The Christmas I was seven I got a bracelet, I think it had a dancer charm on it to start with.  For the next 20 years or so dad gave me a new charm every Christmas – it had something to do with my year.  Drama masks.  Softball.  Track.  French Horn.  For a long time it was the only thing I got that was just from him.  For years I didn’t wear the bracelet because it was woman sized and I was varying degrees of girl sized.

Then I didn’t wear the bracelet because it was the most precious thing I ever owned.

The year I was 23 I got a charm that had two interlocking hearts (one rose gold, one yellow gold).  I opened a box from my fiancé and there was a bracelet with the same charm on it from him.  I cried for hours.  For a few years after that I got a charm for something related to my year.  A house.  Palm trees for Barbados.  A medical snake for my job at FU.

I didn’t wear that one often.  I don’t even know why.

I’ve collected 4 Pandora-style beads since August, three of them for my 50-mile months, and a 13.1 mile bead for my first half marathon (the first of The Dad Series Runs).  I had been wearing them on a necklace but about a week ago I looked for bracelets that would hold them.  I impulse bought one.

About a day later I thought – well of course it is supposed to be a bracelet.  A bracelet to hold my running charms related to The Dad Series (Chattanooga, Cincinnati, MCM and maybe a race in Coronado at this point).

This week I will sing a dedication at the Athens Symphony to remember the creator / long-time director of the Symphony.  The dress rehearsal and performance will sandwich the Free to Breathe 5k to raise money for lung cancer research.  I am bringing donuts / snacks to the departments of the women I was meeting with on 11/11 last year – the women who were near me when mom called to tell me dad had died.  I am hosting a caregiver support group.

Mainly, I am feeling the way through a new thing.  Wednesday is one year since dad died.  I’m sad and fragile.  I’d buy anything you wanted to sell me.  I’m slightly irritated that you aren’t magical and excellent with ESP.

It is ok.  It is awful.  It is just a day.  The world stops for no loss because it would have to stop for each of them.

He was loved.  As am I.  As are you.