Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Jan. 31
- Community Blog
I Know For Whom the Bells Toll
When Fate takes you away to foreign places you do not think (at least at that moment) what you leave behind. All that excitement and anticipation of new adventures cloud the eyes of your young soul and you proceed along that tunnel entering the flight of your Life. The doors shut tightly never being able to hear the sobbing or feel the heartaches on the other side...Two generations at a crossroad: the new one dizzy with the future possibilities, the old one awakened by the alarm of a time glass that's running out of sand. It's not an “Empty Nest” but a Desert with strong wailing winds that push away childhood giggles and memory snapshots fade away...None could be recovered but gone forever. Only older parents can relate to that... “ The birth of our child has changed the meaning of our entire existence...” a young couple confessed lovingly...Their time glass is now turned upside down...the gravitational swirl is full of accomplishments, memory building, enthusiasm...they are unaware they are becoming slowly, “the older generation”... “ I know! My parents and I had rough times...that is why we haven't talked in years...” the young mother said. “ ...it will never happen to me and our child though...” she continued... “Are they still alive?” I asked... She stopped pouring warm Formula in the baby's bottle. She was now ignoring her own child's cries, cries that sometimes sounded of a young human and sometimes of an older one... She shrugged, refusing to sigh...and changed the subject. After I left, I was told, she started to search on Google a “Family Tree” site... They say: “ If you do not have an elderly in your family then buy one!”... I did not have to... Although Fate took me way across the Atlantic I never forgot my Mom and Dad. Yes, I did leave and Yes, I did walk along that tunnel and stepped on that airplane BUT NO DOORS could block the Love we had for each other. I kept in contact with them by telephone weekly for 20 years. My son enjoyed his grandparents as they visited us every other year during his entire childhood. He has memories of them, now, that he started his own family. As I was buying two candles - those kind in long and tall jars - I was thinking that many people believe that, once we leave, there is a definite, unavoidable,irreversible disconnection among us... Many years ago when my parents passed away unexpectedly I felt the need to find a place where I could light two candles . Although there were many churches around the city I could not find one with a place for burning candles...One day I stopped at a church and I thought that again could not find a spot for my two candles. As I was leaving in a rush I passed by a double door which was apart from the building of the church. I froze, mesmerized as a loving breeze caressed my face... and slowly opened those doors...hundreds of freshly cut flowers and glistening candles were inviting me in. “ I am here, Mom and Dad!” my mouth was moving unwillingly in a content whisper. After a fraction of a second the bells tolled many, many times. I Knew they were sitting beside me and we spent a long time reminiscing and watching those two flames playing in the breeze that was passing through the stained glass open windows...Before I left I told them “ Good Bye” and again the bells rang once... This happens every time I stop at “My Little Secret Chapel” in Vista, California for years now. Every time I stop and light two candles for my Mom and Dad the bells toll twice: when I arrive and say Hello to my parents and when I leave. It happens with no exceptions, regardless of the time of day or length of my visit. Last Thursday I stopped again, light the candles and whispered “ I came back, Mom and Dad!” - the bells rang once. When I left I just said “ I know you are here with me but please give me a sign! .As I was just finishing my last word the bells tolled countless times. Finally, now, for certain, I can exhale the words... I DO Know For Whom the Bells Toll...