This past weekend we were at the third annual Tommy's Tattoo Convention in Hartford, CT. Only a 3 hour ride from home, Connecticut welcomed us with open arms and lots of love, stories of inspiration, hope, and dreams.
As usual, we get there bright and early in the morning, set up and the show begins, except this time, we had time to check into the hotel and take a much needed nap before the festivities began! Thank goodness, as we both needed the quick nap! Feeling refreshed, we are ready to go inspire new and old fans with our message! And boy did we! We were met with our friends in the tattoo industry who have become like extended family to us, fans from years past and a large number of new fans who were inspired by our words, many, brought to tears, and all willing to share their stories of hardship with us.
We had the pleasure of meeting several people whose stories touched us and, in turn, our words helped and inspired them. Let me begin by telling you of a husband and wife I met, a man who went through years of alcohol abuse, suffered a bad divorce, and children whom he doesn't get to see much as a result. He was newly married to a supportive, loving woman who was by his side through it all. When they heard what we were about, they informed me he had just tried taking his own life (again) just a week prior. He was a smiling, kind man and his wife was supportive and loving. They were both moved by what we do and thankful for our mission.
We also met a mother and daughter, who were brought to tears by our words. The mother's brother committed suicide less than a year ago, and the sting of it still haunts them both. Very inspired and thankful to hear of what we are doing, they both left with smiles in their hearts. Instantly, she went to the bathroom and changed into the shirt she bought to help brighten her day.
I met a woman whose father committed suicide quite recently. She too felt a need to buy an inspirational shirt to help her through the bad days.
These were just a few of the stories we heard this past weekend. There were so many of them, which is very sad to say. Suicide is something so common but no one talks about it. No one ever really knows. It's something that needs to be much more out in the open and talked about. Even just a simple chat with someone who is sad or depressed can do a lot of good!
I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it feels that these complete strangers open up to us and share their very personal stories with us. Like I said before, sometimes just a simple chat with someone can change everything. Reach out to someone...anyone. And remember, your worst day could be someone's best...and it could always be worse!