I hated them.
He loved them.
The small, knitted beanies were always on his head. He had them in a variety of styles and colors. In the early 2000’s they were not all that common. I thought they looked funny and much preferred him wearing a baseball cap, but beanies were his thing.
After he passed in 2007 photographs became important. In almost all the photographs taken of him during his last few years, he was wearing his beanies. The brown one he wore most of the time. The baby blue one that a friend gave him. A light brown wool one that he never wanted me to wash because it would shrink. And the striped Guinness one he was wearing the day his daughter was born.
I realized the beanies were part of his personality. He never cared what people thought. He played his own drum and walked to his own beat. The beanies were packed away with his special belongings. Carefully stored in a Rubbermaid tub full of memories.
Now, 16 years later everyone wears beanies. When I see a young man wearing one, I think of my son and how he was ahead of his time. Ahead of the fashion curve. This summer when my granddaughter, (his daughter) came to my house wearing a beanie I smiled and said,
“You know your dad always wore beanies.”
Her excitement was obvious when she responded with, “Do you still have any of them?”
Yes, yes, I did.
I thought about it for a few weeks and then I knew exactly which one I needed to give to her. The one he was wearing the day she was born. I wasn’t sure it was appropriate to give a 16-year-old a beer beanie, but it was the right one.
I washed it. I bought a pill shaver and spent a couple of hours carefully shaving off the tiny dots of fuzz that accumulate on knitwear over time. My granddaughter and I were out for dinner when I gave it to her. I told her it was a special beanie and showed her the photo of him wearing it and holding her just hours after she was born.
She was only 9 months old when he passed and has no memories of him. Over the years I have told her stories about him not to overwhelm her, but to keep him alive in a small way. To help her understand who her dad was. And to allow his memory to dance in my heart with every story I told.
As she accepted the beanie, I told her the story of her birth and how proud he was holding her in that photograph. I told her what a special time that Christmas Eve morning was when she arrived. She held it, looked it over, and laid it on her coat next to her.
We finished our dinner, put our coats on, and walked to our cars to go home. With the beanie in her hand, we hugged goodbye, and I said,
“You know, I am going to need a photo of you wearing that beanie.”
She smiled and said, “I love you” and ran through the wind to her car as I was reciprocating the feeling.
The wind carried my words away. “I love you too, sweet girl!”
Driving home I thought about the beanie and the journey it had been on. I thought about how years ago I hated it. Now I felt like I had just given one of my most precious possessions to one of my most precious people. When I arrived home, I sat quietly drinking hot tea and hoping she loved it like I did.
It was the sound of a text message. I saw her name flash on the screen and opened the message. There were no words. Just a photo of her wearing the beanie.
The beanie’s journey was complete. It landed right where it was meant to be.
And I couldn’t love it more!
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Pennie’s Life Lesson:
Sometimes it takes a journey
to understand the connected threads of love.
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#CornerofSpiritandBrave #loveyourlifenomatterwhat #journeythrough #PennieHunt #YouAreGoodEnough
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