Some days she comes home sad, having ushered one of her patients into the big sleep. And she pours a drink, sometimes telling us the medical side and sometimes half asleep after the first sip. And sometimes she won't come home 'til 7 hours after her shift, 'cause the evening nurse didn't show and she has paperwork to do (and management has gone home, so she can relax a bit), and we keep dinner in the microwave cause even saints gotta eat. And her mom is becoming her favorite patient, requiring extra patience because my grandma was a doctor. And she's now 92 with a failing heart and a mind that can't quite hold on to what it used to. And my mom is gonna hold her hand, calmly carrying another weakened, time-stricken soul on her weight-thickened shoulders, to the vacant hole that holds the after. And she'll do it not 'cause she has to, because all she's ever done is care.