When I was in elementary school, my school would host a carnival-like event every year. I don’t remember what it was called, but I do remember two things. First, there was a lot of cake. I don’t know why there was so much cake, but let me tell you I always knew where it was. And it was delicious.
The second thing I remember is that there was one game, a ring toss, that if you won, you got a goldfish. Well I wanted a fish. Actually, I wanted 20 of them, but luckily the guy running the game said that each person could only win one fish. This was a good rule.
So I played and played until finally I won a fish. I was so pumped. They gave it to me in a Ziploc bag and I ran over to show my parents. They were less than thrilled that I had procured a fish without their knowledge, but they were good parents so they cheered for me and said we would find a fishbowl home for the little guy.
I named him Dr. Rocketfish Von Swimmerstein. I was a weird kid.
So here we were, Dr. Rocket and me. I loved that fish, but I have to say most of my love was just to spite the family cat, Cricket. My mom loved the cat, and I did not care for it. Cricket was older than I was, and she hated me. I mean, I chased her around and wrestled with her everyday, what’s not to love about that, Cricket? Years later, we got a dog after cricket passed away, where I immediately discovered that dogs are much more suited to eight-year-old boys than elderly cats. Who knew? Cricket knew. She put a curse on me before she died, but that’s a story for another day. Cats…
Eventually Dr. Rocked died. And by eventually, I mean the week after I brought him home. He was a goldfish after all. This was the first time I had ever encountered death. I was confused. “Mom, why is Dr. Rocket just floating on the top of the water? Is he trying to get a suntan? Because I can move the bowl outside if that would help him.” I was not the brightest child.
I was sad when my mom explained to me that Dr. Rocket had died. Death is hard to understand the first time you encounter it, but I have to say that I’m glad that my first experience with it was in relation to a nine-day-old goldfish. I was sad that Dr. Rocket had died, but I was glad to know him. He really helped me torment the cat, and what more could an eight-year-old ask for from a fish?
Today we will celebrate the life, and mourn the loss, of Bob Clark. Death is complicated and difficult to deal with no matter the situation. I loved Bob, as most of you did too. I didn’t know Bob very well, he became ill very soon after I met him, but it only took one meeting for Bob to win me over with that killer smile and charming, peaceful personality. I will miss Bob.
I know that I will see many of you at the service today, and I would ask that all of you continue to pray for Sue and all of the Clark family.
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.” – Revelation 14:13
I know that Bob is resting now, for his faith was strong and his wonderful deeds will follow him.
Have a wonderful week my friends,