Who is this ‘Man of Many Hats’? It is my dear husband of 54 years who has gone to be with our Lord Jesus. The pain of his loss is indescribable. As the tears come and go, memories flood my heart and mind. What I know to be true, that I will never see him again, touch him, hold him, just seems too hard to comprehend. Such a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend.
Since the closing of our gallery and beginning semi-retirement in our home, there was very little that we didn’t do together. He had his own interests, enjoyed taking a walk down the road every day, still planted some tomatoes and vegetables, was about to start a new wood carving, still did some picture framing for some of our old customers, and read Reader’s Digest and his bible almost every day. He loved the old cowboy movies, especially John Wayne, and rarely missed The Price Is Right, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy. He liked the Indians, and never gave up on the Cavs and Browns. He was really good at watching several shows at a time, changing channels during most commercials. Often, he went to sleep with the control in his hands.
He always embraced those things that I did involving my music and art as well. He enjoyed our trips to the Adirondacks and Blue Mountain Lake perhaps more than anything else these last few years. We always came home with great photos to share with everyone since he usually had his camera in hand.
Mushrooming had always been his most favorite pastime, but found it too difficult to get through wooded terrain these last years. Even so, the last two years he has been in better health than the years before, and often told friends how he was having a couple ‘good’ years when asked how he was.
I will surely miss him as will our children and grandchildren, but we all have been enriched by the years that we have had him. His life has been a fine example of how to live, love and be loved. We have been separated – at least for a while- but one day will again be together.
A Man of Many Hats – That’s What He Was
Able to do whatever the task, Willing to do whatever was asked,
For his wife – as a husband, For his daughter, for his son,
For grandchildren, for friends, His love saw no end.
He wore as a young man, the hat of a farmer,
As he woke early to head down the lane,
How many cows must he have milked
Before the school bus came?
He knew what it was like to lift a bale,
And with his asthma, suffered pain.
But that was his job,
So he didn’t complain.
As a teen, with camera in hand,
His creativity took root,
He double exposed everything in sight.
He baked cakes – and decorated them, too.
When the walnut tree on the farm came down,
He made good use of it.
He put on the hat of a woodworker,
And used that wood, bit by bit.
After dating Lois in high school,
His hat as a welder went on.
Then after waiting 4 years of her college,
The hat of a husband was donned.
Six months later, with a new house almost built,
The hat of a soldier he had to wear.
But this he wore proudly, at home and abroad,
For his country he truly cared.
Best of all, was his hat of faith,
Worn through his hours of trials,
This he wears now as a halo of faith
As he walks with the Lord through heavenly miles.
Ken’s Horse Dulcimer made from the walnut tree from his home place farm
Originally published in August, 2011, following Ken’s Celebration of Life service