I look like a shmoo.
It’s a three-robe morning: the cold is in my bones, and all my robes are called to duty.
The first robe is an ancient peachy-pink flannel. I’ve lost count of its years, poor thing. Maybe twenty? It is a favorite — you know, one of those things in your closet that should never wear out. Its zipper and elastic have gone the way of the pyramids. It is threadbare, limp, exhausted. An old friend. I love it.
Then the new robe, an authentic fuzzy pink. A vaguely bubble-gum pink, alas. Incredibly warm everywhere but my ankles, where the draft is wicked.
The top robe used to be Dad’s. A sober, grey, thinning pilled thing, trimmed in black. My sons and I gave it to him for Christmas after Mom died, and, had Dad known how much it cost, he never would have worn it. But wear it he did! When I had the audacity to wash it, Dad, Linus-like, sighed with relief when it was returned to him fresh from the dryer and he could meld with it again.
The night Dad died, in the comfort of Hospice care, I was wearing his robe, curled up in a big chair next to his bed. I’d fallen asleep. The aide came in, looked carefully at Dad and said, “It won’t be long now.” Within a minute I saw Dad’s body let go.
Do I think of that whenever I wear this robe? Pretty much. Sometimes it’s a butterfly memory, passing by lightly. Sometimes it’s Godzilla.
But three-robe cold will come. And I will meet it shmoo-like. That’s how life is.