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(2008-12-16 18:56:46)



分类: 美哉英语

When The Telephone Rang
By Melody Beattie



本文的内容似可以上面两句加以概括。人生的不测往往突如其来!14岁的女儿Nichole带着12岁的儿子 Shane去滑雪,本来是为了庆祝弟弟12岁的生日,孰料,在滑雪场上出现了这样悲惨的一幕:
When the two reached the top, Shane shouted, “Let’s face it!” He dug his poles into the snow and pushed off. While going over a mogul, he fell, then stood up. Struggling to regain his balance, he was hit from behind by another skier and fell again. This time he didn’t move.
然而祸不单行。女儿的精神受此打击,不再是一个天真无虑的少女。她认定弟弟的死与自己有关!她曾这样呼喊,道出了心声:I feel so guilty, so bad. I tried to drink it away. I tried to drug it away.
但是,Nichole不仅没有能drug it away,反而发出了“I need help!”的呐喊。她如此描写她吸毒的感觉:…Sometimes I go blank, and the next day I can’t remember anything. I’m scared. I need help.
次日,“我”即将女儿送入了“青少年戒毒中心”(inpatient chemical-dependency treatment centre)。
看来,“我”在痛失爱子之后,又将失去爱女。这时,我们读到了以下的文字:It was a strange time when Nicole was in treatment...  I found something I thought I’d never find again-calmness, a sense of peace. 此话也许和“物极必反”一说相通,然而,读之反倍感心境黯然!
This whole nightmare is all my fault! You told me to be home by six that night. That’s the last thing you said before we walked out that door. And if I had listened, if I had come home when you said, Shane wouldn’t be dead now. I’m so, so sorry, Mom.
Dear Nichole, I love you very much. I always have. I always will. And if you had called me that night to ask if you could ski later than 6 p.m., I would have said yes. You didn’t cause this, baby. And don’t ever again think you did. Love, Mom.
When I got home, the telephone rang. “Thank you so much. That note means a lot, more than anything.”
There are seasons of the heart. There are seasons in our lives, just as there are seasons to all of nature. These seasons cannot be forced any more than one can force the coming of spring by pulling at tender blades of grass to make them grow. It took me awhile to understand.
一月,女儿Nichole从戒毒中心归来,母女同庆: We vowed to have the best year a mother and daughter ever had. To celebrate her homecoming, we had a party with her friends. It was a grand day.读到此,你会露出欣慰的笑容吗?

On January 30, 1991, my son Shane’s 12th birthday, I took my two children to a restaurant to celebrate. My daughter, Nichole, apologized to Shane because she didn’t have a gift. “Want to come skiing with Joey and me this Saturday?” she asked.

Shane’s eyes lit up. Offers like that from his 14-year-old sister didn’t come very often.

At home that evening Shane sidled up to me while I sat at my dressing table, brushing my hair. He opened my jewelry drawer and took out a small gold cross, one his father had given me at the time of our divorce. “Can I have this?” he asked.

“Sure, honey,” I said, “You can have that.”

That Friday, before the birthday ski trip, Shane stopped me in the kitchen, pulled down the neck of his sweater and pointed to the cross hanging around his neck. “God is with me now,” he said quietly.

I had a hard time falling asleep that night. It wasn’t, as the song says, that I thought we’d get to see forever. But I thought we’d have more time than we did. I didn’t know the end would come so soon — that I would face a mother’s worst nightmare, involving not just one but both of my children.

One last time. “Be home by six o’clock!” I yelled as the kids left that Saturday morning for Afton Alps, a ski area south of our home in Stillwater, Minn. Nichole promised they would be back on time.

It was a strange day. I left as if I was waiting for something, but I didn’t know what. At 8 p.m. I wondered why the children weren’t home yet. I was puttering around the house after 9 p.m. when the telephone rang.

“Mrs. Beattie?” a man asked. “I’m with the Afton Alps Ski Patrol. Your son has been injured. He’s unconscious, but I’m sure he’ll be fine. Stay where you are. We’ll call you back.”
“是贝蒂太太吗?”一个男的问, “我跟阿夫顿阿尔卑斯滑雪巡逻队在一起。你的儿子受伤了。他现在昏迷,但我相信他会没事的。您呆着别走开。我们会再打电话给您的。”

The phone rang again in 15 minutes. “Your son’s still not conscious,” the man said. “We’re taking him to the hospital.”

Be calm, I thought. Drive to the hospital and see your son. Be by his side. Everything will be fine.

A nurse met me in the emergency room. She looked at me differently from anyone who had ever looked at me before. She took my arm and led me to a small room. “Do you have someone you can call?” she said.

Those words broke my heart. I knew what they meant.

Soon I learned what had happened. After skiing the beginner hills all day, Shane decided to finish up by trying an expert slope called Trudy’s Schuss. He talked one of Nichole’s friends into going with him.

When the two reached the top, Shane shouted, “Let’s face it!” He dug his poles into the snow and pushed off. While going over a mogul, he fell, then stood up. Struggling to regain his balance, he was hit from behind by another skier and fell again. This time he didn’t move.

In minutes the first-aid sled arrived. When artificial respiration didn’t work, someone called an ambulance.

“Help him! That’s my brother!” Nichole shouted at the paramedics. As one medic hooked up an I.V, another started to cut off the chain with the cross that hung around Shane’s neck. “Leave that on him,” Nichole said. They closed the doors and sped toward the emergency room.

No more options. At the hospital I talked to a doctor. He said something about brain injury. Swelling. More tests. All weekend I pray for a miracle. Sometimes I couldn't bear to be in Shane’s room. I felt as if I were going to explode or go insane. The ventilator whooshed as it pushed air into his lungs. I held his hand, gently squeezing his fingers. He didn’t squeeze back.

I remembered when we were sledding together a few weeks before. Shane slammed into a tree and rolled off the sled. He lay there on his back in the snow. “Shane, are you all right?” I yelled, running to him.

He sat up quickly, smiled and said, “Psych!”

“Don’t tease like that,” I said. “If anything happened to you, I don’t think I could go on. Do you understand that?”

He looked at me, got serious and said yes, he knew that.

Now I kept wishing he’d sit up, smile and say, “Psych.” But he didn’t.

On the third day the doctors told me we should turn off the life-support equipment. Shane’s kidneys had shut down. His body wasn’t working. He was brain-dead. Medically there were no more options.

I started screaming, “Damn it! This is my baby you’re talking about!” I kicked a door across from me as hard as I could.
After Shane’s friends, Nichole’s friends, and family members said their good-byes, I entered his room. I cut off a lock of his hair and touched his foot. I always loved his little feet. And I held him while they shut off the ventilator.

“I love you,” I said. “I always have. I always will.”




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