The Bicycle Bell
March 21, 2007

Supposedly I'm good with words. People tell me that all the time. (Well, maybe not ALL the time, but a lot of the time they do ... particularly when they don't wanna write something and they think they can pawn it off on me.) I've had this ... well, gift, I guess ... since I was a little bitty kid. In fact, at the age of four, my mother was shopping around in Carmel, Indiana, where we'd just moved, looking for the best nursery school for me. I'd been pestering her with "When do I start school" for about a year, I suppose ... and since my birthday is in the beginning of November, I was going to have to wait another year to begin kindergarten. Anyway, while she and the lead teacher wandered off to look at the facilities and programs and chat with the teachers, I slipped away at some point. Sat down at the edge of the little stage. And began telling a story.

I've no idea what that story was, now. As Chris told Gordie, stories just came out of me like bubbles in soda pop at that time. But apparently by the time mom and the lead teacher found me, I'd gathered a crowd of kids around the stage, all listening raptly.

In fact, I was hired as a copy writer for my current job, but to be honest, that word-smithing is the least favourite part of my current position now.

And in moments like this ...
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... words fail me even more.

I avoided church like the plague for a good 10-15 years or more. I was a burned-out and disillusioned church-goer, tired of the hypocrisy and political in-fighting. And then I discovered Southside, a truly unique place, in my ever-so-humble opinion.

One of the people that I met there was Mary Lee ... though to hear it spoken, you'd swear it was Merrilee, all run together. Maybe it was because we were both Texans. Maybe because we're bother ornery as all hell. But I really got along with Mary Lee. Sweet, opinionated, wonderful lady.

When she broke her foot last year (I think it was last year), she had to use a walker for a while, and OH MY how she hated it. After some time, her husband got her a nicer one, one with a seat that she could rest on if she needed to ... and a basket for storing things. She complained about it, dammit, she wanted to be independent again. And she hated the space the thing took up. She joked about needing a horn to toot-toot people outa her way. Cuz Mary Lee was always on a mission.

Not long after that, I was in Toys R Us ... cuz I'm often there ... and I remembered to go to the bike equipment and picked up a nice little bicycle bell with kitty-cat paws on it. I was excited the next Sunday to give it to her. Oh my, did she laugh, an infectious and honest Texas belly laugh. Oh, ornery and fiesty, she was already planning on how to wreak havoc with that bell.

Every week at church when she'd see me, she'd ring that little bell and just giggle. Never failed to make us both laugh. She'd ring it and holler OUTA MY WAY as she made her way out of the sanctuary and into the narthex after service. And giggle again.

The tubing of the walker, however, was more slender than that of a bike handlebar, and before long, the bell would slip part-way down the walker and out of reach. She'd fuss, she'd make the kids and grandkids fix it, but eventually ... it would slip away again.

Much like she slipped away this morning.

The only words I know now are cliches, dull and hollow thunks, not the clear, ringing tone of her bell.

Just the sound of her bell.

Posted by Red Monkey at March 21, 2007 2:40 PM | Struggles | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


xyza said:

Example of you being good with words; "snicker".

And I read the rest of the post as well, only the first part made me think of chocolate *chuckle

March 21, 2007 5:18 PM


Red said:


March 21, 2007 5:36 PM


Erin said:

Your words are beautiful. I'm very sorry for your loss.

March 22, 2007 9:35 AM


Smash said:

Take care of yourself endy. When all one can think of to say sounds like a cliche its best not to, right? *big hugz* Smashyxxx

March 22, 2007 7:27 PM


shannon said:


March 28, 2007 6:03 AM


MsDemmie said:

I am so sorry for your loss.

March 28, 2007 11:53 AM
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