In the Fields of Gold
Patrick's Day! Well... close enough. If I waited til March
17th, this'd be late. As many of you may know, St. Patrick's Day
doubles as Andrew's anniversary of first coming to Dyeland in
2000. So I thought I'd write this story to celebrate that happy
occasion. (But fear not! It's not one of those ream-long
tomes. ;-) I'd actually written of that meeting before in
but more from LJA's recollections. This is more Andrew's view of
the events as well as Tess' and Monica's with a sorta everyone coming
full circle kinda vibe. In addition, March 20th is Past
Assignments Day when we remember
Andrew's assignments. So this story also kinda involves the
assignment that became "Pandora's Box."
always have work for your hands to do.
your pockets hold always a coin or two.
the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand
of a friend always be near you.
And may God
fill your heart with gladness to cheer you."
contest is expired. Answers can be viewed here.
forever since we've had a contest. And I think we could all use a
lil fun and games. So this newsletter is
one! Within this page, I have embedded episode titles from Touched and Tour of Duty... including in this
intro. Whomever finds the most will get a prize.
First, the rules:
1. The episode titles used are as listed on http://www.touched.com
Punctuation, spacing, and capitalization
have been altered with some, however. For example, let's say
there'd been an episode entitled "Seeing Red." I might, in the
story, write "The man said, 'I'm having a hard time seeing. Red,
hand me those glasses, will ya?" The fact that there's a period
in between "seeing" and "red" is meaningless. It would still
2. Each title counts
only once. If one’s repeated, it doesn’t count each time.
3. I did not restrict
myself to only the titles of episodes John Dye appeared in. They
could be titles from any season during TBAA's 9 year run and ToD's 3
4. There is no bonus for
being the first to respond so take your time. However, last
call for your answers is March
19th at 7 PM Central to be eligible for
a prize. So I must have them in my inbox by then.
5. In the event of a
tie, each person in the running will be sent a tie-breaker. Once
we get it narrowed down to one winner, that winner gets the prize.
6. Send your answers to
7. I cannot give any
hints on the total number of titles in this in the interest
of fairness. If someone does have a question that I can answer, I
will post the answer right here so everyone has equal access to it.
8. Please check out
for further information including prize options.
9. Only JABB members are
eligible. So please don't forward this on to complete strangers
who may then expect a prize. Thanks!
Have fun and good luck!
March 17, 2011
stood in front of his closet,
looking for something to wear along with the jeans and plain white
T-shirt he'd already chosen. The angel was taking more care in
selecting his clothing than he usually did. Today was a big
day. Eleven years ago that afternoon, his life had changed
forever. In a matter of hours, the angel of death had gone from
anger and horror to a bemused sort of wonder. That fateful day
only made possible several treasured friendships but served as a
testament to the Father's perfect timing and care for His children,
human and angel.
thought about the implications
of March 17, 2000; Andrew continued to peruse his wardrobe.
his hand settled on a green shirt he didn't recognize. No doubt
one of the girls had bought it for him and stuck it in there without
his knowledge, he reasoned. He pulled it from the closet then
moved to the mirror, holding it in front of him. The angel
promptly burst out laughing and shook his head at his reflection.
The shirt was actually more of a tunic with flowers embroidered around
a neckline which was pulled together by leather laces.
"Oh, Laja and Rose, clearly you'd been watching just a little too much
Doc Hock the day you bought this," he mused, glancing at a photograph
of his friends then back into the mirror. "Maybe for
Halloween... Our your birthdays." Still chuckling, Andrew
returned the shirt to the closet and continued his hunt.
The angel's gaze finally settled on a rather worn, blue
button-down shirt. It was the shirt he'd been wearing that first
day with the Dyelanders. Andrew never paid much attention to his
clothes but JenniAnn did. Thus, every time she saw the shirt, she
reminded him of its
significance. Though wearing something blue as opposed to green
Patrick's Day didn't strike the angel of death as very festive, it
still seemed appropriate. As Andrew put the shirt on, he
let his mind wander back to that all-important day in the
Fields of Gold.
drank in the fresh
air and the beauty of the woods surrounding him. He was
grateful that the Father had heard his prayer and brought him to such a
stunning, calming place. It was exactly what he needed.
"Almost as beautiful as it is in Heaven," he murmured appreciatively.
Then the angel of death's thoughts turned to his
current assignment which, after
several days' work, had come to a head the afternoon before. Feeling
wearied, he lay down on the grass and closed his
eyes. He thanked the Father again that he and Sarah's
family had swiftly reached the apartment where her abductor was keeping
her. But the fact that she'd come so close to being seriously
harmed... That left the angel feeling nauseated and angry.
Andrew couldn't fathom hurting a child. It was
unthinkable and made him want to lash out... and he had. He
blushed when he remembered how he'd grabbed the baseball bat from Dean
and smashed his computer to pieces. It hadn't been planned.
The anger had simply overwhelmed him.
Andrew's ire wasn't only directed at Dean. The truth was the case
hardly been the angel's first experience with the dark side of the
Internet with all its secrets and lies. The misuse of it had put
many innocents at risk. Sadly, Sarah's ordeal had been far from
Andrew's worst cyber crime case. With others there
hadn't been a frantic race and rescue. He hadn't been able to
save every child. Not every "Dean" was promptly arrested.
Not every predator's computer wound up in useless pieces.
Andrew considered it an honor to be chosen to care for and
accompany humans as
they transitioned from one life to the next. But sometimes he
ached with the wish to arrive only a few minutes earlier so he could
intervene. He would never change his role unless the Father asked
him to, of course. But to be able to protect humans, to help them
The angel of death shook his head, chastising himself. He felt
guilty for wallowing in what he saw as self-pity.
He cherished the moments he could protect his assignments
to the memory of them when other assignments troubled and pained him.
And with Sarah he'd been given a chance to help save a life. He
knew he should
focus on that. Whatever other assignments involved,
Sarah was safe.
You, Father," he prayed, meaning it
with all his heart, soul, and spirit. He sat
up and moved to his
feet, praising the Father as he
admired the myriad daffodils, wild roses, and forget-me-nots and the
birds flying so gracefully
through the clouds.
the near-silence was pierced
by a woman's lyrical voice. She had the voice of an angel and,
appropriately enough given the date,
she was singing a song of Irish persuasion. It wasn't
one Andrew recognized yet he felt drawn to it. He wished that
Monica and Tess were with
him to enjoy it. The angel of death walked in the direction the
voice seemed to be coming from. As he grew nearer, the words
became clearer. He thought he heard his own name. But then
there were many humans named Andrew and surely the song was about one
of them. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful song and the angel
continued to listen.
hair’s more golden than
the Irish sun
His heart is gracious, befitting an angelic one.
His bonny voice speaks words forever true
As he tells of God’s enduring love for you.”
Andrew had to admit to himself that the verse seemed to rule out a
human Andrew as the
subject... "Father? Is that... *is* she singing about me?"
he called out, blushing as he did. He didn't so much receive an
outright answer as feel a nudge towards the voice. The thought
crossed his mind that, perhaps, Monica was playing angel of mercy and
having it sung as some sort of joke or mood-booster. Curious and
compelled, the shocked and curious man kept walking through the trees.
moments, Andrew exited the
woods and found himself at the edge of a field. It was populated
by a group of about twenty people, including the songstress. The
divine nudge continued,
pushing him to join them. Blushing as the gushing song continued,
the angel approached.
March 17, 2011
that was how it all
began. At first, the Dyelanders had questioned him. They
had been all too eager to believe he was who he said he was but they
were also rightly cautious. Only Princess JenniAnn... now simply
believed him instantly. What Andrew hadn't known then and what
she hadn't been ready to admit was that she had known he existed
since seeing him when she was four. For thirteen years she had
waited for him to
find her. He finally had... just when he had most needed to feel
protective and when she and her friends were most in need of a guide
during the tumultuous transition to adulthood. The Father's
timing at work! Those He'd brought together had become a family.
had, of course, been the short timers who resided in Dyeland only for a
spell. Andrew took a few moments to remember them fondly and pray
for them. But for
eleven years JenniAnn had stayed true to the pact of friendship she'd
made with him. Then, as years passed, Yva,
C.J., Lady Beth,
and Rose joined
them. The Tunnel dwellers. The Los Angeles crowd.
Assorted family members. Willy and his people. Nigel.
Aunt Josephine. All blessings. For the
first time in his long life, the angel of death found himself
regularly surrounded by humans who loved him with all their
hearts. And, through them, the Father
had given him exactly what he had wished for. He had helped them
through life, he had protected them. And they had returned the
favor countless times. When the more difficult assignments came,
Andrew knew he only had to return to Dyeland and a hug, a kind word, a
listening ear, or a token of affection would be waiting for him.
upwards, Andrew smiled and
thanked the Father for his friends... all of them. Because now he
was truly blessed to have not only the Dyelanders but Monica and
Tess back, too.
smiling, Andrew consulted his
pocket watch. It was thirty minutes until the anniversary party
was set to begin. The angel grabbed a bag of memory books he'd
created for his friends. Then he whistled for
the sleeping dogs, Fawn and Lulu, who were curled up on his bed and
they set off to
meet up with his friends.
While Andrew was making his way to
the Fields of Gold, the Dyelanders and others of his friends were
already gathered there preparing a surprise for him. Though they
typically only gave each other small, homemade gifts to commemorate the
day; this year would be different. Many of those close to Andrew
leaned heavily on him for support during the new year and they wanted
to show him how grateful they were. Thus, they had opted to pool
their resources and get him a very special present... but first he'd
have to find it.
Rose stuck a scrap of paper into a tree hole long
abandoned by the owl who had once resided there. "Got it!"
JenniAnn smiled at her. "Thanks, Rose. I just couldn't
reach it. Sometimes it's not so great being short. And I
couldn't exactly call Andrew for help this time like I usually do!"
"What are friends for?" Rose replied with a smile. "And you're
right. You definitely couldn't call Andrew! It's not much
fun setting up
your own scavenger hunt. How long do you think it's going to take
for him to
get through this?"
The older woman shrugged. "Dunno. But even if it takes all
day, I'll enjoy watching him! I can just feel that today's gonna
be awesome. All of us together. And Monica and Tess,
too. He'll be thrilled. By the present, of course, but
probly even more so just having quality time with all of us."
"I know! That's so Andrew. But, speaking of Monica and
Tess, do you ever wonder what it
was like for them eleven years ago? I mean Andrew just showing up
and saying 'Oh,
by the way, I met some girls in another world.'"
JenniAnn laughed. "Well, I think he mighta been a lil more
circumspect about it. But, yeah, I have thought about it and I
can't say I really know. I mean he eventually brought em
here and they weren't, like, totally shocked. So he musta told em
at some point prior to that.
Maybe... could we ask Tess, ya think?"
"She seemed perfectly willing to answer our questions about Andrew's
'infancy' back in Iowa. Why not?" Rose tilted her head
towards where Tess and Monica were helping Yva lay out some miniature
pots of gold filled with chocolate coins and rainbow-colored candies
that Willy had supplied.
"Are you done hiding the clues, babies?" Tess inquired when Rose and
JenniAnn reached her. "I think
it's really sweet what you've got planned for our Angel Boy."
"He deserves it," Yva opined, her eyes lighting up as she imagined the
"That he does," JenniAnn agreed. "I think Adam and Henry are
their clues, Tess. But, yeah, Rose and I are finished
with ours. So we came over here cause..." She
looked at her
"We have a question for you, Tess. And you, too, Monica," Rose
continued. "JenniAnn and I were just talking about when Andrew
first came here. He was still working with you and we just
wondered... how did he tell you about Dyeland?"
"Of course, maybe he didn't right away. I mean it was probly a
lil embarrassing. Most of us who were there at the time were
goofy teenagers." JenniAnn blushed. She had a suspicion
she'd been the goofiest.
Tess folded her arms and looked sternly at the woman. "You know
better than that, JenniAnn.
Andrew was never embarrassed by any of you. He may have been a
little surprised but he could never be ashamed of his friends, not even
new ones and not even goofy teenaged ones. As it happened, he
told us the very next day. I
still remember it very well."
Monica nodded. "We were wrapping up an
assignment. It had been
a nerve-wracking one for us all but I think Andrew was especially on
edge. We'd agreed to meet. Spend some time together.
Tess and I hoped to cheer him up a bit. But then when Andrew
showed up... we sensed
something had changed for him."
"In a good way, I hope," Yva commented. Though she hadn't yet
come to Dyeland in 2000, she didn't want to think Andrew had been
in any way stressed by the goings on there from so early on.
Tess beamed. "A very good way. Angel Boy was on cloud
nine." Then, with a smile, she
began to tell her story.
March 18, 2000
Monica and Tess sat at a picnic
table, waiting for Andrew. They looked nervously at each other.
Monica was first to break the silence. "It's not as if it was
completely uncalled for, Tess. I mean he didn't hurt
anyone. Or even any evidence. For what it's worth, all of
that was safe on the
"I know, baby. But the whole computer smashing thing... it's not
exactly standard-issue Angel Boy." Tess frowned then looked
around the park, hoping to glimpse the angel of death. Though it
was still early, even for the ever-punctual Andrew, she
was growing nervous. With a resigned sigh, she looked back at
Monica. "I'm not angry at him and
neither is the Father. Andrew didn't do anything wrong. But
I am concerned."
The caseworker nodded, her aspect grave. Tess was right.
She'd briefly seen Andrew after
the police had finished questioning him about how he'd come
upon Dean. He hadn't seemed at all himself. But Monica was
confident that whatever was most
him, he would shake it off. Andrew always did.
"Here he comes," Tess announced in a hushed tone when she saw her
Angel Boy approaching. Her eyes grew wide in pleasant surprise
when she realized he was humming. She hadn't expected such a
joyful noise from her troubled friend.
"Ah, that sounds Irish!" Monica whispered. "He must be
happy. Maybe he had a very pleasant St. Patrick's Day assignment."
"Maybe..." Tess continued to marvel at Andrew's vastly improved
mood. Even when he stopped humming upon drawing near them, the
angel kept smiling.
"Monica, Tess," Andrew greeted, leaning down to hug each of them.
"Beautiful day, isn't it?" He smiled up at the sun.
"It sure is," Tess agreed. "How are you, Angel Boy?" She
patted his hand once he'd slid onto the bench across from her and
Andrew smiled sheepishly. He recognized the impromptu meeting for
what it was. He knew his behavior at Dean's apartment had alarmed
and worried his friends. "I'm doing much better, Tess.
Thank you. And how
"Real good, baby, real good. And real glad to hear you are,
too. Monica and I, we were, well..." Tess glanced at Monica,
silently beseeching back-up.
The caseworker looked intently at the Andrew. "We were
just a wee bit concerned that maybe you weren't quite at peace with
what happened with Sarah."
Andrew frowned. "Well, I can't say I really am. Not
completely. Because I
know she's only one of many children who will find themselves in that
position. And some... some won't be found in time." He
bowed his head and rubbed his neck, momentarily overcome by his
"Andrew..." Tess cooed, moving from her side of the table to sit next
to Andrew and wrap her arms around him.
"I'm okay, Tess. I mean... it's hard, you know. But
something..." A smile returned to Andrew's face. "Something
happened yesterday. And I think... well, I think it could be
something really great. I'm still not sure what to make of it
but..." He shook his head, grinning.
Monica and Tess looked at each other, both making it clear they had no
idea what their friend was talking about.
"Well, what is it?" Tess prompted.
"Yesterday I was thinking over everything that happened with Sarah and
Dean. And I began to wish that more often I could... well, that I
could stop my assignments from being hurt. I am an angel of
death. And you both know I'm
happy about that. It's an honor. And I
love serving the
Father and helping humans in that way but sometimes..." Andrew
subtly shook his
head. "Sometimes I just want to protect them. But what I
did in Dean's apartment... it's the exception, not the rule.
Often all I can do is take them Home."
"Baby, that's no small thing," Tess stressed.
Andrew nodded. "I know, Tess, I know. But I
want to help my assignments to
face life. That's why I'm so grateful the Father is letting me do
some caseworking again. But even with that blessing... sometimes
And He... He knows that. I always knew He had to know. But
Tess tilted her head and studied Andrew as he gazed up at the sky,
smiling lovingly as he thought of the Father. She could sense
that something momentous had
happened to him. A promotion, maybe? Her heart
sank as she thought of Andrew possibly moving on and not working with
her and Monica any longer. She began to wish she hadn't so often
unleashed her tough love on him but instead held him close. She
wanted desperately to know what
was going on but also knew it was not the time to rush her longtime
friend. Blessedly, she was not left to wait long.
"The Father sent me to the woods. To walk, to think, to
were woods I'd been in before. He brings me there
sometimes when things are difficult to bear," the angel of death
Monica tried to hide her surprise. She'd never imagined that
Andrew often struggled to the point of needing to be whisked away to a
forest retreat. She caught him looking at her with concern and
forced a smile. "Go on, Andrew."
"Every other time I've been there, I never ran into anyone else.
But this time... I heard a song. And..." The angel of
death's cheeks became pink. He opted not to explain that the
ballad was actually about him. "And I followed the voice into a
clearing. There were about twenty people there. And they
Monica and Tess exchanged alarmed glances. Was it possible
Andrew's former assignments had somehow met up and congregated?
If yes, why?
"Not me really. From the TV show,"
Andrew elaborated, sensing his friends' confusion. He smiled
slyly. "We'll have to see if I live up to that portrayal. I
hope I do
invited me back. I thought maybe they were just being polite but
this morning the invitation for their viewing of tomorrow night's
episode of Touched by an Angel... something
called 'True Confessions' apparently... showed up at the cyber
cafe. I'm not sure how... but it did. And then the Father
said I'm supposed to go, to spend time with them. He said I'd be
spending a fair
amount of time there, actually. With them."
Tess wasn't at all sure what to make of Andrew's story although she was
relieved it didn't seem to involve him ceasing to work cases with her
and Monica. Nonetheless, it was
certainly the strangest assignment she'd ever heard of. "Are they
all sick with something, baby?" she asked gently. She recalled
how beautifully Andrew had handled their assignment at the camp for HIV
positive girls and wondered if this one was similar.
Andrew shook his head. "No, Tess. The Father said they
assignments. Just that I was supposed to be there for them.
Make friends with them."
As the angel of death zoned out, recalling the previous day, Monica and
Tess again exchanged silent glances. This was certainly
unexpected and, beyond that, unheard of. An angel of death sent
only to befriend a bunch of humans? Monica was opening her mouth
Andrew, thinking surely he'd misunderstood, when he began to muse
"They knew who I was," he marveled, folding his hands and resting his
chin on them. "They knew what I was. An angel of
death. And they weren't afraid. They didn't want me to
leave. They asked me to come back."
Again Monica and Tess looked at each other, agreeing without
speaking. Whatever had
happened to their friend, it obviously meant a lot to him.
Questions could wait.
"Aww!" the three women exclaimed in unison as Monica and Tess finished
"What's Andrew gone and done now?" Adam asked as he approached with
Henry at his side.
"Are we that predictable?" Yva teased.
"You bet," Henry responded for his friend.
JenniAnn shrugged. "What can I say? I'm a fool for lovely
and beloved Andrew. And I think I'm entitled to be sappy on our
Adam chuckled. "That you are. So what was that 'awwing'
"Tess and Monica were telling us about how Andrew told them about his
coming to Dyeland," Rose explained. "So how he'd tell you two?"
Adam tilted his head. "Let's see... I think he came up to me
after an assignment and said 'Hey buddy, I met some girls in another
world.'" He grinned devilishly.
Rose burst out laughing. "You were listening when JenniAnn and I
were talking earlier, weren't you?"
Henry chuckled. "Not deliberately. But we passed nearby
when we were hiding one of the
clues." He checked his pocket watch. "So where is the hero
of the hour? It's almost 2:55. Didn't you tell him 3:00?"
Before anyone could respond, Andrew came into view, traipsing down the
Fawn and Lulu trotting after him.
JenniAnn watched as the angel drew closer and closer to the spot where
they'd first spoken to each other.
Rose noticed her friend growing antsy. "You want to run to the
spot and meet him, don't you?"
The blonde woman nodded, blushing. "I am what I am... and I am
"Run, sap, run," Rose teasingly prodded, gently pushing JenniAnn.
Needing no further encouragement, JenniAnn set off running.
The Tunnel children quickly noted the reason for their teacher's crazed
behavior and also sprinted towards the angel of death.
Rose and Yva looked at each other.
"Might as well!" the latter declared, jetting off with Rose.
C.J. and Lady Beth, who had been visiting with Vincent and Catherine,
soon realized what was going on and followed.
"Well, I don't think this need be a solely human activity," Monica
mused, smiling playfully at the three other angels standing near
her. A moment later
they, too, were making their way across the field in haste.
The commotion distracted Andrew from the dogs' antics. He looked
up, noticed he was under siege, and began to laugh. Then he
set down his bag of gifts, braced
himself, and held open his arms.
With her head start, JenniAnn reached him first. "Happy
anniversary, Andrew!" she cried, settling into his waiting hug.
"It's the same shirt..." she recognized dreamily.
Andrew smiled knowingly from ear to ear. "It is. And happy
anniversary to you, too, Laja. Am I late?" he asked, noticing
that virtually all of their mutual friends were either in the field or
darting towards them.
JenniAnn shook her head. "No... we told you a later time cause...
we have a surprise for you and we needed to prepare."
Andrew looked suspiciously at her. "Laja, I hope you all
didn't go overbo..." Before he could finish his thought, the
angel saw that the throng was very near. He grinned.
"Feeling steady on your feet?"
The woman nodded, giddily staring up at him. "Uh huh."
"Good because we're about to get stampeded."
A moment later they had several urchins vying for hugs and shouting
well wishes which were echoed by the adults who quickly came up behind
them. In no time at all, Andrew was swept up in a seemingly
endless series of hugs and loving, appreciative words.
The party hadn't even officially started but Andrew already knew it
would be the best anniversary yet.
After everyone had settled down,
Yva ceremoniously presented Andrew with the first clue of his scavenger
hunt. Within an hour, he had made his way through their entire
set of hints save the final one...
"The feathered ones will seek home in a nest, under rocks are where
scaly ones rest," Andrew read aloud. "All God's creatures have
their own special place, go to the fish's and you'll finish this
race." He looked doubtfully at his friends, his nose
wrinkled. "You want me to
go jump in the lake?"
Lady Beth laughed. "Well, if you want to... sure. But it
might still be a little chilly. Something tells me you won't have
to, though. Just go look."
Genuinely excited by the prospect of discovering the surprise his
friends had spent so much time and energy on,
Andrew sprinted over to the lake with the others following. In no
time at all, he noticed a
box of green and gold sitting at the center of the fishing dock.
The chatter amongst the group died down and they all looked
expectantly at him.
"Well, open it!" C.J. encouraged.
The angel of death sat down on the dock and tore the wrapping paper
away. He slid the top off the box and stared in wonder at the
contents. Andrew's voice was quiet when he finally spoke, only
those nearest hearing him. "This... it's... wow... it's really...
too much." He dragged his hand through his hair. "I just...
I made little memory books."
Rose, Yva, JenniAnn, C.J., and Lady Beth moved to join their friend on
JenniAnn shook her head and knelt beside the angel. "No, Andrew,
this gift's not too much at all. It's something we could do for
wanted to do for you. Because we love you and you've always done
whatever you could to show us you love us. Like with the memory
books. Andrew, you pasted and wrote and painted love onto every
"Don't sell yourself short, Amish Boy. We love
them. They're just as good as our gift. They're both about
making and sharing memories. Andrew, we like to see
you happy and excited," Rose added. "And
you always do seem both when you're off playing the journalist with
JenniAnn at Valentine's."
"So why make it an only once a year and whenever it's appropriate for
an assignment thing?" Yva queried. "Now you have your very own
camera that you can take with you whenever you want."
C.J. nodded. "We knew you'd never take the community ones because
you're always so concerned someone might need it while you're
gone. Now you won't have to worry about that."
The five women could all tell Andrew was still wary. He was
examining the camera and admiring the features so they knew he was
pleased, only overwhelmed by the extravagance of it.
A thought crossed Lady Beth's mind. "It's a little bit of a
selfish gift, I'm afraid."
Andrew looked up at her in surprise. He'd worked often enough in
the retail and technology fields to know the camera had cost a small
fortune and, even divided several ways, had no doubt entailed some
sacrifice and extra work.
"I mean it does function as a web cam," Lady Beth pointed out.
"So... maybe you're gone on an assignment for a few weeks..."
"Days," Rose corrected.
"Hours," JenniAnn revised.
Yva laughed. "You're going to turn the poor guy's life into a
reality TV show at that rate."
C.J. grimaced. "Terrible idea. But Lady Beth has a
point, Andrew. This camera is a way for us to stay in
touch. I mean even if we're only connected by a couple of web
and the Internet... that's better than nothing."
Andrew couldn't tell if they'd purchased the gift because of the reason
C.J. and Lady Beth had just stated or if they were only trying to
reassure him. But whether they'd
bought it for him
as a means to see him even when he was a world away or because they
simply wanted to bring him joy, the camera and mostly the love behind
it meant a great deal to him. "Thank you, I love it. And I
love all of you," he affirmed, pulling them into a group hug.
Then Andrew carefully packed the camera back into the box and stepped
off the dock where many more hugs awaited him.
As the afternoon progressed, Andrew
took his camera from the box. He made
the rounds of the party; getting footage of happy couples dancing, the
children playing Hide-and-Go-Seek and Charades, Monica teaching Irish
step-dancing, and Tess, Yva, and Adam leading a festive
sing-a-long. He loved knowing that he was capturing such blissful
moments for future enjoyment and recollection. Filming also
forced him to stay in
focused only on his friends and his Father's creation. He was
truly happy behind the camera, just as his friends had surmised.
a sunset dinner after which the group all
gathered together around a
bonfire as Vincent read Irish fairy stories. When the storyteller
took a brief break, JenniAnn approached the angel
and handed him a mug of cocoa before taking a seat beside him.
"Thank you, Laja."
"You're welcome. How's the tripod working?"
Andrew glanced over at his camera, perfectly steady, and then smiled
back at his friend. "Really great. You all thought of
"People were pretty adamant about that particular 'extra.' We
wanted to ensure that at least sometimes your arms would be free for
hugging, dancing, holding small children. That sorta
thing." JenniAnn grinned when she saw some red creep
into the angel's face. "So did you have a good
"The best, Laja. I still can't believe what you all
did..." He looked in disbelief at the camera.
"Tess tells me Monica gave up the occasional mocha to be able to pitch
in! And I know that's only one example of what you all did."
JenniAnn shrugged. "Like I said, you deserve it and more,
Andrew. Everyone wanted to do something for you." She
smiled and surveyed the many people surrounding them. Moved, she
squeezed his hand. "Of the group that were here
that first day eleven years ago, you and I are the only ones still
around a lot. That used to make me sad. And I still miss
others. But look... we have an awfully great group right now,
Andrew nodded. "We really do." He noticed Monica and Tess
chatting animatedly with the children and thought back to that day in
the park when he'd first shared his news with them. Andrew could
recall the excitement and joy he'd felt in the beginning. But he
had not been
able to imagine then just how much his time in Dyeland would come to
mean to him. He had made so many friends and, due in part to
their influence, enjoyed reunions with some old ones. The angel
smiled and hugged his friend. "I feel very, very
blessed. Thanks for the
Returning the hug, JenniAnn wistfully replied, "Thanks for being here."
"Always," Andrew promised her. Then he looked to the stars and
thanked the Father for all the joy, peace, understanding, and love each
of the people gathered in the Fields of Gold had brought to him.
Though it had only been eleven years since he had come there, Andrew
knew that the blessings they had brought to him would be with him for
graphic came from this
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.)