My mother was not easy on her children's spouses. Somehow she seemed to distance herself from them, perhaps unwilling to accept them as real family members.
Before she married my brother, my future sister-in-law, Jan, visited with my brother on occasional weekends when he came home from college. I was a young teen at the time and had no idea how difficult it must have been for her. Looking back I realize that it must have been an uncomfortable and stressful time for her.
As a young teen it gave me great pleasure to snap photos of family members while they were napping. I was particularly thrilled with this one. I can't remember what was going on before it was taken but because the furniture is out of place it looks like Mom had been cleaning. (And why, one wonders, would my mother have been cleaning with a guest in the house. That was Mom!)
Despite how stressful it must have been for Jan to visit our home she always managed a smile for the camera. In fact, in every photograph I have of her she's smiling. She was a dear sister-in-law.
Jan would have celebrated her 74th birthday today had she not lost her battle with cancer over a decade and a half ago.
Happy Birthday, Jan!