Rest of My Life"
A review by Jenni:
What I love about this episode:
This is one of those episodes that I know I watched but
couldn't really recall. Yet it became obvious as I watched
that it was tucked somewhere in my memory cause I totally knew
Abby's son would stand her up for her birthday. And I knew
he blew her life savings. But what really struck me about
this episode is that while it didn't really impact me deeply
initially, I found I quite enjoyed the episode. After
"Quality Time," which I also barely remembered, I was kinda leery
about watching this. But it was solid.
First off, I love that this episode begins with something that
everybody should be aware of: don't talk about people when there's
a chance they might hear you!!! Granted, even I probably
wouldn't think about how sound carries through vents. But
I've been witness to (and victim of) people saying stuff that
shouldn't be heard by Person X as Person X is in the position to
hear perfectly. So Abby hearing her son's and
daughter-in-law's "private" conversation with her is very
realistic and hopefully served as a nice lesson to people who need
to keep quiet at times but fail to realize it.
Ha! Yet again TBAA validates something I wrote! See, I
think I internalized waaay more about these characters than I
sometimes realize. To explain: I wrote a story recently
wherein Monica pitied someone who absolutely did NOT want pity and
who should NOT have been pitied. And I wondered if I was
maybe laying it on a lil thick. But here Monica does exactly
that. And, happily, Tess calls her on it by saying that
Abigail absolutely does not need or want pity.
I miss the "good old days" with hats, too... It seems like
one can only wear pretty hats and not be thought eccentric if
one's very young or very old. Or British and at a royal
party. During TBAA's run I did wear some Monica-esque hats
but now they just don't seem to even exist.
Crikey. How current does this episode seem!?! I did a
double take when Abigail warned her son about the unreliability of
stocks. And then, of course, the entire financial meltdown
they experience. This could very nearly air today and seem
like it was written last month.
"Into each family a little dysfunction must fall." I love
that Tess quote! It's actually refreshing to know that an
angel thinks dysfunction is a given. This episode really
seemed like an excellent counterpoint to what was, for me at
least, a very disappointing "Quality Time." On that prior
episode, we have a "perfect" family. On this, we're told out
right that dysfunction happens. And, thus, this seemed like
a much more real and far less exasperating episode.
I really appreciated how this episode blasted all the assumptions
about retirement homes. Now, I know that there are some
which are NOT good and probly do house lonely, sad people.
But one of my grandmas is in one and wow... They do have a
lot going on. There are most definitely old people far more
energetic and social than me. This much I know. So I
love that TBAA featured vibrant older characters in several
episodes. "The Journalist" is another great example.
And a great episode.
"We all have our specialties and no one's should be wasted."
That's another quote from Tess that really struck me. Cause
I think too many of us hide our gifts. Or else don't spend
time on them cause we don't see it as productive. (That's
me.) But God gave ya the gift so... use it!
OMG. That pan Lois painted really was beautiful! I
love stuff like that. I like art that repurposes common
So here's the thing: I think friendship can sprout between
anyone. Some people are just connected regardless of their
differences. However... as I've gotten older I have come to
realize that there is something to be said for having friends one
own's age. When Abby mentioned being with "folks who
remember things I remember," that spoke to me. Sometimes I
feel bad cause I work mostly with people a generation or two older
than me. And sometimes I feel like they want me to be more
part of the group. But I find I make references to things
that they just smile and nod at. Or they really care about a
topic that isn't yet part of who I am. So while I would
never automatically rule out a friendship based on age, it felt
kinda validating to hear an older person voice that
I also loved Abby's lil speech about losing her beloved husband
but continuing on with her life. I know two older women who
have lost husbands. The first to become widowed was more
like Lois. Sad and unable to move on. The second is
more like Abby. For a while there, I found myself not even
wanting to contemplate marriage because if the best case scenario
meant having a beautiful life together and then spending a number
of years depressed and irritable... why would I do that? I
don't want to become that! Now I have a healthier role model
for that situation. So God bless the Abbys of the world who
show that loss doesn't mean the end of your own life.
I liked that at the start it seems like Abby's daughter-in-law is
gonna be the problem. But it turns out her son is really the
misfit and Judith is genuinely sorry about what befalls
Abby. Sometimes life is like that. The people you
expect to be supportive aren't but then support comes from the
It also seemed true to life as I know it when Abby voiced to Lois
"we put our men first." I've never been married. But
it does seem like that is the case, especially among women of
older generations. I used to think that was just outright
wrong. Now... well, now I think it's more complicated.
I think it goes back to what I said about the two presentations of
widowhood. If one wants to make someone else their first
priority and that brings them joy... who are the rest of us to
judge? But if they do that to the extent of not developing
their own life, then it likely is problematic. What I liked
about this episode is that it was largely about using these lives
God gave us to be fulfilled. If that happens as a devoted
wife... wonderful! If it stems from painting or making hats:
great! If it's a combination: good for you! Just don't
It was sweet to see how much Lois' apology and
praise meant to Ramone. I would have liked to have seen a
mentorship develop between those two.
Even though I knew it was coming... I couldn't believe Phillip
used all of his own mother's life savings! Yes, I was
genuinely surprised at how wrapped up in this episode I got.
I know it might sound weird... but I think I did kinda end up
relating to Abby. Maybe, in some ways, an older person
moving away from family brings up some of the same stuff as a
younger person moving out for the first time.
I wish Ms. Reese had written or co-written more episodes. I
have a suspicion that her version of compassion and morality is a
lil more like my own than that of some TBAA writers. For
example, I love that Tess outright said that the way Phillip's
behavior made Abby feel is important... not how Phillip
feels. That was the resolve I would have loved to have seen
in other episodes. Like "Full Moon," for example.
While I don't think Carl got a free pass, I would have loved to
have heard an angel say "What Sarah wants is important.
Right now, your need for forgiveness from her is absolutely not
Along those same lines, Tess goes on to say that Phillip stealing
the money was not a mistake but deliberate theft. Oh to have
had such truth telling in "Quality Time"! It immediately
made me think of Andrew's asinine reply to the young boy's
fretting about his parents leaving him. Mistakes and bad
behavior are two different things.
Truly, this episode really did kinda put a balm on all that most
annoyed me about "Quality Time." Tess' revelation about God
as a disappointed parent was excellent. I loved what she
said about how He doesn't bend rules or stop being who He is just
to cover for us when we screw up. He lets us face
consequences so we can grow. It was wonderful to have TBAA
espouse that brand of parenting which is desperately needed over
the brand practiced by "Quality Time"-type helicopter parents and
their opposites: the neglectful ones. I'm kinda thinking
maybe there's such a thing as "tough compassion." Like
"tough love." Compassion may not always be swooping in to
smooth over another's mistakes or console them that it'll be all
right when it's obvious they did something wrong. Maybe
"tough compassion" is being there for them but ensuring that they
truly see the impact of their actions and the need to make them
right. Cause no one does someone else any favors by glossing
over their wrongdoings so that they can just keep on making the
same and worse transgressions until they're uncontrollable.
"Sometimes, baby, the best thing you can do for people is to let
them take care of themselves. And trust God to take care of
the rest." Another Tess quote I picked up on the second
viewing. I very much agree.
Another counterpoint to what bothered me about "Full Moon" comes
when Abby shows Phillip his baby book. It was the same sorta
idea as having Carl see his younger, weeping self. But I
felt less manipulated. I'm not quite sure why. But
"Full Moon" kinda left me feeling like I was cold-hearted to not
want to jump right to "Poor Carl, he was once a sweet boy."
Here I didn't feel like I was supposed to break my heart over lil
Phillip but that, instead, it was presented merely to impact
Phillip. And that the episode was still very much about Abby
and *her* experience. "Full Moon" made me feel like Sarah
became a footnote by the end. This stayed on track.
What I didn't love about
isn't a huge deal but... Monica's all nostalgic about generations
living together. Both she and Tess talk as if it's some
bygone thing. However... TBAA has shown us and spoken of the
angels having assignments in several countries. And I'm told
that in many countries, multi-generational housing is still
commonplace. So it seems a little odd they'd be nostalgic
about something that, on a global
level, isn't gone. Of course, now it's becoming more common
here thanks to our lil recession problem...
Gah, Phillip! While I remembered some of his badness... I
did NOT remember that he stole cash! Imagine! And then
that he lost $100,000! I knew he lost his mom's life savings
but to hear the actual dollar amount... yikes. How
awful. So no love for Phillip from me! But
writing-wise, I think he was handled well.
I wonder if it's difficult to be an actor on a show and
write an episode? I would get all concerned about if I would
inadvertently offend my co-stars by not writing them enough
scenes. Really, I'd probly be a basket case and just annoy
them with constant phone calls. "I don't know what to do
with your character but I love you! Please don't be
mad!" Or else I'd try to cram them all in equally and just
wind up making a cruddy script.
Is there a more male-centric version of "cutting the apron
strings"? Yes, I realize men can and do wear aprons.
But every time I hear that phrase, it's in reference to a woman
keeping someone too close. But it could be the man. So
how does one express that?
Do people really talk aloud to soap opera characters that they
watch alone? I see it all the time on TV but never in
life. I've seen people shout at sports. I've seen
people talk to characters when watching a movie with a group and
everyone's commenting. But I've never seen a lone person
talk to a character. And I don't think I do it myself.
Even when I write here about wanting to scream at a TBAA person, I
don't believe I actually do it aloud.
Why did Abby initially give her checkbook to her son? I just
don't get that...
that made me feel swoony:
When I barely remember an episode, I know it's a sign that Andrew
will be scarce. Such is the case here. And in such
episodes... I get desperate. In one episode, I was so
focused on trying to find Andrew that I mistook an African
American man for him. In this episode, I saw an elderly
gentleman on screen and also thought he was Andrew. Maybe I
should just get myself an Andrew paper doll, prop it up in the
corner of the screen, and stop playing mind games. Or else I
will eventually see, I dunno, lounge chairs and think they're
Andrew's scarceness aside... the man's attractiveness jumps
several points when he's holding that wrench. Love the
lovely and handy angel. I need an Andrew... He could
fix stuff and then I could spoil him with completely platonic
affection. And then we could volunteer places
together. Yes, this is seriously the stuff my day dreams are
I'm noticing a disturbing trend in which Tess or Monica offers
food or drink to the other... with Andrew present... but not to
Andrew. Okay, okay. So it's just here with the
birthday cake and in "Millennium" with the tea. So maybe
that doesn't really make it a trend. But still... sad.
Andrew deserves tea and cake! Maybe I'll explain this lapse
away by telling myself that Monica didn't offer Andrew cake cause
she knew he'd just been in Dyeland where he was thoroughly spoiled
with treats from admiring young ladies. So she didn't offer
him any cake in the same way you wouldn't feed your pet fish if
you knew someone else just did. But I don't like comparing
Andrew to a small creature with gills... It's still polite
to ask. He shoulda been asked. Still, it's cute that
he took the piece to try and get through to Ramone. Love
Andrew. I would give him cake. With ice cream.
Love the read sweater. It's kinda close
to being a henley.
I'm so jealous when Andrew dips Monica... But it's super
adorable that he wanted to dance. That's it! I'm
definitely having him go dancing in this story I'm working
on. I was debating it but this settles it.
Music: You can hear
30s/40s-style, possibly swing music at three points in this
episode. First, in Abby's room at the home right after she
moves in. Then again during the fund raiser. Also at
the end. I couldn't identify any of it.
I thought it was interesting and cool that in her writing credits,
Ms. Reese used her married name.
Scenes Hallmark cut:
-I'll watch the CBS version tomorrow but right off I'm gonna guess
they cut a scene of Abby telling Lois how much she and Vincent
loved the painting. Cause in a scene THC does include, Abby
makes reference to such a discussion happening. ETA: THC
cuts a lot but not this. Despite Abby's reference, the
original version does not have any scene of a discussion of the
-Augh. I knew there had to be at least one cut Andrew
scene. And there is... After the scene of Abby and her
son wherein he rudely asks where she's been, the show goes back to
the home where Andrew (wearing a tightish, brownish-olive
turtleneck sweater with jeans) shares his appreciation of the
mural with Ramone. Andrew makes note of how good the use of
color is. Ramone ignores him. (Ramone, I get that
you're a guy but seriously... ignoring Andrew?!?) So Andrew
does one of those kinda sarcastic "Hello?"s that ya do when
someone is zoned out or outright ignoring you. Ramone
responds that the law says he has to work, not talk. Andrew
agrees, assumedly trying to get on the boy's good side. But
he goes onto say that he doesn't think Ramone realizes that he has
entire room of people willing to listen to him. (And there
are some lovely close-up shots that I'm mad I can't take snaps
of... thanks THC.) Andrew guesses that this is the first
time Ramone's ever had that so ponders why he doesn't let himself
enjoy it. Ramone looks at him. It seems as if Andrew's
words kinda got to him. Then Monica enters and asks if
Ramone has anything to contribute to the fundraiser. Ramone
responds with "Excuse me?" Monica explains how everyone is
offering something. Ramone shoots back that he doesn't live
there. Monica tells him that he's part of the family and
she'll leave him to think about it. Our friendly muralist
replies with a cheesy grin. Monica leaves. Andrew
smiles. Ramone returns to his mural. On the plus side,
I feel better knowing that Ms. Reese did include more Andrew in
her story than was immediately apparent.
-After Abby moves out, the next segment begins with Phillip and
Judith entering the kitchen. Phillip is wondering where his
mom is and why she didn't make breakfast. Judith surmises
that she went for a walk and that, anyway, Phillip can make his
own breakfast (heck yeah). Then she finds the note on the
coffee maker. The couple reads it. Then it goes to
Abby in her new room but THC cut part of that, too. The real
version begins with her unpacking Vincent's photo. (That's
what she's dancing with.) She tells him she did it and then
murmurs that he always wanted the best for her and that she
finally decided he was right. She smiles and says this is
where she's waiting for her "transportation to glory." It's
sweet. The THC version starts right after that.
Further on down the road:
Nice... I like the photo of Andrew on the episode list
of this DVD. Anyhow...
Kinda weird to think that when you're gone, angels might come into
your room and play with your accessories.
Is it wrong that when I retire I really do just want to sit around
and watch TV and movies? Not exclusively. But a
lot. And read. A lot.
I do not even know how my mom would react if one of us asked
"Where the hell have you been?" but I'm gonna guess it wouldn't be
pretty! And rightly so.
Sigh... Andrew does look mighty fine in fitted
sweaters. And I love his annoyed "Hello!"
Maybe this would be a good bucket list item: Find a painting to
fall in love with. I'm just not into big trips and flashy
experiences but that sounds nice.
Oh Andrew... Dear, sweet Andrew... Sugar is a starting
place when trying to win people over. Not a last
I do still like the twist that it ends up being Judith who has
more of a heart and genuinely wills the best for Abby while the
son's completely off.
So lately, with writing, I've really been exploring the opposite
gender relationships. Thus, I found myself interested in
Abby's and Lois' discussion about putting their men first.
That's probably true for some if not most couples. What
really interests me is when both people are
self-sacrificing. Would that be more or less frustrating in
Angels are NOT always right, Tess. I think when they're
glowing and, thus, speaking for God then they are. But as
depicted on TBAA, they screwed up several times when not in
revelation mode. I'm really surprised they let that line
slip in there. It's blatantly untrue within the rest of the
Sigh... And many if not all of us reading this would love to
be Monica at the end of this episode.
And note to my younger self: Can't use Dyeland as a cover for
Monica not offering Andrew cake. He hadn't yet met his
friends there at this point. Wah-wah.
A Word from Travis:
This is one of the few TBAA episodes that I viewed when it
originally aired. I was interesting to find out that this
episodeís story/teleplay was by Ms. Della Reese (along with Burt
Pearl). I didnít know Ms. Reese was involved in writing any
of the seriesí episodes. A fantastic episode indeed!
the Episode Guide
photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and
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Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)