A Tattoo is Forever

…and that’s exactly what he wanted.

After Jaime died last spring, my father-in-law started talking about getting a portrait tattoo on his arm so he could have her with him wherever he went. Charlie and I were a little nervous about it, because after all, a tattoo is pretty permanent, and what if the tattoo artist did a bad job? I mean, talk about a tattoo you were going to have high standards on!

Steve did a bunch of asking around for recommendations, and my old roommate who now lives in Denver gave him the name of an artist she had heard great things about from friends. This guy does ONLY portraits, only in black & white, and he is booked out for months and months because he is so dang good at what he does.

The artist ended up having a cancellation for the day after Thanksgiving, so my MIL and FIL made the 6 hour drive to Denver that morning to have this done. When they got there, my MIL dropped Steve off at a nondescript building with no sign out front in a slightly shady part of town (Steve told us later that they said they have no sign because they don’t want walk-ins). Her one request was that he text her “OK” once he got in so she didn’t worry. About 90 minutes after that, Charlie got a phone call from his Mom. She was fuming and said something along the lines of, “If he’s not dead already, I’m going to kill him!” LOL. My poor MIL. Apparently Steve and the tattoo artist had just started chatting right away and he said there was never a good time to text Joan, so he just didn’t. #Men #SMH

After only 2 hours of the tattoo artist doing the tattoo upside down from his vantage point (crazy!), Joan got the call to come back and pick Steve up because the tattoo was already completed.

Check it out – it was worth the wait.


My FIL captioned this on Facebook – “Forever in my heart, for always on my arm, For as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.”



  1. WOW *tears* That tattoo artist did an amazing job. What a wonderful tribute to his daughter and so special that he will now always have her beautiful smile to look at whenever he is missing her.

  2. Wow, that caption 🙁

  3. Tears…. That’s amazing and beautiful!

  4. Yeah, that caption got me too. What an amazing artist, and to do that upside down??! Sounds like he’s pretty pleased with it. What does your MIL think?

    1. She likes it too 🙂

  5. I’ve seen so many portrait tattoos turn out hideous so I’m so glad that he did his research. It looks great. Definitely a great way to remember his daughter….always.

  6. Just incredible. XOXO

  7. That is an amazing tattoo.

  8. Wow. Just wow. In tears from the caption. And what an amazing job Steve did.

  9. Ah fuck the last bit made me cry. It’s gorgeous hon x

  10. Amazing and beautiful! Great way to remember!

  11. The caption makes me teary! The artist did an awesome job! I agree it was worth the wait.

  12. sifinalaska · · Reply

    Uggg, that caption! Tears – so many tears! Absolutely beautiful.

  13. Oh Josey, the pic of the tattoo and the last bit made me tear up….he did a wonderful job.

    You may already know this, but the author of that book he quoted (I’ll Love You Forever) lost 2 babies to still birth and that book was originally a song about them before it was a book. I now read it and think of the story in a totally different way. I believe it was his way when it was illustrated for him and his wife to watch their sons “grow up.”

    I hope yourFIL has some comfort seeing your SIL’s lovely face every day even if it’s only in a tattoo.Wishing he could see it here on Earth.

  14. So amazing- and great story!

  15. Beautiful!!!
    What a great job!
    I’m actually getting a similar quote on my rib cage!

  16. Wow. That is incredible! I’m so glad it turned out that nicely. And his caption on FB is a total tearjerker. Beautiful.

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