Today, I was playing with my 4 year old brother. He’s clever, he’s witty, he knows more than I did when I was 4. He suddenly stopped playing with me and walked up to his dad and said “I love you daddy!” His dad replied with “I love you too!” I pretended to be jealous that my brother hadn’t said “I love you” to me, which made my brother say “What’s wrong, Sapphire?” to which I replied “So you love me, Harry?” He said “Yes, of course I love you!” So, I did the normal thing of “Do you love your family?” “Yes I love everyone, and my family!” “Do you love grandma Freya and grandad Bob?” “Yes, I love them!” Now, the next thing I said was a touchy topic, as the next two people I mentioned had died: “Do you love grandma Lauren and grandad Steve?”
Lauren died when Harry was 5 months old; Steve died 3 years before Harry was born: both were taken by cancer. So Harry never got to know them properly, but we keep their memory alive in him. But what came out of Harry’s mouth in regards to whether he loved them or not made me want to cry.
“I can’t love grandma Lauren and grandad Steve because they died, so I can’t give them hugs and kisses.”
I was shocked. He thought he couldn’t love them because they weren’t there to receive his hugs and kisses. I tried to explain to him that he can still love them, even if they’re not there to hug and kiss. But he didn’t understand that their illnesses took them from us. It was what he said next broke my heart:
“They died, which means they didn’t want to meet me or for me to love them.”
Seriously, I had to use so much willpower to force back the tears. This 4 year old was seriously convinced that his grandparents didn’t want to meet him, or love him.
I told him that grandma Lauren had gotten the chance to love him for a few months before she became seriously ill and that’s what took her away. He seemed to take this as fact. But he wasn’t convinced about grandad Steve. I said that he would have loved to have met my brother, because they’re both wind up merchants. But he wouldn’t accept this.
4 years old, and cancer has already fucked up one aspect of his life by taking his maternal grandparents.
I’m sorry, Harry. I wish they were here to hug and kiss too.