On Friday, I did something that was three years in the making: endured my first tattoo.
“Be healthy. Be happy. Be loved.” Sound familiar? In an October post, I expressed my utmost love and respect for a woman who influenced my life in more ways than she probably knew. After three long years of planning, her heartfelt message in her handwriting took center stage and served as the centerpiece of my first (and most likely only) tattoo. Every step I take from now on will be guided by the belief that as long as you have the big three, you’ll find the sunshine of which you seek.
It’s hard to put into words how much this means to me. Lord, my parents could never understand. When someone sees the light in you before you see it in yourself, that’s love. That is someone worth honoring, and it is an honor to walk with her and carry her legacy with me as I take the stage in my own classroom.
I’ve said it before: my ultimate goal during my years as a teacher is to be this type of teacher for someone else. I’m not saying I want one of my students to get a tattoo for me, as I teach seventh graders and that would just be bad, but I want to leave an impact. I want to be that source of comfort and inspiration. I want to shine the light.
When you walk into the edge of those dark and lonely woods, and when I ask “How was your day?” You answer, “Not so good,” and when nothing seems to be working out quite the way it should, I will shine the light.
When your worries, they won’t let you sleep and rob you of your days, and you’ve looked in all directions but you still can’t find your way, or when you just need someone to remind you that it’s all gonna be okay, I will shine the light.
So when your heart is heavy like a stone from carrying it’s load and you look into the mirror and see someone you don’t know, or when the shadows are closing in on you like a hand around your throat, I will shine the light.
This is why Kathy’s words became my first tattoo; she shined the light for me. I now carry them with me as a reminder of what is most important, and with every step, I walk with her toward the sunlight.