My mother, who is seventy years old,recently sent me a photograph of herself that I had never seen before.While cleaning out the attic of her Florida home,she came across a studio portrait she had had taken about a year before she married my father.This picture of my mother as a twenty-year -old girl and the story behind it have fascinated me from the moment I began to consider it. The young women in the picture has a face that resembles my own in many ways.Her face is a bit more oval than mine, but the softly waving brown hair around it is identical.The small, straight nose is the same model I was born with. My mother's mouth is closed,yet there is just the slightest hint of a smile on her full lips.I know that if she had smiled,she would have showm the same wide grin and down-curving "smilelines" that appear in my own snapshots.The most hauting feature in the photo,however,is my mother's eyes.They are an exact duplicate of my own large,dark-brown ones.Her brows areplucked nto thin lines,which are like two pencil strokes added to highlight those fine,luminous eyes. The story behind the picture is as interesting to me as the young woman it captures.Mom, who was earning twenty-five dollars a week as a file clerk, decided to give her boy friend(my father) a picture of her self. She spent almost two weeks' salary on the skirt and blouse, which she bought at a fancy department store downtown. She borrowed the earrings and bracelet from her older sister my aunt Liza. Mom spent another chunk of her salary to pay the portrait photographer for the hand tinted print in old fashioned tones tones of brown and an.Just before giving the picture to my Father,she scrawled at the lower left,"sincerely,Beatrice." When I study this picture,I am filled with a mixture of pleasure and sadness when I look at this frozen long-ago moment. It is a moment of beauty, of love and -in a way-of my own past.
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