Friday, October 14, 2011

On Tattoos and Family

I have a lot of tattoos-14 to be exact.  And I've already written a post about how I have been negatively judged for one of them.  You can read about that here.  So enough about my naked lady tattoo. I'm going to talk about my favorite.

Everyone always asks me about my tattoo on the front of my leg, near my ankle.  It reads "Familie ist Leben, Liebe, Herz, Seele, und Respekt" (this is German, by the way).  I got it in college, when I was living in Philadelphia (at Olde City Tattoo, by Steve Tiburi).  It's for my Oma.  She was still alive at the time, but she has always had such an impact on my life that I wanted to honor her and everything she stood for.  You can read more about my Oma here.

In English, the tattoo would read "Family is Life, Love, Heart, Soul, and Respect."  And for me, that is what rings true.  My family is really important to me.  I was very close to my Oma when she was alive.  And my Grandma was a big part of my life when I was a kid-unfortunately, she suffered from Alzheimer's, and the last 10 years of her life, she wasn't the grandma I grew up with. 

I'm very close with my parents as well.  They live right down the street and they are always there for me.  They watch my kids if needed, buy diapers and formula when we can't afford it, and make sure my kids have presents on Christmas and their birthdays. 

I would have nothing without my family.  My family is my life.  And I wanted to make sure I would never forget that, so I got my tattoo to commemorate what family means to me.

Sorry, I tried to get the whole thing and it took 3 views since it wraps around my leg

This post was written in response to this week's Red Writing Hood prompt from Write on Edge.  If you haven’t figured it out, this week, we’d like you to write a piece in which a tattoo figures prominently. Fiction or creative non-fiction. There is a lot to think about: why someone would get one, what they chose, when they got it, what message does the tattoo(s) send?  You will have 300 words with which to play.
It was really hard for me to keep to the word limitThere is so much more I could have said about what my family means to me.  I guess I'll have to save that, and the meanings (or lack thereof) behind my other tattoos, for another post.


  1. I think that's a great way to remember your grandmother and how important she was to you and your family.
    I have only one tattoo but it's pretty big and goes from my ankle to almost my knee on the side of my leg.

  2. Wow, those are beautiful words! It really shows so very much about you, and your relationship with your family, that that's what you chose!

  3. What a beautiful tattoo with an even MORE beautiful meaning! Thank you for sharing it!

  4. Thank you all for your comments! I love my family and my Oma was so important to me. I am actually planning another tattoo in her memory of something she always used to say to me (mit gegagen, mit gefangen, mit gehangen). @Jackie-that sounds like a nice tattoo-and tattoos should all be about the quality, not the quantity!