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Life may not be the party you hoped for . . .

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Life may not be the party you hoped for . . .

By Irene Conlan –

This just came in my e-mail. It says it is old but I’ve never seen it. It absolutely stopped me and here I am, in the middle of the day, writing to this blog. It’s usually an early morning task.  It is a simple story with an immense message.  While you’re reading it think about some of the things you say, like “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” Perhaps you should stop thinking that way. As you will learn, Life may not be the party you hoped for but …


The Cab Ride

So I walked to the door and  knocked. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear  something being dragged across the

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  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. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her. ‘I just try to treat my passengers  the way I would want my mother 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. ‘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.


You won’t get any big surprise in 10 days if you send  this to ten people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and  more compassionate by sending it on.

Thank you, my  friend…

Life may not be the party we  hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

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About Anas Alaoui

Anas Alaoui

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