“Oh, sure, I knew tattoos existed. But I didn’t have a friend with a tattoo.” – Phyllis
Videographer Miranda Harple gets to document many interesting stories here at AARP – biker dudes, fashion regrets, and the world’s most charming CVS greeter. I think I can safely guess, though, that this one was her favorite yet. Below, Miranda talks about reporting this story about her grandmother.
In a way, sailing has helped to shape my entire family. As a teenager, I’d sit at the bow of our boat, being the lobster pot spotter as we made our way up the coast of Maine in the dense New England fog.
My sister Laurel says “We’re all our own little ships in a way.” (We sailors love to put life in a nautical context, you know.) Just over a year ago, my sister, sister-in-law, mom and myself got an anchor tattoo. “My mother might kill me about this,” my mom wrote in an email.
We were all absolutely shocked when my grandmother announced she wanted to get the tattoo. I honestly can’t say I ever expected her to be so enthusiastic about our tattoos – let alone get one herself.
I didn’t know until the day before filming that she had chosen a tattoo design based on a necklace my grandfather had given her. My grandfather passed away when I was in middle school, and in my mind he is a distant memory – a sweet man whose feet I stood on as he danced me around the kitchen. When I interviewed my grandmother, we all shed some tears over his part of this story – but I feel it drew us closer to him as well.
In the end, it really isn’t about the actual tattoo. This was a beautiful day that I got to spend with my grandmother, and a day that I am fortunate to share with all of you.
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