Death and the Written Word

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I am a murderer.

It was an accident. Crazy, Bobby, and Freddy Jr. were in a vase while I cleaned their tank. I was quite pleased that the cleaning was going so smoothly, when I looked over and noticed that Crazy, the big guy, was on his side. Fish don’t do this normally so I mention it to my husband who walks over and realizes that the water is hot. The fish were cooking!! I had put the vase on the counter above the dishwasher which was running and the heat from it was warming the vase.

Crazy died in the vase. We thought Freddy Jr. was going to last but shortly after returning to the tank he died. Bobby seemed to be holding on. Thought we had saved at least one. But a couple hours later, when my son was going to bed, it was discovered that Bobby just couldn’t survive the loss of his friends and the shock of the whole ordeal. Bobby passed at 8:40pm.

What I found most interesting of the whole event was that through the tears my son asked me to post an article about them. If you recall I did write about the passing of Freddy #1 several months ago, a very traumatic event. My immediate thought was is this part of the Facebook culture seeping into his 8 year old body, the need to post about your every feeling and event? Since he has no experience with the addiction to likes and follows etc. of that world I believe his request goes deeper than that. Writing immortalizes our loved ones. The written word can last for thousands of years, perhaps longer as technology advances, while the body comes and goes in less than a single century.

Human beings want to hold on to the good memories and the best way to do it is by putting it in writing. A thought, a memory, an opinion has far greater power in writing than the average person understands. If the written word can keep a person alive forever in our memories, it has powers that should be respected.

Write down your memories, big and small. Don’t let the good ones slip away into oblivion.

To respect the wishes of my son I would like to immortalize his faithful friends….

Freddy Jr., Crazy, and Bobby died on Sunday, December 18 between 7 and 9pm.They lived a short life but provided great happiness to their owner, a sweet 8 year old boy.

Freddy Jr. was a little guy, fearful of the bigger fish. His owner would have to throw an extra pinch of food while the big guys were distracted so that it would fall to the bottom where Freddy waited.

Crazy was the big guy and he was crazy. When food came he would jump out of the water for it, thinking he was a dolphin.

Bobby was the most responsible one. He methodically scanned the walls, going side to side, up and down, always looking for something. He liked to rest on the pebbles as well.

They were our friends. May they enjoy the giant fishpond in the sky, knowing they made our lives a little better.

 

Time

Time has slipped through my fingertips. It shifts from one moment to the next as erratically and quickly as the sand grains in the waves along the beach.

Time is this untouchable concept and yet it touches every part of our existence. We fear it. We want it to slow down, speed up, stop, never stop. But just like the waves, time keeps moving.

The only power we have over time is to fill it full of memories so that time is not forever lost. That is the only way to not lose it, to slow it down, to hold on to time.

And yet we are constantly missing this, losing time forever with our kids, our loved ones, ourselves. Stop the clock, fill each moment of life with a memory and don’t let time shift with the waves and be lost forever.

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Friends

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Artwork by SKK

Friend…such a simple word and yet there is a ton of power behind its simplicity.

What is a friend? There is no one definition of what a friend is or how they should act. Friends don’t always have to be there for you; listen to you; get along with you; like the same things as you; or really have to be or do anything. A friend could be a friend because of a shared experience; a common interest; a chance encounter; a travel companion; a fellow mom or dad; a colleague; a schoolmate; or for no reason at all.

I look back on my life and see a life rich with friends. Some I knew only for a very short time and some I’ve known all my life. Some that I am sorry are not around more and some that I need to call more. I have felt the pain of friends lost because of distance, or a wrong word said, and even because of death.

But what is at the heart of this friendship thing? We strive with all our power to make friends as children. Sadly too many kids without friends or feeling friend-less are driven to killing themselves, or hurting themselves or others because they lack that necessary ingredient in their lives…a friend. We are told in old age that keeping our friendships will help us live longer.

Does the government know how powerful this friend stuff is – coloring our lives, making us do things counter to common sense, extending our lives….??? Pretty soon they will bottle it up and use it as a weapon of war if we aren’t careful. I can just imagine the government opening up a canister of the latest bio-terrorist chemical called “No-Friend”, and the oldest generals on the enemy side start to age immediately, the young kids on the line drop their weapons, crumble up in a corner and start to cry.

There is no one definition of a friend and what they can do for you or be for you. You have to take each friend as they are when they step into your life, and again when they step out of it. Do not beat yourself up if you do not stay friends or you can’t always stay in touch. I have done this and it doesn’t fix the past it only hurts the present.

In the end that friend was there for a reason. Friends good and bad help put color in our lives. Some stay and become a permanent background color and others just drop a spot of color here and a dash of color there. It is our job to let them in and let them color our life for the time they are to be part of it. The color they left on your canvas will always be a part of you, and as other colors get added along the timeline of life, the picture begins to make sense and become more beautiful.

Thank you to all the friends who have added color to my life.