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A semi-colon tattoo to say, “I am still here.”

Punctuation tells us if a sentence is ending, or if a sentence is continuing. A comma is a pause and a period is final. A semi-colon is not the end, there is always more words after it. A semi-colon tattoo to say, “I am still here.”


Last year I saw a semicolon tattoo on someone’s Facebook wall. I don’t remember who the person was with the tattoo, but the meaning behind the tattoo I didn’t forget. The Semicolon Project.

What is the semicolon project?

Amy Bleuel, started Project Semicolon in  the spring of 2013 because she wanted to honor her father whom she lost to suicide. The semicolon represents  a new beginning.

Project Semicolon is a global non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-injury. Project semicolon exists to encourage, love and inspire.
Project Semi-Colon

The tattoo only took a few minutes to make. Deciding what typeface to use for the semicolon took me almost a month.

I write about art, creativity and life with cat barf and seven litter boxes. And sometimes I write about punctuation.

The semicolon is a small reminder that life is valuable and worth living. There is always hope.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
— Psalm 139:14

When you feel sad, remember the semicolon. And remember,  tomorrow morning the sun will rise. There is always hope.

I only wash my dishes with joy dish soap. It reminds me to pray for my friend Joy who has a son with down syndrome.

If you feel sad, and are struggling, please reply to this email, and I will add you my list to pray for when I wash my dishes. Or put your name in the comments. I wash dishes at least once a day, and sometimes after every meal, so that is a lot of prayer. On the days I am sad I need to wash my dishes more often.

There are 15,972 quotes about hope on Goodreads

I picked my favorite three to encourage you. There are still 15,969 you can read. 

“When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.”
― Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four


“Hope is a waking dream.”
― Aristotle


“When it was dark, you always carried the sun in your hand for me.”
― Seán O’Casey, Three More Plays: The Silver Tassie, Purple Dust, Red Roses For Me

I will carry the sun in my hand for you

Please remember how much you are loved. And when it is dark, remember you have a friend who is carrying the sun in their hand for you.

He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
— Psalm 147:3

Sending you love and hugs today.

Click here to comment. As always I love to hear from you.

Other Resources

The Semicolon Project  

10 Powerful Suicide Prevention Quotes & Sayings

1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

Writing slice of life stories at Two Writing Teachers, writing every day for the month of March.


About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Susan W A

    dear dear pamela
    thank you for doing the dishes on others’ behalf <3
    and for providing many semicolons in life.

    • Susan,
      Your words warm my heart.
      May all your days be filled with joy and hope.

  • Susan W A

    I invite you to Heap On additional Pleasing Examples:

    H O P E
    How Obviously Painful Everything feels
    Heavy, Overwhelming, Pessimistic, Exhausting
    However, Opposite Plans Emerge
    Hear, Observe, Pay attention, Enact
    Help Others Perceive Ease
    Here On Planet Earth
    Hugs arOund People (and Pets) Everywhere
    Have Overflow of Pleasing Emotions
    Happy, Optimistic, Playful, Excited
    Hands Offer Palm Exchange (holding hands)
    Healing, sOothing, Peaceful, Energizing
    Heart Open, Positive Experience
    Heed Our Profound Existence
    Honor Oneself, Pure Essence

    [swa 22mar16]

    • Susan, you are really fun. It took me days hours to notice the pattern, and I love the “How Our Pamela Encourages.” Thank you 🙂
      Hop Over Poop Everyday
      However, Oliver Poops Everywhere
      I will have to think of some more.

      • Susan W A


  • Susan W A

    Life can be hard, really hard, even when it is good, and that’s okay because there is Hope. I send my wishes that you listen to the hope in your heart, however softly it speaks to you.

    “Hope is the memory of our ancestors’ successful struggles.”
    [swa 22mar16]

    “I awake each day with hope and gratitude in my heart, ready for renewed insights and progress.”

    “That’s the beauty of hope and gratitude … they cushion, buoy and inspire the heart.”

    Hope is fragile and robust, fleeting and enduring.
    Hope enters the heart nimbly and sprinkles rainbow sparkles.
    Hope resides.
    Hope inspires.
    Some moments it feels like Hope is outmatched, but it never is.
    Hope observes; Hope strategizes; Hope plans; Hope supports; Hope prevails.

    …to be continued …

    • Hello Susan W A
      Thank you for sharing your encouragement with your hope poems.
      And, I hope you have a wonderful day.

  • Josh Lemon

    I’m so glad you wrote this, because a simple punctuation Mark can tell a great story filled with life, hope, and love. I recently wrote of my journey from a suicide attempt and God’s path for me back to health. It relates so closely to your article, I have the urge to get that tattoo 🙂
    Here it is, if you want to read it. Thanks for your words.

    • Hi Josh,
      Thank you for sharing your story about your suicide attempt and your healing. Here is the link https://lemonzestsite.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/finding-love-again/
      The other one was to your article on grammar.
      Let me know if you get the tattoo. Post a picture here if you do.
      And, Congratulations on your marriage and the birth of your daughter. 🙂

      • Josh Lemon

        Thanks for fixing that Pamela, and thank you for the congratulatory wishes!

    • Susan W A

      Dear Josh,
      The manner in which you tell your story is EXQUISITE … the writing, the emotion, the vulnerability, the love, the beauty, the courage, the message, the photos, the hope. Thank you so much for sharing so deeply.

      • Josh Lemon

        Susan, you are beyond kind. Thank you for your words. You are the first person to say my writing is “exquisite”, and though I feel it’s undeserved, I cannot help but smile. So, thank you.
        You’re welcome, and I am glad to share it in the hopes of a struggling person out there might find a ray of hope.
        – J.L.

    • Susan W A

      I love serendipity … it’s one of my favorite fellow travelers in life.

  • If you have any more dishes left, you can add me to your list. Just pray that I can keep moving through this grief, one wobbly step at a time. I’m so thankful for the time we had sweet Olivia, I just wish it was more than the 14 months we had. But I praise God that he chose to have her born in our family. What a gift this granddaughter was.

    • Anne,
      I have enough dirty dishes to pray for you for at least seven years.
      You are in my thoughts and prayers today and tomorrow and for the next 10 million years.
      I am so sorry sweet Olivia died. So thankful for her precious life.

    • Susan W A

      Beauty exemplified in her being and in your love.

      • Thank you Susan.

        • Susan W A

          You’re welcome. I’m very sorry for your family’s deep loss. Sending you and your family a healing hug as you grieve what could have been. Keep those precious memories and your deep love elevated in celebration of the amazing connection of love you had.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Hey, I like the idea od the “semi colon”, what a neat idea. Maybe I will have to consider that !!

    • Hi Mom,
      I can send you a picture of the semi-colon I put on my wrist if you want to have the same one.
      I love you mother of mine.

    • Berdeane Bodley

      as much as I would love to get a semi colon like the one you have, I think I will have to pass, my arms are so wrinkled I don’t think it would take, that & the fact I am pretty chicken when it comes to pain. I’ll just admire yours……………….

  • Robn Patrick

    You are giving a precious gift to others. Bless you Pamela. So often our thoughts are locked away inside of us hidden by dark clouds that we can not see through. I love having the visual of a semicolon in my mind now; things that are still to come as If we just choose to journey on. The verse that keeps me looking forward is Jeremiah 29:11. ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    • Hello Robin,
      Thank you for your kind words Robin. I pray you feel the joy of a new beginning today.
      God made you special and He loves you very much. Your smile lights up a room, I pray you feel loved and valued today. May a sunbeam shine on your face today.

  • EmFairley

    While I don’t have a semicolon tattoo, I do know of her pain. I’ve been through so much negativity over the years, and yeah, it’s been incredibly tough to get through, but I did. I could easily see myself as a victim, but I choose not to, because that too is negative. Instead I see myself as a survivor.

    That said, please add my precious daughter, Toni-Lou to your prayers. It’s 14 years today since she was born sleeping and yep, today is tougher than most.

    You’re an incredible woman, Pamela and I’m blessed to call you my friend. Thank you!

    Love and hugs,
    Em xoxo

    • Oh Em,
      I am so sorry about the loss of your precious daughter, Toni-Lou. Today must be so hard. I have so many dishes to wash today, you will be prayed for almost all day.

      May you be comforted today and feel the warmth of the sun on your face and in your heart.

      Love and hugs to you to my friend,

      • EmFairley

        Thank you! <3

    • Susan W A

      You are strong. I’m very sorry your daughter couldn’t stay with you. I can tell you are a very loving woman. Thank you for sharing.

      • EmFairley

        Thanks so much Susan, but I’m just me

        • Susan W A

          I love your response … Yes, imagine what an amazing ME you are!

  • Lynoth

    I am pretty vehemently anti-religion for a lot of personal reasons, but somehow the thought of a gentle soul like yours lifting me up in prayer still makes my heart smile. It’s a weird contradiction. Thank you for being part of my days, even though we will likely never meet.

    • Good Morning Lynoth,
      Thank you for letting me be part of your days. We can be friends even if we disagree on everything, I will always support you and cheer for your passions even it they are not mine.
      Yes, a weird contradiction. Thank you for trusting me.

    • Susan W A

      I love your message … so deeply grounded and lightens the heart.

  • Molly Kirk

    I did not know of the semi colon, but I know just how she feels. Who knew so much could be explained by that one small punctuation mark? I am glad of the Project.

    • Hi Molly,
      Yes, one simple punctuation mark can mean so much. Hugs to you today.

  • Laura Brown

    I like knowing that there’s a semicolon project out there. And thanks for the reminder I drew the Artist Card, even though I only have one cat. 🙂

    • Hello Laura,
      You are very welcome. And hello to your cat. What is their name? Post a photograph if you would like to. I have never met a cat I didn’t like.