Symbols of the world's religions

               

S-O-F-T

Darwin C. Shaw

 
During the morning, [Friday, July 18, 1952, New York], Baba called Leatrice and Renae in to ask them to prepare a fruit salad for him. Leatrice describes this incident:

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 salad soft.

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.

 

AS ONLY GOD CAN LOVE, pp. 122-123
2003 © Darwin C. Shaw

               

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