“…Many people walk in and out of your life, but only love will leave footprints in your heart…”

The Cab Ride . . I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. . . 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 in 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 asked. 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 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. 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 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 at 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 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. 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 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 day. I drove aimlessly lost in thought and could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient? 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. PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT, THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here, we might as well dance. “Many people walk in and out of your life, but only love will leave footprints in your heart.” Note: This article is reprinted with permission. For more inspiring writing by Kent Nerburn, see his website: http://kentnerburn.com. The cab ride story is taken from his book Make Me an Instrument of your Peace: Living in the Spirit of the Prayer of St. Francis . Submitted by: cjlb…Blessings…7/23/14

Photo Credit: Depositphotos.com

About Charles Brooks

who is originally from Miami, Fla., moved to SC, holds two degrees from the University of SC. His business background is primarily in Real Estate Development (Motels, Hotel, Office Buildings, Restaurants, Residential) and Business Consulting. He currently is Managing Director of Brooks, Baker, Lehman & Kohlhepp - Investors in Real Estate and Mining, and has other business interests under the umbrella of Brooks Properties. FULL-TIME-MINISTRY: Fully engaged in spreading the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with an emphasis on the Business Community.

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