Tattoos mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. They can highlight a connection between two people or a beloved pet. They can represent a special moment in time or a special place. They can be representative of a lost bet or a crazy night out. Tattoos are interesting; while they draw the eye to the body, sometimes they sometimes work as armor. Tattoos and the stories that go with them are as unique as the individuals that get them and the varied lives they lead. Here are some of the most inspiring and heartfelt tattoo stories we came across.
Conz Preti tells the story of this diamond tattoo, saying it was the result of a “really, really bad breakup.” The two had gotten small tattoos in the same spot, and after the breakup Conz needed to put the whole thing in the past. A diamond represents something that is unbreakable, and to Conz is a reminder that “I was able to live through that and come out strong.”
Tattoos are a great way to memorialize a loved one. For Kelly O’Mara, her last letter that her grandma sent her is what she choose to use, taking the last line before her signature, “with love.” Kelly said this is how she wanted to remember her grandma because that’s how she lived her life, with love.
This memorial tattoo is for Kris Y.’s parents. They died in 2004 and 2005, only 6 months apart. “My mom loved dusks. She had these ceramic ducks with pink bows (her favorite color) all over her apartment. My dad loved to sing. He used to sing the song ‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole with me. I named the duck Carrie Okey in honor of my love of karaoke!”
Brace yourself for this one: when this man’s son died of SIDS, he got the waveform of his son’s laugh over his heart.
When this incredibly brave woman was young (18 months old to be exact), she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease. Growing up, she was taught to say “Cystic Fibrosis” by saying “65 roses.” Her arm, now adorned with 65 roses reminds her that she is strong and she is beautiful. And that she never has to feel embarrassed of ashamed of her scars but proud of every inch of herself, and proud of what she had to overcome.
Before passing away, as a last act, this girl’s father wrote her mother a letter. In the letter were these heartfelt words: “Tell Morgan I love her.” Morgan got the phrase tattooed on her arm, just the way her father wrote it.
This story is one of our favorites. Royal Marine, Andy Grant, had a tattoo on his leg in honor of his favorite team, Liverpool FC, that read, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Life stepped in and ended up taking the marine’s leg when he was in Afghanistan. After surgery, he woke up and realized his tattoo read “You’ll Never Walk.” If this was life’s way of a joke, this tough marine proved it wrong. He has since run a 10k in 40 minutes, just 2 minutes shy of the record for fastest 10k run by a single leg amputee. The tattoo is now a source of irony and humor for the marine, and keeps him pushing forward.
After a bilateral mastectomy, this brave woman decided to get a gorgeous tattoo the represents her strength and bravery. This tattoo took over two years to complete. The photos of it went viral.
“Team Greengrass” is Joel Greengrass’s family’s charity they started when he was diagnosed with MS. The team has raised, to date, over $150,000 for Multiple Sclerosis.
This handsome chef has a few heartfelt tattoos. On his left arm is a picture of his first dog, Duke, who he says was truly like a son to him. While that is extremely touching, on his right arm he has his mother’s favorite flowers: orchids. He says he got this so now he can give her flowers every time he sees her. Too much sweetness going on here!
This is a nice idea for a memory tattoo, and it’s pretty original too. This woman’s father was reading “All the Pretty Horses” when he passed away. She got the book’s title and the page he was on in his honor.
If you’ve ever glimpsed Emma Stone’s wrist at any one of her numerous red carpets, it might have struck your curiosity. We’re here to put that to rest. The feet are in honor of her mother recovering from breast cancer. Her mother’s favorite song is “Blackbird.” The star wrote Paul McCartney asking if he would draw the feet. He did. So the tattoo is an original by Paul McCartney. Too cool, Emma! Too cool.
This woman got a backbone tattooed as a symbol of reclaiming her life. She struggled for some time with respecting herself. The tattoo now reminds her that she is strong, there is structure, and she has a backbone.
This tattoo idea spread rapidly and lost the true meaning along the way. The trend was initially started by a non-profit mental health organization. It is known as the Semicolon Project. It represents a sentence the author could have ended but chose not to. For those who suffer from depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts, the author is you and the sentence is your life. It is a source of inspiration and hope for many.
This woman transformed a scar that carried with it bad memories into a beautiful piece of artwork. She hated the scar, and we think, intentional or not, it was fitting that she got the butterfly which usually represents transformation.
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