Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The cab ride

Cab Ride

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&nb sp; 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

'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

'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. 'The doctor says I
don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the

'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

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

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

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


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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Your attitude towards life defines not only who you are, but the quality of life you are after.

Whatever it is that has been bugging you, Doesn't seem so bad anymore, does it? If only we all could have the spirit that this little boy has!