Baba called my sister, Renae, and me into
his room and asked us to make a fruit salad
for him. We thought that it was wonderful to
be given an opportunity to serve him. Baba
had Renae and me come forward so that we
were standing near his right shoulder.
Holding up his alphabet board with a look on
his face that signified, "Are you ready for
this?" Baba pointed out some letters on the
board in his nimble way. Then he looked at
us to see if we got his spelling. I looked down,
thinking, "Oh my gosh, I didn't know what he
said," for all I had grasped was that there
were four letters. [Renae said later that she
could only get the letters S and T.]
Baba looked up with expectation in his eyes.
All I could do was to shrug my shoulders in
dismay. With a look of patient understanding,
Baba slowly spelled out the word again, but
this time I understood only the first two
letters. Once more I couldn't give the answer
to Baba when he looked up at me so sweetly.
I was inclined to feel embarrassed on such
occasions; however, Baba seemed not to
mind and didn't make me feel bad. With him
it was "Let's keep on; let's do it again," as he
pointed out the letters. This time I said,
"S-O-F-T." When Baba squeezed his fingers
together, we both called out in unison, "Soft!"
Baba smiled and indicated that he wanted the
So Renae and I went into the kitchen where
the piles of fruit were oranges, tangerines,
peaches, grapes all kinds. Washing our
hands, we started to peel the fruit. Renae
kept saying to me, "Mash it; make it soft."
We were so happy to be doing something for
Baba that our tears salted the salad and we
were unmindful of the very hot day. Later,
Renae told me she heard that the salad was
all Baba ate and he liked it. We didn't know at
that time that Baba had also lost some teeth
in his accident.