And here’s why this date has permanently imprinted itself on my heart…
When I was five years old I really wanted a baby sister. I had been an only child, newly immigrated to America, and in New York City I saw a land with baby carriages all around me. Just as newly immigrated were my parents – and the last thing they needed was a new baby. Nonetheless I was persistent and started the baby campaign. I would longingly look into every stroller that passed our way. I made promises. I philosophized to my mother.
“You have a brother, daddy has a sister. When grandma and grandpa die, you’ll have each other. When you and daddy die, I’ll have no one.” What do you say to a five-year old with that argument.
And VOILA! A year later my sister was born. And I got to name her and feed her and love her and pretend she was mine – until she got old enough – and then she became my best friend.
On July 17, 1998, we wanted to ink our relationship with a tattoo. Just like my life before Reena was born, I don’t remember my back without it.
The Chinese character in the middle means “big sister.” Between the rays of the sun are our initials and our zodiac symbols (she’s very much a Capricorn and I am the epitome of a Leo). Reena’s tattoo is identical, her center character meaning “little sister.”
On the three year tattoo anniversary, July 17, 2001 something special happened. I found out I was pregnant. I knew on that day that the three of us would have a very special bond. How right I was.