Last month, I mentioned that I was left unsupervised while the family was away because I had the responsibility to attend school and clinicals.
I also mentioned that I was undecided as to whether to purchase a motorcycle, get a tattoo or adopt two more dogs from the National Mill Dog Rescue.
In the emergency room, I’ve seen what happens to motorcyclists who wreck, so buying a motorcycle was out the window.
The amount of destroyed carpets from chewing and spiteful urinating by the four existing dogs from being left with just me in the house also ruled out adding any more dogs to the pack.
That left option No. 2 — a tattoo.
I now have a tattoo sleeve across my right arm, compliments of Fallen Heroes Tattoo artist, Adam, who designed and created the artwork.
The extra bonus was arranging an appointment time for Ava to accompany me for her first tattoo on the same day!
My tattoo is a tribute to my German heritage. Mom was born in Breslau (which is now a part of Poland as part of the World War 2 post-war reparations for invasion and genocide) and dad’s grandparents emigrated from southern Germany to central Illinois as farmers.
I felt it was important to get the tattoo now while my parents are alive and they can appreciate my permanent expression of family roots and origin.
My tattoo details the Alps Mountain range, with a 14th century church in the foreground, pine trees, a little meadow, edelweiss flowers and a large stag head, which is the centerpiece symbol of the Stoller family crest.
In many previous columns, I have detailed how we attend a multitude of Celtic festivals; Andra and Gracie are bagpipers who compete in band and solo bagpipe competitions; Andra is an online instructor for a bagpipe university; and Andra‘s family lineage traces back to the Wallace and McGilvray clans of Scotland.
Some years ago, my mother had protested that perhaps I wasn’t paying enough attention to ensuring my family equally celebrated our German heritage.
That said, I countered her observation with how we celebrate Christmas, German style, on Christmas Eve to include traditional food and a gift exchange; almost every single day, each of our daughters says our pre-meal prayer, good night and I love you in German (even by text or WhatsApp message); we have hosted Oktoberfest celebrations on our property; and we enjoy good German food throughout the year.
When you look at the furthest history of immigration of humans to the British Isles, and more specifically Scotland, it is a documented fact that the original Celts were Germanic tribes from central Europe.
I told my mom that the joke is really on the Scottish — they are all essentially Germans, too!
Celebrating your heritage can be an everyday way of life, a tattoo or a simple acknowledgment of where you came from.
For example, the Celtic festivals always have the gathering of the clans. As the clans march in the opening ceremonies, each one has their particular chant and clan phrase that they proclaim loudly, with great gusto and pride.
My girls usually roll their eyes when that happens and ask why do the clans have to be so obnoxiously loud? Thus, for some, it is definitely a way of life and a matter of extreme pride.
A man named Edward Sellner once said, “We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise.”