Bells—the different types of bells and associations we make with their tolling are probably as numerous as the number of people on the planet. There’s the light, yet insistent tinkle of the come-hither-and-pour-me-a-cup-of-tea-this-instant ding—the monotonous, yet crisp clank-of-a-clapper-striking-thick-brass-accompanied-by-the-droning-fog-horn dong—the musical, multi-toned, many-belled European get-your-sorry-lazy-butt-out-of-bed-and-go-to-church clang, that also peals to celebrate a marriage, a birth and sometimes, even a death.
Some bells are famous. The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American independence, representing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Japanese Peace Bell, a gift to the United Nations, is tolled on the first day of spring sounding the message of the preciousness of peace. Then there’s the direct and overpowering southern belle, Scarlett O’Hara. Oops! Wrong kind of bell.
Bells are rung to call our attention to things—like dinner, classes, and waiting customers. Start bells ring at races, closing bells at stock exchanges. They jingle us all the way to having fun on open sleigh rides and jangle our favorite tunes at talent shows.
Bells are kind of like Jello too—there’s always room for Jello. There’s always room for bells – especially for this one, donated by Susan Fleming to her treatment center to celebrate the end of her dance with Breast Cancer.
As of today, November 29, 2013, every patient having reached the end of their treatments will be invited to ring this bell in celebration of the milestone they have achieved—a tribute to their spirit, their endurance, and courage. I can only imagine the joy the actual ringing of this bell will give to each survivor from this day forward. I can only imagine the bravery that the sound of that chime will inspire in another, giving them the strength to carry on to the day when it will be their turn. I can only imagine…
Yet Susan…she knows firsthand. Susan has always been an inspiration, which her selfless gift further proves. Her bravery, good humor, positivity, and generosity are what makes me so very thankful that she is a part of my world.