Season 9

Episode 906: “A Feather on the Breath of God”

Episode 906: “A Feather on the Breath of God”
Original Air Date:October 26, 2002
Written by::Glenn Berenbeim
Directed by:Victor Lobl
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Sidney Bob Gunton
Lorena Stacy Edwards
Grace Sarah Hyland

Lorena Watkins is dying. She has an inoperable brain tumor, and only a matter of days left to live. As though this weren’t troubling enough, she also has a twelve year old daughter, Grace, and no family left to take her in. But what she does have, is a strong faith, and a sense of hope. She walks the labyrinth of a local church every day, taking that spiritual journey that will bring her and her prayers closer to God. And it has worked, because the angels are there and watching her unseen. They are going to help her find a place for Grace, just as her faith has found her a place in heaven. Lorena doesn’t know that help is on the way though, she plans to contact social services and put Grace up for adoption, something that she expects will turn out okay. Lorena herself was adopted and loved her new parents dearly. But she has one card she’d like to play first, and it’s a grim one.

Sidney Alcott works with the dead. He runs a funeral parlor, and though he excels in his job, he has no real sympathy and his condolences are made up almost entirely of play-acting. Whenever the customers are gone the act drops and a very cynical man emerges. It is this man that Monica comes to in search of a job as a pre-needs counselor. When Lorena comes in to plan her own funeral, and mentions her lack of money, Sidney refers her to Monica, hoping that his new employee will get rid of her. Monica, however, has other plans. She talks with Lorena, learns about her tumor and her daughter, and comes to discover that she has a beautiful singing voice. Later when Sidney is need of someone to sing hymns, Monica brings her up. She suggests that Sidney cuts Lorena a deal if she sings for some of the funerals and cleans up around the parlor. Sidney grudgingly agrees. With that, he closes the door on them, sits back, has a drink, and wistfully fingers a sealed letter.

The nest day Sidney indulges in more alcohol to calm his nerves while preparing the remains of a child. When Lorena’s daughter enters the room, she sees the body, and it is only when Andrew insists on covering it, that Grace finally overcomes her shock and flees the room. Andrew is furious. He goes to Tess and tells him that he can’t finish the assignment. He can’t handle Sidney. Tess tells him to pull himself together and stop being selfish. She has him walk the labyrinth and trust in God to put him where he needs to be. As he walks the labyrinth, he is given insight, he knows why Sidney is so cynical and why Lorena needs to be where she is now. Sidney is Lorena’s natural father.

Lorena knows this, she has in fact tracked Sidney down, and has entered his life in the hopes that he would be a good man and would be willing to take Grace when the time comes. But the incident with the dead boy, and Sidney’s lack of concern over what it might do to Grace, Lorena is certain that she made a mistake. She intends to keep her appointment with social services. She finishes her chores around the funeral parlor, and gets ready to go to Grace’s ballet recital, but first she gives Sidney a ticket to the event. Grace wants him to be there, because despite his surly behavior, she still likes him. Lorena delivers the ticket, and leaves. Sidney meanwhile pulls out the unopened letter and begins drinking, it is the letter that he never sent his daughter. He wanted to tell her that he loved her and that he shouldn’t have given her up, but after the death of his wife, he just couldn’t handle the responsibility. And he’s never worked up the courage to find her. While he drowns his sorrow in booze, Grace dances on a stage, and Lorena dies watching her daughter.

When Monica finally confronts Sidney about his daughter, and reveals her identity, it is too late. Lorena is dead and Sidney is shattered. This new blow, has reinforced his cynicism, and he has concern for no one but himself, but with a little help from a few angels, he realizes that while he never got a chance to know Lorena, he still has an opportunity to know her daughter. He goes to Grace and asks if she’d like to stay with him.

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