Rebecca's cancer tattoo story

My attention was caught by the familiar sound of Merseyside accents.  Sister Sammy from Birkenhead was engaged in a leg tattoo for Rebecca, who is from Wavertree in Liverpool.  A posh part of the city, as she put it.  Alongside her but not pictured here was her husband.
 
Rebecca has taken a few hard knocks in life.  She has just dealt with her second bout of cancer.  Sixteen years ago it attacked her kidneys, this last April her throat.  Not that there was any obvious sign that she had been unwell.  She is devoted to her son who is autistic.
 
Her first tattoo she got when she was 18 and was a butterfly.  She started to get tattooed in earnest when she was 30, when she first had cancer.  She says she always loved the artwork of tattoos but on realising that life is precious she also knew that time can be too.  Her reservations about tattoos weakened by a sense that life can be short she began to get more coverage.
 

She finds getting tattooed to be a spiritual experience, especially with like minded tattooist sister Sammy.  The photo above shows her work in progress at Cheltenham.  The symbols are powerful to Rebecca and the finished tattoo was too.

Her new tattoo won't be her last.  She is weighing up whether to get a tattoo along the top of her forehead.  She's not certain yet, but if she does she says she can hide it when she wants by having a fringe of hair to cover it.  It would be a bold move and if she decides she wants it I hope she goes ahead.  Rebecca believes her tattoos match her inner self.  I feel that too!
Sister Sammy is from Empress Tattoo, Chester Street in Birkenhead, Wirral.

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