We Came for Mary.

By Kaitlyn PartinJuly 29, 2009

This past Saturday, I got to experience my very first Warped Tour! A few of us from the office and a couple interns travelled down to West Palm Beach to meet up with our Warped team so we could meet supporters and get a taste of life on the road. We ended up staying the night after we packed up that day, spending time with some of the other members of our team that night.

Sunday we slept in, got to hang-out poolside at our hotel and eat ice cream (a very fun, girly get-away). While we were laying in the sun, Jamie’s younger sister Jessica rolled onto her side and began to tell Lindsay (our Intern Coordinator) and me the story of a woman named Mary. I was on the edge of my seat, drawn into this woman’s story with tears in my eyes and goosebumps all over my skin. You know those moments you hear a story of truth and love and know that it’s real and that it tells a greater story? That’s Mary’s story.

Lindsay told Jess she needed to write about her experience, and Jess responded by laughing, saying, “Jamie’s the writer in this family, not me.” I told her that she absolutely needed to write it, and that I would help her with the tricky grammar stuff (which, wasn’t much). We all have stories to tell, and I knew that Jess’ story would resonate with each of you. So, enjoy.



There is a reason and purpose for every festival or event we do. Sometimes we know the reason in advance. Sometimes we have to do a little searching. Other times that reason finds us.

Last Saturday was your typical summer afternoon in Florida, hot and muggy in the morning and a downpour in the afternoon. Music was blaring from the Kevin Says Stage not far from where we were set up. People embraced the rain and started dancing, or they ran for shelter under one of the tents nearby.

As the rain started, a woman came up to our tent and asked what we did. Over the noise of the rain and the loud music, I leaned forward so she could hear me; I told her about all of the issues we were there to raise awareness about. Immediately her eyes filled with tears. Something I said hit home. Was it the word suicide? Was it the word depression? I walked around the table and immediately hugged her. I didn’t know what she had been through. All I knew is that she was the reason we were there. We came for Mary.

Through her tears, she then told me her brother had committed suicide six weeks ago. In addition, her sister has been struggling with self-injury by burning herself. Since she had never heard of TWLOHA before, I asked her what made her approach our booth. She said that she read the top of our tent. She read the words, TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS, and said all she knew is that she wanted that for her sister.  A funny sounding phrase for most made all the sense in the world to her.

She asked where our name came from. She asked if Renee was still alive today, and the moment I told her “yes” gave her all the reason in the world to keep fighting for her sister. I heard her tell her friend that if Renee was okay then one day her sister could be okay too.

I don’t think Mary came to Warped Tour thinking she’d find hope or a group of people already fighting the fight she’d been struggling with the last six weeks. I’m not really sure why she went. I know why we went though. We went for her. We went to give her hope through conversation, through resources, through information we had available. And we’ll continue to go to events for Mary, for people with a story all their own, for you.

Your story matters. And you are loved in this moment.

Jessica  : )

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