Sensei's wife, perhaps thinking back on her own mother's death from the same disease, spoke in a subdued tone and then shifted her gaze downward. I felt truly sorry for my father and the fate that awaited him.
At this point, Sensei turned to his wife and asked, "Shizu, do you think you'll die before I do?"
"I was just wondering. Or do you think I'll go first? That's usually the case. The husband goes first and the wife is left behind."
"Not necessarily. It's just because husbands tend to be older."
"That's why the husband goes first then. Which means I'm bound to depart this world before you do."
"You're the exception."
"You think so?"
"You're fit as a fiddle. When have you ever been truly ill? I'm quite sure I'll go first."
"Yes, I believe so."
Sensei looked at me. I smiled in return.
"Suppose I do go first. What will you do?"
"What will I ..."
Her speech faltered. The idea of Sensei's death, and the thought of her own sorrow, seemed to upset her. When she raised her eyes again, however, she'd regained her composure.
"After all, what can I do? Through thick and thin one rolls with the punches."
She shot me a knowing look as she answered him tongue-in-cheek.