Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Entry #177

In The Form Of A Dove
by Jean Ann Williams


LauraLee looked upward as the dove cooed. Fluttering, it winged away from the oak tree and another dove followed close behind. Rushing to the front door, she met her father’s embrace.

They sobbed, with cheeks pressed as the tears mingled. Looking at her father, LauraLee said, “My brother’s gone.” His soft expression held hers, and she asked, “Mom?”

He pointed towards the living room sofa. LauraLee walked by the Hospice worker who stood at a respectful distance, arms folded. They nodded as LauraLee passed.

LauraLee sat at her mom’s bare feet. “Momma?”

The weary months had deepened the lines in her mother’s face. “Joshua’s gone, honey.”

LauraLee hugged her mother’s knees. “I know, Momma, I saw the doves.”

Momma’s lashes fluttered. “Doves?”

“Yes, in the oak tree. The white one appeared like the Spirit of a dove. The gray dove followed the white dove into the sky.”

LauraLee’s mother hugged her daughter, and whispered in her ear, “Sweetheart, the doves have meaning.”

LauraLee glanced at Joshua’s opened bedroom door. She knew his cancer-ridden body grew cold, but . . . “Joshua’s spirit, Mommy. He followed the white dove to paradise.”

Both women clung tight, and LauraLee’s mother broke into heaving sobs. “I miss my son already.”

After a time, LauraLee stood. “Me, too, Momma.” She reached for her mother. “Will you come with me? I want to say good-bye.”

LauraLee and her parents held hands, and they entered Joshua’s room.

25 comments:

Laurel said...

Sad and pretty. I hope the omen of the doves comfort the family.

kashers said...

Moving piece that I suspect everyone can empathise with.

Anonymous said...

Very touching story. I wonder if it would've been better told from the POV of LauraLee as a first person narrative? Just a thought. --JR

Aniket said...

Glad to see that the family is holding together in tough times. A touching story...

Bernita said...

Nice use of dove as the traditional symbol of the soul.

catvibe said...

Beautiful, chills came over me as I read this, and my eyes got all wet at the end. Just lovely.

Preeti said...

very beautiful expression of a tragic event. left me with a lump in my throat. :-(

but the doves symbolized hope and heaven and also a sense of liberation. so hmmnn....

I liked this. Very much.

laughingwolf said...

sad...

lena said...

A very sad and touching story. Like your use of doves, it makes the story special.

Deb Smythe said...

Sad indeed. But I'm with JR in wondering if a 1st person or a tighter 3rd POV might have helped the reader really live the emotion.

Louise said...

So sad. Beautiful story. I loved the doves. I could definitely see the white dove leading Joshua's spririt to Paradise.

pjd said...

Anyone who spends any real time in the presence of a hospice nurse will never forget the details of the ending. You've drawn it well. My only confusion was at the beginning, when she met her father at the front door... I thought he was the one coming in, and she was greeting him. After a reread, I figured out it was she who was arriving at the house.

I wish everyone the solace of such a symbolic event at the moment of their loved-one's passing.

Craig said...

A child's innocence is truly beautiful and you've captured that wonderfully. Great job.

J. M. Poirot said...

very moving. I was deeply touched. Excellent description of setting.

Kartik said...

Very tragic and moving. A child perspective of death is touching and fascinating at the same time.

JaneyV said...

Losing a child is a devastating thing for siblings and parents alike. It's a comfort to find signs of the passing on of a soul to a better place.

I like the measured way you told this. The absence of drama makes it all the more poignant.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Aw. Sweet, sad. Nice.

Aerin said...



my caveat

Something I Would Keep

the tenderness of the family bonds - so sweet

Something I Might Tweak

seems to be limited 3rd-person POV, but I don't learn much about LL from that - either make it fully omniscient or 1st person - I think for such an emotional piece that might pack more punch

Aimee Laine said...

Oh so sad! :(

Jean Ann Williams said...

Thank you all for your comments. This has been great fun.

I've learned a whole bunch by reading all the entries. Yesterday, when I worked on my first 500 words of my novel to spruce that up for another contest, I noticed I grew up a bit more as a writer.

Yeah for contests!

Karen said...

Nice use of the prompt and good showing of family relationships.

Rabid Fox said...

The sadness was easily established, but the family's acknowledgment of the prophetic doves worked well too. Nice.

BernardL said...

A somber, melancholy piece with an uplifting hint of what helps us to handle a loved one's death.

Chris Eldin said...

Somber yet balanced way of telling this kind of story. Well done!

Anonymous said...

This held special meaning for me as I just lost a brother in law to cancer at the end of December. How beautifully sensitive you wrote it. I love the symbolism of the doves.

J. Randick