My beloved likes to wear hats and never leaves the house without a hat on his head. He has worn a variety of hats since we moved here, but he doesn’t collect them. He finds a hat, wears it until it disintegrates, which often takes years (unless it happens to be a straw cowboy hat that I accidentally sat on during church), and then he finds another hat.
In addition to the cowboy hat that met an early end, he has worn a cloth touring cap, a Greek fisherman’s cap, and then he found he liked the bucket hat style and so began wearing them. Eventually he found a bucket hat with pockets on the side that that was perfect for carrying his mobile phone, and he wore it for years. I repaired it several times, as best I could, after it started to fall apart.
Then, a woman church, who is able to work minor miracles with a sewing machine, noticed my not-so-subtle repair said she had a pattern to make a bucket hat and could make him some.
So they struck a deal, and she made some practice hats out of material she had on hand to work out some bugs in the pattern, which had to be altered to accommodate the pockets.
We gave her some heavy denim that I had acquired from somewhere to make another hat.
After our son died we did not have too much trouble clearing out his clothes, although we still have all of his shoes, for some reason we can’t explain. Some clothes we gave away, many of his clothes were ruined because of his job at the sawmill and went into the trash, and some–mostly his T-shirts–we kept to wear ourselves.
Much later, though, we found a pair of jeans that were in good condition that he had stashed some place that we had not thought to look.
Richard asked her if she could make a hat out of the jeans, and she said she could. So we gave her the Levis.
Over the course of the summer, she has brought several hats for Richard. And then, finally, she finished the last and best hat of all.
Now Richard is being shaded by a very special hat made of something that belonged to our boy…
a hat that will last many, many years.