Shannon and I have known each other for going on eight years (wow I feel old saying that), and I consider her my sister. We bonded over our love for crime dramas and actresses Jorja Fox and Mariska Hargitay. Most Mariska fans know about her Joyful Heart Foundation, dedicated to helping survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and child abuse heal and go on to become strong, successful members of society. A main theme of Joyful Heart is fearlessness – having the strength to speak out against abuse in even the most uncomfortable situations. Shannon got this tattoo as a reminder to always speak out, especially as she goes on to pursue a career in criminal justice.
And she got it in my handwriting.
Putting your handwriting permanently on someone’s skin is terrifying! I wanted to make sure she would have something beautiful on her wrist for the rest of her life. Over the few days before she went to the tattoo parlor, I sent her a few samples of my writing and let her tell me what she did and didn’t like about one sample or another (“Can you put the letters closer together?” “Can you make the ‘r’ a little sharper?” “The ‘f’ looked better in that last one.”)
Finally, we got it right. I only wish I could have flown to New York for the day to actually watch her get it done! Nonetheless, I still got pretty emotional when she sent me the picture (top). Hopefully we can be together when I get (one of) my (many planned) tattoo(s).