I'm thrilled to be linking up with two very lovely ladies, Kaitlin (from Sew My Soul) and Cassie (from Sage the Blog), for a new little link-up they've started called 'Link Your Ink'. As soon as I heard about this idea, I was totally on board. I've always loved the art of tattoos. And I love hearing the stories that lie behind tattoo choices even more. I've never really gotten around to sharing about all of mine (I currently have 7 tattoos and plan on getting 3-4 more). Each piece holds a special meaning for me, each one representing something that I have either gone through or something that I believe in. I doubt I could ever put a permanent mark on my body, unless it had meaning.
For those of you who may not know, my dad passed away a little over 2 years ago. It was hard, y'all. The hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. I can't even begin to express to you guys the pain that comes from losing a parent. I've shared a handful of posts about life after loss and I even shared about my memorial tattoo whenever I first got it back in 2012. But, I've since added a little to this piece.
"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."
My dad was a Navy man. He sailed the open seas, putting his life on the line in the Vietnam War. While serving, he got a tattoo of a swallow on his arm. Growing up, I used to think it was a sparrow since he never really explained the meaning behind it. After his passing, I did a little research. Come to find out, sailors would tattoo swallows on themselves to represent how many nautical miles they had sailed. One swallow equaled 5,000 miles, two equaled 10,000 miles and so on and so forth. Knowing this made me love this piece even more. Though I know I have yet to sail 5,000 nautical miles, it has since become a goal of mine. Don't worry. I'll catch up to you one day, dad.
This tattoo is a constant reminder that even though he is absent in this realm, my dad is forever with me. Every time I look down and see my swallow, I'm reminded of the years I was able to share with him, the lessons he taught me and the unconditional love that he showed me. Out of all of my tattoos, this one has had the most feedback from others. Whenever I'm out running errands or at work, people often stop to admire it and tell me how beautiful it is. It's definitely a conversation starter and I really take pleasure in sharing the story it bears.