Thursday, July 7, 2011


            The small silver service bell sits right next to my mother’s bed, allowing her to shift in the night to strike it with ease. Right next to the bell stands the baby monitor. It transports the metallic “ping” into our bedroom. “Ping” resonates through our house during the midnight hour. “Ping” sounds along with the doves right as dawn breaks. “Ping” nags us into movement at half hour intervals before the alarm ever rings. “Ping” demands immediate attention day or night.
            Some days, I toy with the idea of removing the small bell from its stand. I picture it escaping from its perch, tumbling to the floor, and hiding among the bed ruffles. Other days, I visualize myself, hammer in hand, and a wicked grimace on my face as I pulverize, with utter satisfaction, the small bell because I can no longer bear to hear the insistent “ping, ping, ping, ping!” On days like today, when I’m rested and Mom’s content, I recognize the importance of the “ping” for it represents her continued ability to communicate her needs. As much as the demanding little bell sometimes irritates me, I know its silence will come with great sadness.  

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

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