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Past Pains Yield a Permanent Imprint

By Denise Joseph • Apr 28th, 2008 • Category: 'Sup Wit Dat Tat?

Tattoo of Wilbert's Uncle
Tattoo of Wilbert's Uncle

On the way to the tattoo parlor, Wilbert phillippe; a 23-year-old psychology major at Hunter College thought back to the time when he was seven years old playing on the sidewalk, in the cool summer’s air; waiting for his Uncle Serge’s daily visit. One day Serge snuck up from behind and surprised him with a beautiful brand new bicycle. Wilbert immediately jumped on his Uncle and beamed at his new bike. It was a day he would never forget. Wilbert grew up without a father and that created a void in his life. Luckily his uncle was there to fill that void. Serge often spent time with Wilbert when he was a child but as the years went by; they chose different paths but still remained close.

Although Wilbert’s fond memories of his uncle are clear and close to home in his heart, he wanted to get a tattoo of his uncle to show anyone who cares the impact that his uncle had in his life.

But those idyllic days with his Uncle came to an end when his uncle was shot down in the street by an assailant as yet unknown July 28, 2004. “My Uncle was a man of many words and he enjoyed making people believe that he was a tough guy so occasonally he would get into fights”, Wilbert says. Wilbert believes that his uncle might have gotten himself in a situation that he could not get out of.

When Wilbert found out about his Uncle’s death, he was devastated. “He was like a father to me. Two summers before he died, we went to the Niagara Falls boat ride” said Wilbert. “I still have the raincoat from that ride. That was the last real thing we did alone together as uncle and nephew.”

rest of tattoo
rest of tattoo

Although Wilbert’s fond memories of his uncle are clear and close to home in his heart, he wanted to get a tattoo of his uncle to show anyone who cares the impact that his uncle had in his life. “My Uncle was there for me when my father wasn’t and I’m just thankful that he was in my life at all.” There is a large picture of his uncle’s face on his left forearm. On the top is R.I.P. Underneath his face lies the date of his uncle’s death, his name (Serge) and a small design under the name.

Wilbert wants to be in the medical field and he believes that his tattoo will not affect his job opportunities because, if anything, his uniform will be able to cover it. “I do not regret my tattoo simply because it’s very important to me and I believe that the tattoo will not affect me in the future.”

 

Denise Joseph is a junior at Hunter college in New York City. Her major is media arts and her minor is sociology. She was born and raised in Spanish Harlem and plans to live in Atlanta someday. She is currently 20 years old and plans to transfer to Andrews College in 2009. She is currently taking production classes so she can expand her skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and Dreamweaver.
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