“What about when you’re older?”
Well, on behalf of all my tattooed brethren I hereby, officially answer this very common concern. . .
I will be older, and have tattoos.
Quite frankly, I shall be happy to reach old age and not be incontinent, ill or barmy. The least of my concerns will be whether or nor a picture on my skin might look odd.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m no fan of crap tattoos. (except it is a really funny thing to Google when you’re bored) or tattoos for the sake of fashion/celeb following. (The wonderfully talented lady that’s done all of mine gets an influx of people wanting the Cheryl Cole hand tattoo every time the X Factor’s on. I just think it’s a shame. If you’re going to have one it should be about you – be beautiful – or mean something special.) Let me tell you about mine.
Some of you will know about my Mum passing away. The night she died, I was sleeping on a camp bed at the foot of her bed in the Hospice, and was shaken awake by the nurse on duty that night. I woke up with a massive jump having only just drifted off listening to Mum’s laboured breathing and the beep beep beep of the intravenous morphine machine. The nurse quietly explained that Mum’s breathing had changed, and that her nose was very cold. She suggested I come and sit with her and say my final goodbyes. I sat by her bed. For the first time in days she had shut her eyes and her mouth, and was no longer gasping, but breathing very gently. I held her hand. I wanted to get in and cuddle up but there was too much machinery and too many wires. I thanked her for being my Mum, kissed her on the forehead and said “Night Night, God Bless.” Her breathing stopped. I felt the nurse’s hand on my shoulder and I turned to ask her “has she gone?” The nurse leaned forward and Mum – I like to think in one last act of defiance – gave a final deep breath.
To commemorate that bitter sweet, beautiful moment of comfort, I have my back covered in garden birds and cherry blossom. I’d sit in the tattooist’s chair and concentrate on the buzz buzz and the scratchy pain and for a short while every week or so, it helped to take the other kind of pain away. I now have what I consider a beautiful commemorative piece for my Mum.
We subsequently (apart from Grace) had a horrendous year for reasons I simply don’t feel ready to share with the world quite yet, and the Phoenix on my leg represents rising up from bad things and coming out stronger. I have always loved and been fascinated by the concept of the phoenix. It was the perfect thing to get done and tells me and others how strong I can be.
I love my tattoos. They make me feel beautiful and unusual, like I’m a living breathing piece of art. They tell a story. They are part of me.
So . . . what about when I’m older???
Bring it on!