Bracelets, Scars & What Matters

Four years ago today I was by myself in Presby Hospital Dallas laying on a table to be wheeled into surgery to remove malignant melanoma (skin cancer) from my arm as well as a lymph node. 

Years of tennis and an awesome tan left me with a sweet gift that was going to kill me. My family was in Georgia, my kids out of town (thankfully) and the woman I was dating told me she was "busy" and wasn't going to take me or come to the hospital. (She was VERY quickly an ex-girlfriend). 

I was alone and scared shitless, but it ended up being a great thing in what I learned. Obviously, they got it all and I'm good today... I recovered for about a week. 

I left the hospital with a dent in my arm from removed muscle, a couple of scars including a great 4" inch scar on my arm and knowing I have some of the best friends imaginable! 

It ended up that it was my group of friends and their wives who took care of me during recovery, who checked on me, would not let me go home, made me stay with them, and encouraged me.

Sometimes family appears in the least likely of places and forms. 

At the time (and a couple of times since) I was upset that the woman I was dating wasn't there for me... I've been disappointed like that a couple of times, by a couple of different women. I was looking for that one person to be there... (ok, i made bad choices and we have learned that my "picker" was way off for a few years).. but what's funny is who IS there throughout... my friends.

One of them said to me, hey B you need to realize you have a ton of people who love you and care about you and would do anything for you... just not all of them have vaginas. (ok, not terribly articulate.. but the point is... relationships can come and go.. but great friendships stand the test of time and difficulty.

The bracelets....they actually have huge meaning.

I've always worn bracelets. But these are my main go to bracelets I wear together most every day. Ok, I like them and they're cool, but no this is not some hipster Johnny Depp wannabe thing.

There have been three (3) pivotal moments in the past five years since I divorced and each represents those moments. They remind me of things... like a mantra. 

The braided leather and silver one I got right after the cancer surgery. It reminds me that I'm a survivor and a fighter and will make it through anything. Take advantage of your second chances, because it can go away or change immediately..

The all silver one I got after I divorced and made some difficult choices... it reminds me to Believe in Yourself and Trust Yourself. 

The all black one is a reminder to Be Your Own Man. ...that story is for a different time.. or a screenplay :-)

Together they remind me that despite bumps, detours, setbacks and moments of fear or when confidence is low... that I am... UNSTOPPABLE! 

Thanks to all of my friends, readers, clients, and people in my life or have come through the different chapters for a brief time. 

There is a hell of a lot more to come!

Bradley 

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