12 March 2012

A tribute in ink

People pay tribute to those they care about in a myriad of ways. Some people write songs, others write poems or novels, and some - like me - get tattoos. When my brother passed away last August from cancer (that he got due to his military service in Afghanistan - thank you very much Mister President), I knew that I wanted to get a tattoo in honor of his life and service so I would always have him with me.

Well, it took me seven months to determine exactly what kind of tattoo I wanted to get (and to be able to handle it emotionally), and this past weekend I finally got the tattoo done. As you can see in the picture below, it is a set of praying hands holding a set of dog tags with my brother's initials and lifespan stamped onto the tags, with a scroll containing the phrase "Some Gave All" underneath the hands.

I'm extremely happy with the way it turned out. (And why shouldn't I be? It's quality work and it's exactly what I wanted. Actually, it's more than what I wanted, because I never thought it would turn out as great as it did.)

I'm not going to try to be Mr. Tough Guy and say that it didn't hurt, because it did. It hurt like hell, especially when the artist started doing the shading. It's been two days and it's still sore in some spots, but that's the price you have to pay if you want to get a tattoo, and I honestly have no right to complain (and I'm not complaining, mind you) because my brother suffered a hell of a lot more than I did for the last year of his life, so the least I could do was not bitch and moan over something as simple as a tattoo. (That's what I kept telling myself as I was getting the work done, and it did help me take my mind off of the pain from the needle.)

At first I was going to get the tattoo on my chest, but after talking with the artist and The Wife I decided that it would be best to put it on my back left shoulder. In the end I'm glad I made this change, because I think it is in the perfect place. It's a reminder that my brother always has my back, even though he's no longer here on earth.

I may not be able to call him up and talk to him every day like I could before he passed away, but I can always look in a mirror and smile knowing he's always right there behind me, watching over me as I make my journey through this life.


  1. Great story,BW,sorry to hear about your brother.The pain should subside soon,and your brother will still always have your back.