Mom purchased the hat at her sewing groups sale years ago, and I mean years ago! She must have worn it for at least ten years, from age 90 to 100+; it is still as good as new. Being frugal, she had no inclination to buy a new one, not even one to match her blue/violet coat (she had stopped caring about fashion).
My most vivid memory of Mom and the hat is from the half-mile walks that we took. It was always the same route; Mom would clonk along with her walker and periodically stop and pick up trash, which she deposited in the little carrying pouch attached to the walker. Since she always carried a pocketbook, the pouch was always empty and ready. Our ritual was to walk a quarter of a mile to the Roger Sherman Inn, give its sign a tap, and make the return trip to where Mom lived. When we got to the lobby, Mom would dump the trash into the nearest available wastebasket. Civic duty done; right up until the end, Mom doing what she could to make the world a better place.
I miss those walks. Periodically Mom would stop, catch her breath and face me so she could read my lips while we talked. Then on we would go. Mom had always been a routine person. As she walked those last five years, the routines became rituals that gave form to her life. They always delighted me, even when they were slow and sooo repetitive. You see, throughout my life my job was to make Mom happy. I loved the job. Mom was happy and that made me happy. A win-win life together.