August 02, 2013

Death Comes to Us All

Yes, I know...morbid titles this week...my apologies.

It's been a bit rough around here the last few weeks, and today, I was hoping that today would be different.

It's the start of our last 3 weeks of vacation.  Our County Fair opens today, and the parade is tomorrow morning, and BB doesn't want to go...one thing I remember from growing up, we went to the parades!  All of them.  And later I marched in them.  Its what you do here...its a way to support our community - to honor our culture and history and still look forward to the future...

But, I digress...

Last evening, as we were cleaning up from dinner, I noticed that Boris our Beta Fish was not swimming around the top of his bowl, but hiding in his beehive.

He's Captain's pet - he feeds him once a day, and I help him once a week to carefully scoop him out of his bowl, then we carefully dump his rocks into a special strainer, where they get washed and rinsed, and then we scrub and rinse his bowl clean, refill it and add his special Beta Fish water conditioner and let it calibrate to the ambient temperature.  Then we carefully put Boris back into his bowl and he swims and splashes around, nibbles his Beta flakes and makes bubbles...

We would also watch him just sort of hang there, at the top of the water level in his bowl, not doing anything..for hours...it sort of makes your heart skip just a little bit - I mean, fish swim, they don't float!  Normally a gentle tap on the rim of his bowl would verify his status among the living...

As I said, last evening he was hiding in his tank house - a cast beehive, hollow on the underside.  I thought nothing of it, Captain fed him his flakes and we went on about our evening.

This morning, as we're attempting to get back to the routines of the school year (not yet the waking at 6:30 in the morning), things were a little off - BB was already eating breakfast, the kids were all up and dressed and clamoring for their own, and while I stalled them to make breakfast, I sent them to feed their pets...and noticed Boris was still hiding in his beehive...

I settled everyone with their tasks, and removed the beehive carefully from the bowl...and Boris just floated to the top and lay there on his side...

Poor Boris, he was only in our house for a year and Captain did a super job remembering to feed him...Captain cried this morning when he realized that Boris was dead.

Now I'm faced with the task of disposing of Boris, cleaning his bowl and beehive and fending off requests to go get another fish...we will get another fish.  Just not this morning...maybe not until Sunday when we head to the pet store for our training class for our puppy...

I'm grateful that my precious boy is already asking about whether or not Boris is in heaven, and why God let his fish die...its painful to see him hurting over a fish, but I'm so glad he's hurting over a fish - it shows his tender heart and compassionate spirit...now if only God will give me the words and attitude to protect that and nurture it for the rest of the days that my Captain is under my watch...

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