THE CAB RIDE

As I checked my email today, I came upon the following story, a forward from my friend, Jolie. I think it serves as a grand reminder, no matter our age, that life is not a dress rehearsal. WE ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO LIVE AND TO LOVE!

THE CAB RIDE

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 nineties stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like someone 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 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 to take.” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building 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 we would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of the 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.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, ~BUT~
THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

“WE CAN DO SMALL THINGS WITH GREAT LOVE.” Mother Teresa

A BEAUTIFUL EASTER DAY

This day was pretty near perfect from my perspective. My family and I arose early at 6:30 a.m. in order to drive home from North Georgia, deposit our three dogs to our home, and still make it to our church for Easter morning worship…Quite an accomplishment, and so worth it! Our daughter just left to drive back to Auburn University, our son is playing catch up with his rest from his recent international mission trip and I was sitting here reminiscing about this day.
As we got settled into our pew, Billy and Missy scooted into the row in front of us. They are young parents, in fact, new parents of Sammie, just born on March 20, 2009. The service had not quite begun, so we had a minute to say hello and Missy told us that she reluctantly had taken Sammie to the nursery for the very first time…we assured her that all would be well and that it was good for she and Billy to have this time together to worship. The memories for me began to flood back to October 1988 when our first born was only a few weeks old and in the church nursery for the very first time. I remember feeling just like Missy, hesitant and a bit anxious. As the service neared the end, Missy slipped out and returned with a baby carrier with, you guessed it, newborn Sammie bundled inside of it. As the pastor closed the morning with prayer, I gazed at the tiny hands of this little girl. Where exactly had the past twenty years gone??? Following the service, Leah, our newborn baby girl (in 1988) came over to admire Sammie, the perfect example I can come up with to prove that Easter is truly a new beginning, especially when we stop long enough to consider all the new things popping up in our midst…the azaleas and dogwoods on the beautiful Masters’Golf Course, new baby birds, and YES, even a new season in our lives as 50 something women.

IT IS VERY LATE

Easter Weekend is here and I am up late waiting for our children to drive up to join us here at our log cabin in North Georgia. Our son, Walker’s plane from Dominican Republic was a little late, but thankfully, our daughter, Leah was happy to wait patiently for him and she will do the driving tonight. The trip is under two hours and she had a good nap this afternoon, so I feel certain, they will be fine!
Thanks for the comments you have left in response to my Blog. I really appreciate your thoughts and the connectiveness that we have as women.
I believe each one of us wants to know that we have a purpose here until we take our last breath…What that purpose is may not be readily clear to us.
One tool I have really enjoyed for the past two decades is personal journaling. I try to write an entry 3-4 days per week. At the end of the year, I reread my entire journal between the holidays of Christmas and New Years, highlighting common themes that “keep coming up” as I read…These end up being things I want to work on in the new coming year. Journaling has helped to shed light onto my purposes in my life.
One consistency that has proven to be true for me is a lesson my mother taught me and I have implemented more and more with each passing year. The lesson is that when I find myself feeling down or blue, I make a conscious effort to help someone else by making a difference, big or small, in his/her day. I really encourage you to try this and see how it works for you! Let me hear about your experience of making someone else’s day a bit easier.

Vacation Weight Gain

Well, I may have spoken too soon! I said this Blog is not about food and fitness, and it isn’t! However, I must share the latest that is on my mind!
First, some background…we have two children, Leah, age 20 and Walker, age 17. While Leah is finishing her Spring Semester at Auburn University and Walker is on a Spring Break mission trip to Dominican Republic, my husband and I just returned yesterday from 5 nights in beautiful Jamaica. WE stayed in a fabulous oceanfront all-inclusive resort. (need I say more?)
WELL, here is what I wanted to share, even though I worked out hard every single day, I pretty much ate and drank what I wanted…(bread w/butter, ice cream, pina coladas, you get it!)
I think I now have more clarity about why AMERICA is struggling so much with obesity.
This morning, when I stepped on the scales, I had gained 6 (yes, 6) lbs in just one short week. OK, so now it all makes sense to me because the average person would stay at this wonderful resort, eat/drink whatever their heart desires AND not have daily fitness as a part of their life while they are there. Therefore, if the average person gained the way I have, then the pounds would just continue to add up. For me, I will choose differently! Although this is not about food and fitenss (I keep saying that don’t I!?!) I will choose differently for ME today! I’ll close here as my stationary bike is calling my name!

TODAY IS A GIFT AND THAT IS WHY WE CALL IT “THE PRESENT”!

Someone once said that today is the first day of the rest of your life. I think that is a grand way to begin this blog because at the age of 50 +, it is important to remember that each day matters and go forward with that thought. My 50th birthday was celebrated 323 days ago and I am happy to say that I am now a different person than I was on my birthday, August 1, 2008. I have finally lost the 20 + pounds that I have been trying to lose for about 17 years, since my son’s birth back in 1992! NOW, do not misunderstand by thinking that the weight loss has made me a different person. It is my “thinking” that has made me different. It is the fact that I have chosen to put myself up as a priority in my life, making time for workouts and planning good, healthy things to eat.
NO, this is not about that! This is not about exercise or food.
It is about women and how we are incredible care takers, but we somehow forget to care for ourselves.
THAT is what this is about.
I hope that in posting this thought that more women, younger and older than 50 will begin to care enough about themselves that they will put themselves on their “to do”list!