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The Griffiths were a happy, musical family, originally from London, England, who moved to the United States when the children were very young. There was Madison Griffiths—the very heart and soul of the family. Madison sang, wrote music, and performed. There was Oliver Griffiths. He was not a musician, but a music lover. He thoroughly enjoyed listening to the beautiful music his family made. Together, Oliver and Madison had four children—Abigail, Tamara, Alexander, and Harmony. Abigail was the youngest, and Harmony was the oldest. The family lived in Brooklyn, New York. Madison and the children all loved to sing, dance, and make music together. They even participated in musicals, recitals, and performances together at Narrows Community Theater. They put smiles on so many faces, brought tears of joy to so many eyes, and warmed so many hearts. Out of the four siblings, Harmony was the most beloved. Her brother and sisters looked up to her, and they admired her. Madison was the heart and soul of the whole family, but Harmony was the heart and soul of the children. Whenever Abigail, Tamara, and Alexander got into an argument or a disagreement, Harmony was the one who fixed it all, and together, they worked it out. At night, when they worried about monsters under the bed or in the closet, Harmony would calm their fears by singing them to sleep. She told them that a pretty singing voice would scare off any evil monsters. After she sang to them, she would kiss them good night. Harmony was their best friend, as was she to many others. She was a sweet little girl, always smiling, laughing, singing, and dancing. Her beautiful spirit melted so many hearts. Everyone who met her wanted to take her home with them, because they thought she was an angel. She was so much like her mother.
One Christmas Eve, it was snowing heavily. Madison and her children dressed up in their costumes for a musical. They would be performing A Christmas Carol, along with Madison's brother, Leo, and her sister, Poppy. When they were all dressed up, they all walked slowly down the stairs as if they were walking the runway. Oliver stood a few feet away, and just stared with a bright smile on his face. "How do we look, Daddy?" asked Tamara. "Don't they look precious?" asked Madison. "You all look beautiful," said Oliver, "as always." "Thank you, Daddy," Harmony said sweetly. "What about me, Dad?" asked Alexander. "I can't look 'beautiful.' I'm a boy." Madison laughed. "You look very handsome." Oliver chuckled and nodded in agreement. "Well, we'd better get going," said Madison. "We've got to meet your Uncle Leo and Auntie Poppy there at 7:30." The whole family wrapped up in their sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, and jackets, and walked out into the snowy, cold weather. "Oooh!" Madison shivered. "It's bloody cold!" "Last one in the car's a rotten Christmas tree!" Alexander shouted as he ran to the car. "Alex, be careful!" Oliver called. "It's slippery." The rest of the family climbed in the car. Madison fired up the engine, and turned the heat way up. "Let's get some warmth in here," she said. "I'm cold, Harmony," Abigail cried. "Awww, poor Abby," said Harmony. "Come here." She wrapped her arms around Abby to warm her up. "It'll be warm in here soon." "Is everyone buckled in?" asked Oliver." "Yes," the children all said in unison. "Then, we're off," said Madison. As Madison carefully and slowly droved down the road, everyone stared out the window, and took in the beautiful sight of the lit Christmas trees, covered in slow, the lit houses, and the beautiful gleam of the lights reflecting on the snow. They even saw snowmen, clay reindeer, and statues of Santa Claus, angels, and Jesus. The city looked like a Christmas Fairyland. "Are we in heaven?" asked Abby. "No," said Harmony, "but it looks like heaven." "It sure does," Madison sighed happily. Oliver looked over at Madison, and smiled at her. She was so beautiful that it took his breath away, and her smile lit the road in front of them. He leaned over, and gently kissed her cheek. The children saw the kiss, and they saw their mother's face light up even more. They looked at each other with adorable grins on their faces.
In just a few minutes, Madison pulled into the parking lot of Narrows Community Theater. They all got out of the car, and walked inside. They hung their coats, scarves, gloves, and hats in the front lobby, and headed down the hallway, where they ran into Leo and Poppy. "Maddie!" Poppy exclaimed, hugging and kissing Madison. "You look lovely, Darling." "So do you, Sweetheart," Maddie said sweetly. "Ahem!" Leo announced. "Oh, Leo, Darling, I couldn't forget you," Maddie giggled, hugging Leo. "How are you, love?" She kissed his forehead. "I'm doing great." "Are you excited to be playing Scrooge?" Maddie teased. "Yes!" Leo growled jokingly. "I will be a good Scrooge!" "You absolutely will with that angry voice," Poppy teased. The children laughed. "Are you laughing at me?" Leo growled, trying to keep a straight face. The children laughed harder. "Alright, everyone, let's go backstage, and wait," Maddie said with a goofy grin on her face. They all, except for Oliver, walked down the hall to the auditorium, and waited backstage, until it was finally time to start the show. Oliver grabbed a front row seat in the audience, and waited patiently for the overhead lights to darken, and the stage curtain to open, revealing the beautiful set and his beautiful family. The wait seemed to last forever, but it was only a half an hour. Finally, the auditorium was packed full of an excited audience. The curtain finally lifted, and the show began. Everyone's acting, singing, and dancing stole every heart in the audience. Maddie and Leo stole the most hearts, as well as the entire show. Everyone felt the Christmas spirit in their hearts. The whole show was more than successful. It was a phenomenon. At the end, the entire cast stood on stage, side by side, holding hands, and they bowed together for the happy crowd.
That night, Maddie tucked her children into bed, kissed them good night, and sang a sweet Christmas lullaby to them—Silent Night. It was her favorite song to sing to them around Christmastime. "Good night, my Christmas angels," she whispered sweetly to each of them. Then, she tiptoed down the hallway, and into her room, where she found Oliver, already snuggled under the covers. She changed into a white nightdress with glittery green Christmas trees scattered all over it. She climbed into bed, and wrapped her arms around her husband. Oliver turned his head toward Maddie, opened his eyes, and groaned. "I'm sorry, Sweetie," Maddie whispered. "Did I wake you?" "No, Darling," Oliver whispered. "I was just resting my eyes while I waited for you." "Oh." Maddie grinned. "You were wonderful tonight, Darling," Oliver said weakly. "Thank you." "No, I mean it. I know I always say it, but I always mean it. You made so many people happy tonight, just by being in the room." "Thank you, Sweetheart." "And, the children were fantastic, as were your brother and sister." "Well, we learned it all from our parents." "Your parents are God-sent." Maddie beamed. "Why do you say that?" "Well, because, they brought you into this world, didn't they?" Maddie giggled. "Oh, Sweetheart." She kissed Oliver's lips gently. "I love you." She snuggled in his arms. "I love you so much." "I love you, too." "I guess we'd better get some sleep before Santa Claus comes," Maddie said in a flirty tone. "Yeah, we don't want him to think we've been naughty, now, do we?" "Oh, Oliver, we're only naughty at night." "Yeah, but it's Christmas Eve. He might not leave any presents for us." Maddie giggled. "Oh, shut up, and give me a big smoochy-woochy." Oliver kissed Maddie passionately. Outside, the snow continued to fall. The stars and the moon reflected their light on the white, shiny grounds. The sky looked like crystal. It was very cold, but there was a warm feeling in the air. Everything seemed so peaceful. Every child was asleep, and dreaming of Christmas morning. Then, finally, the sun rose in the crystal sky, and let its bright beams hit the snow on the ground. It was a beautiful, white Christmas. The Griffiths children were wide awake, and ready to see what Santa left under the tree for them. They all ran into the living room, and sat in front of the tree as Oliver and Maddie walked in. "Merry Christmas, my little candy canes!" exclaimed a joyful Maddie. "Let's see what Santa left for you." "Wait," said Oliver. "We can't open presents yet."
"Why?" asked Abby. "Well, we have to turn the tree lights on, don't we?" "Oh, yeah!" Maddie plugged in the lights, and the tree lit up with beautiful colors. "Now, we can open presents." The children immediately dug through the presents, and found the ones that belonged to them. They tore off the paper, and their faces lit up when they saw that they got everything they wanted for Christmas—Barbie dolls, action figures, video games, and so many other things. After the family finished opening presents, they all gathered in the kitchen for their traditional Christmas breakfast—sausage gravy and biscuits. For the rest of the afternoon, the children all remained in the living room with their parents, and they all played together, until an hour before dinnertime, when the rest of the family showed up.
The rest of the family had finally arrived for Christmas dinner, and they each brought a dish. Poppy brought roast potatoes. Leo brought green bean casserole. Poppy's daughter, Cheyenne, brought Christmas cookies, Christmas cupcakes, and brownies shaped like Christmas trees. Maddie's parents, Audrey and Brian, brought fried chicken, and Oliver's parents, Elizabeth and Richard, brought deviled eggs, turkey, and salad. Yes, this family enjoyed eating a slightly different sort of meal on Christmas than other families. "Ya saved me from having to cook an entire meal," Maddie said to everyone. "Thank you." "You're welcome, Darling," said Audrey. "I figured you already had your hands full with the children." "Oh, no," Maddie chuckled, "it's no trouble. They're the sweetest angels." "They must get that from you," said Brian. Maddie laughed softly. "Aww, Daddy." She kissed his nose. "Merry Christmas!" "Merry Christmas to you, too, my love." Maddie and Oliver placed the foods into different punch bowls, and set them on the kitchen counter. The Griffiths children ran to their family, threw their arms around them, wished them a Merry Christmas, and received the same wishes in return. "Did you bring presents?" asked Alex. "Well, of course!" said Richard. "How can we forget to bring presents?" "Where are they?" "They're in our cars," said Elizabeth. "We'll open them after we eat," said Oliver. "Okay." Alex smiled politely. "Alright, it's time to eat. Who's hungry?" asked Maddie. Everyone hurried into the dining room, where Maddie and Oliver had set the long table for thirteen. They looked around the room, and saw the decorations on the walls, and the electric candles in the windows. "Oh, Madison," Audrey sighed, "you did such a beautiful job." "Well, I can't take all the credit," said Maddie. "I did get lots of help from Oliver and the children." "Well, you all did a lovely job. Did the children make some of these decorations themselves?" Maddie nodded. "Yes, they sure did." "They get their artistic talent from Poppy," said Brian. Poppy smiled. "Alright, I'll bring the food in," said Maddie. "You can choose between fried chicken and turkey, or you can have a bit of both. Raise your hand if you'd like chicken." Five people raised their hands. "How many of you want turkey?" Four people raised their hands.
"Alright, and I'm guessing the rest of you want both." The other three nodded. "Okay. Poppy, Dear, will you please help me?" "Of course." Poppy got up from her seat, and followed Maddie into the kitchen. They talked as they filled thirteen bowls with salad, and prepared thirteen plates of Christmas dinner. "So, how's your Christmas been so far?" Maddie asked. "It's been alright, but it sure isn't the same without Eddie." A sad expression appeared in Poppy's eyes. "Nothing is anymore," she said glumly. "I know, Sweetheart." Maddie stroked Poppy's hair. "He was a wonderful husband. We all miss him." Poppy burst into tears. "For God's sake, it's been two years! I should be over it by now." "You never get over losing a loved one, and it's alright to feel sad about it." "Yeah, but I can't believe I still randomly burst into tears out of nowhere." "It's understandable. I know I never lost a husband, but I loved Eddie like a little brother. I still burst into tears sometimes. Even Oliver cries for him. It's nothing to be ashamed of." "I just wonder what he'd say if he saw me like this." "He can see you're grieving, Sweetie, but he understands." "I didn't even see it coming. I wish I could've saved him." "Well, nobody can predict a car accident. There's nothing you could've done. He was killed instantly." "I shouldn't have been so forgetful. I went grocery shopping for Christmas dinner, and I forgot the damn lettuce. I was too tired to go back. I shouldn't have made him go." "Oh, Poppy, come here." Maddie wrapped her arms around Poppy, held her close, and dried away her tears. "Don't blame yourself. You had nothing to do with his accident. You didn't kill him. The drunk driver killed him, and that drunk got what he deserved. He's locked up now." "It still doesn't take away the pain he caused me." "No, it doesn't, but I've always believed that, even when someone you love is not physically with you, they're still there. Their spirit is still there. He's still right here. You can't see him with your eyes. You have to look with your heart, and you have to listen with your heart." Maddie fought back tears. "Then, you can see him… and hear his voice… and feel his arms around you." Poppy dried her tears. "Thank you, Maddie. I couldn't do this without you or Cheyenne or Leo." "We'll always be here for you." Poppy smiled again. "Come on. Let's get this food to that hungry mob out there." Maddie and Poppy laughed as they each carried one salad bowl in each hand. They had to take a few trips back into the kitchen, but it didn't take too long. Then, they brought out the salad dressings—Ranch, Italian, and French, and placed them in the center of the table. After they all enjoyed their salads, Maddie and Poppy went back into the kitchen to bring out the main course.
"Okay, don't start eating, until all the plates are out, and we've said a blessing," said Poppy as she exited the dining room to finish bringing out the food. Finally, everyone had a plate of delicious food in front of them, and Maddie and Poppy took their seats. Everyone folded their hands in front of them as Maddie recited a beautiful blessing. "Dear Lord, we thank you for this wonderful food we are about to eat. We thank you for giving us so many other blessings, such as this wonderful, magical family, and this wonderful Christmas day we're spending together. Please bless those less fortunate than us with all these gifts you have given us. Happy birthday. Amen." "Amen," everyone said in unison. "Alright, time to eat," said a chipper Maddie. Everyone laughed as they all enjoyed a delicious, warm, and wonderful meal together. Afterwards, Maddie and Oliver spoiled them with the delicious desserts that Cheyenne had brought. Then, it was time to open more presents. At the end of the day, Maddie set up the timer on her camera as the entire family gathered around for a family picture, which is something they did at the end of the day every Christmas. The picture turned out beautifully, as it always did. Maddie printed it out, and placed it into a sparkling frame with little angels around the sides. Afterwards, the entire family pulled into a large group hug, and for the last time, wished each other a Merry Christmas. The children were all exhausted from all the excitement, and they were ready for bed. They all changed into their night clothes, brushed their teeth, and took turns using the bathroom, and they climbed into bed as Maddie came in each of their rooms to sing them to sleep. For the last time that year, she sang Silent Night. She kissed each one of them on the forehead, and whispered sweetly, "Good night, my Christmas angels. I love you." Then, she walked down the hallway, coughing.
The next summer, the Griffiths family was preparing for a family vacation with Leo, Poppy, and Cheyenne. Oliver had booked a flight to Hawaii, and they all had planned to stay for two weeks. However, Maddie had not been feeling well for a while, but luckily, she had a physical scheduled before the vacation. On the day of Maddie's physical, she kissed her children and her husband before leaving. "I should be back in less than an hour," she said. "Good luck, Sweetheart," said Oliver. "Oh, I'll be alright." "Yes, I know, but you've been sick for a while. I just hope the doctor can fix the problem." "Me, too." Maddie smiled at her family. "I'll see you soon." "By, Mommy," the children said. "By, my little angels. I'll be back in about an hour." Maddie closed the door behind her. Well, an hour had passed, and Maddie was still not home. Oliver figured she must've gotten stuck in traffic, or maybe she had to wait a while in the waiting room. Then, two hours passed, and Oliver felt a bit worried. Still, he guessed it was probably nothing. Then, five hours passed, and Oliver and the children were all worried sick. Tamara was in her room by herself, trying to pass the time by playing with her toys, but all she could think about was when her mother would be home. She left her room, strolled down the stairs, and into the living room, where Oliver was sitting on the couch, watching television. She slowly walked toward him with a worried expression on her face. "Daddy?" she said. "Mara, what's the matter?" Oliver asked sympathetically. "When's Mommy coming home?" Oliver didn't know what to tell her, so he just guessed. "Shortly." "She said it would only be an hour." "Yes, I know, but I don't think you have anything to worry about, Darling." "Okay." "Why don't you just watch cartoons?" "But, you're using the TV." "Well, I'm not really watching this." Oliver grabbed the remote, and changed to Mara's favorite cartoon channel. "There you are, love." "Thanks, Daddy." Finally, about twenty minutes later, Maddie arrived home, carrying a folded sheet of paper in her hand. Oliver immediately greeted her at the door. "How did it go?" he asked. "I'll tell you in a moment," Maddie said as she ran to her children, who were all waiting for her in the living room. They all jumped up, and ran to their mother, hugging and kissing her. "Mommy, what took you so long?" asked Mara. "I thought it was gonna be an hour?" "I had to wait a long time, Sweetie," said Maddie, "but I'm home now."
"I'm glad you're home," said Harmony. "I missed you." "Awwww," Maddie chuckled with a cute grin on her face. "I missed you, too, Baby." Then, she turned to Oliver. "Oliver, I need to talk to you for a moment," she said, trying not to sound too serious. Oliver followed her into the basement, and they closed the door. The children were not at all suspicious of anything. They were just happy their mother was home, so they went back to playing together. "What is it?" Oliver asked. Maddie hesitated. He began to worry. "W-what's… going on?" She took a deep breath. "I have cancer." His mouth dropped open in complete shock. "What?!" She handed him the piece of paper. "Here," she said. He read the information. "Stage 4, Metastatic, Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma?" "Yes." "How can you have lung cancer?! You've never smoked a cigarette a day in your life!" "I told you my mum had it," Maddie tried not to cry, "but they caught it early. They cleaned it." "It says here it's inoperable?" Oliver's heart began pounding in his chest. "What the hell does that mean?! They can't do anything?!" Maddie burst into tears. "I'm sorry." Oliver held her close. "It's alright, love. I'm not angry at you." "I let you down." "No, you didn't. Cancer let you down." Maddie hid her face in Oliver's shirt, and continued weeping. "H-How long? I didn't read the whole thing. How long did they say?" "Six months." Oliver hung his head in tears. "Oh, God."
Oliver and Maddie knew they had to tell the children about the cancer, but it would be very hard, especially for Maddie. At dinner, Maddie could not eat her food, and Alex and Harmony knew something wasn't right. After dinner, they both sat on the sofa, in the living room together, just looking at the floor, and wondering what was wrong with their mother. A few minutes later, Maddie walked in, and saw the looks on their faces. She knew she had to tell them, as well as the younger two, but she also knew it would be the hardest thing she would ever have to tell them. How do you tell four small children that you only have six months to live? Maddie sat between Alex and Harmony, and wrapped her arms around them. "Hey, you two. What's the matter?" "Mum, what's wrong with you?" asked Alex. Maddie exhaled nervously. "Mara! Abby! Please come in here!" she called. "I need to talk to you!" Mara and Abby came running in. Mara sat next to Alex, and Abby jumped onto Maddie's lap. "I have something to tell you all," Maddie said, fighting back tears, "and it's very hard for me." "You don't love us anymore?" asked a worried Abby. "Oh, Abby, Baby, don't say that." Maddie kissed Abby's forehead. "I will always, always love all of you very much, no matter what." "What's wrong with you?" asked Harmony. Maddie took a deep breath, and let it out. "I have cancer." "What's cancer?" asked Abby. "It's a very, very bad sickness." "Are you gonna die?" asked Mara, trembling. Maddie hesitated. "Mommy, are you gonna die?" Abby sniffled. Maddie swallowed. Her throat was in knots. "Yes." Tears shot out of the eyes of all four children as they snuggled in their mother's warm arms. "How long do you have left?" asked a teary-eyed Alex. "Six months," Maddie sobbed. "Will you be here for Thanksgiving?" asked Mara. "I think so," Maddie replied. "That's only five months off." "What about Christmas?" added Abby. Maddie paused. "I don't know. I hope so." "Good, because we wanna have Christmas with you," said Harmony. "It wouldn't be the same without you." "Well, hopefully, I have one more Christmas left in me." Maddie looked at the children's sad faces. "Oh, come here, all of you." She held them close, and kissed each one on the forehead. Just then, Oliver walked in to see everyone crying. "What's going on in here?" he joked. "What are all these long faces about?"
"I just told the children," Maddie explained. "Oh, I see," Oliver said softly as he sat next to Harmony. "Where will you go when you die?" asked Mara. "Heaven," said Oliver. "She'll be in heaven with God." "And, Jesus and Mary and Joseph," added Maddie, "and the angels, too." "What's heaven like?" asked Alex. "I've never been there," said Maddie, "but I know it'll be wonderful. I'll get to meet God, and he's probably the nicest man you'll ever meet." "Is there food in heaven?" asked Mara. Maddie and Oliver chuckled. "Yes," said Maddie. "There's lots of food in heaven, and it never runs out, so you don't have to go grocery shopping." Oliver laughed to himself. "Is it yummy?" asked Abby. Maddie nodded. "Yes. There's no such thing as yucky food in heaven. Even the broccoli is good. Maybe I can get you to eat it when it's your turn to go to heaven." "So, I won't have to call it barfoli," said Mara. Maddie laughed. "Nope, because nobody barfs in heaven. Everyone is healthy and happy, and pain doesn't exist at all. Even if you fall down, you won't get hurt. You can fall down all you like." "You can even fall out of a tree," Oliver joked, "and it won't damage your brain. Wouldn't that be nice, Alex?" The children laughed. "Alright, Oliver, don't encourage him." Maddie giggled. "Sorry." Maddie giggled again, and kissed Oliver's cheek. "Are we gonna catch cancer?" asked Abby. "No, Sweetie," Maddie replied. "Cancer's not contagious, so I can still kiss you as much as you want me to." "Good, 'cuz I don't want you to stop kissing me." "Awww, I'll never stop kissing and hugging any of you. You're my precious, little angels. Even when I go to heaven, I'll still be kissing and hugging you everyday." "How?" "She'll be an angel," said Harmony. "She can fly to you, and hug and kiss you." "I thought Mommy was already a angel," said Abby. Maddie snuggled Abby in her arms. "Awww, aren't you sweet?" "She is," said Harmony, "but when she goes to heaven, she'll get wings." "So, we'll still see you?" Mara enquired. "Not with your eyes," Maddie replied, "but if you look and listen with your heart, you'll see me, and you'll hear my voice. If you feel with your heart, you'll feel me there, and I'll be holding you so tight." She burst into tears again. "I'll never let you go, and I'll sing to you all the time. I'll tell you how much I love you, how proud I am of you, and that I'll always, always love you. I'll be there
whenever you need me, but you have to look and listen and feel with your heart. You can't look with your eyes, or listen with your ears, or feel with your hands. You have to use your heart. Can you do that for me?" "I know how to do that," said Abby. "That's how I talk to Uncle Eddie." "Will you see him in heaven?" asked Mara. "Yes, I'll meet him at the gate," said Maddie, "and I'll tell him you all said hello." "Thank you, Mommy," said Abby. "You're welcome, Baby." Out of nowhere, Oliver burped loudly. "Oh, excuse me!" he exhaled, embarrassed. The others just laughed. "Oh, Oliver, you silly hot air balloon!" Maddie teased. Everyone laughed long and loud. "Why don't we watch a movie together?" Maddie suggested, still laughing. "Can we have popcorn?" asked Alex. "Well, you just ate dinner, so why don't we wait a little while?" "Okay." "In the meantime, why not play a game?" "Yes!" Mara barked excitedly. For the rest of the night, the family spent quality time together, playing games, goofing off, and finally, watching a movie. They gathered in front of the television, and they each had a big bowl of popcorn on their lap. They cuddled up in a large blanket that Maddie had knitted, and they snuggled in each other's arms. It was a very special night for them all.
The next few months were the hardest few months the Griffiths family ever had to live through. There was nothing the children could do, but watch their mother get sicker and sicker. All Oliver could do was stay be her side, and hold her hand. They all wished they could rid her of her illness, and they all prayed for her recovery. However, it never happened. Soon, Christmas was approaching again, and the family kept praying that Maddie would be around long enough to celebrate with them. On the night before Christmas Eve, the children were all sound asleep, except for Abby. She crawled out of bed, and knocked on her parents' bedroom door. "Who is it?" Oliver asked. "Abby," Abby said sadly. "Come in, Darling." Abby opened the door, and walked in, sniffing back tears. "Darling, what's the matter?" asked Oliver. "Is Mommy still alive?" Maddie opened her eyes, and saw the look on Abby's face. "Of course." "I had a bad dream," Abby sobbed. "I just wanted to make sure you didn't die yet." Maddie reached her arm out. "Oh, Abby, come here, Sweetheart," she said sympathetically. Abby slid her feet across the carpet, until she reached her mother. Maddie wrapped her arm around her. "I'm still here," she said softly. "I'm still here, and I'll always, always be here. Remember what I told you, Baby. I'm not going anywhere. I'm not ever saying goodbye to you, because I'll be everywhere." "You promise?" Abby sniffled. "Absolutely. I promise." "Okay." "But, I want you to know something, Sweetie." "What?" "When I die, it's alright to be sad. It's alright to cry. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise, because it's not healthy to keep it all locked inside. When you have to cry, don't keep it bottled up. You have to let it out." "What if I'm in school?" "Then, you can still cry, but cry silently. I don't want you to get in trouble." Maddie giggled. Abby smiled through her tears. "And, you can always go to your brother, your sisters, your daddy, your Auntie Poppy, and your Uncle Leo if you need someone to talk to, and you can always lean on your friends. They'll all be there for you." "Thank you, Mommy." "You're welcome, Sweetheart." "When you die, can we write on balloons, and send them to you?"
"Absolutely. I would love that. And, anytime you want to write to me, just write on a balloon, and send it to heaven." "Okay, Mommy." "Okay, Sweetie." Maddie kissed Abby's cheek. "I love you, Baby." "I love you, too, Mommy." "Now, why don't you go get some sleep? It's Christmas Eve tomorrow." Maddie grinned. "Can I please stay with you?" "Of course, Baby." "Thanks, Mommy." "You're welcome." "I have to go to the bathroom first." "Okay, Sweetheart."
The very next day, the whole family had planned on doing another Christmas show, just like they did the year before. However, Maddie was too weak to go. She could barely get out of bed. The rest of the family decided to stay with her, so the entire show was cancelled. Maddie was resting, while the whole family sat around her bed, praying she would wake up, just one more time. After a while, she finally opened her eyes, and saw her family. "Hi," she said weakly. "Hi," Oliver exhaled in relief as he stood up from his seat, and leaned over Maddie. "How are you feeling, Darling?" "Tired." Oliver tried to hide his sadness with a smile. "Very tired, but very happy." A bit of Oliver's sadness went away. "Why are you happy?" asked Mara. "Because, I'm with all of you," said Maddie, "and that's the most wonderful gift I could ask for—being surrounded by the ones I love in my final hours." Harmony turned her head away from her mother when she heard that, trying not to cry. She cleared her throat to hide her pain, but she couldn't. She got up, and walked out of the room. "Is she alright?" asked a worried Poppy. "I'll be right back," said Oliver. He bent over further, and kissed Maddie. Then, he followed Harmony into her room. He found her lying in her bed, crying. "Harmony?" "Please go away," Harmony sobbed. Oliver sat on the end of Harmony's bed, and stroked her back. "Darling—" "Is Mum gonna die today?" Harmony lifted her head from the pillow, and turned to her father with her face soaking wet. Oliver didn't speak. He didn't know what to say. "Daddy, is Mum gonna die today?" "I don't know, Darling," Oliver sighed. "I hope not. I'd like to spend one more Christmas with her. I'd like to spend New Year's with her, but I'm not sure she'll make it that far." He hesitated. "I know that's not what you wanted to hear. I didn't want to say that, though, but your mother's very ill. She can't even get out of bed anymore." Tears formed behind his eyes, but he managed not to cry. He swallowed them. "It's awful, I know. It's frightening to see her like this." "I don't want her to die." Oliver wrapped his arm around Harmony's shoulder. "I know, Darling. I don't, either. I can't imagine life without her. I don't even want to, but it's going to happen soon. We have to—" "I don't wanna hear you say we have to deal with it!" Harmony bawled. "I know that already." "You just want comfort." "Yes." "I understand."
"Does Mum know I'm upset?" "She knows we're all upset, but she understands." "She's not angry?" "Not at all. In fact, I bet if you went in there right now with those tears, she'd wipe them away for you." "Thanks, Daddy." Harmony crawled out of her bed, and slowly moved down the hallway with Oliver following her. She reentered Maddie's room, still crying her heart out. Maddie saw the look on Harmony's face, and it broke her heart. She slowly opened her tired arms. "Come here, Baby," she said sweetly. "Come here." Harmony rushed to her mother's side, crawling into the bed with her, and snuggling in her arms while still crying. "Oh, Sweetie, it's okay." Maddie kissed Harmony on each cheek. "It's okay, Baby." "I don't want you to die," Harmony sobbed. "Aww, I don't want to die, either. I'd rather stay here with you." "You're not mad at me?" "Sweetie, why would I be?" "Because, you're sick, and I'm making you feel bad." "No, you're not," Maddie sniffled. "But, you're crying." "I'm not crying, because I'm angry with you. I'm crying, because I'll miss you so much. I'm not angry with you, Baby. I don't want you to think that. You're not making me feel bad. I already feel terrible for leaving you, but you are not making me feel worse. I don't want you to keep all those feelings bottled up inside of you. I'd feel worse if you didn't let them out, because I'd know you were straining to be strong for me. I don't want that. It's okay to cry, Sweetheart, and it's okay to not want me to go." Just then, Abby started to cry as she jumped in the bed with Harmony and Maddie. Then, Mara and Cheyenne started crying, too, followed by Alex. They all jumped into the bed with Maddie. "Be careful," Oliver worried. Maddie laughed through her tears. "Oh, no, it's alright. I love this. I love holding all my babies." "One of them is my baby," Poppy teased. Maddie giggled as she held the crowd of children in her arms. "Oh, this feels wonderful," she sighed happily. Cheyenne helped wipe away Maddie's tears with her bear hands, and then, she wiped them on Harmony's left arm. "There," she said. "Now, you have a piece of her on you." "She has one already," said Maddie. "She has plenty. You all do. You have me, and I will always live on in your hearts." She kissed each child's forehead. "Oh, I love you all so much." "We love you, too, Dearest," said Audrey. "You'll always be our little angel," said Brian.
Audrey nodded in agreement. "And, you have been a part of our family for a long time," said Elizabeth. "Even before you married Oliver," added Richard. "You've always been very special to us." Maddie didn't say anything. She just smiled sweetly at everyone. It felt very gloomy in that room, but her smile brought the light and the color back in. When she smiled, everyone smiled again. For a moment, everyone was silent. Then, out of nowhere, Poppy asked, "Would all of you like something to eat? I brought Christmas treats." Everyone looked at Maddie first. Maddie smiled sweetly. "Go ahead. I'll be alright." She giggled sweetly. "Go enjoy your treats. I'll be here when you come back." Everyone, except Oliver, left the room. Poppy stuck her head in the doorway. "Aren't you coming, Oliver?" she asked. "No, I'm going to stay with Maddie," said Oliver. "I need a moment alone with her." "Okay. We'll bring you both plenty of food back up if you're hungry." "Okay." Poppy turned her head, and joined everyone downstairs. Meanwhile, Oliver crawled into bed with Maddie, and held her close to his beating heart. "You should go downstairs, Sweetie," said Maddie. "No, I want one more moment alone with you." "We have tonight." "No, tonight, the children will be sleeping in bed with us." Maddie smiled. "That'll be so wonderful." "Are you scared?" "Of what?" "Dying." "No, not anymore, because I know where I'm going. I went there for a short time last night, just for a visit." "Wow," Oliver exhaled. "What's it like there?" "It's the most beautiful place I've ever been to." "Did you meet God?" "Yes. He was wonderful, and I met Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the angels, and I saw my grandparents. I saw Eddie. I saw your brother." Oliver's jaw dropped. "Daniel?" "Yes." "Did you talk to him?" "I did, yes." "What did he say?" "He said he was sorry. He said he wished he'd given up his wallet to that man instead." "When you go back, please tell him he doesn't have to be sorry. It wasn't his fault that bastard killed him." "I agree."
"I think the robber should be the sorry one." "Well, I'll tell him you said he has nothing to worry about." "Thank you." "He also said he's very proud of you. He wishes he could be here to meet our children, but he's watching over them. He's watching over you, too, and when it's my time, I'll watch over all of you." "Did he say anything else about the children?" "He said they're all beautiful." Oliver grinned. "I have to agree with that." Maddie giggled. "Me, too." She kissed Oliver, and snuggled in his arms. "Oh, Sweetheart," she sighed happily. "I want you to listen to me now. Someday, you'll meet a woman, and you'll fall in love again. I know a lot of people feel guilty when they fall in love again after losing a husband or wife, because they think they're cheating on them, but I want you to know something. I won't be angry at all when it happens. I'll be so happy for you." "Thank you." "I remember you telling me you want to be buried next to me when we're both dead. Well, when you and your new love die, you can be buried next to both of us." "You're wonderful, Maddie, but… I don't think I'll ever love another like I love you." "Maybe not, but you will find a woman you love just as much." "I don't want to think about that yet." "Then, don't. You don't have to yet. I just wanted you to know all that." "Thank you." "No. Thank you." "For what?" "For being the most wonderful husband a woman could ever ask for, for being such a wonderful father to our beautiful children, and for being a wonderful friend to my family." "Thank you for the same things, except for the fact that you weren't the most wonderful husband in the world." Maddie giggled. "You were the most wonderful wife, and you weren't a wonderful father to our children." Maddie giggled again. "You silly." "You were a wonderful mother, and you were a wonderful friend to my family, too." Maddie laughed. "You're so precious." She kissed Oliver. "Oh, I love you, Sweetheart." "I love you, too, my love." "Oliver?" "Yes?" "Will you make love to me one more time?" Tears poured out of Oliver's eyes. "Of course."
That evening, Maddie was feeling weaker than ever. She snuggled under the blankets with her whole family around her. The children were lying in the bed with her, and the adults were standing over her bed. Every heart in the room was heavy, and not one eye was completely dry. "I love all of you… so much," Maddie said very weakly. "You're all my angels, my beautiful Christmas angels. I want you to know how grateful I am to have such a wonderful, precious, beautiful family." "We feel the same way about you, Maddie," said Leo. "We couldn't be more thankful," Poppy sobbed. "Mommy, are you gonna die tonight?" asked a frightened Mara. Maddie stroked Mara's hair. "I think so, Sweetheart," she sniffled. "I'm so tired. My whole body is in so much pain." Mara burst into sudden tears, followed by the rest of the children. Maddie consoled the children. "It's alright, my little angels. Just let it all out." She stroked all their heads, and kissed each of them on the cheek as they continued crying. Soon, everyone else in the room was crying. "Will you please sing to us one more time?" Cheyenne sniffled. "Of course," Maddie said sweetly. Even though she was extremely weak, exhausted, and ill, she was still able to sing beautifully. One last time, she sang Silent Night. The room was so gloomy and sad, but when she sang, she lit up the room like a Christmas tree. After she sang, she gave everyone in the room a kiss. "I love you all," she said sweetly. "Merry Christmas." Then, everyone watched with breaking hearts as she closed her eyes. Everyone pulled into a big group hug, sobbing and weeping their hearts out. The room was gloomy once again, but this time, it was even more so. The next day was Christmas, but nothing was the way it used to be. It was the saddest Christmas the family had ever experienced. They still had their traditional breakfast, and they still opened presents. They still had a big dinner together, but the grief really hit them at the end when it was time for the family picture. A very important family member was missing, but they took the picture anyway.
Madison's funeral was on New Year's Eve. The funeral home was packed with grief-stricken people who knew and loved her. Everyone gathered around her open coffin with tears pouring out of their eyes. Even in death, she was still so lovely. Pastor Lundin stood at the front of the room. "We're here today to honor a young woman who was recently taken from us. Madison Harmony MacLeanGriffiths was one of the most beloved souls in Brooklyn. She spread her music, her light, love, kindness, and warm everywhere she went, and gave endlessly to everyone she met. Then, a few months ago, she was diagnosed with lung cancer that spread to her brain, and by then, it was too late to save her. She will be sorely missed here on Earth, but our Lord must need her up in heaven. Brooklyn will never be the same without her, and now, Madison's sister, Poppy, will say a few words." Poppy stood over the coffin of gold as her tears landed on Madison's beautiful face. "Thank you all for coming. Madison was the most wonderful sister I could've asked for. When we were little, we weren't like normal sisters. We never fought or argued. We never shouted at each other over the stupidest things, and we never frowned at each other. We were the best of friends, along with our brother, Leo." Leo smiled. Poppy continued. "She took care of us. When our mum got sick with cancer years ago, Leo and I were so afraid we'd lose her, but Maddie knew she'd survive. She kept praying for Mum, and she always told us, 'Don't be frightened. Mum will survive this. She can survive anything,' and she was right." Poppy suddenly began sobbing heavily. "I don't know what we would've done without Maddie, and I honestly don't know how we'll get through life without her. I feel dead inside now that she's gone, but at least she's in a better place. At least she won't have to suffer any pain anymore, and that's a relief to us. At the same time, it hurts, because she's not here anymore." "Yes, she is," Abby chimed in. Poppy paused. "She's still here. I can see her." Everyone was confused. "I'm looking with my heart. You can't see her with your eyes. She said you have to see her with your heart." Suddenly, the room lit up with smiles. "She's still here." Abby could see the spirit of her mother in front of her. "Hi, Mommy." "Hi, Sweetheart," said Maddie's spirit, as she bent over, and kissed Abby's cheek. Everyone could see her spirit, because they looked with their hearts, not their eyes anymore. In an instant, their tears of sorrow and pain turned into tears of joy. "Hi, everybody," Maddie's spirit said.
Everyone smiled at her. "Abby's right. I'm still here. I came here today, because I have one more song to sing for all of you. I used to sing this to Leo and Poppy all the time, and now, I'm singing it to all of you. Every word I sing comes straight from my heart." So, Maddie sang her song for her friends and family. Her voice was even more heavenly than ever, and she touched every heart in the room. Then, after she sang, she blew a kiss, and she disappeared, leaving everybody breathless.
Ever since that tragic Christmas Eve, the Griffiths family was never the same again. Everything felt so empty and cold in that house. They all lived life as normally as they possibly could, but it was so difficult. Abby stayed her sweet, innocent, cute self, but at night, she would cry herself to sleep from missing her mother so much. Alex was still his energetic, outgoing self. He smiled and laughed all the time like he used to, but he never felt the same. His smile wasn't real anymore. It was hiding pain from the death of his mother. Of course, he hid it in front of other people, because of that ridiculous stereotype that men don't cry. However, at night, he confided in his pillow. Mara, on the other hand, changed quite a bit. She used to be sensitive, shy, and fragile, but she became almost robotic. Not much would really get to her. Inside, she was bottling up so much pain, but she was tough. She rarely cried at night, and she almost never confided in anyone. Harmony was still the sweet, loving, warm angel she always was, just like her mother. She still spread her love and kindness to everyone, and she still brought smiles to so many faces. However, she was also missing her mother very much. She confided most in a friend she had known for a long time, since she and her family immigrated to America when she was only seven years old. Her best friend's name was Maylee Abdul—May for short. May was like another sister to her. After Madison's death, Harmony and May became closer than before. They confided in each other all the time, and they consoled each other. They laughed and cried together. The one having the most difficulty coping was Oliver. He had completely changed. Before Madison's death, he was a happy, charming, free spirit with a strong sense of humor. Since his wife died, he had changed into a broken man. He rarely smiled. It took a lot to make him laugh. He was in a grouchy mood half the time, and he became an overprotective father, especially towards Harmony, because she reminded him so much of Madison. He tried to keep her as close as possible, because losing her would be like losing Madison all over again. Leo seemed to be doing alright. He had plenty of moments of grief, but he was still his chipper self. Poppy was also having difficulty coping without Madison. She was the same loving, outgoing, funny lady she always was, but she felt more pain than she could bear at times from losing both her husband and her sister, and almost losing her mother as a child. Yes, each member of the family had their own way of coping with overwhelming grief, and it stayed that way for the next few years. Eleven years later, twenty-one-year-old Harmony and nineteen-year-old Alex were both in college—Brooklyn College. Alex was studying medicine. What happened to his mother made him realize how much he wanted to be a doctor, so maybe someday, he could find a cure for cancer altogether. Harmony was studying psychology, but she was unhappy with her choice. She was only trying to make her father happy. She told him she wanted to become a grief counselor, so she could help people cope with grief and
depression. However, what she really wanted to be was a musician. She even received an offer from Juilliard, but she didn't even tell her father. She decided not to go, and she hid the letter in her desk without ever looking at it again. Along with the required classes for her psychology major, Harmony was, however, in the BC Chamber Choir, so she could at least keep singing. However, she never told her father about any choir concerts. She figured he wouldn't want to come to them.
One Friday afternoon, Harmony is in choir rehearsal. The choir was rehearsing songs for the fall concert, which would be in a couple of months. The theme for the concert was Heritage. They would be singing pieces from different countries, in different languages. Harmony was very much enjoying herself. She was even chosen to sing a solo part in one of the songs. When she was singing in rehearsal, she forgot about being unhappy. She forgot about how much her father had changed since her mother's death, and she could feel the presence of her mother in the room. She felt like the happy little girl she used to be. All her worries went away. Then, the choir director dismissed the class, and Harmony came back down from her cloud. All her stresses and worries came back to her. She slowly got up from her seat, and just as she was about to leave the room, she heard someone's voice speaking to her. "Hello," said the young man. Harmony turned around. "Hi," she greeted shyly. "I'm Angel." "I know. You're singing a solo, too, right?" "Yes." "You're wonderful." "So are you." "Thank you." Harmony smiled. "I'm Harmony Griffiths." "I know. I love your name." "It was my grandmother's middle name." "It's beautiful." "I love your name, too." "Thank you." "Where're you from? I love your accent." "I'm from Mexico." "Oh, I've always wanted to go there." The two walked out of the building, and strolled around the campus together, while still talking. "You have a beautiful accent, too," said Angel. "Are you English?" "Yes," Harmony replied. "I'm from London, England. My family moved here when I was only seven years old." "My family just moved here a few months ago." "Do you like it here in the States?" "I love it. What about you?" "Oh, it's lovely. I miss England, but I still love it here. Maybe I'll go back to visit England someday." "I miss Mexico, but I still love living here, too." "Maybe you'll go back for a visit someday." "Yeah." Angel nodded. "I notice how happy you look when you're singing in choir, but when it's over, you look sad again." "Yeah. I've been through so much."
They both sat down on a bench. "Do you want to talk about it?" asked Angel. Harmony nodded. "It really does help to find more people to talk to." "Okay." "Well, my mum died when I was only ten." "Oh, no," Angel said sympathetically. "I'm so sorry." "She had cancer. It was too late to do anything about it. Ever since she died, our family hasn't been the same, especially my father. He used to be so happy and easygoing. Now, he's always angry. He's always shouting at me, and telling me what I can and can't do. He keeps telling me I'm an angel, but I don't feel like one." Harmony brushed a few tears away. "I'm studying psychology, and I hate it!" she sobbed. "Music is my life, but I can't tell him that. I told him I wanted to be a grief counselor, but I don't. I'm just studying it to make him happy—to avoid another argument with him. I don't even know how to tell him how I feel, because I don't want to hurt him anymore than he already is. I mean, he lost the love of his life, and I'll just make it worse for him if I tell him he's making me miserable." She wiped her tears. "I'm sorry." "No, no, it's okay," Angel said gently. "It's okay to cry." "I just met you, and here I am making a blitherin' idiot of myself." "You're not an idiot. You're a beautiful lady with pain in your heart. You don't have to be ashamed of it. I know I don't know you very well, but I'll always be here if you need me." Harmony smiled through her tears. "You are the sweetest man I have ever met. I don't know you very well, but you make me feel like I can tell you anything. I feel so comfortable around you." "I feel the same way around you." "I didn't think men like you existed anymore. That's why I'm still single." "You've been hurt?" "Yes. I've been hurt so many times. I was trying to find comfort in a relationship, and ever boy I dated in the past only wanted me for my looks." "Well, you're very beautiful, but it's not just the way you look that makes you beautiful." "Thank you." "You have a beautiful heart." "How can you be so sure?" "I can see your heart. I can see your life in your eyes. I can see you've been through so much pain. I can also see how happy music makes you." Harmony was stunned by this man. She couldn't help but smile. "I love music so much. I love to sing." "Then, sing. If it's what you love, you should do it." "But, how do I tell my father?" "From the heart. Don't be afraid to follow your dreams. Your father loves you very much, but only you can decide what to do with your life. I believe in following your dreams, and listen to your heart." "Do you love singing as much as I do?" "Yes, but I don't think I'm nearly as good."
"Nonsense. You sing like a darling angel, just like your name, and I can tell you sing from your heart. I can feel the emotion and the passion in your voice." "I can feel it in yours, too, and your voice is heavenly, just like an angel. You sing like Celtic Woman." "Celtic Woman?" "Have you heard of them?" "No, I haven't." "They're an Irish music group." "Are they good?" "They're amazing, just like you." "I'd like to listen to them sometime." "I have their DVDs and CDs in my room if you want to watch them someday." "Sure." "How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?" "I don't mind." Harmony giggled. "I'm twenty-one." "So am I." "I turned twenty-one in July." "My birthday is in December." "You're a Christmas baby?" "Yes, December 25." "Wow, just like Jesus." "You believe in God?" "Yes." "Are you Christian?" "Yes, I am." "So am I. I'm Catholic." "I'm Non-Denominational. I don't have a specific branch of Christianity. I just believe in God." "I've always believed in him, but now, I know for sure he exists." "What do you mean?" "I'm sitting next to an angel." Harmony blushed. "You're the most beautiful lady in the world. I think that you're an angel came down from heaven." Tears poured out of Harmony's eyes. "Awww, are you okay?" "I'm fine," Harmony wept. "Why are you crying?" "Just what you said, it really touched me." She tried to wipe her tears, but more kept falling. "You're so wonderful, almost too good to be real." Angel took hold of Harmony's hand. "I am real." As soon as Harmony's hand touched Angel's hand, she knew he meant every word he said to her. She felt something she had never felt before, and it was magical. "I know," she sniffled, "and I'm grateful."
"Come here." Angel pulled Harmony into the warmest embrace, and he played with her hair. "You're beautiful." "You're magical." "Can we eat dinner together tonight? I want you to meet a friend of mine." "Sure, and I'll bring Maylee and Alex." "Who are Maylee and Alex?" "Maylee is my best friend. I've known her since I first came to America. I call her May, and Alex is my brother. He goes here, too." "Oh, I'd love to meet them. My friend is Rosie. She's from Ireland." "Oh, I remember going to Ireland when I was only five!" Harmony exclaimed. "It was beautiful!" "That's what Rosie tells me." "Is Rosie your girlfriend?" Harmony was hoping he would say no. Angel chuckled. "No, she's like a second sister to me." "That's so sweet. May's like a sister to me, too." "Awww." "Wait, second sister?" "Yes, I have a little sister named Benita." "What a lovely name!" "She's a lovely person." "Is she studying music, too?" "Yes, she has a beautiful voice, and she plays piano and guitar." "Wow, I can play the piano, too." "I can play the flute." "Wow." "Do you have any sisters?" "Yes, I have two sisters. Mara is almost eighteen, and Abby is sixteen. Then, of course, you know about Alex. He's nineteen." "What is he studying?" "He wants to be a doctor." "Wow, that's awesome." "Yeah." "What about your sisters?" "They're still in high school." "Do they have British accents, too?" "Mara and Alex do. Mara used to have an American accent when she was little." Harmony giggled. "Then, she started picking up the English accent. Alex and I have always had English accents. Abby never has. She was so little when we came here. She barely remembers England. She was only two years old." "That's cute. My sister used to have a Mexican accent, but she dropped it when we came here." Angel laughed. Harmony giggled. "That's too cute." She suddenly changed the subject when she looked at her watch. "Well, I'll see you tonight. I have to get ready." "Okay." Angel hugged her, and kissed her cheek.
At the exact same time Harmony met Angel, Oliver was at Christ Church Coppelhill—the church in which he and Madison were married. He was standing at the altar, exactly where he stood at his wedding, facing where Madison stood. He put his hand on his heart. "Madison, I miss you, Darling. The children miss you. I guess you can see we're all falling apart, and I feel like it's my fault. I'm always angry. I can't seem to be happy anymore, and I'm taking it out on our children… and the whole world." He looked to the ceiling. "Please, God, help me. Please." "Hello." Oliver suddenly heard a cheerful, female voice across the room. He turned around to see a beautiful lady slowly walking toward him. "Hello," he replied. "I'm Sunshine, but you can call me Sunny," said the lady. "Hi, Sunny. I'm Oliver." Sunny smiled brightly. "So nice to meet you!" she said cheerfully, shaking Oliver's hand. Oliver suddenly felt a bit of happiness in his heart when he shook Sunny's hand. "So, I've seen you here before," said Sunny. "Do you come here often?" "Yeah." "Yeah, I've seen you here a few times. I come here all the time to rehearse." "Rehearse?" "I sing here every Sunday. Do you come in here on Sundays?" "No, I just come in here sometimes when there's nobody here." "You stand here every time you come, don't you?" "Yes." "Every time I see you here, you always look so sad. Are you okay?" Oliver swallowed a few tears. "My wife died a few years ago." "Awwww, I'm so sorry. How did she die?" "She had cancer. She didn't make it." "Awww, I'm sorry," Sunny said sweetly. "We got married in this church. We're from England, but we were on a romantic vacation when we decided to get married here. A few years later, we decided to move here." "How long were you married?" "Only eleven years, damn it." Oliver suddenly realized what he said. "Forgive me, Lord." "You're already forgiven, Sweetie. God understands you're in pain, and he knows we all say things when we're upset." Oliver sighed, embarrassed. "I can't believe I swore in a church." "It's okay. You didn't mean to, and you apologized. God is always so forgiving." "I miss my wife."
"I know, Sweetie." Sunny gently stroked Oliver's shoulder. "Have you ever been married?" "No, but I've been engaged before. My fiancé was a soldier. He was killed in Iraq a week before our wedding. I miss him so much." "How long ago was this?" "Fifteen years. We were gonna get married in this church." "So, you sing here, so you'll feel closer to him?" "Yeah." "I come here to talk to my wife. I was standing in this exact spot when I married her, so I come here to be close to her. I face this direction, because that's where she was standing. I can still feel her presence when I'm here." "Yeah, my fiancé and I used to come here all the time when he was home from Iraq. What was your wife's name?" "Madison—Maddie for short." "His name was John—John for short." Sunny giggled. Oliver laughed. "Hey, I know we just met, but I'd like to see you again. Are you free tonight?" "Why, yes. Yes, I am." "Great! Do you like Italian food?" "It's my favorite." "Mine, too, along with Mexican!" "Nachos," Oliver growled jokingly. Sunny giggled. "So, what time do you want me to pick you up?" "Is seven-o-clock good?" "Yes, I'll feed the children before I leave." "You have kids?" "Yes, four children. Two of them are in college." "You don't look old enough to be the father of college kids!" Sunny flirted. "I'm forty-two." "Well, you didn't have to tell me," Sunny teased, giggling. Oliver laughed. "Too late." "Well, I'll see you tonight." "Wait!" Oliver called just as Sunny was about to walk out. "I need your address. Sunny turned around again. "Oh!" she laughed. "Silly me!" She dug through her purse, and handed Oliver a small card. "Here's my address, e-mail, and phone number." "I'll call you before I leave the house." "Okay. I'll see you tonight." "Alright." Sunny walked out of the church, leaving Oliver with a smile on his face— the first time he had smiled in so long.
After meeting and talking to Angel, Harmony zoomed back to her dorm room to get ready for her date. She barged into her room, where May was watching television. "Hey!" May greeted, surprised. "Someone's excited! What's going on?" "I have a date!" Harmony squeaked. "No way! Who?!" "It's Angel from choir." "Oh, yeah, I saw him talking to you! That's awesome!" "He's bringing his friend, Rosie, and he wants me to bring you and Alex." "That's not a date." "Well, it doesn't matter. I'm still excited." Harmony giggled. "Why does he wanna meet me?" "I told him about you." "Wait—" "No, I'm not setting you up with anyone." "Good." "I just want you to meet him. He's wonderful." Harmony could not stop smiling. "He sounds awesome." "He is. We were talking for a while after choir, and he really made me feel wonderful." "Aww, that's so sweet. Okay, well, I'll meet him, but after a while, you need time alone with him. Got it?" Harmony giggled. "Got it." May jumped up. "Okay, let me pick a dress for you." She ran to the closet where the she and Harmony kept the dresses they shared, and quickly poked around for the perfect dress. "No," she said, looking at each dress. "No. Too much cover-up. Too much skin. Too slutty. Ah-hah!" She pulled out a shiny, pink, knee-length, strapless dress. "Perfect, and it's just your size!" She held it up to show Harmony. Harmony marveled at the dress. "I love it." "Great! Now, I need a dress, but not as fancy." She poked around again, looking at each dress individually. "No. Too much cleavage. Too much leg. Too much butt. Eww, why did I pack that one?!" Harmony laughed. "Are you laughing at me?!" May teased. "Oh, May, of course!" Harmony laughed. "I have to. It's my job." "Well, you're fired." Harmony and May both laughed. "Okay, found it!" May pulled out a green, knee-length, sleeveless dress. "Perfect!" "That's beautiful," said Harmony as she glanced at the dress. "Okay, hair and makeup!"
The two best friends changed into their outfits for the evening. Then, they helped each other with hair and makeup. They sprayed each other with flowery perfumes, and slipped their feet into matching shoes. They were finally ready.
Back at home, Oliver was finally ready for his date with Sunny. He had just cooked dinner for Abby and Mara. He grabbed his cell phone from his pocket, and dialed Sunny's number. "Hello? Sunny, I'm just about to leave now. Okay, I'll see you in ten minutes." He hung up, kissed Abby and Mara, and then, headed for the door. "You two behave yourselves," he said in a serious voice. "No boys." Then, he left. The two sisters looked at each other, laughing. "He's kidding, right?" Mara snickered. "I don't have a boyfriend!" Abby laughed. "Neither do I." In twenty minutes, Oliver and Sunny had arrived at the Olive Garden. They took their seats near a window. "I love this place," said Sunny. "Me, too," Oliver agreed. "The food is delicious here." "What do you wanna eat?" "I think I'll have chicken with angel hair pasta." "That sounds good to me." "Good. We'll split it." Sunny smiled. "You know, when you smile, the whole room lights up." "Awww, thank you." "No, I mean it. Every time you smile, I feel happy." "Well, I'm glad." "So, what do you do for a living?" "I'm an artist." "An artist?" "Yep, I love to paint. I sell my paintings for the art museums here in Brooklyn. They have areas for local artists to display their work." "That's fascinating!" Oliver exclaimed. "Thank you," Sunny said cheerfully. "I'd like to see your work sometime." "I have some of my painting around my house—only the ones I couldn't part with. I'll show them to you later if you'd like." "I'd love that." "I'm also an art teacher at the elementary school." "You really love art, don't you?" "Very much." "That's wonderful." "What do you do for a living?" "I'm a lawyer." "Wow." Sunny smiled, impressed. "I enjoy it thoroughly." "That's what matters. If you don't love what you're doing with your life, stop doing it, and start doing what you love."
When Sunny said that, Oliver thought about Harmony's choice to study psychology. He wondered if she was really happy with her choice. He tried to avoid the subject, though, so he changed the subject. "So, where are you from?" "I'm from Houston, Texas. I moved here about twenty years ago when I was in college. I went to Brooklyn College. I liked it so much here; I decided to move here." "Two of my children go to Brooklyn College." "Wow!" "Yeah, my son, Alex, is studying to be a doctor, and my daughter, Harmony, is studying psychology. She wants to become a grief counselor." "That's amazing." "Yeah, I'm so proud of them." "I'll bet." "Did you study art in college?" "Yep, sure did."
Meanwhile, May and Harmony marched into the campus cafeteria together, and looked around for Angel. "Where is he?" Harmony wondered. May looked around the cafeteria. "Huh." She finally saw him in the far left corner of the room, joined by his friend, Rosie, and his sister, Benita. "There he is," she said. May and Harmony approached Angel's table. "Hi, Angel," Harmony said with a coy smile. Angel turned around to look at Harmony. His mouth dropped open in awe. "Oh, Harmony, you look even more beautiful!" Harmony blushed. "Thank you," she giggled. "Sit next to me." Harmony did so. Then, May sat down. Harmony and Angel were sitting across from Rosie and Benita, and May was at the end of the table. "Where is Alex?" asked Angel. "He'll be here in a little while," said Harmony. "He's still in class." "Awww, poor thing," said Rosie. "Hi, I'm Rosie." She held out her hand for Harmony to shake it. "It's so nice to meet you! I've heard you in choir rehearsal. You're wonderful!" "Thank you," Harmony said cheerfully. "Hi," Benita said shyly. "I'm Angel's sister. I'm Benita." "Hi, Benita." Harmony smiled politely. "It's nice to meet you both." "You, too." Harmony tapped May's shoulder. "This is Maylee—May for short. She's my best friend." "Hey, what's up?" said May. "Hi, May," Rosie and Benita said at the same time. "Jinx," May joked. "Rosie, you owe Benita a soda." Everyone else laughed. "Hello, May," Angel said, holding out his hand. "Harmony told me so much about you. It's very nice to meet you." May shook Angel's hand. "Damn, your accent is so freakin' hot!" Angel laughed. "Oh, well, thank you!" Harmony smirked at May. "May? Sweetie? He's mine," she teased with a giggle. Angel laughed more. "So, Harmony," said Rosie, "Angel tells us you're studying psychology." Harmony nodded. "Yeah, but I think I'm going to change my major. I'd like to study music and voice." "You should if you want," Benita agreed. "I just don't know how to tell my dad." "But, you're an adult. It's your choice, not his." "It's not that easy."
"Benita's right, Harmony," Angel agreed. "It's your life. Don't be scared to follow your dreams, because if you keep doing things you don't like, you'll regret it soon." "I know," Harmony said nervously. "I just… How do I tell my dad?" "Just tell him from your heart." "He might get pissed at first," Benita chimed in, "but he'll come around." "I can only hope," Harmony sighed nervously. "No," said Angel. "Pray." "Okay." "And, I'll pray with you." Harmony smiled at Angel gratefully. "Thank you." Just then, Alex finally showed up. "Hey, guys," he greeted. "Sorry I'm late." He saw Angel, Benita, and Rosie, and changed the subject. "Hi, I'm Alex. I'm Harmony's brother." "Hi, Alex," greeted a very bubbly Rosie. "It's so nice to meet you. I'm Angel and Benita's friend, Rosie." "Are you Irish?" Alex flirted. "Well, I don't know. What do you think?" Rosie teased. "Well, judging by that sexy accent, I would say you're definitely Irish." Rosie giggled. "Are you hitting on me?" "Maybe." "You're so cute." "You, too." "Since we're talking about accents, your English accent is very sexy." Rosie blushed after she said that. "Oooh, bow-chicka-bow-bow!" May laughed. "Hush up," Harmony teased, jokingly slapping May. May pretended to cry. "Oww, I'm telling my mommy! You hit me! You're so mean!" Everyone laughed. "Okay, I think we need to get some food," May suggested. "I don't know 'bout you guys, but I'm starving!" "Me, too," agreed Harmony. All but Harmony and Angel got up to get their food. Harmony and Angel stayed to guard the table. Then, when everyone else returned, Harmony and Angel went to get their food. It was a very pleasant dinner for all of them.
After finishing their delicious meal at the Olive Garden, Sunny drove Oliver back to her house to show him her paintings. When they arrived and walked through the door, Oliver was astounded when he saw all the beautiful paintings hanging on the walls, and sitting on shelves and tables. "Wow," he exhaled. "These are beautiful! They look so real!" They both slowly entered the living room, where there were even more paintings. "Look at this one," said Sunny, pointing at a large painting on the wall. It was a painting of a young woman with reddish-brownish hair, blue eyes, and an angel's smile. "That one's my favorite." "She's beautiful. Who is she?" "That's Lisa Kelly." "That name sounds familiar." "She's from Celtic Woman." "Celtic Woman?" Oliver thought. "I think I've heard of them." "They're an Irish music group." "Oh, yes! I have! I've never heard them, though." "They're my all-time favorite group, and Lisa is my all-time favorite member! I call myself a Lisaholic." Sunny giggled. Oliver chuckled. Sunny grabbed a CD from her shelf, opened the case, and slipped the CD into her Boom Box. She hit "Play," and skipped a few tracks. "This is Lisa singin' 'The Blessing.' This song means the world to me." The song began to play as the two sat down on the sofa. It started with a gentle piano. Then, a beautiful voice came through the speakers, and hit Oliver's heart. Yes, it was Lisa Kelly. Oliver wiped a few tears from his eyes as Sunny held him. At the end of the song, Sunny paused the CD, and continued to hold him. "You okay?" she asked. "I'm sorry," Oliver sniffled. "That voice reminded me so much of Madison. It's nice to hear a voice like that again." "Was Madison a wonderful singer?" "Probably the best one I know of." "Along with Lisa?" Sunny giggled. "Yes." Oliver smiled. "I'll have to play some more Celtic Woman for you sometime." "I'd love to hear more." "That song, 'The Blessing,' got me through some tough times, like when I'm all alone, and I'm thinkin' about John. I start crying my heart out from missing him so much, but Lisa's voice always helps me feel okay again." "I can see why," Oliver agreed. "She has a lovely voice." "Celtic Woman gets me through all of it. They do that for so many people. They reach inside of you, and touch your heart. They have a way of healing you." Oliver looked into Sunny's eyes. "So do you." "Awww, Sweetie." Sunny wrapped her arms around Oliver, holding onto him tightly. "You're so precious."
"No, I mean it. I know we've only just met… today, but… I really believe I'm falling in love with you. I hope that doesn't sound weird—like a desperate widow." "No, Sweetie, it's not weird, and you are not a desperate widow. I've been in love with you, since I first saw you in the church a few months ago. Today, I finally got the courage to go up, and say hi to you. I'm glad I did. I think God was telling me to do it. Maybe he wants us to be together." "You're a very unique person." "So are you. We all are." "No, I mean… very unique. There's something magical about you. Every time I'm around you, I feel happy. All my anger about losing Madison disappears. All this depression is gone. I forget about my pain. It's like you're healing me with sunshine. I guess that's why your name is Sunshine, because you spread sunshine. Every time you smile, your face literally lights up. I light up. I'm not saying I forget about Madison." "Nobody will ever replace her in your heart, not even me." "No, but… I'm beginning to realize that she was right." "Right?" "The day she died, she told me I would fall in love again. Maybe I wouldn't feel the exact same way as I felt with her, but I'd feel just as good—just as happy. She was right. There's room in my heart for both of you." "Awww, Sweetheart, I love the way you look at it, because I feel that way about you and John. I don't feel exactly like I did with John, but I'm just as happy. Nobody can ever take his place in my heart, because there's room in it for both of you. I know Madison's in heaven right now, lookin' down on you, and she's happy that you're happy. I know the same goes for John." "It's strange how we've fallen in love so quickly." "Yeah, but good strange." "Excellent strange." They both laughed. Then, they looked in each other's eyes, leaned towards each other, and shared a passionate, romantic kiss. They wrapped their arms around each other, and they kissed some more. Oliver had not felt a kiss with that much magic in it since the last time he kissed Madison.
Meanwhile, Harmony and her friends had just finished their dinner. May, Alex, Benita, and Rosie decided to go do other things, so Harmony and Angel could have some alone time. They were all standing outside the cafeteria building. "We'll see you guys later," said Alex. "I'll see you back in our room… whenever," May said to Harmony. "Have fun, and behave yourself." Harmony laughed. "See ya, Angel," said Benita, hugging her brother. "Love you." "Love you, too," said Angel, kissing Benita's cheek. "Now, you better be a good boy," Rosie teased. Angel laughed. "I will." The four walked away. Harmony beamed at Angel. "That was fun. I love Rosie and Benita." "They're wonderful," Angel agreed. "Yeah." They held hands, and walked away from the building together. "So, do you want to come back to my room, so I can play a Celtic Woman DVD for you?" asked Angel. "I'd love to." They went back to Angel's dorm room. "My roommate's not here right now," said Angel as he grabbed a DVD out of his desk drawer. "He went home for the weekend." "So, we have the place to ourselves," said Harmony. "Yeah." Angel inserted the disk into the DVD player. "This is called 'Songs from the Heart.' They did this in 2009." He pressed "Play," and he and Harmony sat on a futon in front of the television. The very first to appear on the DVD was Celtic Woman's violinist, Máiréad Nesbitt. Harmony's mouth dropped open when she saw the fairy-like fiddler's movement. "Wow," she sighed. "She's magical. I've never seen a violinist like that before." "That's Máiréad," said Angel. "She'll always have a special place in my heart, because without her, I wouldn't know about Celtic Woman. I liked her before Celtic Woman." "That's wonderful." Then, four angelic voices began to sing. Harmony wiped a few tears from her eyes. She hadn't heard voices so beautiful in a long time. "This is beautiful," she sniffled. "Yeah." "Those voices remind me so much of my mother. She sang like an angel. It's so wonderful to hear voices like that again." Angel wrapped his arm around her. "Who's the blonde singer?" asked Harmony. "She looks so much like Rosie."
"That's Chloë." "She's lovely. They're all lovely." Angel nodded in agreement. The first song ended, and the next song began. It was a beautiful rendition of "Fields of Gold" by Sting. "That one is Lisa," Angel pointed out. "The one that's singing this." "I love her voice," said Harmony. "Me, too." Then, Angel began to sing along. Harmony's heart pounded at the sound of Angel's sweet voice. She rested her head on his shoulder. He wrapped his arm around her as he continued to sing. He sang most of the soft songs on the DVD to her as he held her in his arms. As Harmony listened to the voices of Celtic Woman, as well as the voice of Angel, all her worries and troubles seemed to disappear. She forgot all about her father's high expectations. She forgot how much she hated studying something other than her passion. She forgot about the grief of losing her mother, because in her heart, her mother was in the angelic voices of Celtic Woman, especially Lisa. When the DVD finished, Harmony lifted her head from Angel's shoulder, and looked in his eyes. "That was wonderful. You've made me a huge fan of Celtic Woman." "Remember when I told you that you sing like them?" "Yeah." "I meant it." "I really sing that beautifully?" "Yes, you do. You sing like an angel." "So do you. Your voice melts my heart." "Awwwww." "I've only known you for a short time, but I already know you're the most beautiful man I've ever met. Some guys pretend to be this wonderful, but I can tell the difference between a fake and a genuine man. You, Angel Rivera, are genuine. Everything about you is beautiful." "I can tell you mean that." "I do. You're wonderful." Harmony was suddenly interrupted by a cough. "Are you okay?" "Yeah, I'm fine. I think it's just allergies." "Okay." Angel stood up. "Um, I have the 'Songs from the Heart' CD, too. There's a song on there that wasn't on the DVD." "Oh, I'd love to hear it." "Okay." Angel grabbed the CD, opened the case, and inserted the CD into his computer. He sat down at his desk, and clicked on a particular track. The song began to play. As soon as the angelic singing began, Harmony knew the song. "Is that 'You'll Be in My Heart?'" she asked. "Yes, that one is Alex Sharpe." "She's so lovely." "Yeah, but she left Celtic Woman."
"Why?" "She wanted to be with her family." "Well, being in college, I completely understand that." "Me, too." "Even though I'm so close to my home, I still miss it. I don't really have a lot of time to go home over the weekend, because I'm so busy." Angel nodded in agreement. "I've always loved Phil Collin's version," said Harmony, "and I love Alex's version, too." "Me, too," Angel agreed. Then, he began to sing along. Harmony got up from the futon, and sat in the chair next to Angel. Again, she rested her head on his shoulder as he sang to her. Listening to his sweet voice brought tears to her eyes. She tried to wipe them away, but they kept falling. She snuggled in his arms as he helped her wipe them away. The song ended, and Angel turned the CD off. Then, he went back to holding Harmony as she continued to cry. "Shhh," he said softly. "It's okay, Baby." Harmony looked up at him. She saw the love for her in his eyes. She leaned in, and kissed him softly on the cheek. Angel held onto her tighter as he pressed his lips against hers. The kiss lasted for more than thirty seconds. After, they looked into each other's eyes. "That was the most magical kiss I've ever had," Harmony whispered. "I love you." "I love you, too, my beautiful angel." Angel held onto Harmony as he played with her hair. He began to sing "You'll Be in My Heart" a capella, and Harmony sang along. Soon, they were singing in harmony.
Harmony and Angel were inseparable. They did everything together. They helped each other study, and they rehearsed for the choir concert together. They spent as much time as possible together. When not together, Harmony carried Angel's picture with her. She kept it in her purse. Angel did the same. At night, they both slept with each other's picture next to them. Every morning, Harmony could not wait for breakfast, because that's when she would see Angel again. They missed each other like crazy when they were in separate classes. However, that did not get in the way of their studies. In fact, it just made them work harder. After a while, Harmony realized that Angel was right when he told her to follow her heart. She really regretted not studying music, despite her father's wishes. She didn't want to hurt him, but she was tired of being the "obedient little girl," because she was no longer a little girl. She decided she would change her major. The only thing that frightened her was telling her father. A week before Thanksgiving break, Harmony called up her Aunt Poppy. Poppy answered the phone. "Hello?" "Aunt Poppy?" said Harmony. "It's me." "Harmony! How are you, Sweetheart?!" Poppy was so excited to hear her niece's voice again. "I'm doing great." "How's college?" "It's wonderful. I'm thinking of changing my major." "To what?" "Music. I realized I'm not happy with psychology. I was just studying it to make Daddy happy." "You should never do that. If you love music, you should study it." "I'm going to, thanks to Angel." "Who's Angel?" "He's my new boyfriend." "Ohhh, you have a boyfriend, do you?" Poppy cooed. Harmony giggled. "Yeah, he's wonderful. He taught me that I should follow my heart." "He's right. You should, Darling." "I love him so much." "That's wonderful. Where is he from?" "Mexico. He just moved to America." "Oh, just like we did a long time ago. Does he like America?" "I think so. He said he does, and I know he's not lying. There's something magical about him. I look into his eyes, and I know for sure everything he says is honest. I've never met anyone like him before. He says the sweetest things, but he means every word. He's not like the guys I dated in the past. He's real. He's genuine." "I'd like to meet this man." "Maybe I'll bring him home over Thanksgiving break."
"Won't he want to go home for Thanksgiving?" "They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico." "Oh, that's right." Harmony hesitated. "I'm just… afraid to tell all this to Daddy. I'm scared he'll be angry with me when I tell him I want to study music." "If he is, I'll talk some sense into him," said Poppy. "And, what about Angel?" "Your father's just missing your mother so much, and I think the reason he's so tough on you is the fact that you're so much like her. Losing you would be like losing Madison all over again." "I know," Harmony sniffled. "I know he loves me, but I feel like I have to do everything he tells me, like I'm still a child." "I know, Sweetie. I think you should tell him how you feel." "I don't want to hurt him anymore than he already is." "You won't. He might get defensive at first, but after a while, he'll realize he needs to let go." "So, where should Angel stay?" "Sweetheart, I live right next door from you and your father. Angel is more than welcome to stay at my house. He can stay in the spare room." "Thank you, Aunt Poppy." "Does he have any siblings that go to college, too?" "He has a sister, Benita." "Then, she's welcome to stay here if she'd like, or she can go home to her family. If she stays here, she can stay with Cheyenne." "She's a sweet girl," said Harmony. "Cheyenne will love her." "Cheyenne loves everyone." "Thank you so much." "You're more than welcome, Sweetheart." Poppy paused. "You're not getting it on, are you?" Harmony laughed. "No, I don't want to, until I get married." "That's good," Poppy chuckled. "Well, I'll see you in a week, and you let me know if Benita and Angel would like to stay at my house. I'd love to have them." "Thank you, Aunt Poppy." "You're welcome. I love you." "I love you, too." "Bye, Darling." "Bye." Harmony hung up her cell phone with a smile on her face.
It was time to go home for Thanksgiving break. Angel and Benita were delighted to be staying next door to Harmony. Harmony was excited about it as well, but she was also dreading telling her father about her decision. She and Angel helped each other pack, clean, and load the cars. "I'll follow you home," said Angel. "Okay," said Harmony. "Where's Benita?" "She's helping Alex." "I'm coming!" Benita called, running down the sidewalk, dragging her suitcase. "Be careful!" Harmony shouted back. "Don't worry," said Angel. "She's very careful." Alex came running behind Benita, dragging her other suitcase. They both loaded them into Angel's car. "I'll see you at home, Alex," said Harmony, kissing Alex's cheek. "See you, sis," said Alex. He ran off to his car. "We'll see you later," Benita said to Harmony. Harmony smiled politely. "Okay." Then, they all got into their cars, and drove off. They arrived home in less than ten minutes. Harmony nervously got out of her car. She trembled as she opened her trunk, and pulled out all her suitcases. She jumped when she heard the front door open, but calmed down when she saw it was Mara coming out. "Harmony!" Mara ran to her sister, and threw her arms around her. "How are you?!" "Hi, Mara," Harmony said nervously, trying to hide it with a smile. "Aunt Poppy told me you have a boyfriend." "Yes, but don't tell Daddy," Harmony whispered. "He can't hear me. He's on a date." Harmony laughed. "Daddy on a date?" "Yes." Mara smiled mischievously. "That's wonderful!" "Yeah, I'm so happy for him, and I love his new girlfriend. You'll meet her while you're home." "Oh, I'd love to!" "Hi!" Suddenly, Angel popped up behind Harmony. Harmony jumped, screeched, and hit her knee on her car. "Ouch! Goodness, Angel, you scared me half to death!" she laughed. "I'm sorry, Baby!" Angel laughed. "Angel, this is my sister, Mara." Harmony patted Mara's shoulder. "Hello," Mara said cheerfully. "You must be the boyfriend." "Yep," Angel replied with a goofy grin on his face. "Well done, Harmony." Harmony and Angel laughed. Just then, Poppy approached the threesome, followed by Benita.
"Hi, Aunt Poppy," said Harmony. "This is Angel." She patted Angel's shoulder. "Hello, Angel," greeted a very chipper Poppy. "I've heard so much about you, Darling." "You have?" Angel enquired jokingly. "Oh, yes. Harmony talks about you all the time," Poppy chuckled. "I'm so pleased to finally meet you." "Hello." Benita was standing behind Poppy. Poppy turned around. "Hello. You must be Benita." "Yep, that's me," Benita chuckled. Suddenly, Harmony started coughing again. "Are you alright, Love?" asked a worried Poppy. "Yeah," Harmony coughed. "I'm fine." She continued coughing for a few more seconds. Then, she stopped. "Stupid allergies." "That doesn't sound like allergies, Sweetheart," said Poppy. "You have a physical in a few days. Hopefully, everything'll check out fine." "Okay." Harmony cleared her throat. "Excuse me." "It's okay, Baby," Angel said sweetly. "I just want you to be okay." "Ohhhh, isn't that sweet?" Poppy cooed. "Angel, I'm delighted to have you and Benita stay with me and Cheyenne." "Thank you for letting us stay with you, Mrs. Gray," said Benita. "No need to be so formal. Just call me Poppy." "That's a beautiful name," said Angel. "Ohhh, Angel, you're an angel. Harmony, be careful. I might steal him from you when you're not lookin'." "You better not," Harmony giggled. "He's mine." They all laughed. "Well, Angel, I'll help you and your sister with the luggage," said Poppy. "Thank you, Poppy," said Angel. "I'll see you in a few minutes, Harmony." He kissed Harmony's cheek. "I love you." "I love you, too, Angel." "I'll help you," Mara said to Harmony. "Where did Alex go?" "He went to get gas," said Harmony. Mara made a raspberry sound with her mouth. Harmony laughed. "Not that kind of gas, silly!" "I know," Mara snickered. "I'm kidding." At that moment, Alex pulled in next to Harmony. "Abby!" Mara shouted. "Get your butt out here!" Abby opened her bedroom window, and stuck her head out. "What?!" she shouted back. "Get your butt out here right now! Alex needs help!" "Say please!" "Fine! Please!" Harmony snickered at the two teasing each other. Abby shut her window, and came running out to help.
Later, close to midnight, Oliver finally arrived home. Harmony and Alex were waiting up for him to greet him. Oliver sauntered into the living room, and saw the two sleepyheads on the sofa. They slowly stood up, and hugged him. "Hi, Daddy," said a very tired Harmony. "Hi, Darling," Oliver greeted. "Hey, Dad," said Alex. "Hello, son," said Oliver. "Oh, it's so good to have the two of you home again. I've missed you." "We missed you, too, Daddy," said Harmony. Harmony went to bed with tears in her eyes. She wanted to tell her father about her choice, but she didn't want the beautiful moment ruined. It was so wonderful seeing him again, but at the same time, it scared her, because she knew she would have to tell him sooner or later. She snuggled under the covers, and let her tears fall on her pillow. The next day, after lunch, Poppy came over. She found Harmony, sitting all by herself in the living room, looking down at the floor. She sat down next to her. "Hi, Darling." "Hey," said a gloomy Harmony. "What's the matter?" "I'm scared, Aunt Poppy." "Of what?" "Telling Daddy." "Oh, Sweetheart." Poppy wrapped her arm around Harmony. "It'll all be alright. I'll be right there when you tell him. You don't have to do it alone, and if he gets angry, I'll talk to him. I know you're afraid of upsetting him, but you shouldn't do something you're unhappy doing, just to make someone else happy. It's your life, and Angel was right. You should follow your dreams. You shouldn't let anyone else tell you what to do with your life, no matter what they want. You've been hiding that beautiful voice of yours from him long enough. Now, it's time you let him hear you sing. It might do him a world of good to hear that beautiful voice again." Harmony took a deep breath. "Okay," she exhaled forcefully. "I'll tell him." "Okay, Sweetie, let's go." Poppy took hold of Harmony's hand, and led her into Oliver's study. Harmony stepped in, still terrified. She saw her father at his desk with the television on. He was just reading a book. "Daddy?" Oliver looked up from his book. "Yes, Darling?" "I have something to tell you." "What is it?" Harmony hesitated. Then, she spoke. "I don't want to study psychology anymore?" Oliver's mouth dropped open. "What?" "I'm changing my major. I'm going to study music instead."
"Harmony, music is not a practical career," said Oliver. "I know, but I still want to study it. I love music." "No." "What?" "No, I won't allow it." Harmony tried to be polite. "Daddy, I'm twenty-one. I don't need your permission anymore." "You may be twenty-one, young lady, but you still live under my roof," Oliver scolded. "As long as you live under my roof, you will obey my rules!" "Daddy, I've obeyed you my entire life!" Harmony exclaimed. "I'm not a child anymore!" "I said no, and that's that!" "No, it's not! It's my life! This is exactly why I didn't want to tell you, because I knew you'd react like this!" "React like what?!" "Angry!" "Well, of course, I'm angry! You told me you wanted to be a bloody grief counselor! Do you know how much money it cost me to get you into this damn college?!" "Yes, Daddy, I'm aware of that, but Angel was right! I can't do something I don't enjoy just to make other people happy!" "Angel? Who the hell is Angel?!" "He's my boyfriend." "So, now, you have a boyfriend telling you to go against my wishes?!" "No!" "Harmony Griffiths, I'm very disappointed in you! Do you realize what you've done?!" "I haven't done anything wrong, Daddy, except make the wrong choice, but I'm changing that." "Damn right, you are! I will not allow you to make a stupid mistake!" "Daddy—" "And, as far as Angel's concerned, I forbid you from ever seeing him again!" "No!" "Yes! Young lady, this discussion is over!" "No, it's not, Daddy!" "Yes—" "I'm so tired of being obedient! I'm not a child anymore! I'll do what I want with my life," she shouted as tears poured out of her eyes, "and I'm not breaking up with Angel! I love him, Daddy!" she sobbed. "Ever since Mum died, you've been so angry, and I feel like I can't do anything right anymore!" She suddenly started coughing again as she ran to her room, crying. Poppy followed her. She crawled into the bed with Harmony, and held her close.
"I didn't mean to hurt him," Harmony sobbed. "You didn't, Sweetheart," Poppy said sweetly. "He's only hurting himself by harboring all that anger." She wiped Harmony's tears. "I'm so proud of you, Sweetheart. That took real courage. I know you were trying not to get angry with him, but the things he said to you hurt so much that it triggered that anger." "I've never yelled at anyone in my life, especially Daddy." "It's alright. Even the best people get pissed off sometimes." Harmony laughed through her tears. "I feel awful." "Don't. Baby, don't feel guilty. You have nothing to feel guilty about." Harmony cried harder. "He forbad me from seeing Angel." "He can't do that, Sweetheart. You can see Angel anytime you want." "I can't stay here right now. I'm too scared to be around Daddy. Everything I do is wrong." "No, nothing you do is wrong, but if you feel you need a break, you can stay at my house. You can stay with Benita and Cheyenne." "How are they getting along?" "Oh, Cheyenne adores Benita. She's always wanted someone to share her room with, and she's so proud of the choice you made with Angel. So am I. He's a wonderful man." "Will Cheyenne be okay with me staying in her room?" "She'll love it. It'll be like a little party with the four of you at my house. I'll even order a pizza, and we'll all sit in front of the television, pigging out. How does that sound?" "Do I need to tell Daddy?" "No, I'll tell him for you. You've done your part, and I'm so proud of you." Poppy hugged Harmony. "You don't have to be afraid anymore. Now, you pack an overnight bag, and go straight over. I'll handle your father." "Okay." "He loves you very much, Sweetheart, and he's very proud of you. He's just having a hard time letting go." Harmony packed toothpaste and a toothbrush, a large, crochet blanket her mother knitted for her, some clothes that included a couple of casual dresses, and her diary and pen. She did just as Poppy told her. She went straight to her house. Meanwhile, Poppy reentered Oliver's study. "Oliver?" "I'm sorry you had to see that," said Oliver. "It's okay, but I think you should listen to your daughter." "Not you, too," Oliver moaned. "Oliver, Harmony wasn't trying to hurt you. In fact, she was terrified to tell you all that, because she knew you'd react the way you did. She's not trying to hurt anybody, but she's right. You've carried so much anger for so long, and you're taking it out on the people you love. You need to let her grow up sometime." "I don't want to talk about this." "You don't have to, but at least think about what she told you." "Where is she?"
"She's staying at my house." "Why?" "She couldn't handle being here." "Now, she's running away from me?" "She's not running away from you. She still loves you more than you'll ever know, but you really hurt her. She just needs some time to cool off, and so do you." Poppy turned her head, and walked out of the study. Meanwhile, Harmony opened Poppy's front door, and dragged her bag in with tears still falling. She went to sit in the living room, and she found Angel in there, listening to Celtic Woman. She placed her bag against the wall, and sat next to him on the sofa. Just then, Poppy walked in. Angel turned to Harmony. "Hi, Baby." He saw the tears in her eyes. "What's wrong?" "She told her father," Poppy answered as she sat on Harmony's other side. "She was terrified, but she told him everything. I'm so proud of her." "He's angry with me," Harmony wept. "No, Sweetie, he's not angry at you," said Poppy as she put her arm around Harmony. "He's just angry, but not at you." "I wish he wouldn't take it all out on me." "Oh, Baby, come here." Angel pulled Harmony into a big hug, and he gently stroked her hair. "It's okay." Harmony continued sobbing as she sunk her head in Angel's sweater. "It's okay, Baby," Angel whispered. "Estoy tan orgulloso de ti. That means 'I'm so proud of you' in Spanish, and I am." "He tried to forbid me from seeing you." "Awwww, I'm not going anywhere, Baby. I won't leave you." "I'm not leave you, either." "He loves you, Sweetheart." "I know. I just don't feel it right now." Poppy joined in the hugging. "Well, he does. Angel knows what he's talking about, and trust me. He's right. Your father loves you very much. I know it doesn't feel like it right now, but he'll come around. Everything will be alright." "Thank you," Harmony sobbed, coughing again. "Goodness, that's a nasty cough!" Poppy exclaimed. "I'm fine." "Yeah, it sounds like a nasty chest cold." "Everything will be okay, my beautiful angel," said Angel. "Remember 'You'll Be in My Heart' by Celtic Woman?" "Oh, I love their rendition," Poppy commented. "I think Phil Collins would be very proud." Angel chuckled and nodded. "Do you remember?" he asked Harmony. "Yeah." "Every time I hear it, I think of you, so now, I'll sing it to you." He held Harmony tightly, and sang so sweetly to her as he wiped away her tears, stroked her hair, and kissed her.
Three days later, Harmony went to the doctor's for a check-up. Poppy, Cheyenne, Benita, and Angel were sitting in the waiting room for what seemed like forever. "What's taking so long?" asked a worried Cheyenne. "I don't know," answered Poppy, "but it's been a few hours." She breathed deeply as she tried to calm herself down. At that moment, Harmony slowly entered the waiting room, fighting tears, with the doctor, Dr. Duddy, behind her. As soon as she saw Angel, she burst into tears, and ran to him. "Oh, no," Poppy whimpered. "What happened, Sweetheart?" "Harmony has Stage 4, Metastatic, Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma," said Dr. Duddy. "We know she doesn't smoke, so it could be genetic. Is there a history of lung cancer in your family?" Poppy tried not to cry. "My sister, Harmony's mother, had the exact same cancer, and she passed away eleven years ago. Our mother had it, too, but the doctor caught it early." "Your mother was very lucky, because this cancer is very aggressive," said Dr. Duddy. "It wasn't as aggressive with my mum," said Poppy. "It was much worse with my sister. She died less than six months after her diagnosis." "Well, I'm afraid Harmony only has a couple months left. We can try chemotherapy and radiation, but I don't know what good that will do. I'm very sorry. If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know." Angel stood up from his seat, and threw his arms around Harmony. He held her tightly as he sang "You'll Be in My Heart" once again. Dr. Duddy just stood there, watching Angel comfort and sing to Harmony. A few tears rolled down his cheek. Meanwhile, Oliver was at Sunny's place, lying in bed with her. "So, how's everything been since Harmony and Alex came home?" asked Sunny. Oliver sighed sadly. "Well, everything's fine between me and Alex, but it's been strained with Harmony." "Aww, why?" "Well, she told me she's not happy studying psychology. She wants to study music instead, and now, she has a boyfriend. I feel like I'm losing her." "Oh, Sweetie, you're not losing her. She'll always love you. You're her daddy. You'll always be number one." "I lost my temper. I told her I won't allow her to make a stupid mistake, and I forbid her from seeing her boyfriend." Oliver groaned. "Do you think I was too hard on her?" "Well… yeah, but I guess I understand what you're going through, somewhat. Did you get upset with her choice to study music, because her singing reminds you of Madison?" "I guess so."
"I know. I get so upset sometimes when something or someone reminds me of John, and how much I miss him. I don't have kids, but I know what it's like to miss someone." "And, her boyfriend convinced her to change her major." "You feel like he's taking your daughter away from you?" "Yeah, I do." "I don't think he'd ever do that to you both." "Oh, I know. That's just how it feels." "Why don't you meet him? You might like him." "Maybe. Just… Harmony is so much like her mother, and saying goodbye to her would be like losing Madison all over again." Sunny consoled Oliver. "Aww, I know, Sweetie-Pie, but Harmony's not a little girl anymore. You've gotta let go a little, and let her make her own choices. I know it's hard. Believe me. I know how hard it is to say goodbye to someone, but if you just loosen your grip, she'll come back to you sometime. The tighter you hang onto your little girl, the more you'll push her away." Oliver sighed. "Maybe you're right." Just then, Oliver's cell phone rang. "Hold on," said Oliver. "I've got to take this. It's Poppy. Harmony had a check-up." He opened his phone. "Hello? Poppy, what's the matter?" He became very anxious. "Oh, my God. Oh, no. Okay, I'll be there in twenty minutes. Okay. Bye." He hung up his phone. "Damn it!" he shouted. "What's wrong, Sweetie?" asked a worried Sunny. Oliver's face scrunched up in hurt. "It's Harmony," he said gloomily. "She has cancer." Sunny held Oliver, and comforted him.
That night, back at Poppy's house, Harmony was lying in bed, between Cheyenne and Benita. Poppy and Angel were sitting next to the bed, looking down at Harmony. "So, this is it," said a depressed Harmony. "I'm dying. I guess I won't be a singer after all." "That's not true," said Cheyenne. "You can still be a singer." "I can't go back to school to study." "You don't have to." "Cheyenne's in the Christmas Choir," said Poppy. "Christmas Choir?" Harmony enquired. "Yep. I can talk to the director, and see about getting you in. And, Angel, I hear you and Benita sing beautifully, so I can try to get you in as well if you'd like." "I don't know if we'll have time, because of school," said Benita. "Harmony and I can help you," said Cheyenne. "You don't have to go to all the rehearsals. You just have to practice." "I think it's a good idea," said Angel. "Is there a concert?" "Yes," Poppy answered. "It's on Christmas Eve." "Wow," Harmony sighed. "See?" added Cheyenne. "You'll be able to sing after all." "That's wonderful," said Harmony. "Okay, I'll do it." Meanwhile, Oliver was at home with Sunny. He was just about to go visit Harmony. He was about to grab the house keys from his desk, when he found a folded note. "That's strange," he said. "I don't remember that." "What is it?" asked Sunny. Oliver unfolded the note, and he and Sunny read it together. "Dear my precious Oliver, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and a very Merry Christmas. I can see from heaven that you found love again. I'm so happy for you. Sunny is such a sweetheart, isn't she? I know you two will be very happy together, and when the time is right, the three of us can be buried next to each other. Oh, I'm sorry. I mean, the four of us can. I don't think you know this, but I'm buried only a few feet away from Sunny's fiancé, John. It looks like there's plenty of room to fit the two of you between us. What a magical thought! I bet you're wondering what it's like for me in heaven. It's beautiful, and I finally got to see your brother, Daniel, again, and Poppy's husband, Eddie. I even had the pleasure of meeting John. He wanted me to tell you and Sunny that he's very happy for the two of you, just as I am. Oliver, I can also see from heaven that you're having a hard time letting Harmony make her own choices. I can see why. She and I are very much alike, and saying goodbye to her would be like saying goodbye to me all over again. I know how hard it is to let your little girl grow up, but Harmony has a dream in her heart. She really wants to sing, and I think you'd be surprised when you hear that beautiful voice of hers. Let her have her dream, Sweetheart. Don't let her hide her God-given talent from the world. Her music will heal so many broken hearts, and her voice will bring smiles
to so many faces. As far as Angel is concerned, he's a good man. I've been watching the two of them from heaven, and they love each other very much. Angel isn't trying to take her away from you. He knows you love her very much. He's even told her that. Sunny was right when she suggested you meet him first. I think you'll be very pleased with him. There's something magical about him. I love him to death. I know you will, too. Well, Sweetheart, I have to go. God wants me to sing in his choir of angels, but I'll write to you again sometime. I'll write to you, the children, Sunny, Angel, and everyone I love. I love you, Baby. God bless you forever. Love, hugs, and kisses from Madison." Oliver wiped tears from his eyes as he kissed Sunny passionately. He folded the note, and put it in his pocket. "Okay." He took a deep breath, and grabbed the house keys. "Let's go see Harmony." Sunny smiled. "Okay." "Abby! Mara! Alex!" Oliver called. "Let's go to Aunt Poppy's house!" The children came zooming down the stairs. "We're going to visit Harmony." Just as Oliver was about to open the door, the doorbell rang. He opened it. It was Benita. "Hi," said Benita. "Mr. Griffiths?" "That's me," Oliver said politely. "I'm Benita, Angel's sister. I just wanted to let you know, you don't have to worry about him and Harmony. She's in good hands." "Thank you." "Look, my brother's no ordinary person. There's something magical about him. I can't explain it, but it's good. It's really good." Oliver didn't say a word. He just smiled. Then, he, Sunny, and the kids followed Benita to Poppy's house.
Oliver stepped in Cheyenne's room, and his heart sunk in his stomach when he saw Harmony just lying there. He knelt by the side of the bed. She moved closer to him. Harmony looked at her father. "Daddy?" she said weakly. "I'm sorry." "No, Darling," said Oliver, "I'm sorry. You had every right to be angry. I should've listened to you." He leaned in closer. "Darling, I'm very proud of you. You're a special lady. Some people might mistake you for an angel. If you weren't my daughter, and I didn't know you so well, I probably would. You're everything a father could ever want." "Then, why do you always shout at me?" Harmony sobbed. "If I'm an angel, why is everything I do so wrong to you?" "I don't know," Oliver sighed. "I guess I was just angry about losing Madison. I couldn't release all that anger, so I took it out on you. You were right. You're not a child anymore, and I have to let you grow up. Sweetheart, if you really want to be a musician, then, I support you one hundred percent. If you're unhappy with psychology, don't study it. I'm proud of you whatever you do, even if you decide to be a waitress at a fast food restaurant. I just want you to be happy, and as far as Angel's concerned, you have my blessing." "Thank you, Daddy." "I learned something from all this craziness. Stopping you from living won't stop you from dying. It'll only speed up the process of death. I don't want you to look back on your life, wondering if you could've lived it differently." "I love you, Daddy," Harmony wept happily. "I love you, too, Darling." Oliver hugged his daughter. "She won't be able to go back to school," said Poppy, "so we're going to get her an audition for the Christmas Choir." "I can't wait to hear her sing again," said Oliver, "and I'll be at the choir concert, cheering her on." "Don't forget Cheyenne," Poppy pointed out. "She'll be in it, too." "So will Angel and me," added Benita. "I'll tell you what," Oliver chimed in. He looked at Abby, Mara, and Alex. "How about I get the three of you an audition as well?" The three threw their arms around Oliver. "Thank you, Daddy!" Abby laughed. "Thank you so much!" "Angel, why don't we call up Rosie and Maylee?" Harmony suggested. "See if they want an audition as well." Angel smiled. "Okay." "It's a huge choir," said Poppy, "and I know they're looking for many more members. I'll call Leo, and ask him if he'd like to join." "I'll audition, too!" said an enthusiastic Sunny. "Wow, the choir's getting a whole other choir," Poppy joked. Everyone laughed softly. Oliver smiled politely at Angel. "Angel, may I speak with you in private? You're not in any trouble."
Angel and Poppy laughed. "Okay," said Angel. He got up from his seat, and followed Oliver into the living room. They sat on the sofa together. "Your sister came over to see me," said Oliver. "She had a lot of good things to say about you." Angel smiled. "I just want you to know that you have my blessing. I'm more than honored to have you date my daughter, because I know you're good to her. I'm sorry if I ever tried to keep the two of you apart. It's just hard for a father to accept that his little girl's not a little girl anymore, especially when that girl reminds him so much of his late wife. Out of all my children, Harmony was the one most like her mother. It hurt so much when Madison died, and saying goodbye to Harmony is like saying goodbye to Madison all over again. I guess I felt a little jealous, because I thought you were taking my little girl away from me." "I would never do that to you, Mr. Griffiths." "Call me Oliver." "I would never do that to you, Oliver." "I know that now, and I'm sorry for being so judgmental and unfair. You are a very rare type of man, and I'm proud to have you date her." "I love her so much." "I can tell, and I know she loves you, too. You both have my blessing." "Thank you, Oliver. Harmony is the most beautiful person I've ever met." "Yeah, she's so much like her mother." "I can imagine." "Oh, I wish you could've met Madison. She was a wonderful lady, and I know for sure she would've loved you." "Harmony talks about her all the time." Oliver sighed, and hid his head in his hands. "Oh, God, Angel, I'm so scared. I can't lose Harmony to this horrible disease." Angel comforted Oliver. "She'll be okay." "How can you be so sure?" "I just know." "You're not scared?" "No. Just keep praying." "I will." "Me, too." "Thanks, Angel. You are a good man." Angel hugged Oliver. "Oh, a man hug, eh?" Oliver joked. Angel laughed. "I just have one question. You're not having sex, are you?" Angel laughed. "No, neither of us are ready." "That's good." Angel and Oliver laughed.
The day after Thanksgiving, Harmony, Abby, Alex, Mara, Sunny, Benita, Angel, Rosie, Maylee, and Leo all auditioned for the Christmas Choir, and they were all accepted. During the day, Alex, Angel, Benita, Rosie, and Maylee were in classes at college. Abby and Mara were in school, and Sunny and Leo were at work. However, most of the rehearsals were held in the evenings, and some were held on weekends. When one or more was unable to attend a rehearsal, the others gladly helped them learn the music. They were all very excited about the concert. On the night before the concert, Harmony was in bed, resting, with Angel, lying by her side. "Are you excited?" asked Harmony. "About what?" asked Angel. "About the concert, silly," Harmony flirted. Angel giggled. "Yeah. I can't wait to sing with you." "Me, either." "How are you feeling right now?" "Awful." "I'm sorry, Baby." "It's okay. Lying next to you helps a little." "I'm glad." Harmony burst into tears. "Angel, I'm scared." Angel held her. She continued sobbing. "I don't want to die. I'm scared." "It's okay, Baby," Angel sniffled. "I'm right here." "Why are you crying?" "Because, it breaks my heart to see my angel like this." "I'm sorry." "No, no, you don't have to be sorry. It's not your fault. You never asked to be sick." "When it's time for me to go, will you please hold my hand?" "Of course, I will, Baby. I won't let you do it alone. I'll always be here for you, because I love you." "I love you, too." Harmony snuggled in Angel's arms as they both cried together. She swallowed her tears, and began to sing. Angel sang along with her. In the song, Harmony was praying, and Angel was the angel that would comfort her. Somehow, the song made Harmony feel less afraid, especially when she heard Angel's sweet voice. After they finished singing, they snuggled in each other's arms. "Angel, you don't know how much you're helping me," said Harmony. "You're making me a lot less afraid." "I'm not scared." "You're not?" "No, because I know in my heart that everything is going to be okay. You'll be okay. I won't let anything happen to you."
"I've never loved a man as much as I love you, not even close," Harmony wept. "Everything about you is beautiful. You're so loving and forgiving. I've never once seen you hurt anyone, and I've never seen you angry. I love that you believe in God so much. Your faith in him means the world to me, because it makes me believe in him even more than before. I always believed in him, but my faith grew when I met you. I could lie here all night, and tell you everything I love about you. You believe anything is possible. You always believe in the ones you love. You encourage them to follow their dream, and you're always there for them, no matter what. When I look at you, I don't just see a beautiful face. I see beauty in it, because I believe it's the face of a real angel. When you speak, you give me chills. I love that beautiful Mexican accent of yours, and I love the warmth and love in your voice. When you sing, I hear an angel's voice. You told me I was an angel from heaven. Well, I think you're the angel from heaven. I love you more than life itself, so much that I would follow you anywhere. If you wanted to live in Mexico again, I would follow you there. If you wanted to move to Ireland, I would go with you. I'd follow you to the end of the universe. I would. Angel, I would even die for you. I'd take a bullet for you. If anyone tried to hurt you, I wouldn't let them. I'd make them hurt me instead. If someone tried to kill you, I would dive in front of you, and take the bullet myself. I don't care what I would have to do, because I would do it for you. I would do anything to keep you safe, make you happy, and make your dreams come true. I would, because I love you with all my heart. I've never, ever met a man as wonderful as you. You're my other half, and you're my angel. I love you so much, and I'll always love you." Tears poured from Angel's eyes. "I don't cry very often, but what you said touched my heart so much. I know you love me, but I had no idea you loved me that much. It makes me so happy, because I love you that much, too. Everything about you is beautiful. You're my baby." "You're my angel." Angel held Harmony tighter, kissing her all over her face. "I love you so much." He continued kissing her. "I'm so sorry you have to suffer like this. I wish I could suffer for you." "No, don't say that," Harmony wept. "I'm grateful you're here, and you're healthy. I don't want anything to happen to you." "I hate that you're so sick." "Better me than you, my love." "Awww, my beautiful angel." Harmony kissed Angel. Then, Angel hummed "You'll Be in My Heart" to her as he kissed her one more time. "Good night, Baby." Then, he crawled out of the bed, and leaned over. "I'll see you tomorrow." "Okay," whispered a very tired Harmony. "I love you." "I love you, too." Angel blew a kiss, and then, he left the room as Harmony fell asleep for the night.
The next night, it was finally time for the choir concert at Narrows Community Theater. The women in the choir were all dressed in long, white, strapless gowns, and the men were all wearing black tuxedoes. The stage was flooded with Christmas decorations—lights, trees, angels, and snowman. At the far right-hand corner was a Santa statue. At the far left were statues of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary. The choir members were all on stage, ready to sing as the choir director entered from stage left. The audience applauded her as she bowed. "Hi, everyone!" she greeted with a strong Irish accent. "I'm Melody Harte. I am the choir director of the Christmas Choir, and I am just delighted to be here tonight with such talented vocalists. We have a very special Christmas program planned for you tonight. Our choir will be accompanied by our lovely pianist, Alicia Cobb, the very energetic and fairy-like Celtic fiddler, Shaylee Wing, as well as the ever so beautiful and majestic Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. We have quite a variety of Christmas carols for you to enjoy, in different languages—English, Italian, Roman Church Latin, and Spanish. We also have a young member of the choir who is battling cancer—Harmony Griffiths, and she and Angel Rivera will be singing the duet parts in the very first song. I hope you enjoy yourselves, and Merry Christmas." The concert began with Harmony and Angel singing "The Little Road to Bethlehem" as a duet with the choir singing backup. The chemistry between the two angelic voices was breathtaking. For that one night, Angel did not see the love of his life suffering, and Harmony was not sick. Everything was wonderful. The entire concert was astounding and beautiful! The songs were all breathtaking and heavenly. The choir sounded like a league of millions of angels, accompanied by God's orchestra. Shaylee flew across the stage with her violin as if she were a fairy. She defied gravity, and nobody could understand how she could hit all the right notes while dancing, leaping, twirling, and flying across the stage. For that one night, Harmony felt like a shining star, and she had the chance to share and cherish that moment with the man she loved. Tears fell from Oliver's eyes when he heard his children singing. He turned to Poppy. "Thank you for convincing Harmony to join this choir," he whispered. "You're welcome," said Poppy. At the end of the concert, the choir, the musicians, and Melody all bowed for the audience. "Thank you so much!" Melody exclaimed. "You've been such a wonderful audience! Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! God bless you all!" The audience stood up, cheering and applauding loudly. Harmony approached Melody with tears of joy in her eyes. "Thank you for giving me this moment to sing in the spotlight," she sniffled. "You made me feel like a shining star." "Oh, you're very welcome, Harmony," Melody said sweetly. "We were delighted to have you and your friends and family in our choir. You were all
wonderful, and the duet between you and Angel brought tears to my eyes. You remind me so much of your mother." Harmony was surprised. "You knew my mum?" "Yes, I did. She's always been my idol since we met fourteen years ago. I was sixteen years old, and she was the one who made me realize I wanted to be a music teacher. There's nothing more healing and magical than music." "That's wonderful." "Yeah, it sure is." "Thank you for helping me to forget about my cancer." "You're very welcome." Melody hugged Harmony. "Keep fighting, Dear, and you'll be alright. You're in God's hands." Harmony grinned. "Thank you, Melody." "Thank you." Harmony smiled politely at Melody as she walked away. She headed towards her family. Oliver hurried to her, and hugged her. "Darling, you were wonderful tonight!" he exclaimed happily. "Thank you, Daddy." Oliver turned to the others to tell them the same thing. Harmony looked around for Angel, but before she could find him, she suddenly rushed off to the bathroom.
May saw Harmony zooming past her into the bathroom. "Harmony?!" she called. She opened the bathroom door, and peeked in. She heard Harmony vomiting in the far stall. "Harmony, are you okay?" She opened the stall door, and saw that Harmony was vomiting blood. "Oh, shit!" she screamed. "You need to go to the hospital!" "No," Harmony said in between blows, "I'm fine." "Honey, you're throwing up blood! Hold on! I'll be right back!" May ran out of the bathroom, screaming. "Somebody help! Oliver! Angel! Somebody call 9-1-1!" Oliver, Angel, and Poppy heard May's scream, and they came running down the hall, worried sick. "May, what's the matter?!" Poppy whimpered. "What happened?!" "Harmony's vomiting blood!" May panicked. "Oh, God," Oliver groaned, pulling out his cell phone. "Where is she?" Poppy asked May. "She's in the bathroom," May sobbed. Poppy and May reentered the bathroom, and Harmony was still vomiting. Poppy threw the stall door open, and knelt down next to Harmony. "Harmony, don't be scared!" she cried. "Your father called an ambulance, Sweetheart." Suddenly, Harmony stopped vomiting, and then, she fainted. "Oh, God! Oh, God!" Poppy screamed. "Harmony! Harmony, wake up, Sweetheart! Wake up!" She pressed her ear against Harmony's mouth. "Oh, thank God!" she sighed in relief. "She's still breathing!" The ambulance arrived within minutes, and they rushed Harmony to the hospital. In the hospital, Harmony was asleep in the bed with her entire family around her. Angel sat right next to her bed, watching over her. After a few minutes, she opened her eyes. "Where am I?" she asked in a weak voice. "You're in the hospital, Darling," said Leo. "You were throwing up blood," added Poppy. "Oh, that's right," said Harmony. Dr. Duddy walked in. "Her cancer hasn't spread any further, but it's getting worse," he said. "You might wanna take her home, so she doesn't have to spend Christmas in the hospital." "Thank you, Doctor," said a heartbroken Oliver. Ten minutes later, Harmony was back in her own bed at home. Sunny and Angel walked in, and they both crawled into the bed with her—one lying on each side. "How are ya, Sweet-Cheeks?" Sunny asked sympathetically. "You feelin' any better?" "A little," Harmony answered weakly, "but I still feel awful." "I know, Honey." Sunny took hold of Harmony's hand, and folded it inside both of her hands. "It's okay, Sweetheart."
As Sunny held her hand, Harmony's face began to light up. She slowly started to smile, and her eyes literally sparkled. Angel had never seen her look more magical. Neither had Oliver, who was standing outside the door, watching the three together. The clock struck midnight, and Angel and Sunny sat up in the bed, smiling at each other. "Happy birthday, Angel," said Sunny. "Happy birthday, Sunny," Angel replied. Harmony suddenly lost her breath. "You two know each other?!" she asked, surprised. "Yep," Sunny replied. "We sure do." She climbed out of the bed, and approached Oliver. Oliver looked deep into Sunny's eyes. "You're an angel, aren't you?" he whispered in awe. Sunny nodded. Oliver kissed her. Angel took hold of Harmony's other hand, and folded it inside his hands. He looked down at her beautiful face, smiling sweetly. She smiled back at him. "Angel?" she whispered. "Shh, it's okay, Baby," Angel said softly. "I'm right here. It's okay. Everything will be okay, my precious angel." He kissed her hand, and kept holding it for the next few minutes. Oliver just stood there, watching in awe. Alex, Mara, and Abby stood behind him. Sunny's smile lit up her entire body as she held onto Oliver. She placed her right hand on his heart, and left it there for a few minutes. Fifteen minutes later, Angel let go of Harmony's hand, leaned over, and kissed her lips. She sat up, and crawled out of bed. Sunny let go of Oliver, and kissed him again. He cracked the biggest smile anyone had seen since Madison was alive and healthy. He turned to see Harmony approaching him. "Harmony?" Harmony smiled. "Are you alright? How are you feeling?" "I'm feeling great," said Harmony. "Great?" "I don't feel sick anymore. I think the cancer is gone." Oliver cried tears of joy as he hugged his daughter. In the morning, Harmony was in the hospital, waiting for her scans. Angel was sitting next to her, holding her hand. Dr. Duddy walked in with a confused smile on his face. "Well, Harmony, your test results came back," he said. "You're completely clear of cancer." Harmony threw her arms around Angel in excitement and relief. Dr. Duddy continued. "I don't know how it happened, but—" "I do," Oliver interrupted. "It was this young man right here." He tapped Angel's shoulder.
Harmony looked deep into Angel's eyes. "Are you a real-life angel?" she asked. "Yes," Angel replied. Dr. Duddy's mouth dropped open in awe. "Wow." "You healed my little girl," Oliver said to Angel. "I can never thank you enough." "It's true what they say," said Harmony. "Christmas is the time for miracles." Dr. Duddy nodded in agreement. He couldn't say much. He was absolutely speechless. He just smiled at Angel and Harmony. "Merry Christmas." "Merry Christmas," Angel and Harmony said. He turned to Oliver. "I'm sorry I couldn't do anything." "Nonsense," said Oliver. "If it hadn't been for you, we wouldn't have known she was sick, and Angel wouldn't be able to heal her. You saved her life, too. Thank you, Doctor. Merry Christmas." "Thanks, Mr. Griffiths," said Dr. Duddy, shaking Oliver's hand. "I still want her to come back every six months for scans." "Alright." "Well, I gotta go. I'm off early today, so I can spend Christmas with my wife." Dr. Duddy waved politely, and walked out of the room. Oliver and Angel threw their arms around Harmony. "Oh, thank God!" Oliver sighed in major relief. "Let's go home," Harmony suggested.
That night, Oliver and the kids celebrated Christmas like they used to. They had the entire family over—Oliver's parents, Madison's parents, Poppy, Cheyenne, and Leo, but they also had Sunny's parents, Angel's parents, Benita, Rosie, and Maylee over as well. Poppy, Cheyenne, Harmony, and Angel helped to prepare the dinner. This time, instead of cooking for thirteen, they were cooking for twenty-one. When dinner was finally prepared, and in front of everybody, Harmony folded her hands to say a blessing. "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the many blessings you've given us this Christmas. Thank you for the wonderful, delicious meal we are about to eat. Thank you for this big, happy, beautiful family that keeps growing. I love everyone who is sitting at this huge table tonight with all my heart. Thank you for sending me an angel." She beamed at Angel, and giggled. "Without him…" She tried to swallow tears, but she couldn't. "Without him, I probably wouldn't even be here today. When I found out about the cancer, I was sure I would die, but Angel healed me. He saved my life, and for that, I will always, always be grateful. I'm also extremely grateful to the two wonderful people who brought him into this world." Mr. and Mrs. Rivera smiled at Harmony. She continued. "Thank you for putting the Rivera family on Earth. Thank you for everything." "And, Lord, thank you for sending Sunny to me," added Oliver. "She has healed my broken heart. I will always love and miss Madison very much. Nobody can ever take her place in my heart, but because of Sunny, I am now able to feel happy again." "Thank you for everything, Lord," said Harmony. "Amen." "Amen," everyone else said. "Alright, let's eat," said Poppy. Everyone laughed softly as they lifted their forks and knives off their plates. After the delicious meal, Angel went into the kitchen to bring in the dessert. He brought in a large tray of freshly baked cookies. "This is a Mexican dessert I made—Galletas de Navidad." "They're Mexican Christmas cookies," said Angel's mother. "Angel bakes excellent cookies." Angel placed the tray in the center of the table, and everyone reached in to grab one. "Mmm, these are delicious," Oliver said after he finished chewing his first bite. "Fantastic job, Angel." "These are so freakin' good!" May exclaimed with her mouth full. Harmony jokingly slapped May. "Bad girl. Don't talk with your mouth full." "Oh, no, you di-int!" May joked after she swallowed the bite. "Oh, yes, I di-id!" Harmony giggled. The others laughed.
Angel's mother held out her hand to Harmony. "Harmony, I'm sorry I haven't formally introduced myself. I'm Blanca, and this is my husband, Cristiano." She pointed to her husband. "Angel talks to us about you all the time," added Cristiano. "It's so nice to finally meet you." "Angel is an angel," Harmony said, giggling. Blanca giggled. "Yes, he is, and so are you." "Thank you!" Harmony smiled sweetly. Later, the whole family gathered around for their first Christmas family portrait in eleven years. Poppy set up the timer on Maddie's old camera, and they all smiled brightly for the picture. Poppy then printed it out onto photo paper, and placed it in a frame. When she looked at the picture, she saw Madison standing to one side of Oliver, and Sunny on the other side. "That's strange," she commented. She kept staring at the picture. "What're you looking at?" asked Oliver. Then, he looked at the picture. "Wow," he sighed. "I didn't see her there." "Neither did I, but I think I felt her." "That's pretty neat, isn't it?" "Yeah. It's the best picture we've ever taken." Poppy placed the framed photograph next to all the old ones. Meanwhile, Harmony and Angel were in the living room, sitting by the Christmas tree. The lights were so colorful and beautiful, and even more so when Angel played Celtic Woman's Christmas CD, "A Christmas Celebration," in the background. "What a wonderful Christmas," Harmony sighed with utter satisfaction. "It's not over yet," said Angel. "It's not?" Angel handed Harmony a small box, wrapped in Christmas paper. "Oh, Angel, you've given me enough gifts already," Harmony said sweetly. "You don't have to give me anything else." Angel giggled. "Open it." Harmony ripped the paper off. It was a small jewelry box. She opened it, and nearly burst into tears when she saw a shiny gold ring inside. Angel folded Harmony's hands inside his, looked deep into her eyes, and smiled sweetly at her. "Will you marry me?" Harmony fell into Angel's arms, sobbing with tears of joy. "Yes!" she cried. "Yes, I will!" She kissed him passionately. "I love you, Baby!" Angel wept happily. "I love you, too, my angel!"
Harmony and Angel had decided to hold their wedding on New Year's Eve, because New Year's symbolized new beginnings and fresh starts. Nobody worried that six days would not be enough time to prepare for a wedding, because something inside them said it would all work out. Oliver booked the wedding at Christ Church Coppelhill, and called Pastor Lundin. Poppy helped Mara, Cheyenne, Benita, Maylee, and Rosie pick out the perfect bridesmaids' dresses, and she helped Abby find the perfect flower girl dress. Oliver helped Angel pick out tuxedoes for him and his groomsmen. As for catering, the menu consisted of both English and Mexican food. It wasn't fancy and flavorless. It was simple and delicious. Angel, Poppy, and Blanca baked a humongous, chocolate wedding cake decorated with hearts drawn from colorful frosting. Angel drew the hearts himself. Cheyenne, Leo, and Cristiano picked out the flowers, and Maylee, Sunny, and Rosie helped Harmony find the perfect wedding dress. The invitations were sent out, and all the invited guests couldn't think of anything they'd rather do than celebrate the love between two very special people. The day had finally arrived. Harmony and Sunny were in the bridal room. Sunny was doing Harmony's makeup. "You look so beautiful," she said. "Thanks, Sunny." Harmony looked in the mirror, and flashed a smile. "Are you ready?" "Yes." "Wait, no. Not yet, you're not." "Huh?" Sunny placed an artificial flower bracelet on Harmony's right wrist. "This was my mother's. She wore it when she got married. I was gonna wear it whenever I get married, but I want you to have it." "Thank you." Harmony beamed at the bracelet. Then, she looked back up at Sunny. "It's beautiful." Sunny hugged Harmony. "You're welcome, Sweetie-Pie. I'm glad you like it. Now, you're ready. Let's get you over to your daddy, so he can give you away." Five minutes later, the pipe organs began to play, and Harmony walked down the aisle on her father's arm. He gladly gave her away to Angel. Then, the pastor gave a powerful speech about love, marriage, fidelity, conception, giving birth, and so much more. Then, Angel and Harmony recited their vows. Harmony looked deep into Angel's eyes. "Angel, you have given me so many beautiful blessings. You gave me the courage to follow my heart. You taught me not to make life decisions I'm obviously unhappy with. You gave me your heart when no other man would, and I fell in love with you the moment you came up to say hello to me in choir class. From then on, I just kept falling deeper in love with you. I'm still falling today. You gave me my life back. You healed me of cancer. If it wasn't for you, I'd probably be dead by now, but I'm not. I'm alive, and I'm forever grateful to you for that. I promise I will do anything I can to
make you happy, keep you safe, and make your dreams come true. Wherever you go, I will follow you, no matter how far the journey is. Whatever you do with your life, I will support and believe in you one hundred percent, because I know you can do whatever you set your mind to. If anyone tries to hurt you, I won't let them. I'd let them hurt me instead. If they pointed a gun at you, I would dive in front of you, and take the bullet for you. After battling cancer, I'm not afraid to do it if I have to, because it's to keep you safe. I promise I will always be faithful. I'll always love you, even after death, because death is not the end. It's a new beginning. Whenever you need me, I'll be there. I make all these promises from the heart, and I intend to keep them." Angel held Harmony's hand. "Harmony, I fell in love with you the moment I heard you sing in the choir class. You sing just like a Celtic Woman. You touched my heart with your beautiful voice and your beautiful heart. You are an angel came down from heaven. When you followed your dream, I was so proud of you, and I'm so happy everything is okay between you and your father again. When you got cancer, I wasn't afraid of losing you, because I knew I could heal you. God told me to, so I did. I know you were scared, but you said I made you less scared. I promise I will always be there for you. I will support you with your dreams, because I believe in you. I'll never be unfaithful to you, and I will never let anything happen to you. Even if you do take a bullet for me, I can heal you. I will follow you to anywhere you want to go with your dreams. In the words of Alex Sharpe and Phil Collins, you'll be in my heart from this day on, now and forever more. I love you, and I always will love you. You're my baby." "And, you're my angel." Then, it was Pastor Lundin's turn to speak again. "Do you, Angel Edgar Rivera, take Harmony Elizabeth Griffiths to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish her for rich or for poor, for better or worse, and in sickness and health for as long as you both shall live?" "I do," Angel replied. Pastor Lundin continued. "And, do you, Harmony Elizabeth Griffiths, take Angel Edgar Rivera to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish him for rich or for poor, for better or worse, and in sickness and health for as long as you both shall live?" "Much longer than that, I do," Harmony replied. "Then, by the power vested in my by the state of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Angel, you may now kiss the bride." Angel drew Harmony into his arms, lifted her veil, and kissed her as everyone applauded. They both cried tears of joy as they walked back up the aisle, holding hands.
That night, Harmony and Angel moved into a new house that their parents had bought for them. It was a lovely patio house—the perfect starter home for the two. In the morning, Harmony woke up in a new, warm bed. She looked around the room, wondering where she was. Then, she saw Angel sleeping next to her, and she knew everything would be just fine. She kissed his forehead. "Good morning, husband," she whispered. Angel opened his eyes. "Good morning, wife," he yawned. "Happy New Year, my love." "Feliz Año Nuevo, mi hermosa ángel." "Does that mean 'Happy New Year, my beautiful angel?'" She grinned. "Yes, it does," Angel chuckled. Harmony wrapped her arms around Angel. "I can't believe we're finally married." She kissed him sweetly. "I know. I'm so happy now." Harmony sat up. "Angel?" "Hmm?" "When did you know you wanted to marry me?" "When I met you." "Same here." "Come here, Baby." Harmony laid back down. "What is it?" "I want to sing to you again. Come here." Angel pulled her into his arms, and once again, he sang "You'll Be in My Heart" to her. He stroked and played with her hair, and kissed her in between certain parts of the song. When he finished singing, he rested his head on top of hers. "I love you, my beautiful angel." "I love you, too, my wonderful angel from heaven," Harmony said sweetly. She pressed her ear against his chest. "I can hear your heart beating." "That means I love you." "I know." She kissed him again. "Angel?" "Yes?" "Will you make love to me?" Angel smiled with tears of joy in his eyes. "Of course, Sweetheart." Six months later, Harmony came home from the doctor's office, so excited to see Angel. He was sitting at their piano. She sat next to him on the bench. "What are you doing?" "Writing a song for you," Angel answered. "Aww, you're a sweetheart." "What did the doctor say?" "Well, there's no signs of the cancer returning." "Good." "And…" "And what?"
"I'm pregnant." Angel's mouth dropped open. "Pregnant?" Harmony nodded. "We're having a baby?" Harmony saw the joy glistening in Angel's eyes. "Yes!" she squealed as she fell into his arms, kissing him. "I'm so happy now!" Angel exclaimed, squeezing her tightly. "I need to call my father!" "Okay." Harmony leaped over to the phone, and called her father. "Daddy? I have great news!" "What is it, Darling?" asked Oliver. "We're having a baby! I'm pregnant!" "Oh, Darling, that's wonderful!" Oliver moved the phone away from his ear. "Sunny, she's pregnant!" Sunny squealed enthusiastically. "Should we tell her?" Sunny nodded. "Tell me what?" Harmony enquired. Oliver put the phone back up to his ear. "Sweetheart, are you still there?" "Yes." "I have some news for you, too." "Oh, really?" Harmony asked in a mischievous tone. "What is it?" "I've asked Sunny to marry me, and she's accepted." Harmony screamed at the top of her lungs in utter astonishment. "I'm so happy for you!" "Goodness!" Oliver laughed. "You must be!" "When's the big day?" "We're not having a big wedding—just a small one here at the house with family and close friends." Oliver hesitated. "Just kidding! We're getting married at Christ Church Coppelhill next month, and we'd love you and Angel to sing at our wedding." "I would be honored, Daddy." "Well, I'll let you go now, Sweetheart, but I'm very happy for you." "I'm happy for you, too, Daddy. I love you." "I love you, too, Sweetheart." Harmony hung up the phone, and saw that Angel was giving her a goofy look. "What's that funny face for?" she teased. "You screamed so loud!" Angel laughed. "What did your father say that made you so excited?" Harmony pretended not to be excited. "Oh, nothing. Just… he and Sunny are getting married next month. That's all." She giggled. Angel screamed loudly, too. He and Harmony both laughed. "He wants us both to sing a duet at the wedding," said Harmony. "I know the perfect song."
"Me, too." They smiled at each other. No, it was not a duet version of "You'll Be in My Heart." It was a very different song, but it was the perfect choice for Oliver and Sunny. The wedding was just as beautiful as Harmony and Angel's. The pastor gave the same beautiful speech as before. Oliver and Sunny recited their vows, and said their Ido's, and they were pronounced husband and wife. After Oliver kissed his bride, it was time for Harmony and Angel to sing their duet. It was breathtaking and heartwarming. Nearly eight months later, Harmony was in the hospital. She was finally in labor. The delivery room was packed with her whole family, including her friends and in-laws. "How are you feeling?" asked Cheyenne. "Scared," Harmony whimpered. "Hey, I don't wanna hear none o' dat," Maylee teased. Angel laughed. Maylee continued. "Girl, if you can survive cancer, you can survive giving birth to a gorgeous baby!" "Don't worry, Beautiful," Angel said gently. "I'll hold your hand." "Okay," Harmony panted. Angel held out his hand, and Harmony quickly grabbed it. "You're fully dilated," said Nurse Carron. "Time to push." Harmony squeezed Angel's hand as she pushed and screamed, but through all the pain and the tears, it was all worth it when her baby was finally born. "It's a boy, Angel!" Harmony sobbed happily. "We have a son!" "He's so beautiful!" Angel cried. "He looks just like his daddy." "He has your eyes." Nurse Carron took the baby to bathe him, and returned in a few minutes. The baby was wrapped in a warm blanket. "Mrs. Rivera, would you like to hold your baby?" she asked. "Absolutely," said a very tired Harmony. Nurse Carron placed the little boy in Harmony's arms. Harmony and Angel looked at their new son. Then, they looked at each other. "Any thoughts on a name?" asked Leo. "Edgar Angelico Rivera," said Harmony. "Angel's middle name is Edgar, and Angelico is a form of the name Angel." "You're naming him after me?" asked Angel. "Yes." Angel bent over, and hugged and kissed Harmony. Then, he bent over further, and kissed his son. "Awww, you're a beautiful baby." "He's so precious," Harmony agreed. "Oh, bloody hell," Oliver groaned. "I'm Old Grandpa now."
Everyone laughed loudly. Then, they calmed down when they saw Baby Edgar close his eyes. "He's asleep," Harmony whispered. "Isn't he adorable when he's sleepin'?" Sunny commented. "Yes," Angel cooed. He climbed into the bed with Harmony, and stroked the baby softly. Harmony and Angel both sang a sweet lullaby to Baby Edgar. Then, they took turns kissing and softly caressing his cheeks. After Harmony rested, she and Angel decided to take their son home. Harmony let Angel carry the baby to the car. He carefully placed him into the car seat, and secured him in. They arrived home in less than five minutes. The three were snuggled up on the sofa. Harmony was holding Edgar, and Angel was holding her. "So, we did it," said Harmony. "We're finally a family." "You're going to be the most wonderful mother," said Angel. "And, I know you'll be the best father." "I can't wait to hear him call me Daddy, and you Mommy." "Yeah, that'll be so magical. I wonder if he's inherited any of your angel abilities." "We'll see," Angel said in a flirty tone. Harmony giggled. Angel kissed Harmony. "Oh, Baby, I love you so much." "I love you, too." Harmony looked down at Baby Edgar. "And, I love you, Edgar. Yes, I do. Mommy wuvs you vewy much. Yes, she does." She lifted the baby up. "Say hi to Daddy." Angel grinned. "Hi, Daddy," Harmony said in a baby voice. Angel laughed. "Hi, Edgar," he cooed. "I wuv you, Daddy." "I wuv you, too, Baby. Yes, I do." "That's precious," said Harmony. "Awwww, you're both precious." Angel kissed Harmony and Edgar. "I love you both so much. I'll always be your angel forever." Then, Harmony and Angel sang a sweet lullaby to Edgar one more time. It was a lullaby that Angel had written himself—the lullaby of a healing angel.
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