About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tattoos and Memories

OK, so here is the much requested photo of my newest tattoo. Isn't finished healing yet, but ... you get the idea.



Maybe I'll post another when it is completely healed.

That makes 3 for me. One on my ankle, one on my back, and this one on my wrist. I'm sure this one will be my last. I may have the words "Hoka Hey" added at some point. Hoka Hey is a Lakota phrase that is interpreted "its a good day to die". Crazy Horse used to shout it before going into battle. The meaning behind that is not that someone is looking forward to death, but that IF they die today, they have no regrets. I think that's a pretty good way to live life. I try to live mine that way. The only reason I have not gotten that in ink yet is because I don't want to take a chance of offending a Lakota person who may think I'm taking something from their culture and making it into something trivial.

My dad asked me the other day why I get tattoos. I know a lot of people don't like them. I know some people judge people who have tattoos. I'm sorry they feel that way and accept their opinion but, it is just an opinion - we all have them. So here is some of my thinking that goes into my decision to get inked.

  • I want to. I think they can be pretty. Not all are, some are just plain tacky, but they can be pretty.
  • Tattoos are not eternal. They are permanent but they are not eternal. They will rot right along with me one day. I try to worry more about things that are eternal and hold pretty loosely to thing that are not.
  • Each of mine have a meaning - its personal, I'm not sharing.
  • I guess I see my body as a reflection of my life too .... it kinda gets back to the Hoka Hey thing of not having regrets. Certainly I've done things in my life that I am not proud of. I've battled addictions and gotten involved with people who I shouldn't have and all sorts of things. I do have regrets. The things I regret are the things that have hurt others. But ... all of my mistakes and missteps have made me who I am. I've learned from them. A lot. And I think I'm a little wiser and a lot closer to God because of them. I've often said that I know very well that God could have delivered me instantly from a lot of things but that I'm grateful that he chose not to. I would have missed so much. So, I am grateful for my journey, the good and the bad. And I'm sure that my body with all of its tell-tale signs is a reflection of that. Some people won't understand that. That's OK. Those who do, will know exactly what I'm talking about.

5 comments:

Michelle said...

I hope this doesn't get long, but this subject gets me on a roll. I have no tattoos(I delivered three children naturally to avoid the needle of an epidural ha). I never cared one way or the other about tattoos until Lena became obsessed with them. She has a chest piece and I am the first to say hanging on the wall it would be gorgeous on my daughters chest not so gorgeous. However, other people staring, rolling their eyes and making rude comment about "my kid" has made me become very protective of her and her desire to have tattoos. Her tattoo has made me much more open minded and not just about tattoos. I don't judge the way people dress, their hair etc. I do still believe she will have a huge turtleneck collection some day. I think if we would all be more tolerable of folks this world would be such an easier place. I have even said I might go with Lena and get a tattoo as a reward for my 50 lb. weight loss..I'll let you know...I've got some time to consider that one. ha!

Amber said...

Michelle

I've seen Lena's tattoo. That was indeed a bold move on her part but I think its cool that she's comfortable doing that. She's a beautiful girl - really beautiful. Brian and I were supposed to get matching tattoos for our aniversary one year but he chickened out. He still says he imight get one one of these days when he figures out what he wants and where he wants to put it. I've suggested my name but he's not impressed. He did think about getting the little Hatian boy's picture (Job) tattooed on him somewhere. Now doesn't that figure - we've been married 25 years and he wont consider my name but he meets a little boy in Haiti and suddenly wants his pic tattooed on him. LOL

Anyway, I've never had a tattoo hurt very much while getting it done. I thought the one on my inner wrist would hurt bad because the skin is so tender there but it really wasn't bad at all. I never even grimmaced. The part I hate is the 2 weeks after the tattoo when it feels like a bad sunburn and peels and itches. THAT drives me crazy.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Amber - I love it! And...I completely totally get it. I wish I had the nerve to get one on my wrist but I don't know what I would want....Happy Healing (I hate it when it gets the the itchy part on about day four)

hallga77 said...

Amber,

I don't think that the perfect life
Is coming through without a scratch
If your inside is worth knowing
Then your outside reads like a map
Now this might hurt a little
New lives begin with little pains
But if I'm written on your soul
Then write me on your skin

Tattoo
Tattoo me on you
Tattoo
Tattoo me on you

Lyrics from "Tattoo" by The 77s

Tim

Amber said...

Barbara - yeah, I know you get it. :) Thanks.

Tim - I guess this means I'm gonna have to give that band a chance eh?