Our House Season 4 Episode 3 - Our Loss

Our House Season 4, Episode 3
Our Loss

The family is sitting at the dining room table.

Cindy: Teri, where is mom?

Teri: Mom is still deeply in mourning.

Cindy: Mourning? Over what?

Ralph: The results of the Virginia governor race.

Cindy: She’s in mourning over that?

Teri: She takes it extremely seriously.

Karl: And there’s nothing you can do to make her shake it off. You have to let it take its course.

Cindy: How long does that take?

Teri: Remember her hibernation when Tammy Koobach lost the presidential election? I’d say halve that.

Cindy: So five days?

Teri: That sounds about right.

Danielle: I just remembered, I forgot to vote.

Teri: Don’t tell mom, she’ll blame you for this.

Danielle: MacElby lost by like eighty thousand votes.

Teri: Since when have you ever known my mother to be reasonable?

Danielle: Well, since… never?

Teri: Exactly. Never expect her to be.

Betty: You know, I hear you guys.

Ralph: Oh my goodness, mom! You came out of your burrow!

Karl: We’re all very proud of you.

Betty: You know, I’m just very upset that all of the positive change that’s happened in this state the past few years is going to be undone by Greg Yosher and his cabal of right-wing buddies.

Frank: Greg Yosher is going to move this state back in the right direction after you -

Teri: Frank, shut up.

Betty: Tom MacElby was a terrible candidate, none of my friends liked him the last time he was governor. If the Democrats just would’ve nominated Alicia Spanheim like I wanted, we would’ve won.

Ralph: Mom, Alicia Spanheim didn’t run.

Betty: I still wrote her in in the primary!

Ralph: And how did you expect that to work?

Danielle: Sorry guys, I gotta step away. Getting a call.

Teri: You’re lucky, you have an excuse to get away from this.

Danielle: Yeah, but my pot roast is gonna get cold. It’s a no-win situation.

Danielle gets up and walks away.

Ralph: So, where were we?

Teri: Mom is unreasonable.

Jerry: Why are we acting like that’s news?

Teri: We have to at least pretend to be surprised.

Betty: I’m right here!

Cindy: That’s why we feel comfortable saying it. We don’t talk behind your back, that’d be mean.

Danielle: Oh my god, Janice! No! You’re kidding!

Velma: That sounds… bad.

Ralph: I’m sure it’s nothing.

Cindy: It sure doesn’t sound like it.

Teri: Maybe I should go check on her.

Jerry: If there is something wrong, I highly doubt you’re gonna make it any better.

Tammi: Dad!

Jerry: It’s true!

Karl: Teri, she sounds upset. You should go check on her.

Teri: I’m going to do exactly that.

Teri walks into the hallway.

Teri: Danielle, what’s going on?

Danielle wraps her arms around Teri.

Teri: What is going on?

Danielle: My mom died.

Teri: Oh, honey. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what to say.

Danielle: I don’t think there’s anything anyone could say. I think I need to just go to my room for a while.

Teri: Take all the space you need. I’m right here if you need someone, just a shout away. We all are.

Danielle: I don’t know how I’m going to get through this, Teri. I really don’t.

Teri: I’m going to do everything I can to help you.

Teri walks back to the dining room.

Cindy: What’s going on with Danielle?

Teri: She got a call today from her sister Janice. Her mom died today.

Cindy: Oh, god.

Tammi: May god rest her soul.

Ralph: What happened?

Teri: I didn’t ask any questions, and I don’t plan on asking any right now. She’ll tell me when she’s ready to talk about it.

Cindy: Where’s Danielle now?

Teri: She went to her room. I think this is just something she needs to process on her own for right now.

Jerry: Should I eat her pot roast?

Tammi: Dad, she ate off that plate!

Jerry: I don’t mind.

Ralph: How disgusting.

Jerry: I have seen you eat food off the floor when you were high!

Betty: My son? High?

Ralph: Never!

Cindy: I think we’re moving on a bit quickly from what Teri just told up about Danielle’s mom.

Jerry: Oh, I’m sorry, guys. Continue.

Teri: There’s nothing to say for right now. I told you all I know so far.

The next morning…

Ralph: Teri, has Danielle come out of her room yet?

Teri groans.

Ralph: Never mind, I forgot you’re a total zombie in the morning.

Betty: I saw her earlier.

Jerry: It’s seven o’clock now. How early did you get up today?

Betty: I ran into her in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom.

Jerry: Enough said.

Danielle: Hi, guys.

Cindy: Danielle! You’re awake!

Danielle: I fell asleep at like nine o’clock last night, I’d hope to be awake by now.

Betty: How are you feeling?

Danielle: Not great.

Betty: I know the feeling all too well. My mother was the sweetest, kindest woman on this earth and I miss her every day. That pain never goes away, but eventually the happy memories of the good times are enough to overpower the sadness of the loss.

Danielle: Thank you for being here for me, guys. Just knowing you’re right here whenever I need to talk is helpful.

Karl: Is there going to be a funeral? If there is, I think a few of us should go with you, if that’s okay with you. You shouldn’t be driving to New York by yourself. We can stay in a hotel so we don’t intrude on your family time.

Danielle: That would be nice, but I don’t want to inconvenience you.

Karl: Are you kidding? I don’t work, neither does Betty.

Teri: I want to go, too.

Danielle: I think I want to stay at a hotel with you guys. I don’t think I can sleep in that house knowing what happened.

Karl: That’s fine. When do you want to head up there, Ill make reservations now.

Danielle: The funeral is on Saturday, I want to be there before that so I can help my sisters with planning it, so maybe we can go on Thursday.

Karl: That’s tomorrow. I’m fine with that.

Danielle: Okay, sounds good to me. I’m gonna go lay on the couch and watch the Today show.

The next day, at Danielle’s mom’s house…

Danielle: Alexa, you here?

Janice (Danielle’s sister): No, but I am.

Danielle: Oh, Janice.

Janice: I know, Dani.

Danielle: I just don’t understand why this is happening to us.

Janice: Life’s not fair, honey.

Betty: I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mother was a very nice person.

Janice: Thank you, Betty. Danielle’s been telling me how you’ve been been there for her, I’m so glad she has you.

Karl: We don’t want to intrude, we just wanted to make sure Danielle got in here all right. We’re going to head to the hotel now. Call us if you need us, Danielle.

Janice: Oh, don’t be silly! You drove all this way, you don’t have to go.

Karl: No, you girls need your time for yourselves. We’ll be back later.

Danielle: Thank you again for driving me here, I’ll see you later.

Karl, Betty and Teri leave

Danielle: So, where’s Alexa?

Janice: You know her…

Danielle: Is she still in Connecticut?

Janice: No, she went for a sandwich.

Danielle: A sandwich?

Janice: Apparently our mother didn’t have anything suitable to eat in the house so she had to go to Subway.

Danielle: I find it hard to imagine that the food situation is so bad that Subway is an improvement.

Janice: Well, it’s Alexa we’re talking about. She’s very picky.

Danielle: Speaking of Alexa, how has she been? She’s the one that found mom, that must have been horrific.

Janice: Well, I only got in last night, but she’s seemed fine. She hides everything pretty well, though.

Danielle: The last time I was here, she broke down crying when I told her I was going back to Virginia. I don’t think that should’ve come as a terrible surprise to her but it seemed to. I don’t even want to imagine how upset she’s been about this.

Janice: I think she has the least regrets of any of us, so that has to help. She saw mom every week, we didn’t.

Danielle: Mom’s fall ended up being a blessing in disguise. We both got to see her one last time before, uh, you know.

Janice: It’s hard to imagine how that could turn out to be a blessing, but life has a weird way of working.

Alexa: What are you girls talking about?

Danielle: Alexa! How was your sandwich?

Alexa: Not gonna lie, a little dry.

Danielle: Eh, that’s a shame.

Alexa: More pressing matters, though. How are you?

Danielle: I’ve been better.

Alexa: I know. This is terrible. We’ll get through it together, though. That’s what mom would want.

Danielle: Did you ever find out what happened? I know you were waiting for the autopsy results.

Alexa: She died from heart failure. They said it was in her sleep and she likely didn’t feel anything.

Danielle: She didn’t suffer. That’s comforting.

Janice: She always said she didn’t want to know it was coming.

Danielle: She did? I thought that’s what she said about wining the lottery.

Janice: Well, it was one of those.

Alexa: I know we should catch up, but, I think we really need to focus on the funeral. It’s in two days and I have to let the funeral director know what we want.

Janice: I thought you picked things out for it already.

Alexa: Well, I tried to.

Janice: What does that mean?

Danielle: It means it’s Alexa and she’s always so indecisive. Don’t be too upset with her for not having this done yet.

Alexa: I don’t know whether to thank you of be offended.

Danielle: Both?

Janice: So what do we need to pick out?

Alexa: Well, I did pick out clothing. So, we just need to get some sort of photo display together. We should probably pick out prayer cards. Maybe get a picture for the prayer cards.

Janice: Okay, so let’s go find the photo albums. Where would they be?

Alexa: I don’t know.

Janice: You’re the one who was here all the time!

Danielle: I think I know.

Janice: How would you know?

Danielle: Mom was so upset at all the things I missed while I was away, she insisted on looking through some photo albums with me. They’re in her office closet.

Janice: Mom has an office?

Danielle: It’s the bedroom that used to be Alexa’s.

Alexa: I really take offense to the fact that your rooms were both left as bedrooms and mine was turned into an office. It’s like I wasn’t allowed to return home, but you both were.

Danielle: Look at you. Look at us. She knew you would never have to return home again after you left.

Janice: What is that supposed to mean?

Danielle: You can be hard to get along with, Janice. Divorce was definitely a possibility.

Janice: Orville and I have been married for -

Danielle: We know. Mom didn’t always have the best judgment. At least she did eventually turn your room into a guest room.

Janice: Yeah, she there out my old posters and my books and everything from my childhood.

Alexa: Threw out? That’s all in the attic. She put everything up there.

Janice: She kept it? That’s insane!

Alexa: She was insane.

Danielle: That’s what I loved about her. Oh, god. I’m gonna miss her.

Alexa: We all are, Dani. She was -

Janice: One of a kind.

Danielle: Thank god for that. I don’t think any other family could handle her.

Janice: We barely could.

Alexa: So, about those photo albums!

Danielle: Oh, right! Let’s go get ‘em!

Janice: Last one to the office is a rotten egg!

Danielle: I am not racing, you know I have a bad foot!

Alexa: Guess you’re the rotten egg, then!

Two days later, at the funeral…

Karl: Danielle, this is so beautiful.

Danielle: I wish I could take credit, but this is mostly Alexa’s doing. I’ll tell her how much to liked it. It’s even making Teri cry.

Teri: It’s the song, it always gets to me.

Danielle: It was her favorite. Songbird by Fleetwood Mac.

Betty: Remember when we went to see them in concert?

Teri: Mom, not now!

Danielle: I remember, it was so much fun.

Janice: Dani, come here quick.

Danielle: I gotta go. You guys find a nice place to sit. The rest of my family should be here soon and they will suck up all the good seating.

Betty: I better sit down, then. This might be a while and my a-

Teri: Mom, shut up.

Betty: Will do.

Janice: Dani, you’re reading a eulogy.

Danielle: What?

Janice: Apparently, mom specifically requested that all three of us read eulogies at her funeral. It’s in writing. Also in writing is a threat to “haunt” all three of us if we don’t eulogize her.

Danielle: Well, she even terrifies me in death, so I guess I have to throw something together.

Thirty minutes later…

Priest: Those of you that knew Mary knew that there’s nothing she loved more than her daughters, and she asked for all three of them to speak at her funeral. Her middle daughter, Danielle, has asked to speak first.

Danielle walks to the podium.

Danielle: Well, first I want to thank you all for showing up here to celebrate mom’s life. She touched so many lives in so many ways and I know you will all help keep her spirit alive, even though she’s no longer here with us. I know many people see death as final. The end to one’s story. That’s because it is. However, it can also be a beginning. The beginning of a deeper appreciation of one’s being. Because, let’s be honest, we don’t always appreciate what we have when we have it. Just like Joni Mitchell said, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. When someone you love dies, at least in my case, one of the first things you feel is regret. Regret that you didn’t spend the time with them that you could have. I spent very little of the last three decades of my life here in Brooklyn. As a result of that, I didn’t get to see my mom like I wish I could have. At first, I regretted that. Once I thought more about it, though, I was able to instead appreciate the time that I did have with her. I know that’s what she’d want me to focus on. Not what time was lost, but what time we had. She taught me everything I know, along with my dad. I wouldn't be the person I am without them. Every time I look in the mirror, I can now marvel at the person they’ve helped me become. Every good thing that happens to me, I know it’s because of them and the life they gave me and the lessons they taught me. My mom will always be with me. If not physically, spiritually and emotionally. As long as I am alive, I know without any doubt that part of her is, too. Thanks for everything, mom. I love ya.

Danielle walks back to her seat.

Teri: That was so great, Danielle.

Danielle: Yeah, I don’t think it was half-bad. Maybe I should do this more often?

Teri: I think you should think that one through. Just for a moment.

What did you think of this episode of Our House? Let us know in the comments, vote in the poll below and make sure to return for a new episode next week!

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