When you lose a child - Not at the mall or at the soccer field amid a sea of faceless, generic children who could be yours because you aren't paying attention due to your concentration on Instagram/FaceBook/Twitter... you then remember, wait a minute! He is not there. here. or anywhere. But when your child dies, you tend to want something more permanent than the idle words of others saying to you "oh, you have a personal angel" or "God needed him for his personal work to carry on."
I swear to God! I didn't misplace him.
These words are just that. Words of insipid meaning. I guess some gather quite a bit of comfort from them but I however, never did and never have.
I have made writing a living - not the prose kind but that of letters with flourishes and flair.
I can make 30 kinds of "M's" with a massive swirls and affection. Some letters like "S,"R" and "T" seem to be more thoughtful and well, less creative. Kinda like I never have liked the end result because it is not perfect enough. I'm always changing the font not because it's pleasing but because I'm not pleased with the perfect result of this certain letter that signifies something more than it's object permanence.
Like an ever present constant dialogue in my mind of how I feel (very Schizophrenic and Bi-Polar) I have more intent concentration when I make these letters for people who really don't give a shit about how and why I'm making them.I wholeheartedly think of the meaning behind them as they are very present and very meaningful to me. These simple letters are very representative to my life and those I love in my life.
When Thalon died, I wanted some kind of permanent mark engraved onto me to remind me, he was here. He was really here. I mean, I still have his clothes at the top of my closet, his close to the last picture framed and hung by the fire-place and a picture by the work computer. Other than that, there is nothing else that says, "yo, I existed."
I wanted to tattoo his name all over my body after he died. I wanted it on my face, neck, arms and heart. Knowing this was a very extreme thought, in an extreme state, I settled with something simple - to feel some permanence of a being who is not permanent in my life.
After forty-five years of life, I got my first tattoo. One of which I have ruminated for years to have the most perfect "T."
Maybe to mark the most pivotal and most tragic part of my life.
While I'm not chasing some Heroin high or speaking with birds 'a la Snow White cartoon-state about our demise, I do know that death is like that of a Heroin addiction.
One you can't beat, shake or throw away. Even if others want you to get over it. Going to Rehab doesn't free you from the stranglehold it has in your heart and head.
I have talked to Rich (ad nauseam) for the need and want for a tattoo to remind me of my little man. Since he has been so ANTI-TATTOO! for so long, I quit trying to plead my case. Now, five years later, after many dissecting conversations about drunken "neck-tattoos" for pure shock factor ( I think,) I finally talked the man in accepting me for being marred to him.
Marred with our son's initial.
Trying to explain the whole psychological aspect of my compulsion of wanting and needing this mark upon my arm, cannot be explained.
Wanting, needing and wishing for an absolute pain to replace my psycho-social mind's eye and memory was a massive caveat.
The result was not what I expected. I know 50 billionity people in the free-world get a tattoo everyday.
But I don't. I'm a good girl. I'm my mother's daughter who worries about illness, infection and loss of limbs from weird people drilling on me. I didn't really discuss my desire and appointment with anyone but Rich. Maybe in only vague and veiled Instagram photos.
I came in ever prepared. I wanted MY lettering on me. Something so personal can't be left to some idiot who thinks Calligraphy is that of graffiti splayed out all over a cinder block wall depicting gang names or "Tag! You are it!"
The process as most of you know, realitively painless and somewhat thrilling.
At the end of the inking session, the chick was talking about the symbol/letter and it's meaning. First I thought, "Shit! This looks like a fucking Chinese Symbol tattoo!!!"
Then I was semi talked down from the chair of reason.
We talked about what the "T" really meant to us. Then in an instant, anxiety, pain and the feeling I was in a secret taping of "LA Ink," I teared up while talking about this tattoo being less painful than my last C-section popping open all over place due to infection. This little symbol signifies a person who has changed me more than anything or anyone has to date.
How can I not remember him in some way?
Minutes, Hours, and days later, I think about the pain aspect of this symbol. In some strange way, I wanted it to hurt like the pain I've felt in the past. The pain to bring back a connection with my son. In the end, I've had sunburns, zit-popping episodes and broken toes that hurt worse.
Now when I look at this symbol on my arm, for the first time in my life, I do not have buyer's remorse. It makes me happy. I touch it many times during the day. I rub it like I would rub the top of his head or his back when he was slightly restless.
Something so far out and really insignificant has brought my son back to me. Even if fleeting and not actual.
I so wish I would have marked myself earlier.
"Scar tissue that I wish you saw
Sarcastic mister know it all
Close your eyes and I'll kiss you 'cause
With the birds I'll share
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view"
Believe it or not, this is actually a happy post. A post of remembrance, love and connection.
Something we are striving for in our lives even if the subject matter isn't anywhere near the same.
Maybe this post is a coming of age or coming to a realistic acceptance of my little man and his absence.
"It is what it is." (My husband so hates this saying.)
But really, it (my life/situation) IS really what it is.