Friday, September 26, 2014

A Runner's Hat

[image credit Gary]

I usually wear a baseball cap when I run to keep bugs away from my head and the sun away from my eyes.

Yesterday I ran for the first time in my newest old hat--the one pictured above--that belonged to my father-in-law, Charlie, who passed away a few weeks ago.  The bride and I got him this hat some years back to commemorate the ship he sailed on in WWII, the USS Turandot, AKA-47 (see here for a brief history of the ship).

When I ran through the village of Marion near my home, a car pulled up and the window came down.  I swear I almost jumped, because it was a black SUV with black windows that looked just like a Secret Service car...but turns out it was just a lost guy.  After I gave him directions (he wasn't far off track) and we were parting ways, he glanced at my hat and said, "Thank you for your service."

I explained that it was my FIL's hat for his ship in WWII, and that I was wearing it in memory of and to honor Charlie, but, well, the tears just began.  At length I managed to get out the brief story, but I was an emotional wreck the rest of the run.

That's how grief goes, I know, from having experienced it numerous times: you're OK, then there's a trigger, something that reminds you of the loved one you have lost, and then the waves of grief come washing over, sometimes even interspersed with laughter.

There's no right way to grieve, you just wing it.  And somehow I think your departed loved one understands.

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