憶。中秋節

每達佳節倍思親。若在節日時出機,謹記別看朋友Facebook 的更新。中秋節 ─ 什麼BBQ 慶祝夜、半島月餅一家當飯食、今晚香江月亮圓等等。愈看愈寂寞。

而和我過節的是一程坐無虛席的美國機。特別記得那班機上有個十歲、獨自上機的ABC 男孩。當然我們也得格外照料獨自旅行的小孩。我問他為何獨自飛往美國,他平靜輕鬆地說了句:「我要到婆婆的喪禮」。聽上來沒帶一點的傷感。

在那漫長的機途上我特別留意男孩的一舉一動。記得我給他果汁時他的笑臉,看電影時傻氣的樣子,玩NDS 後抱頭大睡。。。不要誤會,這不是一個關於變態戀童男空少謀殺肢解小男孩的故事。我也沒有下機後绑架販賣他做奴隸。

然後我的多事症和強逼症忍不住發作了。因為彷彿對他過份輕鬆的心情感到不爽。我想讓要他明白這次長途跋涉,花十多個小時飛往美國的意義。於是我把一個飛機模型和同事送我的月餅裹成一份小禮物,再在卡上給他寫了一些話:

親愛的Mathew,

很高興認識你。中秋節快樂啊!

我的外婆在我八歲時便離開了我。我在前往她喪禮途中赫然明白到她再不會回到我身邊,我再也沒有機會叫一聲外婆,再也沒有......然後我才懂得哭起來。

現在我已24 歲,而我所有的祖父母都離開了。但重要的是,他們永遠住在我們心中呢。更重要的,是要珍惜仍然在身邊的人。我們中國人的中秋節,就是個關於團圓,關於愛的日子吧?保重。好好照顧你的家人。你已是個大男孩了!

不知道他明白這些廢話多少。但希望這好管閒事的大哥哥能令他領悟多一點這旅程的真諦。這亦令我想起最近曾提議給家中買台新電視。媽媽看著那台又舊又殘的電視說:「你外公離開時,除了那台電視機,就沒有留下什麼了。

我們就等它完全壞掉,才添置台新的吧。放心,兒子,到時我會買台很貴的。」
那一刻我才明白,有時候,那些在他人眼中無謂的堅持,其實是因為一個字 — 愛 。

〔如欲閱讀更原汁原味的文章,請按下頁觀看英文版本〕

Rule number One for every single festival that you can’t celebrate in Hong Kong: Never ever read your friends’ updates on Facebook. Mid-Autumn Festival was all about extraordinarily-expensive-mooncakes-shared-happily-under-thebright-moon-at-the-park type of updates. I barely even had time to look at the full moon on a full flight. When I finally did, though so close and so perfect up in the air, it felt a lot lonelier to stare at it. Alone.

Boarding started. One handsome 10-year-old American-born-Chinese little boy boarded, as a priority passenger, to whom we should pay extra attention. I wondered why he was on his way to America alone. “I’m attending my grandma’s funeral,” he answered absentmindedly, his eyes averted to the TV screen before him.

A sudden upsurge of sadness seized me. “I’m so sorry...” my voice turned into a whisper. “It’s ok,” he replied with a smile, as if reassuring me.

During the 12-hour flight, I observed him closely. He brightened when I gave him a cup of orange juice, frowned as he was watching a movie, and fell quietly asleep after playing with his NDS. Just so you know, it’s not a story about a
creepy male flight attendant with paedophilia. It didn’t end up me kidnapping and selling his organs either.

However bizarre it seemed, I might have felt a lot more relieved if there had appeared a fleeting moment of unhappiness on his face. Disturbed. I decided he should understand the meaning of this long journey. I wrapped an aeroplane model and a mooncake a thoughtful colleague had given me (I hope she will never read this) as a small gift, and wrote him a card.

Dear Mathew,
It’s so great to have you on board! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Um... I lost my grandma when I was eight. Not until I got onto the bus on my way to her funeral did I realise that she had left me, forever. And I started crying my eyes out.

I’m twenty four now and all my grandparents have passed away. I suppose what it matters is they will always live in our hearts. What does even more so is that we have learnt to treasure those still around us. Whenever you see the full moon, please do remember it means reunion, with your family and friends.

Take good care of yourself and your family. You are a big boy now! : )
Love

Maybe I deep down I had never forgiven myself for not being a responsible enough grandson. Or I just wanted to convince myself I was making the world a better loving place, before we grew old utterly bereft of family and friends.

Then I remembered having recently suggested buying my family a new TV set. My Mom answered looking at the slightly blurry old TV screen, “this TV was one of the few things your grandpa left behind. Let’s wait until it’s completely broken. I will get a very expensive one later. Don’t you worry, my son”.

At that very moment I came to realise that sometimes we hold onto things worthless in others’ eyes, because of a simple word – love.