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当我们说谢谢的时候
2008-12-18 11:05:32
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★★★ Words: about 320; Time: 4 minutes
    人们总是习惯于在葬礼上哭诉对死者的爱和不舍,可是,死者再也听不到了。我们何不在我们所爱之人的有生之年就告诉他们呢?
    We always celebrated Dad’s birthday on Thanksgiving Day, even after he entered a nursing home. As years went on, these events took on a double meaning for me: a traditional birthday party for Dad, and thanking for all that he had been to me in my life. When we knew it might be his last birthday, the whole family decided to rearrange Thanksgiving plans and come together for a huge birthday celebration at the nursing home. 
    Dad was a good storyteller and here was the audience he had had. During a quiet moment, I announced that it was now Dad’s turn to listen to some stories for a change. I wanted everyone to tell Dad what we loved about him. The room became still. One after another, people told stories from their hearts, while Dad listened with tears in eyes. People recalled kinds of stories — stories about when they were little, stories about when Dad was young, and stories that shared family treasures.
     The stories flowed. Everyone seemed to have more than one story. Even the little grandchildren couldn’t wait to tell Dad why they loved him. For a man who had been kind to so many hundreds of people in his life, here was our chance to celebrate him. A few months later, at Dad’s memorial service, we more fully realized what we had given Dad that night. Those are the stories people normally tell at a funeral after a loved one is no longer alive to hear the words. They tell stories, full of tears. But we had given those memories to Dad in his life, and we had told them through laughter, accompanied by hugs and joy. He had them to hold and roll over in his mind during his last days and months.
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