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Post 7 made on Tuesday July 18, 2006 at 02:57
Jay In Chicago
Founding Member
December 2001
I know this is long. If you're one of those who don't have time for these, then you're the one who should read this most of all. Enjoy!

Subject: The Cab Ride - A MUST READ

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at
2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground
floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or
twice, wait a minute, and then drive away.

But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

So 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 80'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 1940s 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

"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 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
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 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 cr easing 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
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. Bu t great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten
people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more
compassionate by sending it on.

Thank you, my friend...

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

May God Bless You!
Jet Rack ... It's what's for breakfast

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