A Fish Story

Nemo

According to Amazon, “La Vigila “THE FEAST of The 7 FISH” is The Southern Italian Ritual Christmas Eve Meal of 7 Fish, Representing the 7 Sacraments of The Roman Catholic Church…” I looked it up, to make sure I had it right, but there were a lot of Italian-Americans in South Ozone Park, when I grew up there. So, I was already familiar with this custom.

I didn’t have any fish for Christmas Eve this year. I’m not Italian. Neither is Debbie, but she does have one big fish back in her life this Christmas. Back when her husband Kevin was alive, they had an aquarium, and one of the fish was a sucker fish, with a life expectancy of a few years. When her husband passed away six years ago, she gave the fish to her mother, and the fish is still alive today.

Not only has the fish survived. It has thrived. Her Mom finally said to her, “I’m gonna have to do something with your sucker fish. He’s grown too big for my aquarium. So, rather than giving the fish a tour of toilet bowl falls, Debbie went out and bought herself a bigger aquarium. Now the fish is back living with her.

We were talking about Christmas presents and she said that she didn’t know what to buy me, since lately when I see something I like, I’ve been buying it for myself. My Dad left me some money, and I’m just trying to give his soul peace by enjoying the money he gave me. Last year I bought a ticket package for The Lancaster Barnstormers that included the right to throw out the first pitch at a game. This year I bought that package again. Plus, I bought a package that allows me to take batting practice with the team.

“You can buy me a bat,” I said. So we went to the Sports Authority and she got me a nice wood bat, and one of those weighted doughnuts to put on the bat to make it look like I’m a serious batter.

“Well, now you’re all set,” I said, “but I still don’t know what to get for you.”

She wiggled her ring finger and said, “I’m a six and a half.”

We both laughed.

So, now today is Christmas and I’ll be going over to her house for Christmas dinner. I bought her a bunch of things and even wrapped them. One of them is very tiny. I’m gonna give that one to her last.

When she gets to that gift, I’m gonna ask her what she thinks it might be. After she guesses, I’ll give it to her. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she unwraps the tiny aquarium ornament of the fish from Finding Nemo and my little handmade sign that says, “Wrong. Go Fish.”

Merry Christmas, everyone. May Santa fill your net with abundance.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,

Earl

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