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Irresistible force meets the immovable object.

By Mark GagnonPublished 10 months ago 3 min read
Photo by Vlad Sargu on Unsplash

It was only a twenty-minute drive to her father’s house, so why did it feel like she had been in the car for hours? Of course, she already knew the answer to this question. She needed to, once again, have that conversation with her dad. The one that never ended well. There was no logical reason to think this time would be any different, but she had to try.

Larry, her older brother, had pushed and pushed until their father refused to speak with him at all. Even her mother, God rest her soul, had talked about making a change, but he would have none of it. Now Mom was gone. That left her to reason with the old fool.

Becky understood that change gets more difficult as a person ages. She only needed to look at her own life to verify that. When she was in her early twenties, it only took a suggestion about traveling to some place new, and she was on her way. It really didn’t matter to young Becky how much it cost, or the potential risks involved.

Today’s Becky needed to know all about the location, if it was safe, and how long she would be away. She had commitments and responsibilities. The young free-spirited her was in the past. Yes, people do become set in their ways as they age, but it didn’t mean they couldn’t be reasonable—or did it?

Becky pulled into her father’s driveway, the same driveway where she learned to ride a bike, and later on, first backed up her father’s car. She pushed those memories to the back of her mind, took a deep breath to settle her nerves, and exited the car.

Al sat at his kitchen table looking out the window when his daughter drove in. He watched as she hesitated before leaving the car. She strode purposefully toward the kitchen door. This was a woman on a mission, and he already knew what the mission was. The back door opened and Becky walked in.

“Hi, Dad”

“Good morning, Sweetie. This is a pleasant surprise. What brings you by?”

“Dad, we need to talk. I’ve brought some brochures for you to look at.”

“No! Absolutely no way am I moving into one of those warehouses for old people waiting to die. Not at this stage of my life.”

“But Dad, you’re not as strong as you used to be, and the doctor said it would be for the best. All Larry and I want is for you to be taken care of.”

“Damn, money-grubbing doctors! You and your brother don’t get it. Your mother and I built this place from the ground up. It has more than just monetary value to me. You can sell it when I’m gone, but until then, I’m staying put. Besides, I have friends here and things I’m involved in. Why would I want to give all that up to live in a smelly nursing home?”

A single tear slid down her cheek. “Dad, these aren’t nursing homes. They’re assisted living facilities. I have to say, for as long as I can remember, you have always been unreasonably stubborn, but I love you anyway. I have to go now. Please, at least look at the brochures I’ve collected. These places aren’t what you think.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll look at them, but that’s all I’ll do. I love you too, kid! Be careful out there.”

Immediately after his daughter left, Al placed his left arm back in a homemade sling. He hoped the injury was only a sprain from the fall he had earlier that morning. Even though the old man knew he was in life’s last phase, he wasn’t ready to give in yet. Reluctantly, the seventy-eight-year-old walked to the coffee table and picked up the brochures. Maybe living in a place where he didn’t have to cook all the time wasn’t such a bad idea.


About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling the US and abroad. Now it's time to create what I hope are interesting fictional stories.

I have 2 books on Amazon, Mitigating Circumstances and Short Stories for Open Minds.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Excellent storytelling

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Comments (3)

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  • Donna Fox (HKB)10 months ago

    Mark I love this, it felt like a great set up for something more! I'm excited for the direction that this is going in!

  • Oh poor Al, he fell down! 🥺 I'm so happy that he seems to think that listening to Becky is a good idea!

  • Tina D'Angelo10 months ago

    Good Lord, Mark, are you reading my mind? My kids are preparing to give us 'The Talk'. I hope it goes better than when we gave them their adolescent 'Talks'.

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