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The Cab Ride He'll Never ForgetSeptember 29, 2008

Have you read this? It's heartbreaking, and the most lovely small great moment.

ETA: Oh, you cynics! Darlings, this wasn't written as some sophomore attempt to make it around the world in one million emails. It was written by Kent Nerburn, and orignally published nine years ago in his book Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace, a meditation on the prayer of St. Francis. Anne Lamott called it "a lovely book." The zenmoments.org site that posted it crashed yesterday from too many hits. I'm not sure if they're bring their server back up, so I linked to a different site above. I love it.

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Comments

Maybe I am a cynic, but that story smells like BS to me. Saccharine and probably made up. Am I wrong?

I read that story this morning. I don't know if it's true or not, but does it really matter? if you get something from the story, if it maybe makes you slow down and think about another person and what their trials and tribulations are, would its message be less valid if it wasn't true?

As Barry Hughart says, even fable has broad shoulders, and can sometimes carry more meaning than truth can.

Love that story. Thanks for sharing ;)

I'm a Nursing student who works on the Medical unit at my local hospital as a Nursing Assistant. I am fortunate enough that my job allows me to spend time with my patients one on one, ambulating them, helping them bathe, getting them dressed, and sometimes just sitting with them and talking. I love hearing their stories. spoiledonlychild, you really do experience moments like this with the elderly and/or sick. I cannot tell you the number of times I've been reduced to tears by how amazing my patients are.

Over the weekend I took care of a 97 year old woman who is the last of her family. She has no one and is still fiesty as ever. I walked with her a couple times every day and would check on her often and give her snacks. The things she told me were novel-worthy, and holding her hand at the end of my shift and thanking her for spending time with me is something I'll never forget. When you really love caring for people, it's moments like this that make your job easy.

Oh, that made me cry. Not the bad, ugly cry; just the tears down the cheeks cry.

It's a lovely story but doesn't pass my smell test - someone taking a cab to a hospice? I guess it could happen, but most people admitted to an inpatient hospice are truly at the end of their lives and go directly from a hospital via medical transport. They are past riding around in a cab for hours, until the sun comes up. That was the over the top element for me - if he'd picked her up at 3 in the afternoon and taken her for a two hour ride instead of a 20 minute direct trip I'd be able to stretch my disbelief that far, but he overdid it. By the time it's time for hospice, folks are tired and usually in pain, so they aren't big on romantic all night cab rides.

But I do agree that the elderly share amazing stories and it can be lovely to spend time with them. My mother tells some great ones to nursing staff.

Occasionally they're even true. ;-)

They took it down, claiming an overwhelmed server. I came to comments to tease you about sending so many blog readers there that you crashed their site. Now I see some of your other commenters doubt the still mysterious story, and I'm just scratching my head over it.

Maybe I'll just go watch Digit get stoned again.

Fine. Tell me it isn't true. Tell me it couldn't have happened.

Dammit, I WANT to believe it. I want to believe that in our ugly, screwed-up world, there are people who would be nice enough to do something like that for a relative stranger.

But fine. You're smarter than I am. You can see the holes that I didn't see. You win. Thanks for making my day a little less hopeful.

This story could be seen as a parable. It doesn't matter if it's stricly true or not, not one bit in my opinion. But you know what? I don't doubt that it is true, because I know that if you are open to having those kinds of moments with people, they happen.

I don't care if the story is strictly true or not, it's beautiful and it made me cry and then it made me think. There are so many moments that we all let pass by without thinking because we are too busy or too caught up in our own worlds etc. etc. Reading this makes me want to stop and smell the roses and tell the people I love how much they mean to me. Thanks for sharing. I think I really needed that cry...it was the cleansing kind that makes everything seem more clear afterward.

I don't care if the story is strictly true or not, it's beautiful and it made me cry and then it made me think. There are so many moments that we all let pass by without thinking because we are too busy or too caught up in our own worlds etc. etc. Reading this makes me want to stop and smell the roses and tell the people I love how much they mean to me. Thanks for sharing. I think I really needed that cry...it was the cleansing kind that makes everything seem more clear afterward.

Oh, I do believe that people are that nice, and the author may have even given a little old lady a ride and spent extra time with her, and that grew into the parable of the little old lady going to the hospice. I love a good dose of poetic license, but I think this had some improbable details that caused it to not ring true. I love the story, and if he'd taken it down just a notch or two I'd totally have bought it. The message is still true. This is literary criticism - loved the story, got lump in throat, then thought, "Huh?"

Even with your update, the story sounds improbable to me. Taking a cab to hospice late at night? Sorry, I still believe the man is making this up. And I am one of the most naive, trusting people you can ever meet.

Even if some people think the story isn't strictly true, the sentiment is worthwhile. I just had a situation this week where I was asked to do something and all I thought of was how inconvenient it was for me. Luckily, I went through with it, and it occurred to me later how much that little task helped the other person. Sometimes we don't recognize great moments until we are on the other side of them.

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