Sunday, June 21, 2009
Before we left to travel back home from Utah, my husband's mother stopped us to give us some photographs she had collected of her children to give each of her sons. She had gone through the family albums and one by one taken the photographs out and organized each and split them between her five sons.
Although she did not give an official reason for doing this, I suppose my mother-in-law's ultimate decision stemmed from her divorce from her children's father of nearly thirty-two years last year. It is my guess that she has decided to move on with her life, and part of doing so meant giving these personal memories away to her sons including many photographs of her, my father-in-law, and her sons. I don't know if she kept any photographs for herself, but she didn't seem to want any when we asked her. Oh well--she has always walked a different path than most and so perhaps I will never understand her mind.
Or perhaps I am just assuming too much. It is possible.
Whatever her reasons may be to have given us this box of photographs I am glad she did. I didn't know my husband as a child and matter of fact I met him when I was barely twenty and married him four months later. I enjoyed combing through the old photographs and inquiring my husband about each one. I enjoyed looking at my husband's baby face and seeing my own children in these photographs.
This is one of my favorites--bright eyes, face in focus. Reminds me of my middle child (you know, the one who likes pancake syrup on everything).
Here he is eating a cantaloupe...still one of his favorite foods. If I remember clearly, my oldest ate from this same baby chair when we lived in Utah.
My favorite photograph is this one with my mother-in-law appearing happy as a young mother. I often wonder what she was like back then...perhaps she was less cynical and happier. I would have loved to have known her that way. She and I have never gotten along well and I think it will take a miracle for us to have a great relationship. However, I'd like to remember her just like this picture: smiling, loving, caring, hopeful. Perhaps as she starts her new life she can find that part of herself again.
Perhaps my mother-in-law and I don't get along because we have way too much in common. You know, like that seventies yellow and Formica wood countertops. I hate to admit it, but yes...that's it, we have way too much in common.
Gosh I hate admitting that.