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2005.11.1

英国人给我的印象就象它的天气,阴沉沉的,萝琳是个例外,她总是是阳光明媚。到英国的第一周就碰上公司开圣诞餐会,我和萝琳在同一桌相邻而坐。她不到五十岁,象BBC里一个主持人,出口就是地道的英式幽默,一句话转了好几个圈,等我明白过来笑出声时,同事们的话题都换了好几个。

我们聊的第一件事是把美国人给奚落一通。美国人,她笑着摇脑袋,太自大了。她在纽约住过一阵子,那边也有自己的亲戚。她尤其对美国人教育孩子的态度颇有微辞,他们教育的孩子简直是胡来,孩子都被宠坏了,没有礼貌。她有一个小男孩,十岁左右。我问她怎么选学校, 萝琳则从如何搬家,提前多长时间如何排队申请,英国的“PUBLIC SCHOOL”其实是私立学校,而真正的公立学校却叫国立学校等等如数家珍…看得出来孩子和家庭几乎是她的全部,她有一整套培养孩子的想法,有不少和我的外公那一代人的想法有异曲同工之处。

她随和亲切,和一般假模假式拿腔拿调的英国人全然不同。圣诞那次聚会后,每次走到我办公室门口时,她总是进来和我聊聊天。公司还没有搬到新楼,每人都有一个办公室。英国人很少主动和人打招呼的,她笑呵呵地走进来时,我总问有事要我帮忙吗?她笑笑, Nothing, just chatting 。

要问英国人最擅长什么?粗略一想,恐怕是抱怨。平常只要一尖耳朵,就能听到 “火车没法坐, 天天误点”,“餐厅里的咖啡没法喝”,“昨天的午餐太难吃”,“法国人真是难缠”…. 我从来没有听到萝琳抱怨,她总是带着微笑,或者开玩笑安慰抱怨的人。公司随着规模不断扩大,总部也开始扩张,从几十个人到几百人,难免有成长的烦恼。比如共享的办公用品不翼而飞,比如张三的午餐不小心被李四给吃了,大家性格各异,有人怒目, 有人抱怨。一日萝琳四处找一个标签打印机,没有找到,很快大伙收到一封电子邮件,发件人: 萝琳;收件人: 大楼全体成员;主题:标签打印机:

From: Lorraine Sadkowski

To: DukesCourtUsers

Subject: Label machine

Dear All

Will the person who has kidnapped the label machine, please return it to the photocopier room. No ransom will be paid!

Thanks

Lorraine

接着,就听到一阵爆笑从不同的办公室里传出来。

我那时正为英国处事和交流方式迷盲争扎,在日常的公司协调,美国那一套不太管用, 我也没有美国人那么强势。英国的文化让我觉得有点无所适从,非常郁闷, 似乎个个巧舌如簧,但是很多口是心非,they don’t say what they mean。萝琳看我有些低沉,偶尔问问,还好吗,没事吧?然后讲两句笑话,让我能暂时忘记烦恼,她总那么轻松乐观。

去年休假前的周五下午碰到萝琳来办公室小叙,问周末去哪里,告去罗马,于是谈起一通意大利人的故事。扔下一句话:Please say hello to the Pope. 她乐呵呵地扬长而去,我在那里傻呼呼的笑着不知道该说什么。

就这么过了快两年了,9月初一天下午收到公司法律总监的一封信,他是萝琳的老板。大意是说:“你们中很多人知道这几年来萝琳一直在和癌症搏斗,过去这一个月她的病情有了大的变化,我很难过,诊断的情况不太好。对我们很多人来说,萝琳是多年的朋友和同事,我知道他很乐意听到朋友们的一些话。我们想录下一些话送给她,应该对她很有意义。如果你愿意给她说再见或者几句祝愿,简会拿个摄像机在大楼里转。她的地址也在这里,如果你愿意写信的话。” 我读了好几遍,以确保我看明白了。

过了两天,收到萝琳的信, 通过另一个同事发来:

From: Greg Martin On Behalf Of Lorraine Sadkowski

Sent: 12 September 2005 16:01

Subject:

For those of you who did not know, most of my career with S Company has involved breast cancer. This moved to the liver and for the past several years Mount Alvernia hospital has been "home from home" for that constant chemotherapy, which has kept me going for longer that I had a right to expect. This has given me more time with my family and more time to watch my son grow up, for which I am eternally grateful.

The BIG C has now caught up but it is not so bad. I have had long enough to get used to it, am in no pain and cannot be sad. I don't want anyone else to be sad either, as it is a relief not to have to worry any more.

I would like to especially thank Stephen for his continued and unconditional support during the past years. The door was always open to be able to talk.

I would like to thank Greg for his totally outrageous sense of humour, Adrian for the philosophical chats and Julia and Holly for the gossip.

Finally, but by no means least, I would like to thank Diane Crawley in the Jo'burg office for her constant calls and pep talks and for caring so much - a real friend.

That's it then - no "Get Well" cards and no more bloody flowers.

If anyone wants to make a donation, the details are as follows:

Mount Alvernia Hospital, Chemotherapy Day Unit, Harvey Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 3LX

Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Waverley Lane, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 8BL

I have really enjoyed my time with all my colleagues and friends at S Company and I wish you all a long and healthy life.

Lorraine

这是一封简单的信,我又读了好几遍,如果不了解她的为人,有些细微处难以理解。她已经做好放弃的准备, 向大家告别,中间竟然还带着她天生的幽默, 我不知道该做什么,眼睛有点模糊,在旧的电子邮件里搜索和她曾经的通信。发现这一封:

From: Lorraine Sadkowski

Sent: 13 April 2004 10:20

To: W

Subject: RE: organizational chart

W

 

Hoping to buy some chocolate eggs half price today!

Assuming you mean a people chart and not a subsidiary company chart, I don't have an overall chart - maybe try Alison H (Karen R is on holiday, I believe) or Ian O.

Otherwise you may have to pull one together. Jayne H might have a Finance one and some of the secretaries may have departmental ones (e.g. Patricia C (Tax), Felicity C (Company Secretarial) Sharon R ..............)

 

Regards

Lorraine

我要一份整体人员组织结构图,她没有,要是我给人回复,就会说抱歉试试人力资源部吧。她给我列出了所有可能的人的名字。没有忘记让我去买巧克力蛋,那天好象复活节刚过, 一定是半价大摔卖。

….

我知道自己必须做点什么,应该让她知道她给我的印象和心底的感动。我去录像,一屋子的人都有些紧张,不知道该说什么,我录完之后总觉得不很满意,眼睛好象没有看着镜头,有几句应该换个说法更好一些……

一周后,录像带好象还没有寄出去。另外一个同事周末去看了她说情况有些不好,我决定把我想说的话写下来,邮寄给她。

两天后,萝琳离开这个世界。两周后我们参加了葬礼,葬礼的要求是萝琳定的:“不要深色西装革履,要穿粉红色的衣服;不要带鲜花,如果愿意的话,捐一点钱给乳腺癌学会;如果要带的话,带一点笑声和对她的回忆”

葬礼很简洁,在绿色的墓园中,一大群粉红的衣服,她的棺材抬进来,亲人随后,然后入座,很多朋友只能站在两边,很多公司以前的员工都回来了。萝琳的丈夫,孩子,亲人致辞,没有牧师的祷告,还是听到哭泣。

她的孩子十二岁,刚刚上中学。念了一段妈妈留下的话:孩子,不要站在妈妈的坟头哭泣,因为我不在那里;你早晨醒来的时候,我是第一缕照在你身上的阳光,夜晚,我是在你窗外树上唱歌的夜莺….

有疑惑的时候要多和爸爸交流;

不要和你第一个爱上的女人结婚;

….”

萝琳的丈夫彼得说,萝琳的善良和乐观是他和孩子这一生只能仰望而无法启及的榜样,他不会去试图总结萝琳的一生,因为每一句说出的话后面都有一百句想说而没机会说的话,但是,他今天要给大家读一封信,来自一个和萝琳只交往了两年的一个年青人。

这封信是我写的。

Dear Lorraine,

I did not know that you are ill until two weeks ago when Stephen S sent the email out, as you have always been joking, smiling and light-hearted. I recorded my message with Jayne H’s help in sending my best wishes. Without knowing when you will be able to see the video, I decide to write down my thoughts and mail it to you.

You might remember that we first met in the 2003 Christmas Party where we sat next to each other in the same table. That was the first week I arrived in UK, and that day was also my birthday. I did not expect the host announced that and asked everyone to sing the Happy Birthday song to me. I was very uneasy at that moment.

We talked a lot and I heard stories about your lovely boy and family, feel how much love you have for them.

Since then you often approached me and had a little chat whenever you saw me. That means a lot to a young man coming from thousands of miles away and struggling to fit the new culture. I want to let you know how much I appreciate your friendly smiles, pleasant conversations, and good sense of humour.

You might find that I did not always get your sense of humour. It is often several hours later or sometimes two or three days later after our conversation, I figured it out, and realized how funny it was then I burst into laughter for a long while. My wife would look at me and be puzzled at the silly smiles on my face without knowing what happened. I do appreciate your sense of humour, though a little bit slow and late.

I do not know whether I mentioned to you or not, I was a foreign services officer for seven years with institutions like United Nations before I came to the business world. I met many people from different professions and different countries. You are the most graceful lady I’ve ever met.

W

在彼得读这封信的时候,我看到他眼中的泪光,听到周围哭泣和笑声。

 
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