Almost four years ago, Jonah was given a fish for his birthday. The fish was a Beta, and he was beautiful. He became a part of our family depsite the fact that I wasn't really crazy about the idea of having a fish and Jan's skepticism about a fish's notorious short life span. We all had those goldfish we won from some carnival that had a life span of about a week, right? :-)
We named him Otto. (In case you are wondering, the name came from a P.D. Eastman book we liked reading, titled A Fish Out of Water.) Otto came to live with us when we were living with my parents while building our house, and then he made the move to this house with us. I can remember holding his bowl as we made one of our final moving trips.
Sadly, we had to say good-bye to Otto a few days ago. He left us and went to fish heaven. We could tell he was weak, and Jan tried to prepare the boys and me by telling us more than once that he thought Otto was not gonna be around much longer. I couldn't help but think about what we went through with my grandfather beginning last October and then ending in March. I knew he was sick. I knew he wouldn't be around much longer, but didn't know how long we had left. Otto was a good fish. He was a strong fish. He was loved and admired by 3 Hensley children. (And Jan and me, of course. :-)) We all had a different reaction to his passing...Jonah was very no nonsense about the whole thing. You could tell Jonah was sad, but he never shed a tear. He wanted to be the one to see him off (down the toilet) while my sensitive John Owen cried with me. I was a little surprised at how John Owen cried over Otto's death. I must admit I cried more than I expected to as well. It has been a little sad lately when I stand at the kitchen sink washing dishes and look at the spot where Otto has resided for 3 1/2 years. Maybe tomorrow I'll remove the empty glass pitcher with colorful rocks.
I know it may seem silly to dedicate a whole post to a fish, but he wasn't just any fish. Otto was our fish and lived longer than any fish I have ever known. He was a good fish.
So, au revoir, Otto, and thank you for bringing joy to our lives for the time we had you.
(This may not be the best picture due to the fact that it was taken a while back with my old camera, but I am so glad we have a picture of him to remember him by.)