THEIR HEARTS WERE FULL OF LOVE Once there was a gentle shy boy, who fell in love with a tender beautiful girl, the very first day they met. She was the only romantic love he had ever known, and she was much in love with him. “Some day I want to marry you.” He told her, as he placed his class ring on her finger. He kissed her, and then he said, “This is for you, my love, for someday you will have a diamond ring.” With each passing day, their love for each other grew, until one Christmas when he bought the promised diamond ring. When he placed it on her finger, it was then they made a pledge, to always love each other, as long as they would live. Time, less than generous, took flight. Their days grew old, and turned into yesterdays, while their tomorrows came all too soon. They saw their children now, who had their own grandchildren, yet their love for each other still remained young. One day the tender, beautiful girl turned ill and her health began to fade. For month after month and year after year Her worsening condition allowed little more than a very weak smile for the gentle boy. With the end creeping slowly upon her, walking came soon to a close, then silenced was her speech and then, she fed herself no more. Her hearing was sharp, she never missed a note he played or sang, But neither did she miss it when he told her, “My heart's still full of love for you.” Every day for years, he sat beside her bed. He sang and talked to her, massaged her limbs and read. She looked at him and listened to every word he uttered, especially the part about his heart of love he had for her. Sometimes his crushing sadness, just melted into tears, thinking he would be her only visitor that day. Had she been forgotten or, had they cease to care? No longer he, a gentle boy his faded youth, he saw no more, yet still reminded of his love for her through years of wrinkles, he proudly wore. Then one day before she died, Christmas arrived but once again. For one more time he wished to give her another beautiful ring. The occasion—oh so special, he prepared a lovely one, sent several invitations for a gorgeous celebration. T'would be on Christmas Eve at six, a sunken garden...the chosen site. It was a gem of beauty, with ornaments and glittering lights. His plan...he would tell a story and sing some carols too, his hopes for attendance never went beyond much more than a few. The time arrived, the scene was set, in a special chair on wheels, she sat, but sadly no one else showed up—just her, truly a defeat for him, of which she was unaware. The gentle boy walked to the front, surveyed the charming view, adorned with many twinkling lights, it was quite beautiful to behold. He smiled as he stepped to her side, and kissed her, as though still his tender bride. Hastened he, with no further delay, abruptly turned around to say, “Fifty-seven years ago I placed a small diamond ring on your finger. That ring symbolized our love would never, ever end. Today, I give you another ring, not a diamond nor of gold, rather a ring that lasts forever, for you t'will always toll.” He turned, walked toward the ivied wall, reached up, and tugged the cloth. It dropped, and then unveiled before her eyes there hung, a beautiful bell of patina bronze. With ornate trappings, it bespoke the impressive splendor of its worth. He took the rope into his hand, and rang it gently several times. The tone was glorious, and filled the shimmering garden with a sound feeling almost ethereal. “Darling you are the love of my life— may this ring always be here for you.” Then walked over to her side, he kissed her one more time. Today that special bell hangs in the garden, waiting for a breeze to blow, or just someone to walk by and lightly ring it, for the gentle shy boy and the tender beautiful girl, who will forever be remembered, because their hearts were full of love.