I finally got out and got my new ink. I'd been tossing a few ideas around, two different phrases I wanted, one that would be added to my lower back tattoo, the other would be along my ribcage. I was pretty set on the lower back work, but I spent weeks trying to find the right font, to no avail. Everything looked good, but not great.
Giving in, I went with the tat on my ribcage, because I knew how I wanted that to look. Although the idea was to do something less memorial, more for me, I think it still worked out well.
The phrase is partially from the Sugarland song "Take Me as I Am" (click for link for a bad fan video with the song):
but we all live with the scars we choose
they might hurt like hell
but they all make us stronger
I love this. I love the description of tattoos as a scar you choose to bear. Two of my three previous tattoos are memorial tattoos, one with Ian's (a high school friend who died in a car accident in 2003) initials and each of the stars on my foot represents someone I've lost. I also love the idea that you can choose what you live with, what in your life sticks with you and what in your life you can move on from.
Even more than that, they do hurt, all those things that tear us up, or all the marks permanently on your body hurt like hell. But it's not that it hurts that matters, it's what you do with it in the end. I'm not a terribly spiritual person, but I firmly believe we're never given anything we can't handle. Sometimes when you're in the thick of it, it doesn't feel like you'll make it out on the other end, but if you hold on and don't give up? You can make it through anything.
I get lots of grief for the ink on my body: co workers, friends, family, but I try to not let it bother me. My tats are minimal compared to most, but they all mean something to me, something I want to share with the world, or something I need there with me at all times. Friends panicked when I got Ian's initials tattooed on my ankle. Multiple people have asked me how my future husband (or now that I have one how Champ) would feel about that, having another boy's initials tattooed on my body. Prior to meeting Champ the answer was always "I don't want to marry him if he doesn't understand."
And Champ? He understands. He gets it, that I spent every day of my life after Ian died, suffering through remembering him, forcing myself to not forget, until I finally sat down in the chair and had those three little letters put on my body. Now I don't have to remember, relive the pain, because I can't forget. And you know what? I'm okay with that scar; I love that scar.