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I took this week off so I could spend a little more time with my mother. Originally, it was also because I was in danger of burning out, and because I wanted to help get out the vote.

Today I was going to gently take her to the ocean - she can't walk far, but at least she could see the waves. It would have been a nice day for it.

Instead, this week she's had a medical procedure of some kind every single day, for five days running. She's about to have a multi-unit blood transfusion because her hemoglobin levels have plummeted. Afterwards, she'll likely want to sleep, in the same way she does after the dialysis sessions she has three times a week.

I'm very glad I'm here with my parents: I've been sheltering in place with them throughout the pandemic, which has allowed me to spend more time with them, and do what I can to help my dad, who is my mother's primary carer. This month alone events have included evacuating from a fire that miraculously stopped a block away from the house, and a mix of emergency and planned hospital visits. It's a lot, and I'm exhausted.

This is all quality time, but not the kind I was hoping for: there are fewer long talks, and far more feeding tube flushes and wound cleanings. I really hope it's not too late for those conversations. I'll be here regardless; I'm grateful for my family, and I'll take all the time I can get.

I could, however, use another vacation.