The story behind tattoo’s…

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.

tattoo image (1)The cross reminds me  that God loved me so much that in his death I am free to love others with my whole being.

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 abovanchor tattooe 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.


Remembering Len

Author: trishborgdorff

I am on a life long journey to live with integrity, honesty, kindness and full of grace.

3 thoughts on “The story behind tattoo’s…”

  1. I love this story Trish. It resonates with my own story of a tattoo after years of saying “I’d NEVER get a tattoo!” When God urged and the timing felt right, the words “Princess Warrior, Daughter of the King” in Greek were permanently inked on my right arm just above my hand to mark me for Christ. Evil came to mark and mar my body. Now God’s truth is a visible reminder to me of my true identity. And my tattoo gives me an opportunity to share in ways I wouldn’t have without it’s presence.

  2. Reminds me that we should always check the story before we form an opinion about another person’s decision. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. So good! I love your tattoos and their meaning and connectedness to your heart. Perfect!! Those are great tattoos with great meaning!
    Yes, as one of many tattoos sometimes I wish people would do just that. Not form an opinion of me based on the ink I have on my body. I get many looks, mostly in the summer when they are mostly visible and if people only knew who I was in my heart 😀 Love you girl and love this blog!! Thank you for this!

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