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The Cab Ride 
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

'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."
(My Mom was in Hospice when she passed in '99...They are GREAT People)

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 

'How much do I owe you?' 
She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she 

'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.


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 and 
reminding us that often it is the random acts of 
kindness that most benefit all of us.

Thank you, friends...

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we 
are here we might as well dance.
By the way...this was a true story!
(Only the meter was added to show service...and it must be good because I see it copied and changed a little everywhere)

-James Anthony, Value Van Car Service