The Legacy
爱的遗赠
    

    When my husband, Bob, died very suddenly in January 1994, I received condolences from people I hadn't heard from in years: letters, cards, flowers, calls, visits. I was overwhelmed with grief, yet uplifted by this outpouring of love from family, friends and even mere acquaintances. 

    One message touched me profoundly. I received a letter from my best friend from sixth grade through high school. We had drifted somewhat since graduation in 1949, as she stayed in our hometown and I had not. But it was the kind of friendship that could quickly resume even if we lost touch for five or ten years. 

    Her husband, Pete, had died perhaps 20 years ago at a young age, leaving her with deep sorrow and heavy res- ponsibilities: finding a job and raising three young children. She and Pete, like Bob and I, had shared one of those rare, close, "love-of-your-life-you-can-never- forget" relationships. 

    In her letter she shared an anecdote about my mother (now long deceased). She wrote, "When Pete died, your dear mother hugged me and said, 'Trudy, I don't know what to say… so I'll just say I love you.'" 

    She closed her letter to me repeating my mother's words of so long ago, "Bonnie, I don't know what to say … so I'll just say I love you." 

    I felt I could almost hear my mother speaking to me now. What a powerful message of sympathy! How dear of my friend to cherish it all those years and then pass it on to me. I love you. Perfect words. A gift. A legacy.

    当我的丈夫鲍勃在1994年1月突然去世时,一些多年没有联系的朋友纷纷通过信件、卡片、鲜花、电话和拜访等方式表示吊唁。虽然我沉浸在无限的悲伤之中,但这些来自亲朋好友,甚至只是相识的人们的爱,使我受到了极大的鼓舞。

    其中一封信深深地触动了我。那是我从六年级到高中时代最要好的朋友寄来的。自从1949年我们毕业后,大家都各奔东西了。她留在了家乡,而我却没有。然而,我们是那种即使五年甚至十年没有联系,友情却能迅即恢复的朋友。

    她的丈夫皮特英年早逝,已经离开人世20多年了。留给她的是深深的悲痛和沉重的责任:她必须找份工作,并抚养三个年幼的孩子。她和皮特之间的感情就像我和鲍勃之间的一样,是那种世间罕有的、亲密的、“一生无法忘记”的感情。

    在信中她告诉我一件有关我那已经去世很久的母亲的轶事。她写道:“皮特去世的时候,你那亲爱的母亲拥抱着我说:‘特鲁迪,我不知道该说些什么……我只想说,我爱你。’”

    她在写给我的信的结尾引用了我母亲多年前说过的那句话:“邦妮,我不知道该说些什么……我只想说,我爱你。”

    那一刻,我觉得我几乎能够听见母亲正在对我说这句话。这是一句多么富有同情心的话语啊!我的朋友将它珍藏了这么多年,此时又将它传递给我,她是多么真诚啊!我爱你。多么完美的语言!一份爱的遗赠。