父亲最后的拥抱 In praise of hugs
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2011-05-09 07:48 字体: [ ]  进入论坛


I grew up bereft1(被剥夺的,缺少的) of hugs. Neither of my parents was the cuddly2 type. Greetings involving kissing caused me to wince3, and hugging generally just made me feel awkward.

Then one hug changed all that. One month before my 40th birthday my dad had heart surgery. As he came round, days later, he grabbed me and hugged me so hard I had to push with all my might to keep my head from pressing down on his newly stitched torso(身体躯干).

It was a hug to make up for all those we had never had. Days later as he slowly started to gain strength he told me for the first time ever that he loved me, and through my tears I told him I loved him too.

I began planning how to bake him better – with carrot cakes, victoria sponges, jelly and ice cream. My maternal4 streak5 kicked in and I fantasised(幻想) about wheeling him through the park and feeding him home-made goodies. Then he died.

I felt cheated. All my life I had wondered whether my dad cared for me and loved me – I doubted it. Just as I got proof that he did, he passed away.

My parents split up when I was two years old and, while I had monthly contact with my dad, my bitter stepmother and my father's old-fashioned stiff upper lip meant we never became close. In fact, I used to dread6 the visits to see him and count the hours until I could go home again.

When I was very little the weekends at my father's house felt cold and unfriendly. During my teens the trips to a hostile house became a dread on the horizon for weeks beforehand. Each stay culminated7 in an uncomfortable peck on the cheek from Dad as he said goodbye – a moment I cringed about for hours in advance.

And yet standing8 beside the hospital bed watching the life ebb9 from my sleeping father was painful. I felt like a little girl at his bedside, unable to talk to him yet again. I became fixated with his fingers – fat and soft, lying gently curled beside him. Slowly they transformed from plump sausages to stone – white and immovable. It was his fingers that told me he had gone from this life, not the bleeping of monitors or the bustling10 of nursing staff.

Losing a father whom you have no recollection of ever living with is difficult. Grieving is tricky11; I didn't have any obvious close father-daughter memories to cling to and mull and cry over. Most of my memories were of stilted12 meetings and uncomfortable times together. But I desperately13 missed him being alive.

As time moved on my grief and anger at his untimely death began to recede14. I realised that his affirmation of me from his deathbed had filled a gaping15 hole of insecurity I had constantly carried around.

To a child a hug says so many things. It tells you that the person hugging you loves you, cares for you. A hug also confirms that you are a lovable being. Months after Dad's death I realised with a jolt16 that his lack of hugs said more about him than me. My father was not a demonstrative man and I was, therefore, perhaps, a lovable being.

Once I digested this insight my feelings changed from those of a needy17 child to ones of a very proud daughter. Looking at my father more objectively allowed me to view him clearly: he was a man of few words; he was intelligent, kind and extremely modest. Ironically I began to feel closer to him in death than I had while he was alive.

With this new-found wisdom came the freedom to give up trying so very hard to gain the affections of others and to concentrate on finding me. I shattered the family taboo18 of silence about the break-up of my parents' marriage. I also felt the need to speak out about the detrimental19 effect I felt my step-parents had had on my life.

In some ways the consequences have been quite dire20 and I no longer have contact with my mother. However, Dad's hug had a profound effect on me. It carried me along a path from childhood to adulthood21. At last I am my own woman and one who loves nothing better than a good old-fashioned hug.



1 bereft ndjy9     
  • The place seemed to be utterly bereft of human life.这个地方似乎根本没有人烟。
  • She was bereft of happiness.她失去了幸福。
2 cuddly ov7zGZ     
  • The beautiful crib from Mom and Dad is so cuddly.爸爸妈妈送的漂亮婴儿床真舒服。
  • You can't call a hedgehog cuddly.你不能说刺猬逗人喜爱。
3 wince tgCwX     
  • The barb of his wit made us wince.他那锋芒毕露的机智使我们退避三舍。
  • His smile soon modified to a wince.他的微笑很快就成了脸部肌肉的抽搐。
4 maternal 57Azi     
  • He is my maternal uncle.他是我舅舅。
  • The sight of the hopeless little boy aroused her maternal instincts.那个绝望的小男孩的模样唤起了她的母性。
5 streak UGgzL     
  • The Indians used to streak their faces with paint.印第安人过去常用颜料在脸上涂条纹。
  • Why did you streak the tree?你为什么在树上刻条纹?
6 dread Ekpz8     
  • We all dread to think what will happen if the company closes.我们都不敢去想一旦公司关门我们该怎么办。
  • Her heart was relieved of its blankest dread.她极度恐惧的心理消除了。
7 culminated 2d1e3f978078666a2282742e3d1ca461     
v.达到极点( culminate的过去式和过去分词 )
  • a gun battle which culminated in the death of two police officers 一场造成两名警察死亡的枪战
  • The gala culminated in a firework display. 晚会以大放烟火告终。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
9 ebb ebb     
  • The flood and ebb tides alternates with each other.涨潮和落潮交替更迭。
  • They swam till the tide began to ebb.他们一直游到开始退潮。
10 bustling LxgzEl     
  • The market was bustling with life. 市场上生机勃勃。
  • This district is getting more and more prosperous and bustling. 这一带越来越繁华了。
11 tricky 9fCzyd     
  • I'm in a rather tricky position.Can you help me out?我的处境很棘手,你能帮我吗?
  • He avoided this tricky question and talked in generalities.他回避了这个非常微妙的问题,只做了个笼统的表述。
12 stilted 5Gaz0     
  • All too soon the stilted conversation ran out.很快这种做作的交谈就结束了。
  • His delivery was stilted and occasionally stumbling.他的发言很生硬,有时还打结巴。
13 desperately cu7znp     
  • He was desperately seeking a way to see her again.他正拼命想办法再见她一面。
  • He longed desperately to be back at home.他非常渴望回家。
14 recede sAKzB     
  • The colleges would recede in importance.大学的重要性会降低。
  • He saw that the dirty water had begun to recede.他发现那污浊的水开始往下退了。
15 gaping gaping     
adj.口的;张口的;敞口的;多洞穴的v.目瞪口呆地凝视( gape的现在分词 );张开,张大
  • Ahead of them was a gaping abyss. 他们前面是一个巨大的深渊。
  • The antelope could not escape the crocodile's gaping jaws. 那只羚羊无法从鱷鱼张开的大口中逃脱。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 jolt ck1y2     
  • We were worried that one tiny jolt could worsen her injuries.我们担心稍微颠簸一下就可能会使她的伤势恶化。
  • They were working frantically in the fear that an aftershock would jolt the house again.他们拼命地干着,担心余震可能会使房子再次受到震动。
17 needy wG7xh     
  • Although he was poor,he was quite generous to his needy friends.他虽穷,但对贫苦的朋友很慷慨。
  • They awarded scholarships to needy students.他们给贫苦学生颁发奖学金。
18 taboo aqBwg     
  • The rude words are taboo in ordinary conversation.这些粗野的字眼在日常谈话中是禁忌的。
  • Is there a taboo against sex before marriage in your society?在你们的社会里,婚前的性行为犯禁吗?
19 detrimental 1l2zx     
  • We know that heat treatment is detrimental to milk.我们知道加热对牛奶是不利的。
  • He wouldn't accept that smoking was detrimental to health.他不相信吸烟有害健康。
20 dire llUz9     
  • There were dire warnings about the dangers of watching too much TV.曾经有人就看电视太多的危害性提出严重警告。
  • We were indeed in dire straits.But we pulled through.那时我们的困难真是大极了,但是我们渡过了困难。
21 adulthood vKsyr     
  • Some infantile actions survive into adulthood.某些婴儿期的行为一直保持到成年期。
  • Few people nowadays are able to maintain friendships into adulthood.如今很少有人能将友谊维持到成年。
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