Telling you about the meaning behind my tattoo has been one of the posts that has been tucked away in my brain, waiting to be released. A friend asked me about it a few weeks back and I realized, I should probably get on it and tell you the story.
I’ve wanted a second tattoo for some time. I have a small blue daisy on my left breast, acquired at the tender age of 18 — because I could. No real thought put into it. I just wanted one. Blue because the tattoo guy said white wouldn’t look right and would fade. Flash forward 16 years (fuck, when did that happen?!), and the adult me wants to put something special on my body forever, not something random. When I got pregnant, I figured I’d eventually get a tattoo with the baby’s name somewhere. When Abby left us, I knew that I would still get that tattoo. But I wanted something more than her name. I love my husband’s tattoo, but it makes me so sad when I see those little feet. And I don’t need a visual reminder of her tiny-ness on my body because the images of her tiny little self are forever burned in my brain. (I’m not saying my husband’s tattoo was a bad choice. It was a great choice, and it was his choice and I love it. It’s just not what I wanted for my body.)
The image of the dandelion (gone to seed) have been something that have represented my infertility for some time. I’m not really sure where I picked it up… I think I saw it on a website once.. and then on the cover of a book I read (When you’re not expecting by Constance Hoenk Shapiro) — obviously it’s represented for others as well. It just made sense to me. I added a graphic to my blog — it just became like a symbol to me.
Dandelions are generally a nuisance on your lawn, but they also represent strength and perseverance — it’s hard to kill the darn things! Gone to seed, we often pluck them, blow and make a wish.
More than that, to me, they represent messages from Abby.
In March, during our unseasonably warm weather in SW Ontario, I was out on our patio enjoying some sunshine and thinking about my baby girl when a single dandelion seed landed on my chest above my heart. It was like she was saying to me “it’s okay momma, I’ll always be right here”.
A few months later, I found a single seed again in a box of fresh strawberries. When I was pregnant, I couldn’t get enough fruit, so I always think of Abby as loving her fruit (like her momma!). And I said to C. “look who I found in the strawberries”.
And yet another time when I was losing my mind after the horrible experience with the new clinic and on the phone with the old clinic begging for help, C. saw a whack of seeds drift by in the wind. I never saw them through my tears, but C. did and took them as another message that it was Abby saying everything would be okay.
So now, whenever we see a dandelion gone to seed I take a minute to pluck it and blow the seeds off — sending all my love to Abby.
I found this description of meaning of dandelions on a website: “If you see a dandelion puff ball blowing towards you it can also mean that you are receiving a message from a guiding spirit or an angel. Yet another magical purpose of the dandelion is to send someone you love a message by blowing the seeds (thoughts and magical energies) to another.” That description gives me chills.
Thus was born my tattoo. Strength, perseverance, a wish for my children to find their way into my arms. And if you look really close, some of the seeds are a pale, pale pink. Those seeds are for Abby.