Tuesday, February 14, 2017

puppets in space

harold: it's kind of likea monster with a big mouth. when you step inside the mouth,it starts closing down. donna: i felt i was ugly.i felt unattractive. i just turnedto inanimate objects. bye. i love you. i love you, too. hailey has not been allowed to stay overnightor enter her dad's home. it's a dangerous place.

i've already accepted the factthat i will never marry again. harold: what do you want meto do, just throw it all away? all right. sara:this is horrible! don't like this at all.i got to get out of here. i can't handle this. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com captions paid for bydiscovery communications narrator: on the north shoreof long island,

this 4,000-square-foot homehas been invaded by a very peculiar collection. donna: [ high-pitched voice ]it is terrible. it's disgusting,if you want to know the truth, but i -- i can't tellmy granddaughter, donna, this. [ italian accent ]it's filled to capacity. i told her a long time agoto get rid of all of this stuff. [ baby voice ]i used to like living in big housewith lots of things.

but sometimes i fall down. donna:[ high-pitched voice ] she'sconstantly collecting things and buying things,and i told her she shouldn't. grandma, you're right,and i'm sorry. you should be. you shouldn't do thingslike this, and you know this. i've told younot to do that. narrator: donnais a retired ventriloquist, though what oncewas a successful career

has since turned intoa crippling obsession. i started feeling like i knewi was going to perform again and i have to start acquiringventriloquist dummies. and i would startanywhere that i would see them, whether it was online or if i came upona ventriloquist dummy in an antique shop, i would purchase it. i probably have around200 ventriloquist dummies

in the house. look who's here.it's leroy. i haven't seen leroyin a long time. and look --look who's over there. it's robo! oh, i don't believe it. sara: she doesn't reallyhave a partner, and since puppetskind of do mimic real humans, maybe to her, she sees them as,like, a family.

narrator:but donna's collection may serve an even more important purpose, as a reminder of happier times. donna: i lived on theupper east side of manhattan, and i performedas a ventriloquist all over new york city. i performed in shopping centers. i performedfor many, many birthday parties. i performed in museums.i performed in schools.

it was probablythe happiest time of my life. narrator:donna eventually left the stage to raise her three children. but a bitter divorcenot long after would lead the single motherdown a dark path of depression. and i felt that -- this is like an addiction. it's a temporaryform of comfort. narrator:but the comfort has also become

a constant source of conflict between donnaand her 27-year-old son, jonny, who's been living at homewhile attending law school. jonny:if i say to her, "let's spend a weekendand clean a whole room," it's just not gonna happen. i've tried it many times. and as much as i understand it or i try to understand itand empathize with it,

you know, it's justsomething that i don't -- i can't support. here, grandma,you take a seat. okay. how come you didn'tthrow away the boxes? i mean, you know it'spaper-recycling day today. you said you weregoing to throw them away today. i forgotit was recycling day. but the tablewas just clear a week ago.

how does it happen? i don't know. 'cause we get mailevery day, and the mailends up on the table. it's a constant.i understand that. it's a constant thing. i have to get ridof all of this stuff. i mean, ultimately, i'm going towant to move on with my life, and she should, too.

narrator: but for donna, movingon may be easier said than done. as the pileshave grown around her, so, too, has a virtualmountain of debt. i'm probably in around $300,000of debt right now, that i owe. and i took out a huge, hugeequity loan on my house, and if i don't pay this loanback, i could lose this house. [ voice breaking ]she's too good of a person, too caring of a personto live like that.

you know, i'll have tostart selling kidneys soon. i mean, i've taken out loansand everything. actually, i'm getting veryembarrassed thinking about this. let me take a two-second break. [ whistling ] harold: at least it isn'training today yet. yep. [ laughs ] yes, i won't go slidingdown the hill. yep.

hailey:my dad is a wonderful person. he's about the best dadyou could ever have. phew! there he goes. [ both laugh ] harold:i just love to be with hailey, and hailey loves to be with me. we have a good time. narrator: harold would loveto spend even more time with his 12-year-olddaughter, hailey,

but their visits always endat his ex-wife's doorstep. when i drop hailey off and i saygoodbye to her at the door... ...i start to geta little sad. we'll see you soon. okay. bye. bye. i'm thinking,"that was a lot of fun, but i'm gonna miss heruntil i see her again." narrator: harold lives just 20minutes away from his daughter,

in a five-bedroom houseoutside salt lake city. but the inside of this homeis no place for a child. cindy: hailey has not beenallowed to stay overnight or enter her dad's home for probably somewherebetween one and two years now. i'm afraidthings will fall on hailey. there's buckets of things,there's boxes of things, piled highand blocking the accesses. the only accessbesides the windows in the house

is the front door. it's kind of of likea monster with a big mouth, and you step inside, and the mouth startsclosing down on top of you. i have tools -- bags of tools. it's kind of likea big tool shed. narrator:as an electrician, harold has always hada fondness for tools. but it wasn't until recently

that his collectinggot out of hand. harold: things started to getworse after my second divorce. boy, stuffjust started piling up. i just couldn'tkeep track of it all. and the more stress there was, the worse the piles became. i have my journalfrom years and years ago. 1989. let's see.

"on january 5th, 10:30 a.m., "betty gave birth to oursixth child -- a girl. she's cute. she has a soft cry --more like a whimper." i have six childrenfrom a previous marriage, and they're allout on their own. i haven't been ableto communicate with them as much as i have with hailey. april:as far as my dad's relationshipwith my brothers and sisters,

it's pretty much gone. the lack of the relationship,i believe, has definitelycontributed to the hoarding. this is the family room, and it's piled clearto the ceiling with stuff. wood? i wonderwhat i got the wood for. [ sighs ] oh, well, it's been a long timesince i was back here. really makes me sad that ihaven't had it cleaned up enough

that i can have haileycome and visit me. we could dance and twirlaround here, you know? can't do that anymore, allbecause i have too much junk. this ishailey's christmas stocking from about three years ago. she hung it on the wall.she made it at school. she hung it on the wall so thatit would be here for christmas. and she wasn't able to be herefor christmas, so...it didn't get filled.

it's puzzling to me that i couldlet things get this bad. i mean, i said to myself a lot,"what's wrong with me? why am i doing this?why is this stuff so important?" it's a challenge that i haven'tfound the answer to yet. okay. a lot of good stuff. ijust don't know where to put it. narrator:it's been two years since harold's12-year-old daughter, hailey, has been allowed to step footinside her father's home -- the tragic result

of over a decade's worthof extreme hoarding. harold: the driving forcefor making a change right now is the opportunity for haileyto come and spend time with me. i want her to be ableto come in the house, but right now,that's not possible. narrator: as a first steptoward achieving that goal, harold has contacted clinicalpsychologist dr. d.j. moran, an expertin compulsive behavior. hi, harold.i'm dr. d.j.

oh, nice to meet you.come on in. thanks. so, this is the place. so, you've got it allright here? yeah. dr. moran: the houseis remarkable in the fact that you can't evenget up the first few steps to get into the living room without tripping oversome kind of clutter.

you sleep in here? i just kind of move everythingoff the center of the bed. you can't live in a significantmajority of the house. it's an extreme case. how are you gonna react when some of the materialthat you've had in your life for a really long period of timebegins to be carted away? i mean,if i were to just take... a big wrench.

so, i just want youto imagine that, you know,this is on its way out. this is no longerin your possession. i see you're evenlooking at it now. so, this is no longerin your possession. it's no longergonna be here. when would i need it? yeah, it's -- i can see that there's gonna besome challenges.

i guess i haven'tallowed myself to feel some feelingsfor quite a while. harold's strugglingwith the idea of just allowing himselfto have his emotions. and until he canjust be present with them and not try to push them away, he's gonna continue to amasslarge quantities of items. now, i justwanted to let you know that haileywrote a letter to you,

and we wanted to give youa chance to, you know, read it and kind ofsee her thoughts. oh. hmm. "dear dad, you are the onlyperson who can understand me. "you area wonder man and dad. "you mean the world to me. "it would be wonderful "to finally be ableto stay the night at our house.

"i love you morethan any dad in the world. with lots of love,hailey." "p.s., look at the pictureat the bottom, and pull it out wheneveryou are in need of comfort." [ sniffles ] now, that's motivation. narrator: meanwhile, in the suburbsoutside of new york city, retired ventriloquist donnahas managed to fill every room

in her 4,000-square-foot home. and despite racking up more than a quarter of a milliondollars in debt, donna's collectionshave continued to expand far beyond just dummies. donna:what can i say? my dining room has turned intothe ultimate garage sale. [ high-pitched voice ]yes, that's a good definition. okay. this is an applique.

i have endless bookson this dining-room table. i have dolls.i have denim handbags. really? yes. i don't even know wheremy most precious items are because the house became filled. as a matter of fact,i didn't even know where the bathroom wasthis morning because you hadso many things in the way.

narrator:but as donna's obsession with inanimate objectshas grown, her real-life relationshipshave begun to fall apart. in fact,her youngest daughter, sara, hasn't been home in over a year. sara: growing up in the housewas pretty difficult. i felt like i wasgoing into my own little zone, like a cave away from society,kind of. i was just always angryas a little kid,

and i guess it didn't forma good basis for a relationship. narrator:but today, sara's agreed to pay her mothera long-overdue visit. donna: the last time sara hada boyfriend come in the house, he went into complete shock. and they shortlybroke up afterwards. and i didn't want that to happenwith this boyfriend. hi. how are you?

hi, sara.how are you? how are you doing, jon? good to see you. it's goodto see you, too. sara: i was scared, because it was always like thishill that we had to get over -- like, "okay, you have to see mymom's house, 'cause it's bad." should we go for it? do you want to go for it,climbing over this?

no, please don't. i don't knowif i'd want to do that one. i kind of want to. no, sara.i don't want you to. okay? there's a lot of billsthat ended up there. i don't know why. you should pay them, then.there shouldn't be a pile. no, they arepaid bills, okay? it was definitely a shocker,

because the housewas so much worse than last time i've seen it. so, let's see my room. all right, take a look. oh, gosh. well,this is typical me. typical you. oh, my god! what the [bleep]it was not like this!

what the [bleep]is this? oh, my god!oh, my god. jon: i was definitely shocked.i mean, it was pretty packed. mostly puppets. i'd never seen that manyin one place before. what is this? i told you that your roomhas become -- what in the hellis this? they all hang out here.

this is horrifying. sara:it was really creepy. stop telling me that the puppetsare having a party in my room. i can't even get to my own bed or anythingthat i ever left in the room because it's been overtakenby her puppets. this is horrible. i told you that i storedall the puppets here. it wasn't like thislast time i was here.

it was not like this.this is way worse. i -- i don't like this at all.i got to get out of here. i don't like this. wow.i can't handle this. sara, i promise you that thishouse is gonna be a lot neater. i feel i did a terrible jobas a mother. anyway,i'm glad you came. it's almost like i spreadmy unhappiness on my kids. i had to share my unhappinessthat i have gone through,

and it's not fair to them. it's not fair to them. narrator:yet donna is still holding on, not only to her dummies, but the dream that she'llone day perform again. to helpbreak her grip on the past, donna's meetingwith dr. julie pike, a clinical psychologist who specializesin compulsive disorders.

who could it beat the door? oh, hello. hello. donna? i'm dr. pike. nice to meet you. nice to meet you, too. and who's this? this is uncle vinny. this is uncle vinny?

how are you doing today? when i met dr. pike, i thoughtshe was a beautiful woman. we'll show the houseright now. come on, let's go. this is not good. what are you gonna do?clean up this place. i think she often deflectsfrom her sense of distress by using humor,by using her dolls, and i really wanted herto be able to sit

with the feelings that she has. i'm wondering if you wouldput him down and talk to me. okay. that's fine. what i'm reallygonna ask you to do is be real with me and tell mehow you feel about yourself. well, i... if i had to sayvery simply, i feela very intense sadness of someonethat has missed the boat.

i mean, i went through differentperiods after the breakup where i wantedmy life to end. we have a swimming poolin the back. when the divorcefirst began, i actuallywent into the swimming pool, and i held my breath, andi was hoping to drown myself. it's kind of likei've already accepted the fact that i will nevermarry again. i accepted the factthat i could die alone.

but my only little areawhere i feel a little happiness is the thoughtthat i could possibly start performing againas a ventriloquist. it was very hard. it is very hard. because that thought is causingyou a huge amount of fear, and it's organizing your liferight mow. and it is what is ultimatelykeeping you enslaved. she seemed to beliving in a fantasy world,

preparing for the daythat she would be happy again, and i felt like her fantasizingabout a happier future time was really a way of avoidingthe distress of the moment. what we'd like to do is bring in an expertin ventriloquist dummies, and you may have an opportunityto let some of the dummies go. the thought of partingwith some of these -- 'cause this is a 40-yearcollection that i have here. it is painful.

yeah, it is painful. it was the realizationi have to let go, and i may never perform againas a ventriloquist, and i have to facethat very difficult reality. narrator:2,000 miles away, compulsive hoarder haroldmust face reality, as well. harold: i never did thinkthat it would get this bad. i thought i'd have timeto sort through the boxes and get rid ofthe stuff i didn't need.

i've only got six or sevenyears, maybe, with hailey left before she's out of schooland she'll be out on her own. narrator:with time running out, harold has asked his daughtersapril and hailey to help him getthe organizing process started. april: i've tried several timesto help him clean up, but we can neverget through everything. coax cable.so, that can go in the wire. so, i'll take that out.

well, actually, i've got someother cable like that in a box. but are you gonna use itwithin the next 30 days? no, butnext 60 days i may. i'm gonna keep that one. i foundthat if i just go in there and start taking stuff out... where are yougoing to put it? do you have a plan?a specific socket? ...and telling him,

"this is the most efficient wayto organize"... it's somethingthat i keep for stock. i want to set it asidefor right now. ...he doesn't want to hear it. what about this one?what's in here? are you kidding me? i had to have thingsfor stoves. why? what stoves? well, i don't havethe stoves anymore.

harold:what she sees in them isn't necessarilywhat i see in them, and so we kind of butt headsa little bit -- maybe a lot. so, we wantto get this stuff sorted. i want you to think of how many screw driversyou need, okay? why are wefocusing on my tools when we could focuson other stuff? well, 'cause you'reshuffling it around.

i was pretty frustrated, because she had her mindalready made up, and no matter what i said,it didn't seem to matter much. it's alreadylate in the day, and we still have to getthe rest of the house -- here's another box.go through it. throw it all away. narrator: following abreakthrough therapy session... we'll have a little tourof some of...

...donna has agreed to meet with ventriloquist experttom ladshaw. this is a wicked witch.that's a mat. i have a number of -- mary ann taylor. mary ann taylor puppets. visiting donna's housewas a very unusual experience. ladshaw: wow. i've seen collectionsbefore...

that is a lot of puppets. ...but i haven't really seena collection like that. wow. [ laughs ] i see somedan payes figures. there's anotherkim pointer figure. donna: yes. just from the numbers i saw, she has thousands upon thousandsupon thousands of dollars invested in those.

narrator: now, in an effort tohelp pay down some of her debt and beginthe larger clean-up process, dr. pike is hoping that donnawill agree to relinquish some of her prized dolls. so, tom,you've had a chance to talk with donnaand look over her collection. why don't we talkabout some options? well, donna, i have seensome of the puppets that i like. what i'minterested in doing --

i could buy one or twofrom you and give youa pretty good deal. but what i thinkmight help you better is if you allowed me to buya number of them. there's something elsei'd like to talk to you about. it's to pick out one or twopuppets that you like personally that have meantsomething to you, and i'd like youjust to consider donating themto the museum. okay?

it allows you to live ona little bit in these puppets. so, donna, what do you thinkabout those options? it's disappointing. yeah, it'sa disappointment. i feel like the biggest"a," as in [bleep] okay? let's sayi paid $500 for something, then i'll just donate it. it's like, "oh, my god.oh, my god. what the hell did i do?what the hell did i do?"

jonny, what would it meanto you personally if your momlet go of these puppets? personally, i thinki'll have more faith that she'swilling to do this. you know, i've beenkind of skeptical at times. you know,i felt like it's just... in many ways... sorry. in many ways, as i'veseen the puppets accumulate,

it was a senseof disappointment, because i felt likeit's gonna be another puppetto go into the pile. jonny:i did reach a breaking point. i felt like, you know, we can'tcontinue living like this. donna, what's your reactionto what jonny's saying? it's hardto part with them, but... make me an offer. how's that?make me an offer i can't refuse.

there's this one, the nun, this guy,this older gentleman, this older gentlemanthat needs a little work, and this older gentleman,who looks good. i would give you $1,000 cashfor those six. jonny:what do you think? 'cause, you know,for the one figure, i paid $400for that one figure. i understand.i understand that.

could you do just a littlebetter since you have six? six times $200. $1,200. yeah.could you do that? mm, i thinki could do that. dr. pike:donna really struggled today, but it's importantthat she access distress, because she has been avoiding itfor so many years. she's going to have towork hard,

and she's going to have tokeep working and taking stepstowards progress. narrator: while donna strugglesto move forward, compulsive hoarder haroldis already losing ground. his idea to have his daughters help him beginthe organizing process has resulted in a lossof patience rather than stuff. harold:i know she's trying to help. feeling likei'm under a lot of pressure.

narrator:realizing the problem is much morethan he can handle alone, harold has agreedto a bigger plan of attack. with the help of dr. d.j. moran and professional organizerlaura lawrence... our eternal fatherin heaven, we humblybow our heads before you. ...a group of family, friends,and members of his church have organized a clean-out dayon his behalf.

...in the name of thy son,jesus christ, amen. woman: amen. thanks, bishop. you're welcome. i want to welcome you allhere today. thanks for coming overto help me. today is the big day. [ chuckles ] i'm a little nervousabout how things are gonna go.

there really isone major ground rule, and that is that haroldgets final decision. man: kind of wobbly ormissing -- it goes right here. narrator:faced with an enormous hoard that has spread over 2,000congested square feet, the crew divides into teamsso they can cover more ground. did you say there weresome boxes, harold? yeah. i've got to find outwhere they are. a lot of stuffthere is, huh?

let's look at this oneright here. and how aboutthis magic kit? uh, yarn pumpkin. man: harold, these don't goto your house, do they? donations. that's a keeper.keep? that's a keep. keep? uh-huh.

watch it.be gentle with it. narrator:as the minutes turn into hours and larger itemsare hauled away, harold's resolveslowly begins to crumble. man: harold. harold: i know i want to havehailey with me. i just don't know how i'm gonna dealwith all the emotional turmoil. narrator: since agreeingto a massive cleanout

of his five-bedroom home, harold's family and friendshave rallied around him to help remove over 10 years'worth of hoarding. but their good intentions are provingmore than harold can take. dr. moran:cleanup day is very emotional. it's difficult, especiallywhen somebody like harold, who has been hoardingfor so long, is asked in one day

to get rid of a significantamount of material. dr. moran: what's goingthrough your mind? every time i heard a bucketwith stuff go in the dumpster, i thought, "oh, no. oh, no. oh, no." a little piece of mewas going out there with it. [ clanging ] see, i hear you. you're attachedto this stuff, you know?

every time you heara crash in the dumpster, a part of you is leaving. but that's becausein some way, you've gotten the idea thatthis stuff is part of yourself. and it's not. i'm hearing what you're saying,i'm thinking about it, but all these things justgo around and around and around. hailey gave you somethingto help bolster your strength. [ crying ]

i don't want to lose her. life's essentiallyasking him a question -- "are you willing to go throughthe anxiety "and maintain a clean space "and have the valuable outcome of a relationshipwith your daughter?" that's his choice to make, and that's the questionhe's going to have to answer. what's the next stepfor us?

take some more stuff out. [ birds chirping ] narrator: on the other sideof the country, retired ventriloquist donna is about to face downher own anxiety. dr. pike has returned, along with professionalorganizer ron shuma and a disposal crewto haul away as many items as donnawill agree to part with.

well, today is the big day.today is the day. you've got an entire teamhere to help you. we've got like six guys. you've got your family here.we're all here to help you. i would like, almost as thestarting point, the basement. so, what do youthink, jonny? jonny: the problem withstarting with the basement is that you don't spendthat much time down there. so i thinkit's better --

no, but i'm talkingabout large pieces, jonny. i agree, but i -- so i want to do that first.i want to do that first. donna: as much as my sondoesn't realize it, i really wantthis basement -- i feel like we'll workfrom the bottom up. well, we can definitelystart here, but i also want to make surethat we get to the real stuff that causes youa lot of anxiety.

you will there, too.you will there, too. okay, good. shuma: so, let mebring the guys down. let me just takea few more puppets up. everyone's clearnot to get rid of those. if they're clear of one thing,it's do not get rid of a puppet. jonny: we can actually removeall the books here. they're garbage. i just saw some moldon some of them.

as much as i'mtrying to encourage her... i don't see mold.i'll donate the bears. shuma:you don't want to donate something that's unhealthyto other children. our organizer and therapist --we're all in one team, and we're trying to encourageher to make that change. she's got to want it. she's running away.awesome. donna,where are you going?

donna: i'm just gonnaput this here for a second. okay, so, wait. so, whatare we -- so hold on one sec. so, what's going on right now?what are we working on? we're workingon that part of the basement. okay. how high is your distress,zero to 10 right now? it's probablylike a 12 or 13. okay, so it's really high. what i would likeus to do is move upstairs and getsome of those things.

i'd like to work onsome of the harder items. ron, does thatsound okay to you? i really would prefer --very quickly -- another 30 minutes. 30 more minutes. donna, we don't havethe time for it. i'm sorry. we really need to useour resources wisely. ron, two minutes, theni'll be able to really feel -- i will feel much better.

we don't want youto feel much better. i'll feel terrible,but i'll be able to adapt. the purpose of this is for you to be able to feelyour distress. i have never pushed a hoarderas hard as i pushed donna today. i really challenged her. if you don't want meto go into cardiac arrest, the other room. what we'regonna do --

it's very fast.it's like this. nothing about thisis gonna be really fast. i'm asking you. dr. pike:my biggest concern was that she would notbe able to continue and to focus and to push throughthe distress. i was worriedshe would shut down. okay, rememberwhy you're doing it. so --

okay, fine. let's do it. okay.thank you. but what i found was the more i had her focus on meand talk about the big picture, the more able she wasto move through the distress. here is a box for books.can you get that? shuma: i'm gonna grab the bags.be right back. oop. narrator: on the heelsof dr. pike's pep talk,

the team finally beginsmaking some real headway. and it isn't longbefore an entire dumpster is filled to the brimwith stuff. one, two, three. donna:when i looked in the truck at the thingsthey were taking away -- and i was thinking, "oh, my god, i paid $50 for this,i paid $100 for that. i mean, it's like, "oh, my god.i just -- oh, my god.

jonny: my biggest concernis that this is temporary, that this is just... [ horn honks ] ...a band-aid on an open wound. narrator:it's been four weeks since haroldstarted clearing away the hoard that was preventing his12-year-old daughter, hailey, from spending time in his home. and althoughplenty of hard work remains,

harold has once againbeen granted permission to have hailey over for visits. two weeks ago, i finallygot to stay the night here. and it was really nice becausei was able to sleep in my bed, and i could wake upin the morning and feel like i live here and that thisis part of my life, 'cause it is. it's been nice to have her here.

before it got all messy, we usedto spend a lot of time here, and i want to bepart of her life, and i want her to feelcomfortable being here with me. i'm really proud that my dadwas able to do this for us just so thathe can live a better life. and how about you? is this gonna helpyour life to be better? it's been a wonderful -- a wonderful,eye-opening experience,

and i'm gladthat i faced up to the fact that i have a problem, and i'm the onewho has to solve it. it's still a lot to do. a good start. narrator: five weeks have passedsince donna began clearing out the hoard that had taken overher home and her bank account. today, donna's daughtersara has returned, along with her boyfriend, jon,

to see if her mother's effortshave proved successful. sara: i'm a little hopeful,but also skeptical about anything really changingsince i was there. sara! jon! it's great to see you.come in. wow. it's a hundreddegrees out. come in. jon: looks good in here.

sara:when i first walked in, i was definitely happyto see that it was clean, and when i walkedinto the kitchen, definitely i saw an impact. organization. wow! nice. sorted out every single drawer,and all the books are sorted. narrator:for sara's brother, jonny,

the cleanup has markeda true watershed moment. there's a loan on the housethat needs to be paid off, and this housedoes need to be sold. we need to downsize.we need to simplify. i don't want to sayi was hopeless, but i really didn't thinkit was going to be feasible to get this house readyto be listed on the market, let's say,within the next year or two. narrator:but there's one collection

donna has yet to part with --her dummies. donna:i still have an attachment to my ventriloquist dummies. i still have a dreamof performing again. sara: oh, my god. okay, i still haven't. i'm back here again.i'm in the chamber of doom. i haven't had a chanceto work on sara's room, but that is whereall the puppets live.

[ french accent ]who is this? oh, no. fifi. fifi, you never met sara.sara's my daughter. oh, what a beautifulyoung lady. donna:i have to be realistic. i still have so manyof the ventriloquist dummies that i'll never use, and i haveto acknowledge this and move on. okay, lay me downcomfortably.

okay.all right, let's go. it's only an object.it's not a person. and really, the most importantthing is friends and people and connecting to people and not being attachedto unnecessary objects. narrator:with a new outlook on life, donna can finally sit downat the dining-room table with her children -- something that hasn't happenedin nearly 20 years.

donna: you can't achievethings like this if you're gonna have a house filled with thingsthat you've collected. it's wonderful to be here.and good health. good health. [ laughing ]your glass is empty. is the glasshalf empty or half full? because what means somethingin the end? is an object going to be there?the answer is no.

but family counts.friends count. jonny: i mean, we never reallyused this room. uncle vinny and the baby and maybeone or two other friends -- that's all we need.

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