serenity achieved – the setup

my mother has been struggling with the right “moment” to scatter my dad’s ashes. her first targets, their anniversary and new year’s day, had come and gone with a confession of “i’m just not ready yet.” a few weeks ago, she had a new idea. we would scatter his ashes on valentine’s day, and finish the day up with memorial tattoos. although she’d been historically opposed to them as a general concept, she had almost gotten one on their anniversary when she was in florida, and knew that i was interested as well.

you may remember an earlier post that ended like this:

there will be a tattoo on me in some form or another to mark this year on my skin as permanently as it’s been marked on my soul.

may it be that i find the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

since some time last march, i’d been talking the talk about getting the words serenity, courage, and wisdom in three different places on my body. with mom’s new plan for valentine’s day, i knew it was time to finally put my money where my mouth was and get my very first tattoo. as such, i started focusing on the first word. where would i get it? what would it look like.

two things were certain one: i was too big a firefly fan to have a font with an asian look to it without struggling to convince people it had nothing to do with the show. two: the right place to put the tattoo was on the inside of my left wrist. it needed to be someplace that i could refer to it whenever i wanted/needed to, like a watch.

but a tattoo on my wrist? not only is that a particularly painful spot, but it’s highly visible. then again, i don’t work someplace where that would be a problem, and i don’t plan to ever do so. it would be high enough on the wrist that a long-sleeved shirt would cover it well enough, and small enough that a bandaid or two would hide it for more severe issues. was it worth it though? the hassle of covering it and keeping it covered when i need to, the odd looks because i’m not about to keep it covered without a very good reason, and let’s not forget about the pain. the problem was, none of those reasons override the fact that it was the right place. anywhere else on my body would feel like a cop out. the ankle, the back of the shoulder are both *relatively* accessible places, but just weren’t quite right. the fleshy places were completely out.

as the date approached, i realized that i’d rather not get the tattoo at all than not get it on my wrist. so, with ryan’s “i’m having a hard time even visualizing it” inspiration, i took my wrist for a test drive. i doodled a bit on the inside of my wrist one night, just to see what it would look like to have some black stuff always there. it lasted through a shower and was still there the next day when i went to work. and oh, what a day i chose. after a 10am announcement that included the sudden departure of 3 key employees, the rest of us were left to go about our day in a sort of stunned chaos. those of us in the project management department (me, a project administrator, and a PM who had been with the company for less than a week–our fearless leader was struggling with some serious pneumonia and had been out for more than a week) attempted to keep everything going without panicking ourselves. every time my eye caught the ink on my wrist, my breathing slowed back down and i regained a bit of perspective.

oh. hell. yes. this tattoo was going to happen right where i wanted.