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我妻子说你可能愿意嫁给我

更新时间:2018-6-21 20:35:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me
我妻子说你可能愿意嫁给我

I am that guy.

那人是我。

A little over a year ago, my wife, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, published a Modern Love essay called “You May Want to Marry My Husband.” At 51, Amy was dying from ovarian cancer. She wrote her essay in the form of a personal ad. It was more like a love letter to me.

一年多前,我的妻子——艾米·克劳斯·罗森塔尔(Amy Krouse Rosenthal)在摩登情爱上发表了一篇文章,叫《你愿意嫁给我丈夫吗?》。当时51岁的艾米因为卵巢癌已经时日无多。她的文章用了交友启事的形式,但更像是一封给我的情书。

Those words would be the final ones Amy published. She died 10 days later.

那将是艾米发表的最后一篇文章。她于10天后去世。

Amy couldn’t have known that her essay would afford me an opportunity to fill this same column with words of my own for Father’s Day, telling you what has happened since. I don’t pretend to have Amy’s extraordinary gift with words and wordplay, but here goes.

艾米不会知道,她的文章会给我一个机会,让我在父亲节这天,在同一个专栏发表我自己的文字,让我告诉你们后来发生的事情。我不会假装自己拥有艾米在写作和文字游戏上的非凡天赋,但总归写出来了。

During our life together, Amy was a prolific writer, publishing children’s books, memoirs and articles. Knowing she had only a short time to live, she wanted to finish one last project. We were engaged then in home hospice, a seemingly beautiful way to deal with the end of life, where you care for your loved one in familiar surroundings, away from the hospital with its beeping machines and frequent disruptions.

我们在一起的日子里,艾米是个高产作家,她出版了儿童书籍、回忆录和许多文章。知道自己剩下的时间不多后,她想要完成最后一个项目。我们当时选择了居家疗养,这似乎是面对生命终结的一个美好方式,你可以在熟悉的环境里照料你的爱人,远离医院滴滴响的机器和经常性的干扰。

I was posted up at the dining room table overlooking our living room, where Amy had established her workstation. From her spot on the couch, she worked away between micro-naps.

我在餐桌就位,遥望我们的客厅。她在那里搭起了自己的工作台。她在属于她的沙发座位上埋头工作,时不时会打个小盹。

These brief moments of peace were induced by the morphine needed to control her symptoms. A tumor had created a complete bowel obstruction, making it impossible for her to eat solid food. She would flutter away on the keyboard, doze for a bit, then awake and repeat.

这片刻的安宁源自于为了让她控制病症必须使用的吗啡。肿瘤导致了完全性的肠阻梗,让她无法食用固体食物。她会在键盘上飞快打字,打一会盹,然后再醒来,继续。

When Amy finished her essay, she gave it to me to read, as she had done with all of her writing. But this time was different. In her memoirs she had written about the children and me, but not like this. How was she able to combine such feelings of unbearable sadness, ironic humor and total honesty?

艾米把她写完的文章拿给我看,她对待所有的文章都是如此。但这次不同。在她的回忆录里,她写到过孩子,写过我,但不是这么写的。她如何能把这种难以忍受的悲哀感情与反讽的幽默、绝对的坦诚结合起来?

When the essay was published, Amy was too sick to appreciate it. As the international reaction became overwhelming, I was torn up thinking how she was missing the profound impact her words were having. The reach of Amy’s article — and of her greater body of work — was so much deeper and richer than I knew.

文章发表时,艾米已经病重到无法阅读了。来自世界各地的反响将我淹没,但是当我想到她无法看见她的文字有着如此深刻的影响,我感到心碎。艾米的这篇文章——以及她大量的作品——所带来的影响,都比我所意识到的更加深远、丰厚。

Letters poured in from around the world. They included notes of admiration, medical advice, commiseration and offers from women to meet me. I was too consumed with grief during Amy’s final days to engage with the responses. It was strange having any attention directed at me right then, but the outpouring did make me appreciate the significance of her work.

信件从世界各地涌来。它们之中,有表达敬佩的,有医疗建议,有慰问,还有一些女性主动提出想与我见面。在艾米最后的日子里,我深陷悲伤,以至于无暇理会这些回信。立即有这么多人关注我,让我感到有些不可思议,但这大量的信件让我明白了她的工作有多重要。

When people ask me to describe myself, I always start with “dad,” yet I spent a great deal of my adult life being known as “Amy’s husband.” People knew of Amy and her writing, while I had lived in relative anonymity. I had no social media presence and my profession, a lawyer, did not cast me into public view.

当别人要我形容自己时,我总是会从“父亲”这一身份说起。但我成年生活的大部分时光都以“艾米的丈夫”为人熟知。人们认识艾米和她的作品,而我的生活相对默默无名。我从不在社交媒体上露脸,我的律师职业也并未让我进入公众视野。

After Amy died, I faced countless decisions in my new role as a single father. As in any marriage or union of two people with children, we had a natural division of labor. Not anymore. People often assumed Amy was disorganized because she had list upon list: scattered Post-it notes, scraps of paper and even messages scrawled on her hand. But she was one of the most organized people I have ever met.

艾米去世后,身为单身父亲这一新角色的我面对着无数的决定。和所有的婚姻或是任何两个有孩子的人的结合一样,我们有着自然的分工。现在没有了。人们往往会以为艾米是个杂乱无章的人,因为她的清单层层堆叠:四处都是便签纸、小纸片,手上甚至还潦草记着几句信息。但她却是我见过最井井有条的人之一。

There are aspects of everyday life I have taken on that I never gave much consideration to in the past. How did Amy hold everything together so seamlessly? I am capable of doing many things on my own, but two people can accomplish so much more together and also support each other through life’s ups and downs.

我意识到了日常生活中过去我从未多想的有些方面。艾米是如何完美实现一切的?我一个人可以做很多事情,但两个人一起可以做到更多,也可以在生活的起起落落中相互扶持。

Many women took Amy up on her offer, sending me a range of messages — overly forward, funny, wise, moving, sincere. In a six-page handwritten letter, one woman marketed her automotive knowledge, apparently in an effort to woo me: “I do know how to check the radiator in the vehicle to see if it may need a tad of water before the engine blows up.”

许多女士应了艾米的邀约,给我发来了各式各样的消息——过于直白的、幽默的、睿智的、感人的、真诚的。在一封六页的手写信中,一位女士推销了她的汽车知识,显然是为了吸引我:“我还真是知道如何检查汽车水箱,能在引擎爆炸之前看看它是否需要加一点水。”

While I do not know much about reality TV, there was also this touching letter submitted by the child of a single mother, who wrote: “I’d like to submit an application for my mom, like friends and family can do for participants on ‘The Bachelor.’”

虽然我对真人秀节目了解不多,但一封来自单亲妈妈的孩子的动人信件写道:“我想为我的妈妈提交一份申请,就像《单身汉》(The Bachelor)节目里的朋友和亲人为选手们做的那样。”

And I appreciated the sentiment and style of the woman who wrote this: “I have this image of queues of hopeful women at the Green Mill Jazz Club on Thursday nights. Single mothers, elegant divorcées, spinster aunts, bored housewives, daughters, wilting violets … all in anxious anticipation as to whether the shoe will fit, fit them alone, that the prince from the fairy tale is meant for them. That they are the right person.”

我也十分欣赏这位女士的看法和风格:“我想到的画面是,一群满怀希望的女人在周四的夜晚在绿磨坊爵士俱乐部(Green Mill Jazz Club)外排队等候。单亲妈妈、优雅的离婚人士、未婚的老女人、无聊的家庭主妇、女儿们、害羞的女人……她们都焦急地期盼着看看谁能穿进这双鞋,这双只有一人能穿进的鞋,而童话里的王子就是她们的真命天子。她们就是对的人。”

I couldn’t digest any of these messages at the time, but I have since found solace and even laughter in many of them. One thing I have come to understand, though, is what a gift Amy gave me by emphasizing that I had a long life to fill with joy, happiness and love. Her edict to fill my own empty space with a new story has given me permission to make the most out of my remaining time on this planet.

当时,这些信息都是我无法消化的,但后来我却也能从中找到一些慰藉,甚至欢笑。不过我明白了一件事,那就是通过强调我还有漫长的一生需要用欢笑、幸福和爱来填满,艾米给予我一个怎样的礼物。她让我用新的故事填满空虚的旨意,是在允许我充分利用好我在这个星球余下的时间。

If I can convey a message I have learned from this bestowal, it would be this: Talk with your mate, your children and other loved ones about what you want for them when you are gone. By doing this, you give them liberty to live a full life and eventually find meaning again. There will be so much pain, and they will think of you daily. But they will carry on and make a new future, knowing you gave them permission and even encouragement to do so.

如果要说我从这份馈赠中学到了什么,那就是:请和你的伴侣、你的孩子和其他亲人聊聊,在你离开之后你希望他们怎样。通过这种方式,你就给了他们完满度过一生的自由,并让他们最终能够重新寻回意义。这会十分痛苦,而他们也会每天思念你。但是当他们知道自己有了你的允许,甚至有了你的鼓励,他们就会继续自己的生活,开始一个新的未来。

I want more time with Amy. I want more time picnicking and listening to music at Millennium Park. I want more Shabbat dinners with the five of us Rosies (as we Rosenthals are referred to by our family).

我希望有更多的时间与艾米在一起。我想有更多的时间去千禧年公园(Millennium Park)野餐、听音乐。我想让我们五个“小罗”(我们罗森塔尔家的人就是这么称呼自己的)再一起多吃几顿安息日晚餐。

I would even gladly put up with Amy taking as much time as she wants to say goodbye to everyone at our family gatherings, as she always used to do, even after we had been there for hours, had a long drive home ahead of us and likely would see them again in a few days.

我甚至还会欣然忍受艾米在家庭聚会上花太长时间跟每个人道别,之前她总是如此,哪怕我们已经待了几个小时,一会还要开很久的车才能回家,并且我们很可能在几天之后又会与他们见面。

I wish I had more of all of those things, just as Amy had wished for more. But more wasn’t going to happen for her or us. Instead, as she described, we followed Plan “Be,” which was about being present in our lives because time was running short. So we did our best to live in the moment until we had no more moments left.

这些种种,我都希望拥有更多。就像艾米也曾希望拥有更多。但不论是她,还是我们,都不会再拥有更多了。相反,正如她所描述的那样,我们按着“Be”(存在)计划进行,意思是活在当下,因为我们的时间已经不够。因此,我们尽己所能地活在此刻,直到我们不再拥有更多的时间。

The cruelest irony of my life is that it took me losing my best friend, my wife of 26 years and the mother of my three children, to truly appreciate each and every day. I know that sounds like a cliché, and it is, but it’s true.

生活残酷的讽刺在于,要等到我失去了我最好的朋友、26年的妻子、以及三个孩子的母亲,才让我真正学会去感激每一天。我知道这听起来像是陈词滥调,没错,但是句实话。

Amy continues to open doors for me, to affect my choices, to send me off into the world to make the most of it. Recently I gave a TED Talk on the end of life and my grieving process that I hope will help others — not something I ever pictured myself doing, but I’m grateful for the chance to connect with people in a similar position. And of course I am writing to you now only because of her.

艾米还在为我开启着一扇扇门,还在影响着我的选择,在把我推向这个世界,让我去领略更多。最近,我在TED上做了一个有关生命终结和哀痛过程的演讲,希望能帮到他人——这并不是我曾想过我会做的事,但我很感激自己能有机会与处境相似的人们沟通。当然,我现在为你们写下这些,也只是因为她。

I am now aware, in a way I wish I never had to learn, that loss is loss is loss, whether it’s a divorce, losing a job, having a beloved pet die or enduring the death of a family member. In that respect, I am no different. But my wife gave me a gift at the end of her column when she left me that empty space, one I would like to offer you. A blank space to fill. The freedom and permission to write your own story.

我现在意识到了——虽然从某种程度上说,我希望自己永远不必知道——“失去就是失去就是失去”,不论是离婚还是丢了工作,是心爱的宠物死去,或是捱过一个亲人的离世。在这个方面,我也一样。但是在她专栏的最后,我的妻子送了我一个礼物,给我留下了一个空位,一个我愿意给你的空位。这是一个可以填满的空白,一个写下自己故事的自由和许可。

Here is your empty space. What will you do with your own fresh start?

这就是你的空位。而你,会如何对待自己的崭新开始呢?

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