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Mom stood gazing at herself in the three-way mirror at Wren's department store. The cream-colored coat looked great on her. The color accented her green eyes and her curly brown hair. She smiled, her deep dimples reflecting her pleasure. Reluctantly, she hung the coat back on the rack and turned to the coats on sale. She frowned. Browns, blacks, and blues.She thought of those years when she wore cheap, sometimes second-hand clothes so that her five children could have decent school outfits and shoes. Lisa was the only one of us still at home.Mom had a new job as a nurse at Mercy hospital and was helping out with family expenses. Surely she deserved to treat herself after all these years? She gazed longingly at the other coat. It wasn't just a wool coat—it was CASHMERE. It beckoned. It sang to her: “We were meant for each other.” Feeling guilty and exhilarated, she defiantly faced up to Dad and told him the cost of her new coat. He looked at the price tag as though he didn't believe her and was appalled. “You've got to return this.We can't afford it.” He ranted; he shook the coat in front of her nose. My little Mother stood, arms folded, glaring back at him. Finally, Dad ran out of sputter. He gave an exasperated sigh. “ You're going to be wearing this coat for a long time.”She phoned to tell me of the incident. “Your Dad isn't very happy with me.”I was the sympathetic, supportive daughter. “He'll get over it.” Mom wore the cashmere coat for the rest of her life. She seemed a different person in it. Her posture changed, all five feet of her, and she held her head up high and proud,. She basked in the compliments. We loved to touch the soft fabric of this wonderful garment.She was fifty-three years old when she died of an aneurysm. I inherited the coat and wore it for special occasions even though it didn't fit me very well. It was too tight in the shoulders, a bit snug around the hips. I had it dry-cleaned and it hung in my closet for two years. Then I thought that Mom wouldn't want me to hold onto something that could be of use to someone in need. I gave the coat away. I hope that Goodwill found another rebel to wear the magical cashmere coat.
Author's Bio:I'm a retired nurse and enjoy participating in two writing groups, penning memoirs and essays. I have been to three E.B. workshops and enjoyed the sessions and especially the friendships that have endured. Erma inspires me to appreciate the good times and fun that are a part of our lives. Thanks for your consideration. Christina Cahall
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