On Balloons and Parachutes

My Dad


That’s no e-cigarette dangling from his mouth. He’s packing a toy pistol in his right hand, a balloon in his left. Notice the car parked in the detached garage.

A Love Story

Fast forward 15 years or so and the cigs are government issue, the rifle has live ammo, and he’s traded in his balloon for a tattoo of a parachute. Proud 82nd Airborne Infantry soldier.

Painted in Waterlogue

Now in his 60s he enjoys fishing with my mom, her name still tattooed on his right arm. No more cigarettes. The parachute on his left arm is still there. It’s faded but the memories from that experience are as vivid and fresh as the ink once was when he first heard the buzz of the needle before it pierced his skin.

I’m so proud of you Daddy, even though I resent what that war took from you by way of peace, sobriety, and restful sleep. You’ll always be my hero. My first love.



  One thought on “On Balloons and Parachutes

  1. May 26, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Beautiful! I love our soldiers…especially those that are daddies 🙂


    • May 27, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Thank you so much! I have to agree with you. xoxo


  2. May 26, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Great pictures!


  3. May 26, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Great photos and wonderful way to respect and love your dad. Awesome. 🙂


    • May 27, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Thanks John! He’s not into technology so I shared this sentiment with him on the phone. I appreciate your comment.


  4. May 26, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Yes, it does take away their innocence, but not their bravery. Beautiful, Sandra!


    • May 27, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Thank you Dora! I hope you had a nice long weekend! xoxo


  5. NotAPunkRocker
    May 26, 2014 at 8:41 am

    What a beautiful tribute for today, Sandra. Much love to you and your family.


  6. May 26, 2014 at 9:39 am

    This is a powerful way to pay tribute to the soldier you love, but not the war you don’t.


    • May 27, 2014 at 7:35 am

      You said it perfectly. Thanks Catherine. xoxo


  7. May 26, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Thank you Frank Mendez, sir! Lovely, Sandra. Thank you, too.


    • May 27, 2014 at 7:37 am

      Thank you Mark. He’s a good man, you would like him too. You’re both music buffs. 🙂


      • May 27, 2014 at 8:48 am

        I knew I liked him from the start, Sandra!


  8. Abbi
    May 26, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Wow, your dad was just beautiful. What a lovely post.


    • May 27, 2014 at 7:38 am

      Thank you Abbi! He is beautiful, inside and out. xoxo


  9. May 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Wonderful heatful post.
    Thank you for sharing.


    • May 27, 2014 at 7:39 am

      Thank you Lance! I appreciate your feedback.


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