Posted by : Wendy B Saturday, 2 January 2016

For my 38th birthday, I decided to get a new tattoo. Since then, the ink adrenaline has been flowing and I have been contemplating a new one. With my zodiac triptych of dragon, scorpion, and butterfly complete, I wanted to move on to something that represented all my geeky loves. I settled on a Renegon symbol from Mass Effect, but then what about my love of X-Men? Could I leave out Dragon Age? Star Wars? Everything else? Finally, I decided that all of this has already been represented in the symbol and nickname I'd chosen long ago, back in high school: nightxade.

Next step: placement. A little flowered anklet? A ring? Yeah... no... I decided to go all out and finally get a full back tattoo -- the kind of ink I've always admired but had neither the guts nor the money to achieve. Combine that with the final words from a poem I wrote long ago, and I had a plan. A plan that was painfully but beautifully modified by the death of my mother when my cousin-in-law suggested that I use my mother's beautiful script in my design.

My mother's handwriting had always bothered me. It was so flowy and elaborate and confident -- just like my mother. Now that she's gone, I miss seeing her notes posted all over the house.
Mom wasn't particularly fond of my tattoos. In her eyes, they were probably the worst of the sins I had committed in my misguided youth, especially since it's right there in the Bible that I'm not supposed to do that:
Leviticus 19:28 (NIV): "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD."
I told mom that I was going to get a new tattoo and from her deathbed, she laughed as my daughters applied faked tattoos they had chosen to her frail arms. "What am I supposed to do about that now?" she said. Hell, she didn't even say anything about the one I got last year. My first tattoo when I was 21 almost gave my dad a heart attack. The second a few years later convinced my mother that I was cursed thanks to the discovery of a cyst on my ovary, which seemed to confirm God's ruling that my sins would make me barren. But either her old age or the fact that I birthed two beautiful daughters had tempered her concerns by then and neither she nor my father said a word about my tattoo, much to my petulant adult child disappointment.

There is great irony in the fact that mom's notes that I found and from which I put together the script for my ink actually were Leviticus 19:28. Two pages of notes talking about cursing. Leviticus is full of that. My mom had a great sense of humour. She would appreciate the irony.

And so, long story short, I now have a shiny new tat that both represents me and is a fitting tribute to my wonderful mother that would make her shake her head and sigh. 


Miss you mom, but I know you're still with me.


With many thanks to Simon Field for helping me with the draft, and Kent Street Tattoo for the beautiful final product.

WHAT IS THIS?

This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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