The little, red tricycle sat alone in the backyard. Rust had just begun to speckle its paint.
The tricycle had belonged to three-year-old Billy, and he had been so excited when he received it.
On Christmas five years ago, Billy had seen the trike sitting beside the tree. It was adorned with a big, red bow that he promptly ripped off as he squealed. He revealed the tricycle in all its shiny glory.
Billy had positioned himself on the seat and placed his feet on the pedals. In a flash, he was across the room. His parents watched with a smile as Billy traveled the room, making siren noises all the way. His parents looked at each other at the realization that it would be some time before the remaining presents would be opened.
There were buds on the trees before Billy was able to ride his trike outside. He took off around the yard, making his normal three-year-old siren noises. His mother enjoyed watching him, and she enjoyed the sun warming her body. With no warning, Billy and his mother heard the siren of a fire truck coming down the street. Billy squealed as his mother’s brow furrowed. Billy ran to the sound with his mother close behind. Before his mother could catch up, Billy had run to the fire truck.
The back tire of the truck had made contact with Billy and propelled his little body off to the side. As Billy’s mother reached him, she heard him say fire truck then fall silent. His mother bent down as the police officer left the motorcade rushing to the fire. He saw the accident although the fire truck was unaware.
His mother felt for a pulse as the sobs wracked her body.
It was three days of watching, waiting, and praying before Billy drew his final breath. His parents were by his side and whispered, “We love you, Billy…”
The nurses turned off the machines with moist eyes.
After the funeral, Billy’s parents returned him and noticed the tricycle for the first time. They left it as a memorial to their sweet son.