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完美的礼物

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只是塞在我们圣诞树枝之中的一个小小的白色信封。上面没有名字,没有标识,没有题词。每年这个时候,它都从圣诞树的枝桠间窥视我们,已经10年了吧。
It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree at this time of the year for the past 10 years or so.
一切要从我丈夫迈克讨厌圣诞节说起。噢,并不是说真正讨厌圣诞节,而是讨厌其商业化。你知道,过度消费,为了给哈利叔叔的领带或者给祖母的爽身粉而在最后一分钟狂奔,绝望中送出的礼物因为你挖空心思也想不出其他,诸如此类。
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it. You know, the overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma, the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.
知道他这样,我有一年决定要避开这些稀松平常的衬衫、毛衣、领带等等。我特地为迈克准备了一点特别的东西。灵感来得很巧然。
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
我们的儿子凯文,那年12岁,在他学校里摔跤还是初级水平。在圣诞节来临之前有一场非联赛的摔跤比赛,对手是市内教堂资助的一支队伍。孩子们大部分是黑人。这些孩子们,穿着的运动鞋破破烂烂到仿佛鞋带是唯一把那一堆烂片儿绑到一起的东西,与我们身着时髦的蓝色金色制服脚踏崭新闪亮摔跤鞋的孩子形成了鲜明的对比。
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner city church. The kids were mostly black. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.
比赛一开始,我很警觉地注意到对方摔跤没有带头部护具,一种用来保护摔跤选手耳朵的轻质头盔。显然,这支乌合之军买不起。所以我们最终大败他们,赢得了所有重量级的比赛。而他们每一个男孩从垫子上起身的时候,都穿着破衣昂首阔步地走来走去给自己欢呼打气,显出一种不愿认输的街头气魄。
As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without head gear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously couldn't afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.
迈克,坐在我旁边,伤心地摇头,“我多想他们之中能赢一个也好,” 他说。“他们有很大潜力,但是这样大败会伤透了他们的心的。” 迈克喜爱孩子,一视同仁。他懂得竞争状态下的他们,因为曾经当过教练带过小联赛足球,篮球和曲棍球。也便是那时他就开始这样想了。
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids-all kids. He understood kids in competitive situations, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came.
那日下午,我跑去当地的运动品商店,买了各式各样的摔跤头部护具和鞋子,并匿名地送到了市内教堂。圣诞前夜,我把那个信封放在圣诞树上,里面放了张便条告诉迈克我做了什么,告诉他这就是我给他的圣诞礼物。
That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me.
他的微笑成了我那年关于圣诞节和以后圣诞里最温暖的回忆。此后,我延续了这个做法——一年把一群有心理缺陷的孩子们送去看曲棍球比赛,另一年又看望了圣诞节前一周里家被大火烧得一干二净的兄弟俩——就这样一年又一年。
His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition - one year sending a group of mentally challenged youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas - on and on...
信封成了我们家圣诞节的高潮。圣诞节早晨信封永远都是最后打开的,我的孩子们会忽视了他们的新玩具,大睁着眼睛盼望着他们的爸爸从树上取下信封,揭晓它里面的内容。
The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.
孩子们长大后,玩具自然就让位给了更加实际的礼物,可是那信封从未失去它的魅力和诱惑。并且,这个故事还并没有结束。
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. Still, the story doesn't end there.
要知道,去年因为癌症我们失去了迈克。当圣诞又来临的时候,我仍然沉浸在悲伤之中,连圣诞树差点也没有立起来。但是圣诞前夜,我把一个信封放在了树上,早晨的时候,书上又多了三个信封。我的孩子们,不约而同不谋而合地各自为他们的爸爸放上了一个信封。
You see, we lost Mike last year due to cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. Yet Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad.
这个传统延续了下来,并且某一天它将延续地更久远,那时,我们的孙儿们会大睁着眼睛站在树下盼望着,看他们的爸爸们从树上取下他们的信封。
The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further, with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation, watching as their fathers take down their envelopes.
迈克的精神,和圣诞的精神一样,会和我们永远在一起。
Mike's spirit, like the spirit of Christmas, will always be with us.
标签:礼物
17
2010-03-03 22:33 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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