Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Cab Ride

This was not the blog post I had planned to write today but, when I read this email I knew it was somethintg I needed to share.  You see, Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and it is a time of giving up...sacrificing in preparation for Easter.  I actually did two things....I gave up french fries....and believe me I love the things.....and I decided to write 40 days of letters to people who have touched my life in some way.  The story is called the cab ride and it goes something like this:
"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 verylong.' 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."  You know we are conditioned to think that our lives revolve around 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.  Have a blessed Sunday!

6 comments:

Mary said...

Thanks for making me cry. That was so sweet.

Sweet Tea said...

I feel a tear.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Karen!

What a great story. We never know what a kind gesture means to another person. Sometimes all we need to do is smile. Maybe it's the only smile that person will receive that day.
Great post!

Have a blessed week - hugs, Sherry

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Very nice story. It reminds that we should always treat people as if we were waiting on Jesus.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

very sweet story....tissue please!

R

The Bug said...

There you go making me cry at work again :)