I believe in cherishing everyone and everything because you never know when you will see them again. The most simple of actions or words seem so unimportant on a daily basis. However, I never thought that those small actions and words could have such a profound impact on my life, even the simple ringing of a bell.
My great grandmother passed away a few weeks ago. Due to a mild stroke, she moved in with my family. The idea of her staying seemed so nice at first; we got to spend more time with her, something we only did once a week. My mother gave her a bell to ring whenever she needed anything so that we heard her. The first few times the bell rang we answered and fulfilled her every need. However, as time pressed on, that bell became our worst nightmare. She rang it all hours of the night, keeping the family awake. Every time it rang, we sighed, groaned, and then marched upstairs to her room.
Two years we lived with this.
In the weeks before her passing, we realized she complained more and more about hurting and we took her to the hospital several times. Each time the doctors would send her home, saying she was just fine. Then came a day when my mother drove her to her monthly doctor’s appointment. My great grandmother did not look well at all. She slouched in her seat, kept spitting up, and had a blank expression etched upon her face. We rushed her to the hospital. They kept her for a few days, running tests and discovered nothing major.
The thought never crossed our minds that she would soon leave us.
She was moved to a rehabilitation center. After only a few days there, she had a massive stroke. My family thought my grandmother might make it, and return home any day; we are still shocked that this scenario did not occur.
The doctor informed my family my grandmother’s health slowly decreased, and that she may not make it. After several days of holding on, she passed away.
When I went back home to prepare for her funeral, I walked into her room. Placed on the bed, right beside where she laid, was the bell. No more waking up in the middle of the night to that ringing, rushing to see what I can do for her, or even complaining about it. No more. I miss that bell now. It symbolized my great grandmother and her existence. I now know to never take anything for granted: not a person, an action, or the simple ringing of a bell.
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