April 29, 2010

Amelia's Hummingbirds

Over the last few years I have been fortunate enough to have Amelia, the owner of this hummingbird tattoo, as a client of mine. This young lady is one of those people who really reminds you of how lucky and ungrateful you actually are, whilst being a perfect client and lovely company. Never have I met anyone with a story like hers, and yet despite her hardships Amelia remains strong, optimistic, warm and gracious at all times.

The last time I tattooed her, which was several weeks ago now, Amelia had been recently diagnosed with a rare and as yet incurable disease that affects her connective tissue, resulting in her having to endure multiple knee and shoulder reconstructions among other painful and complicated conditions. We had just finished covering a multitude of scars with these hummingbirds and morning glories, and now she's going to be left with a whole lot more.  Even though she can no longer walk without leg braces, Amelia continues to work two jobs to support herself and her younger teenage sister, and to pay for her soaring medical expenses. Add to this the possibility of being wheelchair-bound before she reaches 30 and this girl's unwavering pleasantness really starts to make me feel like an asshole.

The next time I'm feeling self-pitious because I have too many drawings to do, or because I don't see Shaun enough or because my thighs are too fat, I hope I can snap out of it and remember that problems like these are a privilege not afforded to everyone.

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