Touching tales behind tattoos: they're more than skin deep
WHEN we asked our readers on Facebook to share images of their tattoos we were expecting to see some amazing body art.
What we weren't expecting was the touching back stories that went with many of the 43 images shared on the page.
Tattoos are used to record many things, ranging from childhood memories to memorials to loved ones lost and even cries for justice.
Take Krystan Rosa's tattoo, for example.
Krystan shared an image of a simple tattoo of a note her late father once left her: "If being here has relaxed you my job is done".
"He wrote this on a piece of card and I loved it because he was always able to make me feel relaxed, so I got it tattooed on me in his hand writing so he's always with me," Krystan said.
Annette Saurine's tattoo is another expression of grief, love and affirmation.
"I lost my second daughter two weeks before her third birthday and got a little flower on my wrist in 2005," Annette said. "In 2009 I lost my third daughter at 2.5-years-old (I lost both daughters to a rare terminal disease) so I got her a flower in her fav colour and couldn't not give me first born a flower in her favourite colour.
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"A flower each turned into a heart each turned into a butterfly each turned into a bigger flower each and down the back of my arm, three keys to a heart locket.
"Those special days I need to do something to remember them and love getting their memory. It reminds me of my three daughters, my two angels, every day."
Belinda Boland said her tattoo represented 'freedom to be who I really am' in the wake of the break-up of her marriage.
Mykayla Wilton's "chest plate" tattoo represents an auto-immune disorder she was diagnosed with about six years ago, her birth month, the month of her diagnosis, and healing. However, it also has a much more practical role.
"Another great thing about this tattoo is that the medical symbol is such a well known symbol, so if anything ever happens to me and I need medical assistance, all they have to do is look at my chest to find out what I have," she said.
The cry for justice comes from Brooke Bowen, step mother to Tanilla Warrick-Deaves - who was beaten to death by her mother's partner when she was only 2-years-old.
Brooke sent images of two tattoos featuring Tanilla's name.
"The top one I got - my first ever tattoo - was for her fourth birthday and the bottom one on my forearm was done just before the two trials started," she said.
Thankyou to everyone who shared images of their tattoos and the stories behind them. It's a privilege to be allowed to share them.