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  Every Day Is a Gift


  My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister’s bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. “This,” he said, “is not a slip. This is lingerie.” He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip.妹夫打开了妹妹衣柜的底层抽屉,拿出一个用纸包装的包裹。“这个,”他说不是件普通村裙内衣,而是一件做工非常精细的内衣。”他把薄纸撕开,递给我那件内衣。

  It was exquisite, silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached.它的确精致无比,丝质、全手工缝制,周围还有一圈网状花边。价签都尚未拆去,上面的数字高得惊人。

  Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion.“这是我们第一次去纽约时简买的,至少已是八九年前的事了。她从没有穿过它。她保留着它,想等一个特殊的日子再穿。”

  Well, I guess this is the occasion.唉,我想现在便是那特殊的日子了。

  He took the slip from me and put it on the bed, with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me, “Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you’re alive is a special occasion.”妹夫从我手中拿过内衣放在床上,和其他我们要带给殡仪服务人员的衣服放在一起。他的手在那柔软织物上徘徊了一会儿,随即砰然关上抽屉,转身对我说:“永远不要把任何东西留给什么特殊日子。你活着的每一天就是一个特殊的日子。”

  I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the mid-western town where my sister’s family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn’t seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.在葬礼上和帮妹夫、侄女处理妹妹意外死亡后的伤心后事的那几天,我一直记着这些话。我乘飞机从位于中西部的妹妹家的小镇上返回加州时,还在想这些话。我想着妹妹没有去看到、去听或去做的事。我想着她虽然做过却没有意识到其特殊性的事。

  I’m still thinking about his words, and they’ve changed the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with ray family and friends and less time in committee meetings. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savour, not endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.我至今还在想着妹夫说的话,正是它们改变了我的花园里的杂草。我花更多的时间与家人朋友在一起,而少花时间在那些委员会议上。无论何时,生活应当是一种“品味”而非一种“忍受”。我在试着欣赏每一刻,并珍惜每一刻。

  I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom… I wear my good blazer to the market if I feel like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends.我不再去“珍藏”任何东西;只要有一件特别的事情,比如说当体重减了一磅时,当厨房水槽堵塞通了时,当第一朵山茶花这放时…我们就会使用精美的免器和水晶制品。如果我想穿,我就穿上我的品质优良颜色鲜亮的运动衣去市场购物。我的理论是:如果我看上去还富足的话,我可以毫不畏缩地为一袋杂货付28.49美元。我不再为特殊的派对而珍藏我上好的香水;五金店售货员和银行出纳员们的嗅觉,不会比派对上朋友们来得差。

  ”Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I’m not sure what my sister would’ve done had she known that she wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted.“有朝一日”和“终有一天”这样的词正从我的词汇中淡出。如果值得去看、去听或去做,我当即就要去看、去听、去做。我们总是理所当然地以为自己必然有明天,不知假如妹妹知道她将没有明日,她会做些什么。

  I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize, and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I’m guessing. I’ll never know.我想她会给家人和几位密友打电话。她可能还会给几位昔日朋友打电话主动道歉,摒弃前嫌,重归于好。我想她可能会外出吃顿中餐,那是她最喜欢的。我只是猜想而已。我永远也不会知道。

  It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with someday. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them.假如我知道我的时间不多了,那些没来得及做的小事会让我恼火。恼火是因为我一拖再拖没能去看看“有朝一日”会去看的好友们。恼火是因为我还没有写出我“终有一天”要写的信。恼火与遗憾是因为我没能更经常地告诉我的丈夫和女儿:我是多么真切地爱他们。

  I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that every day, every minute, every breath truly, is… a gift from God.我正努力不再拖延、保留或珍藏那些能给我们生活带来欢笑和光彩的东西。每天清晨当我睁开双眼,我便告诉自己每一天、每一分钟、每一瞬间都是…上帝赐予的礼物

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