i spent $17 on medicine for the goldfish. yes, the 89 cent goldfish from walmart. the fish we didn't ask for, the fish we usually forgot to feed, and the fish who got cleaned only when we actually remembered we owned a fish. his (her?) belly got so fat that swimming around upside down was the only option. swimming vigorously to the front of the bowl whenever someone turned on the kitchen light became more and more delayed. there was no shot i was letting this little goldfish die.
why was the notion of this fate so sad to me? watching this little fish float slowly around, sinking every once in a while to the bottom was painful. i started googling how to save a goldfish. giving her daily salt baths and treats of cucumber. dorothy came to us before Ty could even talk. when throwing balls and cheerios in her bowl was funny. when dorothy and elmo were cool.when we had to put her bowl in the center of the kitchen table as a way to keep the boys sitting in their seats long enough to finish eating dinner. yes indeed, we were about to say goodbye to so much more than an 89 cent fish from walmart.
and the boys had never experienced any sort of death before. what did we say? do fish go to heaven? do we just say nothing and hope they don't ask? do we all flush her together? sad sad sad.
well, we didn't flush her together. in fact, i couldn't even look at her. i made jerry give her a private farewell flush, and promptly hide the bowl. my eyes may have welled up with tears. the next morning, he woke me up to tell me that we needed to break the news together. after all, there was no telling how they would react.
"hey guys, we have some sad news. dorothy got very sick and isn't here with us anymore. she died and went to heaven". (so apparently, fish do go to heaven.)
"oh. can we get some turtles now?"