Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jennifer's Seashell, In Memory of Her Father

I have known Jennifer for almost thirty years and was intrigued when, earlier this year, she shared a picture of a new tattoo on social media.

Of course, I had to ask what this tattoo was all about:

When she explained, I knew it would be an appropriate thing to share on Father's Day.

Jennifer explained that she got this tattoo on March 15, on the first anniversary of her father's death:
"I got this tattoo for my Dad, who passed away a year ago. It's not my first, but it is my first in a readily visible spot, on the inside of my left ankle. Dad was left handed, but when he was a kid, they didn't teach kids how to write left handed, so he had to work with his right. I thought it fitting for him to be on the left. He loved the beach and the ocean and scuba diving and had an extensive shell collection. With this conch shell, in blue ink, which was his favorite color, I can have a bit of the beach with me wherever I am. We scattered his ashes at sea, per his wishes. The ocean will always make me think of him."
She added, "amongst his things was the poem 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep' by Mary Elizabeth Frye:"

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

She got the seashell  in Black Heart Tattoo in San Francisco from artist Heather Bailey.

Thanks to Jennifer for sharing her lovely and poignant tattoo with us here on Father's Day.

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