Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Blessing of a Bell

I've always loved traditions and I started a new one the year after my sweet mother died. Although I treasure this tradition, it is very difficult for me talk
about because it's very personal and means so much to me.

The Christmas before my mother died,
I bought her a sterling silver bell necklace.

I found these bell necklaces at a cute little gift store here in my town.

They are created by the Jewelery John Company and are absolutely beautiful with incredible details. There are over 40 bells in the collection and
each one has a different, distinctive, and beautiful ring.

Each bell comes with a card that explains the details on the bell and is just about as important as the bell when giving one as a gift. When I saw these bells, I knew my mother would love them. I purchased one of the first bell necklaces- the Nestled Hearts Bell- which is shaped like a Hershey's kiss.

The card that comes with this bell says:

Let this love bell gently ring to remind you just how much you are
thought of and loved! It's shape is that of a chocolate kiss, with a small heart for the clapper and an open heart for the bail. Let this Nestled Hearts Bell be an expression of my love.

To say that my mother loved the bell is a huge understatement.

She adored it and wore it all of the time.

She wore it every time she went to the hospital for chemo because
each time she heard it chime, she said it was a great reminder of how loved she was.

Once she found out there were many different kinds of bells, she told me
that from then on I could buy her a new bell for Christmas each year.

Before the following Christmas arrived however,
she died after a valiant 10 month battle with lung cancer.

As that first Christmas approached, I was so very sad and wasn't sure how I was going to get through the holidays without my precious mother. She LOVED Christmas and I couldn't imagine celebrating without her. As I did my Christmas shopping I thought of the bell that I would not be able to buy for her that year and it just about broke my heart.

After many tears and talks with God I decided that I would buy a bell for my mother- I would just give it to someone else. I decided that each year I would buy a bell necklace for someone that I considered a fabulous mother and give it to them in honor of my fabulous mother.

And so each year, I purchase a new bell and give it to someone who is a blessing to me and is an example of a wonderful mother. Each year when I go to the gift store to pick out the bell I shed many tears- (along with the store owner who knows what I am doing and why) but always feel like God leads me to the perfect bell for the perfect person. I love seeing the ladies I have given these bells to wearing them- and it blesses me every single time.
My sweetest friend Dory wears hers every day and I love that so much.
This past weekend I was at a local craft show and was
so shocked to see a display of the bell necklaces.

I literally ran over to them and starting looking at all of the different bells.

I started talking to the man behind the counter and quickly realized that it was
the creator and owner of the company-

Mr. Jewelry John himself.

I could NOT believe it!
I told him the story of my mother's bell
(that I was wearing that day- isn't that awesome?)
and he was so very kind.

I explained how much I loved his bells and
how very much they had blessed me. He told me the story behind many of the bells and we chatted for quite awhile. As I was about to move on-
he told me thank you for stopping by and that meeting me and
hearing my story had been a blessing to him.
He gave me a catalog which I put in my purse and
didn't think of again until I got home later that afternoon.
I pulled out the catalog to show Madison as I was telling her
the story of meeting John, and as I was looking
at it I noticed a handwritten note on the back.

While we had been chatting he wrote the note before handing it to me.

What a precious blessing!

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