But, 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 1940's movie.By her side was a small nylon suit case. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets and 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.
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, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".
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.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
"You have to make a living," she answered.
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.
But great moments often catch us unawares - beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.