Tue May 01, 2012 7:28 am
sweet lesson on patience.
A NYC Taxi driver wrote:
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few
minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my
shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in
park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a
frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the
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
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
'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
'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.
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
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.
Tue May 01, 2012 9:33 am
That will make you think Billy Ray.
Thanks for posting it.
Tue May 01, 2012 12:01 pm
That was a great story.
Tue May 01, 2012 12:07 pm
Tue May 01, 2012 6:42 pm
Me too BR. Makes you think about whats really important...
Tue May 01, 2012 7:25 pm
I'm in the ambulance business, and, sometimes, the most rewarding calls can be the elderly. You have to be patient, but sometimes if you really listen, it's amazing what they say. You just have to listen.
Here in Boston, 3 tunnels connect Boston to East Boston. It's all Boston, but on Eastie is on the other side of the harbor. I was transporting a very sharp lady who had recently hit 100. I said, "Hey, you were in your mid-20's when the first tunnel was built!" (The Sumner Tunnel was around for 20+ years before I was born!) She told me stories of her daddy working on the ferry, it was the only way to cross back then. It's amazing what you hear, if you take the time to listen.
Tue May 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Great story, thanks for sharing.