I took my mother aside to ask after my father's condition.
"Father was out in the garden. Are you sure it's okay?"
"He seems fine these days. I suppose, perhaps, he's recovering."
I was surprised how she took things in stride. Like any woman living a quiet life in the country, she was utterly uninformed in such matters. Even so, I struggled to reconcile her current calm with her anxious fretting in those days after Father's initial bout.
"But didn't the doctor pronounce his condition grave?"
"The human body, it would seem, is truly a wondrous thing. Despite the doctor's solemn words, your father's still going and active on his feet. I was worried at first, and I did my best to keep him in bed, but you know how he is. He tries not to overdo it, but he's stubborn in his ways. Since he's convinced he's okay, he has no more mind to heed me."
I recalled Father's behavior on the occasion of my previous visit. He'd forced himself out of bed and shaved, telling me the while that he was fine, and that Mother was making much ado of nothing. It wouldn't be fair to reproach my mother on his account. I wanted to tell her to at least caution him, but in the end I held my silence. I did explain to her all that I knew of the nature of Father's illness. Most of this was from Sensei and his wife. Mother didn't seem particularly moved by this new information. She merely nodded, expressed pity, and asked how old the deceased had been.