My Dad Won’t Move

We get to choose where we’ll be buried. Why not be allowed to choose where we’ll die?

Regina Rodríguez-Martin
5 min readApr 19, 2022
Illustration 180815941 © Jozef Micic | Dreamstime.com

I am 55 and a half years old. My father is old. He lives alone in California with no family nearby. I live in Chicago and almost everyone else in the family lives in Houston. Because of certain health conditions, it would have been an excellent idea for my dad to have moved to Houston months ago. But no matter how many times we talk to him about it, he does not want to move.

In their last phone call, my sister and my dad had this exchange:

When will he be ready to move?

He doesn’t know.

Will he ever be ready to move?

He doesn’t know.

He’s being completely exasperating and impractical. Why would he not move to an area where people are waiting to help? My sister and other family members would welcome my dad in Houston. They’ve said repeatedly that they’re ready to help him with doctor appointments, errands, shopping, whatever he needs. In California he’s all alone with a single hired caregiver who can’t be there all the time. What if he falls? What if he needs to go to the ER? What if, what if, what if?

It’s the common problem of the middle-aged offspring trying to help an elderly parent who can’t…

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Regina Rodríguez-Martin

Mexican American. Chicagoan. Generation X. Relishes questions of human behavior. Nobody’s mother and nobody’s wife. Blog: https://www.reginachicana.com.