My father hunched over the kitchen table. The television screen flashed in front of me, but I wasn’t paying attention. Instead, I watched as he worked away, cutting pieces of fruit and filling a huge Tupperware with fruit salad for my grandfather.
My grandfather stopped remembering us a couple years ago. Recently, he has been refusing to eat. He once mentioned enjoying the fruit salad my father made for a family gathering. Since then, my refrigerator has been filled with container upon container of fruit salad, each a carefully crafted masterpiece. At this very moment, while politicians debated over world issues, while wars raged on, and while climate change melted our polar ice caps, my father was doing the single most important thing in the universe. He was making fruit salad.
It’s two in the morning. It has been three hours since my father began making the fruit salad. This is quite possibly an operation more complicated than neurosurgery, perhaps even more intricate than disarming an explosive. My father is extremely meticulous in his craft. The care he puts into a task such as this one may lead some to call him foolish. These people would be ignorant and simplistic. I was one of them before I watched my father at work. I was always upset that my grandfather no longer remembered me, and I was confused as to why my father seemed fine about it. Watching him now, I knew. It did not matter that my grandfather did not remember me. While he forgot the carefree moments we once had, he also forgot the sorrow and hardships of his life. It is only important that he now lived a life of bliss.
I’m not joking when I say that my father’s Tupperware of fruit salad is monumental in the history of our universe. If people cared as much as my father cares, then the most complicated of world issues would be solved. If people loved as deeply as my father loves, then wars would end. And if people took the time to masterfully craft fruit salad as my father does, perhaps even the ice caps would stop melting.