I don’t have tattoos

While I’m constantly admiring the tattoos of others, I don’t think I would ever get one for myself. If I am correct in my belief that nothing in life is permanent, then why would I would inscribe something on my body for life?

My mom, on the other hand, is of a different persuasion. Last time I checked, she had six. Or was it seven? Sometimes I lose track.

Usually that amount of ink conjures up images of biker chicks working in tattoo parlors dating guys named Jesse. But I don’t think my mom has ever even been on a motorcycle, and my dad’s name is Ted.

Although she’s younger and perhaps more stylish than most of my friends’ moms, before she acquired her most recent drawing on her wrist, you probably wouldn’t of suspected she even had a tattoo.

Her first tattoo was a small angel on her shoulder, which she drew herself. My grandfather died when my mom was only three weeks old, and the tattoo symbolized how she always felt like he was looking out for her.

“I always had angels in my life, so I always kind of liked them,” she explained.

My mom and dad started taking taekwondo classes when I was about 10. I started going when I was 12, and all three of us had our black belts by the time I was 16 and eventually began instructing classes at our small town club.

It’s fair to say it was a big part of our lives at the time, and my parents have matching taekwondo tattoos to show for it. Although they don’t regret it, I’m not so sure they’re the biggest fans of their ink anymore. The politics of the club and association overseeing it sort of ruined it for us, and after our family moved to Winnipeg, we stopped going to classes.

“It was very important to me and I always wanted to remember how hard I worked to get my black belt, because it was very, very important to me at that time,” my mom explained.

Her most visible tattoo was in memory of her mom, a ring of ladybugs around her wrist of which matches her friend Karen’s, whose mom passed away three months after my granny.
Soon after, she got the names of my brother, sister and I, along with her favorite Bible verse, Psalm 16:1-5.

“It’s just to remind me that God’s got my back, and [that I] don’t forget who I am and
who’s important.”

A couple of my mom’s tattoos are less symbolic, like the flower on her ankle, but most of them tell a story about a time in her life that she wants to remember.