Mom and daughter prove that independence and bucking societal norms make for a happy, loving life!

My Ex-Mother In Law: A Wonderful Lady That I Loved and Respected

In laws are often thought of as annoying, meddling, and not welcoming. Couple that with a divorce, and most people assume that these people will no longer be a part of the lives of the splitting parties.

Non-Traditional Ways: Since I’m not typically accustomed to a traditional way of living, this was not the case for me. When my ex-husband and I got a divorce, I tried to maintain a relationship with his parents. I respected them, and they were still my children’s grand-parents. When his father passed away, it was hard since he was always more of a father to me than anyone else. After his father, dad, passed away, we all went to spend Christmas with his mother. That’s right, divorced family that we are flew to Las Vegas with all three children and stayed in the house where my ex-husband grew up. The sleeping arrangements were different, and I shared a room with my daughter, but the family unit was still there to fellowship and spend Christmas together.

Frances Lara remembered: My ex-mother in law, Frances Lara, mom, passed away a few days ago. The news hit hard, as I realized that I will never again be able to visit with her and discuss politics and everything else under the son. The past few years we haven’t talked as much as we used to, but I would like to think that she would be proud of my politics now. She was always a die-hard democrat, and up until about seven years ago, I have always been a “middle of the road” sort of girl.  Seven years ago I joined her party, and I often think back on some of the discussions we would have in the mid 90’s and early 2000’s. Those are the conversations where I thought I knew everything since I had just turned 20, had a baby, and was newly married to an Army man. Yes, since I had to figure out how to take care of a baby, pay the bills, and balance a checkbook when my husband was away for months at a time, I thought I knew everything. Looking back on some of our conversations, I was probably a little shit in some ways.

She Taught Me A Lot:There were times when we would butt heads, but I barely even remember why. She taught me a great deal. She taught me how to deal with the separation when I was a young military wife since she had gone through it at an even younger age than myself. She also had a total of seven children, and got married when she was 17, not 20.

It is because of her that I know how to make some of the best traditional Mexican Enchiladas, and will pass the recipe down to my children.

Willie Nelson: One of my favorite memories with Frances is when we saw Willie Nelson perform live at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Being a Texas lady from El Paso, she was always a fan of Willie Nelson, and wanted to see him live. I remember calling and asking about tickets a couple of weeks prior to the event, and they assured me over the phone that we could purchase the tickets at the door.

When we arrived, we were told that they were sold out. She was not a woman who cried easily, but I could tell she was holding back and was disappointed. She calmly said a phrase that Russell’s father would frequently use, “Oh well, better days ahead.”

I said, “No, we are getting in.”

Remember, I have always been kind of hard-headed, and I did not want her to miss this event! To make a long story short, we were able to purchase tickets in the box. I don’t remember exactly how or why, I just remember knowing that I was not going to leave until she had seen Willie Nelson live in concert.

Frances said, “Well, you are determined!”

My reply, “Yes mom, I am! We got in didn’t we?” 😉 It was a wonderful evening,

She was an activist with the head injury association, and also a devout Catholic. She was head strong, yet proper, and she loved her family. I believe that this is the most important thing. Loving your children and family and trying to do our best to live the best life we can live is basically what it comes down to.

It saddens me that Scarlett and I won’t be able to make it to her funeral since we are in Madrid, but her memories and the good times we had will linger. Dearest Frances, mom, I do hope that you are now happily re-connected with dad and your daughter Patricia up in heaven. May God bless you, and may you rest in peace. I love you.