A Lesson On Patience

This story has been around for a while but it bears repeating every now and then for those who haven’t read it.  And it seems a little extra appropriate a few days before Mother’s Day.

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.

Taxi rideShe 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 Jamie

 

An old man’s reaction to hearing “his” music

Bitsy writes: This is amazing and touching. I thought our family might like it. xo

This is an excerpt from Alive Inside, a documentary about the Music and Memory nonprofit project, a film by Michael Rossato-Bennett. For more information about the filmmaker, visithttp://www.ximotionmedia.com

Bitsy, I love how you call B&P “our family”.

Thanks Bitsy

 

The $2.99 Special

299 specialWe went to breakfast at a restaurant where the ‘seniors’ special’ was two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $2.99.

‘Sounds good,’ my wife said. ‘But I don’t want the eggs.’

‘Then, I’ll have to charge you $3.49 because you’re ordering a la carte,’ the waitress warned her.

‘You mean I’d have to pay for not taking the eggs?’ my wife asked incredulously.

‘YES!’ stated the waitress.

‘I’ll take the special then,’ my wife said..

‘How do you want your eggs?’ the waitress asked.

‘Raw and in the shell,’ my wife replied. She took the two eggs home and baked a cake.

Thanks Gene

 

Scotch and Two Drops of Water

Old_woman_drinkingA lady goes to the bar on a cruise ship and orders a Scotch with two drops of water. As the bartender gives her the drink she says, ‘I’m on this cruise to celebrate my 80th birthday and it’s today..’

The bartender says, ‘Well, since it’s your birthday, I’ll buy you a drink.  In fact, this one is on me.’

As the woman finishes her drink, the woman to her right says, ‘I would like to buy you a drink, too.’

The old woman says, ‘Thank you…. Bartender, I want a Scotch with two drops of water.’

 ‘Coming up,’ says the bartender.

 As she finishes that drink, the man to her left says, ‘I would like to buy you one, too.’

 The old woman says, ‘Thank you…. Bartender, I want another Scotch with two drops of water.’

‘Coming right up,’ the bartender says.  As he gives her the drink, he says, ‘Ma’am, I’m dying of curiosity. Why the Scotch with only two drops of water?’

The old woman replies, ‘Sonny, when you’re my age, you’ve learned how to hold your liquor. Holding your water, however, is a whole other issue.’

Thanks Janet B