My father died almost a year ago, and it's taken me this long to be able to start scrapping for him. Hidden journaling behind the photo reads:
"Dad, you always said you never wanted to be The Old Man in the Hat, that doddering fellow driving twenty miles an hour in the slow lane, his wool hat the only thing visible above the steering wheel. Invariably, this same kind of guy would drive for an hour with his turn signal on.
I would assure you that you’d never be The Old Man in the Hat, but still, during car trips when you got older, sometimes I’d see flashes of Old Man in Hatness to come. I’d try to be diplomatic, “Um, Dad? Turn signal?” But I didn’t mind because I valued our trips together, doing errands, going back and forth to the train station when I’d come for a visit. The nicest things you ever said to me were when we were driving around together in the car, just us. I never doubted I had an ally in you, Dad.
I know you never wanted to be The Old Man in the Hat, but I wish you’d lived long enough to become him. Yeah, I’m sure I’d have dreaded riding in the car with you, silently willing you to speed up yet fearing what chaos might ensue if you did. But given the alternative, I’d jump at the chance. I’d rather be annoyed in your presence than wounded by your absence. It’s been almost a year since you died, but how do I measure all the moments in that time that were lost?
I can’t do anything to control your leaving us, but I can influence how you are remembered, so here you are, vital, young, on the brink of a new phase, fully engaged in life...and wearing a young man’s hat. I miss you so much."