Nine out of ten times there is a story behind a tattoo. People want their art to mean something. Often it is in honor of a lost loved one. Other times it represents their life’s work or truest passion. Either way, I love hearing those stories. A person’s ink gives you insight into their soul.
My father served in the Korean War, but he didn’t have any ink. It was never his thing. However, when he was diagnosed with cancer, his granddaughter, (my niece), wanted to honor him. She already had several tattoos but they were small. Yet, his would be her greatest undertaking to date.
She took her favorite photo of my father to her preferred tattoo artist. He did a leg piece for her on her right calf. Fortunately, I was their when she showed my dad. It was a moment I’ll never forget.
The gift, a tattoo
My father was on his deathbed. He was barely hanging on and none of us knew how much longer he would be here. As my niece raised her leg onto the bed, he was stunned. I don’t think anyone had ever made such a public showing of their affection for him. Understandably, he was quite emotional.
My niece knew that it would bring her comfort after his passing, to be able to look down and see his smiling face. Sometimes in life, it helps to have a reminder of those that you have loved and have loved you. We all have someone or something that changed our lives in a positive way. It is a beautiful thing to pay homage to that gift.
Currently, approximately 45 million Americans have tattoos. The mass majority of those represent a loved lost or special memory. Tattoos may not be for everyone. Personally, I don’t have any. But, I love the artistry. Furthermore, I adore a good story.
There is more than just a beautiful image or lustrous colors in a tattoo. There is someone’s heart and soul too. So, the next time you have an ink piece catch your eye, think about the love that went into it. And feel free to smile.