THE STAGE 32 LOGLINES

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GRACE, FULL OF LIFE
By Alex Stitt

GENRE: Drama, Family
LOGLINE:

When the cancer she thought was in remission comes back with a vengeance, a want-to-be grandmother hides it to protect her daughter's delicate pregnancy, destroying relationships and harming her palliation. It takes the wisdom of a genetically compromised young radiographer to convince her to be open, finally winning her a brief time with her new granddaughter.

SYNOPSIS:

Grace longs to be a grandmother and is helping her highly-strung daughter through a difficult pregnancy following an earlier miscarriage. At a routine check, a cancer-in-remission has flared and Grace does not have long to live. Desperate to live to see the baby born, Grace coerces her oncologist into letting her join a trial of a new drug. Believing news of her condition will cause another miscarriage, Grace resolves to hide her condition from family and friends. Only her oncologist and the young radiographer with a genetic condition that makes him afraid to have children know her real condition. Grace tells the young radiographer it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.

Grace’s deception goes well at first, despite the emotional trauma of good friend Marjorie’s one-upmanship over who will be a Grandma first and if it will be a “Son and Heir”. The daughter’s pregnancy strikes some rocks and Grace helps but this fuels tensions with the daughter’s husband who thinks Grace is coddling the daughter, making things worse. A chance comment by her daughter leads Grace to assume the baby is a boy. As Grace goes through treatment (she doesn’t know if it is real or placebo) her condition gets worse and she struggles to hide her state from her daughter and her friends. Tensions flare with her friends over behavior and lack of energy. Her daughter accuses Grace of not doing enough to help her. At her lowest ebb, Grace again meets the young radiographer, who is shocked at her condition, but reveals that because of Grace’s advice, he has got married. It is a small ray of joy in Grace’s terrible life. Grace’s friend Beryl suspects the worse and tries to get Grace to open up but Grace is steadfast.

As full term for the baby nears Grace is barely able to function but her daughter’s demands get stronger and stronger, and tension with the husband rises. Overdoing it, Grace collapses at her daughter’s house. Paramedics are called and it quickly becomes clear what Grace’s condition is. There is a blazing row between Grace and her daughter, each accusing the other of selfishness. The daughter goes into premature labour, endangering the baby, and both have to be rushed to hospital – Grace’s worst nightmare.

As doctor’s struggle to stabilize the daughter and protect the baby, Grace’s friend Beryl comforts her. Her doctors want her to move into the “keep comfortable” stage before death but she refuses, wanting a clear mind for the baby. Understanding Grace’s and the daughter’s conditions, the husband convinces the doctors to deliver the baby. It’s a girl! The husband rushes the baby to Grace who gets to hold her and love her, then dies. Beryl and the young radiographer help the husband fake a photo of Grace appearing alive cradling the baby.

At Grace’s funeral, the young radiographer shows his respect for Grace and we see his wife is pregnant.

Grace’s ghost sits in on the christening of the baby. She is christened “Grace”.

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