On the river
儿子飞奔上冰面,享受作为东北孩子的特权,寒冰封锁的辽阔河面是某一段时间内,我用于震慑南方朋友的为数不多的情境。大年初六,我们在寒风里闷走了四十分钟,就为了站在冰面上倒出一杯热茶,嘶哈嘶哈地喝几口。

My son ran rapidly to the frozen surface of the river, and it’s a kind of privilege for northern kids. A glace river is a spectacular and merely northeast scene that can always surprise my southern friends.
It was the sixth of the first month, and we wandered for forty minutes in the cold breeze for just standing on the river and drinking a cup of hot tea.

“辛晴好!”
儿子在被我们第三次唤回的时候,大声冲着我们身后喊,我老婆回头看到了辛晴好的爸爸,带着一大一小两闺女,接着四处踅摸她妈妈,未果。
儿子拉着辛晴好再次奔向冰面时,我从风声中听到了我老婆和她爸爸的对话,“她妈妈2月6日,去世了。”
“Rainbow!!”
For the third time, as we called our son back, he dashed and called toward someone behind us. We looked back then found Rainbow and Moon and their father. My wife tried to find their mother, but there wasn’t. My son ran away again with Rainbow hand in hand. I heard about what their father said. “Their mom passed away on Feb the sixth.”

我们心中都咯噔了一下。我们两家都住一个小区,因为他家孩子小名讨喜,因此成了我最开始记住的几家邻居之一。

We were both astonished. We are living in the same community. Because Mr. and Mrs. Xin’s family’s first daughter’s nickname is very adorable, we memorized them very soon.

再抬起头看时,新丧偶的这位男人的脸耷拉着,寒风把他的泪水吹向两颊,他断断续续地叙述着,孩子的妈妈半年内瘦了将近二十斤,腹部积水后开始住院,一月下旬说要入院做个肝穿刺化验,结果病情急转直下,去了北京协和医院急救,最后肝功能衰竭,人就没了。就没了?!

As I glanced at the father again, tears were rolling down his hollow cheek in the wind, evaporating. He narrated off and on. The mother slimmed down within half a year. She lost twenty KGs, and then she started to have abdominal effusion. She was hospitalized at the end of Jan, underwent a liver puncture operation. But the situation went down like sky diving. They went to Beijing XieHe hospital, but it was in vain. She died of hepatic failure. Died?!

“妈妈变成星星了。” 小女儿在一边听着爸爸讲,跟着说到。
“Mommy became a star!” The younger daughter followed after her father told us and smiled.

我们坐他们家的车一起回来,她们的爸爸开车,问到我回北京买了车票么,我说买了,北京朝阳站的,特别快,我刚想说这回可好了,方便了,他马上接着说:“我们当时上协和也是坐的这个,我们那个三个多小时到的。你那个呢?”,我答:“两小时四十分”,我们都没再说话。
We took their car together to head back. The father drove. He suddenly asked, what if I repurchased the ticket to Beijing. I said yes, I bought the one arrive at Beijing Chaoyang station. Stupidly fast. I was about to praise the new train that becomes more convenient for commuters like me, but he continued:
“We took that one to XieHe Hospital too, that took three hours, what about yours?”
“Two hours and forty minutes,” I replied.

其实我很不会安慰承受巨大悲伤的人。如果我能有跟他们一样的对亡者的记忆,一起回忆是我能想到的最好的办法。
I don’t know how to console people in tremendous sorrow. If we have shared memories of the dead one, reminiscing her together would be my best way.

儿子约好了辛晴好到我家一起写作业,尽可能帮他们现在还风雨飘摇的家庭解决一些问题。这个小姑娘,超龄的懂事,我再三叮嘱儿子不要跟她提到妈妈的事儿,可是跟我们的小心翼翼相比,辛晴好已经完全接受了这个事实,言谈中也没什么避讳。看到我给他们准备设计的学校要交的抗击新冠的主题画,她一边涂色一边说,这个像那个,草间弥生。
My son asked Rainbow to complete homework at my home later, and we would like to try to help them overcome the suffering period. Rainbow, the little girl, is such an early-maturing one. I urged my son repeatedly to avoid topics about her mother. But compared to her generous attitude, and it seemed that we were just over-sentimental. She had accepted everything that occurred; there was nothing that we should avoid.
“It’s like, like Yayoi Kusama!”
She commented on the ‘Fight Covid 19’ theme drawing when she was coloring with, which I prepared for my son. I also copied one sketch for her to help her complete the assignment that the school required.

“我妈妈喜欢很多日本的书,我也喜欢,我喜欢一个就是叫,高木直子。”
我试着去找我可能有的高木直子,没找到,只找到奈良美智的小星星通讯。
“My mom loves a lot of Japanese books! I love them too, and I like that, that ‘Takagi Naoko.’”
“Daddy, who is Takagi Naoko?” asked my son.
I scouted for a while to find the author’s book but ended up locating Nara Yoshitomo’s ‘The Little Star Dweller.’
一个下午过去,孩子完成了两篇作文,写周记的时候,儿子小心的跑来问,
“爸爸,周记,那不就得写最近的事儿么?那她想起来了,多难受啊?”
During that afternoon, two kids finished two writings. When it came to weekly diaries, my son came around and asked me quietly.
“Daddy, we have to recollect things that happened recently to do the weekly reports. She will be sad if she has recalled something, won’t she?”
我一边跟儿子说,辛晴好可能比我们想象的坚强得多,同时我也欣慰儿子开始明白同情他人的境遇。
I relieved him by telling Rainbow is more robust than we think, and also I was gratified by the action from my son that emitted his sympathy.
相比较起来,我老婆受到的打击更大,相关的回忆不断地涌现。进屋第一件事,是到了卫生间,抻出两瓶卸妆水,说:“你看,她那前儿给我的。”,随后忽然就留下眼泪来。
On the other hand, my wife showed more grief. Those related memories kept popping up. The first thing she did when we arrived home was taking out two bottles of cleansing water.
“See, those are from her.” Her tears came out all of a sudden.
跟孩子聊一会之后,她忽然小声跟我说:
“我咋感觉,这人根本就没死,你记得不,咱们那会看那个,变成猪的那叫啥来着?”,
“千与千寻啊?”,
“对,那个里面不是就说,死了的人,就怕没有人记得他们,不记得了,他们就真没了。”
“不是,那个是寻梦环游记。”
“反正就这么一段话。”

We chatted with kids for a while, she incidentally whispered with me:
“I have a feeling that this person is not dead at all. Do you remember that movie? That couple became pigs?”
“‘千と千尋の神隠し’ ?.”
“Right, it said if someone’s dead and no one remembers her, She is gonna be disappeared ever.”
“No, that was ‘Coco’”
“Anyway, just something like that.”

我看着跟儿子一起刷抖音的那小姑娘,她时不时还能发出爽朗的笑声,会在赶作业的时候叹出一句:“我妈妈要是没事儿的话这些作业早就整完了。” 却没有流下一滴眼泪。这种懂事令人十分心疼。然后我喝了一口茶,打印好给小姑娘准备的作文作业,看看在厨房准备晚饭的老婆,想着,我应该为他们做点什么。

I looked at my son and Rainbow surfing TikTok, and she occasionally laughed out loudly. She would sometimes say: “If my mom were there, I would have completed all my homework at the very beginning of the vacation.”
But there was no one drip of tear from her, and that made me more heart-wrenching. But there was no one drip of tear from her, and that made me more heart-wrenching. I had a sip of tea, printed out another essay template for the little girl, looked towards to kitchen where my wife was preparing dinner, meditated, what I should do for them.