Monthly Archives: May 2012

A lesson on slowing down, listening, & having compassion for others…

Came across this on Facebook, a friend of mine shared it. Such a sweet lesson on slowing down, listening, & having compassion for others. After all, we’re all going to come to the end of our lives & when we look back we’ll realize that it went by in a blink.

I tried tracing it back to the original owner, but to no avail. I found someone who claimed they wrote it, but through further digging that wasn’t the case. If anyone knows who wrote it, please let me know so I can give due credit.

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my 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. 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 glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. 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 just 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,”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 neighborhood 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 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 low building, like 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, 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 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 little 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 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.

Image Detail

This story reminded me of my late Grandma, who passed away a few short months ago. When she was placed into home-hospice care I was so fortunate to have weeks spent with her hearing her stories. Some she had already shared with me throughout my life, some that were new, some that she told & then re-told a few minutes later, already forgetting she just told it. I miss her so badly & I’d give anything to hear her tell a story again…but they’ve become memories, no longer associated with the present. So treasure the time you have with people, take the time to slow down (it’s a lesson I’m daily having to remind myself of) & LISTEN to them. Even if it comes as a hindrance to you, it could mean the world to somebody else.

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Smartest things heard…in April!

 

April was a tough month, but change is always good. Change means growth & growth can be difficult, but its necessary. The month was busy-changes at work, changes in my personal life, changes in my environment, changes within my family…just change.

April will be known as the month of change: April showers does bring May flowers.

Bring it on change, I’ve got this! Smile 

 

4/2: “No matter how good he looks or how perfect he seems. Someone somewhere is tired of his shit.”- friend’s Facebook post-

“Life is to short to waste on grudges. Laugh when you can, apologize when you should & let go of what you can’t change. And always enjoy your journey.”Helen McGaha-

“Everyone’s life is either a warning or an example.”Tony Robbins-

 

4/3: “I did not slap you. I high-fived your face.”-post on pinterest-

 

4/4: “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t”Rikki Rogers-

“You must learn when to throw stones & when to hold them, when you’re facing your giants”-guy on radio-

 

4/5: “She knew that she was formed by God’s hands, dreamed up in his heart, & placed in this world for a purpose.”-my friend, Katie Krichbaum-

“If you stay in faith, God will always take you from Friday to Sunday.”part of Joel Osteen’s Easter sermon-

 

4/7-“The generations that came before us are the essence of the people we become. But all to often, we know so little of their lives & the people they were. They’re just names & dates chiseled in granite. It’s in the storytelling that our lives become real, are sanctified & given dignity.”-Joe Connell-

“Speak only sweet words, because you may have to eat them later.”Steven Korba-

 

4/9: “The most blessed people have been broken.”-Oprah-

“One of the greatest ways to be humble is to practice saying, ‘I was wrong’”-Joyce Meyers-

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning”-Psalm 30:5-

 

4/10: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”Hebrews 10:35-

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.”Proverbs 4:23-

 

4/14: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Luke 12:34-

“Sometimes people with the worst pasts create the best futures.”Tatia Kennedy-

“God proved His love on the cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you’”Billy Graham-

“Read the Bible. Work Hard & honestly. And don’t complain.”-Billy Graham-

 

4/16: “Every relationship is the relationship you need at that time.”Iylana Vanzant-

 

4/18: “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person back then.”Lewis Carroll-

 

4/19: “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.”-Foster C. McClellan-

“God’s intentions for your life govern your design, function, and nature. Stay in His grace so your life can be lived the way He intended.”Aranka Simon-

“Worrying about the future is like paying a debt that you don’t owe. God gave us today only. Trust him.” Aranka Simon-

“At some point you just need to let go & move on because in the end it’s the only way to grow.”Grey’s Anatomy-

“You are my compass. You are my true north. I could always steer for home when you were around.”-Message in a Bottle-

“Choose between yesterday & tomorrow.”-Message in a Bottle-

 

4/20: “Relationships would be easier if people came with a Clear History button.”-my cousin, Allie Cooper-

 

4/21: “The way you treat yourself sets the example for how others see you.”Victoria Osteen-

“The style of your home is a reflection of who you are.”-guy on HGTV’s show, Moving UP-

“All endings are also new beginnings.”-Mitch Albom-

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”1 Corinthians 2:9-

“Love is passion, obsession, someone you can’t live without. Fall head over heels. Find someone who you can love like crazy & who will you back the same. How do you find him? Well, you forget your head & listen to your heart. Cause the truth is, there’s no sense living your life without this. To make the journey & not fall deeply in love, well you have lived a life at all. But you have to try, because if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.”-Meet Joe Black-

 

4/22: “Knowing the difference between right & wrong is one thing. Showing it in your actions is another.”The Godlight-

“Sometimes not trying to solve things is the best way to solve them.”-Penn Jillette-

“You can’t scope & define the nature of your miracle.”Pastor Jim Cooper-

“Though no one can go back & make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now & make a brand new ending.”Carl Bard-

 

4/23: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free & to discover that the prisoner was you.”Lewis Smede-

 

4/25: “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they actually do.”-Eleanor Roosevelt-

 

4/26: “Sometimes just the act of sharing a painful secret can relieve some of the pain.”Maryland-

 

4/28: “The most memorable & important people in your life will be the ones that love you despite the pain you’ve caused them.”-me-

“Forgiving can’t change the past, but when you forgive you sure do change the future.”-Anellie Rowland-

 

4/29: “Be brave, honest, & unselfish to stay real.”-Once Upon a Time-

 

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