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.



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



Breaking Bad


Prison Break

World Cup Soccer

Boxing on any network.

Happy TV watching.





14 Responses to “My Dad, The Mental Diet, and The Lieutenant Dan Phase”

  1. susielindau July 15, 2014 at 7:10 AM #

    The timing is horrible and the finality of death can be brutal. The anniversary of your dad’s death will hurt less through the years.
    I love your diet idea. It will make you happier and stronger!!!!
    Happy birthday to your kids! They are lucky to have such a fantastic and dedicated mom!!!

    • The Guat July 25, 2014 at 11:11 PM #

      The timing was definitely terrible on this one and I am hoping it will hurt a little less. But the mental diet is definitely helping me out. Just finished that challenge and gotta say, feel pretty good about the results 🙂 And thanks for the birthday wishes…they had a great time at their beach party. 🙂

  2. cravesadventure July 15, 2014 at 9:23 AM #

    Thinking of you, sending good, positive vibes and wishing you the BEST 🙂 Take Care

    • The Guat July 25, 2014 at 11:12 PM #

      Thanks so much your vibes and well wishes are always welcomed. Always appreciate when you stop by. Have a great weekend 🙂

  3. anotherday2paradise July 15, 2014 at 10:21 AM #

    Happy birthday to your children. The cupcakes look so gorgeous and celebratory. 🙂 Lovely pic of your doting dad with the littlies. Hugs to you. xx

    • The Guat July 25, 2014 at 11:15 PM #

      Yeah that pic of my Dad is one of my favorites. I think it was at a Christmas or New Year’s. He loved hanging out with the kids, and he probably would have loved the cupcakes. Thanks for your hugs 🙂

  4. Cayman Thorn July 15, 2014 at 5:39 PM #

    When you write about the kids and your father it is always beautiful and poignant and true. Blessings, love and peace to you and yours.

    • The Guat July 25, 2014 at 11:17 PM #

      Thanks so much for your blessings and peace. Always glad when you stop by and thanks so much for the song! I have this CD 🙂 I love Jack Johnson, he gets me in a Zen state of mind and makes me wish I played guitar and ukelele 🙂

  5. TBM July 16, 2014 at 3:34 AM #

    I hope the little ones had a blast. My thoughts are with you.

    • The Guat July 25, 2014 at 11:17 PM #

      Thanks for your thoughts, buddy. It was a rough one but I’m doing better now. The kids did have a blast and all 24 cupcakes were gone 🙂

  6. brickhousechick July 16, 2014 at 8:08 AM #

    So sorry, Guat. It doesn’t seem to get easier with time. July 13th marked 16 years since my father’s passing. I am still mad that he is not here. Abrazos. 😍

    • The Guat July 25, 2014 at 11:20 PM #

      Gracias for the hugs amiga. It does get tough, I was hoping it got easier but it still hurts, especially when I know that he’d probably have a great time watching the kids grow. Thanks for the support, always appreciated.

  7. Island Traveler July 17, 2014 at 4:48 PM #

    I wish there’s something I could say to make things better. Missing someone we love is really hard and heart breaking but remembering all the amazing things they brought into our lives, the happy moments, their favorites stuff we used to share with them somehow helps. Happy a Birthday to your kids. Looks like a fun, awesome beach party. And yes, you made them really happy. Great job!

    • The Guat July 25, 2014 at 11:22 PM #

      Thanks so much, your words and support do help. I do try to remember those moments so that I can get through the bad ones, but sometimes that doesn’t even seem to work, but I’m feeling better now. Just took a couple of extra days on that one. And my kids did have a great time at their party, thanks for the well wishes.

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