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托福阅读:To Love, in Sickness and in Health疾病或健康

2017-01-20 13:59来源:镇江精英教育编辑:镇江精英教育中心

托福阅读:To Love, in Sickness and in Health

疾病或健康 此爱不渝

【文章选自《用英语点亮人生》/ 胡敏主编】

In a corner of a room he shares with three other residents at the nursing home, a patient with a curious illness stares out the window at an empty bird feeder. Mr. Fletcher has beenbedridden for years. He can’t talk, can only moan. He can’t move other than to blink or shift his gaze. The only sign of responsiveness is that his eyes will sometimes follow stimuli, either of voice or hand movement.



Mr. Fletcher has what is commonly referred to as “locked-in syndrome”—the result, occasionally, of a rare form of stroke, happening viciously and suddenly, often striking down people in the prime of life after head trauma.



Nobody knows what causes it, and treatments are essentially palliative: You really can’t do a thing for those who suffer from it other than to keep them comfortable.



Mr. Fletcher has been admitted for some rehabilitation as he transitions from the hospital, after a partial bowel obstruction, back to his home. A team of therapists, nurses and aides and, most importantly, his wife, is here to care for him. I suspect that his wife, the one with the least formal training, understands him best.



I’d like to tell you about her.



I am visiting another patient in Mr. Fletcher’s room when Mrs. Fletcher arrives and proceedsto wash him with a moistened towel. Carefully and tenderly, she alternates between wiping and drying, turning him first one way, then another. Patiently, meticulously and ever so gently, she bathes him.



After she finishes with the bathing, she rubs her husband down with lotion, massaging it into his skin until it is supple. Then the shaving begins. She lathers his face and, with smooth, efficient strokes, manages to remove a three-day growth of stubble. You can see his eyes sparkle as she winds up her ministrations.



I try not to stare. It seems intrusive, to watch them together, intimate, in an interaction almost as private as making love. Being with him, cleaning him, giving of herself to him and receiving at the most a blink or grunt in return.



Now that’s love. That’s commitment. In a time when people get divorced for the mostsuperficial of reasons, it is a tremendous encouragement to see true love in action. 我努力不让自己盯着他们看,因为看着他们在一起那么亲密地交流似乎像在看别人做爱那样,侵犯了人家的隐私。尽管她这样陪伴他,帮他清洗,为他付出自己的一切,但换来的顶多是他的一次眨眼或一声咕哝。


As I watch her bathe him, I reflect on what their early years together might have been like. Running on the beach, staying out till dawn, picnics, favorite restaurants and lots of dancing—they look like a couple who used to dance a lot.



She is so kind to him, devoted, caring. I suppose that is what the marriage vows mean when they speak of “in sickness and in health”. Here is tangible evidence of someone being faithful to that promise. I’m sure it is way more than she bargained for, but she dispatches her duties willingly, without resentment.



When you’re young, you take your health for granted. Slowly, it is taken away from even the strongest of us. That day, Mrs. Fletcher taught me volumes about the timelessness of love and the gift of health.




Vocabularyresident n. 住客

bedridden a. 卧床不起的

moan v. 呻吟

responsiveness n. 反应性

stimuli n. 刺激物

locked-in syndrome 闭锁综合症

stroke n. 中风

viciously ad. 凶猛地

in the prime of life 正值壮年

trauma n. 创伤

palliative a. 缓和的

rehabilitation n. 修复

transition n. 转变

bowel obstruction 肠梗阻

therapist n. 临床医学家

proceed v. 着手

moistened a. 弄湿的

alternate v. 交替

meticulously ad. 仔细地

lotion n. 护肤液

massage v. 按摩

supple a. 柔软的

lather v. 涂以肥皂沫

stubble n. 胡子茬

wind up 结束

ministration n. 服侍

intrusive a. 侵入的

intimate a. 亲密的grunt v. 咕哝

superficial a. 肤浅的

vow n. 誓约

tangible a. 切实的

bargain for 预料到

dispatch v. 迅速完成

resentment n. 怨恨


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