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父亲节特辑之 迟到的关注

发布者: 梦儿 | 发布时间: 2010-8-25 08:02| 查看数: 828| 评论数: 0|

I never saw my father home from work ill, nor did I ever see my father lay down to take a nap. He had no hobbies, other than taking care of his family. For 22 years, since I left home for college, my father called me every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. He was always interested in my life, how my family was doing, and I never once heard him lament about his lot1 in life. The calls even came when he and my mother were in Australia, England or Florida.

Nine years ago when I purchased my first house, my father, 67 years old, spent eight hours a day for three days in the 80-degree Kansas heat, painting my house. He would not allow me to pay someone to have it done. All he asked, was a glass of iced tea, and that to hold a paint brush for him and talk to him. But I was too busy, I had a law practice to run, and I could not take the time to hold the paint brush, or talk to my father.

Five years ago, at age 71 again in the sweltering Kansas heat, my father spent five hours putting together a swingset for my daughter. Again, all he asked was that I get him a glass of iced tea, and talk to him. But again, I had laundry to do, and the house to clean.

Four years ago, my father drove all the way from Denver to Topeka, with an eight foot Colorado Blue Spruce in his trunk, so that my husband and I could have a part of Colorado growing on our land. I was preparing for a trip that weekend and couldn’t spend much time talking to Daddy.

The morning of Sunday, January 16, 1996, my father telephoned me as usual, this time from my sister’s home in Florida. We conversed about the tree he had brought me, “Fat Albert,” but that morning he called the tree “Fat Oscar,” and he had seemed to have forgotten some things we had discussed the previous week. I had to get to church, and I cut the conversation short.

The call came at 4:40 p.m., that day, my father was in the hospital in Florida with an aneurysm. I got on an airplane immediately, and on the way, I thought of all the times I had not taken the time to talk to my father. I realized that I had no idea who he was or what his deepest thoughts were. I vowed that when I arrived, I would make up for the lost time, and have a nice long talk with him and really get to know him.

I arrived in Florida at 1 a.m., my father had passed away at 9:12 p.m. This time it was he who did not have time to talk, or time to wait for me.

In the years since his death I have learned much about my father, and even more about myself. As a father he never asked me for anything but my time, now he has all my attention, every single day.

我从没见过父亲生病在家没去上班,也从没见过他大白天躺下来小睡一会儿。除了将家庭照顾好之外,他没有爱好。自从我离开家上大学开始,22年来,每个周日早晨9点钟,父亲都会打电话给我。他对我的生活,对我的家庭情况总是那么感兴趣,而我也从未听过他感叹自己的命运不济。就算他和母亲身处澳大利亚、英格兰或佛罗里达州时,他的电话也没中断过。

九年前我买下自己的第一幢房子时,我67岁的父亲在堪萨斯州80度(约为27摄氏度)的热浪下连续三天每天八小时为我的房子涂油漆。他不许我花钱找别人干这活儿——他要的全部东西就是一杯冰茶,还有在他干活儿时我帮他拿着刷子和他说说话。不过我太忙了,我有一桩律师业务要办理,没时间帮父亲拿着刷子,或是和他聊天。

五年前,还是在堪萨斯州的酷热天气下,71岁的父亲花了五个小时给我女儿装好了一个秋千。同样,他的全部要求就是给他一杯冰茶,和他说说话。不过我还是很忙,我要洗衣服,还要打扫屋子。

四年前,父亲驾车一路从丹佛开到了托皮卡,车后备箱中装着一棵8英尺高的科罗拉多蓝杉。就这样,我和丈夫在我们的土地上种上了这棵来自科罗拉多州的植物。那个周末我正在筹备一次旅行,没有太多时间和父亲聊天。

1996年1月16日周日的早上,父亲与往常一样给我打电话,这次是从佛罗里达州我妹妹家里打来的。我们谈论了他带给我的那棵树“肥阿尔伯特”。但那天早晨他将那棵树叫成了“肥奥斯卡”,另外,一些我们上周讨论过的事情他似乎已经忘了。当时我要去做礼拜,因此三言两语就结束了通话。

当天下午4点40分,电话打了过来,我得知父亲因动脉瘤在佛罗里达州住进了医院。我马上登上了一班飞机,在飞行途中,我脑中翻腾着那一次次我没有花时间和父亲说话的场景。我意识到我根本不了解他是什么样的人、他心中最深处的想法是怎样的。我发誓,当我到那儿之后我会弥补那些失去的时间,和父亲好好长谈一次,真正去了解他。

我在凌晨1点到达佛罗里达州,而父亲在前一天晚上9点12分走了——这一次是父亲没有时间和我聊聊,没有时间等我到来。

父亲走之后的这些年,我了解了他好多好多,甚至我也更了解我自己。作为一名父亲,除了希望我抽出时间陪他待一会儿,他从没向我索要过什么。如今,我无时无刻不在思念着他,每一天都是。

1. lot n. 命运;运气;遭际。

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