When I got my first tattoo, it wasn't planned. I was in my early thirties and a few friends were over, and somehow the subject of getting tattoos came up. I had no idea what I wanted, and before we even left the house one of my friends said, "Get Jiminy Cricket!"
I'm not sure where he got the idea of Jiminy Cricket, but I thought, "Hmm. Why not? I've always been a huge Disney fan, and Jiminy would be cute!" Here is a current pic of Jiminy on my ankle, and as you can see he's looking pretty tired about now. (He is about fifteen years old.)
Anyway, when we got to the tattoo parlor, one of my closest friends was being secretive about the tattoo she was getting and I was curious what all the mystery was about. I was touched to discover she had gotten an image to memorialize my daughter, who had passed away the year before -- touched, and more than a little disappointed in myself that it hadn't occurred to me to do the same. (As I said, I hadn't given this whole tattoo thing a lot of thought.) Since then, I flirted with the idea of adding to the tattoo I had to remember Sydney in some way, but nothing really worked, and I always had it in the back of my mind to come up with something that was appropriate.
I don't remember how it came about -- I think maybe I was searching for some inspiration for remembrance tattoos -- but somewhere along the way I came across the perfect image. Sydney's favorite Disney movie was The Lion King. It is also one of my faves, and the best scene from that film is when Mufasa is speaking to Simba from the clouds and tells him, "Remember who you are." I've always felt that scene had multiple layers of meaning that I won't go into here. But anyway, this was the image I wanted, and I even visualized a way in which Sydney's name could be subtly drawn into the design of the cub. I'd told my son about it but never moved forward, and he continued to periodically nudge me to get it done.
My son Quinton is turning out to be quite an ink addict, and last year the older brother of one of his friends was on leave from the Navy and treated each of them to tattoos. Hence, the birth of Spidey here on his calf. Then he went on to have ink added to the original image of the cross, with clouds, a stairway to Heaven, birds, etc.
Finally, finally I made the appointment and got my tattoo to remember Sydney, and yes, it most certainly hurt like a... well, you know. Put it this way -- I implemented Lamaze breathing while getting it, and I'm not kidding. But I am so happy with it! Everything about it is perfect. It's consistent with the Disney character theme I started, and it couldn't be a more fitting tribute to her. And that, my friends, is the story of my long time coming tattoo. Can you see her name in the cub?