Hats That Hurt

Adult woman and senior mother on an outdoor walk

Let all that you do be done with love.—1 CORINTHIANS 16:14 (NKJV)

We walked from Mom’s assisted-living apartment down the hall to the dining room. I reminded her that on Friday, a photographer would be here to take photos of us for a magazine story I’d written on caregiving.

“Well, I just have one request of you,” Mom said, her tone icy. “Don’t wear a hat.”

My face heated with anger. I clipped each word. “I don’t plan to wear a hat, Mom.”

“That’s good,” she said. She then reminded me of her 87th birthday, when my husband had taken a photo of Mom and me. I’d worn my beloved orange hat. In the six years since, Mom had lectured me several times about people who wear hats in pictures. They were showing off, she said, trying to steal attention away from everyone else.

“And when I married your stepdad, my maid of honor wore a bigger hat than mine,” she said. I quickly calculated. That was 55 years ago. It must have deeply hurt my mother to think her best friend—and now her daughter—were trying to upstage her on her special days.

With this realization, my anger abated. I reassured Mom that I would come to the photo shoot bareheaded. I even wore a plain peach top—no bright orange this time—so Mom could stand out in her purple sequined sweater.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, help me remember to set aside my own desires to allow others to shine.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts