Keeping Loved Ones an Arms Length from the Heart

A Symbol of Love on and off the Field

By: Joseph Titta

CSI student athlete John Esposito’s stories lie on his wrist. Credit:

When loved ones are lost, many struggle to explore ways in which they can remember them, in an effort to hold on to that person. John Esposito, a student and athlete at CSI knows that the loved ones who have and have not past on in his life, continue to guide him and remain in his heart. Through a series of colored, word-marked rubber bracelets, he keeps those memories and most importantly the thought of those people with him every waking day. 

“I don’t ever take them off,” Esposito said. “They stay on my wrist when I’m on the field, and even when I go to sleep at night, it’s become a normal habit for me.” Whenever life gives John a new challenge, those wristbands are a reminder of who he is, and how he will overcome adversity. 

Each of Esposito’s wristbands are in memory, or show the significance of a specific loved one. The four different ones he wears on his left wrist are separated by design, shape and color, each of which contribute to the meaning of the individual represented. 

The first one is a white marble type of material with blue and red, surrounding a cross pennant in the middle. The cross in the middle is centered between the red and blue marbles, signifying love and hate. John wears this one in an effort to remember the words of his grandmother, “Always love and forgive family,” a phrase that has given him reason to be the best son, brother, nephew, and grandson through anything. 

The next is a slim looking black one with a white heart printed in four spots. This bracelet was given to him by his girlfriend over two years ago from when they first got together. “She’s very spiritual and giving”, Esposito said. 

“When you meet someone with those qualities, they inspire you to strive towards self-growth and to overcome personal challenges whenever they come.” The small white ball on the bracelet is shown as a symbol or strength, one of the reasons why she gave it to him in the first place. 

The third is an elastic navy blue ‘Love and Miss You’ bracelet. It signifies his grandmother as a cancer survivor after she lost her battle with the gut-wrenching disease. Esposito wears this one as well to honor his late grandmother. 

Her words, and witty phrases have stayed in his head as a memory, as well as his heart. After she had passed, John has worn these bracelets on the mound, specifically since his grandmother loved to come and watch him pitch. 

The last bracelet John sports is a sky-blue ball rubber bracelet. He wears this one for his cousin who struggles with the disability autism. Esposito’s brother Frank had worn it during every game he pitched for CSI. 

He timely passed down the ‘dolphin blue’ colored bracelet for his brother to wear. That bracelet of good fortune carried Frank through an outstanding baseball career, and when he heard John would follow in his footsteps and attend the same college, he quickly knew to pass it on down to his brother. 

John takes pride in his family, as well as those who keep him strong and push him to exceed expectations every day. Wearing just a few bracelets may come as irrelevant to most, but not to John. “I love knowing that I don’t have to go through difficult stretches alone,” Esposito said. “Just looking down at my wrist during a game, when I wake up, or even if I’m having a rough day, I remember how strong these people have made me.”. 


Categories: Sports

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