Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sad Lesson...

So, Ben brought home a SURPRISE!!! for the kids.  A co-worker was getting rid of a small fish tank, with two beta fish.   There is a divider, to keep them away from each other, but on one occasion, one of the fish had made its way over and sort of "beat up" on the other fish.  Everyone was okay, but when Ben brought the fish home, I think we both noticed that the poor fish that took the beating looked a little defeated.  But, this fish had lots of pink in color, so that was to be Emma's fish.  She named it "Rainbow."  Caleb named the other fish "Sparkle."
The kids were so excited, helping Daddy clean out the tank, waiting for the water to warm up to the same temperature as the water they had been in, etc.  Rainbow seemed to be doing okay, although not a very active fish.  Just kind of "hanging out."
Well... on Saturday morning, Rainbow just wasn't moving at all.  The color had left and there was a paleness... Rainbow had died.  This was very hard for Emma.  Even with the reassurance of another fish, she cried desperately, "But I want Rainbow!!"  When Ben was flushing Rainbow, he was telling the kids that the fish would go through the pipes and out into the ocean (or something to that effect, I missed the whole conversation).  Emma was just so sad.  I sat, rocking with her, explaining that this is not how God intended it to be.  When God made this world, His intention was for life, not death.  But, we chose sin.  And ever since that time, death is a part of this life.  Even the most beautiful parts of creation are dying.  And while it is so sad, and so overwhelming at times... it is also the framework for the beautiful picture of redemption.  Death is not the end of the story!!  Our great Hero, Jesus, has redeemed us and triumphed over this enemy of death!!  Now, what does this mean for Rainbow?  I don't know.  (I had to be honest with the kid... I just don't know.  I did tell her, that while the Bible does make mention of animals in regards to heaven, I am just not sure if that includes Rainbow.)  It did make for some very interesting conversation, however.
Anyway, at church on Sunday, they had little "Prayer Request" cards in the bulletin.  Caleb was asking about it, and I saw Ben explaining it to him at the other end of the pew.  Then, I saw Caleb writing away... When he was done, Ben showed it to me:
"Dear God, please keep Rainbow safe out in the ocean."
So sweet.  Not sure he really understood that Rainbow was DEAD out there in the "ocean", but still, very sweet.


Tonya said...

I love the way you handled that with Emma. And Caleb sounds like such a sweet kid.

Though I did want to mention that you aren't suppose to flush fish down the toilet. The fish guy said to throw them away or you could bury them if you wanted. It is to keep the water clean of any disease the fish may have had to make the die. Though it sounds like he got beat up and wasn't sick. Just thought I'd pass that along.

hestermom said...

Oh, Tonya, I didn't know that!! Man, they change all the rules on ya. When we were kids they always flushed fish, didn't they?? Okay, we'll have to note that!! Thanks for the info.!

Christine H. said...

Dead fish have been going around lately, like a disease spreading...so sorry! You handled it well.

Provl8dy said...

Dead fish in the water supply!! LOL

I have fond memories of funerals by the bowl and now...we dig a hole outside and hope Shadow doesn't dig it back up and eat it. ICK!

We have had our fair share of dead pets and I always tell the kids that our God is so loving and thoughtful, that if in the light of Jesus, they still miss their pet, then it would be just like our great God to make it possible to be reunited. And I also add confidently that Jesus and heaven are going to be so beautiful that I am confident we will not need the countless numbers of goldfish by our side when He is ever with us.