The PJ Tatler

Tender Mercies

In life not every wrong is righted and ,even when wrongs are , sometimes the righting takes very long. Still every such act is a tender mercy to be cherished, a tiny correction  keeping the immense universe on its proper course.

This afternoon I was shopping in a large Asian supermarket, squinting through unfamiliar products in several languages in search of my favorite kind of pea vermicelli and bean paste when with a big smile my husband showed me  a picture he’d just received from our son on his blackberry. It was of an elderly Japanese American man proudly beaming,   two diplomas in his hands. It seems while my son was attending the Japanese American version of shiva ( a wake) for the cousin of his wife, the man told him how during World War II, he and she had been forced to leave college because they were  interned. They never received the degrees for which they had worked so hard . After the war they  had had to work and could not afford to return to school. He said they had always regretted that they never received their college degrees,

As it happened my son had  just read in the Japanese language paper his mother-in-law subscribes to that that very college was awarding diplomas  to those students who like the mourner and his deceased wife had been forced by the internment to leave school. The picture was of a proud man  holding, at long last after all those years, the diplomas they had  both   worked so hard to get and had been blocked from receiving when they were young so many years before.