I Got A Tattoo For My Dad

My Dad’s diagnosis was confusing to a lot of my family. At first the doctors were under the belief that it
was purely Neropathy (nerve ending damage) and Depression. It was only a short time later that we found out that he
had the same diagnosis my Grandmother had, Early Onset Lewy Body Diesease (Alzhiemers and
Parkinsons). When our family sat down together to discuss what the doctors had diagnosed him
with, I could see the fear in his eyes. The fear was in knowing exactly what this diesease will do to him and knowing
what our family will go through together as we support him through difficult times to come.

The diagnosis came almost 3 years ago now. There have been many changes since then. The
man who always had a perfect lawn, was always the computer master, and loved to do all the
maintenance on the house, has begun to slip away. All the things he loved to do are so difficult now to
accomplish, including checking his emails. Merely trying his best to do work around the house is so
tiring that he needs a full days rest to recover from the exertion of physical and mental energy.

My occupation always takes and keeps me away from my Dad as im in the Air Force. It always warms my
heart when I get to Facetime with Dad. It makes me happy because he always smiles and laughs when I talk to him, and that
is more than I could ever ask for. Because my job always has me away, I recently got a tattoo for my dad
(see photo). The elephant is the animal that never forgets, just like I will never forget him. The
dandelion seeds blowing away represent his memories that I will always hold on to. No matter where I am, all I ever have to do is look at my arm and I feel closer to him.

-Ryan Ruckstuhl

Features an Elephant and Dandelion to honour his father and the memories he will treasure on behalf of them both.
Ryan (left), his Father (middle), brother (right)


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