A NYC SWEET LESSON ON PATIENCE

[This text isn’t mine. I read it in the internet and there was no author mentioned. I could not help but share it for the benefit of all. Hope it will help you as it helped me.]

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.

My takeaway from this is: if I establish patient awareness and joyful giving as my way to be, my life would be a far more blissful and fulfilling way to drive along. Not only to me, but most of all to others.

What’s yours?

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About Did You Smile Today

Just one smile is better than thousand words :-)
This entry was posted in Challenging, Culture, Family, Inspiration, Life, Uplifting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A NYC SWEET LESSON ON PATIENCE

  1. Cafe says:

    This is a beautiful story. I think my takeaway is that we never really know or realize how our words and actions (or lack thereof) can affect someone so powerfully. I think we have to be careful to not be too overly sensitive to that (b/c I know I sometimes am), but definitely be aware of that fact and treat others as though you’d want someone to treat the people you care about 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by. I really appreciate you taking the time 🙂

  3. You are so a great writer.. I read this story for a second time, and there are tears on my eyes again. Thank you for this masterpiece, it touched my soul so deep…

    • This is not my writing. I just shared this masterpiece I read in the net some time ago and I found it so beautiful that I could not help but share it. I am glad you liked it and you took something from it…

Thoughts :-)

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