My mom called me at work Friday evening, and when I answered the phone I could tell she was upset because she sounded like she had been crying. Here’s how the conversation went:
Mom: Did your sister tell you that Courtney [sister’s daughter] got a tattoo?
Mom: Did you HEAR ME? She got a freakin’ tattoo!
Me: Ok. Where? On her forehead? What?
Mom: NO! Your sister called to say that the kids left this afternoon to go back home, and right before they left, Courtney showed her the tattoo! Its on her side or stomach or something, and it is angel wings with Jason’s name on it.
Mom: Your sister said that when she saw the tattoo she couldn’t get too mad. Your sister thinks it is SWEET for God’s sake!
Me: Mom, Courtney is an adult, she can do what she wants, and you know she was really affected by Jason’s death. [Her older brother who died five years ago.]
Mom: I KNOW! But a freakin’ tattoo! Did your sister tell you how big the tattoo is? Is it really big? Oh My God!
Me: [seeing an opportunity here, and not reminding her that my sister didn’t tell me about the tattoo] Mom, I think it was really big, like 8 inches by 12 inches, right on her stomach!
Mom: Oh My God! Are you serious? A freakin’ tattoo the size of Alaska on her stomach? [yelling to my dad, “Jerry! Did you hear that? The tattoo is huge!] [comment by me: I don’t know how my dad could “hear that” since he wasn’t on the phone with us, but I’ll cut mom some slack since she was upset.]
Me: Mom! I was just joking! I don’t know anything about the tattoo. Its probably small and pretty, so calm down and stop worrying already. A small tattoo isn’t that bad. I have to go.
Mom: Oh, are you at work?
The conversation continued this afternoon when I called my mom:
Mom: Are you sure your sister didn’t tell you about Courtney’s tattoo?
Me: Mom! I told you I know anything about it! Just get over it already. She’s a big girl, and it sounds like the tattoo really means something to her, so don’t yell at her when you see her, ok?
Mom: I can’t get over it. I can’t “let it go.” I know I need to, but its difficult!
Me: Mom – listen to me. One of the last times I spoke with Jason, he was going on and on about getting a huge tattoo on his back. I told him how disappointed I would be in him if he got a tattoo. So, now, wouldn’t you rather have Jason here with us, all tattoo’d? Considering the bigger picture, a little tattoo of angel wings isn’t that big of a deal, ok?
Mom: Yeah. [long pause] I’ll try to get over it. Its hard to do. I just hope that the tattoo isn’t really big or ugly. I couldn’t stand that.