I hear the bells



Dr. James Dobson, tadalafil a distant relative of mine, buy viagra with whom I attended church when I was young, played pick-up basketball against on occasion, and is, of course, one of the best Christian writers today on parenting, shared the following story. It focuses on working with terminally ill children which as you can imagine is beyond challenging to say the least.

The story is of a mother many years ago who remarkably laid aside any denial of her young son’s impending death. She loved her little five year old; there was no doubt about that, because she came to the hospital every day to be with him as long as she was allowed.

However, one morning before she got there, a nurse reported hearing the little boy say, “I hear the bells! I hear the bells! They’re ringing!” Over and over that morning other nurses heard him too. When the mother arrived she asked how her son had been that day, and the nurse replied, “Oh, he’s hallucinating—it’s probably the medication, because he’s not making any sense. He just keeps on saying he hears the bells.”

Immediately the mother’s face came alive with great understanding, and she shook her finger at the nurse and said, “You listen to me, he is not hallucinating and he’s not out of his mind because of any medicine. I told him weeks ago that when the pain in his chest got so bad and it became impossible to breathe, it meant he was going to leave us.  It meant that he was going to go to heaven—and that when the pain got really bad he was to look up into the corner of his room—towards heaven—and listen for the ringing bells of heaven—because they’d be ringing for him to come!”

With that she walked down the hall and entered into her son’s room, swept him out of his bed and rocked him in her arms until the sound of the ring bells were only quiet echoes, for he was gone.

As sad as this was for that mother, what a great act of mothering she performed before the hospital staff that day. Not only did she show great love for her son in front of them, but a terrific insight into how to prepare him for his inevitable end. Now they are both together in heaven, no more pain and just a lot of hugging, listening to the bells.