A Good Heart to Lean on
When I was growing up, I was embarrassed to be seen with my father. He was severely crippled and very short, and when we would walk together, his hand on my arm for balance, people would stare. I would inwardly squirm at the unwanted attention. If he ever noticed or was bothered, he never
let on. 
   It was difficult to coordinate our steps —— his halting, mine impatient —— and because of that, we didn't say much as we went along. But as we started out, he always said, "You set the pace. I will try to adjust to you. " 

    Our usual walk was to or from the subway, which was how he got to work. He went to work sick, and despite nasty weather. He almost never missed a day, and would make it to the office even if others could not. A matter of pride. 

    When snow or ice was on the ground, it was impossible for him to walk, even with help. At such times my sisters or I would pull him through the streets of Brooklyn, NY, on a child's sleigh to the subway entrance. Once there, he would cling to the handrail until he reached the lower steps that the warmer tunnel air kept ice-free. In Manhattan the subway station was the basement of his office building, and he would not have to go outside again until we met him in Brooklyn' on his way home. 

When I think of it now, I marvel at how much courage it must have taken for a grown man to subject himself to such indignity and stress. And at how he did it —— without bitterness or complaint . 

He never talked about himself as an object of pity, nor did he show any envy of the more fortunate or able. What he looked for in others was a "good heart", and if he found one, the owner was good enough for him. 
     Now that I am older, I believe that is a proper standard by which to judge people, even though I still don' t know precisely what a "good heart" is. But I know the times I don’t have one myself. 

Unable to engage in many activities, my father still tried to participate in some way. When a local sandlot baseball team found itself |without a manager, he kept it going. He was a knowledgeable baseball fan and often took me to Ebbets Field to see the Brooklyn Dodgers play. He liked to go to dances and parties, where he could have a good time just sitting and watching. 

   On one memorable occasion a fight broke out at a beach party, with everyone punching and shoving. He wasn't content to sit and watch, but he couldn't stand unaided on the soft sand. In frustration he began to shout, "I' ll fight anyone who will tit down with me!" 

   Nobody did. But the next day people kidded him by saying it was the first time any fighter was urged to take a dive even before the bout began. 

     I now know he participated in some things vicariously through me, his only son. When I played ball (poorly), he "played" too. When I joined the Navy he "joined" too. And when I came home on leave, he saw to it that " I visited his office. Introducing me, he was really saying, "This is my son, but it is also me, and I could have done this, too, if things had been different." Those words were never said aloud. 

    He has been gone many years now, but I think of him often. I wonder if he sensed my reluctance to be seen with him during our walks. If he did, I am sorry I never told him how sorry I was, how unworthy I was, how I regretted it. I think of him when I complain about trifles, when I am envious of another's good fortune, when I don't have a "good heart". 

    At such times I put my hand on his arm to regain my balance, and say, "You set the pace, I will try to adjust to you."


2008-06-22 回答
当我长大,我困窘看见与我的父亲。 他严厉地被致残了和非常短,并且,当我们一起会走,他的在我的胳膊的手平衡的,人们将凝视。 我在内部会扭动在不需要的注意。 如果他注意了或被打扰了,从未他
协调我们的步是难的 -- 他止步不前,开采不耐烦 -- 当我们去,并且因此,我们没有说。 但是,当我们开始了,他总是说, “您掌握了节奏。 我将设法对您调整。 ” 

我们的通常步行是到/从地铁,是他怎么得到工作。 他去工作病残,和尽管讨厌的天气。 他几乎未曾错过一天和使它到办公室,即使其他不可能。 自尊的问题。 

当雪或冰在地面上,走,甚而在帮助下他无法的。 在这样时间我姐妹或我通过布鲁克林会拉扯他, NY街道,在儿童的雪橇对地铁入口。 一旦那里,他会紧贴对扶手栏杆,直到他到达了更低的步更加温暖的隧道空气保持了无冰。 在曼哈顿地铁站是他的办公楼的地下室,并且他不会必须再去外部,直到我们遇见了他在他的方式家的Brooklyn的。 

当我现在时认为它,我惊奇在多少勇气它一定采取为了一个成年人能服从自己到这样侮辱和重音。 并且在他怎样做了它 -- 没有冤苦或怨言。 

他未曾谈论他自己作为哀怜对象,亦不他显示所有妒嫉更加幸运或能。 什么他在其他寻找是“好心脏”,并且,如果他发现了一,所有者足够有益于他。 
即然我更老,我相信是一个适当的标准根据判断人,即使我不精确地仍然知道什么“好心脏”是。 但是我知道我没有一我自己的时代。 

无法参与许多活动,我的父亲仍然设法在某个方面参与。 当一个地方sandlot棒球队发现了自己 |没有经理,他维持下去它。 他是一个博学的棒球迷和经常把我带对Ebbets领域看布鲁克林Dodger使用。 他喜欢去舞蹈和党,他可能度过美好时光坐和观看。 

一个难忘的场合战斗发生了在一个海滩党,当大家猛击和推。 他不是满意坐和观看,但是他不可能站立独立在软的沙子。 在他开始呼喊的失望, “我与山雀将击倒与我的人战斗!” 

没人。 但是次日人民通过说它哄骗了他是,第一次所有战斗机敦促采取下潜,在回合开始了以前。 

我现在知道他参加了有些事代理通过我,只有他的儿子。 当我演奏了球(不足),他“也是使用了”。 当我参加了海军他“也是被加入”。 并且,当我在事假回家了,他负责保证”我参观了他的办公室。 介绍我,他真正地说, “这是我的儿子,但是它也是我,并且我可能做了此,同样,如果事是不同的”。 那些词大声未曾说。 

他现在去许多岁月,但是我经常认为他。 我想知道他是否感觉了我的勉强将看见与他在我们的步行期间。 如果他,我抱歉我未曾告诉他多么抱歉我是,多么不值得我是,我怎么后悔了它。 我认为他,当我抱怨琐事时,当我是羡慕的别人的好运时,当我没有“好心脏”时。 

在这样次我在他的胳膊上把我的手放收复我的平衡,并且说, “您掌握了节奏,我将设法对您调整”。