Everyone handles grief differently. When my mother died, putting me – her only child – in charge of dispatching her belongings, I was ruthless. All her clothes went into that big black garbage bag destined for charity. Including the red skirt.
She had worn the red skirt often. It was made of a soft tee-shirt material that defied time and machine washing. She gardened in it, napped in it, lounged and went to the store in it. Between washings, it was liberally sprinkled with Paddy fur from her huge Maine Coon cat.
The red skirt is not to be confused with Star Trek’s red shirt, the downfall of a myriad of uniformed extras. The red skirt was life, not death. A splash of color on a rainy Portland day. Encouragement for the old of body but not of soul.
“When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple red!”
It has been thirteen years, but I haven’t forgotten that magical red skirt.
I want it back.
I want the red skirt back.