"Every time you hear a bell ring, it means that some angel's just got his wings."
As I already said, this bell sits on a high shelf - I've never let the students touch it, and I had never really used it. One day, just over 2 years ago, the power went out at the school while the students were out for recess. We have an extremely large school yard, and many students were very far back in the yard. A coworker of mine asked to borrow this bell so he could ring it to call the students in after recess. At first I resisted ... this bell was precious to me ... meant to be treasured, not used. But then something changed my mind, and I let him borrow it. This bell rang out clearly and loudly across my school yard that day ... heard by all students and staff. After it served its purpose, the bell was put back on my high shelf without another thought.
It was only after I returned home that night that I realized it was the one year anniversary of my grandfather's death. And.I.was.floored. My grandfather was speaking through that bell - it was my reminder that he is still with me, still watching me, still inspiring me.
This bell still sits high on a shelf in my classroom. It's even more precious now, and even more treasured. But the next time someone asks to borrow this bell, you can bet I'll let it ring.