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Death, Lesson, Inspiration, Timing…..Livestrong

Anyone who read my earlier post about putting a sex magazines and blow-up dolls under my pillow could have seen it coming, right? Either I post a follow-up about how I can’t even walk to the train anymore cause I’m so freakin’ over-sexed….or….I write about death – the death of an innocent,  young, frugal, vigilant, Democratic, healthcare reform advocate, fish. A young, brilliant-colored little guy named – Swimmy.

Quick flashback for those too lazy to read older posts. Friend tells story of how her son puts shark tooth under pillow, wakes up to can of tuna. My wife tries to one-up her. Son puts shark tooth under pillow wakes up to fish in fish bowl. Daughter disappointed she didn’t do the same so puts shark tooth under her pillow that night. Wakes up to fish next morning.

There…so, we get back from a relaxing, long day at a folk music festival – friends are about to come over – wife walks up to me and says,

“Swimmy is dead.”

I say, “fuckin’ who?”


“You wanna have sex now when friends are about to come over?”

“Jackass!!! – Your daughter’s fish – Swimmy – is fucking dead!!”

Me – “oh…..shit….that sucks….”

Swimmy was a good kid. I mean – he really did nothing but make my daughter happy every morning when she thought about feeding him – and every night when she wanted to use him as fuel to delay the inevitable.

The dilemma – should I tell her now when friends are walking in and involve them in the drama. OR – wait till we’ve had too much to drink, are ready for bed, and risk her seeing the fish and have her spend the remaining hours of the night crying? We decided to tell her now - “your fish died, sister.”

She took it hard. She cried. She cried hard. And even my son cried hard. Just earlier that day I explained to him why his mom was crying – “her cousin, Brett, who she grew up with has cancer and was told by doctors there’s nothing they can do.” Death took on a whole new meaning for my son today……

It’s kind bizarre and sadistically funny how shit seems to work out in your day-to-day life. One day you’re blogging about the stupidity of bringing in fish that will inevitably die and cause drama to your life. The next day you’re putting the pieces together about how that seemingly thoughtless act turned into a life lesson for the three greatest people in your life…and yourself.

I’m posting the picture of my kids by Swimmy’s grave not as a joke…..but as fuel to spark memories in my readers of their first loss…their first pet…their first family member…their first death.

My wife’s cousin, Brett, is a fighter. Fuck that – he’s the damn Man! He’ll win this fucking battle against cancer, because the love behind his fight is undying, relentless, passionate, and one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever witnessed.

Livestrong Brett!

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