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.’
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.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.
I received two emails this evening.
One that said “Inspiration, I think we both need it”
And hours later…I received the one I’ve just shared with you.
For me, this second email was the answer to the first.
Thank you to those who always know…when I need a lift up.
~♥~I love you~♥~
32 thoughts on “The Cab Ride”
made me cry this thank you for sharing loves you xx
had to…it’s a message that needs to be shared. love you too Kizz…thanks for the reblog. xoxo
Reblogged this on kizzylee and commented:
nothing more i can say to this its perfect as it is thank you for sharing
Just love this.
I’m glad…I’m sharing it with all of you that I love xo
Thank you Rhonda for posting this. It’s a great story and I wouldn’t be the least surprised if it was or was at least based on a true story, I blog about my time driving a cab (among many other things) and am going to reblog this on my own site…
Thank you Marty, for stopping and for sharing that with me. Stories like this are bound to have happened, and the more we share, the more likely they’ll happen again. Blessings. xo
Reblogged this on Marty's Place and commented:
No this story isn’t about me, but with all things I did and the all things I saw and heard about while driving a cab. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true story! I want to thank Rhonda at 50 Shades of Grey Hair for sharing this… Enjoy!
Thank you Marty, and you are very welcome. I’ll always share stories such as these…anything to make the world seem just a bit kinder. I imagine you’d have been such a cabbie. take care.
Very touching story brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing. Take care.
thank you so much for taking the time to say so. the tears flow freely here also. perhaps the more we read of such things, the more they will happen. x
So true. Thanks again for a beautiful post that touched me so much. Will be back for more browsing. Take care my friend.
thank you, and you too. look forward to seeing you hang out on my porch.
This is such a wonderful post – I am not as low as I was now – thanks Rhonda!
Oh jules…come talk to me. glad this helped lift you, as it did me, but i’m here if you want to talk. xo
I join the teary chorus…it brings it all down to the simplest truth. Showing kindness, remembering that we don’t know really know anyone’s path, so it is better to bring more care and love into the world. It means so much. Beautiful Rhonda..xoxo
It truly is. Thank you Mim…xo
Reblogged this on stuff i tell my sister and commented:
I read this post from my friend Rhonda, this morning, before I even crawled out of bed. Quite the morning devotional. It made me think of many things….Kindness, slowing down to think of the situation of another, aging, having to depend on another when you’ve been independent your entire life. Whether corporate position or blue collar position, unemployed or stay at home mommy ~ none of that matters in the end, now does it? Slow down, think of others, put yourself in their shoes. Lord ~ Make me a better person ♥
p.s. And a big old shout-out to my friend since 2nd grade…Lauri…..Happy Birthday!!! ♥
~♥~ knew you would. xo
My mother will have passed away one year now on the 17th. A few days from now. She was struck ill suddenly and lasted 5 weeks. I was her home hospice nurse. Although much of the time was spent in silence it was the closest we had ever been in 63 years. We were both glad she was not alone like this brave soul in the story.
Thank you Carl for sharing this very touching part of your life with your Mother. As difficult as it must have been to watch her decline, how blessed you both were to have had the chance to be together. God Bless
Wow this has made me sit back and think… do I always take the time with others to make them special, even if just for that short moment?? I hope I do, this is such a great share and has had a poignant effect on me… not one to shed a tear (being a man of reasonable age) it certainly had me swallowing once or twice… if I’m not around I hope my 90 year old Mother gets such a cabbie like this… I love this thank you…
Bulldog, I’m so happy you stopped and thankful for your wonderful comment. I think a story such as this one has that affect on a lot of us, and that’s the very reason I shared it. I am a firm believer in paying it forward, and seeing how little things can make such profound impact? The ripple effect of random acts of kindness is a worthy lesson. xo
Amazing..just stopped me in my tracks. We get so off course so damned easily. This is the crux of life in one beautiful story. I am so glad you shared this with us. I really really needed this. Hugs..my friend. xo
Oh Bonbon…you know only too well how easy it is to be thrown off course. And I also know, while you may think you don’t pay attention, I know you do. And I’m glad this was here when you need the reaffirmation of the best of us…and I’ll always be here to tell you that. Hugs readily accepted and heartily returned…xo
Oh my, this brought tears to my eyes. Lovely.
I agree Mimi, is a lovely story with a gigantic message. Kindness…always worth our time. Thank you for stopping to mingles your tears with ours.
This post was really nice 🙂
it’s a great story, just had to share it. thanks so much for stopping to comment. 🙂
really great story. marty! just goes to show that there’s more to life than just taking, taking, taking….a little help or even spending a minute or two listening to someone goes a long way….