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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. Old Pictures: Memories
Chuck Hinman: Old Pictures: Memories. Chuck says his parents' 50th wedding anniversary picture was one of very few pictures taken of my Mom that showed the extent of the port-wine stain that covered generally half of her body including her face.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - How I Want To Be Remembered
By Chuck Hinman
Old Pictures: Memories
Recently I ran on to a picture I hadn't seen for a long time. It was a picture of my parents, Arley and Merle Hinman taken on the dining room porch on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. It was in 1967. It was a good clear picture and it was in color.
50th wedding anniversary picture shows port-wine stain
The day was beautiful -- everyone was dressed up. Mom wore a pretty corsage in honor of the occasion. Dad looked reasonably comfortable with a boutonnie're, and both looked in good health and happy after fifty years of marriage. Quite an accomplishment? Absolutely!
One of the reasons the picture took on added significance was that I have seen very few pictures taken of my Mom that showed the extent of the port-wine stain that covered generally half of her body including her face. When pictures were taken of Mom, she discreetly positioned herself so that the facial stain didn't show. No one made a big to-do or perhaps even thought about it. I have NEVER seen a picture except this 50th wedding anniversary picture that showed the stain in bold and truthful detail, something that had hounded Mom for a lifetime! Bless her heart!
Hideous birthmark right on mother's face
She had lived with the embarrassment of children gasping -- "What's wrong with her face, Mommy?" and mothers trying to shush their children's innocent but truthful observations! There WAS something wrong! Mom was one of the few people who had a hideous birthmark right where it hurt -- smack-dab on her face!
Mercifully, her clothing covered the rest of the stain. But it was ALWAYS there when she took a bath or looked in a mirror. Everyone could get away from the awful truth but not Mom! Lord, how did she deal with that over a lifetime?
What must thoughts have been at her birth
Can you imagine the scene at my Mom's birth when her parents first cast their eyes on their newborn? Some things are too much for the human mind to handle and this is one of those.
But you would have to have known my precious Mom to have known how successfully and beautifully she lived with this curse and especially for a woman.
How family dealt with birthmark
I was especially close to Mom, not because of her horrendous birthmark but because she was Mom. She rarely talked about the birthmark but I have heard her tell how her mother who was an exceptional seamstress always kept her dressed better than the rest of the girls in school.
Both Mom and Dad passed away several years ago. As I looked at that picture a few days ago, I was struck with how successfully our family dealt with Mom's birthmark over a lifetime. I can truthfully say that her birthmark was a non-issue in our relationship. Obviously, my Dad did not let it wipe him out. They were longtime sweethearts, both college educated, and lived a successful married life -- over fifty years. Neither Mom nor Dad ever went into hiding! Why should they? There is more to life than imperfect skin pigmentation.
Chuck says parents Nebraska Farm Couple Of The 20th Century
My Mom and Dad get my vote for Nebraska's Farm Couple Of The 20th Century!
Atta way to go, Mom and Dad. I love you and can hardly wait to see your heavenly bodies. I bet you are a knockout, Mom!
Written by your son, Chuck Hinman, ImPeruvians Writing Club. Emailed Friday, 24 June 2005.
A more detailed account of this birthmark is in: It's Just Me -by- Chuck Hinman : 305 Mom's Birthmark
Editorial Note: I have made a few changes based on a revision emailed Thursday, 7 July 2011 - RHS.
This story was posted on 2013-12-15 05:05:54
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