An emotional moment for one woman from Wisconsin and her Palm Springs Uber driver. This is the post from Erin Barsness's Facebook page, Mama Bear Bliss, "This is John. John was my Uber driver on my way to the airport yesterday in Palm Springs, CA.
I asked him if I could sit in the front seat, he wasn’t expecting it, “of course!”
As we drove, he asked why I was traveling, I said for work. Then he asked if I was about 28. I said about 27.
The next thing he said filled my eyes with tears. I brushed them away so he couldn’t see. 3 years ago, John’s daughter passed away unexpectedly at 29 - she left behind a 4 year old son.
He told me I reminded him of her, we shared the same kind heart and that’s why he asked.
He couldn’t resuscitate her. He tried to breathe life into his daughter’s lifeless body. But he found her far too late.
John was holding his daughter’s son in his arms when his grandson’s daddy passed away.
“I wish I could’ve done more. Why couldn’t I bring her back to life? Why didn’t I know her husband was silently suffering? How come I didn’t dig further to find out so I could help? I wish I would’ve done more. And now it’s all too late.”
We talked like we’d known each other our whole lives on our 25 minute drive to the airport.
As we arrived, I looked over at him, tears rolling down his cheeks. My heart melted into my stomach.
He looked over at me, with uncontrollable tears and said, “I’m so sorry for all of this. I have never met someone so kind hearted, so friendly, and so non-judge mental. I felt like I lifted so many years of feelings off my chest - to someone I didn’t even know, but was willing to listen. Tell me I was going to be ok. Someone to console with me. I wish I could hug you, but I know so many people who don’t like hugs. So I just want to tell you thank you.”
He patted my forearm and said, “Please never let the world make you hard. Don’t ever let anyone bring you down. Keep smiling that heart warming smile. Keep being kind to strangers... because you’ve shown me the kindness a stranger can give and I wish I could express how much it has meant to me in just 25 minutes.”
I smiled and stepped out of the car to get my luggage. Because that’s all I could do without letting all of my tears pour out right then and there into his arms.
He took out my luggage for me, and turned to me wiping his tears.
I looked at him, not able to hold back the emotions any longer and said, “I love hugs. I will happily take a hug, John.”
So we hugged right there in front of the airport. People quickly passing by, rolling their luggage, in a hurry every hour of the day.
He squeezed my shoulder, “Take care of yourself Erin. You never know what hardships people have endured, especially behind a smiling face like I’ve masked myself behind for so long. Thank you, sweet girl.”
I stepped to the curb with my luggage, watched him open his door and couldn’t shake the feeling. I yelled, “JOHN!”
He turned swiftly with a smile on his face, “YES?”
“Um... I uh, want to... Can I take a picture with you? I want to show my family, my husband, the world, the kind human I met in you today.”
Tears filled his eyes again, “Of course, sweetie. That would mean so much to me.”
So we snapped this picture. And I will cash it in my bank of memories forever.
Be a kind human. Always. Show compassion, have a listening ear, ask someone about their day, smile at strangers, say hi in the grocery store, show small acts of kindness throughout your life, start up a conversation with your Uber driver. It may mean more to them and help them more than you could ever imagine. ❤️ "
We went on our own search to find John here in the Coachella Valley. Some that know him reached out but his contact information is no longer working. We contacted the Coachella Valley Water District and Imperial Irrigation District where we were told he may have retired from in the early 2000's. We were able to find his last name but unable to reach him.
Mama Bear Bliss posted at 6:16 p.m. on Nov. 12, "
The update all of you were probably waiting for....
THE SEARCH HAS ENDED!!!
I received a call tonight relaying John's contact information! He has seen (and knows of) the story!
Thank you to all for the help in the process!! ❤️"
It looks like the search has ended for John. Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates!