HOUSTON - When Susan Jonesia lined up with all the other mothers to get a rose at Congregation Beth Messiah’s Mother’s Day service on Saturday night, she was thinking of her oldest child.
Private First Class Joshua Jonesia, 19, was spending the day exactly 1,500 miles away from his mother at Camp Pendleton – or so she thought.
At the service Saturday evening, Joshua suddenly emerged from the crowd to personally give his mom her rose. Susan melted in tears and couldn’t let go of her son.
But the Mother’s Day surprises didn’t end there.
While away at Camp Pendleton Susan made her son a promise. "I promised? Really?” Susan asked. “To me it sounded like a promise,” P.F.C. Joshua said.
“Well you can't tell your kids something and not do it,” Susan said.
The promise the mother made to her son is a permanent and painful one.
"Well he went away to boot camp and what you're supposed to do is write letters, to motivate him and encourage him and give him something to look forward to,” Susan said. “And so I wrote him early on (and said) when you come back we'll get a tattoo."
So on Sunday afternoon, Mother’s Day, the mom and Marine walked into Prison Break tattoo shop on Washington Avenue.
"Oh my God," Susan said with her face buried in a massage table as a tattoo artist went to work. The tattoo inscribed on Susan’s upper-left shoulder blade of the U.S.M.C. symbol reads: “Marine Mom.”
It’s the second most painful thing the young Marine has put his mom through in his lifetime, but on Sunday she did not have an epidural first.
"You're killing my hand,” P.F.C. Joshua said to his mom as she squeezed his hand and winced in pain with each buzz of the tattoo needle.
Fifteen minutes later, the blood and smeared ink are washed from her skin. She got up and took a look in the mirror.
“Oh, that's cool,” Susan said. “I like that. I like it."
Joshua got his own tattoo but his was placed on his chest.
"He's living his dream,” Susan said. “I am so proud of him for that, you know a lot of people never get to meet their heroes, and I raised mine. And I'm so very proud of him."
Even as unconventional as it may appear, this Mother’s Day, a Marine mom at a local tattoo shop proves truth to the words that describe the unconditional bond that has existed since the beginning of time: A mother’s love truly knows no bounds.