What turns out to be a small gesture for someone will be actually a very gratifying big moment for someone else. It’s all about living every moment of life with true compassion and gratitude, and then start seeing the magic unfold from rather unknown quarters.
A story that I recently stumbled upon in Facebook and was captivated by the heart melting quotient that unfolds between two strangers of different worlds. Sharing it with you with a hope that you too would find inspiration from it.
It was his last trip call for the day after a grueling 12 hours of non-stop working as a private cab driver. It was middle of the night and he arrived at an old building, the pick-up location.
The passenger was nowhere to be found and he waited little over 10 minutes before started feeling uneasy and felt an urge to cut the trip & drive away to find some rest.
“But this passenger might be someone who needs my assistance”, he reasoned. So he walked over to the door and knocked. “Just a minute” answered a frail elderly voice. He could hear something being dragged across the floor and after a long pause, the door creaked.
He was looking at a small woman in her 80s, carrying a nylon suitcase and dressed up to leave as though she is moving out permanently.
The apartment held no signs of a family dwelling, all furniture covered with sheets and empty spaces.
“Would you carry my suitcase?” said the woman. He took the luggage to the cab and returned to help her out of the apartment.
While holding his arm and walking slowly to the cab, she thanked him repeatedly for the kindness shown. “It’s nothing”, he said and continued “I just want to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated”.
She gleamed at him and said “You are such a nice man”.
She then gave him the address and said “could you drive through downtown?”
Looking at the address, he quickly said “M’am there could be a shorter route to your destination”
“Oh I don’t mind”, she said. “I am in no hurry. I am on my way to a hospice”. And she continued, “I have no family and the doctor says I don’t have very long”.
He looked into the rear view mirror and noticed her eyes were glistening. He quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
For the next two hours they drove through the city. She showed him the building that housed the office she worked many years ago. She showed the neighborhood where she and her husband lived when they were newlyweds.
Sometimes should would ask for slowing down near a particular building or shop front or a corner. All past memories were unfolding for the last time, as they drove through the city. She would sit staring in the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired, let’s go now”. They drove in silence to the address she had given.
It was a small building. Two orderlies came out as soon as they pulled up. They must’ve been expecting her.
The woman was seated in a wheel chair when he went over to get her suitcase. “How much do I owe you?” she asked. For which he replied “Nothing”. “You have to make a living”, she gently said. “There’re other passengers that I can live from”, he replied.
Almost without thinking, he bent over and hugged her. She held on to him tightly. “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy. Thank you”, she said. He squeezed her hand and walked into the dim morning light.
Behind him a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. He drove away aimlessly and didn’t pick any other passenger that shift, wanting to fully relive those wee hour moments.
He was thinking what if he drove away or just waited briefly after honking once. His action made a person in the verge of death, live through her entire life once more. He considered that this was the most important thing he did ever in life. It was certainly a big moment for him, which caught him unaware from an unsuspected encounter!
We are 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.