“Does it hurt?” I asked. That was a stupid question. But the pain of the tattoo artist’s electric needle couldn’t match the pain in her heart. Eight weeks ago, on the day after her birthday, Tracy lost her son. One day he was here and in a moment, a blink of the eye, he was gone. “Happy Bday, Mom. Love u.” was his last Facebook entry. The lives of everyone who loved him changed forever that day.
But today was a good day. She was doing something. Something to honor him, connect with him, have the memory of him permanently etched on her body. And it didn’t matter how much it hurt. Brandon was 25. She called him “B”. He had a tattoo of an anchor on his arm and now she wore one on her foot. The anchor with a B and a heart and birds flying up to where he is now.
We met over 20 years ago, the custom framer and the photographer, and have been best friends ever since. Along the way, we shared so much and know all about each other, but not until now, did I know how incredibly strong she is. Always caring and considerate, she still thinks of others first – even now at the hardest time in her life. I am so thankful for her friendship over the years and what she has taught me through this.
As the tattoo needles hummed, we wondered if Brandon was here today. I think he was… watching, smiling, thinking it was cool and saying “thanks, mom”.