I remember the first time I saw the beautiful white bird. It was about fifty years ago; my first child was being born.
It was a beautiful May afternoon. My wife was in the kitchen getting somethng to eat, she was eight and a half months pregnant. We were ready for the tike, boy or girl. Of course I wanted a boy and my wife wanted a girl. The first born son in my family is always named William Joseph Alexander. Since I am the sixth, my son would be the seventh.
My wife, Carolyn, was having discomfort all morning long, but it wasn't until around noon that she started to have extreme pain. We raced to the local hospital, in our small, but quiet town. By the time we had reached the hospital Carolyn's water had broke and the doctor was ready to deliver my baby. I waited in the waiting room for the doctor to come back out, when my child was born. While I was sitting in the waiting room; a little white bird sat on windowsill and just glared at me.
Just then the doctor came out of the hospital room and told me I had a son. I had a eight pound 3 ounce son. I walked up to the cold iron door and slowly opened it and there was my wife, Carolyn, and my son, William Joseph Alexander the VII. This was the most wonderful day of my life!
2 Years Later
About the time that my son turned two, he was walking and getting into everything. He was growing up too fast for me. I wanted him to stay a baby forever.
We were a happy family and it seemed nothing could ever take my love and my happiness away from me. Even if we were not the richest family, we were comfortable in our little home.
I started to work at the Ford Car Company right after William was born. One day on my way home from work I saw that little white bird again, but it wasn't so small anymore. The bird was perched on the side of the road, just looking at me with it's beedy eyes. I just ignored it and kept driving. When I pulled on to my street I saw my wife sitting in the middle of the street and a grey Ford Truck parked next to her. A younger looking man was standing over her. As I got closer my heart started to pound so hard that I could hear it. I pulled up next to them and got out of the car. Then I saw; I saw my two year old son lying on the pavement with a pool of blood surrounding his tiny fragile head. I screamed in agony, "WHY!" to the heavens.
My wife was still hovering over our son. I needed to know how this could have possibly happen. The young man with the truck said, " I didn't see him, he ran right out in frount of me, I am truly sorry. I called the police from inside your house."
I don't know what came over me, but I hit the man over and over. I was grieving for my son and taking it out on his killer.
When the police and the ambulance arrived they examined the brutal accident scene. I wanted to hold my son and I wanted to hear him say "Daddy." I knew that I would never get that chance again.
My wife could not handle the loss of our son. She drew very distant from me at the time I needed her most. She felt it was her fault because she should have been watching William. My wife became very depressed, and would lock herself in out bedroom for days. "Honey please, I beg you to come out," I would scream at our door. I would leave food for her outside the door, but she hardly ate. I just lost my son and now I was slowly losing my precious Carolyn.
I tried and tried to concince her to go into therapy, but she would refuse and just scream, " I AM NOT CRAZY," out the bedroom door.
When I went back to work I worried about Carolyn; I worried about what she would do without me there. As I pulled into my driveway after work one night, I saw the white bird once again. It was sitting on my porch, in front of my house. The bird did not make a move; it just glared at me as it did before. I got out of the car and went into my house. I was worried, so I went upstairs to check on Carolyn. I knocked on the bedroom door, but no answer. I opened the door slowly and walked in. She was not in the bedroom, so I went into the bathroom. To my utter horror I saw her lying on the floor with a bottle of sleeping pills next to her hand. My wife was gone! I couldn't bare losing both of them! I felt as if I had no reason for living. My whole life was gone.
"WHY ME!" I screamed. I called the police, but I could not speak a word. When the police arrived they found me holding my wife in my arms. I didn't want to let her go. My life had been ripped out of my hands. My beautiful wife took her own life because she could not bare the pain of losing our son.
Now as I sit here fifty years older I distinctively remember the white bird, which I now know was a dove. The dove was there for the happiest time in my life and the two saddest. The dove wasn't my guardian angel, but more like a keeper of emotions; a warning signal to prepare me for the best and the worst.
I am not in good health; I saw the white dove just seconds ago, I think it is now my time to go.
a short story
by: M.L. Hardy
written at the age of 14