Last week I lost someone dear to me. I got the dreaded phone call in the middle of the night and in a span of minutes large sections of my world re-arranged itself. I am just now back in my own little world and looking around and realizing everything I was so damn used to is out the window. Could life be any other way?
No. Of course not. My husband is reading this book that happens to talk about that exact theme. During one of our many phone conversations this week – him tucked up with our kids and pets in California and me on “Planet Lost and Grieving” in Florida – he shared an anecdote from the book with me which has stuck.
The author – who has lived a long, interesting and fruitful life – has a theory that every ten years or so a giant hand comes down from the sky and essentially sweeps away everything that you had so carefully arranged in your life. It is up to you what you do with that. How you deal with it. Your response defines you.
I am working on my definition of myself right now.
And I am thinking about where this blog and my tattoos fit into all of that.
For all my fellow bloggers we have all had those stretches were we think, “why do I bother”, “is anyone reading?”, “does it really matter if I keep going on this project or just…stop?”. And my answer to all of you is…Yes. It does matter. Your blog is important. To you and to your readers whether they number in the single digits or thousands or even millions.
Who reads The Bloggess? I thought so. Has she ever made you laugh on a shitty day? Shared something shockingly real and personal and made you gasp with recognition or sympathy or both? How many times do you think she has questioned the importance of what she does over the years? I bet frequently. And let’s be honest – her stats are to die for.
And you don’t have to pitch at The Bloggess’ level to have an impact. I faithfully read several dozen blogs and some of them have literally a handful of followers and deserve more and some are climbing the blogosphere rapidly and amaze me with their progress and ability to blog so frequently! Each blog I read gives me something. Each one is important.
As for my tattoos? Am I being silly? Frivolous? No Nope and un uh. I believe in the power of ink for those who feel it. The memorial tattoo for my sister wasn’t a whim – it was a crucial step in my grieving process. My tattoos covering my mastectomy scar? Changed how I felt about my body post surgery. Now I have some “fun ones” too but most of my ink carries heavy meaning for me and I like it that way.
In the midst of my crazy week I finally had to spill the beans and tell my mom I had sleeves. Let’s remember I am 45 and I have been getting tattoos for years. Here is how the conversation went;
Me: Mom I just need to get this out-of-the-way. Last year I got both my arms covered in tattoos.
Mom: No you didn’t! What? Really?
Me: (grin and shrug)
Mom: Why did you do that?
Me: Because I wanted to – it’s my thing.
Mom: Are you going to get more?
Me: Tons. But don’t worry about it it’s my body and I love them.
Mom: Well I think they should have made you at least get a permission slip from me or something.
And then we laughed about it and moved on. I waited another day to tell her about the blog.
My mom is not a tattoo person – never has been. But she has always been an ardent supporter of me no matter what foolishness I get up to. So was my dad who sadly passed away last week.
I feel the shadow of that big hand sweeping down. Armed with love, acceptance, family, friends and laughter I know I can rearrange my life and even make it better. I can do this. You can help me – blogosphere- by continuing to share your stories and bits of your life. Your stories amuse, strengthen, inform, shock and inspire – keep writing.
I Love You Dad.