Great moments are born from great opportunities – Herb Brooks
The story below shows us how great moments often catch us unaware, let’s be present each day, so we do not miss them.
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So 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 80’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 1940s 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.
“Oh, you’re very kind,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, 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. “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.
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.”
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, then walked into the dim morning light.
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought.
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.
40 thoughts on “Great Moments”
So moving, with tears in my eyes, I want to say thank you.
Oh you have such a big heart Nico. Thankyou.
Thank you Karen for this heart opening, eyes glistening touching moment. ❤️
It was a lovely story, thanks Val.
It was a great moment, I think. He will never forget her. She changed him is some beautiful way. I love this story. Thank you, Karen.
Blessings and Love
It’s amazing how someone can change us so quickly. It is a gift. Blessings to you Mary.
wonderful story, Karen!
i’ll keep my eyes open
for one of these
fleeting moments 🙂
I will too. They are there to be found. Thankyou David.
A beautiful story of human kindness. Thanks, Karen.
It is Eliza. Thankyou.
The pace at which we live can make life such a blur, thank you for this reminder to slow down and life’s little treasures.
Blessings to you.
Yes we need to be aware to see them. Thankyou for your comments.
Beautiful story Karen 😀
Thanks Irene, Happy Valentines Day. 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day for you too 🙂
This is beautiful. A small act, they gh it cost this man a night’s work. But it gave an old woman a piece of her life back, if just for a time.
I agree Emilie, sometimes the smallest acts have the greatest impact.
Where words fail, a gesture of kindness always will speak.
Yes so true Hariod. Nice to see you back, I hope you are well.
This story is so moving and what it is all about, it is the little moments when we are least anticipating, which gives us all pause to let go of expectations. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.
Thankyou for your beautiful comment. 🙂
Thankyou Joanne! 🙂
Such a poignant, lovely story, Karen. It is true that everyday compassion and kindness means so much more in life. These are qualities I know I will always find in your posts.
Thankyou Carol. Your comment is received with gratefulness.
Oh–this is Mr. Holland’s Opus in a microscosm! I love this act of kindness. Thank you for sharing.
I loved that movie! I remember crying so much I couldn’t swallow. Thankyou. 🙂
So true – great acts of kindness hide behind small doors. I remember my Mom sending me a greeting card for no special occasion. Inside it read “I am so proud of you.” It is the card I treasure most.
That is a beautiful gesture that your Mum did for you. It is a great reminder for us all. Thanks MK.
Beautiful story, Karen! Greetings from Nairobi.
Oh wow, you are a long way from the salt marsh! Have a wonderful time, look forward to hearing about your travels. 🙂
What a powerful story–brought tears and a lump to my throat. So very important to remember that the simplest of actions can have the greatest impact. Will carry this with me throughout my day….
They do Lori, more than we know. Have a wonderful day. 🙂
Karen I love this story. Indeed life can be a wonderful thing,living it through small intentional moments like these.
So true Kath, sometimes we don’t know we have made a difference until after the event. Hope you are well ❤️❤️
Really well Karen and I hope the book is coming along nicely for you
Good to hear Kath. Yes publishers are printing this week and book launch on March 17th! ❤️❤️
Hi thanks for postinng this
🙏🏻 Thanks Damien