The kids received an aquarium from their grandparents over Christmas. They each had money to buy decorations and gravel, chemicals and potions, food and fish. After we got our ph issues solved, the kids bought their first fish, one fish each. Lindsay got a platy she named “Shimmer.” Luke got a platy named “Clemson,” and Logan got a tiny little guppy he named “Flame.” Later, we added three tetras: “Coconut” (you can see through this one!), “Stripe,” and “Swimmy.” I also got a Mickey platy that Lindsay named “Starburst.” This little guy (or gal!) is unique in that he has a mark on his back side that looks like a sideways Mickey ears tattoo! Too funny!
This past weekend, we experienced a family tragedy…Logan’s guppy fish, Flame, died. I had noticed he didn’t look so good on Friday morning, so I mentioned it to Logan just to prepare him for Flame’s probable death. I explained that Flame may have been sick or just old (you never know how old those fish are when you buy them and I don’t think they have a long shelf life, I mean, tank life anyway!). Logan was sad, but he didn’t seem really bothered by it.
The next day, Saturday, we found poor little Flame capsized on the bottom of the tank. None of his tank mates seemed to even notice! I scooped Flame out and kept him on a paper towel on the kitchen counter until after dinner. I wanted to flush it right away, but Brad suggested we hold a funeral service, with Logan leading it.
So, we all gathered around Flame’s little orange body still on the paper towel and listened as Logan decided on his own to read from Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Brad encouraged him to read about day 5 of creation when God created the creatures of the sea. I offered a humble prayer, ending with “God rest his soul,” at which Brad and I about died laughing! Then, the kids and Brad marched to the bathroom and flushed Flame away. I thought everyone was fine, but then before I knew it, tender-hearted Lindsay had thrown herself into my arms, sobbing. I tried comforting her the best I could with words like, “death is part of life,” and “Flame had a good life.”
Now, honestly, at her age, I would have done the exact same thing. I remember to this day, crying over the death of my pet hamster, Buttons. My sister’s hamster, Teresa, had attacked him, and I was not happy! The death of a pet always allows a good opportunity to bring the Lord into the conversation. He cares when even a sparrow falls from the sky, and he cares about fish and He cares about us!