This has been a difficult week for our family. It has been a time of great weeping and wailing and mourning. This week, dear readers, we lost our beloved pet fish, Goldie.
Goldie has been with our family ever since . . . last month. He was a good fish, full of personality. He swam with such grace and vigor, and his long, flowing fins turned his movements into an art form. He was an inspiration to us all. He will be sorely missed, and his absence in our lives will leave a hole that will not easily be filled. (Actually, it can be filled for $2.50 at the local pet shop, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Services were held in our bathroom. My pastor/husband, the Right Reverend Dr. Mark F. Brumbaugh, o-fish-iated. Loving words were spoken, followed by a hymn: “I’ll swim away, oh, glory, I’ll swim away (down the toilet).” And then, we said goodbye to Goldie, and watched him swirl away to that beautiful home in the sea. (Well, sewer. But let’s just overlook that little detail for the sake of posterity, shall we?)
Goldie had a short life, but it was a good one. He had a nice, big fish bowl to swim in. He had his meals brought to him, and he had lots of little fishy things in his bowl to play with and swim around. And he brought joy to us, his family. He didn’t waste his life longing for the ocean, longing for some dream that would never develop. Nope. He happily swam around his bowl, waving his fins for us, coming up to greet us when we brought him food. He seemed to enjoy his life. I guess you could say he lived well. He had learned the secret of being content.
Our lives are pretty short, when you think about it. Whether we live 20 years or 80, our existence is really no more than a blink, in the grand scheme of things. Isn’t it a shame that we waste so much of it, wishing for things we can never have? Instead of enjoying the houses we live in, we want bigger houses. Instead of appreciating our jobs, we long for better jobs. Before we are married, we want to find that special person. After we are married, we want children. We wish for financial freedom, retirement . . . and before we know it, we have wished our lives away, wanting what isn’t ours. We would be so much better off, don’t you think, if we could learn from Goldie, and be happy with what life has handed us. Right here, right now.
From now on, I intend to look at my life through Goldie’s eyes. I will try to remember that life is short, and not a moment should be wasted. I will do my best to appreciate what I have, instead of squandering my time longing for what I don’t have. And someday, when I go on to glory, I want people to say, “She lived well.”
Philippians 4:12 “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . .”