When A Silent Clock Chimes


When my maternal grandfather died his floor standing clock went to my brother as he had always indicated, but when Nana died her wall clock came to my home.

We never remember it working at my Nana's house. Never heard it. However, we were all very familiar with the chimes of the large grandfather clock. In times past, as children we often slept over at Nana and GrandDad's and celebrated Thanksgiving there. The song of that clock chime was well known to us and instantly relatable to the sounds of that special and loving home and holidays.

Years later we all slept over at Nana's house, over All Saints into All Souls...a year ago today....to attend her funeral. A few times times before that day we had heard a random ring of the wall clock! A clock we had never heard work before suddenly chimed, not once, not twice but here and there during those days of bereavement.

Nana?

So it is today, the Feast of All Souls, that we buried our dear Nana a year ago. And at the moment we were ready to all leave her house for the church and probably the time her casket was being wheeled into the Church...again, it happened! This time a series of chimes...dong, dong, dong.

For us, we felt certain this once silent clock was a talisman...a gift from God...her presence. If it had happened just once, we'd question...but there were several occasions.

And then the clock came home with me. I was expecting to hear the same, one note chime when I had it repaired, the chime we had heard at Nana's house. To my surprise it was a melodic "song" lengthening at each quarter hour and the exact chime that the grandfather clock had.

As it played I was reduced to tears and transported to my grandparent's old house and childhood memories. Many things from Nana's house came to my home and are comforting reminders, but nothing provides the warmth and feeling of home that these frequent chimes have! They feel like a hug. How quickly we have gotten used to them!

I hope that for my children and maybe someday my grandchildren the sound of the clock chimes will touchingly evoke feelings of love and HOME for them.


video

Below are the lyrics to a song most beloved by my children, especially when Red Grammer sings it and adds a haunting cello. It's impact on us grew deeper after Nana's clock came to our home and similarly personified her.

My grandfather's clock
Was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half
Than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn
Of the day that he was born,
It was always his treasure and pride;

But it stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.
Ninety years without slumbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
It stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

In watching its pendulum
Swing to and fro,
Many hours had he spent while a boy;
And in childhood and manhood
The clock seemed to know,
And share both his grief and his joy.
And it struck twenty-four
When he entered at the door,
With a blooming and beautiful bride;

But it stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.
Ninety years without slumbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
It stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
It stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

My grandfather said
That of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found;
For it wasted no time,
And had but one desire,
At the close of each week to be wound.
And it kept in its place,
Not a frown upon its face,
And its hand never hung by its side.

But it stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.
Ninety years without slumbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
It stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

It rang an alarm
In the dead of the night,
An alarm that for years had been dumb;
And we knew that his spirit
Was pluming his flight,
That his hour of departure had come.
Still the clock kept the time,
With a soft and muffled chime,
As we silently stood by his side.
But it stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.
Ninety years without slumbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
It stopped short
Never to go again,
When the old man died.

PRAYING FOR THE HOLY SOULS AND OUR DEARLY DEPARTED on this day and always....

5 comments:

Suzanne said...

As I was reading this post, I kept thinking to myself: "I wonder if she's ever heard the song 'My Grandfather's Clock.'" And, then there it was. A very touching post!

Tiffany said...

Beautiful reflection! Thanks for sharing on this day that we are all praying and remembering;-) God Bless and Ave Maria.

Arley said...

What a wonderful post. How very special for you to have that memory. I love the song!!!

Catherine Anne said...

Beautiful family! I have so enjoyed your blog~

Gardenia said...

lovely. I liked that you included the sounds of the clock chiming. I can see how you would love this sound in your home. it is beautiful. and a wonderful story about your Nana being there.

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