The bunny / rabbit significance to me is complex. When I was little and would sit and draw, I always wanted my mother to draw bunnies for me. Later in life, she confessed that she really couldn’t draw, but she did her best when I asked her. She would always try to draw little Beatrix Potter-esque bunnies for me. A couple of years ago when I took her for her chemotherapy, an art therapist came around and invited us to make some art. I was all for it but Mom wasn’t really into it. I begged her to, once again, draw a bunny for me. She obliged me once more…I think my dad has this drawing tucked away someplace.
Noah always loved bunnies. His favorite books, when he was old enough to pick them out, were Pat the Bunny, Runaway Bunny, The Velveteen Rabbit, Guess How Much I Love You and Goodnight Moon; all featuring bunnies. When he was three, we went camping and when Noah and I went on a little nature walk, Noah discovered a nest of baby bunnies. The mother rabbit was close by and I was amazed when she allowed him to get a closer look. Of course I insisted that we keep a good enough distance for him to not touch. Later, Zoe and I went looking for the bunnies again…but we soon discovered that they could only be found when Noah was around.
A little over a year later, during a particularly bitter Missouri winter, I pulled into our driveway after picking up the kids from school, per usual. When I got out of the car, I noticed something scamper into the bushes in front of our house. After looking around a bit, Noah saw that it was a white rabbit! That rabbit greeted us almost every evening when we got home and Noah would leave carrots out on the front porch for him.
Noah also loved Zoe’s Webkinz stuffed animals and “borrowed” them from her, often giving them new names! So when I was out shopping one day and saw one that was a white bunny, I had to get it for him. Suzy the bunny quickly became Noah’s “lovey” and he slept with her every night from then on. Once, he commented to me that he thought she seemed “naked” and asked me to make a little shirt for her. So he picked out the fabric and I made a funky little shirt with a ribbon and button closure for Suzy. He was thrilled. 24 hours before Noah’s accident, as I was reading Curious George to him and tucking him into bed, he said that he thought Suzy might like a different shirt to wear. I promised him that we would look at fabric that weekend, which of course, we never had the chance to do.
Wherever we went, if Noah was there, so were “his” bunny rabbits. He was always the first to see them and they always seemed to let him get closer than I thought they would. We would often comment that the bunny was definitely Noah’s “spirit animal.” He loved them and they seemed to really love him back.
Since his passing, I have seen several bunnies at moments when I have felt the worst. They peek out at me or dart across my path. My closest friend, while out walking with her Great Dane, came face to face with a bunny just feet away from her giant dog. Instead of scampering away, the bunny just looked at Duke and rather than try to give chase, Duke just stood there looking. They stared at each other for a long time, neither of them moving, and Isabella said it was as if Noah was visiting them once more. Noah LOVED playing with Duke when we would go visit Izzy and he helped me dogsit Duke a few times also.
So for these reasons, I need a bunny tattoo. I knew it right away and said so to many people in the hospital while first facing the prospect of letting Noah go. I would have liked to design it myself, but I just lack so much motivation in all aspects of my life right now I haven’t been able to sit down and actually do it. I did do a little oil painting in the weeks after the funeral, but cannot seem to find / think of a suitable tattoo design.