On Butterflies and Anniversaries
Last November Jeff and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, and we also spent some time trying to figure out what to do to mark the occasion. We briefly thought of going on a trip, even with having plans at that time for a trip with friends to Mexico. But that seemed to be the typical thing to do, and we wanted to do something different, something that would stand out for us. I can’t even recall now, mere months later, what other ideas we lobbed back and forth before I suggested one I did not think Jeff would seriously consider:
Both of us get a tattoo of some sort.
Oh, it wouldn’t be any old tattoo that we found on Pinterest (though there were some neat/cute ones to be found), but something that held genuine meaning for us. To my surprise, Jeff gave it some thought and not only did he decide it was a good idea he also set to work on a design.
For the record, my husband has a real artistic bent to him. He tends to brush off my compliments in regards to his work not because he doubts I mean them, but because he believes I’m tremendously biased. (I’m not saying I’m not a bit biased, but I truly believe he is genuinely good. Don’t merely take my word for it – check out some of his work here.)
Back to Jeff’s design: He put forth the idea of a butterfly design, with each of us having half of the butterfly tattooed on a forearm. He likened the metamorphosis of the butterfly – from caterpillar to cocoon to winged creature – to the marriage relationship. What you begin with is not exactly what you end up with. The relationship changes and grows, as do the people within the union. And on our own, we don’t look incomplete, but put us together and – like our tattoos – you’ll see two halves come together to make an intricate whole.
This past Saturday, we finally went in to get inked. Even that process was a reflection of the marriage relationship: There were times when it hurt, a few moments where I was really frustrated with myself, but in the end it was oh-so-worth-it. I find myself looking forward to seeing how our marriage – along with our tattoos – will look from vantage points yet to come.
(I posted some tattoo pictures on my Instagram account, and we’ll take some proper pictures once things have healed up.)