‘How exactly are we going to break this to Dad?’ my sister asked from the seat next to me. It was the first time we’d spoken in ten minutes, since we’d left his doctor’s office.

‘Cleanly,’ I suggested. ‘No beating around the bush, no stroking his ego so he knows that we care – just tell him that things need to change.’

‘I guess,’ she said, staring out of the car window. ‘He’s not going to take it well.’

‘He’ll take it though,’ I sighed. ‘He doesn’t have a choice.’

The car rumbled along in silence for a few more minutes.

‘When did this become our life?’ she asked me quietly. ‘First with Mum, going downhill so fast, and now Dad…’

‘Hey, hey,’ I said, reaching my free hand over to place on her knee. ‘Don’t think like that, sis, you’re just gonna make yourself crazy.’

‘I know,’ she sighed. ‘But we’re seriously driving to our dad to tell him that he’s gonna need a walker and a helper with the stairs?’

‘We’ll need to look into a company near Sydney that completes bathtub modifications for seniors too,’ I added, more as a mental note for myself.

‘Right, right,’ she said. ‘It just… it just sucks.’

‘It does,’ I nodded. ‘But we’ll get through it. We have each other.’

‘We do,’ she said, forcing a smile back at me. ‘We do.’

She placed her hand on top of mine, and we stayed like that for another little while. The silence was interrupted by a short, sharp laugh from my sister.

‘What?’ I asked, smiling at her curiously.

‘Nothing, nothing,’ she said, then undercut herself by laughing again. ‘I was just thinking… what’s the first thing he’s gonna say to us?’

‘The first thing?’ I frowned. ‘You mean after the swearing?’

How much will a bathtub remodel cost me?’ she said gruffly, furrowing her brow in a not-too distant impersonation of our father.

I laughed despite myself, and soon she was laughing too.

‘That’s how we’ll get through it sis,’ I said, smiling at the grin on her face.

‘Together,’ she nodded, taking my hand again.