I was never going to have one….
We aren’t the tattoo type….
It seemed simple and quite clear….until it changed!
I remember when I first entertained the idea of a tattoo. I have a piece that hangs on my wall and I would often think as I walked by it each morning about how the combination of the cross and the heart was a beautiful invitation for me.
I began to envision this symbol more often as I journeyed through my days. I made an appointment to get my first tattoo. I have this symbol on the top of my right foot. It has been a comforting reminder to me of God’s love for me. It has been a gentle reminder to me of the love I can generously offer to others. It has been a great conversation piece and I must say that I really love my first tattoo.
I boldly said first and last early on. I never thought I would get another tattoo. One was enough and I loved the one I had…
until it changed….
December 23, 2012 my oldest brother was killed in a car accident. Len had teased me about being the first to get a tattoo. He always wanted one. We talked about what he would do and he wanted some kind of anchor. Len retired from the US Navy 5 years ago and I am sure the anchor had deep and multiple meaning for him. To me the anchor reminds me of my brother, a guy who lived big and was full of big dreams, vision and adventure. As I thought about a tattoo in memory of Len, I became a frequent visitor of Pintrest. I would often close my computer knowing that nothing hit my heart deep enough to be willing to mark my body with what I found.
And then my niece, Len’s oldest daughter drew me a picture and I was sold. Two weeks ago I placed this tattoo on the inside of my left leg just above my ankle. This tattoo has a story of a different kind. Many have asked why an anchor? I share with them of my brother, his years of service, his deep love for his family and his wild and crazy, fun-loving ways
I wonder what you think when you see someone with a tattoo. I would encourage you to ask “what is the story behind your tattoo?” I have found my curiosity often leads to a story that speaks of someone’s struggle,celebration or memory. I have found that asking about their tattoo often leads to conversations I can not imagine having any other way.
I know that my two tattoo’s are connected deeply to my heart. I don’t plan to get anymore. I don’t plan for that to change. I do believe that Len would be proud that Olivia drew my tattoo. And I know he would be proud of the tattoo that his girl carries with her, also one very close to her heart. The picture below is her tattoo in Len’s handwriting and my tattoo.