I had a wonderful Saturday afternoon. I went to a Tea, a Sisterhood Tea hosted by my best friend. We were asked to wear hats. That was a problem for me as I don’t usually wear hats. I’ve always thought my head was too big. I tend to shy away from any headgear. When I see myself in a hat, it reminds me of Dudley Do-Right, ( ask your grandmother). I’m sure I’m dating myself with this comparison, but you get the point. I own two ball caps, a black one and a gray one. I wear them once a month during my bad hair days. I knew wearing either of those would not be appropriate. I had no intention of purchasing a that I would probably never wear again. Then I remembered. I have my mother’s hat. When she died in January 2012, they were one of the first things that I took from her home. My mother never felt quite church ready without her hats.
I remember I had two big bags of them. So, I went to the back of my closet and picked out a blue and white-brimmed hat with a blue bow on the back. I tried to recall how she would always tilt the hat to the side to make sure part of her face was hidden. I guess that was to maintain the element of surprise if anyone was looking. I placed the hat on my head and positioned it just right. Then I stopped and looked at myself, and I saw my mother’s face. I hadn’t anticipated the outpouring of emotions and memories that accompanied the placement of her hat on my head. Within minutes the memories of her flooded back to a point where I couldn’t contain the tears of joy that flooded my face. I remembered the church events and the Women’s Socials I accompanied her to. Each time she wore a hat because she felt under-dressed without it.
I miss my mother every day, but it’s days like today when I wish I could talk to her and tell her how much I miss her wisdom and about the situations and circumstances in my life. I wish she knew that the grandson she helped me raise turned out to be a fine young man. I would love for her to know that I am retired, writing books, and my dream of running a non-profit finally came true. I wish she knew how much I’m trying to keep our family together, although that is a daunting task, to say the least. But most of all, I wish I had one more time to take her to church and laugh with her when she realizes that she mixed up her shoes again or that she has on too many colors and wonders why I’m looking at her strangely.
I can’t wait for another opportunity to wear another one of my mother’s hats. I believe she’s pleased that I’m putting them to good use. She hated it when things went to waste. So, Mama, your baby girl is using your hats, and she’s going to gather other women that would benefit from the time to talk to other sisters about issues that only another woman would understand.
Thank you for the hats, Mama and for the life and the lessons you taught me.