Ringing into Eternity

A few of us were out shoveling snow off our driveway earlier this year when the lowest bell began ringing in the bell tower. After a dozen or so strokes it seemed clear that one of our members had passed away. I lost count of the number of tolls somewhere in the 60’s, and stopped shoveling. Roughly 85-95 strokes. To hear the news from the tower out in the cold over the snow, I was struck how special the tower has become to our community. The bell tower was sharing the news with everyone, ringing our dear friend into eternity.

At the funeral reception celebrating a life fully lived, after the bells were finished, each of us were given a card with lyrics to a favorite song:
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You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In Between
You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene
To illustrate his last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
Just when everything looked so dark
Man, they said we better, accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
No, do not mess with Mister In-Between
Do you hear me?
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Church of the Transfiguration Bell Tower in the Snow

Bell Tower in Winter at the Church of the Transfiguration, Community of Jesus

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