this is why.

I'm in the midst of a busy day, full of phone meetings and family and prioritized tasks and I get this email from Jane:

I have thought about this email in the evenings after work but was too tired to put all my thoughts into some type of cohesive format as we are in the middle of fire season for the Forest Service. As I looked out my window this morning at the smoke crawling across the landscape and fire engines being loaded up with young men and women I thought back to the events of the last two weeks.  

One of our young firefighters, Tom Marovich, 20, died July 21 after falling from a helicopter during a training exercise with a crew assigned to the Backbone Fire. He was in his second year with the Forest Service. 


Last week before the funeral, my scrapbooking colleagues and I were asked to assist in putting together a tribute album in memory of Tom. Who would of thought?  Thirty years ago, if someone had told me one day I would actually be scrapbooking on the job, I think I would have raised back in my chair and fallen out of it from the surprise.  

As I walked into the conference room that morning I was not prepared for the emotion that hit me; the  table strewn with recent news articles, photos of Tom with the Fremont Fire and Adin Volunteer Fire Departments, and cards from around the country for Tom's family. The enormity of the job and one short day to work was a staggering realization. We miraculously met our deadline with the help of many friends and supporters that stopped by. As we worked, a spirit of comradeship and healing reigned over all of us.

My good friend, Sue made this comment that day, "Do you wonder if just maybe we were destine to start our hobby of scrapbooking for this very day — to bring some kind of comfort to this family, ourselves, and maybe even the forest?" Is that where spirituality meets creativity?  I think you have talked about this on your blog, Stacy.

Okay, this is where the credit is due.  Thanks so much for you and all the folks at Big Picture Scrapbooking for teaching and inspiring us so that we are able to help others. Thank you to all the folks that supported your philosophy at Simple Scrapbooks magazine. Thank you for helping me and others  think "outside the box" so we could find inspiration for recording everyday life and just not the big events.  Thank you for making it simple, doable, and seeing the "big picture" of life.

You are the best!  I just thought that maybe you would like to know that what you do makes a difference.

This is why we scrapbook.
Please make time to visit the memory page of Tom Marovich. I will be sharing his story with my boys. There are so many like Tom that give everything.

and thank YOU Jane for taking the time to email me. Wow.


  1. Thank you Stacy for sharing this in the midst of your busy household. Thank you Jane for taking the time to share this. I haven’t scrapbooked all Summer long, and have even questioned this hobby that I used to pour my soul into. I’ve admittedly been in a little funk..and you’ve inspired me….to share my gifts again with those who I may or may not know…to lift them up, encourage, and remember.

  2. I normally don’t like it when my family sees my “messy crying”, but, bawling like a baby I read this post to my husband and four kids (when they were wondering about the noise)!
    Thank you both, Jane and Stacy. Indeed, this is where spirituality meets creativity and why I scrapbook every day.

  3. What an inspiration you all are to all of us that follow you. What a great perspective to have on this “hobby” we call scrapbooking.

  4. Marina013 says:

    You said it Stacy – wow. Words don’t seem adequate.

  5. Hello. I want you to know what the memory scrapbook meant to me. I found this blog & thought, hmmm what is this page, I have read everything on Tom, how did I miss this one.
    I am the mother of his girlfriend, and I can’t tell you how many hours we have spent crying these past 2 weeks. He was really awesome, just a wonderful young man. My point. My point is the day of the funeral it was difficult for anyone to find something to smile about. I was looking for anything, something. I saw the scrapbook at the table & reluctantly opened it, as I wasn’t sure if it would make the tears reappear, it wouldn’t be so bad, I didn’t have any waterproof mascara on anymore.
    I opened the scrapbook and saw the pictures of Tom. A calm came over me. He is always smiling & this is the way I remember him. They call it ‘the million dollar smile” and I must agree. His eyes light up when he smiles. No one talks about the “other” smile. He had a goofy smile too. (My opinion). A little impish. I like both, but prefer the Million dollar smile, myself!
    Anyways, I thought WHO did this? A very tall fire fighter came over to see the scrap book too. He had a smile break through as well. I never met this fire fighter, but we began to talk about TJ (Tom). Together we commented on some of the pictures, and laughed at some of them. We talked about what a great guy Tom really was and we discussed each picture. There is one picture taken in front of my house, which I have no idea where you got it, but of course it’s my favorite. It has his two buddies in it, Brian & Kyle Herte, and all three are laughing it up! I stopped for a moment & smiled, then I softly cried again. The emotions were flowing through me & I missed him all over again, but for a few minutes, I just smiled because I was happy & I was proud of him.
    thank you for taking the time to do this. I enjoyed the scrapbook and so did the tall fire fighter.

  6. Thank you Michelle for taking time to share how the scrapbook that Jane and her colleagues created affected you. Not even knowing Tom personally, we feel grateful for his life and his sacrifice. We extend our sincerest sympathies to your circle of family and friends.

  7. Speechless and teary. Wow.

  8. what an amazing story… another reminder why we scrapbook.
    Prayers for Tom and all those affected by his passing.

  9. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing that beautiful story. Life is way too short, and sometimes shorter than that.

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