Sometimes I swear I can still hear that sound. If she knew we were coming, she would be ringing it when we arrived. A signal to all that we had made it. Always it was ringing when we were leaving. A signal as a safe trip home, a good bye and see you soon.
Metal. Small. Black. Loud. The bell on the front porch. For as long as I can remember that bell was a part of Grandma Betty’s cottage. A part of Grandma Betty actually. It spoke for her. And it wasn’t only rung for our sake. Grandma Betty would ring that bell for everyone who spent time at the “cottage in the woods.” Honestly, it signaled her love. She didn’t say it very often (even though you felt it and knew it) so this was her way to let you know. Grandma Betty had a way of letting you know you were important to her, and this was one of those ways. I didn’t realize how significant it was to me until the bell fell silent. I didn’t realize the magnitude of what it meant to me until she was gone.
Sometimes it scares me how much I miss these small things. I feel like the small things that don’t happen anymore hurt the most. The things that happened that didn’t mean much when they were happening, and how I took them for granted back then. There are so many things I can’t remember, and I am so mad at myself that I didn’t care about them back then. The bell, the bird feeder. How could I have been so stupid to think that they would always happen?
I guess I’m just going to have to settle for the memories. Hopefully in the future, I can mean as much to someone as my Grandma Betty meant to me. Hopefully, someone else will care about the small things.
*Authors Note: I had a very hard time writing this piece, I stopped and came back to it many times. I am not sure I am 100% satisfied with how I described the importance of this item or why it was such a big deal.