Stories Behind the Ink: Grace, Love, and Strength

Grace Lawler, a Morton native, contacted us last month with a unique tattoo idea. She wanted an anatomical brain with flowers.

I was interested to learn more about Grace’s design. She shared how this tattoo commemorates her long-standing history of brain health issues, her family and friend’s unwavering support, and the strength it took to endure some incredibly challenging times.

I asked Grace more about what she described as brain health issues and she shared, “I have had two brain tumors in the past, my first in 2012 and a recurrence in 2015, and a brain injury in 2019. My first tumor was diagnosed a month before I graduated high school, and I had my first surgery that August.” This explained Grace’s desire to add these three dates to her tattoo design.

Grace mentioned how her tattoo not only represents her health history but also the support she received from family and friends. She shared how there were so many people that stepped up to support her and how she’s always been blessed with an unbelievable support system of family and friends. 

Grace said, out of everyone who was there for her, her parents fought for her the most. She shared, “In 2019 during my brain injury, they protected me and took care of me when I was unable to do so myself, and when others had given up on me. My mom put her entire life on hold and lived in Chicago with me while I was being treated at Northwestern Hospital. My dad worked tirelessly at his job and still came to see me every day he could, and called me every day that he couldn’t be there.” Grace’s resilience and the way she described her parent’s love is truly an inspiration. She shared that her parents both saved her life that year. She said, “What they did exemplified the deepest love that a parent has for their child. This tattoo holds incredible meaning for them as well.”Grace’s brain health issues have shaped her entire adulthood, and she has fought through so much to get to where she is today. For Grace, this tattoo is a permanent reminder of the strength it took to get there. The flowers in her tattoo symbolize how through all the pain and suffering there were also many blessings. Grace shared, “There are countless people who have been by my side through it all, and I wanted this piece for me and for them”.

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