Sisters Phoebe and Amelia Primeau have Tattoos in Honor of their Great-Grandmother


Credit to Kamryn Bell

Phoebe and Amelia Primeau pose together to show off their matching tattoos. Pheobe’s tattoo is located on her right forearm and Amelia’s is on her upper back with a drawing of a butterfly with “Granny” written on it. The sisters are happy that they will have the tattoos on them forever as a reminder of their great-grandmother.

By Kylah Woods

There are moments when time seems to stop. When a family comes together to share a final moment with a loved one. When I-love-yous are exchanged and tears are shed. When a bond between family is at its strongest. It was the moment when sophomores Phoebe and Amelia Primeau’s great-grandmother, Lucille Primeau, passed away. It was then that Phoebe, Amelia and their aunt, Tami Primeau, decided they wanted to get tattoos as a way to remember her.

“[Lucille passing away] gave me a better understanding of death,” Tami Primeau said. “I realized there that our bodies are just a vessel and her soul left her body that day.”

Lucille passed away Aug. 31, 2016. As a way to keep her memory alive, Phoebe and Amelia decided to get matching tattoos. At first, the idea of getting matching tattoos was a joke between them. As time went on, the idea became more and more real, and they decided that it was something they really wanted to do. At the time, however, they were 15 and no tattoo artists in Missouri will tattoo people under the age of 16. So on Aug. 4, 2017, three days after their 16th birthday, they got the tattoos. Amelia’s is on her upper back, and it took an hour and a half to complete. Phoebe’s is on her right forearm, and it took about two hours to complete.

“I stressed so much about it,” Amelia said. “I thought that it was going to hurt so bad that I wasn’t going to be able to take it. I was super scared. Then I was worried that I wasn’t going to like it, but then I ended up loving it.”

The idea behind the design was based off of yellow butterflies that Phoebe, Amelia and Tami started seeing. The first time they saw a yellow butterfly was at the gravesite, then again when they drove past Lucille’s house. Soon, they started to associate the yellow butterflies with their great-grandmother. The tattoos that Phoebe and Amelia have are butterflies with the word “Granny” written  in script between the wings. Tami has a similar tattoo on her forearm with a needle and thread attached to the word “Granny” and a yellow butterfly wing on the end. One of Lucille’s favorite pastimes was sewing, and Tami’s tattoo showcases that.

“I’m very happy with it,” Phoebe said. “Sometimes I find myself just admiring it. Some part of me still feels like one day it’ll rub off, but I know it won’t.”

According to Phoebe and Amelia, Lucille was the very definition of sweet old lady.  They can recall going to her house every Friday, and Lucille would always have dinner ready for them and she would urge them to eat whether or not they were hungry. Phoebe can remember making quilts and other little things with her. She even had a not-so-secret secret recipe for cookies. In reality, it was the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Even though it was something as simple as the recipe on the back of the bag, no one could make them quite like she could, according to Tami. Their tattoo is a way of not only keeping her in their hearts but on their skin.

“I just remember thinking, this is going to be the day that I’m finally going to be able to remember my grandma in a way that I know she wouldn’t have liked, but it’s worth it,” Phoebe said. “She had a personality of pure gold. She was amazing.”