My wife, Peggy, thinks our four granddaughters, Nina, AnnaMay, Ella and Mia, get their goofiness from me. I’m not so sure. After all, I’ve never thought of myself as goofy. At least I hadn’t until I questioned my doctor about all the medicines I’d been taking, or whether any long term consequences could result in unfavorable outcomes.
"Will any of these have an adverse effect on my daily living, or even influence my thinking process," I asked. "In other words, Doc, could they make me goofy?"
In the blink of an eye, he answered, "No more than what you already are, Frank."
That was my first clue. It was the earlist any professional ever indicated I could be goofy. Regardless, our four granddaughters, Wendy and Bobby’s kids, once had a family pet. A long-haired Maine Coon cat named Tamarijn. Rarely one to venture outside, he was a true house cat. While I don’t mind pets, this long haired feline had me sneezing every time I got close. So whenever we’d visit, I’d stay as far away as possible.
Readers know we have a dog; a Black Lab named Sandra Louise, or Sadie Lou for short. I’ve had a dog most of my life. During my younger years on the farm it was a Border Collie. Our first year of marriage included both a dog and cat. Susie was a Cocker Spaniel and Mittens was a black cat with four white feet.
When we moved, Mittens balked. When rescued, he’d return to the old house. Eventually, we lost track of Mittens and never experienced the trauma of a dying cat. Not so with Tamarijn. When it died, there was the usual family tears among the girls with Bobby having to bury it in a ceremony that would have made the subjects of King Tut proud.
Recently, AnnaMay stopped by looking quite sullen, her deep dimples barely noticeable. There were no tears and her eyes were not misty, but it was clear she was stressed.
"How can you be so sad on a beautiful day like this?" I asked. And then, not knowing she even had a goldfish, I jokingly asked, "Did your goldfish die?"
She turned and looked at me, trying hard to hold back the tears. "I don’t have a goldfish, Grandpa. I have a beta. And yes, Grandpa (sob, sniff, sob), it died." Then the tears flowed freely.
It was one of the few times in life when I felt lower than an earthworm.
"Oh, I’m so sorry about that, Sweetie. Your fishy died. How old was it?" I asked.
"Its name wasn’t ‘Sweetie,’ Grandpa. It was Indigo," she muttered between sobs while trying hard to hold back the tears. "I had Indigo for three years."
"Well, perhaps Grandpa can get you another fish," I suggested, my own heart starting to break at the sight of my granddaughter’s sadness. But she just shook her head and wailed more as if to shout, no fish could ever replace Indigo.
The next day was Friday. Subconsciously locked from the Church’s ancient rule of abstaining from meat, even though it had been repealed in the mid 1960’s during the Second Ecumenical Council, I still eat the traditional Friday fish. That day I felt guilty asking for a big slice of Cod. Then AnnaMay dropped in with a plastic bag.
"What do you have there?" I asked. "A big bag full of water for your ol’ Grandpa?"
It’s a new beta, Grandpa. I named it Sky Guy," she answered with a big smile on her face and a gleam in her eyes. " I’ll call it Sky for short."
Once again those prominent dimples re-appeared and she seemed just as happy as she had ever been.
Now that’s the AnnaMay I know and love.
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