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.
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.