With stepmotherhood, miscarriage and all things in between, the one clear message I've always received from people is that I have strong character.
Strength, I've always thought, is more than how much you can bench press. It's a response to what life throws at you. Some people take the low, weak road, refusing to accept responsibility for their actions; the strong not only accept responsibility, but they also realize life isn't fair and you just have to make peace with it.
I decided, as part of my miscarriage recovery process, that a tattoo was in order. I've had a lower back tattoo for six years -- a heart -- but thought it was a pathetic looking tattoo. It's small and looks like a mole from a distance. I've wanted to get a new tattoo for about the last five years and 10 months. I just didn't know what I wanted.
Throughout the miscarriage process -- the actual event, the D&C, the aftermath -- people kept reiterating how strong I was. That's when it hit me: my new lower back tattoo would be a symbol for strength.
It took me 3 weeks to find the appropriate symbol, but I decided to go with the Chinese symbol for strength. The new tattoo had to be large enough to cover the old tattoo and visible from afar. It's sizable, but not obnoxious. It also hurt a lot more than I remember the last one hurting.
My tattoo has finally healed but not without a bit of irony.
The place I've chosen to permanently emblazon a symbol for strength has now become one of the weakest parts of my entire body. From the pole class to the triathlon training, my lower back has become the sore spot on my road to svelteness.