It has been seven years since my grandma passed away. Going into high school, I not only had to grow up but say goodbye to a really important person in my life as well. It was hard enough dealing with the upset, let alone going through the notions just to get through school. But I found a way to cope, knowing she’s happier where she is – no longer in pain from being sick. Ever since she left, I always thought of new ways to cherish her memory. But the things I made along the way got lost or ruined throughout the years.
Going into college, we lived right up the road from a tattoo shop, “Paradise Lost.” Something about this place always caught my eye and that’s when I started to think about getting a tattoo for her as one last permanent memory. But the problem was, I had no idea what I wanted to get and I needed it to be perfect.
It wasn’t until last summer that I was rummaging through an old shoebox of letters that I found what I was looking for. My jaw nearly dropped when I found a letter my grandma wrote to me while I was on a sixth grade field trip, away from home for a week. It was then that I realized this is exactly what I needed to find to carry her with me forever.
As I read over the letter once, twice, three times, I cried knowing exactly where I was when I opened this envelope the first time. It wasn’t just the letter; it was one line that stuck out from all the rest, “Gee, it’s quiet without you.” That’s when I knew; this was going to be the ultimate gratification for me. I was going to get this tattoo in her handwriting, exactly the way she wrote it.
So I pinned the letter onto my wall and I read it everyday as I pictured where I wanted this tattoo to go. I waited months after months as I envisioned the way it was going to look. And even when my parents thought I’d forget about it in time, I still wanted this tattoo after waiting an entire year.
Yesterday was the day I finally went to make my appointment – crossing my fingers that I would be put with Chris Haas, a well-known tattoo artist. As I walked in, I was greeted immediately and was overcome with excitement all of a sudden. After I handed the woman my letter, she looked at me in awe and told me what I a great idea this was. I smiled back at her and waited for the man in the back to make a copy and possibly sketch it out. I was really hoping I could fit the appointment in sometime this month but I knew this guy was busy so I didn’t bother to cross my fingers.
Once again I was wrong when I heard the man come back out and say, “Do you have time to do it right now? His appointment for today didn’t show up.” That’s when everything came together and I knew she came with me for this tattoo. I honestly believed that she approved of this and this was her way of showing it. And with that, I walked up the narrow stairs into Chris’ room and took on the pain of a tattoo on the ribs. But for my grandma it was worth it and I knew that because when he was finished and I looked in the mirror, I fell in love with a brand new memory of a piece of my life I’ll never forget.
I also shared this story on my blog:www.Joyousdarling.wordpress.com