August 1, 1996
Pat had slowed down in the last couple of years. She was getting older and didn’t have the energy she once had. Harmony was still the light of her life and she prayed every night that God would let her live long enough to keep Harmony safe and to watch her grow up.
Today was going to be a special day. Harmony was eight years old and they were having a party. It wasn’t going to be a large party, but there were balloons and a cake. Pat had invited one of the families from church and planned to serve hot dogs with lemonade. The best part of the day was going to be when Harmony saw the brand new shiny red bicycle she was getting as a birthday present. Pat had used coupons at the grocery store to help her save up enough money to buy the bike she had seen Harmony looking at in the toy catalogue. Harnony didn’t ask for the bike, but Harmony never asked for anything. That was what was going to make the surprise so much fun.
Pat was tying the last of the balloons to the front porch when the guests arrived. The Harrison’s from church pulled up to the curb and honked the horn to wave as they parked the car. They had no children, but they were a nice couple that had donated clothes and school supplies for Harmony. Pat waved and walked down the sidewalk to greet them.
“I’m so glad you could come for the party. Harmony is going to be excited to see you.”
Gene Harrison opened the car door and held out his hand for his wife. As Mary grabbed his hand and pulled herself up out of the car smiling he said, “Oh we wouldn’t have missed our girl’s birthday party for anything.”
“It’s hard to believe she’s already eight years old.” Mary said as she walked over and gave Pat a hug.
Gene joined the ladies carrying a wrapped box. “I hope she’s not too old for Barbie dolls cause Mary here picked up a couple for her.”
“Oh, she is going to love them. A girl is never too old for Barbie dolls. Come on inside. I‘ve got some ice cold lemonade.”
Mary and Gene fell in behind Pat and walked toward the house. “Where is the birthday girl, anyway? I bet she’s excited.” Gene smiled.
“She didn’t want to get her new birthday dress dirty so she’s sitting inside.”
Pat opened the front door and called out. “Look who’s here, Harmony! The Harrison’s brought you a present.”
Harmony stood and smiled as she gave Mary and Gene each a hug. “Thank you for coming to my birthday party.”
“Oh honey, you’re welcome. Thank you for inviting us. Are any of your little friends coming?” Mary asked as she returned Harmony’s hug.
“No, I told Grandma Pat that I just wanted you to come.”
“Harmony’s still a little shy about making friends.” Pat explained.
Gene handed Harmony the wrapped present they had brought and smiled. “There’s nothing wrong with being a little shy. I was shy too when I was your age.”
Harmony smiled back at him and Pat told her to take the present to her room so they could eat before opening the box and seeing the surprise that waited inside. Harmony did as she was told. Harmony always did as she was told.