Thursday, March 5, 2009

Permanent Ink

My mom hated needles... and when I say 'hated', I really mean abhorred them. She wouldn't even get her ears pierced. Couldn't stomach the thought of getting the fleshiest part of your body poked with a small needle yet she was poked, prodded and stabbed nearly half her life with needles.

Ironic, no?

Forget her ears... she wouldn't even pierce mine! When I was a very new baby we lived in Spain. Well in Spain the parents pierce the ears of little girls so people can tell they are girls... no piercings, then you are a little boy. See where I am going with this? Oh yeah, no piercings for me... so she dressed me like a little boy so she didn't have to explain. Thanks mom... I'll bring that up in therapy ;~)

When I was 5 I had it set in my head and heart that I needed pierced ears. I absolutely could not live without them so my mom took me to the mall. To her credit, she stood and watched as they pierced my ears. I am sure she flinched but she watched.

The I got 2 more holes... and then one in the cartilage. I think she was running thin on patience at this point. I think she was also scared... this was about the time that nose rings and eyebrow rings were all the rage. Now I wasn't a particularly rebellious kid but this was just at the level that I might do and she knew that ;~) I think she prayed a lot during those years.

When I got my belly button pierced I thought she might disown me. She wasn't happy but she was just glad she didn't have to see it day in and day out. Had I actually gotten the nose or eyebrow done... well things might have gone in a different direction for us. As it was, she rolled her eyes and moved on.

Then I came home with a tattoo.

Pause * Oh the heartache we put parents through. If I could say I was sorry, I so would right now. Not that I regret my decision but man, it must be tough to be a parent. At least this was the extent of my rebellion. Here that Chase, this is as far as it went ;~) * Unpause

I walked in and told her what I did. I showed her the finished product and she didn't say anything... she just watched my reactions. She read my face and then asked if I was happy with it. I wasn't. I told her it was the design I wanted but the execution and placement weren't what I thought they would be. I cried about how disappointed I was because I wanted it to be so perfect but I screwed up with something so permanent. If I could have melted into the floor, I would have.

You would think this is where she says "I told you so" and lectures me about doing something so stupid without research or a good firm mind (all of which would have been TOTALLY legitimate).


She looks me square in the eye and says "Get it done again. Get it done the way you want and where you want it and when you have the money, get the wrong one removed."

This is why I loved this woman so much.

So I did. Here is my tattoo.

It's on the left side of my hip, right around my pants line. It's a breast cancer ribbon with a preemie purple heart in the middle. My first goddaughter Emilee Faith died at 30 days after being born 3 months too early. After she died I bought her mother and I both a preemie purple heart necklace. It's been years and I have since lost the necklace but I carry the purple heart with me thanks to my tattoo.

I am sure my mom was less than thrilled with my tattoo... just the thought of that needle probably gave her the willies for weeks. But she knew what it meant... she knew it was important to me. No matter the cost to her, she wanted me to be happy... needles and all.

And no, I am not showing the wrong one. So don't even ask ;~)

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