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To Be New&Different创造崭新的别样人生

(2009-12-30 22:09:41)
标签:

音乐

安德鲁

明尼苏达州

情感

分类: 网摘
How to Be New and Different
In April, 1993,I was asked to interview and write about a woman who lived in a small town in Minnesota. So during Easter vacation, Andrew, my thirteen-year-old son, and I drove across two states to meet Jan Turner.
Andrew dozed most of the way during the long drive, but every once in a while I'd start a conversation.
"She's handicapped, you know."
"So what's wrong with her? Does she have a disease?"
"I don't think so. But for some reason, she had to have both arms and legs amputated."
"Wow. How does she get around?"
"I'm not sure. We'll see when we get there."
"Does she have any kids?"
"Two boys ― Tyler and Cody ― both adopted. She's a single parent, too. Only she's never been married."
"So what happened to her?"
"Four years ago Jan was just like me, a busy single mother. She was a full-time music teacher at a grade school and taught all sorts of musical instruments. She was also the music director at her church."
Andrew fell asleep again before I could finish telling him what little I did know about what had happened to Jan. As I drove across Minnesota, I began to wonder how the woman I was about to meet could cope with such devastating news that all four limbs had to be amputated. How did she learn to survive? Did she have live-in help?
When we arrived in Willmar, Minnesota, I called Jan from our hotel to tell her that I could come to her house and pick her and the boys up, so they could swim at our hotel while we talked.
"That's okay, Pat, I can drive. The boys and I will be there in ten minutes. Would you like to go out to eat first? There's a Ponderosa close to your hotel."
"Sure, that'll be fine," I said haltingly, wondering what it would be like to eat in a public restaurant with a woman who had no arms or legs. And how on earth would she drive? Ten minutes later, Jan pulled up in front of the hotel. She got out of the car, walked over to me with perfect posture on legs and feet that looked every bit as real as mine, and extended her right arm with its shiny hook on the end to shake my hand. "Hello, Pat, I'm sure glad to meet you. And this must be Andrew."
I grabbed her hook, pumped it a bit and smiled sheepishly. "Uh, yes, this is Andrew." I looked in the back seat of her car and smiled at the two boys who grinned back. Cody, the younger one, was practically effervescent at the thought of going swimming in the hotel pool after dinner.
Jan bubbled as she slid back behind the driver's seat, "So hop in. Cody, move over and make room for Andrew."
We arrived at the restaurant, went through the line, paid for our food, and ate and talked amidst the chattering of our three sons. The only thing I had to do for Jan Turner that entire evening was unscrew the top on the ketchup bottle.
Later that night, as our three sons splashed in the pool, Jan and I sat on the side and she told me about life before her illness.
"We were a typical single-parent family. You know, busy all the time. Life was so good, in fact, that I was seriously thinking about adopting a third child."
My conscience stung. I had to face it ― the woman next to me was better at single parenting than I ever thought about being.
Jan continued. "One Sunday in November of 1989, I was playing my trumpet at the front of my church when I suddenly felt weak, dizzy and nauseous. I struggled down the aisle, motioned for the boys to follow me and drove home. I crawled into bed, but by evening I knew I had to get help."
Jan then explained that by the time she arrived at the hospital, she was comatose. Her blood pressure had dropped so much that her body was already shutting down. She had pneumococcal pneumonia, the same bacterial infection that took the life of Muppets creator Jim Henson. One of its disastrous side effects is an activation of the body's clotting system, which causes the blood vessels to plug up. Because there was suddenly no blood flow to her hands or feet, she quickly developed gangrene in all four extremities. Two weeks after being admitted to the hospital, Jan's arms had to be amputated at mid-forearm and her legs at mid-shin.
Just before the surgery, she said she cried out, "Oh God, no! How can I live without arms and legs, feet or hands? Never walk again? Never play the trumpet, guitar, piano or any of the instruments I teach? I'll never be able to hug my sons or take care of them. Oh God, don't let me depend on others for the rest of my life!"
Six weeks after the amputations, as her dangling limbs healed, a doctor talked to Jan about prosthetics. She said Jan could learn to walk, drive a car, go back to school, even go back to teaching.
Jan thought about that ― about being a new and different person ― and she decided to give the prosthetics a try. With a walker strapped onto her forearms near the elbow and a therapist on either side, she could only wobble on her new legs for two to three minutes before she collapsed in exhaustion and pain.
Take it slowly, Jan said to herself. Be a new person in all that you do and think, but take it one step at a time.
The next day she tried on the prosthetic arms, a crude system of cables, rubber bands and hooks operated by a harness across the shoulders. By moving her shoulder muscles she was soon able to open and close the hooks to pick up and hold objects, and dress and feed herself.
Within a few months, Jan learned she could do almost everything she used to do ― only in a new and different way.
"Still, when I finally got to go home after four months of physical and occupational therapy, I was so nervous about what life would be like with my boys and me alone in the house. But when I got there, I got out of the car, walked up the steps to our house, hugged my boys with all my might, and we haven't looked back since."
As Jan and I continued to talk, Cody, who'd climbed out of the hotel pool, stood close to his mom with his arm around her shoulders. As she told me about her newly improved cooking skills, Cody grinned. "Yup," he said, "She's a better mom now than before she got sick, because now she can even flip pancakes!" Jan laughed with tremendous happiness.
Since our visit, Jan has completed a second college degree, this one in communications, and she is now an announcer for the local radio station. She also studied theology and has been ordained as the children's pastor at her church. Simply put, Jan says, "I'm a new and different person."
Jan may not have real flesh-and-blood arms, legs, hands or feet, but that woman has more heart and soul than anyone I've ever met before or since. She taught me to grab on to every "new and different" thing that comes into my life with all the gusto I can muster... to live my life triumphantly.

创造崭新的别样人生
1993年四月,我被委派去采访报道住在明尼苏达州一个小镇上的一位女士。于是我利用复活节假期和13岁的儿子安德鲁一起驾车穿越两州去会见简•特纳女士。
在整个长途行车过程中,安德鲁绝大多数时间都在打盹。但有时我也会和他交谈几句。
“你知道吗,她是一个残疾人。”
“怎么造成的?是得病吗?”
“我想不是。不过由于某种原因,她的四肢都被截掉了。” 
“哎呀。那么她怎么行动呢?”
“我也不清楚。等我们到了那就知道了。”
“她有孩子吗?”
“有两个男孩——泰勒和科迪——都是收养的。她也算一位单亲妈妈。只是她从未结过婚。”
“那么在她身上究竟发生了什么事呢?”
“四年前,简就像我一样,是一位忙碌的单亲妈妈。她在一所小学担任全职音乐教师,教授各种乐器。她也是所在教区教堂的音乐指挥。”

没等我讲完我所了解到的发生在简身上的那点事情,安德鲁就又进入了梦乡。当我驾车穿越明尼苏达州的时候,我不由得想知道我将要采访的那位女士在得知四肢都要被截掉的时候是如何来应对这一灾难性消息的。她是怎样学会生存的?她请过住家护理吗?
 
等我们抵达明尼苏达州的威尔玛时,我从入住的旅馆给简打电话,告诉她我可以去她家接她和两个孩子一起过来,以便在我们聊天的时候,孩子们可以在旅馆的游泳池里游泳。
 
“好的。帕特。我可以自己开车过去。我和孩子们十分钟后就到。你们愿意先出去吃顿饭吗?在你们入住的旅馆附近就有一家叫做美国黄松的餐馆。”

“好啊,那倒是个不错的提议。”我迟疑地说,同时心里想着与一位没有四肢的女士一起坐在大众餐馆里一同进餐会是一种什么样的情形呢?究竟她是怎样开车的呢?十分钟后,简把车停在旅馆前。她钻出汽车,姿态优雅地向我走了过来。她的腿和脚十分逼真,看起来和我的完全一样。她伸出右臂,用装在前端亮闪闪的“手”与我相握。“你好,帕特,真的很高兴见到你。这肯定是安德鲁了。”

我抓住她的手,轻轻晃了晃,不好意思地笑了笑。“啊,是呀,他是安德鲁。”我向她车的后座看去,冲那两个男孩微笑着,他俩也咧开嘴笑了。那个小一点儿的叫科迪的孩子想着饭后可以到旅馆的游泳池里游泳简直兴奋得不得了。

简刚一坐回驾驶座位,便滔滔不绝地说起来。“来,上车。科迪,往里点,给安德鲁让个座。”

我们到达餐馆,选餐并付了款,然后边吃边谈,三个孩子也叽叽喳喳地说个不停。那天整个晚上,唯一我不得不帮助简•特纳所做的一件事情就是为她拧开番茄酱的瓶盖。

那天饭后不久,三个孩子在游泳池里玩水嬉戏,我和简坐在池边,她向我讲起了生病前的生活。
 
“我们都是典型的单亲家庭。你也知道,成天总是忙忙碌碌。生活相当不错。事实上,我正在慎重地考虑要收养第三个孩子。”

我的心为之一震。我必须正视这一事实——坐在我旁边的这位女士在单亲抚育方面比我所想的还要好得多。

简继续讲。“1989年11月的一个星期天,我正在教堂前吹奏小号,突然感到乏力、眩晕和恶心。我强撑着走下演奏台,挥手示意孩子们跟着我驾车回家。我爬上床,但是到了晚上,我知道必须寻求帮助。”

简又告诉我,还没到医院,她就昏迷了。她的血压降得很低,以至于她的身体机能几近衰竭。她得了球菌性肺炎。这种病曾经夺去了提线木偶创始人吉姆•汉森的生命。它的一个灾难性的副作用就是激活了人体凝血系统,从而导致血管堵塞。由于瞬间她的手脚都失去了血液供给,很快她的四肢就形成了坏疽。入院两周后,简的胳臂必须从中前臂处截肢,她的前臂和小腿不得不从中间被截掉。简说就在手术前,她哭喊着,“ 噢,天哪,不要!失去了胳膊、腿,和手脚,我可怎么生活呀?再也不能走路了。再也不能吹小号、弹吉他、弹钢琴,或是演奏其它乐器了。我再也不能拥抱我的孩子或是照顾他们。噢,天哪,千万别让我依靠别人照顾而度过余生!”截肢六周后,等她的伤口完全愈合,医生告诉简可以给她做修复术。这样简就可以重新学会走路、开车、重返学校甚至继续教学。
 
简想到那些——要使自己成为一个不同以往的新人——她决定尝试一下做修复术。简的前臂靠近肘部的地方被绑在一个学步车上,有一位康复师站在旁边保护着,但她只是依靠新腿蹒跚地走了两三分钟便疼痛难忍,筋疲力尽地倒在地上。
 
“慢慢来,”简自言自语。“要想在行动和思想上都成为一个全新的人,每次只能承受一步。

第二天她又试用了假臂。那是一套由缆索、橡皮条和人造手组成的简易系统, 并由套在肩膀上的带子来控制。通过肩膀上肌肉的运动,她很快就能随意开合她的“手”,来捡起并握住物体,穿衣服和吃饭。

没过几个月,简就体验到她几乎可以做任何过去能做的事情,只是要用一种全新的不同的方式。“经过四个月的物理和职业治疗,我必须出院回家了。一想到将独自和孩子们一起生活的状况,我就有些紧张。但是当我回到家,钻出汽车,拾级而上,走近家门,用尽全身的力气拥抱了我的孩子们。从那时起我们就从没有畏缩不前。”

我和简还在继续交谈,这时,科迪从游泳池里爬上来,搂着妈妈的脖子,紧靠在她的旁边站着。当她告诉我最近她厨艺大涨的时候,科迪咧嘴一笑。“是的。“他说,“和得病前比起来,现在妈妈更优秀,因为她现在甚至都能烙薄饼了!”简无比幸福地大笑起来。
在我们那次采访以后,简又完成了她的第二个大学学位——大众传媒学的学习。现在她已经成为当地广播电台的播音员了。她还研究神学,并且被任命为她所在教区教堂孩子们的牧师。简言之,简说:“我现在是一个全新不同以往的人了。

简虽然没有真正的胳膊、腿、和手脚,但与我曾经或将要遇到的人相比这位女人有着更伟大的心灵。她教会我要抓住生活中出现的崭新而不同的时机,激发我所有的热情,过一种成功的生活。

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