Archive for December 2nd, 2011

Take a Moment

Just a reminder: we don’t have to wait till the end of someone’s life to use our moments preciously. This was passed along to me in an email and I pass it along to share.

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, (but it might be)  but while we are here we might as well dance.”

Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
after waiting a few minutes
I walked to the
door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a
frail, elderly voice. I could hear something
being dragged across the floor.

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

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

‘Would you carry my bag
out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase
to the cab, then returned to assist the

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

‘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

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she
said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a

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

‘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

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow
in front of a particular building or corner and
would sit staring into the darkness, saying

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

Two orderlies came out to
the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were
Ssolicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to
the door. The woman was already seated in a

‘How much do I owe you?’
She asked, reaching into her

‘Nothing,’ I

‘You have to make a living,’ she

‘There are other
passengers,’ I responded.

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
‘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?
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.

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


How often it is that random acts of
kindness are the ones that
most benefit all of


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I’ve had a hard time being single-minded this morning, being focused.  Truck day is a short day and one-half now away from our door. I am still carting much of my work materials from my room over to our new home, so I can “pick up from where I left off” without much of a delay, and I still have a heavy four drawer file to unload so the guys can carry the file out.

The computer age did not minimize paperwork for me. Why is that? Am I a compulsive hard-copy die-hard who won’t give in? I usually know how to catagorize hard copies in files or binders (and I have many) but I’m not so sure I can find what I want in my computer saved files. I think I will work on that next year.

Meanwhile, brain-wave and bodily cellular stimulation arrives in books mentioned by email I get from friends, and I have to explore, and get lost in “the next thing I want to know”.

I am in the midst of planning a January party for Tom’s 70th birthday, with invites yet to print out; I have scheduled a January Wondrous Women gathering and another workshop just confirmed for January where I will begin to build on my work. And messages concerning both of those are running along the neural pathways of my brain, chattering all the while they do. More paperwork!

At this moment, Tom is wrangling with our Network provider, by telephone, car trip downtown and back and now again on telephone, trying to get our service cancelled here to begin new at our home. And they gave him a choice — as in — Now, or comeback tomorrow to end it tomorrow, two trips! So this may bleep into cyberspace at any moment.

The CHOICE now is to quickly get my post on Choices on my Napkinwriter — then return to boxing and packing. Let’s see if I can stick with it!

NOTES taken in my 1994 Skidmore Writer’s Conference Notebook.

The class I was in was Dr. Benjy Brooks, a pediatric surgeon, and world emissary of good among the world’s children. She was talking about choices that day. Here are my notes:

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

“Excellence is not an Act but a Habit.” Aristotle

The Power of a Choice, using Victor Frankle’s example from Nazi-war-torn Europe and Auchwitz prison camp: “It is not what they do to you. It is what I think about what they do to me.”

Patterns of Success Choices.

1)  Choices that build me up. Take absolute responsibility for self. Life is a series of opportunities.

2)   Choices that pull me down. Complain. The risk I’m thinking about taking is not an opportunity. 
       …I create the rain that falls on self.
       …I partake in negative self-talk.
       …I am always “too something”, old, fat, young, dumb

3)   Break Even Choices 
       ….I don’t even recognize I have a choice.
       ….I never make a choice
        ….I utilize little of my potential

Steps to take:

A.    Ask “What type am I? ” Do I know what pattern I am?

B.    Ask  “Is the present pattern working for me?”

C.    Look at the pattern of people around me who make choices.

D.    Ask “How can I improve my choices or pattern of how I make my choices?”

Followup by these suggestions: (you have a choice to do these or not!)

Listen within.  Clarify my choices. Act on my choice. Don’t give into, “I’ll wait until…” Learn to recognize the old programs, the old programs that once worked for you but you know they do not work anymore. Stop majoring in minor things.”

Make a Choice.
Set a Goal.
Create an atmosphere around you that supports you.
Reward yourself!

Try those four choices pertaining to something  (one thing) about the Christmas and holy day season for 21 days, the time it takes to form a habit.  See what happens and enjoy the reward you CHOOSE.

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