This is an old one I never published 'cuz it's sad ...

When I worked for the other cab company (Brand X.) they didn't track how much we drove, when, where, or much of anything else for that matter. I kept my cab at home and drove whenever I got the urge, day or night, etc.

Early one morning last June I got sent to pick up the lady from the Marriott on Front St to take her to OHSU for her 'treatment'. This had been my 1st time getting her, but apparently she had a short term acct with us, she was in town for 2 wks getting some serious tests done and was going to Pill Hill to every single 4 hrs for a week so they could check the results. Her husband rode with her each time, holding her hand the whole way. She was weak, but in good spirits. I caught her on the last 2 days of her trips to the hospital and ended up readjusting my scheduled to pick her up every time so we had a lot of time to talk. They were a sweet couple. They ended up leaving the next day.

About a month later I get a call from her saying she was coming back to town for a bit and was wondering if I could pick her up from the airport and drive her around. Of course I did.

They're from Maine, long way from home. Her husband has to work and watch the kids this time, but he's calling her every couple of hrs to see how she is doing.

We have a bit more time to talk w/out her husband there. She tells me about how they were high school loves (in Texas) that lost touch, ran into each other on the street one day (in Montana) and reconnected 15 yrs later. Neither had children (and not from lack of trying) but were both married. They got divorced and married the day after both divorces were final then found out they were to be parents, to twins, a few months later. They are both madly in love with each other and their lives. It was a sweet story, and you could tell by her face she loved telling it.

She's only in town for a week and had one free day one so I took her around Ptld. Talking to her I found out she is an avid gardener and loves everything to do with plants so I took her up to the Rose Gardens, the Japanese Gardens (which, if you haven't seen, I highly recommend. It's a magical place) and out to Multnomah Falls. By the time we got to the falls she was moving a lot slower but still wanted to walk to the base and look at them. I got her back to the hospital not too long after that. She only stayed for another 2 days, but said she would call me when she came back to town the next month as the dr's said she was getting better and wouldn't have to be back for awhile. I took her to the airport one beautiful sunny day and was already talking to her about the places I would take her when she came back.

About 2 wks later her husband called me. She had peacefully died in her sleep the night before and she requested that he send me an airline ticket to get me out there and back for the funeral and that he give me a bit of money for driving her around that day as I wouldn't take any money from her then. I respectfully declined - she told me about their finances along with everything else we talked about. He also told me how she talked repeatedly about her last trip to Ptld and how much she enjoyed driving around with me, listening to my funny stories and anecdotes. She also asked that I forgive her for lying to me about getting better, but she didn't want to put a pall on our time.

He thanked me, repeatedly, for taking care of her while she was here as he couldn't be here due to work and kids. He said many, many other things that I couldn't really understand because he was crying almost as hard as I.

I'll never forget sweet Dauphine, and her incredible love for life and family.


The Lily said...

Aw, M, what a sweet story. I am glad you told it, even though it's sad. It's beautiful and tragic and powerful. I was moved, both by her story and your kindness with the family. You're good folk, lady.

Tragerstreit said...

That's so sweet. I'm happy that you were able to give her a lovely memory before her time was over.

Gilighan Qabista said...

my friend moved to portland a little while ago and is trying to find a job. you wouldn't recommend taxi, would you? it would only mean more competition right? he's pretty good with getting around. lemme know.

Donna said...

It's sad, but in a fulfilling sort of way.