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Chuck Hinman: IJMA No. 029: The Changing of the Guard

It's Just Me Again. No. 029 The Changing of the Guard in Our Family
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By Chuck Hinman

The "changing of the guard" is a beloved tradition of the English people. It is also an appropriate title for what I have felt compelled to write about for some time.

When I started writing several years ago, my purpose was so my family would have something in writing about their Mom and Dad (Connie and me), answers to questions never asked during our lifetime but of interest after we're gone.

I can think of many things I wish I could ask my Mom and Dad, not just about things they did but what they thought, why they did things, and on and on. If we only had cell phone service to heaven, so many questions could be answered. Do you know what I'm talking about?

One by one the number of members of my families in my generation (siblings and cousins) has dropped from twenty-four (including spouses) to just six. Obviously, a changing of the guard in the Hinman-Mouser family has (is) taking place as we speak.

It is understandable that interesting family information is forever lost in this mostly silent changing of the guard. I don't know how you feel but that grieves me, the thought that anyone can live in this world for so many years and not leave any tracks! I have resolved to not let that be said about Connie and me.

So far, I have concentrated writing about things that I (and Connie) "did." You won't find much about "why" we did things.

I can remember so clearly when I rebelled at my parents, and I thought "when I get out of this rat trap I'll do things the right way -- my way."

You know what? When our family came along, we were pretty much a carbon copy of the way we were raised. And after ninety years, I don't think it is conceited to feel that I wouldn't do much differently if I could do it over -- oh yes, some things but not many.

I remember as a young teenager sitting in the car sulking on Sunday morning waiting to go to Sunday school and church, a Hinman family tradition. I pleaded "Why do we HAVE to go to church every Sunday? I don't want to go to church!"

Almost in unison, Mom and Dad said "You don't HAVE to go! Get out of the car and shut up!" Whoosh! Did I say something? Did I step on a nerve?

I never spent such a lonesome two hours in my life! That was the last time I mouthed-off about "having to go to SS and church."

I think it is interesting after I went off to college and later the military, I, of my own volition, searched out a church home not because I had to, but because it seemed the natural thing to do.

I guess what I am advising after some experience is that your heritage is important. Do your thing but don't be ashamed to look back and think: "I wonder what Mom and Dad would do?"

Those things, our core beliefs, were not hidden when we were raising our family, but they are not in writing (yet).

An example of what you may become interested in after I am gone, is why your Mom and I had such a strong tie to what you might view as "churchism." Your generation is noted for pulling away from church in droves. Were we right and you wrong? I see so many things where you followed our example. Why not church attendance?

Connie and I both believed it was relevant and devoted a great deal of our life to that belief. We believed the Bible supported that decision.

I trust that when I am out of here and the guard has changed (again) that with my considerable writing, there will be fewer questions about Connie and me than had we left without leaving any tracks. I certainly tried to leave some tracks. -CHUCK HINMAN

This story was posted on 2011-09-18 05:31:08
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