Updated: Oct 25, 2018
After losing Hayden it became very important for us to carry a little piece of him with us everyday. For Christmas 2017 I purchased each of us an urn necklace and instead of having his name engraved on them I wanted to use his signature. It turns out that 15 year old boys do not often sign their names like we do as adults. It was tough, but after combing through paperwork and searching for the most recent and accurate signature I came across his last school physical. There it was and his signature was beautiful...
When I started thinking about a shirt logo I was very unsure of what was appropriate and catchy, something that would give others a little piece of him. Lushon and I sat down and brainstormed. We knew that his signature would be an awesome tribute, but then Lushon said, "We need to remind others to just breathe.". (Over the past year I can not tell you how many times I have had to remind myself to just breathe. It's also become the only thing I know to tell my two children when they get overwhelmed by their grief and trauma.) I loved it!
So after going and visiting with our local screen printer and looking at different products we had a very good idea of what we wanted. We decided to use his initials, in his handwriting, on the front of the shirts and hats. We also decided to design a logo using his full signature. We selected high quality shirts that would be durable and comfortable for everyone to love and enjoy.
Lushon really became adamant that we incorporate the phrase, just breathe. I remembered that early on in our grief I had read about Project Semi Colon and I had seen the j in the phrase be replaced with a semi colon to symbolize mental health and healthy decision making. When Lushon, Whitley, and I started playing with different designs and configurations for the bracelets we felt that it would be the most fitting place for this phrase to be. So that if someone was feeling overwhelmed they could look down at their wrist and remember that all we really have to do is... ;ust breathe.
As for the back of the bracelet, providing the scholarship website was easy. But I will be 100% honest and say that providing the Suicide Hotline number was not. Not because I don't believe that it's an outstanding resource for our society, but because I know in my heart under the circumstances it wouldn't have saved my son. From my perspective today as a bereaved mother I loathe the word suicide. It makes me nauseous. The reasons why it makes me physically ill is a whole post in itself, so I won't ramble about that now. But the purpose of this website/blog and campaign isn't about me. It's about helping others learn and become more aware through our experience and if that telephone number being on this bracelet saves or makes information available to one person in need then it will have served it's purpose.
Hopefully this blog will give you a little more insight into how these designs were created and the thought process behind each item. Please don't forget to go checkout the Store!