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风雨中飘摇的大树(十四)

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 【六月廿九日,是母亲的忌日。预著此文,献给悲惨一生的母亲,愿其在天之灵安息】
  
  河南的夏天,太阳把大地烤得热烘烘的,人间像是一个大蒸笼。所有的树木都懒洋洋地站在那里,似乎提示人们:别乱动,一动就出汗。东北在这个时候,不冷不热,玉米兴许才三尺那么高。
  老人们说,今年天气好,小麦成熟的早。芒种前后,麦田逐渐变成了金黄色,粗壮的桔杆上挑着蓬乍乍的穗头,好像急着让人们来收割。常言道:紧趁的庄稼,消停的买卖。尤其是夏收,农民更是不分昼夜地忙。天气热燥,小麦成熟就在一天两天,一旦错过时机,麦籽就会散落。其次,如果没有及时收割,一场大雨就会导致麦籽生芽。麦子生了芽,磨出来的面粉则发黑发粘,酷似荞麦面,那就不好吃了。
  抢收小麦,劳力工作量大,中午饭要吃点顶事的,比如烙油馍、捞面条、蒸馒头。这些饭,平时可是吃不到嘴里的。快到中午,家家户户的妇女们都忙着做饭。母亲要强,看着别人家女人都忙着做饭,自己也于心不忍。这天,我下学后,母亲正在和面,她说父亲出力大,今天烙饼馍。让我找来三块砖头,摆成三角形,把鏊子支在上面,下面填入麦秸,把鏊子烧热。放在鏊子上烙熟的饼,叫饼馍,吃到嘴里还挺劲道。
  农忙十几天,母亲只完整的做了一顿饭。我一下学,就慌忙跑回家,赶忙按照母亲的指导,做一些我能做的事,等着父亲下工再做饭。因为东北与河南的饮食方式不同,做法也完全不同。刚到河南一个多月,我还没有学会擀面条、烙油馍。
  母亲病情越来越重,已经完全不能下床。奶奶和父亲商议,说不定哪天就断气了,赶紧去外爷家坐坐。

  玉米苗刚出地面的时候,农忙暂且告一段落。那天,父亲带着我和弟弟去看望外爷。
  外爷名叫李明树,老家在南山脚下的袁寨村。外婆体弱多病,生育大舅和母亲兄妹二人。母亲五六岁时,外婆就撒手人寰。数年之后,外爷续娶,又育两子两女。
  1968年,中苏关系恶化,大国战争一触即发。为了国家安全,林彪在鲁山的南山脚下征用大片土地,修建号称亚洲第一的军用飞机场。外爷成分不好,被迁往张官营乡大吴营村,距离袁寨村六十余里。那里丘陵起伏,乱石散布,土地贫瘠。在这个没落的家庭里,不幸接踵而来。六年前,继娶外婆也含笑九泉。
  在大吴营的最北边,有一所孤零零的民宅,土墙草房,南北朝向,没有院墙,四面透风,看得出来,外爷家十分贫寒。
  外爷听说是我们,激动得老泪纵横:“咦,是伟呀?”颤抖着双手,摸摸头,摸摸脸,又摸摸脖子。人情冷暖,世态炎凉,我是在苦难中长大的孩子,从出生到现在,没有叫过一声外爷。这种亲,我不知道有多深,有多厚。
  外爷一生三子三女。当下,外爷和三舅跟随二舅一家生活。大舅有本事,大妗子精明,他们家条件不错,单独住在北边的玉皇店,距离这里不到二里地。二舅端正淳朴,二妗子心地善良,虽然日子清贫,但夫妻俩相敬如宾,和和睦睦。三舅憨实本分,只知道干活,平时也不怎么多说话,20多岁了,还没有一位姑娘愿意嫁给他。二姨远嫁南山的一个农民家庭。三姨是一个既开朗又倔强的姑娘,由于恋爱遭到外爷的干涉,19岁那年服毒自尽。小姨死后,外爷悔恨交加,悲痛不已,整日伤心落泪,一双眼睛染上了眼睑缘炎。限于家庭条件,没有得到有效的治疗,最后双目失明。
  二妗子身材高爽,衣着简朴,强壮得像个汉子,一双大脚足以诠释一个勤劳朴实的农村女人。抬头看见我们进屋,慌忙扔掉手中的活计,满脸笑容,又是让座又是倒茶,忙里忙外,微笑始终挂在脸上,让我深切地感受到了亲人的温暖。外爷一家人并没有因为母亲的病而责怪父亲。

  二舅虽然与母亲是同父异母的兄妹,但二舅和妗子善良朴实,通情达理。他们体会到我们一家刚从东北回来,必定缺这少那。十多天后的一个早晨,二舅骑自行车走了七十多里,给我们送来一口大锅,一袋子粮食。
  同父异母的弟弟来看望自己,母亲的脸上露出一丝温馨的笑容。
  二舅望着母亲那干瘦的面颊,惊讶地说:“姐,姐,你咋病成这样了?!”兄妹久别又重逢,目睹此景更伤情。
  “海涛(二舅),姐寻思着今生今世都见不到你们了。”二舅的到来,母亲并不是显得很激动。其实,在母亲的内心深处,她认为她与大舅是亲兄妹,感情最亲最近。二舅并不是她最渴望见到的亲人。然而,她认为最亲最近的人,并没有第一时间来看她。
  “姐,你说的是啥话?现在回来了,咱慢慢治。”
  “都是我的命不好。当闺女时,昏死到磨道里,要不是咱爸知道的及时,早就没命了。”曾听母亲讲过,母亲16岁时,继母来到家中,连续又生了两个弟弟和两个妹妹,家庭负担就大了起来,为了操持家务,只有告别学堂。有一天,母亲又在推磨,突然晕死过去。
  “姐,别想那古辈子的事了。我才不信命哩,有病就看。”
  “海涛,姐不行了,看也没有用。肺结核治不好。”这一年以来,母亲把死亡看得很平淡。
  二舅坐在床边,劝慰母亲:“姐,你不要胡思乱想了。县医院条件好,还是去住院治疗吧。”
  父亲提一桶水走进屋里,接过话说:“初四那天我去医院了。医生说,下一星期才能腾出床位。”
  “住院白花钱,病也难治好。”母亲的脸色很难看。
  二舅擦去眼泪:“姐,你别多想,只管住院治疗,没钱我们都想办法。”母亲有些感动,呜呜地哭起来。

  不知又过了多少天,大舅的身影出现在我们家门前。母亲看见自己朝思暮想的亲哥,泪如泉涌,失声痛哭:“哥呀,你咋才来啊?”大舅安慰母亲几句,扔下20元钱,推说自己还有事,就急匆匆地走了。
  母亲看着大舅离去的背影,一种失落的感觉骤然涌上心头。十二年来,无时无刻的思念,如今亲眼见到了哥哥,可是,哥哥连十句话都没有对自己说。母亲绝望了,也淡定了,她闭上眼睛,静静的躺着。此时此刻,谁也不知道她在想什么。从她眼角涌出的泪水,知道母亲是多么的伤心!

  五月中旬,母亲住进了县医院的传染科。
  一个月过去了,母亲的病情也没有好转的迹象,在东北卖房的六百元钱也花光了。医生指着X光片告诉父亲,母亲已经到了肺结核的后期,只有回家慢慢静养。李俊(表嫂)也说:“咱的条件也不宽裕,再住下去,真的没有意义。”眼看着母亲越来越重,现在就出院,父亲于心不忍。母亲知道自己的病情,拒绝治疗,要求出院。
  病友也来劝父母:“如果回去静养,有个偏方,不妨你试试。俺邻居也是肺结核,好几年啦。他用马齿菜煮鸡蛋,治好了。”父母知道,那只是一种巧合。
  不知道这个病友患的是什么病,也住在传染区。只知道她的丈夫姓张,家住河南楼张村。住院期间,如果父亲不在,她们没少照顾母亲。母亲去世后,她成了弟弟的干妈。这是后话。
  在医院,又住了一个星期,母亲被抬回了家。
 

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  公历1977年7月15日,农历五月二十九日。一大早,父亲像往常一样,习惯地走近母亲的床边,轻轻喊两声,母亲没有像以往一样微微睁开眼睛,表情很坦然,像是在甜甜的熟睡。父亲有些紧张,又喊两声,依然没有动静。把手伸到母亲的鼻子前,母亲已经咽气了。母亲走的时候没有一个人守护在她的跟前,走的是那样孤单,那样平淡。从母亲那安详的表情里,说明母亲没有一点怨言,深知自己早就成了一个多余的人,不能再继续拖累这个艰难不堪的家庭。从此,母亲摆脱了病魔对她心灵的吞噬和肉体的折磨。
  我嘶哑的哭喊声惊动了伯父,惊动了四邻。表哥们闻讯赶到,拉起来悲痛万分的父亲。
  哭声和叫声交织在整个院落中。在伯父和姑父的安排下,奶奶从箱底取出早已预备好的寿衣,给母亲梳妆换衣。
  那年,我十二岁,弟弟五岁。母亲生前没有女儿,只有姐姐为母亲梳头洗脸。大姐(伯父家的大女儿)小心翼翼地为母亲梳理那凌乱的长发,让她远离烦恼;二姐(伯父家的二女儿)端来一盆清水,我为母亲轻轻洗去阳间的所有伤痛。
  大来哥(二表哥)和小来哥(三表哥)眼中含着泪,给母亲更换寿衣。我扶住母亲的胳膊,哭泣着呼唤母亲:“妈,不要怕,给你换新衣服哩。”母亲惨白的躯体如同一捆僵硬的树枝,惨不忍睹。此时此刻,母亲的灵魂似乎就在屋内漂荡,不肯离去。她不愿意为难我和父亲,在众人的喊声下,母亲的关节逐渐伸曲灵活,任凭人们的摆布。母亲的灵魂在哭泣,她舍不得撇下我和弟弟;母亲的灵魂在徘徊,她还没有看到亲哥哥的到来。
  说来也巧,就在这一天,大伯去鲁山县城办事,在城门口恰巧碰见大舅,征求大舅的意见。大舅淡淡地说:“那就处理后事吧。今天我还有事,也去不成。”不知道母亲的灵魂是否能够听到她亲哥的这番话。假如能够听到,肯定要放声痛哭。我只能告慰母亲:不哭,因为你还有两个儿子!
  报丧的人飞速前往外爷家,二舅闻讯,匆匆来到我家,痛不欲生。
  母亲换上深蓝的寿衣,被众人抬到铺满麦秸的地铺上。头前放一张方桌,上面点一盏油灯,用灯光照亮母亲进入天堂的道路。上面又摆了一只整鸡,赠给阎王,帮母亲开脱阳间的罪与过。
  我头围一尺白孝,腰束一条麻匹,眼泪模糊,跪卧在母亲身旁,为母亲守孝,等待她的亲人们赶来,再看她最后一眼。
  家中四壁空空,没有木材,父亲东挪西凑,给母亲做一口薄棺。有人说:在另一个世界里,白色的棺木是草房,油漆的棺木是瓦房。母亲临死也没有住上瓦房。其实,只要一桶油漆,母亲就能住上瓦房。
  风水先生把母亲的墓址选在大队的炸药厂旁边。那里绿树成荫,砂质疏松,清澈的小河,潺潺的水声,向东南缓缓流去。母亲就长眠在小河的东岸。母亲过早地走了,她走的时候还不足40岁。

  为了纪念母亲,尽最后一点孝心,前三天按照当地的习俗,姐姐和二哥陪伴我到母亲的坟前送汤送水,是他们充实了我那颗空虚而又胆怯的心,我深深地体会到了血脉相通的亲情。在随后的日子里,两个姐姐忙于生计,没有机会再陪我去母亲的坟前。我只有祈望二哥能为我壮胆。但是,伯父以打铁为生,二哥下学就得抡起大锤,拼命干活。父亲肝肠寸断,可怜我年幼无知,亲自领着我,到母亲坟前祭奠。
  我的眼睛哭坏了。

 

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