This blog post is going to be completely off topic in regards to writing or anything that I normally talk about.
First a brief, or not so brief story.
Some of you may know that I lost my dad when I was young. I barely remember him; I was young when he went. What I do know of him was what I got from my mom and the stories that relatives told throughout the years.
My Grandpas were two men that I am happy to have had in my life. I had a different relationship with each of my grandpas. Growing up, it never occurred to me that one day they would be gone; as an adult it was something that lived in the back my mind, that I didn’t want to acknowledge.
My Grandpa Hennig passed away a couple of years ago. He was the mayor of a small city and we talked endlessly about politics and technology; he loved cameras and solar power.
Then two years ago, my wife miscarried our third child. It hurt her more than she let me know. I wanted to help her in anyway that I could. Grace showed me the picture of what she wanted and she got herself a tattoo.
She got one of a bird and some flowers. It is absolutely beautiful and I can’t even begin to do it justice in any description.
Not long after, my Grandpa Pedde passed away. He was an electrician, a farmer, he loved computers. He knew more about computers than I did when I spent a summer earning money helping him out on the farm when I was 18 years old.
All of these events combined together did something. Growing up I suppressed my emotions and hid away weakness. Hiding away did something too. After the loss of my third child I felt I needed to do something as a memorial, for them all. Most of my siblings have gotten memorial tattoos to suit their needs for healing. When my wife had hers done to commemorate our third I obsessed over it.
Sorry about the multiple pics. The part by my wrist is hard to see all of the writing in one picture.
I have always wanted to get a tattoo, but I never knew what to get. I would always lose interest in it and change my mind. This time I had a rough idea of some of the elements I wanted to include and handed them over to Kat Cleland of I Heart Tattoos and she transformed them into the piece that resides on my right forearm.
To break down the elements in the tattoo:
The little boy.
The boy represents the child that we lost.
The cowboy boots and hat.
They represent my dad. When I think about him I think about the pictures that I have seen of him in rodeos.
The greatest memory of my Grandpa Hennig was that my Grandma told us to go fly a kite when we were being annoying one day. We did. It was cool. I still have the kite. It was made out of a garbage bag.
My Grandpa Pedde was an avid fisherman. He was always fishing or wishing that he wasn’t so busy that he could go fishing. He always had a story about why he didn’t catch the fish.
Yes, it is a quote. Geek points to all who get the quote. “We are all just stories in the end, so just make it a good one”. The quote speaks to me at a personal level, geekery aside, because my life is fueled by the desire to create/tell stories, and is a reminder to live my life to its fullest.
This was something that was added by the tattoo artist. I had the different elements and the quote. She put it all together into a small story. The little boy with the slingshot in his pocket is letting go of the bright red kite to fight with the monster of his imagination.
I am quite happy with the tattoo and am currently trying to figure out the next one. Yes, I am getting another one. (So it begins hahaha)
But this isn’t just a cool tattoo. There is meaning behind it. Not all tattoo’s needed it, but I feel that this one did. The personal meaning behind it made it possible for me to deal with the lifetime commitment a tattoo requires…its part of me now.
For anyone intrigued by the tattoo, feel free to visit the link.