当坛子装满的时候， 我们就会把硬币存到银行去。 每次当爸爸把装满硬币的盒子顺着柜台递给银行职员的时候， 他总是骄傲的咧嘴笑着：“这是给我儿子上大学准备的基金。 他永远都不用像我这样一辈子在这个工厂里工作。 ”
许多年过去了， 我大学毕业找了一份工作。 一次， 我回家看望父母， 我发现父母卧室里的那个坛子不见了。 我盯着梳妆台旁曾经放坛子的地方， 喉咙一阵哽咽。 爸爸不善言语， 从来不会给我讲决心， 毅力和信仰这些大道理。 咸菜坛子教会了我所有的美德， 它比那些华丽的辞藻更有说服力。
结婚的时候， 我把那只卑微的咸菜坛子在我生命中所起的重要作用讲给了我的妻子。 在我心里， 它比任何东西都更能表达我父亲对我的爱。 无论家里过的多么艰难， 爸爸总是坚持把他的硬币投进坛子里。
我们和父母一起度过了我的女儿杰西卡出生后的第一个圣诞节。 晚饭过后， 苏珊把孩子抱进父母的卧室换尿布。 当苏珊再次回到起居室的时候， 她的眼睛里面闪着奇怪的泪珠。 她拉着我的手来到了父母的卧室。
“看， ”她轻声说， 顺着她的眼神， 我向梳妆台边望去。 让我惊讶的是， 就在那儿， 放着那口旧咸菜坛子， 就像从来没被拿走一样， 坛子底部已经放慢了硬币。 我走近坛子， 从衣兜里掏出一大把硬币来。
强烈的感情让我哽咽地说不出话， 我把硬币扔进了坛子。 我抬头看见了抱着杰西卡的爸爸， 我们目光相对， 我知道他此刻和我有着同样的感受。
附原文： The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.
When the jar was filled, we would take the coins to the bank. Each and every time, as he slid the box of coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly. “These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his life like me.”
The years passed, and I finished college and took a job. Once, while visiting my parents, I noticed that the pickle jar in my parents’ bedroom was gone. A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done.
When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me. No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar.
The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Susan carried the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes. She took my hand and leading me into the room.
”Look,” she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins.
With the strong emotion choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw Dad who is carrying Jessica. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt.
Neither one of us could speak.