Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Tattoos

On June 14, 2013, I found out that I had leukemia.  This was also the day of my first bone marrow biopsy.  I held it all together fairly well while I was in the office, listening to the information, learning as much as I could, learning about a drug trial, reading my numbers and being taught what they understood, and enduring a biopsy.

I wasn’t so calm and collected while driving from Aurora to Arvada.

It was on that drive that I decided I would get the tattoo I always wanted to get when I knew I was done having children, and on that day, I knew.  I knew I was done having children.  So I drove to see Adam at Colorado Plus, and then I drove to a tattoo parlor.  And I got this:

photo 1 (2)

This tattoo – the idea of this tattoo – spoke to me.  It grounded me.  It reminded me from where I came, who I had been determined to be, and who I was in my life – a physics-geeky engineer, a wife, a mother.  Cancer had nothing on me.  Cancer has nothing on me.  I didn’t let it that day.  And as I sat in the tattoo parlor chair enduring some slightly stinging bites into my wrist, I willed away the pain in my pelvic bone and relished my life.

That was almost a year ago.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Chrissy came to visit; she has been one of my dearest friends for over a decade, and we have lived apart longer than we ever lived in the same town.  We had a lot of good discussion about her life; about my life.  About our passions.  And one of the things we talked about was getting a tattoo together; something we had considered many years before but there never was one we had settled on.

Chrissy had introduced me to this Jim Carrey commencement address, during which he said, “So many of us chose our path out of fear disguised as practicality…… I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

Love over fear.  Choose love over fear.  Love expands your world; fear contracts it.  Even the Bible preaches this and it was ironic that just the week before we had listened to a sermon series about movies during which they discussed the Love and Fear in the movie Frozen

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Discussing this; it felt as though the very tattoo we were expected to get together was born.

And of course we had to add a bit of geek to it.  Love.  Over.  Fear.  Get it?

photo 2 (2)

And this is where things got a little Twilight Zone on me.

We went to get our tattoos at the same tattoo parlor (Old World Tattoo) that I had gone to last year.  And, crazy enough, we had the same tattoo artist that I had last year.  And then it hit me.  It was exactly a year to the day that I had gotten my left wrist tattoo of the atom; here I was getting one for my right.  A year to the day.  June 14, 2014.

This is where you say, “hey, cool, but whatever, you are all crazy stoked over something dumb,” but people, it’s been a long year.  While my life might not nearly the hardships that others have had, it had been a wild year.  There were ups and downs and so much so that I felt like I was coming to the end of the right of a very intense roller coaster.  Adrenaline.  A little bit of let down.  Fatigue.  Anxiety.  Excitement.  I have been a bundle of nerves and a bundle of emotions and a bundle, period, for the last year.  The intensity doesn’t have words.  I have struggled with my faith, I have struggled with my role at work, I have struggled with my place in life.  And yet that one weekend was so uplifting and the acceptance of love over fear so freeing… there is so much to do and so much to say and so much to learn and yet, I feel like I have turned a corner that I didn’t believe existed.

So now I’ll get a little more nerdy on you.

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for a few days.  Love over fear.  Love over fear.  Love expands; fear contracts.  Love is infinite.  Fear becomes nothing in the face of love.  Infinity over zero is infinity.  Fear cannot win when overcome with love.

The end.

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