A few of Judy Dede's family members including her granddaughter also got matching tattoos as well.
It's never too late to get your first tattoo. Judy Dede, an elderly woman, just got her first tattoo at the age of 82 and she's going viral on TikTok. Dede's granddaughter Brandy O’Reilly, 44, was one who helped fulfill her grandmother's wish. Dede is now incredibly popular on TikTok and has earned the nickname "Tat Granny," reported Good Morning America. O’Reilly was surprised when her grandmother told her she wanted to get a tattoo. The pair were sitting in the car after grocery shopping when Dede suddenly declared, "I’m going to blow your mind. I want to get a tattoo."
O'Reilly was a little taken aback and couldn't believe what she was hearing. She pulled out her phone and had her grandmother repeat the line. She then send it to the family and even posted it on TikTok. The post started gaining traction and garnered over 5.3 million views. When Dede was asked what tattoo she wanted to get, she replied, "I'm not really sure. I'm thinking about it." Dede revealed that she was inspired to get a tattoo after seeing a Reader’s Digest story about an 80-year-old woman who surprised her family by getting a tattoo on her birthday. O'Reilly used the hashtags #tatgranny and #mygrannyrocks. O'Reilly's followers also shot up with many were rooting for Dede to get inked.
"When I made my decision to do this, it was just me and my girls," said Dede, recalling the moment. "Every day I'm just in awe of what's going on around me." O’Reilly is no stranger to getting inked, having seven tattoos of her own. She spoke to Black Sheep Tattoo in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she gets her tattoos. She told them that her grandmother wanted to inked and asked if it would be ok, considering her age. "Our biggest concern was her skin because of her age," said O’Reilly. "I made sure that she had something good in her belly before we left because you can't go get a tattoo on an empty stomach, and [she] drank lots of water to make sure that her skin was hydrated."
The family was just as excited as Dede and sat down to discuss ideas of what she could get. They decided on a few symbols that had sentimental value to her and their family. She got a fish hook to represent O’Reilly’s father, who passed away in July, a small ribbon with purple ink to represent their loved ones lost to cancer over the years. The tattoo also features a peace sign and a heart, with all of them connected through a treble clef representing the family’s love of music. Dede used to sing in high school and her mother was part of the church choir. "I enjoy all kinds of music. I don't sing anymore. I try — it’s not very good, but I still do what I can. You get it in your blood, and you just can’t get rid of it," she said.
The 82-year-old became a source of excitement and bonding within the family and it even inspired a few of them to get matching tattoos with Dede. O’Reilly, her wife, her mother, and two of her sons also got tattoos. "Even my 10-year-old got a matching tattoo drawn on his arm with a sharpie," said O’Reilly. Dede got inked on October 30. "When I got in my chair, Brandy sat on the end and held my hand for support. I just gritted my teeth, turned my head, and let it go. She said I did amazing," said Dede. The tattoo artists checked for reactions as they went about the design but eventually cut the session short to reduce the swelling and bruising she experienced, recalled O’Reilly. Not only does she want to complete the design, but Dede is also planning to get one more for her next birthday.