A bit over a year ago, my eldest daughter made me a friendship bracelet, which I faithfully donned.
A month or so later, I found myself doing my first Olympic distance triathlon, near Hillsboro Oregon. While breezing along on the bike route, I kept glanced at my wrist and watching the wind whip the bracelet around a bit. Wearing it reminded me of what was important in my life, and made me feel good even as my legs grew tired.
Naturally that bracelet became frail and eventually came off. So Kayla made me another one, which made the journey to Kansas for the Free State Trail Marathon this past April. I ran nearly half of the race alone in the woods, and found myself glancing down at the bracelet to remember the warmth of love and family.
This bracelet was on my wrist in July when I had my bike accident. It stayed on through the time when I wore no wedding ring, and no watch.
In the hospital, Kayla and Rachel each wove me a new bracelet, which they tied onto me. I also acquired a swimming bracelet from their trip to the Eliot Institute – apparently this was earned by Kayla who braved jumping from the high dive for the cannonball contest, which she did for me.
I found myself glancing at these sometimes when I was in the hospital, reminding myself of what helps me draw strength.
picture taken by Rachel David 12/11/2008
I realize this comes across as corny. But believe me, when you’re getting into the late miles of a marathon, a couple of thousand miles from home, it’s amazing how important things like this seem. And it’s definitely possible to have your determination tested by more than a marathon, as I’ve seen again and again these past five and a half months.
For me the bracelets represent the strength of many cords together, attention to detail, and love. All of that in a small circle.
My wrists carry these four bracelets now. They won’t last forever, but I will remember them forever.