Nashville man honors mom with sweet tea tattoo

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Here’s a tattoo story that’s sweet in more ways than one.

Ahead of National Tattoo Day Saturday, and a Nashville business owner is sharing the story of his tattoo design to raise awareness about mental health.

  • Milo's tattoo
  • Milo's tattoo
  • Milo's tattoo

Adam Tanaka’s tattoo seems unusual at first glance because it’s a jug of Milo’s sweet tea with the words “some kind of wonderful.”

Tanaka got the tattoo after his mother passed away in 2013. She struggled with mental health issues, but Tanaka cherished the time they spent together and their shared love of the well-known sweet tea.

“We would have tea together and it was always Milo’s. It became a request at first, and then it was a given, if I showed up with anything else, I was disowned for the day, and so showing up with a gallon jug of Milo’s and just being able to have a conversation with my mom or just sit in silence and enjoy that time together. She struggled a lot with mental health issues throughout my childhood,” explained Tanaka.

“Some kind of wonderful” refers to the song by Grand Funk Railroad, which Tanaka said was one of his mother’s favorites. He wanted to share his story and tattoo to remind people resources are available for families struggling with mental health issues.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

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