I’VE HAD THREE sets of in-laws due to having two former wives and now a third wife who won’t ever be an ex. I sure hope not. I’m too old to start over.
I never met my third set of in-laws because they died long before I came on the Mexican scene 19 years ago. Both died too young. My father-in-law, who was a family physician and surgeon, died of a heart attack at 61.
My mother-in-law, who bears a strong resemblance to my child bride, died in childbirth when she was only 31.
She was having her fifth child. The baby survived, but she did not. That same baby went on to die of a heart attack last year in his early 50s.
Mama’s death had a massive negative effect on the family, an effect that has tumbled down through the decades.
Daddy was something of a tough hombre, a trait the photo illustrates well. In spite of that, he was much beloved in the Tierra Caliente town of Los Reyes where he long practiced medicine.
If patients couldn’t pay, he would accept poultry or vegetables as payment, whatever they offered. People in Los Reyes remember him fondly to this day, decades after his death.
My child bride, as a teenager, often worked as his receptionist and even gave shots to patients on occasion. She got paid extra for that.
Family lore says the doctor wasn’t fond of Gringos, a feeling he passed down to some of his offspring. I have changed most of their minds, however.
I wonder if I would have changed his.
My mother-in-law was beautiful.