Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Personal non-dollhouse related post

I saw the story below on facebook today and it really hit home hard. Before I had kids, I ran a dance venue and started teaching private dance lessons to one of our students, Chod, a 68 year old ballroom dancer who wanted to learn Lindy Hop. Over the years I became his computer assistant and helped him with everything from paying bills online to setting up dictation software to write a book. I also assisted his neighbor Carolyn as well, who earlier this year lost to brain melanoma at 71. Chod is now 74, and after 3 rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant from the Mayo Clinic, his bone cancer is getting the better of him. I'm now helping him publish his book before he passes. Why am I telling you all of this? With all of the madness, anger and acts of violence in this world, every day we have the opportunity to make a difference. It may seem small and insignificant but you never know how far a little bit of kindness can go.

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.


  1. Such a great story. It really stirred up emotion. Sometimes in our everyday ,we forget to put others before ourselves. Showing moments of unselfishness can be hard for us at times, but yet so rewarding for both parties.
    Thanks for posting.

  2. So, non-dollhouse post well written. I see so many elderly in my career that I wish I could follow home, just to do their laundry, or cook a hot meal, or tidy their house. The seniors just can't catch a break these days. It's a grand act to help your friend publish his memoir, and I'm sure he appreciates everything you do for him. The cab driver story reminds me of 'words to live by' that are often forgotten, and that is "Be kinder than you think you should, to everyone you meet. As everyone is fighting some sort of battle."
    Every person has loved something, has lost something, and is afraid of something. Which levels the vulnerability playing field for those whove forgotten they're human.
    I'll say a prayer for Chod, I hope he gets everything on his 'bucket list' properly crossed off.

  3. your story made me beautiful! what a kind man and such a couragous lady! i have been through the process you describe yourself ,with my mother some years ago. Knowing that there is not much time left is dreadfully difficult and sad for all sides, but can also bring us ever so beautiful moments! Wishing you all the best! and thank you for posting the story! Anne

  4. Very touching story...!

  5. I was deeply touched! Thank you for sharing this. It gives me a good feeling that there will always be someone who will care.
    Thanks again

  6. This is a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it. There such a focus on negative stories in the media, it's no surprise one like this brings a tear to eye and touches our souls.

    It's easy to discount 'strangers' as potentially dangerous and in all seriousness, it's wise to be alert of the possibility. On the other hand, it's still a world filled with kind people who just might deserve your kindness in return.

  7. une histoire touchante ! Un beau moment de vie, de partage entre deux personnes.
    Dans ce monde fou, ce monde du "chacun pour soi" c'est une jolie leçon de vie. Savoir prendre le temps de voir et d'entendre l'autre.
    Merci d'avoir partagé ces 2 heures de vie avec nous.

  8. This is such a touching story. It brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing it. I'm sure that Chod appreciates what you are doing for him and sharing your time more than you will ever know.

  9. A beautiful story and well written Megan...kudos to you for helping Chod! More people like this are needed in this often very selfish world xx

  10. Your friend is a lucky man. The taxi story is wonderful...I know taxi drivers like this as I work with them every day. Oft times we do not realize what small things make a difference.

  11. Nicely done, Megan.
    Chod is a lucky fellow. You're his angel.

  12. Thank you for posting this, I had not read this before, and it is very moving. We are one of the few cultures in the world that does not honor the elderly. Seniors should respected and their life stories listened to; they are not a drain on the youth as some politicians think; they, and those before them are the foundation for our society. Chod is so fortunate to have you in his life, I look forward to reading his story!

  13. This is a great uplifting story, even if it deals with 'the end'. It's never really about the destination, but rather the journey. In a way this story does fit in with 'minis', as it's the little things in life that really add up to be the most significant. I create minis out of passion and love. I am blessed to be able to create something that seems so small to others, but yet create such joy for those who receive them. Thank you all for helping to support my dreams. I am forever thankful, and will always be as polite and courteous as though it may be our final chapter. God bless us all!


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