The Meaning Of Ink
The art of tattoos has been around for more than several thousand years. From the Mayans to the Egyptians to the Vikings, tattoos are a conserved part of our culture that has existed for a very long time. While some of the meanings for tattoos have changed over the course of history, they still remain very significant to who we are as people. In modern times, people utilize it as a representation of status and social class, artistic expression, and even may use it to highlight an important occurrence or significant person that has influenced them in their life. Such was the case for the daughter of Diana Register, but in her case, the matter was a bit more controversial than just obtaining inked markings on her body.
Diana Register, an author and mother of two from Idaho, said, allowed her 15-year old daughter Kaitlyn to get a tattoo honoring her late father who unfortunately passed away due to pancreatic cancer. “I don’t care what people think of the fact that I let her get a tattoo,” Diana said. “I think that those people who might be judging us are people who have maybe not suffered the kind of loss that she has.”
Kaitlyn was beside her father Chad as he drew his last breath while on the hospital bed. Diana tried her mightiest to prevent Kaitlyn from witnessing the pain of seeing her father struggle to live, but she was not hesitant to budge through the resistance and hold his hand for the duration of his time on Earth. Kaitlyn held his hand and gave him the reassurance that his suffering would leave him soon.
“In that moment, I knew she was her father’s daughter. She was a beautiful example of the fighter he was,” Said Diane. “In the midst of all the change in her own life, she managed to continue to honor her dad.”
Honoring Their Father
The two daughters, Kaitlyn and Savanna, both had tattoos etched on top of their feet reflecting ‘I IV IX’ which are Roman numerals for ‘1-4-9’. These indentations reflect their father Chad’s badge number that he used during his time serving in law enforcement.
“When I look at it I think that, obviously, I think my dad and I think of how it’s cool to have something like that on me forever,” Kaitlyn said.
Their mother stated that she was supportive of the fact that they would honor him in this way and would not for a second stand in the middle of that. For Kaitlyn, it has been quite a breakthrough having to adjust to her normal everyday life. She was able to return to competitive gymnastics after a month and miraculously won the state championship.
Kaitlyn also changed schools and became incredibly involved with raising awareness for pancreatic cancer and research.
As for Diana, she asked for a copy of Chad’s EKG the day before he died. The result was a tattoo of Chad’s heartbeat on Diana’s foot to remind her of the incredible role model and loving father he was to her and her two children.
“So yes, I let my 15-year-old get a tattoo and no, I don’t care what anybody has to say about it, because they have shown me, you, and anybody else who will listen what surviving looks like.”
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