Over the summer, my father in-law has developed a keen interest in famers’ market; the lively plaza and neatly laid out fresh fruits and vegetables makes his heart racing for next cooking ideas. When he walked around, picking out fresh produces, he tuned into a happy child.
Like a good host, I have been teaching him how to read price sign and cheerleading him on his progress. As we strolled past a tomato booth, I asked, “Do you know how much are the tomato cost?” He looked at the sign and said out aloud, “L, B, stands for pound. So, it is $2 per pound. Correct?” I gave him an agreeable nod and handled him the money. He gladly took it and gave to the farmer who grinned at us.
His childish face and unknowing smile made me holding back further. For the last two and an half month living together, we have never said anything about Kevin, my dead child. Not a single inquiry from the in-laws. Only their occasional comments and affection towards neighbor’s children reminded me my responsibilities. I could not defend myself, knowing he has a faint heart; I could not open my mouth to share the secret, knowing he is reaching his sunset year. If anyone has to suffer and bear the pain, let it be I. I could not bear to see a 74-year-old man crying….
As my mind tangled with my own private thoughts, my father in-law handed 25 cents back to me and said, “Here is the change.” Then, he took a big stride to the next booth, continuing his happy hunting.
If you were me, what would you do?