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“Well, it’s official, Liz,” the hospice nurse said, her smiling dark eyes peering over her mask. I sensed good news coming as she unzipped her sleeveless quilted vest and sat opposite the Valentine bouquet on my dining room table. “Medicare has re-certified you until mid-April. Another will follow, but unlike before, there will be no hesitation—you’re finally beginning to look like a hospice patient, both in our records and in your person.”

She was right. Despite eating regularly, my weight continues to drop due to poor metabolism sloughing off the nutrients. Other than smaller pants my sister bought me last November, I’m loathe to replenish what’s hanging in my closet. My belt buckle holds everything together and keeps me presentable. Bulky sweaters of many colors cover a lot. Rather than pitch an old pair of blonde corduroys, this morning, my helper patched the hole in the seat; such still keeps February’s nip at bay.

Besides, my new slimness is quite the fashion, from what I observe online.

When I reflect upon my clothes history, a close look at trends had directed my choices and expended money, better used for other things, especially charities that I traipsed by. Only in later years, the ugliness of department store clothing drove me to significant finds at Goodwill or the Scholarshop.

Aside from this trivia about clothing, a time will come when I step outside of time and have no need of clothing. For the present, though, it’s about preparing my wedding garment, one day at a time. This, I cannot do alone.

At 4 A.M. I awoke with this dream:

I’m shopping at a boutique. An older friend of Mary Ann asks me to drop by a cherry- red velour long sleeve dress with a self-tie belt, along with a burnt-chocolate cropped jacket that she’d picked out for her. The outfit appeals to me and I regret not having selected it for myself. I drive over to Mary Ann’s house and find her dispirited, uninterested in the outfit. She hands it back to me.

The dream lays bare dynamics hidden within the recesses of my shadow tucked in my unconscious. The boutique resembles ones I used to frequent, decades ago, their high energy pumping desire, their clothing remarkable for crisp fabrics, vibrant colors, and flattering styles.

I brighten with interest noting the cherry-red velour long sleeve dress with a self-tie belt, along with the burnt-chocolate cropped jacket. The ensemble, though representative of the 1980s, still reflects my tastes as well as my past addiction for still another outfit. Twice each year, I had to thin out my closets for more space.

 An older friend suggests the thoughtful woman in my psyche, properly aligned with Higher Power and willing to fulfill her request. But Mary Ann is another story: chronically angry, controlling, rigid, self-absorbed, the dross of my character defects still to be removed, once recognized and turned over to Higher Power.

Even the outfit, specifically selected for Mary Ann, fails to evoke spirit as she turns her face to the wall. This tidbit recalls years of outfits for which my godmother gifted my birthdays, most of which I returned for credit.

Despite daily efforts to live more mindfully, I still have work to do before leaving here—My Dreamer always tells the truth.

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