The store-front sign read, TWO FREE HATS. What girl could pass up such an opportunity?
I’m not much of a hat-person, but my twenty-five-year-old daughter Angel has been crazy about hats pretty much all her life. Until age ten, she had been one of few girls in our small country church who loved Easter hats.
Growing up in Minnesota, Angel had collected a wide array of fuzzy, wool, and knitted hats for winter wear. In summer she wore assorted straw hats, crushed cotton sun hats, and wide-brimmed peak visors, her blond ponytail poked through the back.
In high school she heralded every holiday with a hat: a green-striped Dr. Seuss hat for St. Patrick’s Day, a red-hearted newsboy hat for Valentine’s, a jingle-belled Santa cap for Christmas, and a silly turkey-feathered beret for Thanksgiving. On friends’ birthdays, she made them wear her multi-colored joker hat. And for the entire month of July, she wore a USA flag-decorated visor, with a band reading, “I (heart) America."
Making myself comfortable on a cushioned corner chair, I watched as my only daughter meandered about the shop, trying on a mix of fancy, floppy and funny hats and parading past mirrors. For most hats, she fussed with whether to push her long hair back, pull it over to the side, or tuck it up and under.
This is going to take awhile, I mused. But since I had only just flown in for a visit, with no place else to go and nothing else to do, time wasn’t an issue. My spirit so missed the comfortable company of this adult daughter-child.
Angel eventually worked her way toward another groups of hats, giggling at several with funny captions. At one point she donned a neon pink baseball cap (backwards!) and spun around to show me the diamond-sculpted script: “Too Blessed to be Stressed.” I gave her a thumbs-up.
It was harder to decide, when price didn’t matter. But in the end her first pick was a navy blue corduroy reversible bucket hat, which complemented her pale blue eyes. And, since her dream had always been to go on a safari, she also chose an African wildlife-decorated walking hat with the letters G.A.P.--God Answers Prayer.
Task completed, we thanked the clerk--and left the hospital. Day one of chemotherapy down, three months to go.
Love shared. Faith strong. And hats ready.
It is true that God answers prayer. But I can't say that on that day five years years ago I felt too blessed to be stressed. After all, I’m not much of a hat person.
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