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An unbreakable bond: The story behind Tracy Barry's tattoo

Two weeks ago, Tracy Barry got her tattoo. She explains the story behind the design.

Getting a tattoo in your 60s is not on everyone’s bucket list, but it was on mine. So hundreds of you offered up your favorite artists on my KGW Facebook page. Two weeks ago I did it! And since it’s on my wrist and so visible, I am constantly asked 'why?' Why would I want a tattoo? So let me explain.

There’s an old Chinese saying that goes like this: “An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. It can be tangled but never broken.”

I’ve always liked that idea because of our daughters. I’ve never felt it was an accident that those two children were placed in our arms. I’ve always felt something greater brought us together.

So I’ve worn red thread bracelets for more than 19 years, since Larry and I adopted Jayde and then Grace. I’ve thought a long time about making the bracelets permanent.

Alice Kendall of Wonderland Tattoo agreed to help. We decided that her design would mimic a couple of my bracelets.

Photos: Tracy Barry gets her tattoo

As Alice went to work, I took the chance to ask her a little bit about herself.

“I always did art my whole life,” said Alice. “It’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. So, goal achieved!”

I asked her how she got started, and didn’t expect her answer.

“Don’t do this at home, kids, but I bought some equipment from the back of a tattoo magazine,” Alice said. “It was a whole kit, sort of a 'how-to.' That’s how I started.”

And we talked about her success. After apprenticing, practicing and perfecting her craft for 18 years, Alice owns her own shop, Wonderland.

“I really like the personal connection,” Alice said. “I like the idea of making art with someone on somebody. It’s permanent.”

It is permanent. And after a few hours of trying to remember to breathe, it was done. A carved Cinnabar bangle, a jade bracelet with a tie in the back and most importantly, a red thread.

The red thread that connects us to our brilliant, beautiful daughters that are loved beyond measure. To a country and a family that came before. A permanent symbol, of an unbreakable bond.