Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sky and Jane: The Brain Hat

About my fashion statement over there on the right…

For a couple of months now I’ve been sporting this hat, knitted by Jane. Every day I get comments. “Hey, that looks like a brain.” “Love your hat, man!” And my favorite so far: “Psssst! Your brain is showing.”  Most comments toss the ball back into my court, giving me an opportunity to respond. Do I laugh and keep going? Do I stop and chat? 

The Hat is a pretty good indicator of how strong and confident and engaged I’m feeling, In fact, the Hat has opened up some very interesting conversations. At the very least, it’s good for eye contact and a good laugh. Once, feeling strong, I responded, “Actually, it’s my Alzheimer's Hat. I’ve recently learned that I have Alzheimer's, and the Hat is giving my brain support.”

Then the other person grins and says, “My wife has Alzheimer's. She’s at home. Would you like to see a picture of her?”

“Of course!” 

“See, she's very happy.”

“Wow. She looks it,” I say. And she really does. Something about her eyes conveys to me a presence, a steady strength that’s hard to describe in words.

Could this be The Bond of the Demented?

10 minutes later….

I’m getting another “Like” for my hat. Energized, I repeat the line that just clicked so well. “Actually, it’s my Alzheimer's Hat. I’ve recently learned that I have Alzheimer's, and the Hat is giving my brain support.”

This time, before I can finish my sentence, my Liker is staring at her shoes, muttering, “Humff. Interesting…” and then barrels off down the sidewalk without a backward glance.


Want to make your own brain hat? Making the hat is easy, but the I-cord for all the twirly brain parts is, shall I say, pretty boring, but must be done -- as well as sewing it all on. Be creative about your hat -- make it any color(s) that you wish! Note: I made the hat with a circular needle (the pattern calls for double-points). Use whatever you're most comfortable with.  Click here for the pattern. Now it's time to make Sky one in cotton -- I do hope spring will arrive soon!


  1. Sharing that one or a loved one has a condition takes courage as you never know what response you'll get about such a vulnerable topic. I recently read an essay in which the writer states "...we know as we look in our mirror that...what we see is just the cover and by no means the book. Our book is more interesting and daring than our covers." When you share your thoughts and ideas you are "opening your books", building understanding. And I love the Hat. I love the way it hugs your head and gives you support.

  2. I really agree with Mary....sharing yourself is a huge thing, and not only to strangers!
    Now you probably would have gotten very different responses if you said, Oh, I'm wearing it to raise awareness for .........(anything really) but you made it personal. That 2nd person may of had little or no idea what that even meant.
    Or, oh, I'm wearing it to keep the lice in.....then watch them run!

  3. Wonderful, I wish you had a picture of you in your brain hat on here! Yes, death and illness, two of the conversational gambits guaranteed to give you the measure of the other person's inner core of compassion, holding space and connection. So delighted with the man who shared his soft underbelly as you shared yours, in humor and joy, and not surprised at the one who scuffled off in discomfort. Her loss, Sky!!

    1. Hey Jamie, There is a photo -- the one of us at the top right of the blog. I've also made Sky a summer version! XXXX Jane