The Green Hat {A Love Letter to My Girl}

Today, I am sharing a piece I wrote and shared on this blog back in 2014. For those who have followed me in this public place and may not know, the beautiful girl these words were written for has left God’s good earth and is seeing things we have only yet imagined. Katherine Grace, our beautiful daughter passed away on January 9th, 2021. This certainly has made the longing for Heaven stronger within me now than ever before. I rediscovered this memory and poem-letter as we prepared our 20- year -old daughter Katherine’s memorial service-something I still find hard to believe is our reality at the moment. I know God gave me the wherewithall to write these words…words that are worth sharing have been gifts for my soul…like manna sustaining me on a long journey. I don’t really have words right now, but I am clinging to The One who is the Word to sustain me until I do. For now I give you the words given me a few years back. When I can, I want to write everything I can remember about this beaitiful girl we have loved. I want to keep remembering, and never forget…right now, everything is hard, and unreal, and life itself seems irrelevent. My heart longs for home…our hearts ache beyond words. As never before we know what it is to sit silently before the Lord, knowing He has the final word. May these words bring hope for your weary heart, wherever you are on your path. May you know the One who sustains all things always now and forever. Amen.

My Girl,
How I love you more than words can ever express.
How is it that in motherhood God has so captured
His own inexpressible love and squeezes it out in tears and hugs daily?
I can’t even grasp the depth of my love toward you and yet I know it is, indeed, finite.
It is limited, this love I have for you my sweet girl.
I have dipped my fingertip into the pool of inexhaustible love that never sleeps nor grows weary,
and I suspect I have felt a portion of it coursing through my veins, welling up in my heart at times.
Yet I do grow weary at times.
I want to apologize in advance for the mistakes I know I will make along this journey.
Have already made.
I wish I could be perfect for you.
The perfect mother I never had, that none of us have, can ever have.
It is impossible, my dear one.
Those are shoes that only One should ever fill.
I fear it is not even a good desire.
The fact is I do grow weary, am imperfect and will fail you.
Oh, I pray not.
But I know better.
I know that you in your youth have already spotted my weaknesses.
Some are glaring flaws that prowl like tigers.
Others are just my own buried wounds and scars forgotten,
but tender to the touch. Exposed in the heat of the moment.
I am after all being transformed and conformed. I don’t have all the answers.

Even still. I do have this one thing, a confidence in the One who knit you together in my womb.
This same One who promised to never leave, nor forsake me, though every other human possibly could.
I don’t have confidence in myself, I just have no place to get it from but Him.
I trust in this, that He promises to lead those who have young.
That if all else fails, you can count on this.
His love never fails.

If you turn from me,
harden your heart towards Him and
turn from all I have dreamed for you…
I will trust in His goodness.

Not my wonderful parenting, not my ability to give you the life I never had, not my excellent “mothering skills”, not the hope that you will do what I think you should.
I come to the table with empty hands. But with these hands I can pray, I can praise and seek Him who is seeking you and pursuing you before you even desire to return His love.

I am fully confident in the fact that this love that wells up within me as life itself is a down payment on the bigger transaction of grace taking place in the quietness of my soul.
I am bought with a price and my love for you is tapped
right into that bigger reservoir of eternal love.
Not wasted. Precious. Pure and Holy.

I want more than ever for you to feel beautiful because it is already true.
That He has created you, and I wish upon wish upon hope, that you would feel beautiful.
Because even He is beautiful.
It is His beauty that has transformed me to the woman of grace that I am continuing to become.
That you can become. How I remember the days you felt beautiful, in your innocence.
How you burst through the rooms of our home in dresses and tutus and scathing beauty. Unashamed. But age brings the knowledge of the unholy and the world competes for your allegiance.
It hurts my heart when you lean that way and I see you feeling less beautiful.
Because it is not true.
You are beautiful.
You are loved.
You are precious.
You were birthed in beauty, because
He created you- kissed your precious face right there in that hidden place.
Saw you swaddled in embryonic fluid and adored you right there fully.
The memories of you already fill me to the brim.
A million snapshot moments, stream through my mind.

I remember our shopping day a few years back…and the momentary joy of a green hat.
You picked up the hat, adjusted it on your head and your smile filled the room.
You beamed with confidence. Beautiful.
We snapped a picture, moment in time. One moment. One hat.
Maybe you will forget that moment in time.
But I saw something in your eyes that I wish I could keep for you and give back to you for the times you feel your beauty abandons you.
You felt it, in that moment…beautiful.
But I have found my Green Hat.
The One who is Beauty itself.
The One who’s Beauty is without blemish and unfading.
And if I could just give it to you I would.
But, unlike the green hat on the clearance table we passed up that day…
eleven dollars of motherly regret.
Temporary beauty that fades in time.
His hat of grace is available when you are ready to put it on.
He will adorn you with imperishable beauty and
you will be secure in this fit.
You are precious in His sight.
I love you, and you will always be my girl.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT) Romans 8:38-39

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at

13 thoughts on “The Green Hat {A Love Letter to My Girl}

  1. OH my dear Dawn, how my heart is aching and breaking for you today. I know how these feelings of regret and second guessing and overwhelming sorrow will continue to bombard you as you search through the grief for some moments of joy, memories of the happy times, snapshots of the amazing life you shared with your precious daughter and wishing that somehow you could bring those pictures back to life and relive the moment. Cherish every memory and know that you were exactly the mother God chose for your beautiful child because He knew you would instill in her the knowledge and love of her Heavenly Father. You demonstrated His love for her in every thing you did…even in the times of frustration and doubt…His love was still shining through you. Focus now on those happy memories…and let God heal your broken heart in the process. It will not be easy, and it will take a long time…not sure we ever totally can be completely whole again once we have said farewell to our child…but we take comfort in knowing that our child will never suffer again…our child is with Jesus and together they are preparing a wonderful place for us to join them someday. They are experiencing things before we do because somehow their presence in heaven helps us to become more heaven aware and less bound to this old earth. And maybe it also helps us to be better vessels for God’s use here for our remaining time…to help prepare others for their journey heavenward. Just be kind to yourself…allow yourself time to grieve…and embrace the One Who is right there beside you, infusing you with His grace and peace. You are greatly loved.


  2. Thinking of you and your familia. May god bring comfort and strength during this most difficult 😞 time. God bless, you all have been on my mind and prayers. Xoxo hugs 🤗


    1. I used to keep a notebook where I wrote a word or two that would later jog a memory about which I could write. It was a random list. Examples might be: “when Dad removed a fish hook lodged near a stranger’s eye”, “mom and dad blowing the whistle to call us home for dinner”, “playing Red Rover”, “bubonic plague”. You can make a list now, sporadic, as a memory comes to mind. Later, they will be your “prompts”.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Dawn, I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful daughter. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers, asking Jesus to be especially close to you today. 💛🙏🏻


  4. I will never forget Katherines smile when we met for the first time. I mourn for us still here on earth while she and Jesus prepare for us all one day to return to our true Home and rejoice with loved ones who have gone before us. Know that Cris and I send our love, prayers for healing and whatever else you need. Love you girl.


  5. Dawn: I can only imagine what you and Angelo feel. God will take care of you. I am praying for you and for Angelo. This morning my prayer group, The Mustard Seeds, joined with me in that prayer. DEAR FATHER GOD; Please wrap your arms around Dawn and Angelo. Draw them closer to you, Whisper words of kindness, comfort, and healing into their hearts. Guide them along this path that they find themselves on. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN


  6. My good friend Dawn, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband. My sincere condolences. Your words are so deep and emotional and I’m feeling every single word and emotion. I send you all my prayers and strength. I am here anytime you need. Anything you need I’m here. Anyway that I can help I’m here for you. Courage and strength my friend. Praying for you and your husband. 🙏❤️


  7. I am late in finding this, my prayers are with you and your husband, my heart breaks for you, may God embrace and hold you tightly +++


  8. Oh Dawn, my heart is broken for you as only a mother’s heart can be broken. I’ve been there, as you know. May the Lord in his infinite glory and grace be a palpable presence as you walk this road of grief. The knife twisting in your gut will fade but not for a long time. Hold fast, my friend. {{hugs}}


  9. Oh, Dawn! It has taken all week to absorb this news. Your girl is beautiful!! My heart breaks for you and all I want to do is wrap my arms around you and hug you tightly. Your Faith is exemplary! Perfect poem. Perfect photo. Perfect hat. 🙂 If there is anything I can do to help in any way, please reach out. I’m not a writer like you are and there are no appropriate words, but I just happened to read these today:

    “I said: what about my eyes?
    He said: Keep them on the road.

    I said: What about my passion?
    He said: Keep it burning.

    I said: What about my heart?
    He said: Tell me what you hold inside it?

    I said: Pain and sorrow.
    He said: Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
    ― Attributed to Rumi

    Praying for your peace sends strength…

    Liked by 1 person

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