Friday, July 11, 2014

#Autism Awareness, Life Decisions and Tattoos, Oh My!

This is an amazing story which might surprise you. Tattoos have intrigued me as far back as my teenage years but, the promise of pain lingered at the surface of my dreams. I have never liked needles and I cringed every time I had to get a shot. I used to have to get allergy shots when I was in first grade. I wasn't the least bit disappointed when I didn't have to be a human pin cushion any longer. IF I ever decided to get a tattoo, I wanted to make sure it would symbolize something of great importance in my life because it would be on my body forever. 

I don't consider myself as the type of individual to flaunt. I will share about every acheivement that my family receives because I am intensely proud of them. I am a cheerleader for each of my children but, I try not to go overboard. With the exception of Nathan, all of my children had made the decision to accept Christ in their life. We are thrilled because he chose to make that important decision during this year's VBS event and he then followed through by being baptised this last Sunday morning. I accepted Christ while attending a youth camp when I was eleven years old, the same age as Nathan. 

Music has always been an important part of my life, especially growing up. Besides reading my Bible, it was the only other thing that I could count on to calm me during difficult times and wouldn't harm me. I grew up listening to artists like Elvis Presley, Barbara Mandrell, Kenny Rogers, the Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, Tony Orlando & Dawn and Captain & Tennille but, I eventually gravitated towards the desire to be surrounded by only positive stimulus. I tried to focus on those things which were uplifting to my spirit, in order for me to survive and succeed in life. It wasn't always easy to accomplish, with the unidentified challenges which riddled my childhood but, I managed to rise above it. That's a completely different story...possibly for a book.

Our family struggled for several years before our youngest son, Nathan, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders almost seven years ago. It has been quite an adventure, to say the least! It is not enough to say that the experience has made me a better person. I am more in tune to what is going on around me, I can identify with other parents when their child is being challenged in particular situations and I have learned more about myself than before my own son was diagnosed. Nathan, his brother, their father and I love to listen to KLOVE radio station 88.9 FM when we are in the car but, it was also what we played for both of our boys at bedtime when they were much younger. Nathan is like me, not only because the music calms him but, because he also shares the love of singing meaningful songs, whenever he gets the chance. Nathan and his older brother Vincent have matured so much in the last several years. Their father and I, as well as the rest of our family, are extremely proud of them and their many accomplishments.

Timing was a major factor in deciding when to get my tattoo. I wasn't "gung ho" or "raring at the bit" to get something permanent emblazoned on any part of my body. What actually motivated me to make an appointment with a tattoo parlor would probably surprise you. It was in April when I shared a Facebook post promoting an event which would benefit our grassroots nonprofit AutismOklahoma.org when someone got a tattoo in support of Autism Awareness Month. I didn't realize it but, that qualified me an entry into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to be used for services at Voodoo Tattoo. It didn't take me very long to figure it out, especially when they tagged me in a Facebook post as the winner!

I had been working on another design for several years which was supposed to be an interlocking chain of different colored puzzle pieces to look similar to an ankle bracelet. That particular design seemed to be quite popular and I was rethinking what I wanted in my one of a kind tattoo. I decided to scrap my original design and start fresh. In the last few days leading up to my appointment, I tossed around several ideas while trying make a decision on a particular design. I finally went with a stylish cross that had plenty of characteristic, a purple (my favorite color) puzzle piece placed tastefully on the lower half of the cross with musical notes circling the cross in an upward motion. I hope you enjoyed the story of how I came to a decision, on what I wanted in the design for my personal tattoo.

2 comments:

  1. I love your design and the sentiment behind your choice.

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  2. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post.

    ReplyDelete