“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left,
and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.” ~~ Erma Bombeck

Hi all,

Yesterday was the anniversary of Andrew's promotion to AOD.  Yay for him!  I sometimes wonder if JABB would exist or how JABB would exist if Andrew had been a caseworker or an archangel or in Search and Rescue during TBAA's run.  Hmm.  In any case, I was going to do a lighthearted top ten or something to celebrate Andrew's awesomeness in the AOD field but this is one of those newsletters that has had to take a back seat to real life.  I'm totally fine but there was a tragedy in my circle of friends and associates so this just hasn't been a week that's been really conducive to writing one liners. 

I think sometimes, in the midst of tragedy, we can get so wrapped up in this awful thing that has happened that we don't take the time to appreciate the good.  So that's what I'm going to do below.  Granted, I've done stuff like this several times over the past decade and a half.  But with this sort of thing maybe redundancy is good.  Anyhow, if after you've read this, you would like to add on, please let me know.  I think I might be adding on throughout the week myself.  Thanks!

God bless,

Reasons I'm Glad Andrew is an AOD

1.  While I think John Dye's sensitive portrayal of Andrew would have captured my attention no matter what sort of angel he was playing, I just really don't think I would have been as struck if Andrew was anything but an AOD.  Andrew's appearance on the show really coincided with my first experiences of
major illness and death beyond pets and relatives who, though beloved, died when I was so young that my memories are few.  Even though, strangely enough, I didn't actually come to believe in angels of death until after TBAA wrapped, the very idea was comforting.  (For the record, I believed in angels.  I just didn't see why a specialized AOD role would be necessary.  I changed my tune after a little more life experience.)  When I hear about terrible things that have happened, especially when those incidents hit close to home, I am very grateful that Andrew, Adam, and Henry gave me a sort of visual framework for imagining the peace that person/ those people may have experienced.

2.  On a much lighter note, you can have way more fun with AOD jokes and scenarios than caseworker jokes, IMO.  :-)  What's funnier?  An innocent, naive little Belle letting slip that her uncle-father's an angel of death or that he's a caseworker?  The latter may prompt a couple interested questions... the former a note home that I'm sure Andrew and JenniAnn will have loads of "fun" trying to respond to.

(Admittedly, the "uncle-father" may actually be the weirdest sounding part of that.) 

3.  AOD Band has a much more interesting sound to it than Caseworker Band.  Also, the AOD Band has "Don't Fear the Reaper" as a sort of unofficial theme song.  What the heck goes with the Caseworker Band?!

4.  While I think any talk of angels is bound to eventually come around to talk of death and the afterlife, I think that conversation comes a little sooner when one's discussing AODs.  After all, "death" is right there in the title.  And I think that's good.  I think it's good to talk about death when it happens and I think it's good to talk about death when it doesn't.  Maybe if we talked about it more, we'd all be able to cope better.  While grief and death will never be easy, I do feel like I have a sort of cushion and support because of the Andrew obsessiveness that goes on around here.  Even our goofy moments, I believe, contribute to that reserve of comfort.

5.  Specifically from the standpoint of writing, I believe having Andrew as an AOD has done a lot to help me sort of... pre-grieve?  Not sure if that's a thing.  And I certainly don't mean to suggest one can prepare for loss so perfectly that it won't hurt when it happens.  But I think, through stories and imagining how Andrew and his friends would react to things, I've sort of processed emotions by proxy that I might later come to feel in real life.  It helps.

6.  It also helps to be able to channel grief and the questions, anger, and sadness it brings into writing about Andrew and his friends.  I find it easier sometimes to put what I'm thinking/feeling into Andrew or LJA or even Joshua rather than just rant about it myself.  That's a whole lot easier to do when one of the main characters is an AOD so I can write about types of losses without it seeming like a soap opera (I hope!) with terrible things happening to the same poor people every week.  It makes sense that these people would experience tragedy after tragedy to some degree because their patriarch of sorts works directly with death and trauma. 

7.  All those white, gray, and beige suits!

8.  Within TBAA's angelic structure, I think AODs had a comfy spot between being very biblical and totally made up.  Most versions of the Bible do not mention AODs.  However, there's a Bible-based tradition and some veiled references.  So the AODs always seemed a lil more legit to me than Caseworkers and yet not *too* legit.  I think I would have felt a lil weird crushing on Andrew if, say, he'd played Archangel Raphael.  That's too real!

9.  Maybe I'm just weird but angels of death also carry a bit more cultural gravitas and I like that.  A supernatural being who helps people move from one existence to the next is the subject of so many myths, stories, works of art, etc.  I like feeling part of some massive, sprawling tradition.

10.  I just really want to believe that there are entities out there... fellow creatures... who are so strong and so devoted to God that even after witnessing genocides, rapes, murders, abuse, etc., they still love us and love Him and will stand by us and Him forever and ever.

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for portraying a character so lovely and kind that, eleven years after the final credits rolled, he still seems as real and vibrant to me as ever.  I'm glad Andrew is an AOD and I'm glad it was John Dye who played him!


JABB 410

(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.)