Four weeks ago, anticipating chemo and hair loss, I assessed my hat situation. Worn mostly at the pool and while running, I found I had three visors. Visors, people. I’ll give you a minute to try to get a visual of that one. Before or after–it’s bad either way.
I’ve never really been a hat person. I wore them under duress as a child. My mother is Australian, and they take the sun seriously over there, so there was much duress. But, hey, I don’t have skin cancer, so I guess she won that round. My hat aversion grew as I grew. I had enough problems with volume and frizz with out adding hats to the mix. I embraced ear warmers in winter and never looked back. In the summer, I turned to visors for all-day-in-the-sun-and-even-85-spf-won’t-cut-it occasions. (And, in hindsight, girlfriends (you know who you are), you should have had the “Jen-get-a-grown-up-hat and ditch the lame visor” conversation with me a long time ago.) So, four weeks ago, it was all looking rather pitiful. I didn’t even know how to tie a scarf, let alone own any.
Here we are, a month later, and I had to reorganize my closet to deal with my new hat/scarf situation. Is it weird I want to tell you about my hats?
Hats have arrived in the mail. For me, for Brad, for Maren, and for Greta. It will be a summer of hats for us.
A few I purchased myself, while shaking my head in disbelief.
An inspirational mentor-friend-cancer-survivor hand-knit me a hat with yarn braids attached. It is darling, and Maren has one to match. She knows how important it is to laugh along the journey.
A friend went on vacation to the beach, and heard about my liver news with her toes in the sand. She brought me back a hat from the ocean. That hat has good mojo.
An acquaintance was moved by my blog and found a scarf to speak her heart back to me.
Someone who knows Maren particularly well gave me two pairs of bandanas. So that my girl and I can match.
One hat I picked up on my first day in my Chemo Room. A knitting group makes hats and donates them to my doctor’s office. I picked it up because it was a lovely turquoise blue color. Inside the hat was a note from the knitter with a prayer and the message that she had prayed over each stitch and she hoped her prayers would cover me, too. Thank you, Anonymous Knitter Person. I pray for you, too.
Baby sister got me a hat that spoke to her.
Chief sister gave me a bandana she wore on happy days.
I picked up several hats on my most recent visit to the Chemo Room. A nurse directed me to a shelf of free materials: novels, cancer information pamphlets, hats, Bibles, games, etc. I carefully selected some used hats. I was a history teacher; artifacts from someone else’s cancer experience felt weighty and worthy.
A new friend, a cancer-survivor, generously gave me her whole hat stash since she is one year out from her last chemo treatment.
Dad got me the perfect Miami University hat, from a friend of his.
Many are from the night of my scarf/hat party: a stylish friend, who definitely elevates my cool factor regularly, bought out one-third of the head ornamentation department at Nordstrom so that I could have the full shopping experience in my own home. I now own roughly one-sixth of the scarves (and two hats) available at at Nordstrom thanks to her (their) generosity. That was a fun night.
Mom got hats for the girls, but I don’t think she got me a hat, now that I think about it. She’s probably scarred from my surly teenage hat-titude.
I like that my hats have a story to tell. Thank you.