Surprising to some, I guess, but Tim and I both recently got memorial tattoos for Austin.
I've known for months that I wanted one and even had in my mind even what it looked like. As the days neared to Mother's Day, I was determined to get it even more. My sister, Wendy, drew out the idea for me so I had something to go by.
I knew I wanted angel wings because I know Austin is in Heaven. I remember the day that Austin decided to become a Christian. He'd been asking questions for awhile and I prayed for him every night to come to that decision. He was young though and so we had him talk to Brother Armstrong prior to going forward. The choice was his and we never pressured him or made him feel like it was something he should do. He came upon it on his own, by his own heart, and that makes me even prouder. It was one of my favorite moments as a Mom to see him accept Christ and be baptized.
I knew I wanted to incorporate his unit number, as it was special to him. Austin was so proud to be a Jr Firefighter and he loved having his own unit number. I was so honored and touched when they retired the number after he passed. This means, that nobody else will ever have or use #210 on the radio. People who don't know will ask why I have the number 210 on my leg. And I will beam proudly as I get to share a piece of the difference that my child made while on this earth. It is impossible to describe Austin in one word but that number shares so much.
I knew I wanted it to be on my lower leg because then it could be seen more. Some people say "they wear their heart on their sleeve"...I get to wear mine on my leg. Getting the tattoo was very personal and I mainly did it because I now have a piece of him, always with me. When I am sad, I can look down and see it and think of him. The angel wings remind me of his presence, always with me even if I can't see him. The number makes me smile, thinking of all the accomplishments he made in his young life. It inspires me to do a 1/4 of what he did while here.
Tim's is beautiful. My sister drew it also. She incorporated a cross with flames to represent the firefighter, blue because it was one of Austin's favorite colors, and again his unit number. I know it has as much meaning to Tim as mine does for me. I love looking at them both and can only imagine what Austin might be thinking. I'm sure he thought it pretty cool that his parents are sporting tattoos...for him. It is just a piece of what we continue to do every day in his memory. We will continue to tell his story and keep his wonderful spirit alive. It is what gives us purpose each day.