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Fulfilling a dream: A 74-year-old gets her first tattoo

Posted at 6:47 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 22:50:39-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — There's a program at a Lexington senior living community called Living the Dream.

It's a chance for residents at Preston Greens to do just that, realize a dream.

Some may pick a trip, go to a game, even sky diving.

Rita Hopkins had a different dream. When she turned 70 years old, she decided she wanted a tattoo.

"I am really excited about it," said Hopkins.

Rita moved into Preston Greens earlier this year, and thanks to staff members, she was able to fulfill her dream at Tattoo Charlies in Lexington.

Staff at Preston Greens helped fulfill Rita's wish to get a tattoo.

"I'm here because they brought me here today. And I'm very excited about it," said Hopkins.

Rita's only child, Meg Phillips, watched closely as the process began.

"Kind of surreal, really. I was like, is this is really happening? I don't know many 74-year-olds that are gonna get a tattoo," said Phillips.

"Not nearly as bad as going to the dentist," said Hopkins.

The design is an infinity sign surrounding three small hearts. Each heart represents the birthstone of her three grandchildren.


"They had to move to Michigan a few years ago, so I don't get to see them nearly as much as we did when they lived close by. So I'll always have this right here with me," said Hopkins.

After 30 fairly pain-free minutes, Rita's tattoo was finished.

"I love the way it turned out. I thought he did a great job with the little hearts. Kind of intricate," said Hopkins.

Rita was overjoyed that Meg was here for this moment, but this is no ordinary mother-daughter outing.

"When she got the opportunity to do hers, she asked if I wanted to join," said Phillips.

Meg didn't just join her mother at the tattoo shop. She got her own ink.

Rita and her daughter, Meg, showing off their new tattoos.

Five different "love" signatures were traced out from five different family members.

"I know when I look at my tattoo, it'll be something I can always remember this moment with her and look at that and just think about the special relationship and bond that we do have," said Hopkins.