Sunday, September 11, 2011

Does That Mean Anything??

I have tattoos....quite a few of them actually (much to my mother's dismay!)...and I'm often asked if they "mean anything". I often want to respond with "Yes, fool. They mean something. That's why I put it on my body!" but that would be rude and my mother taught me better :) So, I often give the Cliff's Notes version of what the meaning is behind the tattoo that the person is asking me about.

Today, I thought I would share with you the meaning behind two of the tattoos I get asked about most often and explain what the tattoos and the story behind them have to do with my current prep.

Tom designed this tattoo for the two of us. I have it on my left forearm and he has it on his left tricep. The design is a cross made with two of the letter "J". One "J" is larger than the other and represents our eldest child, The Princess and the smaller "J" represents the baby of our family, Junior. It is one of my favorite tattoos and I love that my hubby designed it for us and our babies :)

I designed this tattoo about 4 years ago and it was one of the hardest for me to design. Tom and I had a son, Junior, almost 5 years ago. I went into premature labor at 25 weeks and our son Junior was born on Sept. 19, 2006. I always say that his fighting weight was 1 pound, 7.8 ounces because he fought like a champion but ultimately he passed away two days later on Sept. 21, 2006. The tattoo consists of the actual footprints that were taken when he was born in the middle of a pair of angel wings. He was named after his father so I made sure to put his name underneath his prints. I struggled with the design for many weeks because I wanted to honor my angel but I didn't want it to be cheesy or depressing. In the end, I came up with the perfect design and the process of putting it on my back was a major step for me in the grieving process. Keith, the tattoo artist, who did the piece for me was incredible and told me he was honored that I let him share in the creation of this memorial.

So, that brings us to today. September is one of the most difficult months I face each year. Yes, I know that it has been almost 5 years since the loss of my child but it is a pain that has dulled but not vanished over time. I think about what my son would be like had he lived. I think about what type of big sister The Princess would have been. I think about the father & son relationship that Tom never got to experience. I think...I think...I think....and I cry. I cry for my son often but this month, the month of September, there are a larger number of tears that are shed.

It is like a cloud of darkness envelops me and I feel like I can barely function beyond doing what is necessary. That is why my prep is falling brain, heart, and body feel like it's more than I can manage to do what prep requires. My brain doesn't comprehend trying to fine-tune my body into a machine when my heart feels like this same body failed me 5 years ago.

I am struggling but I consider myself a fighter. I'm still in the ring and I may look like Oscar De La Hoya did after taking on Floyd Mayweather Jr, but I'm still fighting.

Tears, loss,'s part of my journey...part of the path I must take....but I'm putting one foot in front of the other and that, folks, is all that matters.


  1. As a fellow Mom I grieve for you. As a fellow competitor I feel for you and as your friend I send you love xx

  2. oh,T! Julia said it best..
    from one mother to he next,i send you much love.
    my mother lost her only son (im the 5th of 5 girls) at 29 weeks. he took one breath in this life and returned to heaven where he came from.
    Since my husband works in the NICU as an NPS,he has seen and been involved wth scenarios like yours many many times. its always hard on him,but he tries to think that since these precious babies are too perfect to be here on earth,the lord brings them back to him...
    you are one strog woman Tenecia,from the inside out!
    as a mom,fellow competitor and blogger friend,i send you many hugs and much love...
    hang in there!!!

  3. T,
    Though I can't even possibly begin to imagine how hard that was/is/will always be for you I can tell you that I think you are incredible. My parents lost a child at the age of 5, my older brother whom I never met on earth but I am certain that I knew him in Heaven. I know you will see your son again someday. I admire your strength and courage and your kick ass tattoos! Lots and lots of hugs from the blog world!

  4. What a beautiful tribute to your babies. You're one of the most courageous women I know. My heart goes out to you and Tom, especially this month. I'll keep you in my prayers.

  5. Talk about timing - I just got off the phone with my mother, and we talked about my newest tattoo (and her displeasure with them)!

    This is the second time I've seen baby footprints as a tattoo and I think it's beautiful.

    I wish I had words of wisdom for you regarding your lost son, but I can't even pretend to imagine how difficult it must be. What you said about trying to strengthen a body that "failed" you before was very insightful and I thank you for sharing that with all of us.

    You seem like a strong woman, and one who uses pain and defeat as a means of propelling her forward. Hopefully there's a way for you to channel whatever you're feeling now into a focussed purpose through the remainder of your prep.

    All the best.

  6. Oh this brought tears to my eyes. I LOVE the tatoo though, I think it is perfect. What a sad and hard thing to have to go through, I couldn't even imagine honestly. Just makes me look up to you that much more. Hugs, prayers, and thoughts are with you.

  7. I'm tearing up reading your story. I am so sorry for your loss, but you are such an amazing and strong woman. Just know that all your fellow bloggers are with you through your tough month.


  8. i am so sorry to hear this and i am sadden that September is a difficult time for you. no matter how much time passes, when you lose someone you love that hurt and sadness will always be there. thinking of you.

  9. Ohhhhh ((HUGGGG)) So sorry to hear this news. I can't begin to imagine how you're feeling this month. The tattoo is perfect!!! Lots of love to you and Tom.

  10. You are an amazing, strong woman T. I am so sorry to hear about this, and I cant even imagine the struggle from this. Keep pushing and chanel those feelings into your workouts. I love tattoos and hearing the meanings behind them! Keep your head up T. 6 1/2 weeks!!!

  11. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your words brought tears to my eyes! I have no words only HUGE HUGS from one Mom to another!

  12. OMG..this is intense!!I'm not mushy..but reading your words almost made me cry. I'm sure your daughter would have been a great sister..and i'm sure that you would have been proud of him. Stay strong. Stay a fighter..i hope that although this month is over that you were able to fight your way back and that you're proud of the work you did :) :)