Thursday, November 3, 2011

Always and Forever.

This summer I got a tattoo...

Here's the thing:

For a long time, I've always known I wanted a tattoo. I went through the typical adolescent desire for a tattoo and something pretty, like a dolphin on my ankle. But it had no meaning. It was a tattoo solely for the purpose of saying "I have a tattoo." -- thank God I didn't do it!

So, I waited. I waited for the right thing to come along. My Grandmom has a painting that she made that hangs in my room that I stay in at her and Grandad's house. I've always admired this painting. For about a year, I thought of ways that I could incorporate this painting into my tattoo creation.

This is only a portion of the painting. When I took a picture of it for
a reference for the tattoo artist, I focused on the hummingbird and not the
entire painting. 

Then my Grandad got sick. Very sick. With cancer. And I felt like my world was crashing down. My family played a huge role in my ability to get through those 7 months of his battle. They were always there to talk and keep me level headed, even though they were going through the same pain and mourning. So as Grandad's demise got closer, I came to a clearer realization of how I wanted to thank my family and commemorate my Grandfather.

So what I did was take the painting that my Grandmom created of the hummingbird. When I did some research, I learned that hummingbirds are quite similar to my demeanour and personality. They symbolize embracing life and finding the joys in the circumstances at hand. Hummingbirds are independent and protective. They symbolize optimism. All of which I think I possess.

Then I decided that I wanted my tattoo to have colour. To incorporate all of my immediate family memebers, I used the birth stone colours in the shading of the hummingbird. Sapphire for my brother and Grandmom in the bird's wings; emerald in the body for my Mom; peridot (yellow-green) in the body and the breast of the bird for my Dad and Grandad; and ruby in the neck for my Grammy D.

Finally, I knew I wanted a script. Something I remember saying to my Grandad in the last hours of his life was "I will love you, always and forever." It's something my entire family says, and something my Grandmom told me she and Grandad always said to each other. It's script that truly embodies the reason for the tattoo. My family. Always and forever with me. Always and forever mine.

That's the story of my tattoo. I love it. It was so painful, and I'll probably never get another one, but so worth it! I miss my Grandad every day. But every morning I look down at the tattoo and remember what he and the rest of my family means to me. They have supported me through every one of my life decisions and they motivate me to always put my best foot forward. They have helped to shape and create the woman I have become today, and I love them with all my heart.

This one is for my family.

My younger brother and I

Grandad cutting my hair for cancer patients (April 2010)
Mom, Dad and I. Graduation 2011.
My beautiful Grammy D.
Grandmom and I. Granduation 2011. 

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