Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A family that gets tattooed together, stays together: honoring Papa D's birthday

After I got my "hope" tattoo on the one month anniversary of my dad's home going, I decided I was going to get another one on the six month anniversary. When the date snuck up on me and I realized I had to forego that idea, I decided I would honor my dad's birthday by getting a tattoo then. Shortly before Thanksgiving, I made my appointment that would honor both of his birthdays by scheduling it for December 8 at 6 pm.

When my middle sister, Janna, found out I had made the appointment, she decided she would go to North Coast Body Mods with me and talk to them about a design. She figured she'd meet with one of the artists and then go back at a later date. My son, Kelly, talked about coming just to give me moral support. Perhaps it was divine intervention or just a strange twist of fate, but by the end of our visit, the three of us would walk out with tattoos.
I'm not sure what possessed Kelly to get one too, perhaps it was the just the day or perhaps it's the way tattoos are addicting, but before I knew it, he was getting something drawn up. His tattoos are the Chinese symbols for "faith" and "eternity." If you've read any of my other blog or Facebook posts, it's pretty obvious why these two words are significant.

Janna wanted a cross tattoo to signify her faith that incorporated her children's names as well as my parent's initials in a creative way but wasn’t sure how exactly she wanted it to look. The artist came back with a drawing that captured her idea in a way better than I think either she or I imagined so when he said he was available to do it right then and there, she figured why not go for it!

My tattoo signifies many things but I'm sure if you know me, you wouldn't expect anything less. LOL  It as a whole represents the faith my parents instilled in me. A heart with the infinity symbol signifies that love never ends, that this life is not the end, and that one day we will be reunited to live forever together in Glory. Purple is the color of hope and purple fading to black is a reference to one of my brother's favorite Metallica songs (a song my mom says she likes to listen to at "warped speed" now). I guess you can say since we are quickly approaching Rick's 20 year angel anniversary on the 19th of next month and I’m not sure I'll know what I want for my next tattoo by then, this tattoo is in honor/memory of him, too. Lastly, at my dad's celebration of life service, I closed with the line "until we meet again" so I wanted to include those words as well.

So what started out as a somber day ended with unexpected surprises and blessings. Funny how it works out like that sometimes. I kind of like to think we have my dad to thank for that. =)
Post tattoo Jaegermeister shots for Papa D
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Earlier in the day, I spent several hours with my mom and older sister, Nadine. We went to lunch, signed the paperwork for my dad's headstone, and went to the cemetery. My dad had made a pine cross for Rick's grave years ago and it managed to survive the housefire of 2011. We placed it on my dad's grave. We also took two of the pew bows from Kelly and Jaime's wedding and put them at both his and Rick's grave. The headstone won't be ready until the spring but at least we are able to add our own "markers" until then. Even when we are doing things that are sad, we are still able to laugh and enjoy each other's company. My dad and my brother wouldn't want it any other way.