A Story with Heart

I’m not usually one to share “email forwards” but a dear friend sent me this story and it so touched my heart, that I decided to share it with you.

From a New York Taxi Driver:

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.

Life, especially in the summer, pushes us from behind, urging us to go faster, get more done. I wonder, how many of us have taken the time recently to stop and wait patiently. To think about the other person.

You never know how your small act of kindness will change a life.

Have you ever done something for someone that you considered a small thing and to them it was monumental? Share the story. 🙂

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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.

9 Responses to A Story with Heart

  1. Angie says:


  2. Marilyn Wilkie says:

    O.K. darn it. You made me cry. Beautiful.

  3. Ted says:

    I doubt that it actually happened, but there is no question the story is true.

  4. Leilani says:

    Yes, tears here too….

  5. When we were first married we got involved in college ministry at our (Chinese) church. I’m from a Greek background. We spent all kinds of time with the college kids who responded to us, including eating with them far into the night. Sometimes we would ask them over and I’d cook something easy like spaghetti, and a cake from a box. “She cooks for us!” I overheard one say, awestruck. I didn’t understand! To me it was much cheaper than treating them all to a meal at a restaurant. To them it was love. We did love them, and we were blessed.

  6. Donna Putney says:

    What a wonderful story to share! I wonder how many people realize that nurses greet these situations nearly every day and that kindness and compassion are as natural as taking another breath for the good nurses. Imagine the folks waiting inside the hospice house ready to be with this lady in her transition. They have hearts of gold!
    Thank you for sharing this story.

  7. Amanda Ackerman says:

    Thank you for adding the finishing touch of warmth to my day!
    What a beautiful example of the power and awareness found in a simple act of kindness.

  8. Vivian says:

    I am a history buff, I love to relate history to individuals. A long time ago, we moved into a new community, it was full of historical sites and I started to research its past. One trip to the local library I found a book written about the early community residents. One family jumped out from the page, they had the same last name as my husband and I felt drawn to hear more about them. I found that the family home was still owned by one of the daughters, but she was recently placed in a rest home. I felt compelled to speak to her, so I made the trip across town, a thirty minute drive, and introduced myself. This started a wonderful friendship. I would come and wash her hair, and we would chat for hours. She had the same medical condition I struggle with and it has given me courage to see her response to the condition. She was about 40 years older than myself, but it did not matter.

    The rest home did not care for her well and her family was unaware of her condition, I contacted them and they quickly got her to a hospital where they found she had an infection which was brought on by the poor care. After the hospitalization she was transferred to a better facility. My family often went to visit her until her death. I was blessed to have known her.