Monday, July 2, 2012

The Story Behind the Saying

Several of our blog readers have recently asked what is the story behind the closing saying on each of our are loved.  I wrote it up one  time but can't for the life of me find it in my previous posts.  So I am posting it again for our newer readers.

The Store Behind the Saying.....

In 1998 I worked at the library at Alamosa High School, Alamosa, Colorado, as an aide.  Nora, the Librarian, bought a big "hotel front desk" type bell for the check-out desk, so students could ring it for service if I wasn't at the desk.  Well, seems it didn't matter if I was at the desk or not, those kids enjoyed pounding that  bell every time they came into the library. Ding, ding, ding all day long I heard that bell being hit a hundred or more times a day. Of course they didn't hit is just once; oh, no, they had to ding it two or three times each.  It was very annoying, to say the least.

One weekend I prayed for guidance on how to keep the kids from pounding on that desk bell and irrating me so much.  I came up with several novel, but probably illegal ways to stop the kids from hitting that desk bell except when they needed me.  Finally the magic idea "came to me". I know what I will do.  Every time someone  rang that bell I'm going to say "I love you". Great idea! That's what I'll do.  No respectable 14 year old teenager wants some old grandma yelling "I love you" when they ring that bell.  I figured it would only take me a coule of days of yelling out "I love you"  and that would take care of the bell problem ..... oh, sure.  Didn't work out that way.

Monday morning I was all set to go.  First young man walked in the library and I was sitting right there at the desk, my head some 12 inches away from that desk bell.  He reaches over and hits the top of that desk bell and it goes ding-ding and I said quite loudly "I love you" with a big smile on my face.  Well, the young man was shocked and his mouth dropped open in surprise.  He quickly proceeded to sit down at one of the tables.  Next few kids came in and rang the bell and got my new greeting.  They seemed amused and even smiled.  As the day wore on, each bell ringer got told "I love you".

The next few days the word got around the school to go to the library, ring the bell and see what happened.  We had a large turnout at the library that day, with a lot of kids I'd never seen in the library before.  I'd be away from the desk putting away books in the stacks and the bell would ring and from the corner of the library I'd gleefully call out "I love you"....they had no idea where I was was like a voice from the ethers was calling to them....kind of erry. The kids would watch a newcomer ring the bell and laugh at their reaction when I yelled "I love you".  It all became a big game to the students....they continued to ring that bell and seemed to enjoy hearing my irratated "I love you".  Some guys would just step in the library to ring the bell and then just leave...smiles on their faces.

It all came to a head one Friday afternoon several months later.  The last bell had rung and the students were filing out of the school and onto the school busses.  One lone boy came into the one else was around...he rang the bell, I looked at him, smiled and said "I love you"; he continued to look at me with a sorrowful expression on his face and rang the bell again and I said "I love you" (with an inquisitive look on my face).  And then he rang it one more time and again I said "I love you" with more meaning.  The teenager then smiled, said "thank you" and began to leave.  I called to him and asked "son, why did you ring the bell three times? He said "Because it will be three days until I hear anyone say those words and those three "I love yous" you gave me will have to hold me over until I see you on Monday."

I smiled and told him goodbye and then tears came to my eyes and I cried. It broke my heart.  To think a kid wanted to hear that someone loved him so much he would ring that bell just to hear the one at home would be saying those words to him....sad....sad....sad!!!

From that day on it never again bothered me to hear that bell ring....I happily shouted out "I love you", now saying it with much heartfelt meaning.  I learned a valuable are never too young or goo old or in a stage in life when we DON'T need to hear we are loved....even pimpled face, shy or popular teenage boys or girls....everyone wants to know someone loves them.  For the next five years that I worked at that library "I love you" became my mantra.  I said it to students, the principal, teachers, a saleman, even to friends on the phone....everyone got told they were loved.  

Graduating students would return to visit and come to the library to say "hi".  They all commented that my saying "I love you" was one of the things they remember the most about high school.  That warmed my heart.  God knew what He was doing when he answered my prayer for guidance about that annoying desk bell.  His answer was perfect. Love was the answer.

When I changed jobs I continued to say "I love you" to customers, sales people, bosses, clerks. It was how I end every conversation.  It just became a part of me....I said it to everyone. So when I started our blog I wanted to include it somehow and it became "you are loved" as my closing line.

So that is the story behind the you remember, you are loved!!!


  1. You are loved too my friend. Jean

  2. If world leaders could only learn to think in that fashion this world would be a better place.

    It's about time.

  3. Wow,so powerful! As a former teacher one of the moments I treasure was when I asked each child to tell me one thing they had learned that year. When it was Donald's turn he told me that what he had learned was that someone loved him. Sadly, they don't always get that love at home. Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. Awwww and We Love You too!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  5. Wonderful story! Remember, you are loved too!

  6. Replies
    1. Great story. Thanks for re-posting it. You are loved, too.

  7. So sad but so true, families are all busy working for material things, or just trying to keep the wolf from the door & not much love being shown. Sometimes I think we treat strangers better than we do our family, the ones we should show our love to, they are taken for granted. I'm sure your saying "I love you" was felt by many students that never told you in words, but you still feel all warm & fuzzy just retelling or thinking about all those ding-dongs of that bell. Well, remember you are loved, ditto right back at ya! Sure hope our travels meet up one day. Y'all are my kind of people! Tom & Lynn

  8. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story with me. It made the end of my day special to here that you touched many lives.

  9. Thank you for sharing that with us I'LL never read it the same again. May yall have a blessed and safe you got my eyes full of water**

  10. What a WONDERFUL story. Thanks Bobbie.

  11. Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Love the story, thank you for sharing such a beautiful experience! Love to you and Jim!

  13. In the movie Idiocracy, the main character---who is also a librarian---travels 500 years into the future and is greeted by "Welcome to Costco, I love you!" So you were way ahead of your time.

  14. Bobbie -
    I've only had the pleasure of spending part of one day with you, but I can truthfully say that this beautiful story doesn't surprise me one bit!
    It shows on your face.
    I have no doubt you will never know the impact you've had or the difference you continue to make.
    You are a sweet and rare light.
    And yes, you are loved!

  15. Well you certainly know how to clean out our tear ducts Bobbie. Hope you and the crew had a wonderful 4th of July and all the campgrounds were full!

  16. You told me this story a few years back, and I enjoyed it as much this time as the last. So wonderful

  17. Glad you reposted this story as I've been blogging only 6 months and missed it first time 'round. It brought tears to my eyes... both sad because that kid needed love... and gratitude that you have been kind enough to share your love. Thank you.

  18. So glad you posted this. WONDERFUL story - everyone needs a little love.

  19. You are amazing! What a great story. I hope you won't mind my sharing it?
    Love, Diane from Iowa

  20. What a great story! What a Paul Harvey story!!!

  21. What a great story! This story made my day! Thanks

  22. Wow, Bobbie! What a tug at the heart story-sadly, a reality for so many students who truly need to hear those magical words. You are an amazing person who puts the "Butterfly Effect" into practice every day. I LOVE YOU!

  23. Wow, Bobbie!

    What a heart-wrenching story...sadly, there are so many children (and adults) that long to hear those precious words. You put "The Butterfly Effect" into practice in the way you treat others every day...actions matter. Actions make a difference and sometimes a much greater difference than we will ever know.

    You truly are an amazing person, and I am so glad that you are my friend.

  24. It s so touching to read this. We all know people who could fit in the story, right? Thanks, Bobbie, a wonderful story about the most powerful word in any language!! Ann


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