With the Christmas Season upon us, I often think of bells. Jingle bells, sleigh bells….
What do bells symbolize at Christmas? They are rung during Christmas to announce the arrival of the season, to proclaim the birth of Christ. Ringing of bells can be traced back to pagan winter celebrations. During those times, noisemakers were used to scare away evil spirits in the night. But for me, it symbolizes Hope.
I took the below story from a post I had written quite a while ago from my blog, Jillian’s Journey with Melanoma, A Mothers Story. I’ll never forget that day and the feelings of determination and Hope it inspired. I hope you enjoy the read again.
A long ago memory has been playing in my head all week.I had taken the kids to a local sports store, where they featured a climbing wall. Josh must have been twelve, Jillian around nine. They both scaled it, Josh ringing the bell at the very top. What an accomplishment! Jillian didn’t make it to the top, but I was so proud of that little monkey for trying.
Then it was my turn. I got about half way up before I was ready to quit. My arms were tired, I was ready to be done with this. Until I heard this little voice below me, “Come on mom, you can do it. Keep going”. Immediately Josh joined in the encouragement, “Come on, mom”!
Nope, I tried, I couldn’t do it, and I started to climb down. Jenni was very young, sitting below with her siblings and I wanted to get back to her. The little voice, Jillian’s voice, got louder. “Mom, remember you always told us NEVER to give up. You can’t give up. It’s what you said mom, never give up”.
I looked down below to where my kids were cheering me on. By then a crowd had gathered, all watching, big grins on their faces. I’m not sure if they were cheering me on too, or if they just found the humor in the predicament I’d found myself in.
I had a choice to make. Oooookay. I began to climb toward that bell with all my might. My arms were straining, my heart was hammering, and my feet kept slipping, but I was determined now. Slowly, I made forward progress, little by little. I had to reach that bell. And I did. I rang that stupid bell as cheers and applause greeted me from below. It was a great moment for me. I could have cared less whether I was physically able to climb that wall or not. It was the rare moment you get as a parent when you feel that one of the lesson’s you tried to teach your children really does show value. Simple. You don’t give up.
Change is inevitable in our lives. And some of those changes aren’t always welcome. Loved ones are diagnosed with cancer. Relationships are broken, new tumors are discovered, and loved ones are called Home. We can sit on the sidelines and ask, “Why did this happen? Why me”? Or we can slowly make progress forward, even if our feet slip, toward that big shiny bell, sparkling with promise.
My wish for you all is that you hear joyful sounds of the Bell. That you find Hope, Peace and Love during this Holiday Season.