Harmony will be five years old, meaning that she is filled with beauty and wonder and curiosity. On our “nature walks” (so named by her) she picks up items that we find and asks questions about them. Once we get home, she glues them to large pieces of paper and proclaims them to be her "work paper". Her collages are starbursts of pine needles, leaves, pieces of pine cones and a red signature at the top: HARMOnY.
The collages will be with me at the moment of my death – that’s how embedded in my heart they are – that’s how important they are to me.
Born on September 27th, 2009 - surrounded by love and expectation, Harmony didn’t breathe for her first minutes of life. We watched, helplessly as doctors massaged her little body and I prayed for the Spirit of the Resurrection to breathe life into her. When she finally took breaths and became rosy, we all breathed sighs of tearful relief and took oodles of pictures of her. We haven’t stopped; Harmony has to be the most photographed child in the world.
Harmony learned to crawl and then walk; make sounds and then talk; and finally call us Grandpa and Grandma – all while we were in Africa. When we returned to the USA, Harmony was filled with love and joy that we were home. It took a year of once a week visits before she stopped asking when we were flying “home to Africa.”
These once a week visits to Chico have been wonderful – all filled with the life that is found in a home of small children. My daughter warns me (as I warned my own mother) to follow her rules with them and not spoil them. I try my hardest, but it is a feat of note.
She loves to dance, sing, play games, dress up, talk to strangers (like her mother), play with kids her age (my friends!), and most of all - be read to. My absolute favorite thing is savoring books that I used to read to her mother as we sit against her bed. As we marvel at the words and illustrations, she finishes the sentences, just like her mom used to.
“Oh, Grandma,” Harmony will say spontaneously, during our together times.
“What, honey?” I’ll ask her.
“Oh, I just love you so much.”
That last part is said in her voice which I will never be able to capture with words, no matter how great of an artist I am.
The love and joy she brings to our lives is irreplaceable and my heart is swollen at the thought of her. Happy Birthday, Harmony – you are one in a gazillion.