Elizabeth helps a coughing Mark down to a chair in the garden, from which he can gaze at the beach. "I'm a bit worried about that cough," she begins, pressing him to visit a hospital. Mark cracks that pneumonia isn't such a bad way to go. He's the master of gallows humor, that one. Elizabeth feigns amusement and plops down next to him in a chair. "Where's Rachel?" pants Mark, and we notice that his right eyeglass lens is covered with gauze. Elizabeth reveals that Rachel is with Kai. "They're spending a great deal of time together," she observes. Mark calls Kai a nice kid. "So you're not worried...about what they might be doing with all that time?" Elizabeth asks, eyebrows cocked. Mark, far from worrying, actually thinks it's marvelous, because Rachel has shown so much good judgment about what she puts in her mouth.
Awkwardly, Mark turns to his wife and quietly asks her to do him a difficult favor. "I want to write letters to Rachel and Ella," he explains. "I tried to do it myself, but I can't read my own writing now." That explains the identical penmanship between his portion of The Letter and Elizabeth's. She looks sad as Mark lists the occasions he'll miss -- weddings, graduations -- and grieves for her right hand, which will soon be a cramped claw from writing out cliché upon cliché for every conceivable occasion. "You think that's cruel?" Mark wonders. "Reaching out from beyond the grave on days that they should be happy?" Elizabeth swallows tears. "I think they'll cherish every single word," she chokes. Mark gazes at her apologetically. "I told you it might be hard," he says gently. "I'm okay," Elizabeth swears, her eyes moist but her voice resolute. She stares at the ocean while Mark smiles wanly at her. Interestingly, they sliced out Ella taking her first steps for Mark, and Mark telling Elizabeth he wants her to remarry after his death. Those two scenes were either teased or listed in the Spoilers thread on the forums, and frankly, I'm sort of glad they spared us the awkwardness of Mark asking Elizabeth to move on and not mourn him forever, and Elizabeth laughing and laughing, and laughing some more, and then starting to laugh.
Elizabeth washes the dishes in the kitchen. It's dark. Rachel appears in the doorway. "Is he asleep?" she asks. Elizabeth curtly confirms that he is. "He sleeps a lot now," Rachel observes emptily. "Yeah," Elizabeth says, still not looking at her stepdaughter. She acts pissed off. No wonder they're not close. Elizabeth can hold a grudge more tightly than she holds her own daughter. Rachel speculates that Mark's in a lot of pain. "It won't be long now," Elizabeth says, still the picture of businesslike efficiency, mentally counting down the seconds. Rachel notices the chill from Elizabeth's corner -- the icicle on her nose tipped her off first. She peers nervously at the ceiling, then trudges upstairs.