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Too many hats on my hat rack



In the house that I live just of center of the front door there stands a hat rack.  It sits there for the simple task of holding hats. There are many head coverings that adorn this rack. Each hat is unique yet some can be considered extraordinary.   It is this bonnet holder that sits in the shadows that helps this caregiver share her thoughts.

As long as I can remember my husband has collected hats.  Each time we traveled, attended a concert, or went to an estate sale we often would come home with a new hat to add to the hat rack.  There is a sombrero, a hard hat, stocking caps, and cowboy hats to name a few.  There is even a lid that looks like a pink flamingo, a turkey, and a wolf.  Baseball caps too many to mention, Top hats and fedoras in black, gray and tan hue all make their mark. Mickey Mouse Ears, Bunny Ears and an Indian chief’s headdress also are there too. Certainly, these toppers have graced my stroke survivor’s head many times and each time he has a story to tell.

On this particular morning I passed by the hat rack like I do every day.  After letting out the dog for his early morning ritual I stopped for a moment and just looked at the mound of hats.  Each represented a moment, a memory, and an emotion.  I remembered on how my father also wore hats for every different occasion.  He had a hat for drinking coffee during his morning reflection.  There was a hat for his Coca-Cola break after mowing the lawn. Of course there was a hat for winter snow shoveling and another for summer fishing trips.  I actually had not recalled how my father had so many hats until this moment on this very normal day gazing at the hat rack that stands a few feet away from my front door.

What flurried through my head while gazing on all these hats actually was the plethora of hats I, myself wear in any given day?  They are not real but more so imaginary hats that shout out each task I do. These bonnets that adorn my head are representation of the task I must do each day as a caregiver. While I have slowly come to a level of acceptance over the past two years regarding the full time demands thrust upon me when my husband had his first stroke I still have moments of frustration.  Things like aiding him with hygiene, both good and bad, cooking his meals, and assisting him in dressing for the start of the day are but a few.  I assist him with therapy, I do laundry, grocery shopping, and bill paying.  I plan outings, email his friends, and communicate with his family.  The lawn, cars, and musical stuff all need my attention.  I take out the trash, coordinate his medical appointments, and maintain his pharmaceuticals. I even program the TV for him with his favorite shows.  Simply, I think there are two many hats for my hat rack.

Never do I enter the day thinking I have too much to do, or how am I going to do this?  More so, I just start my day with the idea that it is this day…the only day.  With that I let the dog out and I once again walk by the hat rack.  I enter the day gracefully, thankful, and humbled that this is the best day of my life. Once I let the dog in I move to the kitchen and make breakfast.  And so on. Each task I put on a new hat…

Given, there are a lot of hats I must wear to assist a stroke survivor along the day.  No one said it would be easy.  I can vouch that it is not easy.  Yet, there are extraordinary hats along with the mundane on my hat rack. Today, I choose to wear one, than adorn another and another all with the goal of encouragement for my stroke survivor. That he will have the best day of his life.  If that happens…then I feel content.  Maybe that is when I put on the hat my dad use to wear when taking a Coca-Cola break.  Inevitably, I guess the hat I wear really doesn’t matter…Thus, the point of my story.  Which is…basically, I am a caregiver, a woman, and a wife to a stroke survivor.  Our day is blessed and for that I am thankful.



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You become the hat rack then.

You are amazing and underappreciated and maybe vanishing under the hats a bit but God sees you and I bet if you take the time to gaze in your hubby's eyes, he sees you and knows your love on all the days.

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We all wear many different hats for sure.  You wrote with a good deal of sense in this blog.  Well done.  I hope some of the hats you wear give you happy thoughts as you do the things you have to do as a caregiver, wife etc.

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Your writing is beautiful, and descriptive in such a way that I, as a survivor, can (almost) understand what it must be like for you.

You have a very special gift.

Susan e303.png

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I will sound like broken record, but I will still say it,  I love your blogs & you write wonderfully.  your hat comparison is spot on. I strongly feel having supportive caregiver like you by our side, survivors journey does become smooth & we can all have wonderful new normal together & can find that happiness again.


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Along with the different hats we wear as a wife, mother and extrordinaire, the hats for caregiver are vast compared. I was that caregiver for 10 years to my late husband who had stage 4 lymphoma. Not the same, but not different either. Now that I am on the other side, I can see the hardships on both sides. I'm so sorry. But you may want to put that fishing hat on of your dads, throw a line out (no bait, you don't really want to catch anything) and sit back and enjoy the moment. Maybe make some turtle soup, but beware of the hare in it. 

Love ya girl


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