“It’s kind of crazy: My brother (Joe) and I were talking, maybe a month or a couple months before his death. Another player had passed away, Greg Griffin, who was a big-time soccer player over at Furman. He got in a car accident and died. We both knew him from our respective national teams.
When he passed away, it was kind of a shock. (Joe and I) had a kind of serious conversation: ‘Hey, if something ever happened to you, I’d get (a) tattoo.’ We had a random conversation and low and behold, he passed away (after a car accident) a couple months later.
I ended up telling my mom, ‘(Joe and I) had this conversation and I’d really like to get a tattoo on my back.’
We discussed where (on my body) to get the tattoo, me and my brother. I wanted it to be in a place that was for me. Not that I have anything against tats on your arms or on places that are exposed, but it was for me. And only the people I feel need to see it can see it. It signifies he’s got my back. He’s on my back, there with me, supporting me.
It says ‘Joe ... Heaven’s All-Star ... Brothers Forever.’
We had a ritual when we used to play together in high school. We always wore wristbands around our forearms and we wrote in ‘Zaher Brothers’ around the wristband. And anytime one of us scored ... we would run up to each other in celebration and we’d hit wrists.
It came to me and I thought, ‘I really would like to get my hand and his hand.’ You know his is the one with the jewelry on it because he used to wear all the jewelry. I had his hand and my hand hitting to signify what we used to do.
My mom was there with me. She was totally supportive as long as it was something that I could live with for the rest of my life, which obviously she knew it was. She actually sat there with me for the two and a half hours that it took to get it. There’s a lot of detail. It’s our arms crossing and then in the background it has clouds and sun rays coming through. She has a tattoo on her ankle now. It says, ‘Forever 5,’ with a heart around it, for her five children.”