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        說出心里話

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        .Words from the Heart

          Most people need to hear those "three little words" I love you. Once in a while, they hear them just in time.

          I met Connie the day she was admitted to the hospice1 ward, where I worked as a volunteer. Her husband, Bill, stood nervously nearby as she was transferred from the gurney2 to the hospital bed. Although Connie was in the final stages of her fight against cancer, she was alert and cheerful. We got her settled in. I finished marking her name on all the hospital supplies she would be using, then asked if she needed anything.

          "Oh, yes," she said, "would you please show me how to use the TV? I enjoy the soaps so much and I don't want to get behind on what's happening." Connie was a romantic. She loved soap operas, romance novels and movies with a good love story. As we became acquainted, she confided how frustrating it was to be married 32 years to a man who often called her "a silly woman."

          "Oh, I know Bill loves me," she said, "but he has never been one to say he loves me, or send cards to me." She sighed and looked out the window at the trees in the courtyard. "I'd give anything if he'd say ‘I love you,' but it's just not in his nature."

          Bill visited Connie every day. In the beginning, he sat next to the bed while she watched the soaps. Later, when she began sleeping more, he paced up and down the hallway outside her room. Soon, when she no longer watched television and had fewer waking moments, I began spending more of my volunteer time with Bill.

          He talked about having worked as a carpenter and how he liked to go fishing. He and Connie had no children, but they'd been enjoying retirement by traveling, until Connie got sick. Bill could not express his feelings about the fact that his wife was dying.

          One day, over coffee in the cafeteria, I got him on the subject of women and how we need romance in our lives; how we love to get sentimental1 cards and love letters.

          "Do you tell Connie you love her?" I asked (knowing his answer), and he looked at me as if I was crazy.

          "I don't have to," he said. "She knows I do!"

          "I'm sure she knows," I said, reaching over and touching his hands  rough, carpenter's hands that were gripping the cup as if it were the only thing he had to hang onto  "but she needs to hear it, Bill. She needs to hear what she has meant to you all these years. Please think about it."

          We walked back to Connie's room. Bill disappeared inside, and I left to visit another patient. Later, I saw Bill sitting by the bed. He was holding Connie's hand as she slept. The date was February 12.

          Two days later I walked down the hospice ward at noon. There stood Bill, leaning up against the wall in the hallway, staring at the floor. I already knew from the head nurse that Connie had died at 11 A.M..

          When Bill saw me, he allowed himself to come into my arms for a long time. His face was wet with tears and he was trembling. Finally, he leaned back against the wall and took a deep breath.

          "I have to say something," he said. "I have to say how good I feel about telling her." He stopped to blow his nose. "I thought a lot about what you said, and this morning I told her how much I loved her... and loved being married to her. You shoulda2 seen her smile!"

          I went into the room to say my own good?bye to Connie. There, on the bedside table, was a large Valentine card from Bill. You know, the sentimental kind that says, "To my wonderful wife... I love you."

          大多數人需要聽到那“三個小字”——我愛你。有時他們就會在最需要的時候聽到。

          我在康尼住進收容所病房的那天見到了她。我在那兒當義工。把她從輪床抬上病床時,她的丈夫比爾焦慮不安地站在旁邊。雖然康尼處于和癌癥搏斗的晚期,但她仍然神智清醒,精神愉快。我們把她安頓好。我在醫院提供給她使用的所有用品上標上她的名字,然后問她是否需要什么。

          “啊,是的,”她說,“請告訴我怎么用電視好嗎?我非常喜歡肥皂劇,想隨時跟上進展情況。”康尼是個浪漫的人。她酷愛肥皂劇、浪漫小說和講述美好愛情故事的電影。隨著我們越來越熟,她向我吐露說,跟一個經常叫她“傻女人”的男人生活了32年有多么沮喪。

          “唉,我知道比爾愛我,”她說道,“可是他從來不說他愛我,也不給我寄賀卡。”她嘆了口氣,朝窗外庭院里的樹望去。“如果他說聲‘我愛你’,我愿意付出一切,可這根本不是他的性格。”

          比爾每天都來探望康尼。一開始,康尼看肥皂劇,他就坐在床旁。后來,她睡的時候多了,比爾就在屋外走廊里踱來踱去。不久,康尼不再看電視了,醒的時候也少了,我開始花更多的義工時間和比爾在一起。

          他談到他一直是個木工,他多么喜歡釣魚。他和康尼沒有孩子,但他們四處旅游,享受著退休生活,直到康尼得病。對他妻子病危這一事實,比爾無法表達他的感受。

          一天,在自助餐廳喝咖啡時,我設法和比爾談起女人這個話題,談到生活中我們多么需要浪漫,多想收到充滿柔情蜜意的卡片和情書。

          “你跟康尼說你愛她嗎?”我明知故問。他瞧著我,就好像我有神經病。

          “我沒有必要說,”他說道。“她知道我愛她!”

          “我肯定她知道,”我說。我伸出手,觸摸著他那雙木工粗糙的手。這雙手緊握著杯子,似乎它是他需要依附的惟一東西——“可是她需要聽到它,比爾。她需要聽到所有這些年來她對你意味什么。請你考慮考慮。”

          我們走回康尼的房間。比爾進了屋,我走開去看望另一個病人。后來,我看見比爾坐在床邊??的崛胨?,他握著她的一只手。那天是2月12日。

          兩天后的中午時分,我順著收容所病房過道向前走著。比爾站在那里,靠著墻,凝視著地面。護士長已經告訴我,康尼在上午11點故去了。

          比爾看見我后,讓我擁抱了他許久。他滿臉淚水,渾身顫抖。最后,他向后靠在墻上,深深地吸了一口氣。

          “我有話非說不可,”他說道。“我得說,對她說出來,感覺真是好極了。”他停下來擤鼻子。“你說的話我想了很多;今天早上我對她說我多么愛她……我多么珍惜和她結為夫妻。你真該看看她的笑容!”

          我走進康尼的房間,親自去和她告別 。我看見,床頭桌上放著一張比爾給她的大大的GREnjieyingyuzhufu/ target=_blank class=infotextkey>情人節賀卡——就是那種充滿柔情蜜意的賀卡,上面寫著:“給我出色的妻子……我愛你。”

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