I should preface this post by letting you know that my grandson, Matthew, who was diagnosed with lymphoma two months ago is in complete remission. He is in the middle of another round of chemo this week and he’ll have one more after that before he’s done, probably by the end of October. Thank you for all your prayers, notes, support and wishes. They’ve meant more than you’ll ever know.
The other day, I picked up Matthew’s four-year old sister, Sophia, from day care and as we were driving in the car I began asking her how school was and what she did that day. She’s a child of few words, unless of course she sees a means to her end. Then there is constant conversation and negotiation complete with lots of smiles and kisses. In short, like most kids her age, she knows how to work a room.
So I was surprised when she initiated the following conversation which I wrote down when we got back to the house so I wouldn’t forget it.
Sophia: Grandpa, can I “tell” you a question?
Me: Sure, what’s your question?
Sophia: Why do mommy’s and daddy’s sleep in the same bed?
Me: (Answering cautiously) Well, when a man and a woman fall in love and get married they get to sleep together in the same room and bed.
Sophia: But why?
Me: (Wondering where this was going) Because when you love each other you want to be as close as possible to the other person when you go to bed at night.
One day, when you get a lot older, you’ll find someone you love a lot, you’ll get married and you’ll sleep in the same bed with him, just like mommy and daddy.
Sophia: But I don’t have to meet someone because I’m going to marry Matthew.
Me: (Laughing) Well, I don’t think you’re going to be able to marry Matthew, Sophia.
Me: Well, it’s against the law to marry your brother or sister.
Sophia: Then we need to change the law. We can find a policeman and tell him and he can change the law.
Me: (Smiling) When you get old enough, I guess we can do that and see what happens.
Me: Tell me, why do you want to marry Matthew?
Sophia: Because he’s really handsome.
Me: (Smiling) Yes, he is. Why else?
Sophia: Because he always shares his candy with me and whenever I’m sad, he makes me happy.
Me: (Barely able to speak) Maybe one day you’ll find someone just like Matthew.
Sophia: But Grandpa, there isn’t anyone like Matthew.
I had no answer for that, nothing I could say even if I could get past the lump in my throat.
The deepest kind of love in its simplest form is taught to us by a four-year old. Find someone who is handsome, shares their candy with you and makes you happy when you’re sad. Do we really need anything more than that in life?
I believe that one day, Matthew is going to make someone very happy. And I also believe that there is someone out there right now who will have very big shoes to fill, in the heart and mind of a four-year old girl.