It was Saturday, March 28, 2009. It was the day that I got my one and only tattoo. And yes, it has a story behind it.
The night before, Friday, March 27, 2009, Michigan State Men’s basketball played Kansas in the Elite 8. Before the game, I said, “If MSU wins, I’m getting a tattoo.” Well, the final score was 67-62, MSU! So, the next day, I made my appointment and got it done. More times than not, each tattoo comes with a story.
A friend of mine, Amber, recently got a tattoo. Her story behind the tattoo inspired me so much, I wanted to share it with you, too.
I asked her why she chose this tattoo.
“My grandpa was my favorite person this side of heaven. I grew up very close to my grandparents and had a special bond with grandpa. He never missed a track or cross country meet from the time I started (6th grade) through my collegiate career.
When I was training for my first marathon (GR 2013 – 10 years ago), he told me he wished he had stayed in shape and was bummed that he couldn’t get from the house down to his barn anymore without becoming winded. He made me promise him I would keep running as long as my body would let me. Little did we know, the real reason he was becoming winded is because he had stage 4 long cancer which was diagnosed just a few weeks after that conversation (July 25, 2013).
I decided I was running that first marathon in honor of him. I made a bracelet with his favorite colors and I wore that through my training and through those 26.2 miles. It was HARD. I hit a wall and wanted to quit, but I looked down at my bracelet and remembered grandpa, and he didn’t have a choice to quit, so I kept going. I ended up qualifying for Boston by 11 minutes.
That winter, the cancer won and we lost grandpa. I was there with him in the hospital for 3 days and helped him make the decision to go home and be with Jesus. And he did. He inspired my love for hospice nursing at that moment as well.
I never had a chance to run Boston because that same year I became pregnant with my first son (Hunter Eugene) who is named after my grandpa (Clare Eugene). I continued running even through pregnancy and was racing 5 months after giving birth. I decided to finally try a marathon again last year and was able to qualify for Boston, again! This time, by close to 30 minutes. I have arrangements all made to go and plan on racing Boston…10 years after I lost grandpa.
As far as the tattoo…I wanted something permanent to remind myself of the strength I have in Jesus Christ. The bracelet was nice, but it eventually faded and broke. Isaiah 40:31 gives us hope that when we put our trust in Jesus, our strength is renewed. Things of this world will fade and we will eventually become weak as our earthly bodies don’t live in forever. But we have this great promise that when we hope in the Lord, someday (in heaven) we will not grow weary or faint.
This was my grandpas favorite Bible verse and I remember it on the front of his Bible case (we went to church together every Sunday). His goal in life was to preach the gospel and bring people to know and love Jesus. He even INSISTED that the gospel be preached at his funeral and allow time for people to come to repentance and accept Jesus as their lord and savior.
I chose this tattoo, in this particular location (the back of my shoulder) so I can carry my grandpas legacy with me through those 26.2 miles in Boston. I hope that other runners will see it and be encouraged. If just ONE person opens their Bible to find and read that verse, then it was all worth it.”
Have purpose. Go make a difference. ALWAYS run by faith!