A must read

“The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget” by Kent Nerburn

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 girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

The last three paragraphs just about killed me. If you read only one thing this week let it be this.

Opening comments because this might spark some discussion.

(via MeFi)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for posting something so uplifting and inspirational in the midst of so much bad news.

  • http://the-blue-cat-speaks.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    I’ve seen this before, but I always read it through. It’s so poignant, melancholy, touching, and wonderful. I write this trying to see through the tears in my eyes. I really, really, really needed to read this today. Thanks so much for posting it.

  • C

    I’d never seen this before. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • http://www.thesorority.blogspot.com Diane

    Utterly killed me! Beautifully written, so poignant and utterly wonderful. Thanks for sharing and now I have to go and wipe the mascara off my face from crying.

  • Sweet Herald

    We’re all going through the motions of life, how is this new? Bumping into one another and having compassion and empathy seems to fuel our drive to make it all worthwhile, and that is what I took from the story. Last paragraph was best. Otherwise a little too Chicken Soup for the Soul for me.

  • http://fishingaround.wordpress.com Fishing Around

    Oh geez you made me cry. Thank you for sharing this. I loved the last paragraph.

  • http://weebleswobblog.blogspot.com Lori in Denver

    A family member committed suicide recently.

    After I got the news, I had to run errands at the post office, the grocery store, the gas station. On a normal day, it would have been normal stuff.

    It seemed odd to me that people couldn’t see I was a zombie on the inside. “Have a nice day” each clerk said.

    I was wishing for a moment of genuine connection, for someone to really see me, like this taxi driver did with the woman.

    I now try to slow down and look in others.

  • Anonymous

    the article is no longer posted .. anyone find it? thanks.

  • Sara

    The link is broken now. :( I hope it gets fixed!

  • Sherri

    This blurb could be the story of my first marriage: the place we had the official ceremony burned down, the place we had the ceremony with friends and family fell down in the Loma Prieta earthquake, the apartment we almost moved into was torn down…is it any wonder we didn’t last? The universe knew, too bad it took me so long

  • Scott in Philly


    You remind everyone how to bring out the best in us. Thank you.

  • Beth

    Dude, he pulled the story from the site and now he is trying to sell a book so that you can read the full story. So sad… I don’t get to read it. Bummer.

  • http://www.greystreetgirl.com Grey Street Girl
  • Sweet Herald

    That’s fucked that he did that.

  • Randee

    Not sure if this is the entirety of the original piece, but here it is posted elsewhere:


  • Anonymous

    good message, but sounds a bit contrived to me.

  • http://www.snyderville.blogspot.com Mama Snyder

    I think the site might have had a tiny little crash up when linked by the DOOCE.

  • http://www.myspace.com/bisou_me jess

    no beth, no he did not pull the story. the servers are overwhelmed.
    here is a link to it on another site.


  • cattitude

    oh. my. god.
    that was me this weekend, I swear to god. I went back to this city I lived in as a child and sat outside the house I used to live in at the time in my car and cried in the dark, remembering the lost innocence.
    …so uncanny…

  • Catherine

    My grandfather passed away this morning in hospice care. This was a touching story to read and a cry jerker for sure.

  • Courtney

    It reminds me of stories I would read to prepare for a talk at Sacrament Meeting. My grandma always had these books and they were on, kindness or love etc. They always left me feeling inspired to be a better person.

  • Anonymous

    As someone who is an only child and lost my one and only last living family member 5 years ago, it’s often difficult to explain to people how truly alone in the world one can feel. Thank you for posting this, at least I believe this has made a few people stop and think…

    Also, I really appreciate your timing on this. On a day when the stock market took a dive, a BIG one – yet again – I think it’s easy for people to get swept up with the drama of today rather than seeing things from the longer perspective.

    Thanks Heather.

  • http://willowdrea.livejournal.com/ lionemom

    Whoops. Looks like you may have sent a little more traffic than they were expecting there. They had to take the story down temporarily until traffic normalizes.

    I will check it out on the other link….

  • http://www.walkingwithscissorsblog.com Walking With Scissors

    My Grandma is 93 and in a hospice. She can’t see anymore. She can hardly hear. She doesn’t have the strength to hold her head up and so it rests on her chest. She can’t walk. And yet, her mind is sharp. The last time I visited, she said, “I have been wondering what I could have done in my life that is so terrible that I would be forced to live this way right now.” The deterioration that comes with aging is heart wrenching. My poor mother just wants to tuck her mother in her pocket and bring her home. It’s hard to watch my Grandma this way. I think it will be a hundred times harder when my own mother gets to be that age. I don’t want to think about it right now.

  • Angie

    I got 2 for the price of 1 this time! I first enjoyed the story, then laughed my butt off at the wits and wannabe wits over at the Metafilter thread. Great stuff. Thanks!

  • http://notinsaneperse.blogspot.com Kelly

    Sweet story.

  • http://sushiforlunch.com connie

    i’ve come to realize that every time you link a page, the server that the page is on crashes!

    i had to wait a while before a new link was posted on the original website just to read the story.

    beautiful. way to end my night.

  • http://www.lovemaegan.com …loveMaegan

    oh, Dooce.

  • http://onderdiemaanensterre.wordpress.com Muriel

    Wow this was soooo beautiful, thank-you for sharing!

  • Phoebe

    yay dooce!! top ten!! you’re amazing!!

  • Martha


  • http://stegaliu.wordpress.com Kirstin

    no way i’m in the top 10. love the link, dooce.

  • CatherineMcP

    I am still teary eyed after an hour!!

  • http://smartblonde.tumblr.com Katie

    I made the mistake of reading this while PMS-ing a week or so ago…holy shit cryfest! It’s a beautiful story though, for sure.

  • http://bigtimefancy.wordpress.com Joy @ Big Time Fancy

    That was absolutely beautiful.
    May we all aspire to be like that cab driver. May we all be so lucky to run into someone like him in our lives – when we need it most.

  • http://duchesspandorasbox.blogspot.com Ilana

    Thank you for sharing this…I have seen it before, but I really think I was overdue to read it again.

  • http://www.bloggingmatilda.com Blogging Matilda

    A reminder to take time, cherish life, a share a little bit of ourselves with humanity. It’s not hard to do, and the difference is limitless….Thanks.

  • kathy

    cryfest, for sure. but worth every tear.

  • Otter McGonickle

    Your kind mention killed their servers apparently. But it’s posted here now:


  • Carly

    My eyes may not be dry for a while now. Thanks for the link though.

  • http://authenticthreads.org/blog Braidwood

    That was very sweet. I love how he felt at the end; that it was the best thing he had ever done. I know that when I’ve been sad and lonely, someone being kind, even in a small way, has made such a big difference to me. I try and remember that and smile and speak kindly to other people.

    The comments from other people made me cry too!

    If you want another good story, here you go:

  • http://rogersurbanek.wordpress.com Jenica

    That was absolutely lovely. You never know what’s going to happen after the moment when you make a decision — even if it’s a decision as small as whether or not to go to the door and knock. It’s a good reminder to be the person you want to be in every moment, not just the convenient ones.

  • Laura

    I was proud of myself for holding it together…Then I read #138 Carolyn’s comments. The faucet turned on.

    The day before my grandma died, she was in hospice care at home. She couldn’t talk, could hardly move or open her eyes. We all took turns being by her side. I talked to her like I normally would and gave her the updates. She lifted her eyebrows in excitement, and it made me feel like I was making her last moments feel normal. Little did I know that my uncle was watching me. I apparently touched him too. It let him know that the grandkids (between 21 years old to 32) would be ok after she was gone. In that time, he realized we had grown up to be respectful and responsible. It also showed him that grandma had done her job as a mother and grandmother. Who knew that talking about a potential interview would lead to so many touching moments?

  • http://www.thepaperprincess.com Leslie

    What a beautiful vignette. . .one that I’ll remember for a long time.

  • Hanni

    Cried my eyes out. Wonderful.

  • D

    I aspire to be like that cab driver.

  • Marta

    Thank you for the link and for the person who wrote: be the person you want to be in every moment, not just the convenient ones.

    I just printed that phrase out and will post it on a wall in my home as a reminder.

  • http://www.smartinibar.blogspot.com Megan

    How lovely. And true.

  • http://diaryofwhy.com DiaryofWhy

    This seems a bit saccharine for you, Dooce. Are you going to start linking to Mitch Albom stories or Nicholas Sparks novels next? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that). I don’t get it.

  • http://www.isthisthingonn.blogspot.com Mcbooty

    My co workers must think I am crazy…sobbing at the computer. thanks hahaha