I never imagined I’d get a tattoo, even after my daughter had decorated her limbs with several. I respected her choices, though I missed the beautiful clear skin of her body, the same way you miss your baby’s gummy smile when the first teeth come in.
Then she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. During that first year Tessa struggled with this new burden she was obliged to carry into her new-blooming adulthood. One act of empowerment she chose was to get an MS-related tattoo. What would it be? MS is often invisible to outsiders, its effects subtle but profound, its prognosis a constant, looming unknown. “It’s my elephant in the room,” Tessa decided. Always there, rarely addressed. So she had a small, round elephant tattooed on her hip.
That’s when I decided that I’d like an elephant tattoo, to honor my daughter’s spirit, in solidarity with her affirming toughness. And I knew exactly the elephant for the job.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 276: 158 words, TOTAL = 46,514; 13,486 remaining
If you missed the story of “Her,” part I, here is a link to yesterday’s post: “One way to hold on to a lost friend”
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.