On May 15, 2008, Halle and I took an exciting trip to the Fairwood Pet Center. Here, she picked out and purchased her very first (real) pet. She chose “Goldy” the goldfish. Besides Goldy, we picked out a fish bowl, food and a couple other needed supplies to support this little life. Halle had saved up her birthday money (as well as her “first tooth loss” money) in order to purchase this great little fish.
On May 16, 2008, Goldy was proudly displayed at Sunshine Mountain Christian School (Kindergarten). Halle brought her new friend to “Pet Day.” In fact, Goldy won first prize for Best Swimmer. Halle received a keepsake award to remember the great prize!
For the last few months Halle (and quite often Daddy) fed her little fishy twice a day. Twice a week we (okay, this was always Daddy) would change the water and clean the bowl/rocks. The pet store employee said keeping clean water would give Goldy the best chance at a long life (even up to months or years).
On July 26, 2008, Goldy was found “resting” at the bottom of her little bowl. Elisabeth discovered the body and quickly came down to tell me. We were entertaining Joe and Shelly Heider… Joe’s advice, “go get a new one before anyone notices.” Deciding not to re-enact every sitcom I had seen growing up, we decided to go ahead and talk to Halle (who was in bed, but not yet asleep).
Elisabeth and I told Halle the news. At first she didn’t know how to react, she made a joke about the music she was listening to. We spoke of our options as to what to do with the little fish. She eventually asked for us to come back in five minutes so she could decide what we should do with little Goldy.
We waited the five minutes and returned to one of the most precious and heart-wrenching scenes of this little six-year-old life. Halle was sitting on the end of her bed with the “Best Swimmer Award” in her hand. In the soft night light glow we saw her; she was softly crying as she read and re-read the words on the award. We spent a few minutes talking and comforting one another. She told us she had gone into the bathroom and had seen Goldy at the bottom of her bowl (we wondered if this was part of the reason she asked to be alone, so she could go look on her own). This was all part of her healing process. She even cracked a joke saying, “she looked funny, her belly just sticking straight up.”
Halle will experience joy and sorrow throughout her life, I am thankful for the way she handled this loss. I was blessed to see how tender her heart is. We’ll miss you Goldy (but I’ll be honest, I won’t miss the cleaning of that bowl and the rocks… at least for a couple weeks before we probably get a new fish!).