Remembering My Mother With Bells

A song in memory of Mom.

My mother left us five years ago today, an anniversary that’s hitting me harder this year than it has the past couple. The five-year mark seems to be driving home the truth that she’s gone permanently. It’s one of those things you know in your mind, but don’t really know in your bones when the loss is fresh. Last night, I kept thinking, “I didn’t understand she was going to be dead for this long.”

When my mom took me for my first day of kindergarten, an eon ago, I was puzzled by the children in the class who were crying, distraught over their mothers leaving without them. I thought to myself, “Don’t they know they’re going to come back?”

Now I’m dropped off, the day has grown long, and I see she’s not returning for me. I’m on my own here. But she didn’t toss me upon the world with no provisions or comforts at all. She had a fascination with bells, and collected all sorts. I experience a lot of joy from this tangible item she left with me — a good part of her bell collection. I rang them all for her this morning.

“Ring the bells that still can ring.” — Leonard Cohen


8 thoughts on “Remembering My Mother With Bells

  1. Oh, Ida—this is beautiful. I just rang the Dames bell for your mom. February 7 it will be 10 years since my mom died, and “I didn’t understand she was going to be dead for this long” struck my heart. Sending you love, strength, comfort to add the stores you already have.

  2. What a wonderful tender tribute you have written. And your life honoring & memory affirming practice of ringing her bells for your own joy & marking of her loss is such a wise gift to yourself & to her. May her memory ever grant you increasing love & strength & warmth & joy.

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