Archive | 11:59 PM

My Dad, The Mental Diet, and The Lieutenant Dan Phase

14 Jul

Today is the day I usually slip into my Lieutenant Dan phase …

You know, the angry one where he’s on the shrimping boat with Forrest Gump battling a monster storm and yelling at The Man upstairs.

 

img_forrest_gump_010

Lt. Dan Taylor

 

Yeah today’s the day.

Every year the weekend is an emotional Goliath with my kids’ birthdays being celebrated on one day, and taking a trip to the cemetery to visit my dad on the anniversary of his death on the next. My mind filled with thoughts … Thinking of pop-up tents, umbrellas, sand toys, sunscreen, goody buckets, Star Wars and princess kites, parachute guys, cheese sticks, sandwiches, potato salad, and shark fin cupcakes for a beach birthday party for a dozen kindergarteners and preschoolers to thinking about my Dad’s white collared shirts, baseball caps, Black Samsonite briefcase, Jovan Musk cologne aftershave, and smile.

 

Kite flying

Kite flying

 

Hanging out with a few buddies right before cupcake time.

Hanging out with a few buddies right before cupcake time.

 

Chocolate and vanilla birthday cupcakes with butter cream frosting ... something tasty that would have gone good with my Dad's cup of coffee.

Chocolate and vanilla birthday cupcakes with butter cream frosting … something tasty that would have gone good with my Dad’s cup of coffee.

 

Feeling happy that my kids are happy and then feeling incredibly bad and broken-hearted that he was missing all the laughter and smiles.

Tough weekend.

Lt. Dan-in-a-storm-kind-of weekend.

But I’m still here. Sitting in the hallway closet surrounded by his shirts trying to breathe in whatever cologne lingers between the cotton fibers that was not washed away by Tide with Bleach. I try not to get upset with The Man upstairs about how things turned out, but in truth sometimes the anger of him dying despite my faith hurts and so I struggle.

And I know all the speeches of being in a better place and all that but I find no comfort in that because he’s not here and in truth the better place would have been here with me and his grand kids. But most of all I get upset at the things he missed out on that he would have truly enjoyed … like the birthday beach party for the kids, and that’s when my Lt. Dan phase slips out.

I’m trying to be better about it … You know trying to remember how he lived instead of the painful way he died, that in and of itself takes a lot out of me because I hate that cliche too. But I’m trying this new mental diet that’s suppose to help me trim the negative and unproductive states of mind … However I’ve never been too good with diets … I’m a chocoholic.

But the “mental diet” did raise some good points about trying to focus on what you could do now, instead of reliving a bad moment you could never change. So I changed my focus to remembering things that would make me feel closer to him and I thought of TV nights … those times where we vegged out on the couch after dinner, watched TV, and “talked about life”. Simple stuff like that brought us closer together.

 

Vegging out with his grandsons.

Vegging out with his grandsons.

 

So with the help of the mental diet I remember the positives with my Dad and hope to relive that this week with my own vegging out marathon of his favorite shows.

His top ten…

The Sopranos

The Wire

The Shield

Deadwood

24

Breaking Bad

LOST

Prison Break

World Cup Soccer

Boxing on any network.

Happy TV watching.