December 18th, 1993 :: episode #27

Mike's Dream:
A Christmas Tale

Mike's Christmas Eve gets off to a bad start, triggering a personal crisis for Mike. Through no fault of her own, a patient dies of a heart-attack on the operating table as Mike performs a routine operation on Christmas Eve. The deceased man's family blames Mike. Later, at home, the Cooper kids bicker. Next, as Mike, Sully and the kids are on their way to the town's Christmas Eve party, Robert E comes to ask Mike to deliver a baby for a couple who's just come into town. The couple, married against their parents' wishes, are on the run. Robert E offers them the use of his stable for the birthing, as the couple's fathers, who're in close pursuit, will certainly find them at the clinic. Mike goes to attend the delivery, which causes her to miss the event.

As Mike, melancholy at missing yet another social function thanks to her career, falls asleep, an angel, the kids' deceased mother, Charlotte Cooper, visits her. Charlotte takes Mike to her Boston past, where Mike, as a young intern, relives yet another Christmas Eve missed as she baby-sits a young doctor's hospital ward. Next, Charlotte takes Mike to the present, where, as invisible entities, they watch townsfolk discuss Mike's various virtues and failings. Finally, Charlotte takes Mike to Christmas future, where Mike sees her beloved, adopted children grown and doing well, and -- evidence that she'll be happily married, though the identity of her future groom is not revealed. Mike, "awakens," counts her blessings, and vows with her children that henceforth, they'll never be apart on Christmas again. The young couple-with-the-baby's fathers show up, and Mike mediates a truce between the families.

Also, the Cooper kids are very disappointed that a mail-order gift ("from a 'real' store in Boston") for Mike doesn't show up in time to give to Mike in time for Christmas, but Mike impresses upon them that, "it's the thought that counts."