Sunday, June 24, 2012
Ocean joined our family on April 10, 2010, after the wedding of Marc's cousin David to Torrie. The wedding was just a few days after I had back surgery, so I wasn't able to attend, but the rest of the family went without me. On the way home, I got a phone call telling me that Hannah had won a fish - in a lovely decorative vase that had served as the centerpiece on the tables at the wedding. The game was rigged, as seats had been assigned in advance, and Hannah couldn't be more excited about her first family pet.
After about a month of Ocean swimming around in the vase, Marc finally looked up details on this fish. He hadn't died yet, as we had expected, and it turns out that betta fish can live an average of two to three years. We decided it was time to upgrade his surroundings, and that was when we purchased the tank above. For a family pet, you can't get much more low maintenance than a betta fish - just a few drops of food twice a day, and, well, Ocean was happy as a fish.
Ocean had some close calls over his two year life. When we had been in Paris, we bought a long-lasting type of fish food, which he apparently hated and he nearly starved during that long week we were away. But we were redeemed the following summer when he spent our week in California staying with our neighbors, and even getting a chance to be on Skype with some of their extended family members, as his four year old caretaker was so excited to show him off. A few months ago, I was convinced that Ocean had already died, but Marc was out that evening. I had the kids come downstairs to see him, and after an extended period of time with no movement, he finally began to swim again. Ocean had slowed down substantially these last few months, and on Friday night as Hannah went to feed him right before our Shabbat dinner, we discovered that he was no longer with us.
Hannah and Marc buried Ocean in the backyard this morning. Max cried, but Hannah has taken it in stride. She hugged Max and told him to think about the "Circle of Life" from "The Lion King." It's the first time Max has had to deal with an actual death.
Ocean didn't really add much to our family life. With such simple needs, he was often forgotten about by the family, and I had to tell Hannah to feed him twice a day. Max even used to be scared of him. But for over two years, he was here and a part of our lives. I won't ever pass that corner of the dining room without thinking of him. Rest in peace, little fishy.