On December 29, 2009, I finalized the design I wanted.
I Love You.
It's a simple, yet powerful message. And it's one that my grandma was sure to relay as often as possible. In every letter I have from her from my college years, she began and ended it with "I love you." I didn't realize it until one weepy day after she passed, and when I did finally notice it, it became something I thought was very special. I don't know many people who write letters that way.
So, that realization was what decided my tattoo. And, I put together the design. It is actually from two separate letters, because I wanted to make sure Love was capitalized (for emphasis) and I took the hearts from the second letter as well.
Green was her favorite color, and it's one of mine as well, so the hearts I made green. The lines were on the signature of one letter also.
Fast forward to a few months ago, I posted in my family Facebook group that I was finally saving up for the tattoo because I had decided on the location.
Somewhat to my surprise, multiple family members told me they thought it was a wonderful tattoo idea, so, I suggested maybe we get them together if we could find a date to do it.
That date was today (soon to be yesterday). June 22, 2013 was our "I Love You Tattoo" party.
My mom, my sister, my aunt, and three cousins all headed to the tattoo parlor (the Electric Crayon in Sioux Falls), and had a tattoo marathon. I wanted to go first, and my family was willing to let me.
I don't know that I was prepared for how exciting this tattoo would be. I was told (multiple times) that I was super giddy. I was. I was smiling and highly like a child on Christmas. It was SPECTACULAR.
And I was equally giddy for the next six tattoos. My sister went next, then my mom, my aunt, and my three cousins.
It was so much fun to sit there and talk and laugh and reminisce with these amazing women as we all became permanent bearers of my grandmother's important message.
We laughed talking about how it looks just like Grandma wrote on us with a nice pen, which is ironic, because she always told us not to write on ourselves.
We each picked a location on our body for our special memoir, some if us used the underlining, some of us didn't. But, the message and the green hearts were constant.
And, because my youngest sister and one of my cousins aren't old enough yet to have the permanent memoir, our artist sent the two remaining stencils with us to allow them to at least display the important and beautiful message temporarily.
Someday, they too will wear it permanently, as may more of our family members. I hope so, not for my own benefit, but because I think it's a powerful reminder to us that we are all bound by love, and we are all loved for who we are. There's no greater gift than that!
Today was definitely a day I will remember always and a memory I will cherish the rest of my life.
Thank you, mom, Sam, Kat, Tarah, April, Naomi, Allison, and Hannah!