I’ve often thought about getting a tattoo. Not a huge in your face piece or even on a part of my body where others would see it, just a small personal tattoo that only I would see. It has been 16 years and I still don’t have one. I know others who do and have listened to their stories of pain. I’m not sure I can endure that kind of self inflicted pain. My son Samuel and I like to watch the television series, ‘Inked’. It both fascinates me and repulses me at the same time. No, nothing as large as a full back piece for me.
Just a simple compass. Maybe where North is pointing a simple heart or just the letter M. Something a little bit stylized with curly fonts. I never have quite come up with the perfect design. Another reason I haven’t gone ahead with it. Why the letter M? Well you see, without realizing it, I gave my children names that start with S, W and E and instead of the letter N for North, the M is for Matthew. My little star in heaven. He came and went all in one day.
Today he would have been 16. I find myself wondering what that would have looked like. I know I would have loved making a fuss over his birthday and watching him open up his lovingly wrapped gifts. I wonder how tall he would have been, what colour his hair is, did he grow to look like his dad or me? There is always an empty feeling on this day invaded by the memories of that awful day. I always knew that I would find a way to honour the day that Matthew came into our lives and left far too soon. There are no birthday parties or celebrations but there is angel food cake . That’s what we have had every single year for dessert on this day ever since. Angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries.
I think about that tattoo and what it means to me. All my children’s initials forever inked into my skin, with Matthew being the North star, the brightest star in the night sky. I like the idea of forever carrying them around with me. Then I think of the pain and it stops me. I already have them all in my heart, why put myself through the pain of getting a tattoo? Maybe one day I will find the perfect design, or someone will find it for me and I will know that is the one and I will go for it.
Remembering Matthew. Rest in peace my little North Star.