Since my son turned 4, I agreed that we would choose a piece of art to tattoo onto my body, every two years, to symbolise my “Kai’s Journey”. Unfortunately we couldn’t do this in 2015, but we did go chat to an artist in January this year about the artwork that my son had chosen for the permanent reminder of his awesome life!
Finding the right artist was a non-negotiable, as this piece required a little bit of understanding of the significance of this specific piece, never mind that the placement on the body was in a very awkward spot . . .
We found the best artist in Sam Artooist Cluer, who after meeting with my son and I, was totally up for the challenge! The only bummer was that he had a four month waiting list, which meant that we had to patiently wait, and NOT use the money that I’ve been saving. Easier said than done I tell you!
Well, today was THE day! I had to face the needle on my own since my little guy came down with the horrid flu a couple of days ago, but he still insisted that I follow through on our appointment.
Due to the nature of the chosen piece, the only reference we had was the real deal! Kai’s Widex Flash Hearing Aid!
Sam did a brilliant job, and I think it important that I share the significance of this specific piece with you.
- My son was diagnosed with hearing loss in the same year that I got my first “Kai’s Journey” tattoo, 2011.
- His hearing in his left ear kept fluctuating, and this presented a challenge in terms of amplification.
- In 2013 my son attended The Carel du Toit Centre where he finally trialled a pair of hearing aids, which really helped him. However, I could not afford to purchase hearing aids, not even at a discounted rate.
- Towards the end of 2013 I set out to find an Audiologist in private practice, Natalie at NB-Hearing, to manage my son’s hearing since he was moving to a mainstream school. A few weeks later she called me after 7pm to tell me that Widex was donating two hearing aids to Kai. This was MUSIC to MY ears!
This piece of art also reminds me of my own ignorance as a child growing up with a deaf father, oblivious to his challenges. I only truly understood the significant impact of hearing loss in December 2011, when my son was diagnosed with a hearing impairment.
Enough history. Let’s get back to today, here’s a video and some pics of me getting my tattoo today. It was great fun, and I even managed to have a nap while getting inked! Thanks Sam, you did a brilliant job! And I better not forget Caroline, the lady behind the camera who took these pics and video for me, thanks a mil!