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英语散文:你真漂亮,她说

Source:     2008-05-22  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  
 

Beautiful, She Said    

  
  I never thought that I understood her. She always seemed so far away from me. I loved her, of course. We shared mutual love from the day I was born. I came into this world with a bashed head and deformed features because of the hard labor my mother had gone through. Family members and friends wrinkled their noses at the disfigured baby I was. They all commented on how much I looked like a beat-up football player. But no, not her. Nana thought I was beautiful. Her eyes twinkled with splendor and happiness at the ugly baby in her arms. Her first granddaughter. Beautiful, she said.
  Before final exams in my junior year of high school, she died. Seven years ago, her doctors diagnosed Nana with Alzheimer’s disease. Seven years ago, our family became experts on this disease as, slowly, we lost her.
  She always spoke in fragmented sentences. As the years passed, the words she spoke became fewer and fewer, until finally she said nothing at all. We were lucky to get one occasional word out of her. It was then our family knew she was near the end.
  About a week or so before she died, she lost the abilities for her body to function at all, and the doctors decided to move her to a hospice. A hospice. Where those who entered would never come out.
  I told my parents I wanted to see her. I had to see her. My uncontrollable curiosity had taken a step above my gut-wrenching fear.
  My mother brought me to the hospice two days after my request. My grandfather and two of my aunts were there as well, but all hung back in the hallway as I entered Nana’s room. She was sitting in a big, fluffy chair next to her bed, slouched over, eyes shut, mouth numbly hanging open. The morphine was keeping her asleep. My eyes darted around the room at the windows, the flowers, and the way Nana looked. I was struggling very hard to take it all in, knowing that this would be the last time I ever saw her alive.
  I slowly sat down across from her. I took her left hand and held it in mine, brushing a stray lock of golden hair away from her face. I just sat and stared, motionless, in front of her, unable to feel anything. I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out. I could not get over how awful she looked sitting there, helpless.
  Then it happened. Her little hand wrapped around mine tighter and tighter. Her voice began what sounded like a soft howl. She seemed to be crying in pain. And then, she spoke.
  “Jessica,” Plain as day. My name. Mine. Out of 4 children, 2 son-in-laws, 1 daughter-in-law, and 6 grandchildren, she knew it was me.
  At that moment, it was like someone was showing a family filmstrip in my head. I saw Nana at my baptizing. I saw her at my fourteen dance recitals. I saw her bringing me roses and beaming with pride. I saw her tap dancing on our kitchen floor. I saw her pointing at her own wrinkled cheeks and telling me that it was from her that I inherited my big dimples. I saw her playing games with us grandkids while the other adults ate Thanksgiving dinner. I saw her sitting with me in my living room at Christmas time admiring our brightly decorated tree.
I then looked at her as she wasand I cried.
  I knew she would never see my final senior dance recital. I knew she would never see me cheer for another football game. I knew she would never sit with me and admire our Christmas tree again. I knew she would never see me go off to my senior prom. I knew she would never see me graduate high school or college or see me get married. And I knew she would never be there the day my first child was born. This made tear after tear roll down my face.
  But above all, I cried because I finally knew how she had felt the day I had been born. She had looked through what she saw on the outside and looked to the inside and saw a life.
  I slowly released her hand from mine and brushed away the tears staining her cheeks, and mine. I stood, leaned over, and kissed her.    
  “You look beautiful.”
  And with one long last look, I turned and left the hospice.


    我以为我从来就不了解她。她仿佛离我很遥远。当然,我爱她。从我出生那天起我们就爱护彼此。因为母亲难产,我生下来便头部受伤,面貌丑陋。家人和朋友对我这个畸形婴儿不屑一顾,他们都评论说我看起来多么像一个蓬头垢面的足球运动员。但是,她没有。祖母认为我很漂亮。看着怀中丑陋的婴儿她的眼睛变得光彩夺目,幸福万分。这是她第一个孙女啊,真漂亮,她说。
    在我高一期末考试之前,她去世了。七年前,她的医生就诊断出奶奶患了早老性痴呆症;七年前,我们家就成为这种疾病的专家,然而,逐渐地,我们还是失去了她。
    她说话的时候总是断断续续。一年年过去了,她说的话也越来越少,直到最后一个字也说不出了。偶尔能听到她说出一个字我们就觉得运气很好了。那时我们家才意识到她的一生走到终点了。
    她去世前一个星期,身体就完全不能自理了,医生们决定把她送到收容所。收容所。进到那里面的人没有活着出来的。
    我告诉父母我想去看她。我必须见到她。我抑制不住的好奇心战胜了压抑勇气的恐惧。
    在我请求两天之后妈妈带我去了收容所。祖父和两个姑姑也去了那里,但当我走进奶奶的房间里,他们都在走廊里止步了。祖母坐在一个靠近她床的松软的大椅子里,无精打采地坐着,闭着眼睛,嘴巴麻木地张开着。吗啡使她处于睡眠状态。我的眼神快速地移动,窗户、花卉以及祖母看人的方式上。我艰难地接受着这一切,心里明白这将是我最后一次见到祖母了。
    我慢慢地在她对面坐下来,拿起她的左手,握在我的手心里,拂去她脸上一缕零散的金发。我就坐在她面前,一动不动地看着她,没有任何感觉。我张了张嘴,却什么也没有说。我无法接受她坐在那里的糟糕情形,那么无助。
    接着,她的小手把我的手抓得越来越紧。她开始说话,听起来好似轻柔的呼叫。她好像要痛苦地哭起来。然后,她说话了:
    “杰西卡,”清晰明白。我的名字,是在叫我!在四个孩子、两个女婿、一个儿媳、六个孙子中,她认出是我了。
    那一刻,就好像有人在我脑子里放映家庭电影一样。我看到祖母为我洗礼;我看到她出现在我十四岁那年的独舞表演上;我看到她满脸自豪地带给我玫瑰;我看到她在厨房的地板上跳踢踏舞;我看到她指着自己布满皱纹的脸颊告诉我说我的大酒窝就是从她那里继承的;我看到在其他大人都在吃感恩节晚餐时她在跟孙儿孙女们玩游戏。我看到在圣诞节时她和我坐在我的卧室里赞美我们装饰明亮的圣诞树。
    现在我看着她,就像以前她看我一样……我哭了。
    我知道她再也看不到我最后的毕业独舞表演了;我知道她再也看不到我为另一场足球赛欢呼了;我知道她再也不会和我坐在一起欣赏圣诞树了;我知道她再也不会去参加我的毕业舞会了;我知道她再也看不到我高中毕业、大学毕业,也看到我结婚了;我知道她再也看不到我第一个孩子出世了。想到此,我的眼泪不停地顺着脸颊流下来。
    然而我之所以哭泣,主要是因为我终于明白我出生那天她的感受了。她仔细地看了外部更注意到了内部,她看到的是一个小生命。
    我慢慢地放开了她的手,擦了擦弄脏她脸颊以及我的脸颊的泪水。然后我站起来,弯下身子亲了亲她。
    “你看起来真漂亮。”
    最后久久地凝视了她一眼,我转身离开了收容所。


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