Vulcan Stev's Database

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Tattoos are not leading me down a path paved with good intentions

Recently, I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo.  I realize that getting a permanent scar is not everyone’s cup of tea.  I also understand that some might have moral or aesthetic objections to tattoos.  However, this posting is not about the moral and/or philosophical implications of getting a permanent body decoration.  It is, rather, a look at why I’m thinking of a tattoo and what I’m thinking of getting.

A tattoo is not something that I lightly contemplate.  I am deathly afraid of needles.  Don’t like ‘em, try to avoid them whenever possible.  See, needles come in two sizes; the 5-inch small needles and the four-foot three-inch diameter large needles.  To say that I don’t like needles is an understatement.  Yes I know, that needles are what a professional tattoo artist uses to ply his trade.  That has always been the deal-breaker for me in the past.

Flash forward to now.  Virginia’s wish was to be cremated and have her ashes scattered on the wind.  We actually used some of her ashes while planting a tree that was a gift from her best friend.  For this reason, there is no memorial, no marker, nothing that says to the world Virginia was here.

I began thinking of what I could do for a memorial.  I still want to donate some of the life insurance to cancer research but I have to finish paying off the bills before I do that.  The P.I.T.s have suggested the Virginia Nibbelink Memorial Entertainment Center (basically a new HD Big Screen TV).  I haven’t ruled that out but I’m not quite sure I want to spend quiet time thinking of my wife while the boys are playing video games.

The thought hit me that I could get a tattoo.  A tattoo with Virginia’s name on it, something that would mean something to me.  What design should I get?  A pink ribbon with her name on it? possibly.  But that’s almost cliché, I wanted something unique.  I thought about getting a tattoo of her RPG character with the pink ribbon, but that seemed to be a tad excessive and would require wa-a-ay too much explanation to the casual observer.

Then it hit me.  I’ll get a tat of a Klingon bat’leth sword with a pink ribbon encircling it.  I’ll put Virginia’s name on the ribbon and underneath her life span.  The sword would symbolize Virginia’s determination to defeat the cancer.  I ran this idea past my kids and was given the thumbs up across the board.

I began to tell family and friends about this idea.  My parents cautioned me on the fact that some folks that I deal with on a daily basis find tattoos offensive and I wouldn’t want to alienate those folks.  After taking everything into account I decided that I’d go ahead and get a tattoo on my arm right where a short-sleeve shirt would cover it.  That way it would a personal thing visible only to family and close friends.

My daughter’s best friend who has been helping the Nibbelink bachelors to survive without killing themselves, loved the idea and gave me $20 as a Father’s Day present.  The bill was inscribed “Tattoo Fund”.

Honored by her simple act of generosity, I posted about her gift on Facebook.  Oh my you’d think I had announced the apocalypse.  No fewer than 13 people chimed in each telling me that it was either a good idea or telling me that I was going to hell for even thinking about getting a tattoo.  One friend who shares similar religious beliefs almost ignited a flame war with his tongue-in-cheek comment (Hank I understood what you meant and we’re cool).  Somebody else in his own unique way directed me to the attached flow-chart to help me make the decision (ironically the flow chart actually indicates that I should get the tattoo).

So here I sit.  I have examined my own personal convictions and beliefs.  I will be getting a discreet tattoo in honor of my wife.

I will post pictures of it when I get it.

I just wanted to let everyone know.

Graphic courtesy of The Daily Weekly

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June 26, 2010 - Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Memories of Virginia, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, Vulcan Stev Family Journey | , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. A lovely idea – as simple as that. Very personal and lasting.

    Comment by Tim | June 26, 2010

  2. Hmm…Looks like that flowchart’s approach is that everyone except these people should get a tattoo. Chart bias! :)

    Your chosen tattoo design is brilliant.

    Comment by Xose Lucero | June 27, 2010

  3. If it was anything but a celebration of Gin’s life I would not agree and you know the reasons why. But, I can honestly say that I can’t not approve this because as you stated, there is no apparent memorial to her life on earth.
    For those who have tried to bring your parents into this decision, I say BOO to them. This is your business, and whatever you decide, if you chose to face the “needles” go for it kiddo.
    Your mom.

    Comment by JoAnne Nibbelink | June 27, 2010

  4. Sounds like a good idea, and I’m definitely not a tattoo kind of guy *LOL*

    Comment by Matt | June 28, 2010


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