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Japanese Fighters

Edward finally graduated from Kindergarten. In his mind, he’s ready for 4th grade–at least that’s what he tells people. To celebrate this milestone, we asked him where he wanted to go eat and what he wanted to do. Without missing a beat, he blurted out “Red Robin” (read $10.00 hamburger) and “Buy some pet fish!”

You see, a teenage neighbor had given Joseph a beloved “beta” or Japanese Fighting Fish that was bestowed upon him by a now ex-girlfriend. So Edward had been vying for his own fish for several months.

At least he is a child who knows what he wants, so after perusing the offerings for a few minutes, he quickly points to a tank of tiny goldfish. “Five of these—that’s what I need!” Now these look so tiny to me, and I’m concerned about the potential voracity of the blue thing, named “Wyn,” that we’ve already got. I also don’t want another tank on my kitchen counter.

So I approach the seventeen-year-old “Pet Specialist” with my concerns. “Oh no, they are completely compatible!” she promises. Edward beams. The specialist plops the five fish in a baggie and rings up our total: 64 cents. Man, I got off cheap…or so I thought.

The next morning, one of the five fish (or should I say half of one of the five fish) is floating aimlessly at the bottom of the tank. Thankfully, his missing half is hidden by the decorative pebbles so that Edward only notes that he is “searching for food down there by the rocks.” Yes, isn’t he diligent?

A few days later: “How come we started with 5 fish and now there are only 2?”

And then the ominous question, “What’s that furry stuff growing on my beautiful blue fish?” (I should have taken a picture but, really, it was gross.)

I won’t bore or pain you with the details of researching the “fur” and realizing it was some fungal infection scientifically called “Saprolegnia.”  Maybe it was transmitted by one of the 5 “Kindergarten Graduation” fish? How we purchased some costly “vitamins” in hopes of reviving Wyn, to no avail. How H hastily flushed the infected Wyn down the toilet (when he started gasping uncontrollably at water’s edge) without consulting anyone or giving anyone the chance to say his or her farewells. How this broke many hearts and resulted in a much later than normal bedtime due to histrionic wailing (a little too convincing for my taste).

But yet how one spunky “Kindergarten Graduation” goldfish remains, albeit alone, happily munching the expensive vitamin food.

Now he’s the real fighter.

Posted on 21 May '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 1 Comment.

Valentine’s Blessings

Last night, the long-awaited Father/Daughter Valentine’s Day Dance was held in honor of Chloe Shiver, a precious five-year-old who has battled neuroblastoma for almost three years now.

(You may remember me writing about her before.  Chloe is the little girl in the pink.)

chloe-friend

During her fierce battle against this insidious form of cancer, Chloe has run through a million dollar health insurance policy, and is now reliant on donations to pay for her remaining treatments which involve flying to Sloan Kettering in New York for costly treatments each month.

She desperately needs Sky Miles donations as well as other donations to help with her battle.  Please visit Pray For Chloe for more details if you are led to contribute.

One of the fascinating things about this whole experience was how God took a casual conversation over dinner sometime in December and turned it into an event that blessed an entire community.  There were so many other cancer survivors and cancer fighters in attendance, including sweet Maggie Jo, a dear two-year-old battling another rare form of cancer.

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A grandfather, who has been given only weeks to live, danced with his two granddaughters.  So many cancer survivor stories and faith lessons were shared over the course of this evening where everyone lived in a moment of pure hope and joy.

I cannot explain the feeling of seeing 250 daughters and daddies dancing away all for the benefit of one little girl.  Something in the air was distinctly palatable.  It was unusual.  If you have had an experience like this, you know what I mean.

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The tables were sprinkled with pink, read and white M & M’s, and Sue certainly enjoyed her share.  She even entered a “Daddy/Daughter Dance Contest,” and won a door prize.

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She fell promptly asleep the moment she strapped in her Britax, and as I watched her clutching a balloon in one hand and a heart-shaped lollipop in the other, a poignant pressure on my heart told me, again, how God has reminded me to cherish each moment.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted on 14 February '09 by , under Faith is the Evidence. 12 Comments.

No Air, Dead Fish & In-Laws

I ran around all day Friday getting ready for the “Supper Club.”  Yet when I finally arrived home, I found my home stifling and a tad smelly.

Certainly the air conditioner has not gone out three hours before my supper club?

I hastily called the heating & air people and plead my case:  Dinner party for 13 at my house in three hours…inlaws coming…three small children…

The fellow they sent out could not have been nicer.  He tried everything–he really did–there was simply nothing to be done:  “You’re not gonna wanna hear this, ma’am…I mean it’s 85 degrees in here right now and I can’t do anything with ‘the unit’ until tomorrow…it’s froze up…don’t think you’ll be havin’ any sort of party here tonight…”

You know the weird thing is that I did not panic.  Usually I would panic.  Yet this time, I just laughed.  I figured God was showing me what an amazing sense of humor he had after I complained and whined about having to actually cook–and then didn’t actually cook anything (except baked potatoes) after all.

So I called Ashley and told her the news.  “Do you think people will mind eating here if it’s that hot?”  I asked hopefully.  “What if I set up some fans?”  She set me straight:  “No. I’m not coming to something like that.  Who wants to sit there in that heat with a baked potato steaming up in their face?”  This is the kind of candor I need in a friend.  She even offered to have the party at her house, which is conveniently located around the corner.  And she even mopped and vacuumed and took no time to get herself ready before the party because that is the kind of friend she is.

So I baked the potatoes at her house, and shlepped the rest of the food over in the Town & Country, which gave me an opportunity to use my trusty pot holders.

And when I got home after the party, I looked in on the last living Kindergarten Graduation fish because he seemed a little peckish the night before.  (I had changed his water and had high hopes that he would rally.)  He was way down in the decorative rocks…looking for food..submitting to his watery grave.

All things Kindergarten have fallen away.

Posted on 27 July '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. No Comments.