Almost a decade ago, my mom passed away in a very untimely fashion. Until I turned 18, I contemplated what sort of a tattoo I want to commemorate her tragically short life. I wanted something interesting, meaningful and original. She had always been an fervent student of the classics, and when I was young she would often read them to me. Her favorite was the Illiad and her favorite quote from it was when Glaucus told Diomedes that his father always told him “always be the best my boy, the bravest, and hold your head high above the rest.” Now this would be a good candidate, if not for the consideration that I have no background in Greek and I’d rather not have a language that I don’t speak on my body. In the months and years to come, many ideas floated around, each seeming worse than the previous. Finally, in my sophomore year in college, we were getting a lesson on irregular superlatives. Instead of paying attention, I was playing with phrases in my Latin class and I crafted this “Semper Liberrimus Ero,” or “Always will I be the freest.” It was coined by me, not taken from anywhere, 100% original and it plays into the obsession with freedom and living the freest possible life that I have always had. It is this obsession that has led me down the path of being a fervent Libertarian as well as falling in love with historical figures such as Cicero and Brutus. I took it home, obsessed over it, said it was forever to be the motto of my life. Then one day I had an epiphany, realizing that it could also be the memorial for my Mom that I had been seeking for so long. It worked perfectly: Always, I will be the freest, tis my hardheaded nature. But to take it a step further, I will make sure to remain the freest in memory of her, since she lost her chance not only at living freely, but at living at all. Thus, she will forever live on in me. This makes it doubly powerful, because not only does the phrase have a paticularly powerful meaning to me, but it is also a way to remember her by. I truly love this tattoo on my back that serves as both monument to her and an inspiration to me.