Apr 19

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.


  1. ohiofishergirl /

    I’m usually sound asleep at this hour—like you, I’m not an early morning person 😉 !! Uncle Dale just left for work and I’m heading to Columbus for a day with Carli. Thank you for the smiles this post brought and know that you are in my thoughts this early morning. Love you girlie!! Lauri

  2. Sue Nitz /

    LOL. Nothing like a good LMAO even before my cup of coffee this morning. Jen, you are so cute. I just love your wit and sense of humor and your way of loving everything. You really don’t need any of those hats or scarfs. I am with Maren on this one! But you will need to protect your cute little head in the sun. (I have a cute little head story that will make you laugh. Remind me to tell you when I see you again) You will find a favorite and that will be the one. And all the rest we will just have to have a tea party! Love ya! Off to morning prayer so I will thinking of you.

  3. Julie T /

    Jim wants to know if you want any hats as farmers have a lot of them..let’s see the assortment includes a breeding company, John Deere, machinery, Eau Galle Cheese, and on and on. I told him in advance thanks but no thanks! Love to you x4.

  4. Patty Miller /

    I don’t know you, but you’ve become a daily part of my life and my prayers. The one thing I know about you is that your beauty will shine through regardless of what hat or scarf you wear. God has given you a special gift and you’re sharing it, thank you!!!

  5. chubbyroad2skinny /

    What great friends and family you have to give you all those cool hats. I’m the same way, NOT a hat person and my husband is ALWAYS trying to get me to wear them in the summer to protect my face. I think I own one baseball hat and that’s it. 🙂

  6. Awesome post! Keep wearing your “hat” of positivity! It amazes me;). Sending many prayers your way today & always!

  7. Wow sounds like you wear many hats. Lol (sorry I could not resist). I think all future blogs should have a photo of a hat in them! lol

  8. Yay for beautiful hats, I can’t wait for a day when you need a “wordless” blog and you show us all the beauty! Though your way with words make me imagine them perfectly.

    Move over hair stuff, there are new head tools in town!

  9. Kathy /

    Are you a Miami University grad? Me, too, and now living in Maryland (but I’m still a Cinicnnati girl at heart). Lots of love and healing prayers sent your way. Breast cancer has impacted my family, too. I check for a blog update as soon as I get home from work every day.

  10. Hats are good 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing your hats story with us. I think I read somewhere on here that you don’t want to post photos of your family (or maybe it’s just my deductive reasoning skills, given that I haven’t seen any images on your blog) and I totally respect that. That said, I would LOVE to see photos of the matching hats with braids. Even just the hats by themselves. Just sayin’. 🙂 It’s also pretty cute that your mom didn’t buy YOU a hat, but got them for the girls. When my girl was newborn, my mom sometimes kissed Ella and almost left my house without saying goodbye to me until I said, “Um, hello? I’m here, too!” 🙂

  12. Jessica /

    Just found your blog tonight after following a link, and have now read every post since your diagnosis. You will be in my prayers! My best friend went through a VERY similar journey two years ago (she is doing fantastic now!), and had a very similar outlook/perspective to yours. I hate that you have to experience this, but again, will be praying. I won’t leave any cliches because I’m sure you’ve heard them all, but will say, be strong in the Lord. You (and HE) have this!

  13. I am reading your blog regularly and am so inspired by your grace and humor and faith. You mentioned a Miami U. hat. Are you an alum? I am! 🙂