Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"For I know the plans I have for you"...the unexpected tattoo trilogy is complete

For I know the plans I have for you, plans for peace and not of evil, to give you a future and hope." Jeremiah 29:11

After I got my hope tattoo on May 12, 2015 in honor of Papa D's one month home going/angel anniversary with my son, Kelly, I had no plans to get another. I had a tattoo on my stomach which was done in 1997 in memory of the one year anniversary of my brother's murder and then I got my hope tattoo for my dad and that was all I needed….or so I thought. As time went on, I got to thinking I wanted something in memory of my dad's sixth month angel anniversary. Well, that date snuck up on me and I didn't want to just get any tattoo so I decided I would get one on his birthday in December. The timing would be perfect since my brother's 20th angel anniversary would follow in January and I decided whatever the next tattoo I got would serve as a memorial to both my dad any my brother.

On my dad's birthday on December 8, 2015, I got my "until we meet again" tattoo. A few weeks before my appointment, I came across a picture of a woman with a tattoo on her neck, one on her shoulder, and an Irish blessing scripted between them. I loved that idea but wasn’t sure I would be up for another tattoo after the second one so I had the artist position it in a way that it could stand alone should I chicken out. Second tattoo was complete and I'll admit, as soon as I got home, I knew another tattoo would be happening in the near future. I decided the one year anniversary of Papa D's home going in 2016 was going to be the day I completed this unplanned trilogy. The question was: what saying would I have done?

When I first heard the song "The Light" by the band, Disturbed, the words "sometimes the darkness can show you the light" jumped right out at me as a definite possibility. Those are great lyrics with a very deep and profound meaning for me (and truth be told, I will probably get those tattooed on me at some point), but I wasn't really quite sure that's what I wanted for this tattoo. I remembered my life verse, Jeremiah 29:11 which says "For I know the plans I have for you, plans for peace and not of evil, to give you a future and hope." That would be the perfect verse. However, I was having a hard time deciding what part of it to use. While I liked all of the words, I didn't know if it was going to be too much. I just couldn't envision it. One morning, I was talking to my cousin, Michelle, and the subject of tattoos came up. I told her what I was thinking and she suggested to just use the first part of the verse. Hmmm. That could work I thought. As I drove to work that morning, I was thinking about what Michelle had suggested and all the sudden it hit me: the two tattoos I already had would "complete" the Bible verse if you think about it; the hope tattoo was obvious what it represented and the infinity tattoo represented the "future" part of the verse; because of my faith and God's promise that this life is not the end, one day I would be reunited with my loves and live eternally with them and our Heavenly Father. Perfect! Now I was ready to get it done.

Since getting a tattoo is more than just getting ink, I have to get it done on a day that means something. It probably sounds weird but it's just the way I am. If am going to endure the pain, that pain would never compare to the pain of losing someone I love so I originally had the tattoo scheduled with Jeff at Iron Clad Tattoos (who also did my hope tattoo) on the one year anniversary of my dad's home going. Unfortunately, there was a family emergency so I had to cancel and thought maybe I'd get it done on the anniversary of my dad's celebration of life service, but that didn't work out either. Then I remembered my brother's birthday was coming up May 10 and that date worked out with Jeff's schedule so May10th it was; a tattoo in honor of Papa D's angel anniversary and my brother's 43rd birthday. Perfect!

I wasn't really sure how it was going to all come together so I told Jeff what I wanted, sent him a picture of where I got my inspiration from, and when I got there, he had something drawn up. After a few weeks, we were ready to go. I am so glad my good friend, Nissa, was able to come with me, not only for moral support, but her creative input was invaluable. Since I was already going under the needle, Jeff touched up my hope tattoo as well. I wasn't really mentally prepared for that but surprisingly, it barely hurt at all. I must be getting tough in my old age. LOL

Jeff was done in no time and once again, he did not disappoint. My tattoo turned out better than I ever imagined.

The unexpected tattoo trilogy was now complete and a perfect way to honor Papa D's one year angel anniversary and my brother's birthday.

Afterwards, Nissa and I went out to get a bite to eat, a beverage, and, of course, a shot of Jager.

Of course, Squishy Dory had to come for moral support (AKA my right hand fish...literally.
I thought she was a gonner after this round of getting inked)

Note: I know I am a little late in the game as I got this tattoo in May of 2016 and it is now April of 2017 and I have gotten another tattoo since. It has taken me over a year to write this post for many reasons but it was my goal to make sure I had it posted for Papa D's second home going anniversary which is in two days.