Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I'm lying here at 4 AM. I'm angry with God right now. Not for the obvious reasons, though.

My youngest girl is 11 years old. She's one of the lights of my life. She's incredibly sensitive and loving, and wise beyond her years, which isn't always good.

She played a carnival game the other night. She used her entire $10 allowance to win a goldfish. A silly goldfish. Didn't even come with a fishbowl. Just a fish in a bag.

Well she loved it. She got very excited at the prospect of being a pet owner. That's how 11 year old girls think sometimes. Those of you who might raise large tropical fish know these goldfish are often used as food for those fish. For my girl, it was a chance to love.

I took her first thing next morning to Petco to get a bowl. She was so into it. Got gravel too. Neon-colored gravel for a 1 gallon bowl.

Then she spotted it: A copper-colored goldfish swimming in a tank alone. She spent the next 10 minutes or so bonding with this silly creature. I couldn't resist.

There was a time when Daddy would have gone hog wild and would wind up purchasing an entire aquarium set-up. It would have been typically over-the-top. But the world has changed to the point where I have to consider a $3.99 purchase of a silly fish. the love in her eyes for this creature made up my mind for me. Done deal.

She took such pride setting up her little bowl. Washed the gravel, laid it in there carefully. She added the water gently, added water conditioner. Her eyes were glowing. She named her two fish Fido and Maurice. Fido was the new guy. She insisted that his name was pronounced "Feedo". Hey, her fish, her name, right?

She spent the entire afternoon and evening doting over her new loves. She ever so carefully fed her little critters, being mindful not to overdo it. This was pure love.

Today however, the world was mean to my girl. Little Fido didn't survive the night. I've taken full punches to the face and a bat to the head. I've broken a lot of bones in my body in my life. Nothing hurt me anywhere near the kind of pain I felt at the moment I realized my Girl was crying over her lost Fido.

It's the worst pain a Dad can experience. The pain you can't fix, or make all better. The fish is gone. Can't change that.

Didn't even get a full day out of it.

I know the world has a lot more serious troubles to worry about. But when you're the Dad and your Girl is hurting, it doesn't matter.

Yeah I'm a little annoyed at God right now.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Jimmy, it IS the hardest thing, seeing our babies hurt, their hearts break, their wishes unanswered. As adults, we've experienced and seen and felt many things. Nothing compares.

    Rest (somewhat) well, knowing you aren't alone.

    (sorry for the delete... i hate typos!)

  3. I know that pain. Did you have a funeral for him?

  4. Nothing hurts worse than your child hurting.

  5. The pain of the first pet loss is so difficult.

  6. Besides the beautiful way in which this was written, the sentiments far outweigh the words.
    And I have a feeling that God hears the love of a father and that of a little girl who gave a hard-earned fish and his buddy all that she had.
    Something tells me He'll make up for it.


  7. I have a beta fish - a Christmas present - who keeps me company at the office. I love him. I know that I will cry when he's gone. I'm sorry she had to go through this. It hurts. Really, really hurts. Hugs to her.



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