Many of you of who have read my book, In a Mirror Dimly have favorite story lines from the book. One of those most often mentioned is The Bell. Some context: In 1995 I was found to have a large mass one of my kidneys. The biopsy proved that it was a primary cancer. The cancerous kidney was removed and I recovered well, aided surely by Sally’s attentive care. After I was released from the hospital, the story of the bell took place. Have I mentioned that I am a blessed man??
Now I will openly admit that I don’t do pain well … and that Sally was about as stoic as anyone. So after discharge from the hospital she brought into our bedroom a bell so that she could hear me when I needed her.
I really don’t think that I “over-used” that bell; however, I had been home only about 3 hours when she took my bell away from me! It was not that I rang it too often. It was, according to her, that I rang it “too aggressively.”
In the years since then I have looked high and low for that bell, but I never saw it again. When my children came to help me clean out the house after her death, I asked them to look for it. Never found.
The bell is gone. I suspect that she got rid of it that same day she took it from me. She called it “tough love!”
I suspect that now, as an aging parent I can sometimes be “too needy” for attention from my children and grandchildren. I also suspect that one day one of them will mention “taking away my bell.”