October 21, 2013

~ The Commercial at our house ~

So a little time has passed since my Dad has died and I've had a lot of people checking on me, which is great.  I'm a people person, and the more people around me the better.

The answer to everyone's question "How are you doing?" - is good- I'm really, really good.  Sometimes I feel I'm a little too good.  We're only about 2 weeks out and I've already had a handful of days where I haven't cried once the whole day.  Which then feels weird...and makes me sad... that I'm not sad.  Oh grief, you are a weird one.

I think part of the reason I've had some good days is because I've been grieving my Dad's loss for a year now, ever since his diagnosis.  Watching him deteriorate was a grieving process.  Getting horrible news at the doctor's office was a grieving process.  His death feels like the first page of the final chapter in my own "book of grief." 

I'm by no means an expert on grief.  But I've learned one thing is true: you never get over losing a parent.  Whether you lose them when you're young or when you're old, it always hurts.  You miss them every moment of every day.  I compare it to someone who has lost an arm or a leg by amputation.   You never FORGET you're missing your leg, but you learn how to live with the physical and emotional obstacles of it.


I talked to my Dad or saw my Dad every single day of my life...my kids did too.   His absence and not being there at regular everyday things like hockey games, soccer games, or just going out to dinner is hard.  Everytime I remember he is gone it knocks the wind out of me. 

I'm trying to get used to his absence but its nearly impossible, it feels like a bomb went off in one room of our house, and we are living day to day with this big crater, where something huge is obviously missing.  But we're learning how to tip-toe around the damage left behind and slowly but surely we will start picking up pieces of wreckage and putting them away until life starts feeling a little normal again. 

I have complete closure in my heart with my Dad's death, but I'm not used to him being gone yet.   I know in my heart he is happy and content in a better place.  I don't think he had any business left down here to take care of.  His soul is truly at rest.  I know my Dad is with me all the time, but I try not to over think things.   I don't assume every time I hear a Lynyrd Skynyrd song or see a silly duck that it's my Dad trying to send me signs or contact me from the beyond.  Most of that stuff is silly and pure coincidence.

But there is this one thing I can't stop shaking my head at.

It's this silly commercial.  A commercial that features my very own house.

About 2 months ago-  through pure, dumb luck- we were asked if Enterprise Rent-a-Car could film a national commercial at our house.  The money was good, and let's face it: The Mannos don't ever exactly turn down an opportunity for attention, so we signed the contract and the shoot date was set.

We knew absolutely nothing about the script- nothing, not one detail... until the day before filming. 

When a member of the film crew started explaining the premise you could have picked my jaw up off the floor.  It's like someone based the entire commercial off my real life, and a funny situation my Dad and I were often in when I was younger.  Even down to scary details.  Go ahead and watch the extended length commercial below.



Now you should know the car I drove in college was very similar to this one.  I actually sat in the driver's seat of the commercial car for a minute and it was like I took a time warp back 15 years.  There were 3 separate times my Dad had to borrow my car for a couple of days and he loathed it.  All the guys at the post office would make fun of him, girls would pull up next to him and "jam out" trying to get him to dance with them at a stoplight.  He was totally and completely unamused.

And you see the license plate on the car they used?

Folks, let me show you the license plate from the car I owned: 

Now what are the freaking chances that of all the places they had to film this commercial, they would pick my house and tell a story that parallels my real life so well, to remind me of a really funny time with my Dad.

This is what my driveway looked like the morning of the shoot.  God Bless my neighbors, they started shooting at 5am. 

Of course Luci begged to keep the car. 

When I told my Dad about the commercial filming at our house and how crazy it was he smiled really big.  I showed him some pictures on my phone and we had a good laugh.  He couldn't believe how closely it depicted our relationship either.  He passed away before he could see the final cut.  I saw it for the first time on the morning of his funeral.

You'll never be able to convince me that this silly commercial wasn't Divine timing and something to help me smile during a really dark time.   I hope you smile if you catch it on television.