Scroll down to the bottom of the page
to see a video of Gretta
and pictures from her funeral

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Tattoos

So, I have had a few people ask about the picture here at the top of the blog. So the story goes like this:

Most of my adult life I thought a tattoo on a man was only cool if they had one on their bicep, because that's where my dad has his, from his army days.
Too many tattoos just sort of turned me off or scared me, one or the other.

I didn't really think about getting a tattoo for myself until about 4 years ago. Before that my main reason for not ever getting one was because 'it would hurt and why would I want to inflict pain for no important reason?' But as I said, 4 years ago I started seeing it a little differently.

"My" personal verse out of the Bible that I feel was God speaking to me is Jeremiah 29:11-14 "For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord, "plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..." So I wanted to get a tattoo with just the scripture reference "Jeremiah 29:11" with a little butterfly next to it. My husband Matthew didn't like the idea one bit and it made no difference to him what it was going to say. So I never got one.

The day Gretta died, I was waiting for Matthew at the hospital as he had been in the cities some three hours away. They had Gretta in a private room and I was in there holding her while her little body grew colder. We waited with friends and family for almost 4 hours before Matt arrived. I gave him some time alone in the room with Gretta and when I returned we exchanged few words, only tears. Then I looked at him and said, "Now I'm getting a tattoo and I want you to get one too." He nodded his agreement and whispered, "Okay."

The next day, Matt went with a couple of his friends to a ball game in Minneapolis. Looking back, it seems strange that they did that, but I think it was just a distracton, they took our son Mason and Mike's son (our nephew), Dawson with. At some point that day I said to someone, I want to go get my tattoo now. Somebody made some calls (I think my friend Christina) and another friend, Katie was there, so I asked her to come along and take pictures, (she is also the one who took the pictures at the visitation and funeral....thanks Katie!!).
Anyway, my sisters, Jenny and Angie were there and Angie said, "I'm getting one too!" Jenny followed with the same response and so we were off to the tattoo shop.

Christina knew a guy in Deer River, Chad Evans who owns Evans Ink Tattoo, that's who she called. My sisters and I walked in about 15 minutes later and he proceeded to help us find the lettering and butterfly I wanted. That settled, he tattooed each of us sisters the same. The tattoos read, "Gretta Claire" with the butterfly next to them. Mr. Evans was incredibley kind to us and refused payment for the tattoos. 3 weeks later, Matthew went in to have Gretta's birth certificate baby feet prints tattooed on his bicep walking into the gate of Heaven. Chad Evans would not take payment for this tattoo either. He was very gracious and generous to us.

Incidentally, my tattoo didn't hurt at all. It actually felt "good". I realized then that it was because I was in so much pain already, that it was a release. This also led me to understand why teenagers might "cut" themselves or others pierce every living part of their bodies. That makes me sad just to think about.

Well, I'm still glad I got my tattoo, although I never see it because of where I got it done, but then again, no one else sees it either which I'm glad. It just ended up being something personal I had to do.

3 comments: said...

Hi Lesley, from Florida!
Got your beautiful card and picture of Gretta and wanted you to know how I'm thinking of you and your family! My husband never got to meet you, really, except for that night when we went half way to McGregor to look at that horrible house... but his sympathy is with you also!
It has been almost 5 years since the death of our son and at times it seems like yesterday... and at times it seems like a hundred years ago. But no matter the circumstances, nothing will ever take the pain of the loss away.
Loved reading your dream about Gretta ~ I've had those dreams, too. Seems like you can reach out and touch...and then it's like thin air and they're gone.Must be God's way of showing us HIS power and yet giving us just a glimpse of what we have lost!
Hang in there ~ it's not easy but you are strong and some day, we will get the answer to why our loved ones were taken before their time, at least in our minds.
I'll be watching your website ~ it's a beautiful sight~
See you in the spring when we return to MN!
Thinking of you ~
Dianne and Tom Corcoran

Jennifer said...

I love the tattoos and it sounds like Matt's is pretty incredible. Would you sometime be able to post a picture of his arm? I would love to see it! Praying for peace.......Jen

ben and erin said...

Some friends of our lost tragically their daughter a few years ago when she was four. They all ended up getting tattoos too. I think you're right that it's a release for the pain you're already suffering.
The tattoos are beautiful. I love the butterfly. I think it's so neat that your sisters got the same one too.
Praying for you today.