Bob hated tattoos. He thought they were a fast-track to hell, a leftover from his conservative Catholic upbringing that had convinced him that tattoos were a form of inflicting damage upon the temple that is your body. Nevermind the other damage he/we did to our bodies, which he freely acknowledged, this bit got hard-wired in there. He fully owned the nature of his belief.
Since he didn't find them appealing (understatement) and I never could decide on artwork I wanted permanently inked upon my body nor a location for such art, I remained unadorned.
During Bob's final days, however, I told him he had to realize I would be getting some kind of tattoo to memorialize him. It just seemed prudent at the time. His response for the first time ever in response to me mentioning ink was, "okay."
I was floored. I double checked. He was sure. Okay.
Still, I had no idea what on Earth I'd want to get. Then, the butterfly incident happened on the day of the funeral.
A butterfly. Duh.
Okay. That's easy. Or not. I couldn't find a butterfly I liked. So, I waited. And waited. Also, waited.
I thought some more.
I started wearing the butterfly necklace sent to me from a friend in Georgia.
I hung the framed butterfly on my wall from another friend.
I found a decoupage of a butterfly with a cool quote on a trip with the kids when we went to Chicago to visit friends.
I met a little girl who adores butterflies— bugs of all kinds, actually.
Now, I pack butterfly-shaped sandwiches into school lunches for the kids.
I wonder tonight if I need to have that tattoo or if Bob already made sure I'd have butterflies by my side. Pretty sure I know the answer.