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Memento Mori

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I was looking for something to write, and decided to look through my drafts that I’d never published. This is one of them, dated April 2011. I didn’t end up getting the tattoo, and I can’t for the life of me remember what idea I had for it… I should have put it in this post after all!

The other day I had a conversation with my husband about getting another tattoo. If you are a regular reader of my blog or a good friend of mine (which, who’s kidding who – if you’re reading my blog you’re most likely my good friend), then you know I got a tattoo 2 summers ago. It was something I’d wanted for a long time, and holds meaning. Even though my husband told me for years that he didn’t want me to get a tattoo, somehow in the heat of the moment on vacation, he got on board with me, and I got it.

So, the other day when I spoke about wanting to get another one, he wasn’t pleased. I’ve had the bug to get another one. I’ve had various ideas – all of them being small in scale and well-hidden like the last one, but hadn’t come up with the right concept.

But then it hit me. Something happened to me 7 years ago that could have ended very differently. If things had gone differently, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have been able to see my children grow, wouldn’t be here to drive my husband crazy, I wouldn’t have made any of the friends I’ve met in the last 5 years, and I wouldn’t have written a book.

So, I thought it would be cool to commemorate it somehow and remind myself that life is fragile, and that I should be thankful and live the life I was given a second chance to live. I have specific ideas about what it would be that I won’t share now, because I’m not ready to share, and I don’t know if it will happen. I think it would be a good idea.

My husband on the other hand, does not. He says all I need to do is look at my beautiful children to remember these things. And while I somewhat agree, I also think that a memento wouldn’t be a bad thing. And, it might keep me from telling the story over and over. (For some reason I find it necessary to share – probably more than I should.) I think, however, that he thinks I won’t just get ONE more tattoo, but TEN. Or, I’ll start getting them on my neck or visible places.

When I got my appendix out, I had a scar. Not a big one, but a scar that I can see every time I look at it. This other event left a scar on the inside that no one can see. I suppose we all have scars on the inside. Scars from lovers who’ve dumped us, from friends who betrayed us, from relatives who’ve disowned us. Scars from our pride or our heart being broken. If I got a tattoo for every one of those, I’d be covered in them. But this isn’t any of those. This is something that for me, was a life altering experience.

I wonder if I’d feel the same way if it were a disease I’d survived, like cancer. Or maybe a terrible car accident, or  some other heinous and frightening ordeal.  I don’t know. All I know is the life I’ve had, and whether or not I do get a physical reminder of it, I will always have an emotional reminder of it, and I suppose that for now, that’s enough.

So, what’s your take? Do we need reminders, or mementos? Is it better to have them for only positive experiences, rather than negative ones?

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2 responses »

  1. Assuming I know what your major life event was 7 years ago (and I do, I just checked the link), what are your ideas for a tattoo?

    I have several, but I have to say that by far, the one I have of a crab with my father’s birth and death dates on it, is my most treasured.

    I give some importance to considering the feelings of your husband, but I also give some importance to you doing what YOU want to do. Considering a tattoo isn’t something that will effect your husband or family in the least, well, I think you’re okay with making your own decision on this. This was a very scary time in your life… what better meaning is that for a tattoo?

  2. I forgot you had a tattoo! Love the sunflower, and love the meaning behind it. And I see nothing wrong with mementos of struggles as well as positives; both sides make up life, so why not honor both?

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