FIRST, MY HUSBAND.
Yesterday he came home from work. Perched atop his head was his worn dark blue (now salty grey) Boston Red Sox cap stacked upon his more presentable red Boston Red Sox cap. I had to have a picture. It looked comical to me.
"Okay," I teased, "I'll bite. Why are you wearing two caps?" He smiled that wonderful amusing grin of his and chuckled. "I know, I know." I giggled.
The work cap was for his construction job in which he got dusty dirty and grimey; and he worked there till three. The good cap was for his new part-time maintenance job for the Christian Academy where he began working at 3:30 till 7:00 each night. We laughed. That was exactly it.
When I think of the various hats he wears, I think of the sphere of influence each hat represents in relationship with his world. Minister, teacher, mentor and friend. Husband, father, grampa and son. Brother and stranger. Christian and neighbor. So much makes up a man. Far more than the frogs and snails and puppydog tails he was as a boy. My man is my foundation. He's the band of protection for my emotional benders, the power in my female weaknesses, and counselor in spiritual direction. He grounds me. I'm a butterfly in the wind. He's the blossoms in my journey across life's meadow. He's the comforting arms in my grief and the embrace in my joys.
The second most influencial man in my life was and is my son, Chad. Chad loved his hats. When he died, he had a closet full of them. He had two favorite Boston Red Sox caps--old, tattered and salty like his dad's.
Then there were the ones he wore when he worked. Pictured left on the bottom is one embroidered with "CHAD THE TILE GUY". Chad owned his own tile business. He began his business with the name of Petersen's ProTile. However, as he worked and gained a reputation for his work, he was nicknamed, "Chad--the tile guy". So Chad changed the name of his business and was known all over town for his perfectionist quality work in tilesetting. He tiled McDonald's, WhataBurger, El Chicos and hundreds of homes. As he worked, he wore a different hat. It is the one pictured on top in the photo above. It has an embroidered patch with these words: "His Death Gave Me Life. Romans 5:8"
To me, my son's life was more than a blessing. It was a privilege to be his mom. His optimistic spirit and go-getter attitude did more for me than a bouquet of flowers on a rainy Monday afternoon. His comical nature brings me laughter at every memory. His tenderness and patience with his daughters fuels the same characteristics in me. His hospitality and friendliness lends me boldness and generosity when I'd rather retreat and hold on to myself. His tolerance was contagious and infected the very fiber of my being with an incurable virtue. His faith in Jesus, though flawed in his walk, never wavered in his heart. His pride in his father and love of his mother, will meet us at the Heavenly mansion our Savior is preparing for us all in eternity.
There is an irony in the verse Chad chose to put on his hat. For in Christ's death, Chad was given Life. And with Chad's death, is a Life I can only endure because of Christ's life as a man. Influence. There's alot to be said for the men in one's life. [copyrighted, SelahV Today, 2007]