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(So I'm a lil depressed about this issue!)

On a quiet Saturday in Dyeland, two figures walk through a wooded area, deep in conversation.

“Then just hit send.  It’ll be all addressed with a subject line and a body and all.  There’s enough pre-written material to last for months.  I mean if you want you can put in your two cents but otherwise just send as is.  Got it?”  JenniAnn asked.

“Yes, I don’t think I’ll have any problems sending JABB,” Andrew responded.

“Good.  You’re good with computers, I didn’t think you would but you’re sure it’s not… I mean if it’s weird for you or something…  It’s just I have people lined up to send on some dates but not others and I really don’t want them simply not sent and…  May be I shouldn’t go.” 

Andrew stopped walking and turned towards JenniAnn.  “No, this is what you want.  It has been 7 years…  I think you’re entitled to a hiatus.” 

“For three months?” JenniAnn asked, looking at the ground and kicking at nothing in particular.

“Or longer.  How ever long you need,” Andrew encouraged.  They continued walking again.

“Y’know, I’m glad you came back from assignment before I left.  I’ve grown rather tired of slinking away behind your back,” JenniAnn admitted with a rueful smile.

“I am too.  So what are your plans?”

“Get a job, health insurance, change my political party, buy some clothes, re-organize my book collection, and, umm, get a boyf-- may be broaden my social circle.  A bit.  I mean I’ll still be keeping in touch with all our members through all that.  Just not sending newsletters and not… here,” JenniAnn explained, wistfully taking in the trees around where they walked. 

“Change is good sometimes.”

“Uh huh…” she agreed, doubtful.  They walked on some more until they came to a clearing in the woods.

Andrew withdrew his pocket watch.  “It’s 3:45, JenniAnn.  When’s your interview?”

She sighed.  “4:00.  I guess this is it.  Well, good--”  She stopped dead and looked around.  “Get back in the woods!” she hissed. 

Andrew looked at her with arched brow and didn’t move.

“I am NOT saying good bye to you in a field.  Not like Monica…  Heck, it was painful enough watching it on TV.  I’m NOT living it.  I’m NOT!” JenniAnn cried. 

“I, uhh, still see Monica, ya know,” Andrew pointed out, trying to calm the increasingly distraught woman.

“But is it the same?  The same as before you said good bye?”

It was Andrew’s turn to look at the ground and kick at imaginary things.  “Well, no…  Things have changed but change is necessary.  Sometimes when we’re away from something, we appreciate it more when it’s returned to us.  Or we return to it.”

“I don’t want things to change,” JenniAnn pouted.

“But they do…”

JenniAnn nodded, fighting back tears.  “I better get going.  Good bye, Andrew.”  She quickly hugged him then turned to leave.  She didn’t get more than five feet before turning back around.  “Let’s go watch a trailer.  We actually got good feedback when we watched the ‘Heart of the Beholder’ trailer with Jess and wrote it up.  C’mon, watch the ‘Rent’ one with me, please?  Or… or… ‘Narnia’!!  I know John Dye isn’t in either but…”

Andrew shook his head.  “You know it’s time for you to move on.” 

The woman smiled bravely, if not very convincingly.  “I guess you’re right.”  Then she produced a package from her backpack.  “This is for you.  Please don’t open it while I’m here.  Good b--  See you later, Andrew,” she covered. 

“I’ll see you later and thanks.”

JenniAnn hugged the angel then walked a bit further into the field and was gone. 

Andrew stared down at the large though very flat package.  He sat down on the grass and carefully tore the paper away.  He found himself staring down at a picture book.  At first sight it looked like a children’s story.  But later he’d learn better.  He opened the front cover and saw the familiar handwriting there.

“ ‘When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’”
“You were my Skin Horse, Andrew.
With love,

                            The End

Author’s Note:

Oh crikey.  I need a chai.  And some Kleenex.  The idea to take a hiatus was one I’ve struggled with for months.  This newsletter took several attempts to write even.  Originally I tried to write a top ten but, in the end, the above kept coming to me.  Sometimes in dreams, sometimes in waking life.  So I decided to use it.

I’m still not sure if I made the right decision.  But I think it’s right to take a step back from the newsletter and see what, after 7 years, my life is like with out it.  As the story says, you’ll still get newsletters every two weeks.  Pre-written or written by others.  But for the next three months at least I probly won’t be writing or editing any thing for the newsletter.  I may resurface for Andrew’s birthday on September 20th.  I may not.  Really I just don’t know.  This is a time of a lot of uncertainty in my life and I think right now my attention needs to be focused on the areas my fictional counterpart brought up.

That being said, I still plan to be active on the Yahoogroup and, as always, would love to receive email from any and all of you.  I just can’t devote the amount of creative energy I have in the past to this newsletter right now. 

I do worry that in three months time, I will change and have lost whatever it is that’s enabled me to write and co-write JABB in the past.  But like Andrew said, change is inevitable.  I guess part of being human (and may be it’s the same for angels) is allowing change to happen even at the risk of losing some things.  But regardless, this isn’t the end of JABB.  If my fears are realized, I’ll still do a final issue at least. 

The inscription “JenniAnn” left Andrew is from Margery Williams’ “The Velveteen Rabbit”.  For some reason since TBAA left the air it’s reminded me of Andrew.  So I thought a quote from that would be a fitting way to part from him.  Because in a lot of ways by being in this group, Andrew has become real to me.  May be not in the sense that I think when I die I’ll see him, but that some part of his loving spirit lives on in this group.  I thank God for it and each of you.

See you later,


Newsletter 170

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  They are not being used to seek profit.)