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
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!
Reasons I'm Glad Andrew is an
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.)
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.
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
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
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!
(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