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Shad's Flight to Catalina Island the Airport in the Sky

My last flight in 2015 was a perfect April day with light winds, clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70s F. The crew was myself, my son Shadrach, and two buddies from the Navy; Tony and Bill. We were flying to Catalina Island KAVX (aka The Airport in the Sky). The day was so clear we took off from just outside San Diego KSEE and once we got over the ocean we could see the island right away. We flew in to airport and took a shuttle down to the main town, Avalon, and walked around for a bit before heading home.

This was one of my most memorable flights not because of the close friends I was with, the perfect day, or the bucket list location. But because it was my son's last flight with me before he pass away in May 2015 at the age of 5. He loved to go flying with Dad and I loved taking him up. He died of cancer that he had been fighting for the previous two years. That April we knew he wasn't going to make it. We had known since about November of 2014 but we were just living every moment to the fullest. I so grateful for Tony and Bill being the coolest "big brothers" to him on this trip. Because of how the cancer had progressed it was painful for Shad to walk for very long so we took turns carrying him on our shoulders so he would not be in so much pain.  Flying to Catalina was a dream of mine and that island will always remind me of my little co-pilot Shad.

Tony in the right seat Bill and Shad in the Back. Although Shad looks scared the whole flight he was telling Bill, who really scared of small planes, it was OK.

Tony at the Controls

Saw a buffalo on the island

Avalon Bay

At the Beach
Selfie time

The water is so clear you can see right to the bottom

He thought the buffaloes were so cool

Shad knew how to smile for the camera but this is how he felt most of the time

Waiting for the shuttle to go back to the Airport in the middle of the island

My Navy goodbye lunch at Slater's 50/50 burgers.

Here are some photos of Shad and I's flight before moved from San Diego back to Arizona in May.


missykac said…
So sweet! Thanks for sharing the memories of such special moments!
paula said…
Never saw all of these. Thx for sharing. He was an awesome kid who loved time with his fantastic father.
mlm truth said…
Touching. We did Make a wish with kids. More courage than I could grasp as an adult. Somehow they know it's going to be ok. It's unreal and surreal. Powerful. Thanks for sharing those moments

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