Unit Two ：Love
Text A ：A Wedding Gift 结婚礼物
Elizabeth Economies 伊利莎白 • 埃科诺莫
I had always dreamed of being proposed to in a Parisian cafe, under dazzling stars, like the one in a Van Gogh knockoff that hangs in my studio apartment. Instead, my boyfriend asked me to marry him while I was wandering the bathroom mirror.
我一直有这样的梦想：星光灿烂的网上，在一家巴黎咖啡馆能有人向我求婚。那个咖啡馆就像梵高所画的 “ 夜晚的咖啡馆 ” ，我的工作室墙上就挂着一幅此画的翻印本。然而，我男朋友却在我用 “ 稳得新 ” 擦洗卫生间镜子的时候叫我嫁给他。
At 40 years old, it was my turn. 1 had gracefully stepped aside and watched both my twin sister and our baby sister take the matrimonial plunge before me? 1 had been a bridesmaid seven times and a maid of honor three times. 1 had more pastel-colored, taffeta dresses than a consignment shop.
我已经上 40 岁，是该轮到我了，我已经体面地让开，眼看着孪生妹妹还有小妹在我之前出嫁，我做过女傧相 7 次，伴娘 3 次，我的淡颜色塔夫绸衣服比寄物店都多。
My fiancé, George, and I are Greek-American, but we wanted a simple, elegant affair. No entourage of bridesmaids and groomsmen. No silly slideshow revealing details of our courtship. This would be an intimate gathering, neither big nor fat, with 100 or so guests. In our families that is intimate.
我的未婚夫乔治和我都是希腊裔美国人，但是我们想办一个简朴、大方的婚礼。不需要很多伴娘伴郎。也不放映幻灯片，展示求婚的细节，那太傻了，这会是一次很温馨的聚会，请的人不多也不铺张， 100 个左右的宾客吧。在我们的家族，那算是小圈子内的聚会。
My job as a publicist to a monomaniacal orchestra conductor had just vanished, so 1 had lots of time to devote to my new project. George, who worked 60 hours a week as a pharmacist, now had a second job: listening to me whine about the wedding. After all, this was my show, and 1 was the director.
我为一位偏执狂的管弦乐队指挥做公关刚刚结束，因而我有很多时间投入到我这个新的项目上。乔治是药剂师，每周工作 60 小时，现在又有一份工作：听我抱怨婚礼一事。这毕竟是我表现的时候，得有我说着算。
But the more time and effort 1 put in, the more the universe tried to thwart me. The Greek band from Los Angeles that 1 wanted wasn't available. The stitching 1 had requested for my cathedral veil was all wrong. My ivory silk gown was being quarantined somewhere in Singapore. And with our wedding just a few weeks away, 1 was annoyed that most of my guests were responding after the deadline.
Then 1 received the call from my mother, petite and brimming with energy at 68, who a few days before had been so thrilled about the wedding. She’d been to the doctor for her annual checkup. Although she felt fine, the diagnosis was stomach cancer.
之后，我接到妈妈的电话。她个头娇小， 68 岁却依然精力饱满。几天前还为我即将举行的婚礼而感到兴奋不已。她刚去医院做例年的身体检查。虽然感觉不错，但被诊断是胃癌。
Over the next few days, the question became not "What kind of wedding?" but "Wedding?" I had thought of it as my Big Day. I realized that a Big Day without my mother would be no day at all. Not having my dad, who passed away three years before, to walk me down the aisle was painful, but the thought of not having Mom there was unbearable.
接下来的几天，问题不再是 “ 举行什么样的婚礼 ” ，而是 “ 还办婚礼吗？” 我把这看作是我的大喜日子。我认识到没有妈妈的大喜日子不可思议。爸爸已经在三年前过世，不可能牵着我的手到教堂圣坛完婚，这已经让我觉得凄苦。但是一想到妈妈那天也不能在教堂就让我觉得无法忍受。
Within a few days, 1 moved back home to Seattle from New York City and postponed the ceremony. 1 switched from navigating wedding plans to navigating the health-care system. I had picked out the song to be played for our first dance as a husband and wife, but now 1 was hard-pressed to remember what it was. My wedding, like a dream, was vanishing against the harsh reality of illness.
Meanwhile, my two sisters and I, who lived in three different cities, were united once again in a hospital waiting room. My twin sister flew in from Chicago despite being eight months pregnant. Our baby sister, who'd been looking after Mom since Dad's death, was gripped by fear as the familiar sights and smells were eerily reminiscent of his final days. After consulting with doctors, we learned that stomach surgery was Mom's only option. We took the first opening.
On a drab autumn morning, as sheets of rain relentlessly poured over Seattle, Mom was admitted to the Swedish Cancer Institute. During a five-hour operation, surgeons removed two thirds of her stomach. Pacing in the waiting room, terrified, I wondered what the future held for all of us.
George flew out to be with me. "There's no place I'd rather be," he said. For three nights he slept on the dank floor in the hospital waiting area wrapped in a tattered sheet with a soiled sofa cushion under his head. A week after the operation, the surgeon gave us his prognosis: "The cancer has not spread," he said. Those were some of the loveliest words in the English language. George squeezed my hand as tears trickled down my face.
乔治飞过来陪我。他说：“ 我也不想待在其他地方 ” 。三个夜晚，他睡在医院等候区域潮湿的地板上，裹着破旧床单，头枕脏兮兮的沙发垫。手术一周后，医生向我们告知了预后。“ 癌细胞没有扩散， ” 他说。这几个词可是英语中最可爱的词了。乔治紧握着我的手，这时眼泪流下我的面颊。
The weeks that followed were exhausting. My mother had to rethink her diet, and I had to figure out what to prepare. Decadent Greek meals were replaced by tiny portions and lots of protein, which would help mend the six-inch incision that ran from her breastbone past her navel. Protein would also bolster her immune system for the chemo and radiation that might follow.
Until then, my idea of cooking had been microwaving the doggie bag from the chi-chi restaurant I'd eaten at the night before. But after two months, I mastered poached eggs and T-bone steaks. What's more, caring for my Mom made me realize how consummately she had cared for all of us. I'll never forget when I went to see her in the intensive-care unit, just a few hours after her surgery. She was strung out with a myriad of plastic tubes protruding from her arms, nose, and mouth." Liz, make sure you eat something," she said in a strained, raspy voice.
Forget Paris. Mom's full recovery was my dream now.
Recently, she went for a follow-up C-T scan. As she removed her gold wedding band for the exam, her fragile 98-pound frame trembled. There would be this scan, and many more. But the doctor said," Everything looks good." Soon, my mother will be walking me down the aisle. I've forgotten what kind of stitching is in my veil. But when I remove it from my face , I’ll be staring at the two people I love beyond all reason: my soon-to-be husband and the woman who showed me what' s really important.
最近，她去做了一次随访 CT 检查。当她脱下结婚金戒指检查的时候， 98 磅的柔弱身躯颤抖了。这个检查得做，接下来还有很多次。但医生说， “ 一切都很好。” 不久，妈妈就可以把我领到圣坛举行婚礼。我已经忘记面纱上的刺绣。但在我掀开面纱的时候，我肯定会脉脉地注视着我所最爱的两个人：我的未婚夫和让我懂得人生要义的那个女人 —— 我的母亲。