My Ice Cream Soldier | Teen Ink

My Ice Cream Soldier

October 14, 2021
By Anonymous

Looking through all my baby photos, remembering how I used to play with big lego blocks everyday. I remember playing with my dad and brother, it was so much fun. We played pirates and castles. Playing flag football and always losing. My dad's been dead for almost ten years now, I think I’m going to get some Arnold Palmer to give to him when I stop by his grave. It's sort of a tradition, I always bring a drink to pour on his grave. His well now my ice cream soldier always comes to keep me company.

Seeing the bright orange and yellow collide with the black of my Ice cream soldier reminds me of everything I’ve been through. Lifting the plastic arms covered in small detail on the old sturdy plastic. Feeling how one arm gets stuck like there's a sticky mess in the screws. The other arm loose feeling like it's always just ready to fall off. Running my finger over the gi joe reminds me of my dad, it used to be his afterall. I got it the day he passed away, I was too young to understand what this all meant. Pulling myself back to reality by feeling the slight chipping of the paint on the mask of the soldier. Then remembering how everything fell apart after he passed.

Feeling the hot sun on my shoulders. Feeling the dead grass on my legs making them itch. Hearing the birds chirp around me and hearing a snap of a stick. I look up and there's a deer standing on the other side of the fence. I look back down to my dad's grave. Tracing my fingers over the words carved into the stone. Feeling the rough surface of the letters makes me feel like I need to cry. Smelling the flowers, they don't ever really smell though. I can hear the fountain of water turn on. It's a continuous rumble of water, then a crack of a can. The smell of Arnold Palmer. The feeling of warm air around me like there is someone there with me. I pour some into his grave, just like we always do. I feel a tear run down my cheek. I miss him.

I remember my dad's blue eyes. They were so pretty with the dark around the blue. The blue was mixed with a light grey and a little orange. I remember his smile was so warm and caused a smile on your face as well. His smile could light a whole building. He had a patch from the chemo. It was on the upper left of his chest. It was a small white patch that looked like a small pillow taped onto him. I poked it once and it hurt him so I didn’t ever do it again even though he did laugh. I don't remember him with hair. I do remember when he was able he would grow a goatee. He always wore a baseball cap. I remember he was always so kind, he was really messy too. He never held a grudge and always had a smile on his face, even when he was really sick. He was a hard worker too, he worked till about two weeks before he passed away. He was just all around a good guy.

I remember when he was in the hospital, it was the last time I saw him alive. My mom didn’t know if she would take us that day. I´m happy she did because the next morning is when he passed away from his cancer. He had lung cancer so he couldn’t breathe on his own anymore at this time. He found out he was sick about two years before he passed away. It was a mystery on why he got sick, there was no real reason he was extremely healthy up until this. He went through two years of chemo. I still have the presents he gave me. My siblings got similar ones, I got a bunny stuffed animal and a gorgeous blanket. I remember seeing him with all the medical equipment hooked to him; he didn’t look like himself. I remember he wanted to talk to my mom so badly he tried pulling the tube out of his throat. My mom stopped him from doing so. He loved her so much.

The day of his funeral I didn't understand that he wouldn't be around anymore. I remember my Uncle handing my dad's ice cream soldier to me. He told me to keep it safe. Looking back on this I think about how hard that must've been for my uncle. I remember that day very vividly, seeing everyone cry and not really fully understanding why. Since I’ve gotten my ice cream soldier I’ve carried him around everywhere, it gives me a sense of safety and reinsurance. He reminds me of all the things I’ve been through and that everything will work out in the end. I miss my dad.

The author's comments:

This is a small part of my life. 

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This article has 1 comment.

Lydiaq ELITE said...
on Oct. 18 at 1:03 pm
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
117 articles 32 photos 901 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all
--Joni Mitchell

That's so beautiful and tear jerking