Sometimes the only good thing about a sad thing like this is how it can bring a family together”, consoles the casserole-bearing neighbor Vera to the grief-stricken Peterson family.  Annette Peterson’s sudden death has left her husband Frank, daughter Vivian, and granddaughter Angie at a crossroads.  Despite Frank’s insistence that he can take care of himself just fine (he’s been through a war for crissakes, remember?), it soon becomes clear that his Parkinson’s has progressed to the point where he cannot live alone.  Each of them is then faced with an agonizing choice:  does Angie give up college to care for him?  Does Vivian put aside her differences with her father and give up her independence to move in?  Or does Frank give up his one last connection to his dead wife -- his house -- and move into a nursing home?

Lost and unfulfilled in her own life -- she’s a waitress at a lousy diner and her only relationship is with a married man -- Vivian agrees to move in with Frank with a fragile hope of rebuilding their relationship.  But past and present converge as father and daughter find themselves locked in the same struggles that plagued them when Vivian was a teenager (not the least of which is Frank catching her sneaking her married lover into the house late at night).   Even Annette’s post-mortem guiding presence can’t keep them from coming to blows.  As they face off over whether to keep Annette’s things or clear them from the house, Vivian discovers a life-altering secret that Frank concealed from her for 25 years.  She storms out, and disappears without a word for days.

Now truly alone, in declining health, and wracked by profound guilt, Frank contemplates suicide.  Annette talks him back from the precipice, and he finally accepts help from the eager-to-be-useful Vera.  Meanwhile, shaken to her core, Vivian starts to look at her life in a new light and takes steps to change it: she dumps the married guy and quits the job at the lousy diner.  Annette helps convince Vivian to go home for Christmas, if not for Frank, then for Angie’s sake.  As the family gathers over Angie’s dubiously-prepared Christmas dinner, all of their futures hang in the balance: will Angie stay home from school?  Will Frank apologize, and Vivian forgive him and move back in? Or will Frank end up in a nursing home?  Each of them has something to lose and something to gain as they face the question: how much of your self do you sacrifice for someone you love? 

  Cast of six: four women and two men
  Performed in two acts with a running time of two hours
  One location. 



To request a perusal copy of the script, email Natalie Wilson.