When I wrote my first blog post for this site in March of 2022, I shared what I refer to as my widow mantra. That mantra is to Be Brave. Stay Strong. Love Hard. You can read that post here: My Widow Mantra – Widow’s Voice (widowsvoice.com) At the time, I knew I wanted to incorporate that into a memorial tattoo, but I wasn’t sure how yet.
In the fall of 2021, I reached out to a tattoo artist with my initial tattoo idea and was rejected. Because I was already in so much pain, I took that rejection very personally.
When I found his reply, I left my unknowing family at the table of a nice restaurant. I excused myself to the bathroom after reading his rejection message. I thought I was going to be able to quickly right myself, but once I got into a bathroom stall alone a dam broke. Feelings of inadequacy and grief hit so hard, I was practically gasping for air between sobs. Random women tried to check on me, they even sent a bartender in to make sure I was okay. Eventually, I calmed myself enough to step out of the stall. They all assumed a man there had hurt me. They were right, I had been hurt but not in the ways they imagined.
That whole scenario left me afraid to contact another tattoo artist.
Instead, I went back to work on a new tattoo design. By the summer of 2022 I had come up with a design I liked. I found a website that I could upload my design and order custom made temporary tattoos. I wore the temporary tattoo a few times, trying it on for size before even asking someone to place it on my body permanently.
In August of 2022, I found the confidence to reach out to a different tattoo artist. I sent him my drawing and asked him if he would be able to help me with my memorial tattoo. Hoping that if I used the word memorial, he would be kind if my art didn’t match his style. Thankfully he agreed to help me, and I booked an appointment. He books a year out, so last Tuesday was finally the day. When I arrived, he had cleaned up the lines on my hand drawn work, he was kind, and gave me the space the just process the experience.
An hour later, I walked out with my new tattoo. It represents a piece the life Tony and I built together with a nod to how I want to live the rest of my days.
The shamrock is placed on my left wrist where blood pumps from my heart for our St. Patrick’s Day wedding anniversary. The single triangle is a symbol for water and our middle son, Asher. The M represents that we are/were both Scorpios and it is for our youngest son, Macklin. The O is Neptune and for our oldest son, Owen. The triangles at the top signify the past, present, and future. Lastly, my mantra of Be Brave Stay Strong Love Hard is weaved through it all.
I actually think Tony would have hated it; he wasn’t really a tattoo kind of fella. However, I find a little humor in the idea that this would drive him crazy. In the end, I did this for me. As long as I am happy with the result, that’s all that matters.