When the taxi arrived the driver was anxious to share with me that he was from Lebanon – and that his mother died three years ago.
He told me that she died alone, in a dark room, hastened by the neglect of his sisters and this, he would never forget.
He wanted me to know that he believed in Karma. That he believed in Kindness. He said that with Karma there is no guarantee that things will come back to you…”but you never know,” he said.
I wouldn’t say that he was the most careful driver, weaving a bit between the lines in his enthusiasm to tell me his story. The story – which weaved a bit as well. But we did not drive off the road, which improved my day immeasurably.
There is a story about a mother with one eye, he said.
Maybe you have heard it.
I had not.
There was this mother, long ago, who brought her son a sandwich to his school every day at lunchtime. All the other children in the school used to be so mean to the mother – they used to mock her and make fun of her. You see, she only had one eye.
But every day she brought a sandwich to her little boy.
That child grew up and moved away. His mother grew older, was ill – and died.
After he had heard of her death this (now grown) man received a letter from his mother, mailed just before she died.
“My son,” she said, “I love you and I will always love you”.
“I have to tell you a story which you have never known. When you were very young you had a bad fall. You lost your eye.”
“And I gave you mine. I gave you my eye.”
We got to the airport. “Are you taking United Premier”, the driver asked me?
“No,” I said. “Just plain United”.
And so we pulled up to the curb. He handed me my bags. “May I take your picture?”, I asked him?
“Really, you want to take my picture?”, he asked.
“Yes, yes I do.”
And so he posted. And I clicked.
I handed him a tip and thanked him. He wanted to hug me, bless me.
I returned my sunglasses to my face. I turned on my heels and walked through the sliding doors.