"He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers."
~~Malachi 4:6

Hi all,

So this isn't what I wanted for the Father's Day issue.  However, a wrist injury has meant limiting my typing.  Hopefully by next time, that'll be mended!  For right now, I have a list of more tropes that appear in Dyeland stories.  I've saved a bunch for "rainy days" such as this and picked the ones most related to fatherhood.  Because they're so related, some mom-related tropes snuck in, too.  Then I just picked a couple of my favorite dad-centric story scenes from Dyeland stories and re-posted them here since copying and pasting is easier on the ol' wrist than typing.  By next time, I should be back with all new material! 

God bless,

Dyeland Dad Tropes

Action Dad-  Vincent.  Still.  He may not be fighting off bad guys like he did in his younger years but Vincent still comes running when he has reason to believe any of his kids or his wife are in danger. 

Adoptive Peer Parent- Max and Violeta have them.  Granted, Andrew isn't really their peer because he's ancient but he appears to be too young to have fathered them.  JenniAnn is younger still yet mothers them both. 

Archnemesis Dad- Max again.  His birth father neglected him, misused his money, abandoned him, and then shot Max's adoptive mother.  I think Max might have preferred to take his chances with Darth Vader.  Also, while not his father, Behnam was mostly raised by his unnamed uncle who he despised for his cruelty and, ultimately, killed to save Isra.

Children Raise You
- To some extent, Shelby is this for Andrew and JenniAnn who, in turn, helped Vincent out.  Shelby was still a toddler when her parents were killed in a car accident leaving her and her brother orphaned.  After a brief and disheartening stint with foster care, they ended up Below and, due to little Shelby's regular colds, she started spending time with JenniAnn at Willowveil.  Then Andrew would come around to visit.  Repeatedly, Shelby caused Andrew and JenniAnn to act more as a unit and less as individuals which ultimately gave them confidence enough to raise Belle together.  With Vincent, lil JenniAnn/Psyche helped push him out of his reticence and paranoia and into a full-blown relationship with Catherine.  Finally, Zany helped Eric to grow up and give up on his narcissism. 

Good Parents- Is the character regularly recurring in Dyeland stories?  Do they have children?  If yes, chances are they're this.  I only write bad parents in hindsight or as barely there characters.

Child by Rape- While very sad, I've tried to offer an optimistic spin on this trope.  In "Safe," we learn that Jonah was conceived in rape.  It tormented him but he was blessed with a father figure in Ben Hendricks.  In turn, Jonah was a great father to his kids.  The first Eleora (in "Shadowlands") was conceived during the Nephilim's reign of terror and was lovingly welcomed by her mother, Odelya, and the angel Elazer.  While I never delved into her story too much (yet), it's implied that she must have had a pretty great life because the current Eleora's parents surely wouldn't have named her after a deeply tragic person.  Given what was going on, it's safe to assume that a lot of the secondary characters who left Earth with Reuel were conceived in rape.  That they were saved before the Great Flood indicates that they were all moral people who found favor with God. 

Daddy's Girl- Belle is definitely this although she loves her Mama, too.  Since she's a bit older now, Shelby is less so with Andrew than she used to be but still loves and admires him.  Kim tells me Joy will likely be this.  Both Kendra and Hailey are close with their dad, Zeke.  And while past thirty years old, JenniAnn will still request Vincent read to her and never goes more than a day or two without seeing him.  ALL the girls tend to be this way with Joshua.  Violeta can be particularly demonstrative about it. 

Dead Guy Junior- Galen Jr. is named for his father who was killed in a tunnel collapse before his birth.  When Eliot married Brittony, he adopted little Galen as his own.  Given Eliot and Galen Sr. were friends, it can be assumed Eliot will help Brittony in telling Galen Jr. about his birth father.

I Am Not My Father- Jonah built his life around this trope.  Whereas his birth father abused women, Jonah became a police officer so he could protect them (and men and children).  He also helped ensure his own wife and kids had a loving home life.  In "Shadowlands," Max had a nightmare in which he hit Rose because he was so fearful of being like his father, Rex.  Thankfully, Rose was able to help Max see that he is NOT his father and never will be. 

I Am X, Son of Y- While it will go unnoticed by most, Fr. Mike is actually doing this every time he introduces himself using his full name because his surname, Solas, actually stands for Son of Lewellyn and Sibyll.  As mentioned before, this is also how Davidson and Aaronson came to be used by Joshua, Maryam, Yosef, and John.

Someone to Remember Him By
- Vincent again.  Cora found out she was pregnant with him shortly after her husband, Lor, was killed.  Except for their eyes, Vincent and Lor are very similar in appearance.  This leads to Tell Me About My Father years later when Cora and Vincent are reunited.  Vincent, who had feared he was a child of rape or some other sort of abominable behavior, was very relieved to learn that he was conceived by a very much in love couple.  Cora also put the permanent kibosh on Vincent's concerns that he was abandoned via That Thing is Not My Child!  Cora was devastated when she lost the son she dearly loved and wanted to raise.

Doorstop Baby- Speaking of Lor, he was this.  He was found on the doorstep of Declan and Siobhan Cleary who were unable to have children of their own.  They absconded to the woods where they lovingly raised their son. 

Like a Son to Me- Andrew felt this way about Max and now there's no "like" about it because he and JenniAnn legally adopted Max.

New Parent Nomenclature Problem
- Max struggled with this when it came to Andrew.  He settled on Maja for JenniAnn quickly enough but it took encouragement from Joshua for him to feel comfortable with calling Andrew "Dad." 

Daddy DNA Test- Arthur and Liam took a DNA test although existing evidence already pointed to Arthur having fathered the boy.  Thankfully, both parties were quite happy (after some initial awkwardness) when it turned out that they were father and son. 

Doting Grandparent- With the exception of pre-revelation Doreen Lee, I think all the grandparents who have surfaced in Dyeland stories have been this.  It especially benefits the Dyeland kids because at least a few of them have ended up with more than the standard 4 grandparents due to adoptions.  Vincent aka Appa goes so far as to supply two of his grandchildren with a house and sees most of them several times a week since he's also their teacher/principal.

Identical Grandson- While likely not truly identical, Avi strongly resembles his Appa Vincent.

Shared Family Quirks- Like Andrew, Belle has very expressive eye brows.  JenniAnn paces anxiously in the same manner as Vincent does. 

Now those excerpts...

Yosef in "The Family Tree":

"A...a boy," Irit whispered with tears in her eyes.  She placed the baby in his mother's waiting arms.

"Yeshua..." Maryam cooed.

Hearing his mother's voice and feeling her warmth, the baby ceased his crying.

"Yosef, he... he..."  Maryam's voice broke as her emotions, all the love she felt for the tiny one, overwhelmed her.

"Is... is beautiful," Yosef finished, tears trailing down his own face.  "Yeshua..."

Maryam adoringly counted her son's fingers and toes.  She gently traced the contours of his sweet, little face.  She paused for a moment, noticing a small mark on his temple.  Smiling, she bent to kiss it then dotted his face with more kisses.

"I love you, my own," she repeated as she began to carefully wrap Yeshua so he would be comfortable and warm.  As she did, Maryam thought of the angel's visit.  She had been so astounded and then so pleased... the Messiah was coming... he would be born to her.  Maryam sighed raggedly but then smiled again.  The Messiah had, indeed, come but that night he was simply her precious, beautiful baby... hers and Yosef's and God's.  And she loved him with a depth she had never known.

"I love you high as the sky and back again," she murmured then beamed at her husband.

Yosef kissed the boy's forehead.  "I... I love you across the earth and back again, Yeshua."

"Would... would you like to hold him?" Maryam offered.

Without thinking, Yosef nodded.

Maryam laid the baby in Yosef's arms then kissed him again.

Yosef noticed the strain on his wife's face.  "Maryam..."

"I am well," she assured.  "Treasure these moments with... with our... our son."

While Maryam delivered the afterbirth, Yosef obeyed her command.  He gazed down at their son... the child God had entrusted to them.  He thought of his dismay and anger and heartbreak when Maryam had told him she was with child.  Yosef remembered, too, the nights he had laid by her side, praying he would be able to love the child as if he were his own.

Holding the boy, Yosef knew his worries had been in vain.  There was no child he could love as much as he did the one in his arms, their Yeshua.

"I... I love you so, my... my Yeshu.  I always will," Yosef huskily vowed.

After Irit and Sarai had tended to Maryam and gotten her settled on sweet-smelling, fresh hay and linens, Yosef returned Yeshua to her.

Without another word or disapproving look, the two women left the little family alone.

Yosef kissed Maryam.  "You did so well, my love.  So brave..."  He looked at Yeshua again and sighed.  "Your eyes... he has your eyes.  How wonderful..."

Maryam beamed.  "We have been mightily blessed."  She peered up at the stars, including the one that shone so brightly, and then turned her loving gaze upon Yeshua.

Yosef held his wife in his arms as she cradled their son and sang to him.

“My soul and my spirit rejoice for now, my own, you are here.
The Mighty One has done great things, best of all brought you near.
My little one, my precious one, to you these promises I make:
I will love you in the daytime, in the nighttime, in the morn as you wake."


Sean in "Glad Tidings Part 2":

Sean was just letting himself fall into sleep, when Kemara’s stomach moved under him. Blearily, he raised his head, thinking that she needed his help to stretch out.

Her brown eyes were huge staring down at him. No. Not at him...at her stomach.

“Did you feel that?”

Uncomprehending, Sean felt the motion again, a slight, invisible undulation.

He shot bolt upright. “Was that-?”

He pushed up her nightgown and spread his hands across her belly.

“I think so!” Kemara concentrated, waiting to see if the motion would reoccur.

It did - from the opposite side.

Kemara began to laugh and cry at the same time. She wished she had a camera to capture Sean’s goggle-eyed amazement.

“Did you feel it that time?” she asked putting her hands over his.

“Maybe. It was so light…” He slid down again and pressed tiny kisses over her belly. “Daddy loves you,” he whispered.


Andrew in "Promises of Someday":

Later that evening, following another visit from her parents and Catherine, JenniAnn held her breath as a nurse began to gently wash Annabelle.

"There, she likes it!" the woman cheered as she wiped behind the baby's ears and neck.  She dipped the sponge in warm water then wrung it out some before holding it out to JenniAnn.  "You can do it," she encouraged.

Andrew stepped nearer, affectionately squeezing JenniAnn arm.

Life in the Tunnels, at Catherine's shelter, and in her mom's in-home daycare had given JenniAnn multiple opportunities to care for newborns.  Still, each new task with Annabelle made her nervous.  She'd never felt so responsible for another person in her whole life.

Andrew lowered his head, whispering directly into her ear.  "She's right.  You can do this.  You're her mother."

Calming, JenniAnn nodded.  Everything her parents, Catherine, and Vincent had taught her came back to mind.  She bathed Annabelle gently and quickly, waiting to wash her hair until nearly the end and removing her diaper last.

Andrew watched JenniAnn's hands move so gently and expertly.  He realized with a start how truly new this all was for him.  For all but the last fourteen years, his friends had mostly been angels and humans in Heaven.  He'd never been there as a friend, as someone he loved so much, became a mother.  That didn't mean he hadn't thought of it.  He had dreams for all his friends, JenniAnn included.  He blushed as he remembered the first years with her and how, sometimes, he'd wondered what it would be like for them when she got married and had children.  Always he had envisioned himself as looking in from outside of her family but now...

"Love, could you please grab a diaper and some clothes?" JenniAnn requested as she patted Annabelle dry.

Snapping back to attention, the angel nodded.  When he had the diaper and a sleeper, he looked on with admiration as JenniAnn cuddled their little one.

The nurse laughed softly when Annabelle set her hand on JenniAnn's and let out a tiny sigh.  "You did very well, Mom.  Look how content she is."

JenniAnn smiled kindly but could only nod.  She was overcome.  Each new "first" made her feel more and more like she was something beyond just being JenniAnn.  She was Annabelle's mother.

"I'll be on my way then.  Let us know if you need anything."

Andrew smiled appreciatively.  "Will do.  Thank you, Karen."

Once the nurse was gone, Andrew stroked JenniAnn's hair.  "You wanna get her dressed?"

"Yeah."  JenniAnn set Annabelle back in her bassinet and unbundled her.  While Andrew put the diaper on, she caressed the shamrock-laden sleeper that Kemara had sent along with Monica and Violeta.  When Andrew was ready, they got Annabelle into it and swaddled her.

"Today has.... it's been like a dream," JenniAnn whispered as she picked Annabelle up.

"Yes.  But a real dream," Andrew assured.  "And... and far better than any dream I've ever had."

JenniAnn snuggled against his shoulder.

Andrew rested his chin on her hair and wrapped his arms around both of them.  "Laja, I heard from God earlier.  I'm on leave until the 17th."

JenniAnn smiled.  "I'm glad He believes in paternity leave."

The angel chuckled.  "Also apparently sorority leave... if that's a thing.  Violeta's going to stick around until the end of the month.  And even after the 17th, I'll be near.  I have an assignment in Manhattan for several weeks."

A tear slid down JenniAnn's cheeks.  "He's really watching out for us.  I know He always is, of course.  But to have it be so obvious..."  She looked to the ceiling.  "Thank You."

Andrew kissed her forehead.  "You're tired," he noted.

JenniAnn nodded.  "I don't wanna lay her down... but I would love a shower."

"I'll take her... happily."

JenniAnn smiled.  "Knew you would."  She transferred Annabelle to Andrew then admired the sight of them for a few moments before gathering her things.  She kissed them both then stepped into the bathroom.

Once Andrew heard the water start, he sunk into the recliner and gazed down at Annabelle.  Sucking away at her pacifier, she stared back up at him.  The angel smiled.

"Annabelle," Andrew cooed.

The baby latched onto one of his fingers.

Andrew's eyes filled.  "You know, I... I wanted this so badly that at... at first I couldn't even say it.  Not even to God.  Because if you went away..."  He shook his head.  "From the first moment I held you, I wanted you to be mine, baby girl.  And I know your mama feels the same.  We are so blessed.  And I want you to hold onto something.  Even when you're older and it might be hard to believe.  But you have to hold onto this, Annabelle.  We will always love you.  No matter what.  Even if you think we'll be angry... even if we are angry... we'll still love you.  Nothing will change that.  Ever.  I... I meet a lot of people who don't realize how loved they are.  I pray you'll never be like that.  La...  Your mama and I will do everything we can to make sure you always know this."  He kissed her hair.  "You are God's beloved child... and ours, too."

Annabelle's face scrunched up.

Andrew laughed when a pungent aroma filled the air.  "I guess I was getting a little too serious."  He kissed her hair again then got up to change her diaper.

Once she was cleaned up, they settled back into the recliner.  Andrew rocked and sang.  "'Tell me why the stars do shine.  Tell me why the ivy twines.  Because God made the skies so blue.  Because God made you, that's why I love you.'"

As she drifted to sleep, Uncle Andrew prayed for a peaceful, pain-free night for his Annabelle.


This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for giving me some fun talks with my dad.  He rather enjoys Best of the Best.  :-)

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(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.)