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  • He threw on the hot pink summer blazer that she insisted he try. "Here. Put this on. Try it!" she had cried. And when he did, she decided, "It looks good on you!"

    He had taken her to the thrift shop, a routine once begun by her niece, her primary caregiver. When it comes to the elderly, we develop little agreements, or understandings — on what to do, what they like, what sets them off, what to avoid. By now, this was unstated but understood: She loved to model and buy clothes from that store. He was a good sport.

    She paid for his jacket and her new items. They stepped out into the thick Florida afternoon heat. He opened the doors and windows of the white car and ran the A/C for a minute or more, then guided her frail body to the front passenger buckle and seat, and drove her home.

    She is gone. Who knows where that piece of clothing can be. It may be in a thrift store, draped in a hanger with a size or price tag. Of all the colors..., in bright hot pink! And she was vibrant — a showy bougainvillea cluster in hot stark sun.
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