Log in Subscribe
Musings and Memories

Happy After-Thanksgiving Weekend!

Doug Dezotell
Posted 11/26/22

I pray that every day is a day of thanksgiving for you. We all have so much to be thankful for.

There is a wonderful story that really touched my heart the first time I read it, and I like to …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Musings and Memories

Happy After-Thanksgiving Weekend!


I pray that every day is a day of thanksgiving for you. We all have so much to be thankful for.

There is a wonderful story that really touched my heart the first time I read it, and I like to share it again and again. The original storyteller is anonymous.

A New York City taxi driver arrived at the address he had been given and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes, he honked again.

Since this was going to be the last ride of his shift, he thought about just driving away. But instead, he put his cab in park and walked up to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered an elderly woman’s voice.

He could hear something being dragged across the floor inside the apartment, and after a long pause, the door opened.

A small woman who appeared to be in her 90s stood in the doorway. She was wearing a flowery print dress with a little pillbox hat perched on her head. By her side was a small suitcase.

The driver looked past the woman at the inside of the apartment and saw that all the furniture had been covered with sheets. There were a few boxes stacked in a corner of the room.

“Would you mind carrying this suitcase out to the car for me?” she asked. The driver took the suitcase out to the cab, and then he returned to assist the woman.

She took the taxi driver’s arm, and they walked slowly toward the curb. The woman kept thanking him for his kindness, and he assured her that it was nothing.

“I try to treat my customers with the respect they deserve,” he told the lady.

When they got to the cab, she gave the driver the address where she was going, and then asked him, “Would you mind driving through downtown on the way?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” he answered.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m not in a hurry. I’m on my way to spend the last days of my life in a hospice.”

The driver looked at the little lady in the rear-view mirror and saw that her eyes with glistening with tears.

“I don’t have any family left,” she told him in a soft voice. “The doctors say that I don’t have much longer to live.”

The driver reached over and shut off the meter.

“What route would you like me to take?” he asked.

For the next two hours they drove through the city. She showed him the building where she had worked as an elevator operator. They drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had the driver pull up in front of an old warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she would ask the diver to slow down in front of a certain building or a corner and she would sit staring out the window, saying nothing.

Then, she said in a weak voice, “I’m getting tired. I guess we better go now.”

They drove in silence to the address the woman had given him. It was a nursing home with a driveway that went under a portico.

Two staff members dressed in nursing scrubs came out to the taxi as soon as they pulled up. They must have been expecting her. They helped her get out of the cab, and assisted her to sit down in a wheelchair.

The driver got the woman’s suitcase out of the trunk and took it to the door where one of the nurses took it from him.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked the driver and she dug into her small purse.

“Not a thing,” the driver responded. “It has been my pleasure.”

“Well, you have to make a living,” she answered.

“Oh, there will be other passengers,” he told her, and then he bent down and gave the little lady a hug.

She held on to the driver tightly and said, “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you!”

The taxi driver squeezed her hand and walked back to his cab.

The anonymous taxi driver wrote, “Behind me a door shut. It was the sound of a closing of a life. I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of the 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 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.