"Be sure you put
your feet in the right place, then stand firm."
With this issue we're trying to
accomplish two things: first, have some fun with the TBAA finale!
That episode remains somewhat troubling for many of us so, on its
anniversary, we thought we'd do a little re-imagining... Second,
April 26th is known as Promotion Day on JABB! We commemorate the
date on which Andrew became an AOD. I wrote a lil story about
and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to Rebecca for her input in the
Top Ten Ways to Prevent Andrew
from Fading Away
Well, it's been 7 years since TBAA's finale aired. And some of us
still haven't recovered from seeing Andrew fade away...
::sobs:: So to cope with that, it may help to imagine an entirely
different ending to TBAA. Like maybe one in which Andrew is
prevented from disappearing...
Basically this is meant to be a list
of ways *we* would stop Andrew
from leaving had we happened upon him departing from Monica and Tess in
that dratted field during
the final episode or a similar situation. Enjoy! And don't
let him get away!
10. Scheherazade him. (Ha, now I'm sneaking in Persian
mythology, Nicole!) Start telling him a really interesting story
but cut it off at the absolute best part and tell him he needs to
return to the field the next day to hear the rest. Repeat as
9. Find a lasso. Use it. Just don't mess up his hair!
8. We know Andrew's a gentleman. Use that to your
advantage. Run onto the field and start screaming "Snake!
Snake! Ohhh!!!! I'm going to faint! Ahhhh!"
Then start to faint. Andrew will have no choice but to dash to
your side and catch you mid-swoon in a chivalrous fashion. Do NOT
let go. *
7. When Andrew begins to leave, push a cart of fine, French
cuisine directly into his path. Spread a blanket on the
ground. Plop down on the blanket. Smile enchantedly at him
and invite him to join you for a picnic lunch. Ooh and ahh over
the deliciousness of a crepe to entice him. This will make Andrew
either very hungry or very curious. Either way, he's likely to
join you. Mission accomplished!
6. Pretend you're a baseball/softball player and Andrew's feet
are home base. Slide in and grab one as he walks away. But
be very careful not to trip him. No one wants him hurt!
He'll have no choice but to either pause and see what your deal is or
drag you into Heaven on his foot. Given the latter would look
decidedly undignified and may not even be possible, chances are he will
stop. Get up, brush yourself off, and inform him that you love
him and that no bloody promotion will ever part you from
him. Ignore Monica's and Tess's stunned stares.
5. Purchase a ring or get one you own. Take it to the
field, keep it somewhere you can easily access it. Amble around
the field crying. Make sure Andrew notices you as he
leaves. He will no doubt stop to help you as he's a kind, helpful
person. While you both look for it, drop numerous compliments to
cheer him up. Finally, drop the ring for real where he's apt to
see it. When he finds it, thank him profusely and tell him he
absolutely must let you take him out to dinner as thanks. Bon
4. Try a little verbal trickery. Run onto the field and
shoot questions at Andrew rapid fire, getting him to say 'Yes'
"Are you an angel?"
"Does God love me?"
"Do you like being an angel?"
"Do you dislike Halloween?"
"Are we in a field?"
"You promise not to fade away?"
"You said yes! Angels have to keep their promises! You said
yes! Now you can never fade away, especially not all weepy and
sad and... I love you! Do you want to go get some coffee?"
"Wait, what??? Yes?"
3. Stand in the center of the field, holding a boom box blaring
"In Your Eyes" over
your head to show your love and
devotion. What?!?! It worked for John Cusack...
sorta. On second thought, hire John Cusack to do that.
Andrew will pause and stare at him thinking "Huh. Why is John
Cusack standing in the center of this field re-enacting a scene from Say Anything
weird..." While he's distracted... tackle him.
2. Hire Sting to sing "Fields of Gold" backed by a totally
awesome choir. I mean who's gonna walk away from a free Sting
concert??? Look longingly and pleadingly at Andrew during the
song. So as not to make him uncomfortable, you'll have to add
some lines, though. Might I suggest these:
"So she took her love, for to gaze awhile upon the fields of
barley. In his arms she fell (in
a totally celibate way
) as her hair came down among the fields
"See the west wind move like a lover so upon the fields of
) Feel her
body rise when you (don't!
kiss her mouth among the fields of gold."
Ignore Sting's super-annoyed look and focus only on Andrew...
1. Bring a little kid and have them run onto the field and ask
Andrew to have a picnic with you both. Like Andrew would
seriously turn a kid down! Feel free to get the kid ice cream or
something later. And how popular is that kid gonna be when you
both befriend Andrew and the kid can take an actual, live AOD to
Show-and-Tell?!?! Okay... maybe scratch that last part.
(Freudian slip alert! Originally wrote "take an actual, love
*Yes, I realize it's a little
unseemly to lie to an angel... especially
one as lovely as Andrew. So eventually you will need to confess
but explain you did it only out of love and utter, insanity-causing
panic at the idea of him weepily fading away. Then hug him and
get him a ginger ale. He deserves it.
(Lyrics from "Fields of Gold" were
written by Sting... obviously minus
the parts in parenthesis!)
So now that we've managed to stop
Andrew in his tracks... let's
consider what we'd say to him!
You should absolutely not depart and should stay around
for those of us who are absolutely addicted to you. You could
start a counseling/ angel-on-demand center for those who need
you. Maybe we could offer some human to angel support for you, as
well. How's that for crazy?? Most of all you need to know
that there are those of us who absolutely adore and appreciate you!!!"
"Wow... I've imagined
this moment so many times. And I've went over what I would say
but now it's all gone and, oh... you're crying. Here, have
a Kleenex. That's a really nice coat. No, I'm fine.
Thanks for offering, though. I'm not cold. Yes, I know I'm
shaking but... that's not why. You're going to disappear and then
I'll never see you again and I know you have no idea who I am but I
know who you are and if you do fade away then that image will haunt me
so please, please don't. There are people I know who will not be
happy if they learn I met you and let you go before they could meet
you! You wouldn't leave me alone to face their wrath, would you?"
And I think those just might work. :-)
Tomorrow is Promotion Day! According to "Beautiful Dreamer,"
Andrew became an AOD on April 26th, 1865. For the past few years,
we've celebrated it here in the newsletters. However, this year I
was completely lacking in inspiration despite watching that episode
just last weekend. Honestly, you all almost got "Beautiful
Dreamer- Beat Poetry Style" which I think I can safely say just woulda
been embarrassing for myself. Then at about 10:00 last night...
It wasn't completely out of the ordinary for Andrew's input to be
sought for a class in the Tunnels. On occasion, Vincent looked to
him for guidance on his history and literature classes. At times
asked for his help with an art class. And JenniAnn... well, she
find ways to draw him into her religion classes. But never before
had his aid been sought for an economics class. His assignments
as a math tutor and IRS agent aside, no one ever looked to
him for advice on money matters. But all that was about to
Andrew was called away from his lunch preparations by pounding on his
door. To his dismay, he found a frustrated, teary-eyed five year
old on his doorstep.
"Shelby! What's wrong?" the angel queried, crouching down to be
eye level with the girl.
"I... I... c-c-can't count monnneeeyyyyyy, Annndrewwwww!" she
sobbed. "I d-d-don't get ittttttttt!"
Andrew scooped her up both to comfort her and hide his bemused
smile. Sometimes he forgot how dramatic little ones could
be. Then again, he knew quite a few dramatic adults, too...
Still, JenniAnn had mentioned that Shelby was struggling with learning
to count money and he could imagine the frustration of the girl coming
upon something she couldn't easily master. She was a quick study
with so many other things. Her distress was very real and Andrew
wanted to alleviate it.
"Sweetheart, I'm sure you can count money," he assured. "But
sometimes we all just need a little practice before we really learn
certain things." Noting the child's continued sobs, the angel
decided a distraction might improve her mood. "Hey, have you had
Shelby pulled her face away from his shoulder just long enough to shake
"Well, then how about we both have some lunch and then after that we
can practice counting out money? How's that sound?"
The little girl perked up at the offer. "Sounds good."
Andrew set her down and while she was distracted by Lulu's antics,
prepared some macaroni and cheese and surreptitiously called JenniAnn
Tunnels to avert any panic over the missing girl. After they'd
both had their fill, they cleared the table together then Andrew
produced a tin containing the odd change he found himself with after
assignments. He selected a number of U.S. coins and, sitting in
the chair next to Shelby's, gave his surprise student a brief tutorial
on their values. Then he pushed the coins towards Shelby who eyed
"Now you can try." He held both of his hands before the girl,
palms up. "You can pick any coin you want and set it in one of my
hands. Then try to count out how many of another coin you think
it takes to equal the same amount. So maybe you could put one
dime in my right hand and two nickels in the other. Because they
both equal ten cents. Sound good?"
Shelby bit her lip, considering. Her eyes began to well with
Andrew frowned. Shelby's older brother, Asher, had confided in
Vincent and Father that their last foster parent had been an angry,
critical sort of person. The angel wondered if memories of
that brief time in her life were plaguing the usually happy, confident
child and making her needlessly worried about making a mistake and
being chastised for it. "Shelby,
you know it's alright to make mistakes, don't you? We all
do. If you make one, I won't be upset with you. I
promise." To prove it, he crossed his hand over his heart.
Shelby grinned at him. "Yeah, I know. Okay, Andrew.
"Good! Trying is good. That's the most important thing:
just to try your best. And I think this will be a lot of
fun!" An encouraging smile lit up Andrew's face as he watched
Shelby study the coins spread before her. After a few moments,
she picked up a nickel and placed it in his right palm.
"Nickels are five cents so that means..." The little girl seized
a small, bronze stack. "Well, that means that it's the same
amount as..." She began counting pennies into Andrew's left
hand. "One, two, three, four, five. The five pennies in
your left hand and the nickel in your right hand are equal.
"Right! Very good!" Andrew set the money down and hugged
Shelby. "You're a quick learner, kid!"
Shelby beamed at him but didn't rest on her laurels. She motioned
for him to put his hands out again. "I want to practice some
more. Can we?"
Andrew sat patiently as Shelby repeated the same exercise setting a
quarter in one of his palms and five nickels in the other, two quarters
with five dimes, a dime and ten pennies, and so on. With each
successful match, the angel showered praise on the little girl until
she grew increasingly confident. Even when she made mistakes, she
didn't become discouraged as before but merely tried again. In a
final test, Shelby tried to count all the money together and shrieked
with glee when her answer of $4.23 matched what Andrew had counted.
As they put the coins back into the tin, Shelby became transfixed by
one especially shiny penny.
"You can keep it," Andrew offered.
"Thanks! I think I really like President Lincoln and you can see
him really good on this one cause it's not dirty."
Andrew smiled. "President Lincoln was a very great man who
deserves to be liked. He had to struggle a lot in his life to get
what he wanted but he never gave up even when things were very hard for
him. He always kept trying. You know, that sounds a little
like someone else I know." He tousled the girl's curls.
Shelby giggled but then, thinking his words over, her eyes grew
wide. "Andrew! Did you know him? President Lincoln!?"
The angel of death nodded. "I sure did."
"That's neat! When? When did you meet him? When he
was little or older or oh..." The little girl's face became
grave. "Vincent said that a man
killed him because he didn't like that he'd freed the slaves."
Bowing his head, Andrew began to fumble with a couple of quarters that
hadn't yet been put back. "That's right."
"So you were there with President Lincoln when he died, Andrew?"
The question went unanswered for several moments.
"I bet it made him feel a lot better to have someone like you there,"
Shelby continued, trying to comfort the angel. "But I'm sorry
that remembering it seems to make you sad. I don't want you to be
sad." She hugged him.
Andrew knew he couldn't leave her to her mistaken assumptions.
"Shelby, I wasn't with the president when he died. Although I
know other angels were." He paused again, considering how much he
should tell the child. He knew she wouldn't like learning that he
wasn't there to comfort her hero but was, instead, trailing his
murderer and trying to bring *him* peace and the recognition of God's
love. He didn't
want to cause her that distress... or feel her disappointment... yet he
knew it would be all too easy for her to learn the full truth. He
couldn't harm her sense of trust by withholding it. He'd take
Shelby's anger at him over that possibility any day. Resolute,
the angel continued. "You see, I was actually assigned to... to
the man who killed him."
"Oh." Shelby looked away, her hand tightening around the penny.
The angel could tell the little girl was disappointed. It was,
perhaps, the first time she'd learned he couldn't swoop in and make
everything better. "Shelby, you know, sometimes angels come to
people but they... they just don't want to listen. I tried to
talk that man out of killing President Lincoln. I tried to tell
him that it was wrong, that his anger was wrong and would only bring
pain. I wish I could have stopped him but... I couldn't,
Andrew thought back to that night. He felt anew the dread that
had swept over him. All his conversations with his assignment had
been for naught. With nothing more to be said or done; he'd
rushed to the theatre, pressed his ear to the door, and waited...
Then the bang of the gun, the screams, a delusional Booth limping out
of the theatre. History had changed forever and the grief of a
nation was echoed in the rain pouring down around him like innumerable
tears. And then, days later, he'd been helpless as Booth himself
slipped away, unrepentant to the end. Andrew had never lost sight
of the pride and gratitude he'd felt upon learning he'd been
promoted. Nor had he ever forgotten Abraham's joy at finding
himself at Home. But the failure and the remembrance of Booth's
undying hatred still stung.
The angel was roused from his mental flashback by Shelby yanking his
right hand. "You tried your best?" she implored.
Andrew forced a smile. "Yes, Shelby, I did."
"Thought so. Like you said: trying your best is the most
important thing. Even if you can't stop the bad people all the
time, you always try. I betcha President Lincoln musta known
that." Shelby scrambled onto the angel's lap and hugged
him. "I know it, too. It's okay, Andrew. God still
loves you. So do I."
His heart lightening and his spirit growing more serene, Andrew
returned the girl's hug. "Even though I know that, sometimes I
still need to hear it. Thank you for telling me, Shelby. I
wouldn't ever want to disappoint you and it makes me feel a whole lot
better to know you understand that sometimes trying is all I can
do. You know, you remind me of President Lincoln in another way
besides how you kept trying with the money."
"How?" Shelby asked eagerly.
"You're very kind and you have just the right words to make someone
feel understood. That's a very special gift, Shelby. And I
know you'll use it." Andrew smiled proudly at the little girl
he'd taken under his wing.
"Hope so!" she cried, hopping off his lap to reclaim her chair.
"Can you tell me more about what he was like? How did you meet
him if you were working with the other man? Was he really as tall
as people say? Taller than Adam? Did he always wear that
Andrew chuckled as he began to answer Shelby's questions. Each
response elicited more queries but he didn't mind. He'd
give her all the answers he could. After all, she'd given him
something very valuable: a reminder that whether he tried and failed or
tried and succeeded; God and his friends would love him still.
“I do the very best
I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until
(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.)