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天使的分享
2016/11/20 10:43:45瀏覽1642|回應4|推薦54

九月下旬,台北,夾在前後幾個颱風之間,有幾天難得的陽光普照和氣溫略降的清涼。我們在爸爸過世那天訂下日期的入殮安息禮拜,如期舉行。兩個兒子分別從美東和美北,他們工作所在地,飛往台北參加。以下是老大八月寫的紀念文字,我為之節譯。

天使的分享                                              

幾年前一個寒冷的下雪天,我有機會參觀著名的Jack Daniels’威士忌酒廠,這個位於禁酒區域的造酒廠為參觀者提供詳盡的導覽,看著從附近山區,透過石灰石過濾的山泉,直到在疊滿木桶的倉房等候熟陳的產品。那些新酒在多孔洞的木桶裡,隨著年日過去而略有蒸發,也變得精醇。這揮發於空中的微量威士忌就是所謂「天使的分享」(The Angels’ Share)。

我的阿公在一個禮拜之前入住安寧照護房。我仍然難以接受他如此病重的消息。

我的爸媽那時剛好來看訪我。媽媽在我住處接到訊息,說外公陷入近乎昏迷狀態,於是急速趕回台灣。其時我才剛寄給他生日卡,祝賀他的壽辰。

媽媽回去後,寄來外公在普通病房,以及後來在安寧照護房的幾張照片。看到一個本來滿是活力,身體健旺的人如此急速凋零,讓我怵目驚心。

我想著阿公曾經挺拔的身軀,到現今在病床上枯萎的樣子,憂傷中也帶著些許釋然和平安。憂傷,因為一個我們所愛的人即將逝去;釋然,是他無需再受老邁和疾病所苦;平安,因為擁有他生命的耶穌基督會將他迎入肉眼看不到的屬天界域。

許多關乎阿公的記憶湧現我心頭,難以全然盡述。

我記起小時候,他不容我弓背而行,要我抬頭挺胸,走得像個有自信的男子漢。我們就在屋子裡來回走著,直到我姿勢正確,步伐有力。

還有他帶著我和弟弟,偷偷溜出去買pizza。回來後被阿嬤罵,因為我們吃那種高油脂的食物。

我也記得他在八十歲時,跟我和弟弟在公園玩飛盤;甚至還身手蹻捷的就地翻滾,躲過迎面撞來的飛盤(當然是我弟弟亂丟的)!

我的阿公也是修理能手,幾乎能搞好不同電器的疑難雜症。

我想到去年底,他才剛近乎完勝的處理肺部的那個腫瘤,慶賀身體的逐漸康復。聖誕節時我回台北看望他,在智慧的人生經歷分享外,還是不忘告誡我:「要多運動,就你年紀,你太胖了!」讓我想到他是到八十歲,還是可以敏捷的做伏地挺身和仰臥起坐。

我也很確定,自己的幽默嘲諷性情是得自他的真傳。對此,我是否要衷心感謝他?

看著阿公的近照,我也不禁微笑,知道在地上,他的肉身雖然逐日消減,他卻也越來越靠近我們的天父。我想到酒廠木桶裡那些揮發的「天使分享」,感覺:上帝好像也是這樣的逐日抽取阿公的身軀體能,然後又不斷更新精醇他的內在生命,直到祂至終召喚他歸回家。

「雖然我們外在的軀體漸漸衰敗,我們內在的生命卻日日更新。我們目前的苦難輕微而短暫,但它們帶給我們的榮耀卻是無法衡量並且永遠長存。我們不要只關注眼前所見的苦難,相反的,我們要注視那看不見的事物。因為我們看得見的很快就會消逝,我們看不見的卻是會永遠長存。」(哥林多後書 4:16-18,新普及譯本)

Angels’ Share

I had a chance to visit the Jack Daniels' Distillery a few years ago on a cold, snowy day. Upon arriving at the iconic working landmark in the middle of an - ironically - completely dry county, visitors are offered a rather comprehensive tour of the facility, from the limestone filtered waters from the nearby hills and mountains, all the way to the finished product aging in the barrel storage warehouse.

Along the way, there's a stop at the barrel-making building; a place where the warmth was very welcomed. No adhesives are used in the barrel-making process, but rather some rather tight steel hoops bring together the wooden staves on the outside while a scorching fire toasts the inside to the flavors desired. The barrel is still somewhat porous, but together enough to fill with liquid.

After a long process of fermentation and distillation, the product is poured into the barrels and allowed to age. It is during this aging process that the wood barrel absorbs some of the whiskey, while a good portion of really fine, aged whiskey will be lost to evaporation. The angels' share is the common name given to this portion of the whiskey that seemingly flies away.

My grandfather was admitted into hospice about a week ago. The thought of it is still new and relatively raw in my mind.

My parents were visiting me the weekend when the call came that my grandfather wasn't doing well, having receded into a coma-like state, which expedited my mother's trip to see him in Taiwan. I had just sent my grandfather a birthday card for his birthday.

Upon arriving and getting a handle of the situation, my mother sent pictures of my grandfather in his hospital ward, and eventually his hospice room.

It was a bit stunning to see the quick decline of a man who had lived a tremendous, accomplished life. It's always a bit stunning to see people literally shrivel up with old age; and all the more shocking when it's someone on a hospital bed getting ready to see the throne of God.

I think of how my grandfather went from this strong, steady figure in my life to someone barely there on a hospital bed with some sadness, but also some relief and peace. Sadness for the coming loss of life, the memories, and love of a great man. Relief for him no longer having to suffer in the ailments of old age. Peace in knowing that Christ has him and will usher him into the invisible heavenly realms.

There are so many memories and not enough time and space to share them all.

I think back to the moments when I was really young and he demanded that I learn how to walk without a hunch, with my head held up, shoulders squared, with the confidence of a man - we'd march around the house until I got it right.

The times while I was young when he would sneak out of the house with my brother and me to grab pizza, and then take the full wrath of grandma for such poor food choices.

I remember him throwing a Frisbee in the park with my brother and me when he was in his early 80's, even diving and rolling on one particularly poor throw (by my brother of course).

My grandfather was someone who could fix just about anything electrical, even if it meant a few sparks here and there.

This was a man who had stubbornly beaten back cancer just a year ago - unthinkable for someone at his age, a mini-miracle in it of itself.

He was someone I had a conversation with in person during a visit just last December... and of course, imparting his normal dose of wisdom with an heartfelt oft-reminder - "and workout a little bit more; you're a bit too fat for your age" ... a reminder of his ability to still do push-ups and pull-ups well into his 80's.

I'm pretty sure he's where I got my sarcasm from and I can't appreciate him enough for it (that being said coincidentally without said sarcasm).

As I see the recent pictures of my grandfather, I have to smile a little - knowing that even though his body is wasting away here on earth, he grows closer and closer each day to our Heavenly Father ... becoming more and more like the angels in heaven. I think back to the day that I toured the distillery and saw the barrels with the differing amounts of the angels' share having been whisked away.

In a sense, God is taking the angels' share of my grandfather a bit each day and in doing so, renewing my grandfather's soul a bit much closer to Himself each day until finally calling him home.

“Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. ”~2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT)

http://classic-blog.udn.com/jchen50/1130892[父親的愛]
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NAPA
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2016/12/18 08:43
摩西的禱告:「我們一生的年日是七十歲,若是強壯可到八十歲;但其中所矜誇的,不過是勞苦愁煩,轉眼成空,我們便如飛而去。」(詩篇90:10)強壯到八十歲卸了人生重擔,在主裡安睡等待復活,多麼有福。

PeterNJ(英國首相)
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2016/11/26 19:48
你兒子的分享好感人!
客旅貞吟(jchen50) 於 2016-12-10 11:22 回覆:
謝謝。兩個兒子和外公的感情都很親密。我爸爸是個說話幽默的人,這點,大兒子好像有真傳。

曉澄
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2016/11/22 05:51

在人間, 能享受與傳承父母的愛, 人生的價值已然充足

在此命運多舛之際

對天父的讚頌, 更完美妳的人生路

感謝真情的分享!

客旅貞吟(jchen50) 於 2016-12-10 11:25 回覆:

經歷生與死,覺悟,天父的創世計劃,不會因為人類的悖逆有所改變。讓我對於祂的主權有更深刻的敬畏和感謝。那些感受,很難仔細描繪。。。。


甜水窩蜂鳥
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2016/11/22 05:46

好真摯的分享!阿公天上讀了也會笑。


客旅貞吟(jchen50) 於 2016-12-10 11:28 回覆:
他和阿公搞笑的事情還很多。感謝神,因為兩個孩子年幼時,爸媽在暑假經常來美國,得以有許多相處時光。