Saturday, January 01, 2011

One of those heart-felt forwards: The Cab Ride

I'm not one to indulge in forwards, but this one touched me deeply.

RAK- Random Act of Kindness, sometimes a smile is enough to make a beggar feel like a King. I know it works on me.

Pay it forward:
                                                                           ~~~~.~~~~

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 to be 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. (place for terminally ill patients)


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.

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 MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY
WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID
~BUT~
THEY WILL
ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM
FEEL.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

2 comments:

LorD AymZ said...

amazing story, loved it :)

Apointofview. said...

"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."

Beautiful <3