"After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution,
and the soul's indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer." ~~William R. Alger
Hi all,

Welcome to my cursed story!  ;-)  Just kidding.  I don't believe in curses.  But in the course of writing this story I:

1.  Forgot about its existence for a few weeks.
2.  Thought our family dog was dying.  (Joshy's fine, thank God!)
3.  Had some super fun migraines.
4.  Cut my wrist accidentally while slicing watermelon.  (Bright side: The melon was super tasty.  Down side: Typing one-handed is no fun at all.)
5.  Had two fires spontaneously start in my yard... actually as I was writing this.
6.  Had my JABB computer files weird out on me.
7.  Experienced drought in my area which is a real stormy story mood killer not to mention just plain sad.
8.  Maybe some other stuff I've blocked?  ;-)

But now... finally... it is done and I just want to get it sent.  My apologies for it not being as polished as I woulda liked.  Points 1-7 prevented my usual 3 rounds of proofreading.  And it's basically just the written equivalent of a clip show, anyhow.  So...  Read on if you want a brief history of Andrew in Dyeland.  If you don't then go watch the TBAA Season 5 DVDs.  As for me, I'm going to restock my First Aid kit, hide the knives, and read up on fire-fighting.  And, unlike storm-phobic JenniAnn...  I will be praying for a good, rainy thunderstorm!  And I think I need to buy some paper clips...  Ya never know when they might come in handy...

God bless,

The Storm

Mid-July 2012

As JenniAnn took her sixteenth turn around the basement, Andrew kept watch from the couch where he sat sandwiched between Lulu and Fawn.  The woman had been only seventeen when they'd met and now she was only days away from her thirtieth birthday.  In those twelve years, the angel had seen JenniAnn mature in many ways.  She no longer wore princess dresses... well, she wore them very rarely.  She was not as prone to sulking as she'd once been.  She did not speak in stilted, nearly Shakespearean English just to make herself seem older.  She didn't shy away from tough topics when they were speaking.  They were both... as she was rather fond of reminding Andrew when he got overly concerned... "properly grown-ups now."  However, at least one relic of JenniAnn's childhood remained: her phobia of storms. 

Andrew checked his pocket watch.  It had been nearly twenty minutes since the tempest unleashed its rage, sending JenniAnn dashing through the tunnel that connected her home to his and City Hall.  The angel of death was becoming concerned that his friend would wear herself out... or at least wear a path into his carpet.  The state of the carpet was, of course, the lesser of his concerns.

"Laja, why don't we play a board game or something?" he suggested.  "You know, keep your mind off the..."

A clap of thunder cut Andrew off and rattled the house.  JenniAnn shuddered then began pacing again.

Squeezing out from between the petrified dogs, Andrew approached the woman and steered her to the couch, plopping Fawn onto her lap and taking a seat beside them.  "We're in the basement.  We're safe.  Even if it turns into a tornado, it won't get down here," he reasoned as he took Fawn's former spot.

"But it came on so quickly...  What if... what if someone was out for a walk and no where near shelter and..." 

Andrew hugged JenniAnn when he saw the tears form in her eyes.  "We've prayed that everyone is safe, we checked in with everyone we could, and if anyone is out there then we have to remember that the Father holds them in the palm of His hand."

Drawing in a deep breath, JenniAnn nodded.  She closed her eyes for a moment then looked back up at Andrew.  Her lips were beginning to curl into a smile when another clap of thunder sounded and she gasped.

"So that was a 'no' to the board game?"  Andrew checked with a grin, trying to elicit the smile JenniAnn had lost.

Calming, the woman shrugged.  "Just don't feel like it.  How about...  Well, do you have anything down here I could organize?  Or how about some laundry?  Or dusting?  If I just got really focused on a task then maybe..."  She gulped when the pops and dings that meant hail started.  "Maybe I could distract myself?"

The angel thought.  "I could run upstairs and grab..."


"You didn't even let me finish, Laja."

"I don't care what you have up there or how desperately out of order or dirty it is!  You're not going up there during this.  And don't give me that 'I'm an angel, Laja.  Angels don't die,' line.  I know that!  But that doesn't mean they can't get nicked up by a shattering window or the like!  Or knocked out by a wayward branch..."  She shuddered again.

Andrew knew he couldn't argue that point and even if he could, it wasn't worth further stressing JenniAnn.  And if something *did* happen while he was upstairs... he knew well enough that JenniAnn would come after him and that was a terrible thought.  Still... he needed to think of something to calm her down before she made herself sick.  Thankfully, the angel's eyes alighted on a box sitting on the bottom shelf of his TV stand.  He retrieved it then sat it on the coffee table in front of the couch.  "How about this?  It's a bunch of letters and cards people have written to me.  I could never get rid of them but they're not really in order."  He flipped through some of the contents.  "Sometimes I like to look through them... when I'm discouraged or feeling a little lonely or..."  The angel smiled when JenniAnn set her hand on his arm.  "So... if I'm looking for a particular letter I always have a hard time finding it.  I have *tried* to keep them in chronological order but with digging through it over the years I'm sure the order got thrown off.  You up for it?"

JenniAnn nodded.  "Maybe we could sort by sender and then chronologically.  I mean if you were looking for a particular one, surely you'd at least know who wrote it and about when."

"I would," Andrew agreed.

JenniAnn began to remove the missives from the box then paused.  "Good.  So everyone will have their own bundle and then those will go in order time-wise.  Thing is, well, I would never just start reading things people had written to you.  But in searching for dates... I dunno.  I might see something I wasn't intended to see."

The angel considered this for a moment.  "Well, how about you only sort your own letters and cards and I'll sort the rest?"

"That'll work but then you'll probly have lots more to do."

"Oh... I don't know about that." 

Andrew began to separate the envelopes into two piles.  As he did so, JenniAnn looked on in surprise.  The two stacks were nearly equal in size with the one she recognized as hers only an inch or so shorter.  She grabbed more from the box and helped in the sorting.  Soon there were multiple stacks, still clustered in two sets.  By the time they were finished, JenniAnn's stacks remained nearly equal to the others.

JenniAnn blushed when the sorting was finally finished.  "I... I had no idea."

"That you were so prolific?" Andrew chuckled.  "The letters from everyone else dropped off some when we started using email and cell phones more and more.  But you... well, you emailed, called, texted, *and* kept writing.  None of which I mind, by the way."

JenniAnn smiled.  "Good.  Because I have no intention of stopping."

A loud clap of thunder resonated through the room but Andrew was pleased to note that after a moment's anxiety, JenniAnn began to sort her stacks.  He quickly followed suit.  Their serene behavior had the effect of calming the dogs who snoozed away on the couch.

"Oh good gravy..."  JenniAnn muttered after a few minutes of organizing.

"What is it?"

The woman began to read from a letter, swishing her hair dramatically.  "Dear sir, I should like to thank you for spending yesterday with us.  I am so very pleased to have made your acquaintance and do hope that you will return to us.  I must apologize for the brazen nature of the tune you heard.  It was written in fun and I hope did not cause you any embarrassment.  I pray your assignments are going well.  Yours most sincerely, Princess JenniAnn Dwynwen Chandler.'"  JenniAnn glared at the letter.  "Did I really sound so utterly daft?"

Andrew laughed.  "No.  But you did sound like a teenager trying very hard to seem grown-up.  I thought it was sweet.  And I thought the same about the song."

A blush returned to JenniAnn's cheeks.  "Well, the song was definitely a more authentic representation of my feelings than that letter was."

"Yeah... I kinda got that.  And, for the record, it didn't embarrass me."

JenniAnn grinned.  "Good."

"Of course, I didn't have the slightest idea what I was going to do about a seventeen year old who, ahem, promised to 'ne'er cease to love him til my last day.'"  Andrew glanced wistfully from the note to JenniAnn.

"Aww.  You remember the lyrics!  And, for the record, I think you've managed well."  JenniAnn laughed then noticed Andrew smiling fondly at a greeting card he'd just picked up.  "Must be from happy times."

Andrew nodded.  "When Yva first came to us in 2001.  Look."

JenniAnn examined the teddy bear stickers that had once sealed the envelope.  "Well, at least our distinctive tastes make it easy for you to quickly ID who gave ya something.  Course, the handwriting on the envelope helps, too."

The angel of death perused the card and chuckled.  "She called me a 'cutie pie' even then."

"Can't argue with her there! And wow... I totally forgot about this!"  JenniAnn held another card out to Andrew.

His features softening even more, Andrew took the card from her.  It was homemade and the words "Congratulations on the new angel" were neatly drawn on the front in stylized script.  Inside, JenniAnn, Yva, and many friends who had long since moved on had written him short notes.  They wished that he might find a good friend in Gloria.  They assured him that she could have no better helpers than him, Monica, and Tess as she learned what it meant to be an angel.  "In some ways it seems so long ago.  In others... just yesterday."  Andrew turned to face a photo of the four that Rose had taken at his last birthday celebration.

JenniAnn hugged the angel.  "Do you still wish, sometimes, that the four of you were working together?"

Andrew gave the question the consideration it was owed.  Finally, he shook his head.  "No.  I miss seeing them so often.  I think maybe I always will.  But I know the Father knew what He was doing... He always does.  If I was still working with them... maybe I wouldn't have Violeta.  Maybe we wouldn't have had *our* assignments in Missouri and West Hollow.  I'm happy now, Laja.  I really am."  He squeezed her hand.  "I don't believe in coincidences.  Angels... we just can't.  And I don't believe it's by chance that the group we have now really started to form in the couple years before and the couple years after Monica, Tess, Gloria, and I went our separate ways.  God knew what was coming and He saw to it that I had people surrounding me when that happened and in the difficult times that followed.  I mean... look."  He brandished a postcard depicting a majestic stallion running into a lake.  "From June 2002.  C.J. sent me this on her first vacation after coming to Dyeland.  She was already planning our first ride together when she got back.  That's not a shabby feeling... knowing someone's spending part of their vacation thinking about coming back to you.  Those last years working with Monica, Gloria, andTess were... well... they were hard times because I could sense that a separation was coming.  But when I had something like this to hold onto..."  Andrew smiled at the postcard then back up at JenniAnn.  "Friends are never replaceable.  But when you start to drift away from one... nothing can heal that as well as the love of other friends.  I always had that.  I still have that."

"Yeah.  Ya do."  JenniAnn beamed at Andrew, happy to see him so contented and comfortable. 

As the rain and hail pelted the house, the two focused again on their sorting.  After a few minutes, Andrew heard JenniAnn draw in a sharp breath.  He looked up to find her holding several leaves of paper held together with a metal clasp.  The edges were frayed, a telltale sign of having been torn from a notebook.

The woman flipped through the pages.  "My... my journal from May 2005... when you were on trial and... and in jail."

Andrew nodded, lightly brushing his fingers over the ragged edges.  "I can remember when you gave me those.  It was a few hours after my welcome home party.  You couldn't sleep so you came over.  You didn't do that very often back then so I knew you were struggling.  You said you couldn't talk to me much about what it had been like but figured I had the right to know.  Then you handed me that."

JenniAnn nodded and began to read.  "'It's hard to believe you're only yards away from me.  The distance seems infinite.  I know it's largely my fault.  I know I'm the only one of us girls to not come see you.  But I just...'"

Andrew took the bundle from JenniAnn when her voice faltered.  He kissed her hair when she rested her head against his shoulder.  As JenniAnn tried to calm down, Andrew thought of that assignment.  He'd been accused of murdering a man, a crime that had actually been perpetrated by the prosecutor of the trial: his own assignment, David.  The angel had wanted to do the Father's will, as always, and understood that justice would only be done if David could see the cost of his cover-up.  But the toll on Andrew's friends had been immense.  They'd packed up their lives and camped out in the small town where he was being held.  C.J. and Yva had been away then but there'd been Jess who spent the days touting his innocence to anyone who would listen... once even getting reprimanded by the judge during his trial.  Margherita had backed Jess up and plotted with her every step of the way.  Audrey had turned sleuth, dedicating her time to trying to find the real murderer.  Under the watchful and caring eyes of Adam, all three of the girls had visited him in jail.  It struck Andrew how ironic it was.  Of the four girls who had traveled to be near him, it was only the one who had then stayed away who remained.  Of course, JenniAnn hadn't really stayed away.  She had thrown herself on the mercy of a friend who had been a guard at the jail.  Every night Dan had let JenniAnn into the jail's basement.  The young woman had spent the nights in a room below Andrew's cell, praying and playing hymns for him. 

The pages in the angel's hands were the words JenniAnn had penned in those lonely hours.  He turned his attention to them.  "'I just can't bear the thought that then I'll need to leave you,'" he read aloud.  "'There.  In that awful, drab cell.  I know it's selfish.  But I can't.  Please know that I love you...  I will always love you.  I'm just sorry I'm so bad at it.'"  Andrew set the bundle of paper down.  "You weren't bad at it, Laja.  That was never true.  You were twenty two and in love with an angel of death who, oh by the way, was on trial for murder at the time.  I'm not sure anyone could say they'd be really great in that situation.  The hymns helped.  And I did know you cared.  Besides, that was only our first real challenge as a group.  From then on out... you were right there with me."  He squeezed his friend's hand then reached for an envelope from his stack.  "And sometimes... well, sometimes I didn't make that very easy," Andrew added as his face clouded.

JenniAnn tensed when she saw the envelope.  She recognized it very well despite not being the author of the letter inside.  The smiling teddy bear sticker that sealed it belied the frustrated and hurt words inside.  As if on cue, an ear-piercing clap of thunder resounded as she saw Andrew slide his finger between the sticker and paper.

Andrew didn't even need to read this letter.  The words, written in November 2006, were seared deep into his psyche.  An assignment had gone terribly awry and rather than seeking solace among his friends... friends the Father had sent him to for exactly that reason... he had withdrawn.  Stubbornly, he had resisted every attempt the girls had made to draw him out and get him to talk about his feelings.  He thought he'd been sparing them but his own pain had blinded him to what they were actually going through.  As the days had worn on, Lady Beth, who had arrived only a year earlier, had buried her hurt feelings in her baking.  C.J. began to spend even more of her time with her horses.  JenniAnn had tried to coax him back with carefully selected poems only to wind up literally throwing the book at him.  Yva, however, had been far more blunt. 

"'All this time,'" she had written, "'you've told us that you valued our friendship and that you felt blessed to be accepted for who you are.  But was it really ever friendship, Andrew?  And did you ever really accept us for who we are?  Or were we just your consolation prize when you couldn't save the world?  I've certainly never considered us to be a bunch of takers and users.  You can't simply swoop in whenever one of us is having a bad day and then treat us like little children who need to be sheltered when you're the one struggling.  No, we're not angels.  But we are adults and we are women of character.  I don't want or need a babysitter.  I want and need a friend.  Can you be that or not?'"

"Yva, umm, did feel badly after the fact for the... tone of some of what she wrote.  But she was so hurt..." JenniAnn explained when Andrew remained fixated on the letter.  "Thing is... I think we all wish we'd said or done a thing or two differently back then.  We shouldn't have demanded you tell us what happened.  We should have just been there with you, prayed with you... hugged you.  I think we all just wish..."

"That I could have told you that was exactly what I needed?"  Andrew mustered a wan smile.

JenniAnn nodded.

"I just... I didn't feel like I deserved that.  Laja, I was so upset and I felt like I'd failed Susannah... and she suffered terribly and horribly for it.  I just knew that because of my failure, Ernest had lost the person who meant the most to him.  I didn't feel like I deserved all of you after that.  But I never, ever stopped loving any of you.  It was... well, sometimes angels lose their way and get confused just like humans."

"And we know that now... even though we'd never agree to it.  You *did* deserve us.  But at the time we just didn't understand that sometimes simply being there is enough.  And you didn't understand just how much we needed to be there.  But with time and a *lot* of talking and writing... we got past it and came out stronger for it.  And I remember I became 'Laja' shortly after that."  JenniAnn beamed.

"Laja."  Andrew recalled stumbling upon the nickname and smiled warmly back at his friend.  "You're right.  And then only a few months later... a happy occasion."  He produced a brightly colored missive.  "Rose's first letter to me."

A round of hail started up again, catching both angel and woman off-guard.  The latter blanched upon hearing the sound of breaking glass.

"Think of it this way," Andrew whispered in a conspiratorial tone, "I'll probably have a lot of reason to wear my tool belt." 

JenniAnn giggled nervously.  "Just too bad it'll be too hot for flannel."

"I'll wear light-weight plaid if it'll make you happy."  Andrew smiled when she hugged him in response.

"If you're there, I'll be happy."  JenniAnn drew in a deep breath to calm herself.  "So... Rose's arrival.  April 1, 2007, right?"

The angel of death glanced at the letter.  "Very good!"  He chuckled as he scanned it.  "She was very confused by our April Fool's joke.  But she really fit right in.  I can remember how glad we were.  Josephine had her niece, Rose had family, and we had..."

"Hope.  So many had left...  Incommunicado save a Christmas card every year."  JenniAnn shook her head.  "I never understood it."

"It was never easy to say good bye.  But I had to remind myself that maybe it wasn't too different from assignments.  We come into their lives when they most need us and then, when things are better, we leave.  Here it was just the other way around.  When things were better... they left and found their own way in the world."

"But not everyone," JenniAnn murmured.

Andrew shook his head.  "No, not everyone.  God has a plan for all of us.  His plans for our old friends involved some place other than Dyeland.  But for some of us... I'm thinking He's got a lot planned for us here.  Like for me... he had cooking lessons planned."  Andrew chuckled as he held up a note from Lady Beth written on the back of a series of recipe cards.  She'd written glowingly about how much she'd enjoyed sharing her cooking expertise with Andrew.  She recounted several fiascoes: the time he had put a cup of salt into cookies instead of sugar... a near-fire with a wok... bread that had made a handy doorstop...  Though embarrassing at the time, the memories made Andrew smile.  However, he was most touched by the cook's sentiment that it was never the food that mattered most, it was the time they'd spent together as friends.  His smile lingered as the angel filed away the note and moved onto the next piece in the mishmash. 

Shifting her attention from her own letters, JenniAnn looked up to see how Andrew was coming along.  Her face brightened when she saw him pull a familiar piece of paper from his stack.  "Catherine's and Vincent's wedding invitation!" she cried.

"I've been to a lot of weddings in my life but I don't think I'll ever forget that one."  Andrew traced the seal, smiling.  "And the marriage... even better.  A great couple and great friends." 

JenniAnn beamed, immensely proud of her cousins.  "Ya know, 2007 was a rather big year in the romance department for our friends.  Catherine and Vincent got married!  Mick and Beth met up again and fell in love!  It was Yva's and Sir Sven's 12th anniversary!"  Her face darkened for a moment before she laughed breezily.  "Well, of course, not everything was roses and wedding cake."  JenniAnn rifled through her stack of letters hoping to prove wrong what she knew in her heart was true.  She had not written Andrew anything... certainly not anything of substance... for an entire six month period starting in the summer of 2007 until Valentine's 2008. 

Sensing his friend's distress, Andrew squeezed her shoulder.  "It's in the past, Laja.  And even at the time...I believed you deserved a chance.  I always believed that."

JenniAnn peered up at him, her eyes searching his.  "But did you feel it?" 

The angel opened his mouth to respond but found himself unsure of what to say.  He had believed his friend deserved a chance at "happily ever after."  But he'd also been hurt and worried that he was destined to become one of the names on her Christmas card list and nothing more.  Absently, Andrew set down the wedding invitation and fanned the stack of letters in front of him.  A speckled gray envelope with his name on it in a familiar scrawl caught his eye.  Andrew opened it and began to read.

"'I know things are strained right now, buddy.  But it won't always be that way.  Maybe they'll get married and then Eliot will feel more secure.  JenniAnn will have her feelings sorted out by then and things will go back to normal between the two of you.  Heck, they'll probably name a kid after you.  And I'll have to spend decades hearing about how adorable yet another Andrew is.'"  Andrew smiled, imagining Adam's impish smile as he'd written those words.  His fellow angel of death always knew just how to mix humor and compassion.  He continued to read the letter, knowing it veered into the latter as it went on.  "'Or maybe not.  I wouldn't rush right out to buy the wedding gift.  She loves you.  I know it.  But she doesn't like how much that sets her apart from most of her peers.  She needs this time to live that life.  But I know JenniAnn well enough to know she won't sacrifice love or truth or happiness for the status quo.  She'll be back, Andrew.  And then I'll get to spend decades hearing about how adorable you are.  But that's okay because I have the market cornered on sharply dressed, bearded handsomeness.'"  Setting the letter down, Andrew remembered how encouraged he'd been by those last lines. 

"Andrew?"  JenniAnn set a hand on his arm, wanting... needing... an answer.

Andrew shook his head.  The words came out in a torrent.  "I only wanted you to be happy and if you'd been happy with Eliot then I would have prayed for you both to have a blessed marriage.  I knew... I understood that would mean changes for us... between us.  But if you're asking what I felt..."

"I am."

"I just wanted my friend back.  I missed you."

JenniAnn swatted at a tear.  "Well, I'm back now.  There will be no re-runs of that.  I'm back for good.  And as a token of my promise..."  She scanned the room, looking for something useful.  Giggling, she grabbed a paper clip and began to bend it.  "With this super awesome office supply ring, I thee promise to never ignore, block, or run out on come hell or high water, zombie apocalypse, hostile robot takeover, or discovery of the living embodiment of one Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy." 

Bursting into laughter, Andrew examined the "ring" she'd slid onto his right ring finger.  Inspired, and knowing JenniAnn reserved her own right ring finger for her Claddagh, he began to string several paper clips together.  "Thank you.  With this devastatingly glamorous tiara, I thee promise to never ignore, block, or run out on come hell or high water, abominable snowman attack, flying monkey mischief, or commencement of a really great football season."

JenniAnn laughed so hard she wiped at tears.  "Thank you.  I shall treasure it always.  But you realize C.J., Lady Beth, Rose, and Yva should get tiaras, too, right?"

Andrew grinned.  "I'll get going on those as soon as we finish with this."  Confused, he examined an empty envelope.  "9-07" was written, in his own hand, in the corner.  "Why would I have kept an empty envelope?"

JenniAnn took the piece from him and examined it.  "Well, I recognize your name as being in Willy's hand...  So he must have written you.  And September 2007 is when he first came here so...  Flip through your stacks.  Maybe the note just got shuffled in with..." 

A chuckle from Andrew interrupted her.  "Never mind.  I just remembered.  I ate the note."

For a moment JenniAnn was confused.  She certainly couldn't remember Andrew ever developing pica...  Then the answer came to her in a flash.  The note had been etched into a chocolate bar!  They'd all received one thanking them for the warm welcome and wishing for the chance to get to know each of them better.  She could remember how proudly Yva had beamed at her dear friend's creativity and commitment to a theme.

"I did take a photograph first," Andrew explained as he looked.  "But I think you may have scrap-booked that.  And... Oh.  This is gonna make you cry."  He held a thick piece of paper out to JenniAnn.

"Oh..."  The woman did, indeed, grow misty eyed.  "Look at how tiny his little hands and feet were..."  She traced the outlines of her godson's fingers and toes.

"I loved how they worded the announcement.  "'With grateful hearts and joyful spirits, Catherine and Vincent Wells announce the adoption of their beloved son, Jacob Chandler Wells, on December 24th, 2007.  He is an answer to decades of prayer and our prayer for him now is a lifetime of love and happiness,'" Andrew recited.  "It's hard to believe he'll be five soon."

"It is...  Why do they have to grow up so quickly?"  JenniAnn sighed.  "I can still remember the first time you held him."

Andrew looked at her in surprise. 

She blushed.  "I may not have been very communicative with you at the time but I was still paying attention.  Jacob smiled.  I was sure he knew an angel was holding him."

The angel smiled.  "Now he just wants piggy back rides."  He looked at their stacks.  Progress was obvious but there were still so many pieces.  "It's amazing how much... well, life there is.  All captured in one box..."

"On this side... and on the other..." JenniAnn murmured, staring at Andrew's hands.

Without realizing it, Andrew had picked up a thick envelope.  JenniAnn clearly recognized the intricate, slanted handwriting that came from another era.  "Josef..."  The angel was grateful when JenniAnn moved beside him and hugged his arm.  The letter was addressed to them both so they silently read together and remembered the day they had helped the man say good bye to the woman he loved.  Andrew slung his arm around his friend's shoulders as they came to the final paragraph.

"'I don't know how you did it.  Sometimes, in my darkest moments, I think maybe it was all a trick.  A trick done in kindness.  But a trick.  Yet what JenniAnn said... the words she passed along to me... they were so essentially Sarah.  So I've been left with no choice but to believe you.  She told me that she would live forever... that she would love me forever.  God!  I spent centuries running from him.  Now I find my very survival, my sanity hinges on his existence... on the belief that an angel of death was with my Sarah when she died, that he passed her final words onto his friend, that she faithfully told them to me, and that, one day, I will see Sarah again.  If I start to doubt... I'll look to the both of you and remember.'"

The words blurred as Andrew stared at the letter.  It was both poignant and ironic.  Josef looked at him and thought of the future promise of a joyful reunion in Heaven with Sarah.  But Andrew saw his own future mirrored in Josef, too.  The vampire's sympathetic words from a few months before came back to Andrew.   "It's hard to watch you with the girls and not think... one day it's going to be you and me on this roof again except we won't be talking about Sarah.  We'll be talking about Rose or JenniAnn or... or even Shelby.  You love them.  Not like I love Sarah.  But you do.  I see it.  And they're all going to leave you.  Probably not by choice.  But they will."

"A-andrew?"  JenniAnn grabbed a tissue and gently brushed some tears from his face.  "Maybe we should finish this some other time.  Actually, it's calming a bit it seems.  And you've been working an awful lot lately.  I won't go back upstairs just yet but maybe I should head back to my own basement and let you res..."

The angel shook his head rigorously.  "No.  I mean unless you wanted..."

"No.  I'd just as soon stay but..."

"Then please stay."

"All right."  JenniAnn studied him with concern.  "You're all right?"

Andrew nodded and smiled sheepishly.  "Just don't really want to be alone."  He turned to Lulu and Fawn who were snoring away.  "No offense."

JenniAnn smiled.  "Well, I won't require much convincing but ummm...  Maybe we best put the letters away."

"No, it's okay.  Really." 

"Andrew, you're obviously pretty shaken and the thing is... well, it wasn't terribly long after Sarah died that... that Dawn was killed.  And I know that's in a lot of my next letters and probly in a lot of your next batch.  That was a really hard winter..."

Andrew nodded.  "It was.  But, you know, it's the letters from then that I look through most often, I think.  That was our first real test with this group of friends.  Having you all with me on an assignment... helping me with it... it was very, very hard.  I love having you around but I know I was a pain."

"Only at first, Andrew.  You were..."  JenniAnn thought.  No single word seemed big enough.  Finally she settled for an old standby.  "You were lovely for most of it.  We all knew that it was difficult for you to have us there even though we needed to be there.  We knew you could never fully shut out the reminders that... that we were no different, no safer than Dawn was.  Not really.  But it really was a privilege to be there.  We got to help get justice for her.  We befriended Raquel and helped her begin to heal from the loss of her child.  And... and if anything were ever to happen to me then..."

Andrew rested his forehead against her hair.

"Then it would help to know that someone like you would be as caring and gentle with my parents as you were with Raquel.  She loves you so much." 

Despite the sadness he still felt when he thought of Dawn's death, Andrew's spirits lifted when he thought of her mother.  Whereas some humans railed at him when they discovered he'd been with their murdered loved ones and done nothing, Raquel had hugged him and cried with him.  The angel felt a sudden need for her voice but settled for re-reading the letter she had sent him a week after his assignment had ended.  The folds were beginning to tear, indicating how often Andrew had turned to this particular letter for comfort.

"'I find myself daydreaming sometimes about you and Dawn in Heaven.  Maybe you've picked your bowling rivalry back up.  (Be careful.  That girl has a mean hook.)  Have you gotten to see her spontaneously dance to a Cyndi Lauper song while she thought no one was around?  Maybe she doesn't care anymore.  I can't imagine there would be much need for self-regard in Heaven where everyone accepts and loves you as you are.  But now I'm rambling! 

I think I would have done this no matter what... imagined her there.  That beautiful smile reflecting her delight as she walked among flowers more brilliant, more fragrant than any she ever enjoyed here.  It helps, though, to imagine a friend at her side.  If not for you, my sweet boy, I wouldn't have that.  Hug my baby good night for me, Andrew.  And when she gives you one of those perfect hugs back, know it's from me, too." 

The angel of death closed his eyes for a few moments, remembering scenes not unlike those Raquel had imagined.  It comforted him to know that one day all of his friends would be with him, just as carefree and just as safe as Dawn now was.  However, it still hurt to think of what would lie ahead.

As Andrew read, JenniAnn grabbed two letters she recognized from his stacks.  "Read these next.  I think they'll help."

With a grateful smile, Andrew took them and began to read the one Eli had written him on March 17th, 2009.

"'I thought I should apologize for sending JenniAnn that photo of you dressed as a leprechaun but I just wanted to make her laugh.  She reminds me so much of Sophia when she laughs.  It's funny.  It's been over a month and I've seen her numerous times in Heaven but I still find myself thinking she's here.  Yesterday I took this fellow Home.  He'd been living in a retirement facility and made me promise I'd go back and water his plants.  I guess he didn't trust the staff to do it and knew it'd be a few days before his daughter could get there.  How could I say no to that?  I don't want a philodendron massacre on my conscience for all eternity!  After I was through, I went out into the hall and heard Benny Goodman coming from one of the other apartments.  For just a moment I thought it was Sophia playing her records.  I even started towards the room.  Then I remembered.  I'm sure she'll save a dance for me when I get back Home but in that moment... I wanted her here again.  Is that selfish?  I guess it is.  Not very angelic.  We can't all be you."  Andrew could hear the good natured smirk in his friend's voice as he read that line.  "'Andrew, I pray that each of those girls have long, healthy, happy lives,'" Eli had continued.  "'But I know that, even in the best of cases, it'll still be hard for you.  You'll have your own Benny Goodman incidents.  But just keep remembering that you get to go Home.  You get to go back to them.  And, if you're like me, you get to see them live on in the children they leave behind.  The Father has truly blessed us both.'"

Andrew sighed, feeling the knot in his stomach beginning to dissipate.  After letting Eli's words sink in, he turned to JenniAnn curiously.  "How did you know what would be in that letter?"

"Eli asked me to read over it before he gave it to you.  He was afraid the first part would be too hard for you.  I told him you fully knew what you were facing and that the last part... well, you had to read that.  It's not so different from what us girls have told you.  But I thought it might help you to hear it from another angel of death.  Did it?"

"Yeah.  It did.  And I even forgave him for giving you that photo.  Even when you blew it up and turned it into one of those stand-up thingies."  Andrew chuckled.  "Good ol' Eli."

JenniAnn smiled fondly as she thought of him.  "Yeah.  Aunt Sophia sure could pick em!  I'm so glad he came back into our lives.  And speaking of coming back into someone's life..."  She pointed to the other letter.

"From Vincent.  You've read this one, too?"

"No.  But everything Vincent writes is beautiful and encouraging.  He wrote this shortly after Cora went Home."  A loving smile lit up JenniAnn's face as she thought of her godfather and his mother.  During the last weeks of Cora's life, Andrew had been assigned as her in-home caregiver.  A series of miraculous events had allowed him and the Dyelanders to piece together the connection between Cora and Vincent and reunite the mother and child two weeks before Cora's passing.

Andrew began to read.  "'Today was the first day I returned to the house.  I had a sudden urge to read a book... any book... that I knew my mother had read.  I know she struggled in those last weeks.  She told me how greatly she worried that God would never forgive her for leaving me.  Maybe that's why I was drawn to her Bible.  Did you know she kept notes in it?  I discovered several.  Each one is a precious glimpse into my mother's life, her faith.  I found one in which she mentioned you.  She'd written 'The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving' many times.  I imagine her praying over each letter, each word as she sought comfort in that assurance she says you reminded her of, Andrew.  The peace you lent to her then and the strength you shared with us all as her days waned will forever be a comfort.  Thank you, my friend.'"  The angel brushed at a tear and smiled.  "Beautiful and encouraging," he agreed.

JenniAnn patted his back. 

"Over half way through 2009," Andrew commented a few moments later.  "Well, unless we find a stash really out of order which is highly likely."  He rolled his eyes at his own lax organization.

"Oooh... this is the start of the letters where we did that word game we used to play.  Remember?  We'd take turns picking an adjective that described the other.  Then the recipient had to find an adjective to describe the other starting with the last letter of the previous word."  JenniAnn paused.  "Ya know... it kinda strikes me now that it was a bit nerdy."

Andrew laughed.  "Hey, being nerdy can be good.  And so can being verbivorous and cosmotellurian."

"Then I shall indulge in being nerdy and verbivorous for a couple minutes by looking through this batch."  JenniAnn smiled and began to read through her old word choices for Andrew.

The angel directed his attention to a piece of beige letterhead with "From the desk of Henry" emblazoned across the top. 

"'Hey there, Andrew.  Lady Beth and I were just framing some photos from the 4th of July.  I got to wondering how you were doing when we got to the one of you reciting the Emancipation Proclamation for the kids.  I hope you're doing well.  Adam said something about you having an assignment at a prison.  I know how difficult those can be.  Felt compelled to let you know your friendship means a lot to me.  I hope you know I'm here for you if you ever need to talk.  I'm glad we can talk over things.'"

Andrew smiled.  Well versed as he was in helping humans to cope in the face of loss, it had taken a toll to see five friends grieve losses over the course of less than a year.  But as he'd juggled his assignments and keeping tabs on Josef, Raquel, Eli, JenniAnn, and Vincent; there'd been a surge in letters much like Henry's.  There was no particular reason for them.  But the encouraging words had found their way to him just when he most needed them.  The Lord truly moved in mysterious ways.

Below Henry's letter was a turquoise envelope.  The letter inside remained a true mystery to Andrew but one he cherished.  Unlike every other letter in his stacks, this one was penned by a woman named Cindy who the angel had never met.

"'You have helped me a lot,'" Andrew read.  "When I've had to deal with the loss of people I've loved, I thought of you as being the one to take them Home. I've thought how comforting it must be to have an angel with your wisdom, gentleness, compassion, and love.'"  He blushed as he read of her wish to have him as her angel of death when her time came.  But the part that meant the most to him was near the end of Cindy's letter: "'Most importantly you have reminded me to keep God first, and to put my hope in Him. And He loves me. I am glad that He is using you to help instill that hope.'"  The angel smiled.  It felt good to know that he was helping people he hadn't even met to remember the single most important thing: they were loved by God.

Andrew was carefully returning Cindy's letter to its envelope when he heard JenniAnn sniffle.  "
Hey...  Laja, what's wrong?"  He looked intently at her and took her hand in his when he noticed tears were welling in her eyes.

"The end of 2009 was really, really hard."

The angel nodded.  "I know.  But we got through it.  That's the most important part."

"S-sometimes when I think about it.  I'm still so... so angry."

"That's normal.  I am sometimes, too."  Andrew knew that there were several letters, notes, and journal entries dated from when he'd been on an assignment in New York during a rash of violent attacks on the homeless... with himself being the last victim.  Two of his assignments, a young man and woman who he had stayed with while on the streets, had been murdered.  Though the angel of death knew they were at peace and their attackers jailed, he had spoken truthfully to JenniAnn.  The attackers' cruelty still enraged him.  He didn't want to upset JenniAnn whose memories of that time period also included a panicked stint in the hospital chapel as she pleaded with God to heal him.  He gathered the related missives, hers and his, and ordered and filed them on his own.  Once finished, he picked up a red envelope and handed it to her.  "The very end of 2009 wasn't so bad."

With a wan smile, JenniAnn opened a New Year's newsletter she had written on behalf of the group.  Printed on to the bottom was a photograph of their friends and family in front of the tree on Christmas Eve.  Andrew was wearing a cast on his arm... every inch of it covered in messages from those who loved him... but he was undeniably happy.  JenniAnn's smile brightened.  "Yeah, it wasn't so bad."

"So... onto 2010!  And let's see..."  Andrew burst out laughing when he opened a greeting card.  "Okay, I know you didn't write this but it's not really personal and I think you need to see it. You could use a laugh."

JenniAnn took the card which featured the famous photograph of Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out.  She read Rose's message inside.  "'Dear Andrew, way cool about your deciding to get old with us.  I think it'll be awesome.  We can play shuffleboard together.  I hope you're better at that than hopscotch.  I also hope your hair is as cool as Einstein's by then.'"  The woman laughed.  "Well, I'm glad you had a nice counterpoint to my high angst reaction to your big decision.  Although I don't know that your hair will be that sticky out-y."

Andrew laughed and dragged his hand through his mane.  "No?  Maybe with some creative blow-drying?"

"Uh no...  But maybe..." 

JenniAnn was interrupted by a loud clap of thunder.  A buzzing sound followed quickly afterwards and then all the lights went out.

"A-andrew?" JenniAnn bleated.  "I don't think this is good...  What if something exploded and started a fire?"

"Then hopefully the rain will put it out.  But it could have just as easily been a branch hitting a power line and knocking it off the house.  I'll get some light in here in just a second.  Could you, I dunno, have a crisis of faith or something so I can start glowing?  It'd really help me out." 

JenniAnn laughed, appreciating the ease of tension.  "Don't ya think candles might be easier?"

Andrew sighed dramatically.  "I suppose..."  He chuckled.  "Don't move.  I don't want to step on you or run into you as I make my way over to the candles." 

"'Kay."  JenniAnn waited patiently until she saw a flicker of flame near Andrew's coffee table.  Soon a pleasant glow emanated from the assortment of candles there.

"There.  Much better.  Why don't we move closer to them?" 

Finding the idea highly agreeable, JenniAnn picked up her stacks and followed Andrew.

"It'll be all right, Laja," he assured when he saw a flicker of fear on her face when another boom of thunder sounded.  "Just remember... tool belt and plaid."

"Counting on it!"  JenniAnn drew in a deep breath.  "So back to 2010 and... our post cards!"

There hadn't been any sort of secrecy with the post cards that had been written to Andrew in June 2010.  For a few wonderful days that month, the gang had set sail on a Caribbean cruise so they could be with Raquel as she married the ship captain's.  As it was common practice for them to send postcards to each other when they traveled, they'd opted to keep the tradition alive.  Over the course of the week, the friends had written each other several times and stuck the postcards under their cabin doors.

"'Dear Andrew,'" JenniAnn recited, "'the cruise is going splendidly.  I'm soooo glad we didn't trip going down the aisle during the wedding!  Didn't Raquel look gorgeous?  I'm so happy for them!'"  She sighed.  "I'm still so happy for Raquel and Nico.  Where are they now?"

"Puerto Vallarta.  Listen to this.  'Dear buddy, I don't think Tess has forgiven us yet for the dreadlocks and the tattoo prank.  She just threatened to throw me over board to the iguanas when we pass by St. Thomas again.  Do you think iguanas would get along with turkeys?'"  Andrew chuckled.  "Poor Adam.  Tess really did not like those dreads of ours!"

JenniAnn smiled at the memory of Tess fuming at the boys on the beach.  "No she didn't.  But she'll always love her Angel Boys.  I'm really glad we got to spend time with her during that.  And reconnect as a group and, of course, things got better with Monica, too."

The angel of death smiled.  "Yeah, they really did."

"And I was so glad of that come October."

Andrew sobered.  "Me too.  I think West Hollow was the toughest assignment... at least one of the most emotionally complicated... that I'd had in years."

JenniAnn bowed her head.  "It sometimes seems like... and maybe it's just cause I know more now about what you do... but sometimes I feel like since you met us a lot of your assignments have become more difficult than they might once have been.  And you were so nervous and concerned about us being there..."

The angel hugged her.  "Laja, there's no denying that having all of you in my life... well... it's made some cases more personal, more relatable than they might have been at one time.  And I never want to put any of you in harm's way.  I just..."  He shook his head.  "No.  But the support I have now... the support and love you all give me, well, it's more than made up for that.  And I know you've all made me better at what I do.  Like..."  He reached for a pastel pink envelope.  "Erica wrote me this after we left West Hollow.  Do you remember when she first approached you?"

JenniAnn nodded.  "It was after she'd run away from the ER before you and Jonah could question her.  She saw you, Yva, and me together during church.  And when she saw how comfortable we were with you... how much we loved you... she felt safe about giving you her report of her rape."

"Right.  And in this letter she thanked me for making sure he was found and prosecuted.  Jonah got one, too.  But if you'd all not been there..."  Andrew smiled sheepishly.  "Sometimes I need to do a better job of trusting the Father when it comes to all of you.  He loved you first and He loves you best, you know."

"I've heard but I never tire of hearing it again."  She kissed his hand.  "You really were wonderful during that assignment.  So much to juggle.  So much sadness and anger and fear all around.  But you... you gave us all hope that even if something terrible... something we couldn't imagine living through... happened... you'd help us through."

Andrew hugged her.  "I'd do everything I could for you.  You're my friends and, ya know, I kinda love you all."

JenniAnn smiled.  She'd known Andrew would try to make her laugh.  Already, a few envelopes down, she saw a letter dated January 2011.

Andrew saw it, too.  "That was... another really difficult time."  His embrace tightened and he sighed.  "We got through with each other and with gratitude for a life well and beautifully lived."

JenniAnn nodded solemnly.

"It was so healing to be together that Valentine's after though, wasn't it?  Here, look at this Valentine from Shel.  I assume you've already seen it.  She told me she made it in your class."

The woman's mood rallied when she saw the brightly colored heart.  At the top, in her own hand, was "I love ___________ because..."  Shelby had scrawled Andrew's name into the blank spot then covered the heart in reasons why she loved him.  JenniAnn smiled as she read a list that contained "He reads to me" and "He gives good piggyback rides" and "His hugs make me feel safe."  The last item especially tugged at JenniAnn's heart.  She felt exactly the same way about the angel's hugs.

Andrew took the Valentine back, thinking fondly of the little girl.  When he filed it away, he noticed that the correspondence yet to be sorted had become only a short stack.  Though we'd had many eventful assignments in 2011, it really had seemed as if the Father had given him more time in Dyeland that year.  Letters were not nearly as good as quiet nature walks, visits over coffee, contemplative and companionable tours of art museums, and all the other every day activities that had come to mean so much.  Happily, their once small circle of friends had grown and solidified.  One bit of evidence for that came in the form of another celebratory greeting card.  Inside, all of his friends had wished him well and voiced their certainty that he would be a loving and inspiring supervisor for Violeta.  Just below it in the stack was a note from his protegee herself.

"'I've never been lacking in confidence,'" she'd written very truthfully, "'but I am daunted now.  I'm not sure I have what it takes to be an angel of death.  It seems so immense.  Angels of death are the last point of contact humans have when they leave Earth... sometimes frightened, sometimes angry.  That's a massive responsibility.  Then I see you crouch down to comfort a grieving child or you gently hold the hand of someone spending their last night on earth.  I see those things and I know that as long as I have you on my side, Andrew, I can do whatever the Father asks of me.'"

That final phrase jumped out at Andrew.  Then he heard his Father's voice, asking him to trust Him.  "I can do whatever you ask of me," he responded silently.

JenniAnn was smiling at Mick's and Beth's wedding announcement when she looked up.  Andrew had an enigmatic look on his face.  He seemed to be listening to a voice she couldn't hear and she knew well enough whose Voice it was.  She didn't feel like Andrew hearing from the Father should make her nervous but it did so she looked away.  A few moments later she jumped when Andrew set his hand on hers. 

"The worst of the storm is over, Laja.  Just some rain now.  Let's go outside and take a look."  He smiled encouragingly at her, stood, and reached down to help her up.

JenniAnn wanted to ask Andrew what had just happened but somehow knew it wouldn't be right.  Instead she quietly held his hand and followed him upstairs with the dogs, newly awoken, at their heals. 

Andrew opened the door and stepped onto the porch.  He noted a downed awning and quickly verified that, yes, power lines had been torn from his house.  But something else... something much more important was there. 

A double rainbow stretched across the sky.

"Laja, promise me something?" Andrew asked after several moments, still gazing at the magnificent display.

"Anything," JenniAnn's awed voice murmured.

"Don't ever lose hope.  Not even if circumstances seem insurmountable or... or people you love go away.  There's still hope.  And sometimes... sometimes the Father still uses rainbows to remind us of that."  There were tears in his eyes as Andrew smiled at his friend.

JenniAnn hugged the angel.  "I promise."

Andrew sighed contentedly as they continued to admire the rainbows.  All would be well, thanks be to God.


Warning: So I don't usually interrupt my stories but I didn't feel right just springing this next part on people.  I have really been struggling with how to proceed with these following John's death.  For a while, I just kept them light and fluffy and cuddly.  But TBAA dealt with real issues, John cared about real issues, and I care about real issues.  So after a while that just seemed phony and unfulfilling.  But the fact is that serious scenes involving Andrew... especially when it involves someone being upset over his absence... simply have taken on a different tone since John's passing.  I can all but guarantee that I would have written the following scene just as it is were John still here on earth with us.  But it's become a much sadder scene since he is not.  So I find myself with a choice: write a scene in the way that seems right to me and emotionally honest or write a scene in a way that's more comfortable and less, well, haunted by real life.  And I just keep thinking that continuously doing the latter is cowardly and an affront to what John taught us.  I can't go around saying he helped me to learn to cope with grief and then run away from all depictions of grief.  That being said, I totally understand if it's too difficult and people want to bail on the scene below and the story it eventually leads into.

A few weeks later... Early August

Adam swung the front door open and ushered JenniAnn in before him. 

"I'm sure I can do this on my own if you'd feel more comfortable just..."

JenniAnn shook her head before the angel of death could finish.  "No.  I need to do this."

"All right.  I'll water the upstairs plants, you take the main floor?"  When the woman nodded, Adam smiled encouragingly at her and squeezed her shoulder.

JenniAnn made her way to Andrew's kitchen to fill a pitcher with water.  She tended to the two plants there then moved to the living room.  She watered a fern in the hallway then found herself staring at the basement door.  The evening of the storm had been the last time she and Andrew had spent more than a few minutes alone together.  Desperate to relive their happiness then... when a busted window and downed power lines were the crisis du jour... she opened the door and crept down the stairs.

She drank in the scent of the candles which still stung in air.  For a moment she thought she saw Andrew bent over them with the lighter but it was only a trick of her mind.  The woman was about to abandon the room and its ghosts of better times when a brightly colored clump on the arm of the couch caught her eye.  It only took another moment for it to dawn on JenniAnn what it was.  She began to sob as she picked up four circlets made of paper clips.  A fifth... all in Shelby's favorite colors of purple and pink... lay unfinished. 

When Adam returned to the main level, he heard JenniAnn crying and sprinted down the stairs.  She looked up at him, holding the rainbow chains up.

"He... he... when we were in the basement d-during that storm... Andrew made me one of these.  And I told him Yva, C.J., Lady Beth, and Rose should each have one, too.  Then this... this must be for Shelby.  A-adam... he didn't have a chance to give them to them b-before...  Oh God...  My God..." 

Adam pulled her into a hug before she sunk to the floor.  "He's with Andrew, JenniAnn.  And He will be no matter what.  And I believe with all my heart that He *will* bring Andrew back to us.  I know Afghanistan seems very far away and very scary.  But the Father knows every rock, every blade of grass, every kernel of sand.  He knows where Andrew is.  He's not missing to Him."

The angel's assurances calmed JenniAnn but it was another voice... one she heard when she looked down at the brilliant colors in the palm of her hand... that unclouded her anxious mind. 

"Don't ever lose hope.  Not even if circumstances seem insurmountable or... or people you love go away.  There's still hope.  And sometimes... sometimes the Father still uses rainbows to remind us of that."

JenniAnn smiled through her tears.  "I promise, Andrew," she whispered.  Then drawing in a deep, steadying breath, she looked up at Adam.  "Will you come with me to deliver these?"

Adam felt tears well in his own eyes.  "I'd be honored."

They left the house together to spread the message their beloved Andrew felt so strongly.

So, unfortunately, it took me a while to really decide where I was going with this story.  I actually have a much bigger (and I think better) story in the works that's going to test Andrew and Co. in ways they've never been tested before.  So once I had that idea, I decided to use the story above to sorta say "This is the life these people have lived together.  And that's why the stakes and the emotions are so high when..."  But before that I had intended on just doing a light "Letters to Andrew" story.  During that phase, Cindy kindly penned a letter to Andrew.  In the story's eventual evolution (with only short excerpts of writing tied to specific events), I couldn't figure out how to incorporate it all.  But it's really lovely and so I'm putting the entire thing here.  Thanks, Cindy!

Dear Andrew,

Although I've never been one of your cases, you have been an inspiration and an influence to  me. I'm especially grateful to the one person who agreed to help tell of God's love through you.  Without him, I wouldn't have known who you were, and without you, I wouldn't have learned who he was either. You know who I mean and you know I love him and miss him very much. You've both made a difference. 

You have helped me a lot. When I've had to deal with the loss of people I've loved, I thought of you as being the one to take them Home. I've thought how comforting it must be to have an angel with your wisdom, gentleness, compassion, and love. And, it's been a comfort to me to know I have that to look forward to when it's my time...even if you are not my AOD. I do wish you could be, but, who ever mine is, I won't be disappointed because you have set the standard! You have shown me I have the perfect angels assigned to me throughout my life and I will have the perfect AOD assigned to me when it's my time. But, I will admit, I have put in a request!   Most importantly you have reminded me to keep God first, and to put my hope in Him. And He loves me. I am glad that He is using you to help instill that hope. 

Your work continues. I am coming in contact often now with other people who have become aware of you. I look forward to each and every one of those contacts. There are people like me out there who truly have been touched by an angel...that angel is you.

I love you.

I'd like to dedicate this issue to John's ability to make me see the world a little differently.  From paper clips to rainbows and beyond, the world has become more meaningful to me and John's influence has helped me to see the hand of God even in the smallest of things.


JABB 363

(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.)