Friday, December 10, 2010

The Green Fish (now with a photo)

Each of the boys, when they saw it, asked, "What's with the fish?"

When my grandfather moved into a nursing home decades ago, Mom (rest her soul) and her siblings had an in-family auction to a) raise money for his care, and b) fairly distribute family possessions.  I remember my mom being very proud to have won the bid for a green fish vase that had always rested atop my grandparents' refrigerator.  My mom had given it to her mother for either Mother's Day or for a birthday.  I don't remember which.
But I remember how special that fish was to my mom and how important it was that she had gotten it back.

When I went home this past Fourth of July to help Army Sister and Lily (who eventually hadn't been able to come) go through Mom' clothes and help Dad take care of some of Mom's other things, I wondered about that fish.  Mostly, I wondered if I could have it.

I looked for it that weekend.
Didn't see it.  Figured it was in a cupboard or packed away somewhere special.
I had considered asking for it, but after the trauma sorting through Mom's clothes turned out to be, I forgot all about it.

Months later, during an IM chat with Army Sister, I found out she had the fish.
"How did you get the fish?  I was looking for it at the house."
Turns out Mom had asked Lily if she had wanted it.  She had not wanted it. 
Mom asked Army Sister if she had wanted it.  She had not wanted it, either.
"No one wanted the fish," Army Sister wrote, "but it seemed important to Mom that someone take it.  So, I took it."
She talked about filling it with candy and sending it to Lily as a joke.
"Well, if you don't want the fish, I do.  I'd really like to have it, actually."

How about that?  The one person who wanted it, never got asked.

So, earlier this month, when we were all home, Army Sister presented me with the fish.
"Mom bought this for Grandma in 1950," she told me.  "Did you know our mom bought it for her mommy?"
"Yeah.  That's why I wanted it.  Because it meant so much to her.  How do you know it was 1950?"
"It's written on the bottom."

Sure enough.
Mom's handwriting.

I was asked several times if there was anything else I wanted.  Dad and my siblings wanted to be sure I didn't go away wishing for something that meant a lot to me... like that ugly green fish vase that no one else cared for.

I just wanted the fish.

I love that fish.
I really do.


vw bug said...

How awesome is that! I am glad you were able to get the fish vase.

Richmond said...

I love this!! And it's not ugly at all.... :)

Chazya said...

love it... it really needs the right environment (accompanying decor) before its beauty comes out...

Roses said...

Chazya: Agreed! I'm curious (and slightly frightened) what kind of decor that would be. ;-)

las794 said...

It's not ugly--it's kitschy! :) Love the story.

Andy said...

I think it's beautiful. Really.

Dani said...

I like it. Who said it was ugly?

Bou said...

I think its very retro 50s. I love it. You do realize both your boys are going to want it now, right?