I want to share a story with you that touched me deeply, reminding me to slow down and focus on doing things that are really important. This is a true story, written by a NYC taxi driver:
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be the 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.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her nineties 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.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. 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?”
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 area where she and her husband had lived as newlyweds. She had me pull up at a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had danced as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a building and would sit staring into the darkness.
[After dropping her off] 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.
~ This story is excerpted from the original, which can be found at http://www.snopes.com/glurge/cabride.asp