I dedicate this story to the Big Guy up there...next time when I feel like you landed a present on my lap I'm going to open it at once and to the taxi driver I met this morning...Thank you.
A had an appointment this morning and the funny thing was I didn't know where the exact address was. I was supposed to call the person I was about to meet but my phone was playing tricks on me. Poor me, I said to myself and then I hailed a cab and gave the driver the incomplete address. Driver #1 refused to run the car at once because he wanted a higher fare. I went down without a word; I was in such a hurry to get into an argument. Driver #2 arrived and asked me what the other driver said; when I told him he frowned and offered to help me find the place.
Traffic! Heavy, bumper to bumper traffic, just what I needed! I angrily thought to myself. I was crossing my fingers for a miracle to happen; I was like praying for the cab to have wings. A lot of things were going on my mind when the driver spoke up. He started telling a story about taxi drivers who were trying to cheat their customers, okay, so we had the ordinary passenger and taxi driver conversation. Then he started to ask me about my job and well I felt kind of awkward at first. Then all of a sudden a weird thing happened, I started telling a story about wanting to earn more money because of my kids. He was an old man driving a cab that was the only thing I knew about him. Don't talk to strangers, how many times did we tell that to our kids? But you know, sometimes we do have to break the rules.
As if the old guy read my mind, he started a lengthy story about himself being a father. His story had a funny start, said that his late wife was extremely jealous during the early days of their marriage which caused them to produce total of nine children. He even advised me jokingly not to be too jealous so as not to have a bunch of kids to worry about. I laughed and paused, waiting for the next part of his story. He married young he was just 18 years old back then and his wife was 16 when they had their first child. His mother-in-law hated him and constantly called him names. She also blamed her daughter for marrying a young and poor taxi driver. Their family grew and it was then that he realized to ask God how he could possibly raise all nine children. He worked long hours day and night driving his taxi and when he earned a handsome amount he went to Saudi Arabia to work in a construction site. He earned big bucks and saved each penny he got. He sent most of his salary to his wife and kept just a little for himself for food and few things he needed. He fought homesickness and worked real hard. He even said that he never hated his mother-in-law in return for despising him; she served as a challenge that someday he will win her approval and realize that his wife was never wrong for marrying him.
His wife persuaded him to come home and reasoned to him that four of their children already finished college and it was time for him to give himself a break. He came to the Philippines followed his wife's request but with fear that his youngest daughter might not finish her college education. Another one of his prayers was answered when his daughter got a scholarship in a good university. Now, the old guy is 72 years old, with 7 grown-up daughters and 2 sons who are now professionals. Among his children 5 became teachers, 3 engineers and his youngest daughter became a lawyer. He is now a widow and all his children together with their husbands and wives wanted him to stop working but never did because he wanted to save some money to give to his grandchildren. He said that life is like a wheel that keeps on turning; sometimes you're up, sometimes your down. He ended his story and put his cab into a stop, as he pointed to the building at our right. I arrived just on time, paid my fare and thanked him.
I came back to my normal world and proceeded to my appointment. During lunch I looked out the window of the cafe and saw a white cab and remembered the old taxi driver who told me the story of his life. Then I suddenly felt that something hit me real hard, like a cold breeze blew right in front of my face. I realized that all this time all I worried about was about money. I only have two kids, both my husband and I have good jobs, I have a huge support group behind me: my parents, my in-laws, close relatives and friends but I failed day by day to count all my blessings. The taxi driver was not able to finish school, earned not much, and his wife stayed at home caring for their 9 kids but he constantly asked for God's hand to guide him to give his children a bright future. It amazed me that God seemed to send me His message through the old man. I only sat in the cab for just a few minutes but he taught me so much. I didn't even know his name but in my mind and in my heart I thank him for being God's messenger and for lending me his eyes for me to see how blessed I am.