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My Father - 父愛無邊

作者:zhexienian 來源:文章閱讀網 時間:2013-05-19 16:18 閱讀:

  My father was a self-taught mandolin player. He was one of the best string instrument players in our town. He could not read music, but if he heard a tune a few times, he could play it. When he was younger, he was a member of a small country music band. They would play at local dances and on a few occasions would play for the local radio station. He often told us how he had auditioned and earned a position in a band that featured Patsy Cline as their lead singer. He told the family that after he was hired he never went back. Dad was a very religious man. He stated that there was a lot of drinking and cursing the day of his audition and he did not want to be around that type of environment.

  Occasionally, Dad would get out his mandolin and play for the family. We three children: Trisha, Monte and I, George Jr., would often sing along. Songs such as the Tennessee Waltz, Harbor Lights and around Christmas time, the well-known rendition of Silver Bells. "Silver Bells, Silver Bells, its Christmas time in the city" would ring throughout the house. One of Dad's favorite hymns was "The Old Rugged Cross". We learned the words to the hymn when we were very young, and would sing it with Dad when he would play and sing. Another song that was often shared in our house was a song that accompanied the Walt Disney series: Davey Crockett. Dad only had to hear the song twice before he learned it well enough to play it. "Davey, Davey Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier" was a favorite song for the family. He knew we enjoyed the song and the program and would often get out the mandolin after the program was over. I could never get over how he could play the songs so well after only hearing them a few times. I loved to sing, but I never learned how to play the mandolin. This is something I regret to this day.

  Dad loved to play the mandolin for his family he knew we enjoyed singing, and hearing him play. He was like that. If he could give pleasure to others, he would, especially his family. He was always there, sacrificing his time and efforts to see that his family had enough in their life. I had to mature into a man and have children of my own before I realized how much he had sacrificed.

  I joined the United States Air Force in January of 1962. Whenever I would come home on leave, I would ask Dad to play the mandolin. Nobody played the mandolin like my father. He could touch your soul with the tones that came out of that old mandolin. He seemed to shine when he was playing. You could see his pride in his ability to play so well for his family.

  When Dad was younger, he worked for his father on the farm. His father was a farmer and sharecropped a farm for the man who owned the property. In 1950, our family moved from the farm. Dad had gained employment at the local limestone quarry. When the quarry closed in August of 1957, he had to seek other employment. He worked for Owens Yacht Company in Dundalk, Maryland and for Todd Steel in Point of Rocks, Maryland. While working at Todd Steel, he was involved in an accident. His job was to roll angle iron onto a conveyor so that the welders farther up the production line would have it to complete their job. On this particular day Dad got the third index finger of his left hand mashed between two pieces of steel. The doctor who operated on the finger could not save it, and Dad ended up having the tip of the finger amputated. He didn't lose enough of the finger where it would stop him picking up anything, but it did impact his ability to play the mandolin.

  After the accident, Dad was reluctant to play the mandolin. He felt that he could not play as well as he had before the accident. When I came home on leave and asked him to play he would make excuses for why he couldn't play. Eventually, we would wear him down and he would say "Okay, but remember, I can't hold down on the strings the way I used to" or "Since the accident to this finger I can't play as good". For the family it didn't make any difference that Dad couldn't play as well. We were just glad that he would play. When he played the old mandolin it would carry us back to a cheerful, happier time in our lives. "Davey, Davey Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier", would again be heard in the little town of Bakerton, West Virginia.

  In August of 1993 my father was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. He chose not to receive chemotherapy treatments so that he could live out the rest of his life in dignity. About a week before his death, we asked Dad if he would play the mandolin for us. He made excuses but said "okay". He knew it would probably be the last time he would play for us. He tuned up the old mandolin and played a few notes. When I looked around, there was not a dry eye in the family. We saw before us a quiet humble man with an inner strength that comes from knowing God, and living with him in one's life. Dad would never play the mandolin for us again. We felt at the time that he wouldn't have enough strength to play, and that makes the memory of that day even stronger. Dad was doing something he had done all his life, giving. As sick as he was, he was still pleasing others. Dad sure could play that Mandolin!

  我父親是個自學成才的曼陀林琴手,他是我們鎮最優秀的弦樂演奏者之一。他看不懂樂譜,但是如果聽幾次曲子,他就能演奏出來。當他年輕一點的時候,他是一個小鄉村樂隊的成員。他們在當地舞廳演奏,有幾次還為當地廣播電臺演奏。他經常告訴我們,自己如何試演,如何在佩茜?克萊恩作為主唱的樂隊里占一席之位。他告訴家人,一旦被聘用就永不回頭。父親是一個很嚴謹的人,他講述了他試演的那天,很多人在喝酒,咒罵,他不想呆在那種環境里。

  有時候,父親會拿出曼陀林,為家人彈奏。我們三個小孩:翠莎、蒙蒂和我,還有喬治通常會伴唱。唱的有:《田納西華爾茲》和《海港之光》,到了圣誕節,就唱膾炙人口的《銀鈴》:"銀鈴,銀鈴,城里來了圣誕節。"歌聲充滿了整個房子。父親最愛的其中一首贊歌是《古老的十字架》。我們很小的時候就學會歌詞了,而且在父親彈唱的時候,我們也跟著唱。我們經常一起唱的另外一首歌來自沃特?迪斯尼的系列片:《戴維?克羅克特》。父親只要聽了兩遍就彈起來了,"戴維,戴維?克羅克特,荒野邊疆的國王。"那是我們家最喜歡的歌曲。他知道我們喜歡那首歌和那個節目,所以每次節目結束后,他就拿出曼陀林彈奏。我永遠不能明白他如何能聽完幾遍后就能把一首曲子彈得那么好。我熱愛唱歌,但我沒有學會如何彈奏曼陀林,這是我遺憾至今的事情。

  父親喜歡為家人彈奏曼陀林,他知道我們喜歡唱歌,喜歡聽他彈奏。他就是那樣,如果他能把快樂奉獻給別人,他從不吝嗇,尤其是對他的家人。他總是那樣,犧牲自己的時間和精力讓家人生活得滿足。父親的這種付出是只有當我長大成人,而且是有了自己的孩子后才能體會到的。

  我在1962年1月加入了美國空軍基地。每當我休假回家,我都請求父親彈奏曼陀林。沒有人彈奏曼陀林能達到像我父親那樣的境界,他在那古老的曼陀林上撫出的旋律能夠觸及你的靈魂。他彈奏的時候,身上似乎能發出四射的光芒。你可以看出,父親為能給家人彈奏出如此美妙的旋律,他是多么的自豪。

  父親年輕的時候,曾在農場為爺爺工作。爺爺是農場使用者,要向農場所有人交納谷物抵租。1950年,我們全家搬離農場,父親在當地石灰石采石場謀得職位。采石場在1957年倒閉,他只好另覓工作。他曾在馬里蘭州登多克的歐文斯游艇公司上班,還在馬里蘭州的洛斯的托德鋼鐵公司上過班。在托德鋼鐵公司上班期間,他遇到了意外。他的工作是把有棱角的鐵滾到搬運臺上,這樣焊接工才能作進一步加工來完成整個工序。在那個特殊的日子里,父親的

  左手第三個手指被纏在兩片鋼鐵中。醫生對手指施手術,但未能保住那只手指,最后父親只好讓醫生把那手指的指尖給切除了。那個手指并沒有完全喪失拿東西的能力,但是卻影響了他彈奏曼陀林的能力。

  事故后,父親不太愿意彈奏曼陀林了,他覺得再也不能像以前彈得那么好了。我休假回家請求他彈奏曼陀林,他以種種借口解釋不能彈奏的原因。最后,我們軟硬兼施逼他就范,他終于說:"好吧,但是記住,我撥弦再也不能像過去一樣了。"或者會說:"這個手指出意外后,我再也不能彈得像過去那樣好了。"對于家人來說,父親彈得好不好并沒有分別,我們很高興他終于彈奏了。當他彈起那把陳舊的曼陀林,就會把我們帶回昔日那些無憂無慮的幸福時光。"戴維,戴維?克羅克特,荒野邊疆的國王"就會再次響徹西弗吉尼亞州的貝克頓小鎮。

  1993年8月,父親診斷得了不宜動手術的肺癌。他不想接受化療,因為他想體面地過完他生命最后的時光。大約在父親去世的一周前,我們請求他能否為我們彈奏曼陀林,他說了很多借口,最后還是答應了。他知道這可能是他最后一次為我們彈奏了,他為老曼陀林調弦,彈了幾個音。我環顧四周,家人個個都淚水滿眶。我們看見在我們面前是一個安靜的、謙虛的人,以生命最后的力量,用愛的力量支撐著。父親再也沒有足夠的力量彈奏,這使我們對那天的記憶更加強烈。父親做著他一生都在做的事情:奉獻。即使生命已走到了盡頭,他卻仍盡力為他人創造歡樂。沒錯,父親一定還能彈奏曼陀林的。


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