the hardest thingthe day my fiancé fell to his death, it started to snow, just like any november day, just like the bottom hadn't fallen out of my world when he freefell off the roof. his body, when i found it, was lightly covered with snow. it snowed almost every day for the next four months, while i sat on the couch and watched it pile up. one morning, i shuffled downstairs and was startled to see a snowplow(雪犁，扫雪机) clearing my driveway and the bent back of a woman shoveling(铲) my walk. i dropped to my knees, crawled through the living room, and back upstairs so those good samaritans would not see me. i was mortified(窘迫的) . my first thought was, how would i ever repay them? i didn't have the strength to brush my hair let alone shovel someone's walk.
before jon's death, i took pride in the fact that i rarely asked for help or favors. i defined myself by my competence and independence. so who was i if i was no longer capable and busy? how could i respect myself if all i did was sit on the couch everyday and watch the snow fall?
learning how to receive the love and support that came my way wasn't easy. friends cooked for me and i cried because i couldn't even help them set the table. "i'm not usually this lazy," i wailed. finally, my friend kathy sat down with me and said, "mary, cooking for you is not a chore. i love you and i want to do it. it makes me feel good to be able to do something for you."
over and over, i heard similar sentiments(感情，情绪) from the people who supported me during those dark days. one very wise man told me, "you are not doing nothing. being fully open to your grief may be the hardest work you will ever do."
i am not the person i once was, but in many ways i have changed for the better. the fabric of my life is now woven with gratitude(感谢的心情) and humility. i have been surprised to learn that there is incredible freedom that comes from facing one's worst fear and walking away whole. i believe there is strength in surrender.
letter from e.b. white this is the letter that mr. white wrote before his death about his three books for children:
i receive many letters from children and can't answer them all -- there wouldn't be time enough in a day. that is why i am sending you this printed reply to your letter. i'll try to answer some of the questions that are commonly asked.
where did i get the idea for stuart little (精灵鼠小弟) and for charlotte's web (夏洛特的网)? well, many years ago i went to bed one night in a railway sleeping car, and during the night i dreamed about a tiny boy who acted rather like a mouse. that's how the story of stuart little got started.
as for charlotte's web, i like animals and my barn is a very pleasant place to be, at all hours. one day when i was on my way to feed the pig, i began feeling sorry for the pig because, like most pigs, he was doomed to die. this made me sad. so i started thinking of ways to save a pig's life. i had been watching a big grey spider at her work and was impressed by how clever she was at weaving. gradually i worked the spider into the story that you know, a story of friendship and salvation on a farm. three years after i started writing it, it was published.
sometimes i'm asked how old i was when i started to write, and what made me want to write. i started early -- as soon as i could spell. in fact, i can't remember any time in my life when i wasn't busy writing. i don't know what caused me to do it, or why i enjoyed it, but i think children often find pleasure and satisfaction is trying to set their thoughts down on paper, either in words or in pictures. i was no good at drawing, so i used words instead. as i grew older, i found that writing can be a way of earning a living.
some of my readers want me to visit their school. some want me to send a picture, or an autograph, or a book. and some ask questions about my family and my animals and my pets. much as i'd like to, i can't go visiting. i can't send books, either -- you can find them in a bookstore or a library. many children assume that a writer owns his own books. this is not true -- books are made by the publisher. if a writer wants a copy, he must buy it. that's why i can't send books. and i do not send autographs -- i leave that to the movie stars. i live most of the year in the country, in new england. from our windows we can look out at the sea and the mountains. i live near my married son and three grandchildren.
are my stories true, you ask? no, they are imaginary tales, containing fantastic characters and events. in real life, a family doesn't have a child who looks like a mouse; in real life, a spider doesn't spin words in her web. in real life, a swan doesn't blow a trumpet. but real life is only one kind of life -- there is also the life of the imagination. and although my stories are imaginary, i like to think that there is some truth in them, too -- truth about the way people and animals feel and think and act.
never give up hope永远别放弃希望life doesn't always give us the joys we want.
we don't always get our hopes and dreams, and we don't always get our own way.
but don't give up hope, because you can make a difference, one situation and one person at a time.
look for the beauty around you, in nature, in others, in yourself, and believe in the love of friends, family, and humankind.
you can find love in a smile or a helping hand, in a thoughtful gesture or a kind word. it is all around, if you just look for it.
give love, for in giving it you will find the power in life along with the joy, happiness, patience, and understanding.
believe in the goodness of others and remember that anger and depression can be countered by love and hope.
even when you feel as though there isn't a lot you can do to change unhappiness or problems, you can always do a little-and a little at a time eventually makes a big difference.