Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Birthmark

Hello, World.
My name is Marie.
And I have a birthmark.
Did you know that?
Right on my cheek.
I've had it my whole life.
And it has really, really bothered me.
My whole life.
In fact, so much so, that I would say my
of my face has been...

Because I have never really been able to see my face.

I could only see
My Birthmark.
This is what it has always looked like to me

Weird, right?
Life is beautiful,
but there was this flaming birthmark
marring my image.

Birthmark is such an ugly word.

It has affected so many things about my habits.
For instance, if someone looks at my face for too long,
I assume they are looking at my birthmark,
and that kind of makes me feel ashamed.
I have spent most of my life avoiding makeup --
not just 'cause I'm an all-natural girl, which I am --
but because I thought people would know I was just
an ugly girl
trying to be something I wasn't.
Every picture of myself, that is all I would see... my red cheek.
And worst of all.
Every time I would look in a mirror.
I could not see my face as a whole.

I just saw my birthmark.

I literally. Could not see my face.
That is maybe hard to understand.

Birthmark was a swearword to me.

What's funny is, I have had so many people in my life tell me
it is something they have never noticed.
That they never saw it when they saw my face,
that they saw me.
But I had never really seen me,
so I couldn't understand what they were talking about.
My parents have always let me know they thought I was beautiful.
My brothers, because they are just unusual this way,
always told me they thought I was beautiful.
My friends told me
it didn't matter what I looked like,
my beauty on the inside shined through.
For that reason --
I kind of hated hearing about my inner beauty.
That was questionable, anyway.
Now you know how shallow my growing self was:
I just wanted to be beautiful, inside and out.

When I found out I was pregnant with a daughter,
I worried to myself,
and sometimes to my Mother.
I just didn't want her to have a birthmark like me.
I just wanted her skin to be beautiful,
And the Lord hear the prayer of my heart,
she was born with the most flawless
strawberries and cream complexion
you could ever dream of seeing,
which she has to this day.
She is beautiful.
I never worried about that when I had a son.
Isn't that funny?

You know who has always seen me?
Always, always, even when I was the dorkiest fourteen-year-old
that ever was,
and he was the cutest senior I knew
who could never possibly notice me, not in a million years?

The Double B.

Even then, he saw ME.
No wonder I fell in love.
And he has seen me ever since.
The Birthmark has never mattered to him.
Ever, ever.
He doesn't even notice it,
even though he knows it is there.
And I know he means it.

When I was twenty-two,
I asked for one promise from The Double B.
I asked that by the time I was twenty-five,
something could be done about my birthmark.
He promised.
And it seemed so far away.
Because it was something I was ashamed of.

And when I was twenty-five...
my dermatologist called.
My insurance had -- rather miraculously --
agreed to have my birthmark lasered to help
lessen the intensity.
It might sound funny to you,
but I know this was a tender mercy of the Lord.

That was a year ago.
And it's not totally gone -- in fact, I have another appointment today.
It will probably never be totally gone.
But for the first time in my life...

I can see myself.

Most of the time now,
when I look in the mirror --

I see me.

And it's nice to see.
I'm not beautiful. I'm not ugly. I'm regular,
which is best of all.
I'm me. And I like that.
And I especially love
being able to see that.

What is so ironic, and maybe sad that it took this long --
finally, after all this time,
I realize that birthmark or not,
I have always been me.

And I have always been A Daughter of God.
I have always had beauty on the inside.
And that is best... best of all.

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Ducksoup said...

reeser you are beautiful you know that - - definitely not just a regular gal. i must say i never notice your birthmark. you are just ree to me, birthmark or not. that picture of you and livi is so stinkin' cute. and i don't know how you did the first picture but i am might impressed.

katie said...

I never did notice that. You are just so much fun and you always look great! I think you are beautiful!

*rOcKiN rIcHiNs* said...

I never noticed...

Paulette said...

I'm teary-eyed!! Marie, you ARE so beautiful inside AND out! You always have been and always will be. How you feel about yourself is so important. I can go on about all the things I find beautiful about you (your golden hair, your smile, you bright eyes, your fun-loving personality, your talent for acting...ect) but until you feel it for yourself it's not so meaningful.
I'm so glad for you! I want you to feel as beautiful as you are!! I love you, my friend! We should have a pink ladies "good-bye birthmark party"! It would be fun!:) You are B-E-A-U-T-BEAUTIFUL!

Tink said...

Marie, You ARE Beautiful. You always have been. Just this last Sunday I sat a few pews behind you, and I was thinking, "Oh, to be beautiful like Marie!" I love you! You are amazing! I'm glad you feel better about yourself! I agree with Paulette, let's have a pink ladies "good-bye birthmark party!" We need all the excuses we can get!