Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bob Marley & Me

The day after she was laid to rest, we went to clean out grandma's house. That was when I found the treasure. Not buried. Not hidden behind a painting or under the mattress, but unnoticed, like an unpolished diamond, in full sight. Even though it was encased in glass, it was one of those things that was easily over looked and undervalued.

Surveying it from all sides and angles, I was moved. Peering through the green slime and wrinkling my nose against the algae smell, I marveled. How had it survived, not only grandma's two year absence in the convalescent hospital, but the countless years before? Trying to be fair, I offered it to all the other family members first. I didn't want to be accused of being one of "those" relatives who fought over the possessions of the dead. No one was the least bit interested.

"You take it," they all said.

At the end of the day, I carefully packed up my inheritance. Once at home, I found just the right location for the display case. Gingerly removing the contents, I washed, cleaned, filled it with water and put everything back in place except the star of the show. With extra care, I polished the glass until it gleemed like a crystal ball.

Taking the final item, gently cocooned in a little mesh net, I set it inside the tank. I held my breath until it started to move. With a splish and a splash and a flip and a flash of tail, it was off. Jamming over the trees and under the castle. Jumping out of the water. Nestling into the sand. This was no ordinary gold fish. This was Bob Marley.

Oh, how I loved Bob Marley...as much as any dog I'd ever owned. He grew to be a symbol of grandmother's love for her family. He also grew quite large in size. To keep him from being lonely, I bought a couple more gold fish, Iggy and Ziggy, for company. Bob tolerated them for a while, but, one by one, he knocked them off. He liked being the only big fish in a small tank.

When he was about 10 years old, he started getting white spots on his gold, scaly skin. I thought he was sick with Ick, a fish disease. I gave him medicine but instead of clearing up, it spread all over his body. Turned out he wasn't ill, he was just so old his color changed from gold to a silvery white.

How old was Bob? I don't really know, but he was at least 12 years old when he swam off through the ethers to the other side. That's a long time on Earth for a fish. Bob Marley and grandma are together again, floating through the cosmos to a great reggae beat. Sometimes, late at night when the world is still and quiet, I can faintly hear them singing:

"Yeah, we're jamming, jamming
I wanna jam it with you
We're jamming, jamming
I'm jammed, I hope you're jamming too."
--Bob Marley

The story of Bob Marley and Me is true. Visit here for other Magpie Tales.


joanny said...

Oh how I forgot how much I loved Bob Marley and loved this song -- when I die like Grandma and the fish tale -- I hope this song is playing what a nice send off to the cosmos...

Sorry I got lose in this song playing -- great magpie --- easy going and joyful really. Now I have it playing in my head..oh yes love your new banner.


Mrsupole said...

Hi Ronda,

I always loves me a little Bob Marley. One can never have too much Bob Marley. Funny how this story could almost be written by one of my grandkids since they know how much I love reggae music.

Oldest granddaughter will get in the car and put in the Red Red Wine CD and we both start moving, then she sometimes just keeps repeating it and repeating it. Everyone else in the car thinks we are crazy, but she and I have such a great time doing that.

Yup one can never have too much Bob Marley.

Love the new header pic, and is that a Betta fish in the bowl. One should always have a Betta fish in the house. They are the easiest fish to take care of.

God bless.

Jingle said...

musical and beautiful,
a story is wonderfully told.

Brian Miller said...

smiles. lub me sum mahley mon! i like that gramma and the fish are floating together in teh afterlife...

Gemel said...

A blessing to read as always, your words always take me on a journey in to your world...
Thank you

willow said...

When I came to the Bob Marley part, a big 'ol smile came to my face!

Kate Hanley said...

What a beautiful story. I love reading a great story like that first thing in the morning, it sets such a great tone for the rest of the day! Thanks!

Berowne said...

Very nice handling of the Magpie prompt.

Anonymous said...

What a great tale... and a great reminder of a legend :0)

TechnoBabe said...

Wonderful that there are still such ardent fans of Bob Marley. I know so many people who listen to his music and miss him every day. Lovely story about the treasure you inherited.

otin said...

I had a fish named Ozzy. he was incoherent and kept swimming into the glass! hahaha!

Helen said...

Bob Marley lives forever in our hearts and souls .... for sure! Loved your Magpie and how the rest of your family couldn't see the treasure for what it truly was .....

Christina said...

Haha, I really didn't know where you would take us. Too funny!

Bob Marley was one of the finest fish.
12 years?!?! Isn't that incredibly old for a little finned friend?

Jill said...

Ronda! NO WAY! Your Bob Marley lived that long? You took exceptional care of that dude!

I love the song SOOO much. Have not heard it in ages...need to revisit it in my vehicle...turned up REAL loud.

Wonderful story. SO GLAD it is true.

JGH said...

No way! 12 years? did he get those really long flowing fins and tail too? We had one a few years ago that got too big for the tank, so we put it in a pond at the kids' preschool. It lived there a few years!

Ronda Laveen said...

Joanny: I think that song is a wonderful send off too. I think I'll add it to my list along with Stairway to Heaven and Spirit in the Sky. Glad you like the new header photo.

Sherry: Yep that's a Beta. I love how you and your grandkids share reggae music across the generations. May your grandkids will write a story like this about you one day.

Jingle: Thank you, it is musical, like your name!

Brian: Yep, Gramma and Bob are the reggae part of the cosmic soup. And, like The Turtles, happy together again.

Gemel: It is my pleasure to take you on a journey. My world, like yours, is richly textured.

Willow: How can one not smile when thinking and listening to Bob:-)

Kate: I think I'm going to listen to Bob more often in the morning. He does set a happy tone for the day.

Berowne: Thank you, sir.

ED: And what a legend he is!

Ronda Laveen said...

TechnoBabe: Music moves people very deeply. Many people believe that it is the bridge between Heaven and Earth. And you...you are married to a music shaman! A very talented one at that.

Otin: Did you name him Ozzy before or after you noticed his disabilites?

Helen: Sometimes, treasures are not all bright and shiny are they?

Christina: Bob Marley was a very fine, finned fish. (Moment of silence). I think 12 is pretty danged old for a little fish. I'll have to Google the life span.

Jill: You ROCK, apparently literally! TURN IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JGH: Yes, he did get those long flowing fins and tail. Like yours that lived in the pond, they must be a variety of the Coi, I'm thinkin'.

Baino said...

Sweet reminiscence. I did the same when my aunt died actually although her treasures were loads of pretty paperweights with all sorts of magic inside. Nicely told and a 10 year old fish? I never had such luck!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Ronda, I thoroughly enjoyed this. So well written, lyrical in its movement. Thank you very much! K.

little hat said...

Ronda Bob Marley and peter Otto are together. That's spooky. We seem to have lived parallel lives fish-wise. Great story. Heartfelt and funny. I'll read some more of your blog.

Ronda Laveen said...

Baino: I love paperweights and snow globes. The ARE magical. Yes, I was lucky. Bob Marley lived a long fishy life.

Kathryn: Bob and I are pleased to give your enjoyment. As always, he is the consumate entertainer.

Little hat: See! I told you our tales were eerily similar. Nice to meet you on the psychic trail.

DUTA said...

A goldfish is a symbol of good luck and fortune, so you did well to keep 'Bob Marley' in your house.

Bob Marley, the singer was a legend, and it's a pity he died so young, at 36! (leaving eleven children).
I adore his "Jamming" song. I've even used in a slideshow.
That's a lovely association of your grandma's goldfish and the jamaican singer.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

What a great spirit to be close to! -J

kathew said...

This was great! Loved it!

Ronda Laveen said...

DUTA: Wow! I didn't know that gold fish were good luck. A cricket in the house is good luck too. Bob had 11 kids? Prolific in progeny as well as music! Such a loss.

Jayne: YES!

Kathew: Thanks for visiting the Wonderland.

Reya Mellicker said...


Stacy Post said...

Bob Marley is awesome. Just another reason why I like you so much. :)

Sadly, I have the death touch when it comes to fish. I've tried just about every kind. Finally put the aquarium in the garage. Maybe one of my loved ones will discover it, polish up the glass and try again.

Great story!

Lisa said...

It was a miracle that he survived in that slime. Ick. Poor little thing. Good thing someone found him. ;-)

sheri... said...

i don't know what to say but can you count a big ol' smile on my face as a comment?? i hope so cause reading your magpie made me very, very happy!

Crystal Mary said...

Hi Mate, Nice to meet you here. Bob Marley is great..and so was your story. Well written. Blessings to you.

Megan said...

Swim on, Bob, swim on! That's marvelous!

When the offspring was just a little lad, barely able to walk, this was his "time for bed" song. "We jammies!"

She Writes said...

Great take on this.

Ronda Laveen said...

Stacy: Bob is the only fish I've ever really had that kind of luck with. Sadly, my tank is in the garage too just for that reason. I saw it the other day. Maybe now that I've publicly acknowledged our relationship, I will be able to "fish" again.

Lisa: Bob was a survivor...probably still is in an ethereal way. I think it may be time for me to see if I can find him reincarnate.

Sheri: Smiles "definitely" count! We like happy here in the Wonderland.

Crystal Mary: Have I told you that I love your name? Welcome.

Megan: Oh...that is so funny...We jammies...what a great bed time song for a kid. A great vibe to start, continue, or end the day on. Oh, well...must be jammin' on now.

She Writes: Thank you.

rel said...

memories frozen in time rekindle the passion 'til we too become a memory.
Terrific magpie!

Dave King said...

I thought Bob Marley was an okay guy. It's only just recently that I've come to appreciate him more than that.

Jennifer said...

I love this story! And Bob Marley. Yours, and that other one. :-)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh I just love this story. That is such a beautiful inheritance, especially because it means so much to you in the now and through your memories.

Ronda Laveen said...

Rel: Wow! You said that so well! Beautiful.

Dave: Bob had to grow on me too. Both of them.

Jennifer: I'm sure the Bob's here you:-)

Carolina: Bob the Fish has been gone a number of years now and I still have moments that I think about him. You are right.

Dorraine said...

Oh, but your grandma would have loved this story! I had no idea goldfish lived that long. Gotta be the name. Bob Marley was just too cool.

Loved your tale!

chiccoreal said...

Dear Rhonda: Bob Marley! Never knew goldfish could live that long. Immediately I am brought back to the 70's when I heard Bob Marley for the first time. Excellent story. Love the music! "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Red Red Wine" "Buffalo Cowboy". Thanks for the joyous reminences which is Bob Marley!

Jai Joshi said...

Sounds like Bob Marley lived a long and full life!

Thanks for this tale of a little fish that could.


Ronda Laveen said...

Dorraine: My grandma would have loved this story. She always said I have a way with words. I think she just wanted more thank you notes.

Chiccoreal: when you mentioned the 70's and "I Shot the Sheriff," I flashed to a memory of me and my friends out clubbing and dancing. That song was so popular at that time. I even remember one of my favorite outfits of that time.

Jai: That little fish certainly could.

Jingle said...


I know you may have noticed it,
in case you need anything from there,
please feel free to take them.
Happy mother's Day!

Deanna Schrayer said...

What a lovely story Ronda, and now I'm gonna be singing 'we're jammin' all day long - thanks! :)

Love the new header too!

Jingle said...


Meme participation awards,
Happy Sunday!