A small member of our family died today-our 2 1/2 year old Betta fish named Red. Red joined our menagerie of cats when G was about 2 1/2 and fixated on Elmo and his goldfish named Dorothy.
For all intense purposes, Red was a great pet. Very little maintenance and, I know there will be some who dispute this, but pretty smart for a fish. He would come to the side of the tank when we were talking to him and follow our fingers around the sides of the tank.
I had noticed over the past couple of days that he was getting "a little slow" but nothing had prepared me for how upset G was going to be when he died.
As usual, when the family has to move in mass, and this most often happens on holidays, we seem to have a hard time getting the three of us ready and out the door on time, and today was no exception. I was finishing up cookies for a late afternoon picnic, wrapping gifts, and getting cards together for a lunch engagement when G noticed that Red was motionless in the bottom of his tank.
It was pretty obvious that Red had passed over to the big fish tank in the sky and so I told G that Red was pretty old for a fish and how I'd noticed that he hadn't been feeling well for a couple of days. I can't begin to explain the grief that came pouring out of my small child. By the time that R had come inside the house, G and I both were crying-she over the fish dying and me because she was so upset.
So that is how it came to be that the three of us were in the backyard burying a small box with a fish in it, in our pajamas no less, and crying and saying a prayer for Jesus to look after Red.
If someone had told me 4 years ago that I'd be in the backyard in my pajamas burying a fish and crying, I would have said they were crazy. Oh, the things we do for our children.............