Words to Remember My Mom

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Irena Weimer
Irena Weimer

~for my mom, Florence

My parents, George and Florence, were married for twelve years before they had me. No one thought my mom could have kids after a childhood accident falling out of a tree. But they had me in 1993. Five years later, my mom got pregnant again. My sister was born on my sixth birthday. The day after my sister’s birth, my mom passed away. She got a blood infection and was airflighted to Pittsburgh, but by then— there was nothing they could do.

It’s been almost 17 years since she passed away. I’m almost 23 now, but I still think about my mother a lot. It’s hard growing up without a parent, especially after growing attached and then losing them. It was hard going through normal teenage stuff and not having her around to experience them with me. It was even harder growing up as a young woman with only a father because he didn’t know the first thing about feminine things or experiences. I was pretty much alone during critical times in my youth, from my first period to my first boyfriend. It was tough.

Since I’d first starting seeing people with tattoos in my youth and seeing how people made their bodies pieces of art, I’ve been wanting tattoos, and I wanted at least one to honor my mom. I wanted to show how much she still means to me. The quote I chose is something Abraham Lincoln said once. When I first read it, it resonated with me quite a bit. She might have died a long time ago, but everything I am, I owe to her. Her genes gave me my appearance, some personality traits, and my anemia. She gave me my love for books and animals. I also seemed to inherit some of her thought processes. She was a vegetarian because her love for animals; I became a vegetarian, as well. She was extremely kind and open-minded to people different than her; I am, too. I also feel I am stronger for having grown up without her. Losing someone is hard and it takes guts to continue on after that. So with all of this, I feel like this tattoo is a great memorial for my mother. She will always be a part of me.

Copyright © behind-the-ink, Nancy Perlson