Her Best Colors

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that Calista’s fish, Fishy, died.  There was a really touching moment during the whole ordeal that I wanted to share.

A little background, first, though.  Fishy was a pink and red Betta fish.  He did great for a while, then one day, Skip said he though Fishy was dead.  Fishy wasn’t dead, but he certainly wasn’t healthy, either.  He was just hanging out at the bottom of the tank.

I did a lot of reading online and decided he either was too cold, constipated (!), or he had Tuberculosis.  Knowing the way things happen in my life, it was Tuberculosis, but without an autopsy, we will never know.

I went through the treatments for each.  First, I took him from his small tank and put him back in the little cup he came in and kept him downstairs to keep warm.  No real improvement.

I talked to a local fish shop, and they said to wrap lights (like the kind in tubing, or Christmas lights) around the base of the tank since heat rises — the lights will warm it from the bottom, vs. the hood light, which only warms the top.  No improvement.

I tried chaning his diet from the little pebble food to the blood worms (ew).  No change.

Then I tried an apparent Betta fish constipation remedy: I cooked a pea, peeled the skin off, put it on a toothpick and tried to hand-feed it to him.  No luck, and no change.  And I tried that one three different times!

Tuberculosis has no cure, so if that was it, there wasn’t much I could do.

Fishy laid at the bottom of the tank for along time.  Since before Christmas, actually.  Poor guy.  We always thought he was dead, but I’d give him a little poke and he’d swim away.  He rarely — if ever — ate.

Well, Wednesday night, he really was dead.  Calista knew and seemed ok with it.  We always thought he was dead every single day, anyhow.  I took the tank to the bathroom to get Fishy out and he was a sad site.  Curled almost in half (a sign of TB), faded to practically white, and his eyes were all cloudy.  Ick.

I put him in the toilet and Calista then asked to see him.  When she did, she lost it and started crying, saying she wanted Fishy to be alive.  I did my best to explain that couldn’t happen, and told he Fishy was in heaven now.  I told her that his body was like a present — pretty on the outside, but just the wrapping of who Fishy was, and that when he died, Fishy went to heaven and left the wrapping paper behind.

She asked why he was all grey, and I said that when he went to heaven, he took his best colors with him.

I told her he was happy, because now he wasn’t sick any more, and he had Milo (our bird who passed away when she was 3) to play with him.

She was still crying and wanting him back, so I then suggest we say a prayer for him.  She prayed to God and asked God to take care of Fishy.  She told God Fishy needed to be fed 2 times a day, and give him 3-4 pellets of food each time.  She also asked God to put Christmas lights on Fishy’s tank.

I thought we were getting close to being able to flush, but she was still crying.  I was getting desperate, so I suggested we sprinkle some glitter on hi before he goes.  She has a little necklace with a vial of “Fairy Dust” in it, so we got that, and she sprinkled the fairy dust into the toilet while making a wish for a Fairy to come to Fishy.

At that point, I told her I would close the lid and count to three before I flushed.  She insisted, however, that the lid be up so she could watch Fishy and we had to count backwards from ten.  That was what we did, and she was sobbing as Fishy went down the toilet.

We then went into her room and talked about our memories of Fishy (that was a tough one to come up with the “good times” we’d had with Fishy!!) and read a few stories out of her little Bible for Little Girls.  She seemed to be doing better with the whole thing, when she said to me, “I hope I get to take my best colors with me when I die and go to heaven.”

I started crying and told her I hoped so, too, but that wouldn’t be for a long, long time.

3 Replies to “Her Best Colors”

  1. Beautiful story.

    When our rottweiler died, our five year old neighbor asked if God had a big backyard so Damon could go poop. Not quite beautiful, but touching anyway.

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