That’s Amazing, Grace! Introducing The Reverend Pastor Dave Dorman

As my beloved father rests comfortably in a local hospice facility in the end stages of his life, we here at home are scrambling to organize funeral arrangements and plan ahead. Unfortunately, my mom’s current pastor isn’t on his “A-Game” when it comes to funerals. At my uncle’s funeral last year, he not only mispronounced the names of my cousins, but also printed the same hymnal verse twice in the funeral program, and you all know how I am about typos – an unforgivable offense. So…in the spirit of giving my dad a more dignified send-off, Dave volunteered to become an ordained pastor and do the service. I know, I know, I couldn’t believe it, either, but he did. I remembered you could do this via the back of Rolling Stone magazine, back in the day, but now it’s all online here.  Here’s proof that for an $80 investment, Dave can now park in the “Reserved for Clergy” section of any hospital parking lot:

Pastor Reverend Dave Dorman - Official Credentials

Pastor Reverend Dave Dorman – Official Credentials

Dave suggested that he customize Dad’s service to what attendees might expect from Dave, peppering the service with “In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and Obi-Wan Kenobi,” but that’s where I had to draw the line. My mom will go non-linear if anyone messes with her Lutheranism.

As I cut together a video of my dad’s life from old photographs, I’ve found some rare treasures in the old photo album, which are giving my Facebook friends a good laugh. Here’s Dad and me on one of our many hikes in the mountains in Colorado.

Dad and me, hiking in Colorado, circa late 1980s.

Dad and me, hiking in Colorado, circa  mid 1980s.

As you can imagine, my Facebook friends are all blowing me shit about the photo below – deeming me “Molly Ringwald” – here’s my Junior Prom, back in the day when I was still pure as the driven snow. To quote Grandpa Simpson from the Strike Busters episode, “…because that was the style at the time…”

Junior Prom

Junior Prom

And here are some shots from my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I threw a huge pig roast at the family farm (yes, my Aunt Karen actually has an “Old McDonald’s Farm” in Burlington, IL) with 200 of our closest friends, hired hula dancers and a fire eater, and naturally, chaos ensued, but it’s too much to write here and now. If Marovich and Nancy Peshel are reading this, I think they’ll readily recall the background drama they created during this precise moment below–tapping into my sophomoric poop humor. My only regret is that we didn’t catch it on film.

Hula Lessons at Mom & Dad's 50th Anniv. Celebration

Hula Lessons at Mom & Dad’s 50th Anniv. Celebration

I have no idea what a ball on a string has to do with Polynesian customs, but this was another hula “lesson” we endured. Dad was always game for my silliness:

Polynesian Ball-on-a-String Lessons

Dad, Mom & Me: Polynesian Ball-on-a-String Lessons

And before I forget to mention it, speaking of “The Reverend Pastor Dave Dorman,” Dave will be appearing this coming weekend at Salt Lake Comic Con from Thursday through Saturday, so if you’re in greater SLC, please be sure to pay him a visit. He will have his new limited edition Marvel variant cover Star Wars comics from retailer M&M Comics on hand!

If you’re not doing so already, you can follow my hijinks, shenanigans, and tomfoolery on http://facebook.com/comicbookwife or on Twitter where I’m @WriteBrainMedia.

 

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I’m So Thankful for Jack Right Now…

Our 10-year-old Jack has been one of God’s greatest gifts. In Jack, I got my own personal entertainer, and in me, Jack got his adoring audience and live laugh track. His sense of humor and quick wit continually save me from despair, especially after last night, when I hand-fed my weakened father his dinner, helplessly watching him decline from Stage 4 prostate cancer.

Jack in my prop  prosthetic hillbilly teeth.

Jack in my prop prosthetic hillbilly teeth.

Monday, Jack was off of school (for what seemed like the 10th time since Winter Break, which ended January 5th) so we did our dentist appointments together. He decided that my prosthetic crystal meth hillbilly teeth (pictured above) would make the visit “more interesting,” which they did…for the hygienist and the office manager. Thank God there are still adults out there with a sense of humor, and an accompanying sense of noblesse oblige.

Jonesy the Cat and Dave.

Jonesy the Cat and Dave.

Last week, Jonesy the cat, who exhibits an unfortunate case of arrested development and still tries to nurse on everyone, crawled under the covers and proceeded to bite Dave on the balls. Jack and I were absolutely doubled over, howling with laughter. The text speak “ROFL” is reserved for moments like this one. (It made me wonder for a brief moment if Jonesy was my Secret Santa this year?!?) The next morning at breakfast, Jack queried Dave:

“So…did Jonesy bite your onions this morning, or did she leave your garden alone?!?” You don’t often comments like that at 7 a.m. , especially from 10-year-olds. Jack definitely takes the sting out of the heaviness in our lives at this moment.

Jack has always demonstrated great comedic timing. I first recognized this while driving him home from pre-school one afternoon. On that particular day, the pre-school had a visiting zoo and Jack was in his little car seat in the back, in his high-pitched little boy voice, regaling me with tales of his animal adventures. He shared that he had petted the pony, and I immediately asked if he had washed his hands (he’s allergic to animal hair, hence our hairless cat) and he reassured me that he did.

And then Jack proceeded onward: “So I got to ride the pony.”

Me: “You di-i-i-id?” (Said in that adult, patronizing, sing-song way of speak we do to our children.)

Jack: “And not only did I ride the pony, but I crawled up onto his back…and then I did a handstand…and then I balanced upside-down…on one finger!”

At this point, my theater of the mind was blowing circuits. I nearly drove off the road laughing at this ridiculous visual.

Mother of the Year retorted: “So what did you do for an encore!?! Blow firecrackers out of your ass?”

To which Jack replied, without skipping a beat: “No…but the pony did!” At this point, I totally lost my shit. I could barely make the five-minute drive home, howling with laughter all of the way there. That one earned him a Dairy Queen, although he was befuddled by all of the fuss.

So when the 4th grade teacher asked him yesterday what he wanted to be when he grew up, he answered, “A comedian,” with zero hesitation, responding in that what-a-ridiculous-question tone that infers “Of course…what else would I be?!”

Jack knows if he follows this pursuit, he’ll always have an appreciative audience of at least one.

 

 

Thank You, Dad

Christmas, 2013. Dad and Jack.

Christmas, 2013. Dad and Jack.

Thank You, Dad…

Thank you, Dad, for adopting me, and for always carrying me high on your shoulders, making my three-year-old self feel like a tall princess. I can still remember the feeling of patting the top of your head, your dark hair stiff with the Aqua Net Mom liberally sprayed to make it lay right.

Thank you for building me that beautiful play house, and the rabbit hutch, and the cage to protect my menagerie of cats, and the homemade ice rinks, the zip line across the yard, and the swing on the tall oak. The Japanese bridge you built across our creek was your true coup de grace.

Thank you for building me my first corner desk with matching bookcases. They were your gift to me for my eighth birthday. I spent hours sitting behind that desk learning to draw and write. I hope my younger self had enough awareness to tell you at some point how much I treasured it.

Thank you for demonstrating your steadfast faith, in your own quiet way, through your many acts of service.

Thank you for all of those camping trips, for passing on your joy for adventure and your fearless knack for finding the back roads route to any destination.

Thank you, Dad, for always providing for us. You never let on how dire things really were until later in life. Because of your hard work and your lifetime of holding down two jobs, we never missed a Christmas, or summer road trips out west, and by some miracle, you even got me through college, saving me from the burden of student loans.

Thank you for always being the only volunteer to take those long horseback rides with me on our family vacations.

Thank you for teaching me to fish, and more importantly, how to clean a fish.

Thank you for getting up in the middle of the night so many times to drive this bratty 16-year-old home from my closing shifts at McDonald’s.

Thank you for teaching me to waltz.

Thank you, Dad, for helping me pick up the pieces during my many failed attempts at adulthood.

Thank you for being such a wonderful grandfather to Jack. He has watched you age with dignity, and you’ve taught him well how to respect the vulnerable among us.

I told someone just this past weekend that I was “adopted into the right family for me,” but that comment is more profound at this moment, knowing now that our time together is so finite.

I fucking HATE cancer.

Flip Cancer - by Michael Gross http://www.flipcancer.com/who-we-are/

Flip Cancer – by Michael Gross http://www.flipcancer.com/who-we-are/