Here’s a scary thing about kids, you never really know what they understand or what they’re thinking. What might seem like a simple question can have all sorts of other thoughts and feelings behind it that you never know about.
I remember once trying to explain my MS to the grandkids, as they have been witness to my changing physical status. I thought I had done a pretty good job until later, when my granddaughter interpreted our discussion to mean I was dying. Such a stress to add to her life, but her Mom was able to reassure her it was not my time.
I guess the recent death of a more distant grandparent made her think since I had an illness, my days were numbered.
It’s been years now since that conversation, and I was recently able to spend two days with that same child. She said she wanted to see pictures of me when I was younger. When I was someone other than the person I am today (my words, not hers). They never knew me then, can’t imagine that I was once able, and accomplished.
I got the boxes of photos from the closet and showed her pictures of me from my younger days, my wedding, me as a new mother and so on. Funny the odd mixture of photos I have.
There were pictures of my grandmother, and my mother, both gone for many years. I thought we were having a good trip down memory lane, my life, her mother’s and her own. It was a good time, in spite of the fact she was sick.
Yet, later, she told her Mother how much she enjoyed the time with me, and said how sad she was going to be when I was gone, how much she would miss me. Aw, crap. How can I feel so upset that she worries about losing me and at the same time feel so loved?
How does her mind work? How did she go from old pictures to death and loss? The good thing is that this mother and daughter have a very good, open and honest relationship. The child feels comfortable to voice her fears and will verbalize her concerns and therefore can given comfort and reassurance.
She is a gem. Is it any wonder I love her so.