Maybe you’re an ellipsis kinda cat… or you freakin’ love exclamation marks!!!
Me? I had my punctuation perspective changed by Heather Parrie on June 18, 2015.
Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.
We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going.
Miss Parrie continued her essay with aching beauty about her depression, and her suicidal thoughts… upon which she didn’t follow through.
For this, I’m thankful; I needed her essay, and not just for the reasons you might suspect.
I’m madly in love with the semicolon.
For Believers in Christ, the semicolon reminds us there’s a life after this one—that Heaven awaits for whoever believes in Him and follows his laws.
For Children, the semicolon reminds us our parents and grandparents live on through our DNA and their personality traits we so proudly inherit.
For Parents and Grandparents, the semicolon reminds us we have examples to set. We have behaviors to model for the generations that follow us.
For humanity, the semicolon reminds us states of failure are temporary. You, me, Miss Parrie? None of are defined by one act provided we get back up. (This is true of successes, too.)
And that’s the beauty of the semicolon. It allows us to get back up and continue on.
Those are many reasons—in spite of Sunday night’s ugly debate—I’m hopeful today.
Everyday, everyone has the opportunity to start fresh.
I’ll close the way Heather closed. I cannot improve upon it… only thank her for writing it.
(Okay… I’m pretty sure I’m hooked on ellipsis, too, but that’s a different thing for a different time. Here’s Heather:)
It’s hard to find a place to end this think piece, but I’ll end it with the quote that I keep on my computer screen at all times, so I never forget. I hope anyone that’s ever struggled with their mental health never forgets, either:
“You are worthy of breathing. Someday you will learn that.”
If you need help, please check out online resources or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
And as always, ask for help. Never fear admitting you need more than you can give yourself.
Amen, Heather. You are very brave and full of awesome, and if me sharing her story and just a bit of my own helps even one person, then let’s nod heads, bump fists, or do one of those amazingly cool high five sequences the NBA players do during starting lineups the next time we see each other. Deal? Deal.