The life of a cab driver in a huge city like New York is full of adventure. The metropolis, which never sleeps, is filled with human stories, dramas, which the driver often has to watch. This story was told by one of the cab drivers. He didn’t want to give his name, but he couldn’t help but tell about this incident that literally turned his life upside down.
“I arrived at the address I was calling. I honked the horn as I usually do, but no one came out of the house. I honked the horn again. No one. I started to get annoyed. It was the last call I would make that day, and I was about to leave. But I stayed. I rang the doorbell and heard a faint old lady’s voice say, “Just a second, please.”
After a couple of minutes, the door opened, and I saw a little old lady. She was at least 90 years old, holding a small suitcase. I was able to look inside the house and was very surprised to see that all the things were covered with sheets, the walls were bare. It seemed as if no one had lived there for a long time. In the corner next to the door was a box of old photographs.
“Young man, would you take the suitcase to the car, please?” – the old lady asked.
I picked up the suitcase and carried it to the car. Then I went back to help the old lady to the car. She thanked me for my help.
“You’re welcome,” I said. “I try to treat my customers the way I would treat my mother.”
“That’s very nice,” she said.
The woman got in the car and gave me the address and then asked me to drive through downtown.
“It’s not the shortest road. We’ll have to take a long detour,” I warned her.
“That’s okay,” she said. “I’m going to the hospice.”
It made me feel a little uncomfortable.
“Hospice? – I thought. “That’s where people come to die.”
“I have no one,” the woman said quietly. “And the doctor says I don’t have long.”
Then I turned off the meter and asked:
“Where do you want to go?”
For the next two hours I drove her around town, and she showed me the hotel where she worked. We went to a lot of places. She showed me the house she and her husband lived in after they were married, and the dance studio she went to as a child.
Sometimes she would ask me to drive very slowly and silently look out the window like a curious child. We drove around the city at night until the woman said:
“I’m tired. We can go to our destination.”
We were both silent as I drove to the address given. The hospice turned out to be smaller than I had imagined. When I pulled up, nurses came out to meet us. They placed a woman in a wheelchair and took her suitcase.
“How much do I owe you?” she asked, opening her purse.
“Not at all,” I replied.
“But you must be earning,” she wondered.
“That’s okay, there are other passengers,” I replied with a smile.
Without giving myself time to change my mind, I hugged her tightly and felt her hug me back.
“You made an old woman very happy on her last journey,” she said with tears in her eyes.
I shook her hand, said goodbye, and left. My new shift had already begun, but I continued to wander aimlessly around the city. I didn’t want to talk. What would have happened if someone else had come on a call? What would have happened if I had just left without waiting?
When I think back on that night, I think it was one of the most important lessons of my life. In our crazy hustle and bustle, we only notice the biggest moments. We always want more, faster, farther. But I think the moments of silence, the little things, are a very important part of life. We have to learn to enjoy them. We have to learn to be patient and wait before we make a fuss. Maybe then we can learn to see what’s really important.”