My father has been sick for two weeks and refuses to see a doctor. After spending another day sick in bed, my mother summoned me to convince him to see a doctor and stating the obvious, “he’s so stubborn.” At 80 and the survivor of cancer, twice, my father’s body doesn’t repair well and a common cold illicits the fear that his cancer is back. I know there’s not much I can say. I talk about my unfinished shelving project that’s been on hold, and my mom gives me the eye contact signal that she gets it and tries to reason, “yeah, he’s still waiting for the shelves.” My dad, a career working man listens, but he still refuses.
The next day, my mother catches my father’s cold, and sees a doctor. My father gets out of bed, still sick just to check on the shelving project. She gets a prescription to share as if this was her master plan. Now, they’re both getting better.