Tattoos – Myth of the Unicorn

Every little drop of ink that I’ve allowed to flow into my skin has been questioned, but none more than the little unicorn that decorates the inside of my ankle. My mystical unicorn goes against every other piece of art I have adorned myself with and people often question my “theme”.

The only theme I have used in the placement and planning of my tattoos has been my life. The personal journey I have taken since that fateful day many years ago when I ventured into my first tattoo parlor has been colorful and inspiring. Each phase has been honored for all to see in living color upon my skin. It’s when I look at my little unicorn that I remember that life is a mystery filled with miracles, dreams, and an overall hope and belief in a better tomorrow. It is my faith, my personal belief system, all summed up in a delicate, slumbering unicorn that represents every wish I’ve dared to dream.

No matter the design you choose, the representation should always be the same. You. Whatever phase you’re living or dream you’re dreaming, a tattoo can help you to dedicate your journey by honoring your past and reminding you that to live your direction must be forward. Hard to believe it can be summed up in a unicorn, but I’m living proof.

When I share the story of my unicorn, occasionally I come across someone who really gets it, and I can see the inspiration dawning in their gaze. It is at this moment, when I have provided someone with the courage to follow their own dream, that I am truly alive.

It is the mystery and myth of the unicorn that keeps me hoping for a better tomorrow, no matter where any of us stands right now. Find your own flag! Find your beacon that always brings you back to that hope. Whether through tattoos or not, it’s that light we cling to that will keep us in the game.

A Complete Departure

Normally, I try to write a humorous column here, trying to put an upbeat look on the world around me on a particular week. So this week, I’d thought I’d warn you, this column is a complete departure. I wrote in the not so distant past about having a week of Mondays.

Nothing in that week could compare with the week a co-worker of mine just had to have the unfortunate position of living through.

In one short, panicked phone call he received the news that frightens a parent. “Your son has been in an accident, please come to…”

From there on I’m sure the updates we were getting were upbeat, until the last one letting us know that he died. At that point, life at work took a nose dive. We were living on the outskirts of this horrible tragedy. They were entering, hands down, the worst nightmare of their lives.
None of us should have to ever live through the death of their child. It just shouldn’t be allowed. No one should have their little ones precede them into the afterlife.

How can anyone fathom getting up one bright summer morning, serving breakfast, saying goodbye and set off for work and then never, ever see your precious offspring again? What makes this event even more tragic is this 13 year old young man had been a cancer survivor. Wasn’t supposed to survive past age 5. He was a miracle and the couples only child. He was on his bike (wearing a helmet) and collided with an SUV. From what little we know, the driver was not speeding and he was not being reckless, as kids on bikes sometimes dare to be.
Imagine when that horrible day was over, he and his wife had to go back to their home to try and sleep-knowing their lives had been changed, irrevocably, forever.

My parents lived through that horror. 45 years later, they’ve never been able to shake it. Move on, go forward, have a life, but never have they forgotten the pain or the hole that the loss made in their lives. I know-I was the surviving offspring, and although I was only 4, forty-five years later, I remember it vividly.

When we all received the news, one fellow co-worker, who’s son is close to the same age, said he would probably have a heart attack and die out of grief if this were him.

I walked down to the ladies room and cried.

I cried for the loss of a valiant little boy who will be mourned by many.

I cried for his parents, for I can only imagine the grief they must be feeling.

And help me, because I also cried out of relief that my pregnant daughter with complications is here for me to worry about and my tattooed son, bless his bodyart, is here for me to grimace at.
All of those petty peeves are actually joys, when you consider the awful alternative.