天涼好秋

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海闊天空,為你送行

(2021-09-18 12:54:33) 下一個

麗達走了。大家互相轉發著這個悲哀的消息,有幾個外部門的同事還跟我聯係,詢問她具體的死因,可惜我也不知道。從網上搜索不到任何關於她葬禮的線索,唯一知道的就是她姐姐的男友打電話通知了辦公室,但是沒有透漏任何具體細節。

一星期過去了,我還是不能接受這個事實,腦子裏總是出現麗達燦爛的笑臉。

我和麗達一起工作了15個年頭,她比我晚大半年到的辦公室,愛聊天,很快就跟我分享了她的很多故事。

她30多年前從愛爾蘭的一個小農場來到加拿大,兩個哥哥前些年相繼英年早逝,隻留下一個姐姐,也在多倫多。姐妹倆都沒有結婚,姐姐開著一個烘焙店,有個長期的男友,她一直單著,跟我說年輕的時候曾經有過一位相處9年的男友,後來分了手。照她自己的話說是找不到有擔當,有責任的男人,所以寧願享受自由。

她在市中心地段有一個小小的房子,沒有車庫,據她說買下來的時候剛幾萬加元,比租房子要劃算。我有機會去過一次,還是第一次見到那麽小的獨立房,象是專門給單身設計的。房子五髒俱全,她收拾得也很幹淨。後院一片野生的小樹林,一點都沒有修剪,不知她是顧不上,還是故意想保持那種風格,沒有問。地下室也非常小,不過那麽小的麵積她竟然加了衛生間,租給在附近做工程的工人掙些房租。

她和唯一的姐姐時常會鬧些口角,有一個聖誕節兩個人誰都不理誰,僵持了很長時間。她講給我聽,我勸她有個姐妹在身邊非常難能可貴,我羨慕都來不及,一定要珍惜這種親情。她們後來當然是和解了,如很多吵吵鬧鬧的姐妹一樣。

何止與她姐姐吵架,麗達跟辦公室幾個girls都發生過不愉快,她是個性情中人,喜怒哀樂完全寫在臉上,高興的時候手舞足蹈,激動起來馬上翻臉,還會流眼淚。

她喜歡閑聊,總有說不完的話題,路過她桌子的每個人都會被她拉住聊個沒完沒了。不過一碰到稍有挑戰的工作任務,她就犯怵,不願意去花時間學習,對別人的反應還特別敏感。

有一次我跟她要一個特別簡單的統計表,她拖來拖去,就是提交不上來。我實在等不及了,就去直接跟她談,問她需不需要幫助。她說她看不懂這張表是什麽意思,我那天也是沒有耐心,脫口而出,這麽簡單的數學公式都不知道!她就一下失去了控製,大聲喊,你多聰明,我從小就數學不好!搞得周圍的幾個同事都探頭朝這邊看。

還有一次她請了天病假,第二天來上班,我本來是好意,問她怎麽了,結果她莫名其妙就發火了,認為我是懷疑她裝病,故意來打探。

這個人就是這樣,我知道她情緒化,從來沒有跟她計較過。過了那股勁,她又會回來有話沒話地跟我聊這聊那,間接表示她的歉疚。

麗達到辦公室很多年,經過幾次正式麵試都沒有通過,到後來終於轉正,聽說是有兩位老同誌到領導那裏替她求情,說她幹了那麽多年了,沒有功勞也有苦勞,領導才送了個人情。

麗達不修邊幅,長了一頭典型的愛爾蘭紅發,過一段時間不修剪,就會蓬鬆得象個大蘑菇。她有著好奇的性格,與路邊的流浪漢和街頭藝人都能聊起來,從她那總能聽到一些有趣的故事。連她的貓咪都是她有一次走路看到一個陌生女孩抱著貓正要扔掉,便領養了回家。後來她發現那隻貓身上傷病很多,花費了她不少錢,這對單身的她來說有些心疼,有時會跟我抱怨,羨慕我有個老公可以分擔日常花銷。不過她還是很愛那隻貓,常常跟我描述貓咪的可愛。

她喜歡喝兩杯。每年的辦公室聖誕派對,每人發兩張酒票,我頂多用一張,就會把剩下的一張順手給她,別的幾個女同事應該也是這樣做了,她手裏攥著酒票,總是很興奮。女同事們多是早早收場回家,她卻會留下來和幾個男同事暢飲到半夜,第二天還會跟我描述,非常開心。她認識一對有錢的朋友,每次人家去度假便請她過去幫著看房子,給她留幾瓶酒晚上喝,那也是她很快樂的時光。

麗達另外一件喜歡做的事就是一個人駕車神遊。很多年前有一次她開到北邊很遠的一片森林,看到人家正在掛牌賣一小片宿營地,還包括一輛Trailer,心頭一動,就買了下來。那片地就從此成了她夏季的固定度假地。每年從五月底到十月初,就會聽她講述周末開車幾個小時到她北邊的Trailer去宿營的經曆。Trailer裏不能洗澡,她會在旁邊的小河裏解決;她有一個喂鳥的籠子;晚上她的駐地還進來過一隻黑熊… …講不完的故事。

除了那片宿營地,她後來又在附近買了一塊地。

去年的時候她告訴我說每年總去一個地方有點煩了,想把那兩片地賣了,還給我看了她的代理幫她打的廣告。

疫情開始後我們都在家工作,就沒有機會再聊天。我又調去了其它部門,就更沒有機會聯係了。

八月份的時候突然收到了一封她發到我私人郵箱的郵件,很長,如她說話的風格。我當時工作很忙,嫌她太囉嗦,草草讀了一遍,但還是給她回了信。現在想想,有些後悔沒有認真地多花時間跟她聊聊。

我花了一個晚上的時間從郵箱裏把她那封郵件又找出來,一句一句地細讀,還在地圖上研究了她提到的每一個地名。

她說她這次終於賣了北邊的那兩片地,13年來第一次自由駕車到另外的地方旅遊,一口氣開了13個小時跨越魁北克,到了一個叫Tasoussac的小鎮去觀鯨魚。一路的風景美如夢境,回來的路上她樂不思蜀,又轉頭坐上勞倫斯河上的遊船去了更遠處的Gaspe 國家公園。公園很大,中間3個多小時沒有加油站,她隻有半箱油,嚇壞了,好在油箱沒有耗空。她在一家小餐館吃到了非常新鮮的魚,還和森林中的工作人員聊了1個多小時。

回來的路上她除了加油,沒有做任何停留,清晨5:30出發,一口氣開了17個小時晚上10點多才到家,第二天早晨就興奮地給我發了這封長信,興奮之情溢於言表。她說現在好想退休,等這輛車租期一到,就去退了,然後買一輛小宿營車,開始海闊天空的旅行… …

OMG, 親愛的麗達,我不能一遍一遍再這樣讀下去了,我的心跟著你一會兒澎湃,一會兒又沉入海底。

我把麗達的郵件完整地貼在下麵,一個字都沒有改。那就是她,一個真實的她。

想為麗達寫篇文章,還想為她找首歌聽。在YouTube上看到這首由幾個西方人無樂器伴奏翻唱的Beyond的《海闊天空》,覺得如果麗達還在,推薦給她聽,她一定會露出孩子般的好奇和欣喜。

麗達,你終於完全自由了,不用再為工作和生活的柴米油鹽而煩憂,就讓我用這首歌送你一程吧,聽好了, 海闊天空:

未作任何修改的麗達的郵件原文:

Hi, how are you doing?? I have been meaning to email you FOREVER but then remembered i had your personal email.

How is the job going??? I hope you are coming back to us !!!!!! I am assuming you are working from home!!

Have you taken any vacation or interesting trips???

I sold my two pieces of land up north, just felt it was time to MOVE ON!!! glad I did ....!!!

Last week is the first time I have taken a trip apart from land in 13 years ....went to Tasoussac, Quebec, whale watching, what a trip !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT LONG ENOUGH .....as I hadnt planned Gaspe!!!!

Left for Tadussac last Sunday week  …made it in one day, I wanted to get drive over me 13 hours…after Quebec City, the scenery UNREAL, mountains forests, lakes, BREATHTAKING, gorgeous wee village, Tadoussac ferry is 24/7, I didn’t realize this and was panicking as I got there at 8pm…Quebec, construction, you have to detour on highway, I didn’t see that and took me an hour to get back on track.

I stayed 2 days and sunday night, luckily I booked ahead with backpackers, (really old beautiful building right in village, village is small)  80.00 a night (had my own room), tons of accomodation but more expensive, also for really rich people HOTEL TADOUSSAC, right on coast, looks old and magnificient...  after I arrived on Sunday, tired Monday so toured around village and area, Tuesday took the large boat, you can go on small ones, but you can have drinks (expensive, i took my own) on large cruise ship, saw three whales, 6 belugas, one sea lion, whales were magnificent, I had my binoculars, they are good ones, bushnell, so saw very close, never saw anything like the size of their tails, and they were breaching, you cant get too close, because of environment reasons, but MAGNIFICIENT, MAGNIFICIENT.!!!!!!!!!!!! what an experience.

Wednesday took ferry back,  so in the back of my mind I thought I still have 5 days and I sort of don’t feel like going to a city or going back the same way, (thought I would go to Ottawa, as I have never been) so stopped in St. Simeon, and got a coffee and saw a sign for a ferry boat, asked the lady where it went, she said its an hour and a half across St. Lawrence and you get to Riviere du Loop, you can take 132 (small highway) or 20 (large) either back to Toronto or turn left and go to Gaspe….so hopped the Ferry, and turned left and went to Gaspe, had NO plan to go, but my god IT WAS SO WORTH IT, ….132 takes you RIGHT along the coast, stopped half way stayed over Mount St. Anne, went to tourist office, she suggested doing half of gaspe, if i did the whole loop, she said i would be on the road constantly, not enough time....... had fish dinner in a restaurant on the beach, (unreal how fresh) next day through Gaspe National Park, which is the half way mark...had a bit of a fright, as I was so diligent about filling up car all the time, didnt do it this time, but had over a half tank  not ONE gas station for 3 hours or a shop, but it lasted, car is great on gas, but i was nervous….MAGNIFICIENT, talked to a park ranger, for an hour, he was gorgeous, my age, lots of fly fishing, beautiful rivers and lakes, mountains SO HIGH.... he said it borders Appalachians….got to other side stayed for two nights on the ocean, small chalets, tons of accommodation, but you have to be careful as it books up fast, I wanted to stay in Carleton on Sur, it had gorgeous fish restaurant and pub, but no accommodation, so I stayed 20 minutes this side of it in New Richmond, everyone speak English there, wee chalets on ocean, but nothing in the town, which was fine, glad to get a bed for the night …then Saturday …took 132 south as far as I could, along the coast, beautiful small picturesque towns, and finally torrential rain, so took 20 (way faster) …so I never stopped 17 hours, just wanted to get back, LONG DAY but worth it, left Gaspe at 5:30 ...got in here last night at 10pm....and i only stopped for gas.

WHAT A TRIP ...i could have gone on and on and on ...OH GOD I WANT TO RETIRE SOOO BADLY, give my car back at the end of a lease and buy a NEW SMALL CAMPER VAN.....so many parked at the ocean ....cos you couldnt find accomodation on the ocean ALL BOOKED UP but next time if i wanted to see rest of Gaspe, then head to Nova Scotia, through New Brunswick (when we are allowed) i would know now to booked ahead and WHERE .

Back to the computer today BUT GOD ITS SOOOOOOOOOOOOO NICE not having to go to the office....SO THATS MY STORY..I LOVED IT ! 

Cheers (keep in touch)

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閱讀 ()評論 (3)
評論
laopika 回複 悄悄話 人生苦短啊!很有個性的麗達!
天涼好秋 回複 悄悄話 回複 '雲淡風更輕' 的評論 : 生命匆匆,一個那麽熟悉的人突然就再也見不到了,而且都不知道到哪裏去跟她告別,為她寫篇小文是我唯一能夠表達思念的方式了。讓我們都好好活著,珍惜每一天!
雲淡風更輕 回複 悄悄話 麗達是一位個性鮮明獨立自主熱愛大自然的女子,非常可惜過早地離開了這個世界。有時候在我們的生命中,來也匆匆去也匆匆,珍惜當下紀念過去!謝謝善良的好秋這篇感人的紀念好文讓我們認識了麗達!
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