Good Morning Merry Sunshine
BY AVERY MALIA GIESKER
In my short sixteen years of living, tattoos have always intrigued me. How do people decide on the designs or words they want to live with forever?
I grew up around family and adult friends who always had intricate work on their bodies. My parents have many beautiful, expressive tattoos. These designs tell stories.
I have many ideas of what I want on my body permanently. For example, my grandma (I named her MeMe, pronounced may-may, when I was a small child) always said to me “Good Morning Merry Sunshine”. That’s something I never forgot, and she still says it to me. I cherish it with my whole heart.
“As I lay in the chair, needle vibrating my arm as the ink went into my skin, I knew I would cherish it forever.”
So when I told MeMe last year that I needed her to write it for me in her handwriting for a tattoo, she didn’t believe it. When she visited a few months ago I officially got her to write it out for me. She wrote just about a million versions trying to perfect each one. But I chose the first one she wrote. It was effortless and the truest to her.
After getting permission from my parents, I set my appointment. I didn’t tell MeMe because she never believed it was something I would want on my body forever.
On the way to my appointment I called her. She couldn’t believe I was actually doing it! As I lay in the chair, needle vibrating my arm as the ink went into my skin, I knew I would cherish it forever. I didn’t care a wink if the handwriting from her was perfect – as long as it was hers.
When my artist finished, I was almost scared to look at it – but once I did I was in awe. It was MeMe’s handwriting and it was all mine.
When I sent MeMe a picture she responded saying “My dear darling granddaughter, I just wanted to let you know how loved you make me feel! I still can’t quite believe that this was what you wanted as a tattoo! Know always how much I love you, my darling Avery Malia! XOXO MeMe”.
That’s why I did it – because of the joy and happiness our relationship holds.
So even if I don’t hear her say it to me every morning when I look at my arm, I see my MeMe telling me as she is wearing her little apron and holding her coffee cup as I grumpily rub my eyes.
As she smiles, telling me “Good morning merry sunshine” when she is gone I will always see that image every time I look at my arm and know she’s with me.
Good Morning Merry Sunshine
The original folk song lyrics Click here to listen
1. Good morning, merry sunshine, How did you wake so soon?
You’ve scared the little stars away and shined away the moon.
I saw you go to sleep last night before I ceased my playing.
How did you get way over here, and where have you been staying?
2. I never go to sleep, dear child, I just go round to see
My little children of the East who rise and watch for me.
I waken all the birds and bees and flowers on my way,
And last of all the little child who stayed out late to play.