A thoughtful response to my post about a mother’s reaction


This response is from my daughter, Fiona, and tells of her reasoning behind her tattoo.

Fiona's tattoo

My tattoo is the reflection of who I am, where I have come from and the knowledge that I will always have somewhere that I belong, no matter what choices or mistakes I may make in my life. That I am loved unconditionally and without judgement and that my parents and grandparents have shaped who I am, moulding my values and nurturing my strengths.


The upper script of the tattoo, ‘Sans Peur’ is the motto of the Clan Sutherland, my Mother’s maiden name, and translates to ‘Without Fear’. My Granny, my Grandad and my Mother taught me that no matter what your choices, your family will always love you for who you are and not the mistakes you might make along the way.


My Mother has raised my siblings and myself with these same qualities. She shows us unfailing love and understanding and never judges us for the decisions that we may make. She faces life ‘without fear’ and has taught us to do the same, following what we believe in and embracing all that life has to offer.


The lower section of the tattoo, ‘Factis Non Verbis’ is the motto of the 39th Battalion, the Battalion that my Father’s father, my Grandpa, served in during the Second World War, and translates to ‘Deeds Not Words’. My Grandpa served in Kokoda during WW2 and although I know very little about his experiences, I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices that he made to protect his country. My Grandpa and my Father have taught me that doing the honourable thing, while not always easy, makes you a stronger person. Following this belief has made me happy with who I am, giving me the confidence to make difficult decisions throughout my life, always remembering that it is not what you say, but what you do in life that makes you who you are.


My Father and my Mother, both represented in my tattoo, come at the head and tail of a graphic representation of myself. The design is based on the Liberty of London ‘Ianthe’ print. As my middle name is ‘Ianthe’, and I am the product of both my Mother and my Father, the design is located between the two to represent me, my sense of belonging and my family.

You can see from the photo that it is a very discreet tattoo, done in white ink not pink as I had said.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Meg Thompson says:

    Love it Fiona,wise words.x

  2. What a very well thought out tattoo, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one so discreet. I think it’s rather lovely.

    1. suth2 says:

      My daughter had obviously taken quite some time and given a great deal of thought over what she was going to ink on her body. Beautifully done.

  3. tartanpants says:

    What a wonderful family, you must be very proud. I don’t have tattoos, but I like this one a lot.

    1. suth2 says:

      Thank you. I give thanks every day for the lovely family I have.

  4. Northern Narratives says:

    This is an interesting post. I have no tatoos and would never get one.

    1. suth2 says:

      I’m with you on this one. I would never get a tattoo either.

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