I don’t have much time to write!
Lots of fun visiting today. I will be exhausted tomorrow but totally worth it. Saw my cousin and his wife from NYC who are adorable (ok the kids are cute too ;). Kind of tangentially attended the block party thing on Capitol Hill (not really, but it’s fun to pretend like I really went).
THE MOST EXCITING THING IS I FOUND A REALLY GREAT TATTOO ARTIST.
Now, just to make it clear: this is nearly as hard as finding a real great doctor. It’s got to the right fit, ya know? Some people might like an artist that just comes up with the designs. Others want clear direction. I like the collaborative approach. I don’t want to decide all this on my own, but I don’t want to be told what to do! No surprise there.
I think it helps that we’re probably near the same age, so there’s a mellowness to our meeting. I love young people, but I can’t deal with trying to appear cool or whatever the heck any of that is.
So it’s not just exciting that I found him. BUT HOW I FOUND HIM.
I’ve been looking for an artist I feel a good connection with for awhile.
I loved the tattoos on one front desk woman’s arms at one of my NDs. I took down the name of her - she was down in Gig Harbor but I keep hearing that it’s cheaper and often easier to get in if I go a little outside of town. I really liked the sound of this particular artist, so I kept the post-it with her info on a card in my wallet where I wouldn’t lose it. I really, really liked the woman who did my other one, but it was more the process and policies.
It’s been so chaotic, and I haven’t felt well, or my dad, or all this stuff - but I really want to get something done to honor my dad - so I asked the woman at the desk about her artist, told her I was ready.
Her face fell: the artist had committed suicide.
27 years old.
Fucking 27 years old.
I hear this. And I think I gotta keep doing what I’m doing, for as long as I do it. Even if it upsets people. Even if it frustrates people.
The young people need us to be better about this stuff.
The medically fragile need us to be loud and clear.
The marginalized need everyone with privilege and a conscious to stand up.
27 years old.
My mom had a 27 year old when she was 48 years old.
It’s not right. Any of it. When I get scared. Or worried. Or want to run and hide under my covers. Or pretend like so many others. I’ll have to remember her. At least then, she is inspiring me. I like to think of it that way.
I don’t want my dad’s death to be in vain.
It’s astounding to me how many people don’t realize how bad things really are. Everywhere. But I get it. Then they have to maybe un-do a whole bunch of other belief systems. Or examine their own selves. Or so many things.
It’s painful. I know. I get it.
So that depressed me. I was all ready to give my body over to this woman. Mark it in a way that I CHOOSE instead of letting the medical world, or illness decide what this body looks like. It’s a way to feel like I’m taking some power back for sure.
I was sitting at my Wednesday doctor appointment with my driver and new friend - she’s been friends with a good friend of mine for many years so we’d see each other every once in awhile, but now she’s been a ROCK, man, a ROCK - and I said: I really want to get a tattoo now, for my dad or something.
She said: oh, I have a new guy I just found.
I looked him up on Instagram and liked his work - I don’t dink around much on that platform. I’m terrible. I’m much less of a voyeur than I am an exhibitionist so I don’t scroll through much. I don’t know why. But it’s not great for engagement that I don’t bother looking around. I barely look through my own feed - especially these days.
I clicked on his website and discovered he had only one day with openings for the entire rest of the month! I grabbed the 2pm and tried to work on my tattoo sketches.
Then it just came to me - what I’m going to do for my dad. Just came to me. I messaged a friend who has a friend I used to hang with when we all lived in NYC. She’s from the country that I’m getting one word in.
I’m not going to get this inked on me and discover LATER it means noodle ramen or whatever the heck Arianna Grande put on her fingers.
It was a brief consult but he was GREAT. Took my design idea and made it better - which is always the hope! He’s also good about letting me decide things, but gently guiding - a mark of an excellent teacher. We’re all teachers in some capacity. But I can’t help but notice when someone has that gifted ability to guide, without taking someone and forcing a concept or idea down their throat. Allowing the idea to linger and let the student see if it resonates with them.
It’s not easy for me to not constantly message the oldest who is still away.
But I think about how important it is to allow him the space to figure himself out. To see what will align with his true self from his family, and what he’ll integrate in from the outer world.
It’s called differentiating. In close knit families, sometimes this doesn’t happen the way it should. We’re given that script - one script - and told that we have to follow that exact script or there will be problems.
Now, with the world so global and the ability to see how so many other people live, and people moving far from home more than ever before, it’s getting easier and easier for young people to look at that script and say: no, I’m going to write my own story, my own lines, my own spiritual path, my own code of ethics.
Which is what I’m so excited and proud about this generation of kids. These horrible old white controlling asshole men who are trying to control as much as possible before the masses take over are doing a damn good job of destroying as much as possible before they kick the bucket.
But I try to hang onto the fact that there are SO MANY good people with open minds who are supporting their children in so many ways to be exactly who they are.
Oh, I have a good story - I should share this one on FB. One of my drivers heard there were White Supremacist Nazis going to a library to cause a ruckus because it was Drag Queen night for kids and they were going to read stories about inclusiveness.
Thank goodness, it got around the activist circles and a good hundred people showed up? Anyway, one kid came out in full drag, maybe 12 years old, and the mom apparently looked very nervous and was obviously unsure about this kid of hers but wanted badly to do right by him. And when he came out of the library, in heels he could barely walk on, all the activists cheered and hollered and created a tunnel and the mom looked so relieved.
And that shit gives me hope. This is the kind of thing I get on my rides to the doctors.
Stories like this. And the right tattoo artist.
I used to feel so lucky way back when. I felt like I could create whatever I needed. I was really into “manifesting” things and would be optimistic if we were running late for a ferry or were unsure if we’d get a camping spot or whatever me and my nutty friends were up to.
I’ve lost so much of that. The traumas keep piling up. And I want to remain optimistic so badly. No matter how much I rant and holler and complain, I really am a true optimist at my core. I really do believe we can pull this out. That my dad could have made it.
That’s what’s so hard for me to wrap my head around.
I really, really thought he was tough enough to fight anything that came his way physically / medically.
And now? I’ve lost that belief. That very core belief has been ripped out of my hands after gripping it so tihtly for the last 5 years.
I’m just left sitting on my teeter totter empty handed now.
No belief. No dad. No Lynch buddy.
But finding that artist the way I did. My friend texted me asking how it went and I said I loved him, super psyched, all worked out. That I couldn’t believe I randomly mentioned the tattoo (we were in super fancy office also, and she has NO tattoos so even more interesting).
She wrote back: super interesting because I only heard about him THE DAY BEFORE. So when you mentioned looking for an artist, he immediately came to mind.
So there you have it.
Maybe the magic isn’t all gone.
Or, maybe my dad passed some of his magic to me when we sat in that hospital bed with me.
Or, maybe who knows.
I’m just glad I had a good day and about to continue on with another fun outing. A little tired, but I refuse to get back into bed.
Plus sheets are wet. Gotta switch them and head out!!!!
Good days are much appreciated around here. That is for sure.
I miss you Dad. We often barely talked, him on the couch or fixing his meal, me typing into my computer or phone, of course.
But I still miss him a lot. I just miss his presence. (I say this as my poor mom eats her dinner alone at the table.) That solid presence of his. That was one thing I loved about him. I could always find him. No matter what. He’d always pick up. He’d always be there for me. No matter if it meant moving my ass across country or across the city, or helping me wrangle a wily cat into a bag, or my goodness I’ll have to start sharing these stories soon, they are bubbling up. I’ve been waiting for them to come.
I often feel like I’m so much at the mercy of the words. I just start typing here and don’t think too hard. I am thrilled I wrote a bunch of nutrition. I’m going to organize it after it just bubbles up and out of me. Maybe hold a free Gut Workshop here at the house, see what people want to know. I don’t even know what I know, sometimes, it’s been so many years of dealing with gut information. When people ask questions, it comes out of me.
Kind of like the words here.
So I’m grateful to have this outlet, as I continue on figuring out this next chapter. Some slow tears just now, but it felt healing and satisfying to write about my dad just now. Man, grieving is hard and weird and tiring.
But gotta go now.