We Own The Sky


If you've read my About page, or my previous post, you know I lost my dad suddenly in June, 2009, to suicide. I adored my dad, but I have had a hard time scrapping about him, even seven years later. This is one I did a while back. It is themed on his being a pilot. I don't even know where I found this gray airplane paper, but it was perfect for this layout.

I really started scrapping seriously when my cat died, who was 19 at the time. She died in 2011, but she had fallen sick with kidney problems only a couple months after my dad died. I bought her expensive medicine and in hindsight I kept her going too long. But she was my lifeline after I lost my dad. I know she went to kitty heaven for what she accomplished here on earth.

I remember holding her and crying and crying after I found out my dad died. My grandma, and my husband's, had both died shortly before my dad. I am sure God knew I needed that comfort. She held on for another year and a half--through the rockiest time of grief. I found a catharsis in making her scrapbook.

It wasn't the same with my dad. As much as I wanted to create a memory book for him, I couldn't do it. Maybe it was some lingering anger that I try to deny to myself. I had only good memories with my cat...there were no times when I said, "I wish I would have said this or that," to her like I did with my dad.

Maybe when I am focusing on him, I am thinking about too many negative thoughts. One of my coping "skills" is not delving too deep into my thoughts. Maybe it's shallow, and probably not healthy, but it is what it is.


One of my favorite "cousins" is in fact not blood-related to me. When my dad was younger, my grandma had a habit of taking in "stray" kids and folding them into the family. I have lots of aunts and uncles and cousins who share no blood, but who have been a part of my family ever since. I don't know any differently. They have been there throughout my childhood.

One of my aunties has two girls, my "cousins" Megan and Lacey. I vividly remember crying on Megan's shoulder on my aunt's porch, with her crying as many tears as me. He was the guy the kids loved, and they couldn't wait for Uncle Dave to get to the party and share his stories. We all had our favorites. He had such an adventurous life. He did more by the time he was 25 than I have done in my lifetime.

Shortly after his death, my cousins showed me that they'd gotten {their first?} tattoos. They read "We Own the Sky" with my dad's initials. I started crying. It meant so much to me to know that he had touched so many lives, so deeply that someone {who isn't blood-related (but is soul-related)} would put a permanent tribute to him on their bodies.

"We Own the Sky" is a song by M83. The title is sort of his "tagline" {for lack of a better word} now, so I used it as the title of the page.


You can just see the pilot's logbook page I used as a background above the flowers. I love that his writing is on it... writing I know so well.

These  are some of my favorite pictures of my dad. I took them in 2007, on our last flight together. By then he had retired as an aerial photographer because of the physical demands and began working as a social worker with mental health patients.

It had been years since we'd been up in the air together. He even rented his old plane, the Pickle {it still has the green stripe but once upon a time it was completely green--which was obviously way better, since it looked like a pickle}.

There was a very heady sense of nostalgia about my childhood as we talked into our headsets and flew over the miniatures of our town, pointing out landmarks and the homes of people we knew. As I look back, I am so thankful to have that memory, and so glad I snapped these pics that day.

...I just had a realization, too, of why my dad loved train sets, and why I do too. It's the view from the sky!




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