Abigail Hyatt was almost seven and her daddy let her choose where she wanted the birthday party. It had been a sad winter and a party was a good idea.
“Can we have it at the park, Daddy?” Abigail asked.
“Which park would you like to have it at, Abigail?”
“The big one, Daddy— the one Mommy loved. You know, the one where we threw the rose petals after her funeral.”
“If that’s where you want it, then that’s where we should have it,” Daddy said, kissing the tip of her nose.
Abigail smiled. “I’ll help with the invitations but we have to invite Grandpa and Grandma Lawson. Do you think they’ll come, Daddy? We haven’t seen them since Mommy died and they went back home on the plane.” Her smile had gone. “I wish they didn’t live so far away. Do you think they miss Mommy, too?”
“I’m sure they do. I would miss you, my darling daughter, if you had died. Now, let’s not be sad. Mommy would want us to enjoy your party.”
“I want to wear the dress Mommy bought me for my party last year.”
“Abigail honey, I don’t think it will fit. You have grown so tall. Why don’t we go to the mall tomorrow after school and see what we can find?”
It was a sunny day and the park had lots of spring flowers growing in the gardens. Abigail could see her grandparents at the end of the short path that led to the playground. They were hanging balloons on the swings and trees. Picnic tables had food on them and a huge birthday cake with pink icing.
“Grandma! Grandpa!” she called, and ran to meet them.
“Abby! You look so grown up and your party dress is so pretty,” Grandma said, smiling.
“It’s Mommy’s favorite color. Do you think she’d like it?”
“I think it’s perfect,” Grandpa said.
“Abigail,” Daddy said, “your friends have arrived.”
She looked up at Daddy to ask him to greet them for her, but he was wiping something out of his eye. Grandma hugged Abigail. Abigail knew Grandma was crying and she hugged her too. “Oh Grandma, I miss Mommy so much, but she would want us to enjoy the party.”
“Yes, she would,” Grandpa said, hugging them both. “Now go and meet your friends and enjoy the afternoon.”
Abigail greeted her friends and opened her presents. A clown skipped into the playground, making the children laugh. He twisted balloons into the shape of little animals, stood on his hands and spun hoops on his feet. Abigail thought it was the best party ever.
Abigail was too excited to go to bed that night. After her bath, she dressed in her new summer night gown, and sat on Grandpa’s knee while he read her favorite Bible story: Noah’s Ark. She knew it almost by heart because she always had her mommy read it before she went to sleep— sometimes twice.
“Abigail,” Daddy said, coming into the room with a glass of milk. “Grandma and Grandpa Lawson want to talk to you.”
Abigail was afraid. Daddy had said something like that once before, when Mommy got sick. She remembered that Mommy was crying and Daddy told her they would be OK. Abigail climbed off her grandpa’s knee and went to her daddy.
“It’s all right, Abby,” Grandma said, and smiled at her. “Everything is OK.”
“You see,” Daddy said, lifting Abigail onto his knee, “we all miss Mommy very much and...”
“What your daddy is trying to say, is that we miss your mommy, too,” Grandma finished. “But, we also miss you and your daddy.”
Grandpa sat on the floor in front of Daddy and Abigail reached down to hug his neck.
“What we are trying to say is...” Grandpa took a deep breath. “Grandma and I want to move in with you and Daddy, at least until we get a house close by. Your daddy and I talked about it a lot and we think your mommy would like it. What do you think?”
“This is the best birthday present ever. Can they live with us, Daddy… please?”
“Abigail, this is your birthday present. It’s up to you.” Daddy was laughing now. He hadn’t laughed for a long time.
She jumped off her daddy’s knee and hugged her grandpa and her grandma. “Please come and stay— I’ll even let you call me Abby. Mommy always called me Abby.”
Authors’ Note: I wish to thank Abigail, my 7 year old challenge buddy for this week, for allowing me to use her name. Hyatt was her choice, but not her real name. The story is fiction.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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