Harold wandered past the punch table without a glance. He was focused on only one thing – to see his daughter before he died. The clock was two minutes away from striking midnight and everyone, except for Harold, was ready to usher in the New Year. He was determined to find her before it was too late.
Harold scrambled across the crowded ballroom dance floor. He glanced overhead and saw a net filled with balloons crossing the expanse of ceiling. The music stopped, as did Harold. He glanced back to see his son-in-law grabbing the MC microphone.
“All right everyone,” shouted Dave. “It’s almost time to welcome in the New Year, so find your loved ones now.”
Harold winced. He knew that the announcement would make it even more difficult for him to find Jennifer. Harold wanted to pierce Dave’s eyes with his burning anger, but he knew that it wasn’t his fault. The signs of the times were clear, and Harold knew that Dave would soon be overwhelmed by his generational responsibilities.
Harold turned and continued to press through the crowd. Everyone was bumping into each other as they hurried to find their loved ones. The clock started to chime. Bells outside of the building tolled. Harold was emphatic about finding Jennifer and pushed his way through the crowd unashamedly.
A baby cry was heard and Harold stopped dead in his tracks. He slowly turned left and the crowd dispersed revealing Jennifer on the floor with her newborn child. Harold moved quickly as the chimes continued to count in the New Year. He kneeled down next to Jennifer and placed his hand on his grandchild’s head.
“My grandson, be filled with hope and make a difference in your generation,” blessed Harold. “I’m afraid I became too complacent and I pray that will not be true for you.”
Jennifer looked up with a smile for Harold.
“Honey,” continued Harold. “I love you and I’m proud that you have brought baby New Year into the world. Be blessed my child and make sure he grows up with a desire to make a difference.”
“Thank you father,” whispered Jennifer as a tear welled in her eye.
The last stroke of midnight chimed and Harold closed his eyes. He took in a deep breath and held Jennifer’s hand for as long as he could. Everyone turned to bid Harold a farewell. Dave got back on the microphone.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm goodbye to Father Time.”
The orchestra played Auld Lang Syne and in front of everyone’s eyes, a breeze blew into the room and encircled Harold. Applause erupted and many shouted out words of praise and adoration as the wind turned Harold into a cloud of silvery dust and swept him into history.
When the wind stilled, Harold was nowhere in sight. Before anyone could have regrets for the passing year, the balloons were released.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” shouted Dave. “Please welcome in our newborn year, Henry.”
Everyone erupted in song with hearts filled with hope for the New Year. Each one knew that 2011 was going to be a far more exciting year than the past. The energy in the room was electrifying and baby New Year started to sway with the music. There was so much for him to accomplish that he started wiggling to the floor in hopes of soon taking his first steps in serving all with love.
Jennifer and Dave hugged with the foreknowledge that Henry was going to make a difference as a servant leader – The likes of which hadn’t been seen in decades. Still, Jennifer knew that it would all be in vein had Harold not passed on his blessings to Henry.
In a poignant moment, Jennifer looked across the floor and wondered who else was blessed. She hoped they could join Henry in making a difference in the New Year. With that very thought, the wind picked up and encircled the room. A silvery dust like substance settled over everyone like a freshly fallen snow that dissipated as quickly as it appeared.
“Thanks dad,” exclaimed Jennifer. “Thanks for blessing everyone who crossed your path in life.” Jennifer’s confidence rose, as she knew everyone present would do their best to bless others in the New Year. She turned to Dave with hope in her eyes waiting for a special kiss, but Dave gently turned her head to see little Henry walking toward the punch bowl.
“He’ll make a difference all right,” laughed Dave.
Dave and Jennifer joined their son, as they entered 2011 with hope and plans to bless everyone who crossed their paths.