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.