Yesterday at the food court, I noticed a father and his son. The son, maybe 9 or 10, was wearing a medical blue mask and a baseball cap that covers his shaved head. The father in his late forties or maybe life denied him a graceful aging.
I was sitting at a table eating lunch while the father and his son were checking out what sort of food is available in the food court. I could tell it was up to the child to make the decision. He chose one that was at the end of the food court, but I could still see them.
I can’t forget the father’s face. I kept staring at him, more than what courtesy allows. Even without seeing his son you can tell how much this man is in pain. As if his face never experienced happiness before. He might as well be angry.
I don’t know why at that moment my body felt shaken. I was trying hard to keep my tears from appearing in public. When the father and son sat on a table, I was done with my lunch and went to the restroom to wash my hands. While walking my eyes started getting wet. I walked faster and saw the father was heading to the restroom as well.
We both were washing our hands at the sink. I wanted to say something, but I couldn’t. He went to grab paper towels and I was behind him. I wanted to put my hand on his shoulder and say something nice, but I didn’t know what should I say. He left without our eyes meet. I felt bad not saying anything to him. Then I thought what could I say, “Everything will be okay.” It may not be okay, I thought.
I don’t think it is the first time I see a kid in such situation, but maybe it is the father who moved me more. His sadness looked painful. I don’t know if he was angry or not, I assumed he was. I know why, but if so at who?
Humanity felt sorry for the gassed children of Syria, I don’t share the same level of empathy. I know these children will have a better life than if they were to live. My empathy goes to the parents of these children that I can’t fathom how they will live after such thing. I feel sorry for these parents more than for the ones that left this so called life.
The father left the restroom before me and I walked slowly behind him thinking:
Does he ask God to take his life and keep his son’s?
Does he ask God why He did this to his son?
What questions he asks God at night?
What dreams he had for his child before this thing?
Does he still have hope?
Does he still have faith?