I helped my dad shuffle up the steps into his house and I laid his mail on the kitchen counter. He slowly worked his way to his recliner and dropped in.
Mom was in the hospital following heart valve replacement surgery. Dad and I had made the 60-mile trek every day to visit her in her recovery. At 88, he couldn’t drive anymore. To be honest, we were a little nervous leaving him alone while Mom was gone.
“Do you need anything before I go home?” I shuffled through the stack of envelopes. “Uh, what is this bill?” I handed him the envelope.
“Our health insurance,” he said. “I’ll get it.”
“We don’t want to miss any payments with Mom in the hospital.” It was a joke when I said it, but then I saw an envelope attached to his refrigerator.
A stamped return envelope to his health insurance company.
“What’s this?” I handed it to him.
He squinted and leaned forward. “I haven’t mailed that yet. I’ll get it.”
“Let’s open this,” I held the new bill and sliced it open. “Dad, this is the current bill. Is that envelope on the refrigerator last month’s payment?”
“I can’t remember.” He shifted his weight, looking for his TV remote. “I’ll get it out to the mail.”
“How about if I pay this bill today?” I could sign their checks so that I was able to make this payment immediately.
“Sure, if you want to.”
And held my breath, hoping the insurance company wouldn’t balk at the coming hospital bills for Mom’s surgery.
They didn’t but that was the month I switched their insurance payment to an automatic debit from the bank.
Who wants to take chances like that, even if Dad did think he had it covered?