August is the month of my Mother’s birth so she has been on my mind a lot lately.

Tonight I picked up a passenger who was raised by his grandmother, who, unfortunately, left far too soon.

My heart breaks for him. Losing a parent (whatever title they go by) is incredibly hard. The younger you are, it seems, the harder it is.

Sometimes these rides are painfully short. Sometimes I wish I had more time to say something helpful, more time to think of something that might soothe, heal, perhaps even miraculously resurrect the dead. In this case, this young man was so lost and adrift without the one person he could always count on, who shaped his whole life.The person who in many ways was his whole life. We don’t have any safety nets to catch people like him, to help protect them from falling through such massive cracks. Wishing his Grandmother were still here to be his rock is the only solution that seems possible. It’s as horrific as it is implausible.  

Sometimes the pain of the people I drive around is so palpable it’s almost unbearable. When these people (as wounded people often are) are so very kind, so very compassionate, simply driving them home at the end of a night feels like a failure, a missed opportunity.

Sure, that’s the job, and I truly love what I do. I just hate sometimes that it’s all I can do, that being a safe ride, and hopefully a friendly presence is all I can offer.

To this young man especially, life had not been especially kind. This kind of conscientiousness, work ethic, integrity, that gets rewarded, right? We live in a meritocracy, where one’s efforts are justly rewarded.

If only that were so.

He deserved magnitudes better than the endless string of crappy hands he had been dealt.

The injustices of this world are maddening.

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