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Photo: Taelar Pollmann · The Sentry


The outside of my left wrist is adorned with a feather shaped treble clef. The meaning of the treble clef is probably quite obvious considering the section this column is placed in, but the feather—while undoubtedly cool for design purposes—has more meaning to me than the treble clef probably does. 

My grandpa, who I was incredibly close with at a young age, passed away when I was five years old. I didn’t have as much time with him the rest of the family, outside of my younger cousins, but he’s still made a lasting mark on my entire family (quite literally). In the time I had with him, I still got to make lots of memories that are always pleasant to reminisce upon. I cherish memories like sharing those striped soft peppermints with him out of the front pocket of his blue Dickies button up or harassing the cat that he let me name with the laser pointer. 

My grandpa loved all things cars or, honestly, anything mechanical. But he especially loved flying. I like to speculate that maybe growing up in such a machine-driven and technologically intrigued family has a lot to do with why I’m studying what I’m studying. It’s certainly not something as convoluted as what my family was interested in when I was growing up, but I absolutely feel that influence with my major and my tattoo was another way to intertwine that passion with my memories growing up. 

Two years to the day after he had passed, my family took a four-wheeler ride through the mountains where a hawk trailed us for the two-hour long trip to our destination. My family isn’t really one to believe in reincarnation, but my mom always said that if he were to come back as anything, it would be something that flies. 

My tattoo is a constant reminder of his memory and the short time I got to spend with him. I like to think that maybe he’s flying out there somewhere looking over me, and I hope he’s proud of what I’ve done so far, and what I’m studying, in the nearly 15 years since he’s been gone. 

Editor’s Pick: Afire Love by Ed Sheeran

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