Tattoos: Stories in Permanent Ink

“My tattoos hurt as much or as little as the moments in my life
that led me to them.”
– Nora Flanagan

Some of my tattoos, like the ones on my wrist and ankle, are in plain sight.

You might see the ink on my shoulder blades if we run into each other at the pool or an event where I’m wearing a strapless dress. My other tattoos? Those you won’t see unless I make a point of showing them to you.

Sometimes I get asked about my tattoos.

The one on my ankle, the smallest one, has a story that spans two decades. The pink band around my wrist is for perspective, a reminder that some things in life, like breast cancer, are bigger than me.

Each one of my tattoos has a story. I got them because I wanted to remember, no… to celebrate a point in time. Fertility. Love. Death. Hope. All symbolized in permanent ink. For me, and for the people close to me.

A friend shared this clip of Chicago teacher Nora Flanagan talking about her storybook of tattoos.

“When you are old, will you be grateful that you never wrote any of the moments of your life in permanent ink?”

Thank you, Nora. I doubt anyone could have said it better.


Pink tile image courtesy of

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