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Absolutely lovely story, with an important message about how we each have a daily opportunity to make a better world.
 
A sweet lesson on patience.

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

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.

(Thanks for sharing +Damien Basile)
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53 comments
 
Having recovered from reading your beautiful story (beautifully written, I might add), and having dried my tears, I am now ready to approach the rest of my day with far more intention. Thank you so much.
 
I actually chocked up and I am still wiping the tears from my eyes.
 
It's a lovely story. Inspirational. But in the name of accuracy, I must note I've seen variations on this story going back to at least 2005 and probably earlier, some with entwined religious notations. Each version seems to vary in different specific details. Not to subtract from any value lessons in the piece, it has all the hallmarks of being fictional, for whatever that may matter to some observers.
 
Sweet and you gave us a respite of what matters, really! She will be your guiding angle for sure!
 
Agreed, very nice story, but I do wonder if it's true. :) Either way the message is a good one.
 
faith in humanity (and taxi drivers): restored!
 
+Lauren Weinstein See my comment above. It's a true story (except for the NYC part); the author comments on it here:

http://www.zenmoments.org/the-cab-ride-ill-never-forget/

"I am thrilled when my ordinary life offers up an extraordinary moment that brings some solace or insight or enjoyment to others, and such has been the good fortune of that moment in the late 1980’s when I was driving the “dog shift” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. What is noteworthy about that moment, beyond its poignancy, is that I did not create it; I merely experienced it and let it unfold."

http://kentnerburn.com/archives/265
 
This story really touched me.
 
+Jim Douglas I don't much care whether it's fictional or not. It's a nice story either way. But over the years I've seen a lot of discussion about it, including some rather obvious questions. Like, for instance, have you ever heard of a hospice doing routine, non-emergency inductions at 2:30AM? Of course, the story wouldn't work unless this was in the middle of the night. Whatever...
 
I bet this story was planted by the evil taxi conglomerate, IKEA, corporate america, second hand-smoke, Obama's birth certificate, global warming!

P.S. awesome story.
 
My sister and I are guiding our mom through early dementia and into a transitional care home. This made me pause and reflect on what may be ahead.
 
That is a touching story. Thanks for sharing.
Sean K
 
i didnt read all the comments (i rather not) but I like your post.
 
I'm SO not going to check Snopes on this one. Some stories don't have to be factual to be true.
 
Thanks for sharing this Tim. Moving. Will remind me of the value of story.
 
Such a beautiful story, it made me cry. Thanks for sharing.
 
I really love this story. It gives me hope for this world.
 
Great !!! May my day (or Week ??) Thanks
 
This is a very wonderful story and I will tell my mother, thanks your sharing story.
 
We need so many more stories like this. Too much time is spent with what is wrong and not nearly enough with what we can do to make things better.
 
Awesome Tim, thanks for sharing. Passed this along to everyone I could.
 
Wow, would be good to read articles like this more often
 
Wow, great story! I've no idea if it was "true", but the tears are welling up. That was a really good story.
 
"He is pretty lucky to have done what he did." (marcin zajkowski) I agree with that. Without the minimum quality and standards as human one would not be able to do what the cab driver did - those who have, are really blessed! Thanks Tim for sharing the story.
 
I find it hard to understand how people can say that it doesn't matter if a story is true or not. That all that is important is the message. There is a difference between truth and fiction. The difference between someone having an experience, and fantasizing about one. If you really truly have lost your ability to register the difference both emotionally and intellectually, perhaps you should ask yourself why you would be just as touched if it had never happened.

I know that people are more attached to fiction than fact, but really, can we at least feel some shame for that?
 
+David Goldstein Did you just say you want people to feel shame for thinking that a story might be too good to be true ? It's probably true but who cares if it's not, at the end of the day all that matters is what I do in my actions during my day to day, not someone from a story I read.
 
+marcin zajkowski If people are doubting, I see nothing wrong with that. If people don't care if someone is lying to them as long as the lie is nice, well that seems a shame. Maybe I just like the idea that honest=good, lying=bad. I could be wrong.
 
its nice to hear of someone being nice ,the world would be a better place if we could just forget about ego's
 
Story is not possible as told. Pretty much any NYC natives knows cabs are hailed and not called. Perhaps this happened is some other city, but not in NYC -- at least not with an official yellow cab.
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