I didn’t grow up in a very loving family.
我不是在温暖的家庭里长大的孩子

In fact,
事实上

there are few, if any, happy memories I have of my childhood involving my family members.
在我童年的记忆中,有家人在场的欢乐记忆少之又少,几乎没有

My happiest moments were spent with the few friends
我最快乐的时光是与少数几个朋友一起度过的

I was allowed to have.
他们是我被允许拥有的仅有的伙伴

My family eventually alienated all the neighbors,
但最终,我的家人把所有的邻居都排斥开了

so the time came
这时

when I didn’t even have neighborhood kids to play with.
我甚至找不到一个邻里间的玩伴一同玩耍

This was the time before internet.
这是互联网诞生之前

So, I learned to occupy my time
于是,我学着用各种方式填满自己的时间

reading,
阅读

discovering nature
探索大自然

and setting and achieving small goals for myself.
给自己订立小目标并实现它们

I became quite serious,
我变得十分严肃

just to hide my pain.
其实只是为了隐藏内心的伤痛

There was another family in town that,
城里有另一户人家

on paper was quite similar to mine.
从表面上看和我们家十分相似

They had a lot of children,
他们有许多孩子

aged spaced apart like my own family.
与我家一样,孩子之间的年龄差距很大

I always wondered
我总会想

what it would be like if my family were more like them.
如果我们家与他们家更相似一点,会是什么样子

They never knew it,
他们从未知道我的心思

but I watched them
我却观察着他们

and admired them.
倾慕他们

They were kind,
他们都很善良

genuine and close
真诚,彼此亲密

– everything I wished my family could be.
这些都是我希望自己家拥有的特质

Decades later
数十年后

I found myself back at that very same place,
我发现自己会到了同样的地方

in that same small town I had left behind.
回到自己抛弃的同一个小城镇

This time I was in that town for a funeral.
这一次,我是去参加葬礼

It was my mother’s funeral.
那是我母亲的葬礼

My family bickered and was divided,
一家人吵吵闹闹,各自出走

as always.
正如一直以来的那样

I felt saddened that
我感到悲伤,因为

neither time nor circumstance
无论时间或场合

could make them act with loving kindness toward each other.
都不能让这家人用爱意和善意对待彼此

As I approached the church for the funeral,
我到教堂出席葬礼

memories came flooding back to me.
回忆如洪水般涌来

I remembered the warm, kind smiles of that family
我想起另外那家人温暖,善良的微笑

that used to sit in the front pews of the church
他们总是坐在教堂前几排的位置

when I was a child.
那时我还是个孩子

I wondered if those parents had too passed.
我心想,那家的双亲是不是也过世了呢

After the funeral service
葬礼结束后

a meal was provided in the church basement.
教堂地下室里提供了一场丧宴

After getting a plate of food
我拿了一盘食物

I scanned the room for a seat with my husband.
我与丈夫一起在房间里搜索座位

Then I heard a familiar voice
这时我听到一个熟悉的声音

I hadn’t heard in decades
我已经数十年未曾听过

call my name.
喊着我的名字

I turned around
我转过身去

and he was there,
他就在那里

the father of that family I had admired when I was young.
是我小时候倾慕的那家人的父亲

He was a church volunteer for my mother’s funeral lunch.
她在母亲的丧宴上,自愿担当教堂里的志愿者

We chatted for a bit.
我们交谈了一会儿

I pointed out my happy child to him
我指给他看我那个兴高采烈的儿子

and it was at that point I realized
那一刻我忽然意识到

I was raising my boy
我教育儿子的方式

in a way I had seen him raise his own children so long ago.
与多年前我看到他教育自己孩子的方式同出一辙

He didn’t realize it,
他没有意识到这一点

but my son’s life has been greatly affected by him.
可是,我儿子的生活其实深受他的影响

Peace settled into my soul.
安宁终于住进我的心

Live your life with integrity .
真诚善良的度过一生吧

You never know who’s watching,
你不会知道谁在看着你

who you will inspire
谁会受到你的启迪

and whose life you'll change.
你会改变他们的一生

?