I got my first tattoo today and added another “I’ll never” to my list I just dids. Can I count the times I said to Handsome Husband, to friends, to so many, that I’d never get a tattoo?
The tattoo is now on the list with the camping that I’ll be doing, that I’m already doing, in this new life of mine. Never, I swore to him. Never, ever, will I camp. Yuck and all that.
There will be more I nevers, inevitably, because there is nothing of my old life left. Except the love that I carry with me, that he had for me and I for him.
My tattoo reflects the message I created for him while he was in hospice. I wanted him to be surrounded and immersed in the love we all had for him; I wanted him to feel the love returned to him that he’d given to so many throughout his life. So, when people called or visited, I’d say to them that “there’s nothing but love here”. The “L” in love in my tattoo is capped because it’s that important to me. What we had and what I carry with me now, and what I want my life to be about. There is a small opening to the circle. I vowed after Handsome Husband’s death that the more my heart hurt, the wider I would open it to love and to life.
4 years ago, Handsome Husband and I sold everything lock/stock and barrel, got out of the rat race, and went out on the road to live a life of love and adventure, relishing our time together. In that time I learned to let go and open up. Let go of things, of places, and opened up to new experiences, new people, and a new way of living. I learned to live simply and push my boundaries and comfort zones. I climbed heights that gave me the shivers and hiked and explored and lived in a way that I’d never considered and did it all happily, with the love of my husband right next to me.
All along, the life that Handsome Husband and I lived was preparing me for this life that I’m living now. No, neither of us knew the future of course. It was happenstance. But yes, it did prepare me, certainly in a practical way but very much in a bigger way of being unafraid of life and adventure.
This isn’t an adventure I want in any way but it’s what I have. And Handsome Husband knew me to my core and knew that I would do this.
He is at my right side, where he always was in life. I don’t feel him but my belief in the love he and I shared tells me that he is, that he has to be. In his final message to me he told me he would always be with me and he never broke a promise to me ever.
So, yes, another I never is now look what I did. This is my tribute, my message to him, wherever he is. I love you always, D. I carry you in my heart. And now, on the back of my neck. Right where you would kiss me and send shivers down my spine. I love you.