"You've got to be kidding me! Are you sure this is right?" Alan Epps stared at the blood pressure machine. The readout said 156/100. The doctor

Frowned. "Yes Mr. Epps it is correct. Those numbers are way too high. Your cholesterol is also in the danger zone. You are at serious risk of having a heart attack or stroke. I am putting you on medication and a strict diet plan." The doctor handed Alan some pamphlets. "Here is a list of foods

you should avoid. "

Alan stared at the pamphlet incredulously. "Is there anything that I can eat?"

When Alan got home, he hid the pill bottles and pamplets under his shirts in his dresser. He didn't want his sons to worry about him. They already

had enough on their minds as it was.A few days later, while Alan was at the grocery store, Don came over to visit. Charlie was sitting at the kitchen table, working his lecture for tomorrow's classes. Don asked if he could use the shower and borrow one of Alan's shirts.

"What, you don't have any water in your apartment?" teased Charlie. "You're over here so much I should make you pay rent."

Don laughed and went upstairs. When he was looking for a shirt, his hand brushed against the pill bottles that Alan had hidden. Don removed them

and looked at the labels. Blood pressure medication, and something for high cholesterol. Don felt a slight shiver go down his spine. He ran downstairs. "Hey Charlie!" Charlie looked up. "Something wrong?"

Don held out the pill bottles. "I found these in Dad's dresser. Do you know anything about this?" Charlie shook his head. "I know Dad went in for a physical a few days ago, but he told me everything was fine."

Just then Alan walked through the door with a bag of groceries. He noticed the shared look of worry on his sons' faces. Then he saw the pill

bottles in Don's hand. "Oh, great. Look you guys, I didn't want to worry you. It's no big deal really. My blood pressure and cholesterol were a little high so the doctor put me on meds. As long as I take my medicine and do whatever else the doctor tells me to do I'll be fine."

When Charlie spoke, it was more of a mumble." How high?" Alan stepped closer." What did you say Charlie, I didn't hear you."

Don, who had been standing right next to Charlie said, "He asked you how high the numbers were. to tell the truth, I want to know too."

Alan sighed. "Okay, okay, blood pressure 156/100, cholesterol was like 250 or something. But like I said, I'm taking medication for it so it's no

big deal. I promise I'll be all right." He walked over to his sons and pulled them into a three-way hug. They clung to each other tightly as Alan

whispered, "You have my word."