Woke up this morning thinking about one of my all time favorite videos.

When Anna was almost 2 yrs old we decided to add another member to our small family so we headed down to the pet store. We looked at every single fish in the place until Anna finally declared that she liked the pretty red one. We purchased a little tank, some fake plants and a little ceramic turtle that would keep our new fish company in its new home. I must say we were both pretty excited.

On the way home I asked Anna what she wanted to name her new fish and she said, without hesitation, “Dude.” Of course I asked for clarification because at this point in her life her words didn’t always come out very clear. She often was heard around the neighborhood saying “Otay Mama” or “Tookie” amoung other words that I’ve written down in her baby journal for safe keeping. She confirmed that in fact it was Dude so that was it, we now had a fish named Dude. DSC_0361

Anna would spend a lot of time perched watching her new friend. She loved to feed Dude making sure not to give him to much. As I think about the conversations we had around this fish tank I can’t help but grin ear to ear. She loved Dude so much, he was a good fish.

One morning, after a year of Dude’s companionship, we came downstairs to find him swimming sideways. I knew something was up and decided to not make a big deal about it. The next morning, he was swimming slower, sideways and a bit upside down. Dude was at the end of his little fish life and my little girl would be heartbroken.

When Dude finally stopped swimming all together I decided that a funeral was in order. This was Anna’s first introduction to Heaven. Dude was swimming with Jesus now and we were going to miss him. I told her that if he couldn’t swim in our fish tank the next best place was the big fish tank in the sky. She didn’t get it, she was only 2.

This video, one of my very favorites, represents so many little moments Anna and I shared during our first 3 years together when it was just the two of us. Being a single parent was hard at times but I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. Our bond, which was a pure as you can get, will continue until one day we are together again in Heaven. Until then, I will cherish my pictures, videos and memories of my sweet girl and I will live to honor her and her sister.

Sometimes when the missing is unbearable I close my eyes and picture Anna and Abigail in Heaven. Sampson is standing near by with 2 tennis balls in his mouth, B-Rab is curled up in Abigail’s arms and Anna is holding a small fish bowl with Dude inside. I smile at the the thought and my girls smile back.

17 thoughts on “Dude

  1. What a precious video. Thank you for sharing, the laugh was delightful! What a good mama and teacher – a moment to connect, a moment to learn. “Bye Dude”, Blessed child!


  2. Susan,
    When I read your daily blogs and tonight as I watched the video, my heart smiles at the incredible mother you are! I will never know why your mothering to those sweet girls was cut so short. But I want you to know that today I celebrate you and your wonderful parenting.
    That is something that just seemed to come natural to you, (and maybe a little Maryann rubbed off) but I do know that I love just a little bit stronger everyday because of you. I love you and pray for extra prayers for you for tomorrow . Love and prayers sweet girl❤️


  3. I remember when this happened and you shared the experience with all of us in our office. Great story and priceless video. I’m so happy you have this forever.


  4. Awe “Dude” and Anna… I’m so watery eyed I can barely type.. Shucks.. Well sweet Susan& Tom you made it through the holiday slump.. God is so beautiful and gracious surely he has something so beautifully planned. I just know it. You know Susan I really love how you share the girls with all of us. Thank you.. I cried for you and Tom! I brought my boys over to the memorial sight to show them where we could pray my boys are 8years old and 5 years old and I have a baby girl she is 6 months old. And you know children are the fruit of this world. My boys were saving for college.. Just coins and such but they wanted your family to feel love so they made me gather their change and we walked to the coffee shop and they turned in to the cashier up on the corner. They were so pleased with them selves. I was so proud. As we walked away they told me ” mommy when we prayed up over there by the rocks!” I said yea?” They said we prayed that god would give that momma a hug and kiss on the inside of her heart from us to her.. I said that is the most sweetest thing boys. They said “oh good mommy we were worried you be upset that we sent one of your special kisses away to god….
    See I can’t even be up set…. I’ve raised then to love someone they don’t even know! Xoxoxoxo from my kids to you god bless both.


  5. This is priceless and so very precious Susan! What an incredible momma you are!!! LOVED your last post too about teaching Anna’s class- you are the best momma and PE teacher extraordinaire! I know Anna is looking down on you and only ever smiling at the way you are remembering her! I love and miss you!


  6. I love her little voice saying “love you so much” – sweetness beyond words! Thanks for sharing this story and painting the picture of the girls with their pets – I see it 🙂


  7. I remember hearing a lot about dude! He was a very loved fish! Thanks for sharing his story with us! The girls had many strong visions of heaven! An I am sure they are all true!


  8. So sweet! Thank you for sharing this story and the video. Her little 2 year old voice warms my heart! Love you friend!! Love and prayers!! Xoxo


  9. Anna’s vision of Dude swimming with Jesus is one of my all time favorite little kid stories. It’s a story I’ve shared with many and will continue to share. She will always be remembered!


  10. We loved the video you shared of Dude’s funeral at the girls’ celebration. It shows how real your relationship is with Jesus. Loved to hear the whole story of Dude’s life. Thanks for sharing the memories.


    1. Your mom was telling me about this video awhile back and I’m so glad I got to see it!! Thank you for sharing!! Anna is beyond precious and you are such a great mom!! Love you Susan!!


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