In honor of Father's Day, I wanted to post a layout that featured my dad. This is a take on the vintage boho style, which suits this vintage sepia picture of my dad, my uncle, and a friend heading out on a camping trip perfectly. 

My dad was always leading the way into adventures. When he was teen, he would hop on trains and ride them wherever they headed. In this picture, he is leading a camping and canoe expedition. He loved the outdoors. He hiked, he camped, he canoed, he skied. My uncle, his little brother by 9 years, is in the middle. I think he looked up to my dad with a little bit of hero-worship. Being nine years older, my dad was off flying planes in Vietnam when my uncle was still a little boy.

Born in 1950, my dad was a true child of the hippie era. In 1967, he joined the Air Force and went off to war. When I look back on what I was doing at 17, I can't imagine being so young and naive and being thrust into a life and death situation.

I know my dad suffered PTSD and survivor's guilt, but he tried to act like he didn't. He was fun-loving and so full of life, but some things will eat away at you if you don't acknowledge them. I believe he held onto a lot of painful memories that he rarely talked about. But I think anyone with a true heart would feel that same guilt and shame at what he had done. He never directly killed anyone, but they transported bombs that would later kill hundreds and thousands. I know that weighed heavy on his heart throughout his lifetime.

I didn't mean to turn this into a lecture on war. When I think about my dad, I try to think about good things only, but the reality is that you have to take the good with the bad. I haven't talked much about my dad, but I have a post started in my drafts folder. I just have a hard time going there. My dad killed himself in 2009. That time in my life is now like a black hole. I'll get to it...I'll get it out there eventually in the hope that someone can use my experience to recognize the signs or get help. But I'm not ready yet. This time of year is too hard. The last time I saw my dad was on Father's Day, 2009. He died two days later, on June 23rd, 2009. His birthday was the next day, on June 24th. He would have been 59. Now he is forever 58.

I used to love June. It was my favorite month of the year. June is my birthday, my dad's and grandpa's birthdays, Father's Day, my aunt's...we always had a big party. Now all those people are gone and I'm alone in June....with no one to celebrate or celebrate with. The last seven years have been tough...but this year I have something new to celebrate. I have a new dad to celebrate in Mr. 67. And a son to make every day wonderful for.

Thank God for that! 

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