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One Last Act of Kindness

By: a guest on Apr 7th, 2012  |  syntax: None  |  size: 4.41 KB  |  views: 325  |  expires: Never
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  1. LIVE WELL, LAUGH OFTEN, AND LOVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART!
  2.  
  3.  
  4. I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
  5. After waiting a few minutes I honked again.
  6. 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
  7. frail, elderly voice. I could hear something
  8. being dragged across the floor.
  9.  
  10.  
  11. After
  12. a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in
  13. her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a
  14. print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned
  15. on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.
  16.  
  17.  
  18. By her side was a small nylon
  19. suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had
  20. lived in it for years. All the furniture was
  21. covered with sheets.
  22.  
  23.  
  24. There were no
  25. clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils
  26. on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
  27. box filled with photos and
  28. glassware.
  29.  
  30.  
  31. 'Would you carry my bag
  32. out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase
  33. to the cab, then returned to assist the
  34. woman.
  35.  
  36.  
  37. She took my arm and we walked
  38. slowly toward the curb.
  39.  
  40.  
  41. She kept
  42. thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I
  43. told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers
  44. the way I would want my mother to be
  45. treated.'
  46.  
  47.  
  48. 'Oh, you're such a good
  49. boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave
  50. me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive
  51. through downtown?'
  52.  
  53.  
  54. 'It's not the
  55. shortest way,' I answered
  56. quickly..
  57.  
  58.  
  59. 'Oh, I don't mind,' she
  60. said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.
  61.  
  62.  
  63. I looked in the rear-view
  64. mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have
  65. any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very
  66. long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
  67.  
  68.  
  69. 'What route would you like me
  70. to take?' I asked.
  71.  
  72.  
  73. For the next two
  74. hours, we drove through the city. She showed me
  75. the building where she had once worked as an
  76. elevator operator.
  77.  
  78.  
  79. We drove through the
  80. neighborhood where she and her husband had lived
  81. when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in
  82. front of a furniture warehouse that had once
  83. been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
  84.  
  85.  
  86. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow
  87. in front of a particular building or corner and
  88. would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
  89.  
  90.  
  91. As the first hint of sun was
  92. creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired.Let's go now'.
  93.  
  94.  
  95. We drove in
  96. silence to the address she had given me. It was
  97. a low building, like a small convalescent home,
  98. with a driveway that passed under a
  99. portico.
  100.  
  101.  
  102. Two orderlies came out to
  103. the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were
  104. solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
  105. They must have been expecting her.
  106.  
  107.  
  108. I
  109. opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to
  110. the door. The woman was already seated in a
  111. wheelchair.
  112.  
  113.  
  114. 'How much do I owe you?'
  115. She asked, reaching into her
  116. purse.
  117.  
  118.  
  119. 'Nothing,' I
  120. said
  121.  
  122.  
  123. 'You have to make a living,' she
  124. answered.
  125.  
  126.  
  127. 'There are other
  128. passengers,' I responded.
  129.  
  130.  
  131. Almost
  132. without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.
  133.  
  134.  
  135. 'You gave an
  136. old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.
  137. 'Thank you.'
  138.  
  139.  
  140. I squeezed her
  141. hand, and then walked into the dim morning
  142. light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound
  143. of the closing of a life..
  144.  
  145.  
  146. I didn't
  147. pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove
  148. aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had
  149. gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient
  150. to end his shift?
  151. What
  152. if I had refused to take the run, or had honked
  153. once, then driven away?
  154.  
  155.  
  156. On a quick
  157. review, I don't think that I have done anything
  158. more important in my life.
  159.  
  160.  
  161. We're
  162. conditioned to think that our lives revolve
  163. around great moments.
  164.  
  165.  
  166. But great
  167. moments often catch us unaware-beautifully
  168. wrapped in what others may consider a small
  169. one.
  170.  
  171.  
  172. PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY
  173. WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL
  174. ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM
  175. FEEL.
  176.  
  177.  
  178. At the bottom of this great story was a request
  179. to forward this - I deleted that request because if you have read
  180. to this point, you won't have to be asked to pass it along
  181. you just will...
  182. Thank you, my
  183. friend...
  184.  
  185.  
  186. Life
  187. may not be the party we hoped for, but while we
  188. are here we might as well dance.
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