    ReplyDelete

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