I‘ve had three fathers-in-law. They came with my three wives, of course.
The first father-in-law was a serious alcoholic who reformed himself late in life. The second was a schizophrenic who calmed himself late in life with lithium.
I actually knew those two guys. I did not know my third father-in-law, however, because he died long before I crossed the Rio Bravo.
He was neither alcoholic nor insane. He was a family physician and surgeon who toiled in a small Mexican town. Occasionally, he accepted goods instead of cash from patients who often were poor. Chickens or eggs.
He never turned anyone away because they could not pay.
Speaking of poor, that’s how he started life, very poor. But with the help of a better-off relative, he made it through medical school.
He married, and had five children. Alas, the fifth baby killed Mama. She died in childbirth at just 31. Her husband was the attending physician, as he was with all his kids, both before and after.
Left with five kids, including the newborn, the doctor married again rather quickly. He had little choice. The kids needed a mother, and he had to make a living due to having so many mouths to fill.
He and his second wife had five more kids. Or was it six? I lose count. To my mind, the ongoing baby factory was absurd, and he should have known better. You can’t blame Catholicism. The doctor loathed the church.
A heart attack killed him at 61. Probably in the sack.
I’ve mentioned much of this before, but as I passed through the living room this morning, there was sunlight on his photo. It was a sign.