A review by Jenni:

New experience for me.  I'm watching and reviewing at my kitchen table.  I have a feeling I will eventually be doing these from my bed.  Or maybe outside.  Yay laptop!  Also chai with apple cinnamon scone= heavenly.

And... I will try to refrain from listing off types of shrimp whilst watching this.  ;-)

What I love about this episode:
These opening shots kinda make me want it to be winter.  That's an accomplishment.

Nice to know that I'm not the only one who employs a variation on WW-D after someone has died.

It can be awfully hard to discover we don't have power over death...  I have a feeling watching this may be an emotionally rocky ride.  But a good one to take.

I really love how Monica assures Jasmine that her mom is with her and she just needs to think of her.  I also am moved by her assurance that the mom's not cold.  At times I've had the same worry even though I knew it made absolutely no sense.  But I was cold.  Just as Jasmine was lonely.  It seems to be a fairly common form of transference during grief... and really hard to deal with.

There was just a story in our local news about a girl who nearly died of meningitis because two hospitals insisted it was just some minor virus.  Watching this episode makes me wonder how often things like that happen.  It's a good reminder to be proactive about one's health and family members' health.  Doctors don't always know everything.

Gotta hand it to Gloria.  She's very good with Jasmine when Monica and Tevis are taking Ashley to the hospital.

I just can't imagine what it would be like to return to my home without my child... and then to have to tell his or her sibling(s).  That scene is so subdued yet so sad.

This is really reiterating for me that when the time comes, I think I want to be cremated.  I don't want anyone to ever feel bad about leaving me behind.

I find myself liking Gloria in this episode.  The way she tears up as Tevis pounds on the carnival booth is very mature and compassionate.

The scene in the cemetery is the only one I remembered at all.  And not very well.  The sweatshirt and Ashley singing are so sad.

"You can struggle and fight to control every storm, every wave, to protect every detail in your world but you can't.  If you try t
o, your life will pass you by and all you'll have left is regret that you lived your life in fear."  A quote from Monica that I'd do well to remember at times...

"There are so many mysteries about life and death that you cannot understand.  So many things that you cannot control.  There are many things that you can know and God wants you to know that He loves you so much."  Monica again.

"God is strong enough to bear your grief if you'll give it to Him."  Wow.

"They live today, right now, in His presence.... in joy, in peace, and in no pain."  Monica says it about Tevis' wife and child but it's wonderful to think it's just as true for all our loved ones.

Tevis resting his head against Monica's hands is beautiful.  This really is a superb episode.  I truly like all the angels in it.

I'm glad Joaquin re-enters the picture and there's closure on that storyline.  I did vaguely recall that he also had sickle cell.

What I didn't love about this episode:

I really wish Andrew were in the first half more but I don't notice his absence as much as in "The Last Chapter."  I think this episode just keeps my attention much better.

Lingering questions:
None actually.

Parts that made me feel swoony:
Loving the brown sweater in the opening.  Andrew looks so cuddly!

And he showed back up just as I was starting to get down and weepy.  I love him.  I don't even know what Andrew's doing in this scene at the office yet but I'm glad he's there.  "She's beautiful" is a perfect response. 

Okay, so he's a lawyer.  A really lovely lawy
er.  I don't know why but I for some reason really like his hair in this episode.  I think maybe it's that one lock that's casting a lil shadow on his forehead.  Gah... I am hopeless.  Also, his voice is especially gravelly at points.

Naturally, I pretty much am losing it during this cemetery scene.  John definitely knows God for real now...  I mean I know he did in life.  But sometimes, being here, you just feel disconnected at times.  And I'm glad he never will.  But it's still hard.  So we sing our little songs and have our lil mementos.  As I was capping this scene, Pandora.com started playing Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You"...  Poignant.

I love that Andrew tells Jasmine that, yes, she will die though not that night or the next.  Everyone does.  I love that he never glossed things over.  And, honestly, hearing John say that and kinda smiling as he does... it helps. 

And when he talks about Ashley sitting in God's lap and not hurting and being just fine...  In those first days I felt like, via Andrew, John Dye had prepared me as best as was humanly possible to face the losses that would come.  But not the loss of him.  I don't feel that way any more.  What more could a person do than say repeatedly that death is not the end, that there is no pain in Heaven, that no one is gone forever, that our loved ones are surrounded by God's love?

Naturally, I had to rewatch the whole scene since I kept typing through it and it's worth paying attention to every word and every gesture.  His facial expressions are just precious the whole way through.  That lil nose wrinkle...

Darn straight Andrew know what he's doing!  :-)

Giggle.  Does this THC recording just screw up or does he really say "So, you about ready for that cotton candy?" in a really weird way?  It's like speed talking!  Love it.  Rewound.  It's good to see him grinning like that, too.  And I verified it on the VHS/CBS version... he *does* just say it really funny.  Love it more!

It's so adorable and endearing that he has his arm around Tess when they go to get cotton candy and still does once they walk away.  I love his affectionate-ness.

Random thoughts:

Music: The girls very adorably sing their lil "Ashley and Jasmine" song backed by Jasmine on guitar.  Later, Jasmine sadly sings it alone as Andrew listens.

I never knew "relocation specialist" was a thing.  Glad Monica's a good one.

Only noticed this as I was capping: during the funeral, the stained glass window behind the altar is of St. Andrew.  Cool.

Scenes Hallmark cut:

They cut a sequence after Tevis, Monica, and Ashley opt to return home following that initial hospital visit.  First, we see Gloria sitting with the girls as they sleep.  She tucks the blankets around Ashley.  Back in the living room, Monica and Tevis are unpacking.  He finds a white dress, I assume a wedding gown, with a note from Patrice reading "Save for the girls."  Obviously, this is an emotional moment for Tevis.  he utters his wife's name as he studies it.  Then it goes to Ashley struggling and Jasmine asking if she's cold which THC has.  That's all I noticed.

Further on down the road...
Just realized "The Blue Angel" is the next episode.  :-(

Cuddly sweater...

Sigh...  That "Do you think she gets cold?" line still kills me.

Gloria really handles things quite well with Jasmine back at the house.

Maybe it doesn't matter and maybe Monica knew there was no hope of resuscitation but it kinda bothered me that she told Tevis to stop the car.  If Ashley was gone, Tevis could have said his good byes later.  But I wish we would have seen Andrew or something to drive home the point that she really was gone.  I dunno.  It just seems like CPR woulda been tried or something.

Sigh...  Andrew's so lovely with Jasmine.  God's lap sounds like a good place to be...  Some day.

I like that they allow Tevis to have the reaction to Monica's revelation that he did.  Anger is not unreasonable given the circumstances. 

I think I needed the message about not being able to control everything.  It's not so much that I try to control everything as that I feel the constant need to be one step ahead and able to foresee issues that might arrive so I create these contingency plans for things that never happen.  And then I wonder why I didn't see that coming when something totally unexpected happens and I get irritated with myself for not having accumulated resources to respond to that.  But sometimes things just happen and you have to pray for help and muddle through without practice or plans.

Ha!  I just realized that Andrew totally bumps some guy's arm when he enters the school festival with the doctor.

That cotton candy line still sounds so funny to me!  What accent was he going for?  I love it!

Darn... and I just realized I didn't have a dessert during this.  Oh well.

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