While Matt and I were enjoying an amazing dinner at our favorite restaurant, I received a disheartening text message. It was from my friend Allyson, who was kind enough to watch our kids while we enjoyed an overnight getaway in the city. The text read:
Sorry to interrupt...Fluff is dead and Ab is very sad.
Fluff is...well, was Abbie's beloved winter dwarf hamster. We got him July 4th - the day we had to let Spot, our super speedy-only after one thing in life turtle, go back into the wild. Fluff was a great first hamster for my daughter. He was very affectionate as far as rodents go and despite that he looked like a round puff ball with legs, he faithfully ran on his wheel all night, every night. I can attest to that personally.
So...before our desserts arrived, I snuck away from our table for two to give Abbie a call. I could tell she had been crying but she seemed on the up and up. Matt called her after dinner and again, she seemed to be doing pretty well. Knowing that we were going to get a new hamster seemed to lessen the blow of fluff's death.
Matt and I arrived home and we all gathered outside under the rainy sky to bury Fluff and to thank God for his short but memorable life. We all had our roles to play. Matt was the gravedigger. Stephen's compassionate heart was displayed when he went searching for flowers for us to put on Fluff's grave. Allyson held the umbrella over Abigail's head, as she leaned against me crying. Azariyah went from Matt to Allyson to me, wiggling around in her pink puffy coat. As for me, I found myself unexpectedly giving a eulogy type message, reminding all of us how death - even for a winter dwarf hamster, is sobering. It makes us think about where we stand with Jesus.
It was the first pet funeral that we experienced as a family. I know it won't be the last because we have a cat and as of today, we have a new hamster: Chopsticks. Chopsticks is appropriately named because she is a Chinese dwarf hamster. She's quite cute with her mouse-like ears and she is an excellent digger!
So long Fluff....you will be missed!