“Sydney’s the kind of port that leaves a mark on a sailor,” the old man mused.
“Really?” Haakon said, wondering what the man meant.
“It did on me,” he said, opening up his shirt to display his chest. It was covered with tattoos! At the top, SYDNEY was printed in elaborate red and blue letters. Beneath that was an enticing selection of names and dates. “Mary, 1838…Adella, 1840…” The old sailor began laughing. “Beatrice, 1843…Helen, 1846.” And then finally, “Mother.” There was no date after “Mother.” “Mothers you love forever,” he said.
Everybody laughed then, including Haakon, though the thought brought some sadness to his heart. He did love his mother forever, and he missed her as well.”
~ Bonnie Bryant Hiller