Posted by on Dec 26, 2011 in Photographs, Sacred Artifacts | 0 comments

It is said, “The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil” but the lack of a few dollars might have killed a child.

The snow, which had been falling all night, had stopped, but you would never know it by the way the Boston winds were blowing the new layer around. That morning as I stepped off the Green Line Trolley into the face of the minus two wind chill factor, the reminder of just how cold it was imbedded itself on my face immediately.

It was four days till payday, and even though I only had a five dollar bill in my wallet to last me till then, a hot cup of coffee became an absolute necessity. I exited the platform, and with my head down to avoid the sting of the wind, I headed straight for the coffee shop a block away.

Maybe that’s why I heard her before I saw her. Her voice held an almost manic desperation to it. I braved the sting of the wind and looked up to see a young woman holding a bundle wrapped in pink in her arms. She was pleading with a cab driver. “She’s been sick all night with a fever of 104. Please! I need to get her to the hospital.”

As I walked by them I heard the cabbie reply, “Five dollars one way.”

The young woman looked up and away from the cab and our eyes met. Frozen tears dotted her cheeks. She turned back to the cab driver and sobbed, “I have no money. You’re going back that way anyway. Please?”

“Sorry, lady. Five dollars one way.” Then, he started to pull away.

That’s when I hollered “Wait.” I have no idea what made me do it but I reached into my wallet, pulled my five dollar bill out and handed him the last of my money. I commanded, “Take her wherever she needs to go.” The cabdriver looked at me like I was crazy, shrugged his shoulders, and muttered, “Whatever.”

In an instant, the young woman carrying her precious bundle scrambled inside. As the cab pulled away from the curb, she turned to the window and placed her hand up against it. With a look of a woman whose desperate prayers had just been answered, she mouthed a silent thank-you.

That look of gratitude filled me with a warmth no cup of hot coffee could ever have created.

~J.K. Ingersoll



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