Over 6 years ago I did something totally foolish. Something that had I stopped to consider the past and the very real possibility of it repeting itself, I would have never done.
This foolish thing was not done in haste or spur of the moment. I had put many hours of thought and soul searching into it before going ahead. I was first of all doing it for me, as a symbol of my dedication,love and belief in another person and what we shared, and also for those same reasons, doing it for them also. It was my gift and promise.
This foolish thing of which I write was a tattoo. Not a random tattoo from out of a book or off the wall but one I designed of initials. The other persons contribution to the design was a single rose bud. (The insane reality of this would come back and slap me in the face)
Once I became accustomed to the tattoo over my heart, it became a part of me. I loved looking at it. Many times at night while watching TV or trying to sleep, I would place my hand over it and remember all the times it was another persons hand there,gently tracing the design.
Those warm, fuzzy feeling about it persisted for about 2 1/2 years, then little by little, day by day, the joy,pride and love I felt about it dissolved. This gift that had meant so much to me, that had been more than just ink on my body was shit on,crumbled up and throw back in my face.
My small little tattoo, a gift I was so proud to give had no double meaning and was not interchangable with anyone else, was never presented as being to and for anyone else.
I couldn't and still can't stand to look at it and try to avoid doing so. Earlier in the year while being prepped for surgery, the attending nurse commmented on how unique and beautiful it was, going on to ask:
"Does it have a special meaning?"
Without pausing, I replied:
I have debated with myself about just leaving it alone to stand as a reminder for the future or to cover it, and if so, with what...?
I finally decided it did indeed need to be covered and with something that had meaning to me. That thing will be my favorite flower, the pansy.
Despite the name, the pansy is a strong and hardy flower. It grows, blooms and thrives when all other flowers are dead. If the weather gets really,really cold and severe, they always come back to live, grow and bloom again.
Roses come and roses go, but the pansy takes a licking and keeps on ticking.