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2018/08/08

家書 文:彌勒熊


從小到大沒接過家書,只有在花蓮當兵剛下部隊的時候,有一天排長給了我一封用毛筆署名的信,是你特别寫來的。

你雖然沒有很高的學歷,但在日據時代完成的小學課程,奠定了日後能以流利聽說讀寫的日文,來應付來自日本的嬌客。

打開那封信,裡裡外外都是娟秀的書法,以前你身體還硬朗的時候,逢年過節看你寫春聯是一大享受,幫你磨墨也是我們爺倆的樂趣之一,家裡兄弟姐妹都遺傳了你些許藝術的才華,但獨獨身體弱小的我有機會就讀被稱為貴族學校的美工科。

你在信裡告訴我要聽長官的話,要好好做人,想到自己曾有段叛逆期,把沒讀什麼書的你們當成恥辱一般,不敢告訴別人你的職業,不敢帶同學朋友到家裡作客,自己的無知,你從沒有責怪,卻寫了這些至誠懇切的話告誡孩兒。

一想到我的不孝,就不禁自責。

退伍前用身上僅剩的薪餉三四千元,在花蓮街上隨意買了一付對戒,還自以為多了不起的送給你跟媽媽,還記得你默默的收下,沒有說任何一句話。

後來家裡的每況愈下,渺小的我尋思能做點什麼?

抓住佛經裡寫的:「一子出家,九族生天」偈頌,天真的以為這大概是我唯一能做的吧!

沒有你們的同意,第一次到佛學院就讀,不知讓已經在洗腎的你多少肚掛牽腸,自以為高明的每天回向給你跟母親功德,就以為盡到了做人子的一分?

記得你生命中最後的23天裡,有一天突然醒來對我吼說:「都不在身邊叫做孝嗎?」

讓我啞口無言。

那天半夜只有我一人獨守,病榻前的你看起來更憔悴、無助,你的一聲輕咳讓我驚醒,不知在床前望了你多久,鼓起勇氣的抱著虛弱的你,突然無法自己的哭將起來,直到淚濕透了你的衣裳,連忙幫你換上乾淨的內衣。

這幾分鐘的相處跟畫面我記憶到現在,電影蜘蛛人男主角抱著叔叔天人永隔的剎那,如同那天我親眼看著你斷氣的那一刻,海底總動員慌張尋子的熱帶魚又讓我看到了你,情不自禁一個人在戲院裡頭大哭,沒有人知道我在幹嘛!

昨夜我又失眠,爸,我好想…好想…你喔!

The Letter From Dad (英文版翻譯:小姬)

I never received a letter from you. Except once, when I was a soldier in Hwa-Lan, the Private gave me a letter signed with calligraphy, it was from you.

You were not well educated, the only education you received was from the Japanese occupation, you learned basic Japanese for the tourists from Japan.

When I opened the letter, it was written in delicate calligraphy. You had beautiful calligraphy. When you were still healthy, I enjoyed the banners you crafted for the Chinese New Year. I also enjoyed helping you to make the ink for your work. All my siblings got some of your art talents, but only me, tiny little me, got the chance to study at the expensive art school.

In the letter you told me to follow orders, and do be a good man. I recalled that when I was a rebellious teenager, I saw you as an insult. I was ashamed to tell people your occupation, and never invited friends to our home. You never blamed me for my ignorance, what you did, was write this sincere letter to your boy.

I blamed myself every time I recalled that I was not a good son.

I had some money right before I was discharged from the army, I wandered around the streets of Hwa-Lan and bought a pair of rings for you and Mom, I thought it was a big deal. I remembered that you just took them from my hand, without a word.

After that, the financial situation in our home was getting worse, I considered what little me could do for the family.

A Buddhist mantra says: “one person entering monastery, it is a blessing for all of one’s family.” As naïve as I was, I thought this was probably the only thing I could do for my family.

I went to a Buddhist temple and became a monk without your consent, while you were having dialysis, I didn’t know how much you worried about me. I prayed for you and Mom everyday and thought that I was being a really good son.

I remembered, in your last 23 days, you woke up and yelled at me: “What kind of good son doesn’t stay by my side?”

I had no words.

That night, I stayed with you alone, you looked so fragile and helpless in the hospital. Your coughing awoke me, I stood by your bed and looked at you, I didn’t know how long it took, finally, I had the courage to give you a hug, and couldn’t stop myself from crying until your clothes were soaked with my tears. After that, I helped you to change into clean clothes.

I still remember everything of those moments. In Spiderman, when Peter Parker holds his dying uncle, it just looked like the day I watched you die; I saw you again in Finding Nemo, when the fish was frantic to find his son. I sat in the theater and cried out loud, no one knew what happened to me.

I couldn’t sleep again last night, Dad, I miss you…so much……!


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