#smilelikeeric forever

Today I got my 3rd tattoo. I got my first with my mom when I turned 18. We went to a local tattoo place, picked the cutest ladybug off the wall, and got it done. I remember tattoos being more expensive than I thought, almost fainting, and learning that the shop had closed down just a few months later. Yikes.

I was young and rebellious and felt oh so cool. But really it looked dumb. No one said they liked it. I didn’t really like it after awhile. I even had a few cute little old ladies at the workout place I was a member of (a place like Curves, but not) ask if it was a mole, and if it was they insisted I get it checked out. I appreciated their concern, but was pretty embarrassed.

So just under 20 years later, on a lazy running some errands Saturday, I popped into another local tattoo parlor and asked about a cover up. I gave the artist my wishes, she looked at it and told me to come back in a couple of hours. She had created a beautiful design, and I was hooked. But I am a person who wants each tattoo to mean something significant. They are permanent after all. It took me a few more years, and a milestone (40) birthday to finally figure out what I wanted.

After turning 40 and getting my 2nd tattoo, I decided I would get a new tattoo each year until I turn 50. Hence, today’s tattoo.

This one means a lot to me too. It makes me so sad that the idea for this tattoo even exists. It isn’t fair that it even had to come about. It doesn’t make any sense. It forever changed a family. And it breaks my heart.

But its message is full of hope, love, and happiness. It embodies the memory of my late and beloved brother in law. It is a permanent reminder to always look for the positive in life, to spread love, kindness, and joy; just like he did. And most importantly, to keep smiling. #smilelikeeric

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