Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Perceptiveness of Children

One other thing just popped into my head from that period of time when Matthew was alive. I can't believe I didn't think to put it in my previous post, because I'm sure it's one of those moments that will always stay with me.

We stayed over Ron's other sister's house the night before Matthew's funeral. Ron's one niece, who is my favorite even though you're not supposed to have favorites, was two and a half at the time. We all woke up early and she was esctatic to see me, there in her house so early in the day. She jumped into my arms, as she tended to do. I spoke with her and her mother, Ron's sister, for a few minutes. Then I explained to my niece that I needed to put her down, because I had to take a shower so I could leave soon. And she said, in her little baby voice, "You're going to the hospital?" It struck me that she already comprehended how often just about everyone she knew was going to the hospital. I wasn't sure what to say, and I wasn't sure how much her mother had told her about death, so I just said, "No, baby, I'm not going to the hospital." She looked at me, very seriously, and I swear that child has the biggest brown eyes you ever saw. And she said, with more understanding than I would have credited a child of not even three years with, "Because Baby Matthew is in heaven now?"

I told her she was right, hugged her and cried into her hair.



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