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The Last Cab Ride

09 Dec

This was shared with me by a friend. I have read it before and it has caused a tear to form quickly in my eye.  I have no idea who wrote it originally, but I thank them.  It is the season for these types of Posts.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I would like to think I could have been driving that cab.  Take care Bill

Last Cab Ride

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 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.

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

At the bottom of this great story was a request to forward this – I deleted that request because if you have read to this point, you won’t have to be asked to pass it along you just will…Thank you, my friend…

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

 
16 Comments

Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Grandpa Stories, Observations, Ramblings

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

16 responses to “The Last Cab Ride

  1. Chatter Master

    December 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I’ve seen this before too, Bill. It always makes me emotional. What a difference we can make for others. Thank you for this Bill.

     
    • FlaHam

      December 10, 2013 at 10:16 am

      Colleen, Soft smile, stories like this whether they are true or not makes no difference they warm the heart, and they help to steer us in a positive direction. Take care, Bill

       
      • Chatter Master

        December 11, 2013 at 6:07 am

        I love a good story. Fiction or non fiction. If it’s got a wonderful message….that’s what matters. I’m with you on that.

         
        • FlaHam

          December 11, 2013 at 6:37 am

          Colleen, Thank you, it is a wonderful story, one I hope we all learn something from. Take care, Bill

           
  2. Rosey

    December 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    that was beautiful Bill. Thank you so much for sharing. It really helps to put things in perspective…warm hugs my friend

     
    • FlaHam

      December 10, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Rosey, Your quite welcome, it is stories like that do a person good, and sometimes they help get a person thinking in the right direction. Please take care my friend. Wishing you all the best. Take care, Bill

       
  3. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    December 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Such a beautiful poignant story. Definitely a tissue one. Thanks my friend. Big cyber hug to you.

     
    • FlaHam

      December 10, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Paulette, As the season progresses I will get more of these emotional type messages, and I will share them. They have the ability to warm a heart on a cold day. And that is never a bad thing. Take care, Be safe. Bill

       
  4. jmgoyder

    December 10, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Absolutely beautiful – in tears!

     
    • FlaHam

      December 10, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Julie, Some posts are suppose to do that, and I believe this is one. It does bring about our inner good. Please take care, and enjoy the holidays, I know your taking a break. Soft kiss, Merry Christmas — Bill

       
  5. huntmode

    December 10, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Wonder-full. Reblogging. Thank you, Bill.

     
    • FlaHam

      December 10, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Hunt,

      Thanks for the re-blog, this should be shared with the widest audience. Take care, Bill

       
  6. huntmode

    December 10, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Reblogged this on Chasing Rabbit Holes and commented:
    I hope you read this. It made my night and this Season infinitely more precious.

     
    • FlaHam

      December 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Hunt, Of course I read this, and in time I will have read every one of your posts, and will have commented on over 90 percent of them. I truly enjoy your work. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Take care, Bill

       
      • huntmode

        December 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm

        What a Christmas gift you are, Bill!

         

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