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.

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 


'Would you carry my bag 

out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase 

to the cab, then returned to assist the 


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


'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 


'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 neighbourhood   

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 


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 


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 


'How much do I owe you?' 

She asked, reaching into her 


'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she 


'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 


'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.





You won't get any big surprise 

in 10 days if you send this to ten people. But, 

you might help make the world a little kinder 

and more compassionate by sending

it on and 

reminding us that often it is the random acts of 

kindness that most benefit all of us.

Thank you, my 



may not be the party we hoped for, but while we 

are here we might as well dance.