A Single Tear Pyramid Image.

Allison Carie
© Copyright 1998 by Allison Carie

My name is Allison. I'm a 13 year old 7th grader attending Middle School. I am an only child. I was born and still live in Fairbanks, Alaska. I enjoy horse-back riding and playing soccer in my spare time.

Ann Little sat next to her dying husband Walter Little. He lay in an off-white hospital bed, his feeble hand uncontrollably shook as it slowly reached for his wife's old, but faithful hand. He fell back into a light sleep, which he did quite often after his second stroke. For three weeks Walter had been confined to the small bed.

Walter had many visitors. They brought flowers and cards. He enjoyed their company while it lasted. Most of all he savored the time he and his wife spent together, over the constant shuffling of the hospital workers and consistent mumbles that came for behind the curtain to his right, they sat in silence holding each other's hand. When the nurse came to check on Walter she found them both asleep. Ann faded into a peaceful sleep soon after her husband.

But in her dream, she wasn't aged by wrinkles, with her thin long white hair pulled into a tight bun. Instead stood a nineteen-year-old girl in a long lacy wedding gown. Her shoulder length honey dipped hair was perfectly curled, with only a heart-melting smile upon her face. When the veil was raised, with the sound of the minister's experienced voice in the background, she looked into the bright blue eyes of Walter Little. His jet-black hair matched his tuxedo with such perfection. This twenty-one year old man repeated those life changing words "I do." With that, he placed a ring of fine polished gold on her left hand. After she had done the same to him, with a simple kiss, they were husband and wife. The two couldn't be happier. Arm in arm, they walk down the red carpet. The sun was shining upon her gown. As they danced, Walter could not help but think he married an angel.

After their honeymoon in Niagara Falls, the Littles found an apartment in South Carolina. The already furnished apartment had white speckled carpet throughout. In the living room, a light blue love seat was placed next to a dark cedar radio. On the other side was Walter's favorite soft brown leather chair. At night, you could often find Walter sitting comfortably reading that day's newspaper and listening to the strong voice of President Roosevelt. Even through the hard times of the Great Depression they managed to stand on their own two feet.

Two years later, Ann Little lay in a hospital bed. Her face and hair matted with sweat, but in her arms she held a peach colored baby girl by the name of Mina Elizabeth. Like her mother, she had rich honey blonde hair, but she had her father's deep sea blue eyes. Through all the pain Ann wouldn't have traded anything in the world for that moment.

When the nurse took Mina so Ann could get some well deserved rest, Walter took her delicate hand and gave it an affectionate squeeze as she drifted into a pleasant dream.

After their second child, William, the Littles knew it was time to find a new house for their growing family. When Mina was old enough to talk she called it her "doll house." The outside was painted blue with a white picket fence surrounding the lawn. The front lawn was a carpet of green bordered by an occasional patch of tulips or daisies. When Walter Little signed the piece of paper saying I own this house, you could see the confidence in his signature as he firmly signed and dated the crisp new paper.

Walter helped his beloved wife down the three newly cemented stairs, as she held tightly to her infant. Mina sat proudly in her father's arms showing off her new pink cotton dress and matching bow that her mother had made for her. This picture perfect family had no idea that tragedy was soon to strike.

Ann's mother often told her " trouble always comes in threes." Ann never quite paid attention to that saying until April 24, 1938. Heavy rain had caused the usually calm river behind their house to flood. Their beautiful house was now knee deep in water. They did what they could to take as much from the house to keep it safe. Walter and Ann waded through the water trying to salvage her favorite paintings when a picture of her loving family floated by. She sat on their waterlogged couch clutching the picture, tears of pain and sorrow rolled down her slowly aging face.

When William was three years old he caught the measles. Such an imaginative child, he couldn't understand why these funny looking bugs wouldn't stop clinging to him. William was bed ridden for several weeks. A five-month pregnant Ann gave her son a reddish liquid three times a day. The taste was almost unbearable for little William, but he was too weak to bat the spoon away. With a temperature of one hundred and five degrees, the doctor was afraid they might lose him. William fought, and was soon out of bed, but he had lost partial hearing to his left ear. He soon learned to live with his condition, and what his mother told him once "it was a small price to pay for saving your life."

When Ann was seven months pregnant she went into labor with her third child, but Samuel Jacob survived, only ten minutes. Weighing five pounds six ounces, Samuel would have led a very difficult life, even if he had survived. Samuel's right lung wasn't fully developed when he was born, which would mean he wouldn't be able to run and play sports like other children his age. This third tragedy devastated the Littles. Mina could not understand where her new little brother had gone, and William didn't quite know what to think. Ann continued with her normal activities, but it was two and a half weeks before she slept through the whole night. Walter would stroke her unbrushed hair until she fell into an uneasy sleep.

On July 4, 1946 Ann and Walter's final child Jean Ann was brought into the world. She was unlike anyone else in the family, with her bleached blonde hair and her brilliant green eyes she was unique from birth and stayed that way throughout her childhood.

When the Little's children were in their early teens, you could find Jean, William and their father playing football on the back lawn. Ann hated to see her baby girl playing football, while Mina was either sewing or cooking like an average girl her age. Jean didn't like being average, she liked to be different. Whenever she would sew she poked herself with the needle, and when she cooked she burned the meal. Football was something she was good at. Walter would say to his son, "Boy, if you want to exceed in this sport you have to at least beat your sister."

High school was a turning point for all three children. Mina was an average student in her class, had good friends, and was an avid cheerleader. William was the captain of the football team and his father couldn't be more proud. Jean, always being the different one, started to develop a love for acting. On stage there were no boundaries for being a girl, she could be anything her mind thought up.

Walter and Ann couldn't believe how fast their children had grown up, it seemed to go by in a flash, and it seemed as if only yesterday they were taking Mina home from the hospital. Now she was married and starting a family of her own. William decided to protect his country in the army. While Jean started to teach drama at a local high school, where she fell in love with Joseph Brown the algebra teacher. They moved to Kentucky where they settled into their new life.

The U.S. Army gave William an education, but he never married, he stayed in the army his whole life. As for Ann and Walter, their faces were aged by wrinkles, and their eyes full of experiences. Walter retired after forty-three years in the same stuffy law office and spent all his time at home. The couple would take long walks along the same river, then come home to the house with the white picket fence. Ann who would drink a cup of tea and read her book, while her husband relaxed in his favorite chair by the fireplace and read the newspaper. His arthritic hand gripped the paper, checked the sports section first as he had done for the past forty-three years.

Soon the Little's children had toddlers crawling around their homes, and Ann's life couldnt have been more complete.

All of a sudden Ann woke with a jump to a steady hum. She looked at the small screen next to her husbands bed and she stared at a straight green line. She did not call a doctor because she knew her beloved husband could not be saved. She wanted to spend their last moments together. At that, a single tear filled with the memories of their life together rolled down her bony face. The hand that she had held for so many years slip out of her wrinkled one, taking a piece of her heart with it, and for the first time in fifty-six years she was alone.

This story was originally a one page double spaced English assignment until my teacher encouraged me to take it further. I hope you enjoyed my story.

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