when someone passes away, the people left behind will generally try to remember only the good things about them. i am not opposed to this. it is much better to remember only the best things about them. however, you do fall into danger of making the deceased person a "thing of legend."
when my dad was killed in a car wreck almost four years ago, i remember being showered with nothing but the best and kindest regards for him. i knew he was well-loved by many; this was not a shock to me. after he died, i found myself in a room with many of his co-workers who got to see him longer than i did each day. they told story after story, many of which i didn't know. they talked about his uncompromising morals, but they didn't fail to tell of his practical jokes and contagious laugh. i knew he was a good man, but hearing just how human he was made me realize that my superman was in fact a living breathing thing who couldn't defy death like my little girl thoughts would believe. devastated by our loss, hearing these amazing moments those men got to share was something i craved. i loved hearing things i didn't know. it added to the mystery of his life and made me realize just what he was to different people: father, husband, chum, best friend, employee, mentor. this made him more real to me than i had ever thought.
one of my favorite stories involved my father and peacock on his construction site. the men started giggling like little girls telling the story of how my father chased down this peacock to get a feather and then the owner became irate and gave him a good chewing. the infamous "plucking of the peacock." it was one of their favorite memories to tell. that was the reason the men gave my family a wreath for our door that was covered in gorgeous peacock feathers. the wreath endured a lot of blistering winds because my father was killed in the end of october. when we got down to one lone feather that winter, my mother took that feather and framed it in the above photographed frame for me. a constant reminder of my father and the giggles that came with his story. it also served as a reminder of how proud my father was. he couldn't get over the fact that i was graduating college soon and going to become a teacher. i was the first person from my family to go to college.
after that, i became obsessed with peacock plumes. the colors are so rich and beautiful, i was mesmerized. then, lucky for me, they came in style the following year, and i was able to have my fill. and now, many people associate me with peacock plumes, and i don't mind at all.
i am not one for getting names of people tattooed on my body. not my thing. however, for the past three years, i have desired to have a peacock plume tattooed on my body in memory of my father. i have researched and researched and had yet to find one i was fully committed to. Best Friend got a tattoo at this new place in hillcrest called electric heart tattoo. she raved about it. then another dear friend of mine, karissa, told me she was coming into town to visit from florida (jel) and wanted to get tattoos while she was here. she and Best Friend set up an appointment for us, and i was paired with katie from electric heart. i sent her a message telling her what i wanted: something feminine, whimsical, and classy. when i got to the parlor for my appointment, i was nearly knocked down by the sight of her design because it was EXACTLY what i had been wanting for three years and could never find. i had wanted to have something beautiful and spirited by which to remember my father and a vivacious peacock plume was just that.
so, i tattooed it close to my heart.