Emotions peak higher than normal come late August for seven years now. The weather seemed to even mimic the roller coaster feelings in preparation for the vigil we hold every year since Billy disappeared. Everything was in place the vigil was to be held on the Naugatuck Green. The day began with a bright sunshine bursting through the scattered clouds, almost picture perfect, time passed and when late afternoon came the sky looked ominous, almost portraying the array of feelings families experience when a loved one goes missing.
The Green was all set everything in place for a "Night of Hope" we had fours doves to be released each to represent Peace, Hope, Love & Faith...with each bird also a name of a person who has passed special to our family, Billy representing love.
We arrived on the Green with dark clouds and rumbles of thunder, the decision had to be made do we hold off and let the storm pass or move to the Town Hall that the organizer and MC for the vigil, former mayor Ron San Angelo had arranged with Mayor Mezzo just in case of inclement weather.
Our decision was made when Channel 30 arrived and told us their meteorologists said the storm would not pass and it would continue to rain the entire evening. We listened and moved to the Burgess room in the Town Hall. Although some people were lost and never showed the room was filled to capacity close to one hundred people strong. It was an emotional evening filled with love and our gratitude to the people to take the time and share the "Night of Hope".
The vigil went well despite the change but because of the time and darkness outside the decision to not release the birds was made.
We waited to release the following morning on the deck of our home. Our two grandchildren Brad and Tori released the birds. It was a beautiful day not a cloud in the sky.
The cage was set in place during the release, three birds all flew together in the same direction almost poetic, one didn't follow it veered off in another direction but didn't go far. The next day and two days that followed the white dove came into our back yard only to spend a few minutes and fly off. Strange as it was we wondered why the behavior of this bird. It was the fourth day, which was Friday the bird flew into our yard. On our neighbors roof sitting a top the peak, a hawk, hawks are known to kill white birds. The dove flew from our yard on to the roof where the hawk sat,they were feet apart. Fear set in this poor bird didn't realize the danger that was only feet away. Bill pointed all the dangers to me I quickly reacted, jumping around like a nut throwing acorns at the hawk, he showed no interest with his wings partially spread. The dove then flew from the neighbors roof onto our house roof above our garage door...the hawk flew off into the woods somewhere probably not far.
Bill went to get the cage we had used for the initial bird release and I went to get the only food we had that a bird would eat ..."CHEERIO'S" Bill left to go on an errand I went upstairs worried about the safety of the bird sitting a top our roof. I stayed upstairs on my computer maybe ten minutes but my worries for the safety of the bird drew me back down stairs. Opening the door to the garage to my surprise was the white bird walking on the floor of the garage. Now what amazed at the fact the bird was calm and showing no fear he walked around like he was comfortable...so as not to startle him I left the garage to get the cage and put water in the small bowl in the cage. To my amazement the bird followed me out of the garage into the driveway then back into the garage. So far so good...now it is time to close the garage door but so afraid I will scare this precious white bird. I walked him to the back of the garage toward the entry door to the inside of the house, I hit the button, door closed and the bird showed no fear. OK now the bird jumped onto Billy's lawn mower I am afraid now for his safety in the garage so slowly I nudged him toward the cage it took maybe a minute if that and he walked right in.
The little white bird for some reason reacted this way and I was in fear for what we were to do with him. I have a good friend who knows the behavior of birds and I quickly called her. She listened intently and totally perplexed at the behavior of the bird and wondered why the hawk did not attack the small white bird and why the bird acted the way it did in the garage. I met her that night and she took the bird..on my way driving to the meeting place the bird sat in the cage, the door of the cage close to my side the bird sat close to the door so as I drove I touched the bird the entire time and he seemed content, I was overwhelmed, peace the bird had given me during the turmoil that consumes us daily in our life since Billy's disappearance was extremely comforting. He has a wonderful home now and safe from the dangers in the wild. Everything happens for a reason and whatever the reason is behind this special day I may never know except it reassured me that there is something out there we cannot explain and goes beyond understanding. The bird sits under the watchful eye of my friend, in her care he will be safe and I will not have to worry about what became of the little white dove who stole my heart.