IN THE VILLAGES: Villages Gals Think Ink

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It seems like more and more women in The Villages are sporting tattoos, or what many call body art.

From a modest red rose on the ankle, to a more obvious “full sleeve” of body art on the arm, to a tattoo strategically placed where only a privileged few can admire it, body art is gaining in popularity with our female retirees.

Village of Chatham resident Terri Jordan says for her, it’s all about the story behind each of her six tattoos. The 58-year-old Maine native got her first tattoo when she was just 41, several months after her dad passed. Terri decided a green shamrock tattoo would be a wonderful way to honor her very Irish father.

Another tattoo (on her lower arm) honors Terri’s terminally-ill mom who suffered for years with COPD and bladder cancer. The tattoo? A beautiful orchard. Although her mom was not a great fan of tattoos, she grudgingly admitted to that if Terri had to get one, an orchard would be a fine choice. So, mother and daughter designed the tattoo together, and to this day, it brings Terri back to that moment where two generations shared something very special.

Several other tattoos are dedicated to Terri’s son, Kyle, including her most recent ink —black roses on one of her legs. Her son had been struggling with anxiety issues for many years when Terri asked him what his favorite flower was. Kyle responded, ‘black roses’. Terri designed the tattoo to reflect her belief that there is beauty in everything — even black roses.

Considering a tattoo? Terri suggests you take your time and think it through. The procedure is not cheap. (Rates range from $50 to hundreds of dollars depending on the size and complexity of the tattoo.) Most importantly, it’s permanent. She advises that you choose your tattoo parlor carefully, make sure it’s clean and has been in business for a while.

Does she have any regrets? Terri said no. The attention her tattoos get don’t bother the outgoing Villager one bit. In fact, her pickleball cohorts are so taken by her tattoos they nicknamed her “Tats”.

Village of Briar Meadow resident Marby Morgan also has a tattoo, and like Terri, there’s a story behind her body art. The 70-year-old said her daughter, Deb, died in a car accident when the young woman was just 26. Engaged to be married, Deb was in a wonderful place in her life when a man ran a red light and hit the passenger side of the car Deb’s fiancé was driving.

Several years later, Marby decided to get a memorial tattoo. She said her daughter was always fascinated by owls and many a conversation centered on those majestic birds. It just made sense to Marby that the tattoo should be an owl. After reviewing different designs, the New Jersey native chose a tattoo of a Northwest Indian owl. Marby said now it’s just a part of her and it makes her feel good.

After listening to Terri’s and Marby’s stories and understanding the rationale behind their tattoos, I realized all of us have ways to remind ourselves of loved ones. It might be a treasured framed photograph on your end table — it might be an old, tattered quilt your grandmother made from scraps of shirts and dresses — or, it might just be a beautiful orchard tattoo or Northwest Indian owl that reminds you of that someone special in your life.


 

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