A few months ago I was sick with the flu and confined to bed for a couple of days. As I scrolled through channels trying to find a daytime TV show that was mildly interesting, I stumbled upon repeats of LA Ink. I decided to watch it just to see what all the hoopla about Kat Von D. was. Little did I know that watching that one show would lead to me getting a tattoo a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve never been a big fan of tattoos. My Dad had one on his arm from when he was in the Navy but that was pretty much the extent of my exposure to and knowledge about tattoos. For my 30th birthday my sister thought it would be fun if we went together and got tattoos. At first I had no desire. But then I thought “What the heck, you only live once.” So I did a little research and decided to get two fish (I’m a Pisces) in the Ying and Yang position. Since I am a teacher I put it where no one could see it – on my butt. My Dad was mildly horrified about it. I believe he said “Where did I go wrong in parenting you?” I would say 99% of the time I don’t even remember that tattoo, I don’t usually walk around looking at my butt.
When I started watching LA Ink what attracted me most to the show were the stories of why people were getting their tattoos. There were a lot of touching stories but what got me were the people who wanted tattoos to honor a loved one that wasn’t with them anymore. That is when I started thinking about Dad and how I wished I had something to honor and remember him by. I started researching and planning my tattoo shortly after that first episode.
I knew two things that I wanted – an anchor and the Japanese/Kanji symbol for Dad. I wanted the anchor for two reasons – (1) because my Dad was always my anchor and (2) because my Dad loved and was proud of being in the Navy. I wanted the Kanji symbol for Dad because my Dad always said Japan was his favorite place he went to in the Navy. I also knew where the tattoo would go, right above my ankle on the right side of my body. It’s my special reminder that Dad will always be right by my side. When did I get the tattoo? On the second anniversary of my Dad’s death.
As I was getting my tattoo I could literally hear Dad’s voice in my head saying “STACEY LYNN! What are you doing?!” If he was alive I think he would be slightly mortified that I “inked” my body for him. I also know that he would be proud that his little girl loved him enough to do it. My Dad was always proud of me, now I can finally show the world how proud I am of him and most importantly how proud I am to be his little girl. Wherever you are Dad, this tattoo is for you!