Yesterday, I was putting away groceries in the kitchen. Laura went upstairs to take a shower. A few minutes later, she came back down.
Laura: “Mom, I have sad news. My fish died.”
Me: “Oh. I’m sorry. Are you okay?”
Laura: “Yes. I found Lavender under the pump.”
Me: “Okay. When Daddy comes home he’ll carry the tank downstairs and we’ll get Lavender out.”
Laura: “Can I get a hamster?”
Me: “Do you want to do the traditional burial in the backyard or do you want to do a burial at sea?”
Laura: “You mean flush it, right?”
Laura: “Burial at sea!”
I went upstairs a little while later, and there was Lavender, kind of on her side, under the pump.
Tom came home from work a little while later and we told him the bad news.
We decided to hold the funeral in the downstairs bathroom.
Tom brought the fish tank downstairs and placed it on the kitchen counter.
I gave Tom a plastic cup with which to scoop Lavender’s corpse from the tank.
Laura and I prepared for the interment as we waited for Tom to bring in the dead fish.
We lit a candle at the burial site.
We plugged in the iPod on the bathroom counter.
It turns out we have four versions of Amazing Grace, including one by Billy Ray Cyrus. (How did that even get on my iPod?)
Laura opted for the one by Elvis. (Probably because it made us giggle.)
Laura thought of a few words to say during the service.
Me: “Tom, we’re ready. Are you going to bring in the fish?”
Tom: “Uh . . . no.”
Me: “Why not?”
Tom: “You might want to come and take a look.”
Laura and I went into the kitchen and looked into the fish tank.
There was Lavender, swimming around.
Tom: “You know, Lavender is acting like she’s close to the end . . . and you do have everything all set up in the bathroom . . .”
Laura’s former fish (who, apparently, may or may not have actually been dead when we buried them):
Pedro (formerly known as Sparkle, who then was Natalie, and then was Natalie or Savannah before being posthumously renamed Pedro)
Napoleon (who was formerly known as Laura, and before that was Savannah, and before that was Sparklie)*
Apart from Deb, who quite miraculously managed to avert a full-on identity crisis by hanging on to the one pithy name her entire life . . . all of Laura’s fish have endured several name changes.
Why stop now?
I’m thinking of changing Lavender’s name to Lazarus.
I’m also changing Tom’s name to Dr. Kevorkian.
*Kate: Because I know it will arouse you, click the Napoleon link. (That post has legal words like intestate and possessory interest.)