.         all rights belong to Tanis Harms © 2013
.             refer to

SNAPSHOTS  – written by Tanis Harms, © 2013

PREMISE:     Pieces of a woman’s life is portrayed.
.            Through experiences of abuse and tragedy,
.            she learns to harden her heart, but as she
.            learns about Jesus’s work on the cross,
.            she finds love and forgiveness.
STYLE:       drama
TOPIC:       salvation, love and forgiveness
SCRIPTURE:   Ps.16:10-11, Jn.3:16, Rom.3:23, 5:8, Eph.1:7

.            $25.00 USD to receive a DIRECTOR’S SCRIPT
.                                   (plus sheet music)
how you receive this & package description

.                        LIVING ROOM

(Keys jingle as TERRY opens the door and enters SL.
TERRY practically throws down 3 stackable rubber bins,
then quickly swoops through the big room while studying
every bit of furniture, then exits SR, into another “room”.  
There is a knock at the door.  Only voices can be heard.)

LORI     What are you doing?

MATT     The door’s open.  Terry must be here already.

(MATT and then LORI enter the room from stage left,
tentatively looking around.)

LORI     You can’t just go in.  (sing-song voice)  Hello?

MATT     (calling out)  Hello?  Terry?

LORI     What if we have the wrong address?

(TERRY comes back into the main room with great purpose.
TERRY motions to all the furniture as he/she speaks.)

TERRY    Good, you’re here.  So, I’ve taken
.        a quick inventory of the main rooms.  
.        Nothing of real value.
.                                                       2
MATT     All junk!

LORI     Ah, it looks vintage, actually.

MATT     Whatever.

(TERRY checks his/her cell phone for the time,
then motions to everything in the room.)

TERRY    Yes, whatever.  Ah, this will all be going
.        to one of the charities listed.  Now, I need
.        to get going.  I have another reading of a will
.        in 40 minutes, so I expect you two to carefully
.        sort through – any - and - all - papers.

MATT     Seriously?

TERRY    I guess no one expected this lady to hang on
.        as long as she did.  She outlived several executors
.        who knew her personally, but eventually this just
.        fell to me.  Anyway – according to – many people –
.        she was considered a – saint, or something.

LORI     A saint?

MATT     Aaaaah!  So if we find any skeletons
.        in a closet, we’re the cleanup crew?

TERRY    (blandly)  Something like that.  
.        Just read every word of every document –

MATT     For some old lady’s junk?

TERRY    Listen, this old lady left a heap-load of money
.        to various charities.  But there could be more.
.        You never know with some people.  I have found
.        treasures stashed in the oddest places.  Just -
.        comb through everything.  (points to boxes)
.        Put legal documents and anything very valuable
.        like jewelry into the box marked “valuables”.
.        Put anything of interest to the historical
.        society into that one – meaning antiques,
.        interesting stories, stuff like that.  And ah,
.        all “skeletons” go in the other box.  Bring it
.        all back to the office, and I’ll go through them
.        again another day - when I have time.
.                                                       3
(TERRY looks at the time.)

TERRY    Now I really have to run.  If you have any
.        questions, call me in – 3 hours.

(TERRY rushes out stage left, leaving MATT and LORI
to look around, bewildered.)

MATT     So where do we start?

(Unsure, LORI looks around and points to room.)

LORI     How about in there.  The room with the
.        most junk in it.

(MATT talks as he brings the boxes into the side room.)

MATT     This is going to be weird.

.                       SIDE ROOM

(MATT plunks the boxes down and looks around.
LORI unstacks the boxes.)

MATT     I guess it could be worse.  
.        She could have been a hoarder.  
.        Oh look, a creepy old doll.
.        Junk or treasure?

(MATT picks up a doll from an old cradle
and “floats” it in front of LORI’S face.)

LORI     Please, a little dignity would be nice.
.        We’re going through some dead person’s things.

(MATT sees a trunk and feigns a suspenseful gasp.)

MATT     A treasure chest.  Prepare to meet thy skeleton!

(MATT makes a creaking noise as he opens it slowly.  
LORI stands with arms crossed, annoyed.  MATT frowns.)

MATT     Ugh, reading material.  And worse, a diary.
.        This will be designated junk!

LORI     We’re supposed to read it.
.                                                       4
MATT     Seriously?  You just want to find dirt, right?
.        Maybe it will contain the deep dark secrets
.        of a frustrated chick.

LORI     She was a saint, remember.

MATT     So it will be a snooze-fest.

(MATT starts to reach for it, but LORI beats him to it.)

LORI     I’ll read it.

MATT     You have to read it out loud though.
.        Oh, pictures!

(MATT pulls out a photo album.  BOTH MATT and LORI
look around for something to sit on.  Finding two chairs,
they pull them up close to the trunk and sit.
LORI quickly flips through the pages of the diary
as MATT checks out some photos.)

MATT     Not a bad looking woman, in her time.

LORI     This looks more like a journal.

MATT     (mocking)  “It was the best of times-it was
.        the BEST of times.”

LORI     (rolls her eyes then starts reading)  
.        I vaguely remember Mom bringing my new baby brother
.        home from the hospital.  That’s probably
.        because my father was around for this.

MATT     Oh, a male-bashing story.  
.        I can feel it coming already.

LORI     Shush!  (continuing to read)  I don’t have
.        too many memories of him.  He was a traveling
.        salesman who spent all of his time on the road,
.        and eventually just disappeared from our lives.
.        He didn’t even bother sticking around
.        for Robert Junior’s christening, which seemed
.        to be such a big deal at the time, but Mom
.        never explained to me why this WAS so important.
.        She never ever went to church or spoke about God,
.        except to take His in vain.
.                                                       5
(LORI turns a page and continues reading.)

LORI     She couldn’t even really explain what our
.        religious background was.  I think she just
.        hoped that christening us would secure our place
.        in heaven so she wouldn’t be responsible
.        for that as a parent.  She made a bigger deal
.        about the fact that Robert Junior was wearing
.        the same christening gown that SHE had worn,
.        and that her mother had worn, and HER mother...

(MATT pulls out a christening gown from the trunk
and holds it up.)

MATT     I guess this would be it?

LORI     Yeah, I’d say that’s an antique.
.        Careful with it.

(MATT gently lays it in the “historical society” box.)

LORI     I can’t help but feel that we’re invading
.        her privacy.

MATT     Get on with it.  This is as painful
.        as watching a chick-flick.

LORI     (continues to read)  Coming back home after
.        that church service, I had so many questions...

.                        LIVING ROOM

(It is about 75 years ago.  Young AUDREY scoots in from SL
after MAVIS’S stern coaxing.  MARIS holds the baby
carefully in her arms.)

MAVIS    Get in!  Will you just get inside, Audrey!

AUDREY   I just want to help.

MAVIS    You will help me by getting inside
.        and out of the way.

(AUDREY circles MAVIS as they enter.)

AUDREY   Can I hold him?  Please?  You said.
.                                                       6
MAVIS    That was only to keep you quiet.

AUDREY   You promised.

MAVIS    Fine!  Go sit on the sofa.

(AUDREY skips excitedly to the sofa and sits, ready
to take the baby.  MAVIS is very unenthusiastic as she
sits next to AUDREY and ushers a stern warning first.)

MAVIS    Mind you don’t drop him.  And always
.        keep holding his head.  And don’t move,
.        I don’t want the christening gown to rip,
.        it’s very old and fragile.

(MAVIS puts the baby on AUDREY’S lap and
manipulates her arms to make sure the baby is secure.
AUDREY smiles down at the baby.)

AUDREY   Did I wear this dress too?

MAVIS    (tiredly)  Well, what do YOU think?!  
.        Of course you did.  It’s tradition.

(MAVIS nervously strokes her own face while watching
AUDREY with the baby.)

AUDREY   He’s so tiny.  And some day, he’ll be big,
.        like us.  Right?

MAVIS    Ah-um.

AUDREY   Why didn’t Daddy come to church with us?

(MAVIS looks away to hide her tears and fight the anger.)

MAVIS    (finally)  He had to work.

AUDREY   When will he back?

MAVIS    I don’t know!

AUDREY   That was a big church.  Why did that man
.        put water on Junior’s head?

MAVIS    Enough with the questions, okay?  I’m tired.
.                                                       7
(MAVIS looks back at AUDREY and shows disdain.)

MAVIS    Look, you’re holding him all wrong.
.        Here... let’s get him out of the gown
.        before he soils it.

(MAVIS takes the baby from AUDREY and exits stage right.
AUDREY somberly gets up to follow MAVIS but stops when
she hears MAVIS’S command.)

MAVIS    Must you be so CLINGY!?  
.        Just give me some room to breathe, will you?...  
.        Why don’t you go - clean up your room!

(AUDREY sadly exits stage right.)

.                      SIDE ROOM

(LORI looks up from diary and MATT shakes his head.)

MATT     Even I know that’s just not right.

LORI     Hmph, Dad hurts Mom, Mom hurts the child.
.        (reading)  At first I thought Mom just loved
.        Robert Junior more than me, but then I thought
.        she didn’t love any of us.  She began to go out
.        more and more, and leave me in charge...

.                    LIVING ROOM

(AUDREY plays with a doll, using the coffee table
as a bed.)

AUDREY   Okay now, Jennifer, time to take a nap.

(AUDREY lays the doll on the table and covers it with
a blanket.  A moment later, AUDREY picks up the doll,
hugging and rocking it tenderly.)

AUDREY   There-there, it’s okay.  There’s nothing wrong.
.        You mustn’t cry.

(MAVIS enters with an almost happy step and hangs up
her coat and scarf.)

MAVIS    Did the baby cry at all while I was gone?
.                                                       8
AUDREY   Nope.  Not once.  He just stayed sleeping.

MAVIS    He’s still sleeping?  You let him sleep
.        this long?  You were supposed to wake him up
.        for his 3 o’clock bottle.

AUDREY   It’s only  (looking meekly) - 3:30.

MAVIS    Never mind.  I’ll do what you should have.

(MAVIS exits stage right while AUDREY continues to play
with the doll.)

AUDREY   Hear that, it’s feeding time.

(AUDREY pretends to feed the baby, but jumps when
she hears MAVIS yelling in panicked hysteria.)

MAVIS    Junior!  Robert Junior!  What has happened?!
.        What has happened?!

(MAVIS comes back empty handed, shaking, crying,
glaring at AUDREY.  AUDREY hugs the doll tightly, scared.)

MAVIS    Why didn’t you wake him?!  
.        Why did you not wake him up?!
.        What did you do?  What did you do?!

(MAVIS paces hysterically, trying to think.
MAVIS grips AUDREY with an almost shake.)

MAVIS    What do I do?  This can’t be happening.
.        Why didn’t you wake him?

AUDREY   I can go wake him up now.

MAVIS    No!  No you can’t Audrey.  
.        He will never wake up again.  Ever!
.        This is all your fault.  How could you?
.        Get away from me!

AUDREY   What’s wrong Mommy?  I’m sorry!

(MAVIS exits with AUDREY following helplessly behind,
clutching her doll tightly.)

.                      SIDE ROOM                     9

(LORI motions to the doll beside them.)

LORI     That doll must have seen its share of tears.

MATT     Yeah, if dolls could talk.

LORI     (continues reading)  Now called “crib death”,
.        the doctors finally convinced Mom that Junior
.        had died from natural causes.  But if she ever
.        got angry enough, she’d remind me of this tragedy;
.        and so I stood - constantly accused.  
.        I’m sure deep down, she blamed herself.
.        And while trying to get past this,
.        Mom put me into dance lessons as a way to
.        “get me out of her hair,” as she would always say.
.        For me, dancing became a way to escape all the hurt
.        and guilt that I was feeling...

.                      LIVING ROOM

(MAVIS sits in chair, going through bills, writing checks.  
AUDREY rushes in and turns on the radio.)

AUDREY   I learned some new steps today.  Can I show you?

MAVIS    Do I have a choice?

(AUDREY starts to tap dance.  MAVIS has a slight smile
as she watches.  As soon as it is over,
MAVIS looks back at her work.)

AUDREY   What do you think?

MAVIS    Well, I’m glad to see you making SOME progress.
.        I’d hate to think that I was throwing
.        my money away.

(AUDREY catches a smart look from MAVIS and looks away
with a slight smile, choosing to see this as
a positive response, as more of a joke perhaps.)

AUDREY   What’s for supper?

MAVIS    What are you going to help me make?

AUDREY   Could you teach me to make grilled           10
.        cheese sandwiches?

MAVIS    Do you really think you deserve grilled
.        cheese sandwiches?

AUDREY   Hm, I choose, yes!

(AUDREY smiles as she skips out stage right.
MAVIS follows, taking her paperwork with her.)

.                       SIDE ROOM

LORI     (reading)  I discovered that cooking,
.        as well as dancing, were the few things
.        that would bring Mom and I a bit closer.
.        There were even times she’d be mildly encouraging.
.        The better I became at dancing,
.        the more attention I got from Mom.
.        I craved a lot of attention, so Mom’s
.        occasional compliments just weren’t enough
.        to fill that hole in my heart.  Eventually,
.        I realized that dancing was a great way
.        to get attention from the boys.

MATT     Here’s a picture of her at some dance hall.

(LORI pulls out a dress from the trunk.)

LORI     This looks like the same dress
.        she’s wearing in that photo.

.                        DANCE HALL

(Dance floor is lit.  18-year-old AUDREY, wearing the dress,
is joined by her PARTNER and they start to swing dance.
Young adults stand around to watch.  A few couples dance.
When the dance is finished, they all clap.
ROY stands to the side, but stands out in the crowd.   
AUDREY notices him staring very intently at her and
she coyly smiles back.  AUDREY walks away from her PARTNER
who shows displeasure in being abandoned.  
Annoyed, the PARTNER finds another GIRL to dance with
as soon as the music begins again.  
ROY remains standing where he is with a smug look.  
AUDREY knowingly struts up to ROY and
strikes a pose with attitude.)
.                                                      11
AUDREY   So?  Aren’t you going to ask me to dance?

ROY      That’s rather bold.

AUDREY   Am I supposed to be afraid?

ROY      Do you have a name?

AUDREY   Oh, do we need names to dance?

ROY      Only if you want more than one dance.

AUDREY   That would depend.  Are you any GOOD?

ROY      I have a reputation.

AUDREY   My name is Audrey.  

ROY      People call me Bad-Boy-Roy.

AUDREY   I don’t really care.  Now,
.        show me how good you are at dancing.

(ROY takes AUDREY out into the middle of the floor,
and they wow everyone with their dancing.  
Soon most of the crowd is just watching.  
Her EX-PARTNER stands there fuming.  
The GIRL he was just dancing with
tries to get his attention, but
he shrugs her hand from his shoulder and storms out.)

.                        SIDE ROOM

(MATT looks around and pulls out a trophy from the trunk.)

MATT     I suppose the guy was actually telling
.        the truth.  See, “Roy and Audrey –
.        first place”.

LORI     (continues reading)  Roy and I won trophy
.        after trophy, and soon, he won my heart,
.        for whatever that was worth.  I figured
.        he was the best that I could do.  
.        And eventually, it appeared -
.        he was my only option.

.                        LIVING ROOM                   12

(AUDREY and ROY sit on the sofa, slouched in shame
as MAVIS storms about the room.)

MAVIS    You’re what?!  I always thought you had
.        a few more brains than that.  I guess,
.        what else should I expect from you?  
.        Well?  What are your plans?
.        Have you given that any thought?

ROY      I’m going to marry Audrey.

MAVIS    Oh bravo.  And how do you plan to support her?

ROY      I have a job as a mechanic.

MAVIS    As long as you don’t turn into a traveling
.        salesman!  Huh?

ROY      What?

MAVIS    You plan on sticking around?

ROY      Yeah.

MAVIS    And where are you two going to live?

ROY      Oh, well, that, is huh, is –

MAVIS    For such a big hotshot,
.        you’re not all that slick, are you?

(MAVIS’S words deflate ROY and his body sags.)

AUDREY   Can we stay here?  Please?  We’ll pay rent.

(AUDREY shrinks down as MAVIS looms over her.)

MAVIS    Do NOT expect me to help look after this baby!

AUDREY   So we can live here then?

MAVIS    Like I really had any choice.
.        My life just seems to be
.        at the mercy of your mistakes.

.                      SIDE ROOM                       13

LORI     (shakes her head and continues reading)  
.        Mom was kind enough to let us use
.        her wedding ring, since she didn’t have much use
.        for it anymore.  And expressed her blessings
.        with, “I hope this ring doesn’t bring you
.        the same marital grief that I fell into.”  

(MATT pulls out a box and holds up the ring.)

MATT     What do you think?  Valuable?

LORI     Maybe... put it in that box.

MATT     (puts into box marked “valuables”)
.        It’ll have to be appraised.

LORI     (reading)  So this was the second time
.        I found myself at church.  At Roy’s parents’
.        insistence, and much to my mom’s dismay,
.        it was a protestant church.  Roy’s parents
.        were “Christians”, and as far as that goes,
.        they were nice enough, but Roy didn’t
.        have much to do with them at all.
.        He “avoided them like the plague” and vowed
.        that he would never have anything to do with
.        their very structured and pious lifestyle.
.        And he certainly lived up to that promise...

.                       LIVING ROOM

(Baby cries from another room as AUDREY and ROY argue.)

ROY      What do you expect from me?
.        I work two jobs!
.        I need some time to hang out.

AUDREY   I need you here.  I’m stuck here all day
.        looking after this baby.

ROY      How hard can that be?  AND you do have
.        your mom here to help you.

AUDREY   She does not help!  IF she’s here,
.        then it’s only to criticize me.
.        I’m all - alone!
.                                                      14
ROY      Oh, boo hoo.  Cry me a river.
.        You’re telling me that you cannot do
.        what millions of other mothers do all the time?
.        What is wrong with you?

AUDREY   It’s harder than you think.

ROY      Well, I’m hungry.  Supper’s not ready –
.        so I’m outta here.

AUDREY   You are just like my dad!

ROY      Are you accusing me of something?!

(ROY boils with anger and returns to loom over AUDREY)

AUDREY   (ordering)  Don’t you go!

ROY      You – DON’T! – TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!

(ROY snaps.  AUDREY sees it in his eyes and runs out SR.
ROY flies after her.  Offstage, AUDREY whimpers loudly.  
MAVIS enters stage left.)

MAVIS    (announcing curtly)  I’m back!

(Except for the baby crying, it’s quiet.  
ROY suddenly storms past MAVIS and out stage left.  
AUDREY enters, holding the baby close to her,
while hiding one side of her face, whimpering.  
MAVIS looks at AUDREY’s cheek and grabs the baby from her.)

MAVIS    You should put some ice on that.

AUDREY   You say that like I deserve this.

MAVIS    At least he sticks around.

(MAVIS exits stage right with the baby.  
AUDREY stomps around by herself, ranting.)

AUDREY   I hate him!  I wish he would leave for good!
.        I wish he were dead!

(AUDREY falls into the chair and curls up to cry.)

.                     SIDE ROOM                        15

(LORI grimaces incredibly and begins to put the diary
into the box labeled “questionable”.

LORI     I’d say this was a “skeleton”.

MATT     What?  It’s actually starting to get
.        interesting.

(MATT saves the diary from the box and comments as he
looks for where LORI left off.)

MATT     (mocking)  It was the WORST of times-
.        it was the WORST of times.

(LORI grabs the diary back from Matt.)

LORI     Give that here.

MATT     I want to hear how it ends.

LORI     (reading)  Be careful what you wish for.
.        Isn’t that the saying?  Another war came along
.        and Roy was drafted into the Army.  I never
.        saw from him again.  Seven months later,
.        there was a knock at the door...

.                    LIVING ROOM

(AUDREY comes away from stage left exit holding a letter.
MAVIS looks up from her magazine.)

MAVIS    What is it?

(AUDREY limply sits down on the sofa.)

MAVIS    Audrey, who was just at the door?

(AUDREY tries not to cry.)

MAVIS    Audrey!  Answer me.

AUDREY   He’s dead.  Roy – was – killed – in action –
.        they said.

(MAVIS takes the letter from AUDREY and opens it.
.                                                   16
MAVIS    (after studying the letter)
.        This is a letter from the President.
.        Ah, here, there’s another letter inside.
.        Is that Roy’s handwriting?

(AUDREY runs from the room.  MAVIS just sits there
staring at the letters, very calmly as if this was
just what she was expecting all along.)

.                       SIDE ROOM

LORI     (commenting)  As if things couldn’t get worse.
.        (reading)  My baby would grow up fatherless,
.        just as I had.  And the letter from Roy –
.        left me numb and soulless.

MATT     Do you think that’s it?

(LORI removes a folded letter from the diary and holds it
out to MATT.  He carefully opens the brittle pages.)

MATT     (reading)  Dear Audrey, there are no excuses
.        why it has taken me so long to write to you.

.                      WAR ZONE CAMP

(ROY huddles against a trunk, writing a letter and
reading it aloud as he does.  There are background
sound effects of a battle.)

ROY      (while writing)  The battle has become so
.        fierce, that death seems like it’s just right
.        around the corner.  It’s enough for a man who
.        always thought himself an atheist to suddenly
.        believe in God.  And – no joke.  There’s
.        a minister here at camp who prayed with me
.        the other day.  He read some scripture that
.        I had heard back in Sunday school while
.        growing up.  It never meant anything to me then.
.        But now the words hit home and made so much sense.
.        You never know when it’ll be your time,
.        but when that time is up, that’s it.
.        And so the question is always there,
.        what is the whole point to life?

(ROY pulls out a Bible and looks up Ephesians 3:10-12.)
.                                                      17
ROY      Ephesians 3:10-12 tells us that God’s
.        “intent was that now, through the church,
.        the manifold wisdom of God should be made known
.        to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly
.        realms, according to His eternal purpose
.        which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
.        In Him and through faith in Him we may
.        approach God with freedom and confidence.”

(ROY now flips through the Bible to Romans 3:23 and
continues to write the letter while looking
periodically at the Bible.)

ROY      Romans 3:23 tells us why we have to go to Him,
.        “for all have sinned and fall short of the
.        glory of God.”  Having no one else around
.        to blame for my actions, and being faced
.        with just myself, I finally came to a point
.        of realization that I am a sinner.  I confessed
.        my sins to God, and God has forgiven me.
.        Grace has set me free.  As I am here fighting
.        for our country’s freedom and willing to
.        sacrifice my life for the cause, Jesus did
.        so much more than that. He came down from glory,
.        and sacrificed His life for ALL our sins.
.        (refers to the Bible again)  Ephesians 1:7 says,
.        “In Him we have redemption through His blood,
.        the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the
.        riches of God's grace.”  I really wish I could
.        be there with you right now to share this,
.        and to apologize in person for all the hurtful
.        things I have ever done and said to you.
.        I am – deeply - truly sorry.  And
.        for your sake, I hope you can forgive me.

.                      SIDE ROOM

MATT     (reading from letter)  And for your sake I hope
.        you can find this same love, peace and, yes,
.        even joy – that I have found in God,
.        in the midst of all the horrors around us.
.        With all my love, Roy.  (looking up)
.        She’s got to forgive him after all that.

(MATT folds the letter and gives it to LORI
who returns it to the diary.)
.                                                      18
LORI     (reading)  I went to the funeral provided
.        by the Army and played the brave soldier’s wife.
.        But the fact is I didn’t feel any pity for him.
.        I figured, he got what he deserved.  Of course
.        I kept his letter.  At first it was only for
.        the sole purpose of taking it out every so often.
.        Reading it was one way I could mock Roy,
.        and mock God, all at the same time.

.                        LIVING ROOM

(MAVIS sits reading, when AUDREY storms into the room.)

AUDREY   What a joke.  Forgiven from his sins.
.        He did not deserve to be forgiven.  I certainly
.        will never forgive him.  As he himself admitted,
.        he was very hurtful.  At least he finally
.        admitted that he was.  At least our daughter
.        will never have to witness any of that.

MAVIS    (calmly)  Reading his letter again?

AUDREY   That letter is just a huge joke.
.        But it’s PROOF that he abused me.
.        And nothing would have changed
.        if he had come back.  It would have gone on
.        as it always did, I’m sure.  He would hit me,
.        then beg for my forgiveness.  “Oh Audrey,
.        I’m so sorry, I’ll never do that again.
.        I don’t know what came over me.”
.        Then a few days later, BAM!  He’d hit me again-

MAVIS    At least he stuck around.

AUDREY   Oh shut up!

(Seeing MAVIS flinch, AUDREY gets caught up in the moment.)

AUDREY   I probably would have been better off without
.        you, too.  Father was smart to run away.
.        As long as I can remember, you’ve always
.        been bitter.  Bitter and critical!  I would
.        rather be left alone, than suffer abuse.

(MAVIS looks up at AUDREY, not knowing whether to get angry
or to cry.  MAVIS slowly gets up from her chair to exit.)
.                                                      19
.                          SIDE ROOM

LORI     (reading)  Those were the last words I spoke
.        to Mom.  I sure had the magic touch.

MATT     She died right then?

LORI     Ahhh, no.  It says (continues reading)  We lived
.        together in the same house as always, but with
.        less words spoken than usual.  She passed away
.        from an aneurysm a few months later.  I figured
.        that maybe NOW I might finally be able to live
.        my life.  To keep from getting hurt ever again,
.        or spoiling any further relationships, I chose
.        to keep myself distant from everyone, including
.        my own daughter, not realizing that I was just
.        becoming MORE like my mother every day.  I even
.        put Jennifer into dance lessons, to “get her out
.        of my hair”.  Not wanting her to go down MY
.        life’s path, I encouraged her to take up ballet
.        instead.  As if THAT was the key right there.

.                         LIVING ROOM

(JENNY runs to the radio and finds a classical station.
Running back to the open floor, JENNY practices her
ballet while AUDREY watches with a slight smile.)

JENNY    (finishing)  What do you think, Mom?
.        Our instructor says that I should try out
.        for the lead part.

AUDREY   Just don’t be too disappointed
.        when you do not get it.

(JENNY exits, slightly deflated.)

.                           SIDE ROOM

LORI     (reading)  That was me trying to be encouraging.

MATT     Wait!  People think this woman was a saint?
.        How does that work?

(LORI thinks, then shrugs.)

LORI     (continues reading)  Another strategy I used   20
.        to get Jennifer out of my hair was to send her
.        to the grandparent’s house. Little did I realize
.        how much of an impact Roy’s parents would have
.        on Jennifer.  Had I known about the aggravation
.        I would face because of this course of action,
.        I might have actually chosen to spend more time
.        with my daughter.

MATT     What does that mean?  (LORI shrugs)

.                          LIVING ROOM

(JENNY enters from stage left with an overnight bag.)

JENNY    (singing out)  Hi Mom, I’m back.

AUDREY   I can see.

JENNY    Did you miss me?  (quickly)  You don’t have
.        to answer.

AUDREY   So what crazy things did they make you do
.        THIS weekend?

(JENNY sits on the sofa, a little more serious now.)

JENNY    We went to church again.

AUDREY   Poor you.

JENNY    No, it was great, Mom.

AUDREY   You do not have to lie.

JENNY    I’m not.  There was a special speaker, and then,
.        there was a chance to pray afterward.

AUDREY   (sarcastically)  Sounds like a real party.

JENNY    Mom, I became a Christian.
.          (AUDREY does not know how to react to this.)
.        Did you know that Dad became a Christian,
.        right before he died in the war?

AUDREY   Ah, how do you know that?

JENNY    Dad wrote Grandma and Grandpa a letter          21
.        just before he died.

AUDREY   Why would they share that with you?!

JENNY    Mom, I want to know something about my dad.
.        You never tell me anything about him.
.        You must have loved him?  Why did you marry him?

AUDREY   (mock laughing)  He was a really good dancer.

JENNY    That’s it?

AUDREY   Pretty much.  You’ll see.  You’ll start to date
.        boys soon enough, and you’ll see.

.                         SIDE ROOM

LORI     (reading)  I went through boyfriends faster
.        than my daughter did, that’s for sure.  Maybe
.        she didn’t have a big empty hole in her heart
.        like I did.  Jennifer soon fell in love
.        with a man from that church she attended.
.        They were married – in church – of course,
.        making it my third visit to a church building.
.        Jennifer and Paul surprised me.  
.        They seemed happy, and had three children.

(MATT motions to the photo album.)

MATT     Ah yeah, there are not that many photos
.        until the grandkids came along.

LORI     (reading)  Something I was not used to.
.        I suffered through many an exuberant visit.  
.        It didn’t matter how ornery I could be, they just
.        kept coming back for more.  And I would literally
.        feel nauseous from thinking that they were
.        putting on all this fake happiness just
.        to get back at me.  Nobody can be that happy.

.                        LIVING ROOM

(AUDREY sits in the chair as the 3 CHILDREN swarm around,
all trying to show her various things. JENNY and PAUL
sit on the sofa and watch with amusement.)

KID 1    Look Grandma, I drew this picture for you.     22

KID 2    See what I can do?

(KID 2 makes a bunch of crazy faces.)

KID 3    Grandma, guess where we’re going?

AUDREY   Church?

KID 1    We go there every Sunday.  Wanna come with us
.        sometime?

KID 3    But on spring break, we’re going somewhere else.

KID 1    So you wanna come to church with us?

AUDREY   No, not especially.

PAUL     At least come with us on our vacation.

JENNY    We’re going to Disneyland.

AUDREY   You’re trying to tell me that I need some
.        happiness in my life?

JENNY    Come on, it’ll be fun.

KID 3    Yeah, awesome fun.  They have rides,
.        and movies with rides.

KID 2    It’s the happiest place on earth.

KID 1    On EARTH.  Heaven is the happiest place EVER.

AUDREY   No thank you!  I do not think I could take
.        that much happiness.  It’s just, all very fake.

PAUL     What is fake?

AUDREY   Your joyousness that you keep trying
.        to spread around.  It does not really exist.  
.        For someone with their head in the clouds,
.        you just wouldn’t understand.

(JENNY puts a “hush-hand” on PAUL’S leg who desperately
wants to share with AUDREY. JENNY knows when to quit.)
.                                                      23
KID 3    Aw, grandma.  Please?

AUDREY   No, you kids have fun.  You’ll have way more fun
.        without me.

JENNY    Aw!  Mom, don’t say such things.  We love you.
.        You DO know that I love you?

AUDREY   (laughing)  Seriously, what is there about me
.        to love?  Huh?  You’re such a crazy girl.

.                        SIDE ROOM

LORI     (reading)  I could not bring myself to say
.        those words.  I love you?  They were far
.        too foreign to me.  No, this time I didn’t give
.        any famous LAST words, but many things had been
.        left unsaid.  My daughter, her husband, and
.        my three wonderful grandchildren were all killed
.        when a bus failed to stop - and hit their car
.        head-on.  Now, all my wishes... had come true...
.        I was completely alone...

(LORI should not pretend to cry, but let it happen
if it’s there.)

LORI     The insurance from the bus company was
.        very generous: two million dollars
.        for each family member, given to each
.        set of parents.  I was five million dollars rich.
.        Although the money could not fill that empty hole
.        that was STILL there.  But now
.        there were no more people left to push away.
.        Could I keep pushing God away?  Fortunately,
.        God is a lot stronger than I am.
.        And He certainly got my attention
.        when I found myself at church yet again
.        for the mass funeral.  Perhaps
.        I was finally ready and willing to listen.

.                            CHURCH

(AUDREY shuffles into the church, very unsure of herself.
MARTIN and ELEANOR are there, dabbing their eyes.
Seeing AUDREY they go over to hug her.)

ELEANOR  Hi Audrey.  We’re so sorry for your loss.     24
.        We will miss Jennifer so much.  She was very
.        very dear to us.  Such a wonderful daughter-in-law,
.        and such a wonderful wife and mother.

(MARTIN motions for LADIES to stand aside.  PASTOR steps out
to give message.  AUDREY looks around uncomfortably.)

PASTOR   We have gathered together to remember this
.        wonderful family, who was such a big part of our
.        church family here.  Because it would be
.        their desire:  we honor and pay tribute to
.        our heavenly Father for bringing them home
.        to be with Him, and for making this even possible.  
.        Romans 5:8 says “God demonstrates His own love
.        for us in this: While we were still sinners,
.        Christ died for us.”  None of us deserve
.        God’s forgiveness or to be part of His family, but
.        John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that
.        He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes
.        in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  
.        More assurance is given in Psalm 16:10-11
.        “because You will not abandon me to the grave,
.        nor will You let your Holy One see decay.
.        You have made known to me the path of life;
.        You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
.        with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.”
.        And by God’s grace, they are all experiencing THIS
.        right now - in its greatest capacity.

CHOIR    (sings “Day by Day”, verse 1 & 3)
.      (vs.1)  Day by day and with each passing moment,
.        Strength I find to meet my trials here;
.        Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
.        I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
.        He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
.        Gives unto each day what He deems best.
.        Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
.        Mingling toil with peace and rest.
.      (vs.3)  Help me then in ev’ry tribulation
.        So to trust Your promises, O Lord,
.        That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
.        Offered me within Your holy Word.
.        Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
.        E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
.        One by one, the days the moments fleeting,
.        Till I reach the promised land.
.                                                      25
.                       SIDE ROOM

LORI     (reading) As much as I’d like to have believed
.        that my christening had saved me,
.        I knew I needed to make this decision
.        and commitment for myself.
.        I needed to stop running away and face the music.
.        It was time for me to stop blaming my mom,
.        and Roy, for all the problems in my life.
.        It was time for me to admit my sins, and confess
.        them before the Lord God who died to save me.
.        God filled that empty hole in my heart that day.
.        I realized the forgiveness that Roy had found.
.        And the joy that Jennifer and her family had.
.        And I finally understood what Roy had meant
.        about forgiving him for MY sake.  I had to forgive
.        Roy, and my mom, so I would not become embittered.
.        I also had to forgive myself.  ALL with God’s help.
.        God provided a whole new start for me, a huge,
.        loving family, and a whole new purpose for my life.
.        I started attending church, serving
.        in several ministries, as well as helping out
.        in the community.  There is no shortage of needs.
.        The more I depended on God, and helped others,
.        the less needs I seemed to have.
.        And I found many opportunities to practice that
.        foreign phrase:  “I love you.”  I regret that
.        I could not share those words with my own family.
.        But it took losing all of them to bring me
.        to this point.  And the only way I could
.        learn those words was to know and
.        experience the love of God.

(LORI closes the diary.  MATT takes it and looks
at the historical society box, but decides to put
the journal into the box marked “valuables”.)

(OPTION:  You could end it right here)

.                           CHURCH

(CHOIR stands against wall, and PASTOR stands to side.)

PASTOR   This was Audrey’s favorite song,
.        which really expresses her love for God.

(CHOIR sings “I Know Whom I Have Believed”.)           26

CHOIR  (vs.1)  I know not why God’s wondrous grace
.        To me He hath made known,
.        Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
.        Redeemed me for His own.

(INSTRUMENTAL plays chorus as PASTOR sees MATT and LORI
approach and shakes their hands.)

PASTOR    You are here for Audrey’s funeral?

(MATT and LORI nod their “yeses”.)

PASTOR    Did you know Audrey well?

MATT      Ah, yes.  Well, we just got to know her
.         recently.

(LORI wants to say something but finally chooses not to.)

PASTOR    That’s okay.  Audrey would have wanted you
.         to be here.  Come in.  Welcome.

(PASTOR motions for them to sit with congregation.
A ballet can be performed during the rest of the song.)

CHOIR   (vs.2)  I know not how this saving faith
.        To me He did impart,
.        Nor how believing in His Word
.        Wrought peace within my heart.
.      (chr) But “I know whom I have believed,
.        And am persuaded that He is able
.        To keep that which I’ve committed
.        Unto Him against that day.”
.      (vs.3)  I know not how the Spirit moves,
.        Convincing men of sin,
.        Revealing Jesus through the Word,
.        Creating faith in Him.
.      (chr)
.      (vs.4)  I know not when my Lord may come,
.        At night or noonday fair,
.        Nor if I’ll walk the vale with Him,
.        Or “meet Him in the air.”
.      (chr)