The Cab Ride


 

I don’t often do this but this story caught my attention as I explore the possibility of starting a Non Medical Transportation Company and I have been thinking about mission and vision statements. I hope you enjoy and comment.

 

The Cab Ride

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, and 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.

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 MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR
WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW
YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

You won’t get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten
people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more
compassionate by sending it on and reminding us that often it is the
random acts of kindness that most benefit all of us. Thank you, my
friend…

JT

 

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About JT

I am a happily married man with 6 children and have an autoimmune disease. I hope to share my story and explore others' stories and perhaps together both of our lives will be enhanced.
This entry was posted in introspection, Just Because and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Cab Ride

  1. Woody Stone says:

    Thanks JT. I’ve heard this story before, but I enjoy it every time. Compassion is contagious.

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