Night after night, she came to tuck me in, even long after my childhood years. Following her longstanding custom, she 8217;d lean down and push my long hair out of the way, then kiss my forehead.
I don 8217;t remember when it first started annoying me — her hands pushing my hair that way. But it did annoy me, for they felt work-worn and rough against my young skin. Finally, one night, I shouted out at her, 8220;Don 8217;t do that anymore —your hands are too rough! 8221; She didn 8217;t say anything in reply. But never again did my mother close out my day with that familiar expression of her love.
Time after time, with the passing years, my thoughts returned to that night. By then I missed my mother 8217;s hands, missed her goodnight kiss on my forehead. Sometimes the incident seemed very close, sometimes far away. But always it lurked, in the back of my mind.
Well, the years have passed, and I 8217;m not a little girl anymore. Mom is in her mid-seventies, and those hands I once thought to be so rough are still doing things for me and my family. She 8217;s been our doctor, reaching into a medicine cabinet for the remedy to calm a young girl 8217;s stomach or soothe the boy 8217;s scraped knee. She cooks the best fried chicken in the world 8230; gets stains out of blue jeans like I never could 8230;
Now, my own children are grown and gone. Mom no longer has Dad, and on special occasions, I find myself drawn next door to spend the night with her. So it was late on Thanksgiving Eve, as I slept in the bedroom of my youth, a familiar hand hesitantly run across my face to brush the hair from my forehead. Then a kiss, ever so gently, touched my brow.
In my memory, for the thousandth time, I recalled the night my young voice complained, 8220;Don 8217;t do that anymore — your hands are too rough! 8221; Catching Mom 8217;s hand in hand, I blurted out how sorry I was for that night. I thought she 8217;d remember, as I did. But Mom didn 8217;t know what I was talking about. She had forgotten — and forgiven — long ago.
That night, I fell asleep with a new appreciation for my gentle mother and her caring hands. And the guilt that I had carried around for so long was nowhere to be found.
若干年后，我成熟了，已不再是个小女孩了。母亲也已到了古稀之年，可她却始终没有停止过操劳，用她那双曾经被我视为“粗糙”的手为我和我的家庭做着力所能及的事情。她是我们的家庭医生，小姑娘胃痛时，她会从药箱里找出胃药来，小男孩擦伤的膝盖时，她会去安抚他的伤痛。她能做出世界上最好吃的炸鸡，能把蓝色牛仔裤上的污渍去得毫无痕迹 8230; 8230;
在我的记忆里，曾几千次再现那晚的情景和我那稚嫩的抱怨声：“你不要再这样了，你的手好粗糙！”我一把抓住母亲的手，一股脑说出我对那一晚深深的愧疚。我想，她一定和我一样，对那晚的事历历在目。然而，母亲却不知我再说些什么 8212; 8211;她早忘了，早已原谅我了。