It’s a Wonderful, Dented Life

I bought my husband a bell for our 25th wedding anniversary last month. Thinking we could keep it up all year long and ring it whenever we needed to be reminded that we live a wonderful life, despite how it might seem sometimes.

The first bell I bought didn’t ring. It was a Polar Express bell that only rings if you believe in Santa Claus. Hallmark just doesn’t get grown up children.

The second bell I bought on Amazon seemed perfect. Until it arrived. It’s a bell that announces It’s a Wonderful Life, has an angel wing and rings! I couldn’t believe such an awesome thing existed. But, it wasn’t perfect. It’s super cheap and was dented during its travels.

I was about to return it when a thought bulldozed its way out; maybe a dented bell is better than a perfect bell. Dented is closer to the truth anyway. And generally it’s when I’m in the process of dealing with my dents or imperfections or f-ups that I need to be reminded that, in spite of myself, it’s still a wonderful life.

This is Chewiethedog helping me while I write this. Chewie was nearly dead when we brought her in to our family. So skinny, matted, peeing everywhere, she had mange and she’d just had puppies. Not being little dog people, the-very-patient-man/husband and I weren’t instantly thrilled at the thought of this expensive mess of what might be a dog living with us.

It took about 2 days for Chewie to win us over and she quite literally brought our family closer. Chewie is the best dog EVER! But, still expensive, still not perfect by definition. Our family is completely bonkers over Chewie and we’ll do anything to make her happy. We are embarrassing and ridiculous and obsessed with this little mangled creature.

Chewie is scared of most things, but even when she’s on edge she notices when I’m in physical or emotional pain and takes it on herself. This is how she ended up here on my chest for the last two hours. I feel too guilty to move because she’s working! Chewie is absolutely perfect. When she gets up I’ll go ring that bell.

Would you return the bell? Or do you need to be reminded to look around and see what’s good in your ‘hood? Or in your life, your head, your marriage, family, career, life goals, even when you’re frustrated with them all? Maybe, only maybe, if we can look for what works in spite of our own dents, we can find what still works in someone else, in spite of their’s.


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