"When someone who cares about you hugs you, hug them back with two arms.
Don't do the one-arm hug, because when you hug with two arms,
it allows you to lean on somebody and we always need someone to lean on."
~~Sandra Bullock

Hi all,

This newsletter is being written, in part, while my dogs nap after a particularly rambunctious morning... which gave me some inspiration along with a fair amount of exasperation.  Because I can't imagine I'll be so lucky as to get much more time, I also thought I'd offer another glimpse into the Dyeland finale that wasn't.  There are some parts in this excerpt which I genuinely like.  Anyway, whether written today or years ago, I hope you enjoy this issue!

God bless,

Twelve Ways Pets Have Changed the Friends' Lives

1.  Monica has learned to only put her coffee in covered mugs.  Otherwise, leaving it unattended for even a moment could lead to Liam's Conan downing the mocha and being a manic burst of fluffy energy for the remainder of the day.

2.  Andrew and JenniAnn have to pay close attention to Belle at dinner after she was caught pocketing her vegetables and
feeding them to Harvey.

3.  Isra and Behnam have to constantly reassure Pilot, their dog, whenever they take little Aurora from home.  Pilot's convinced that she's *his* baby.

4.  For the sake of preserving favored shirts, Andrew is sometimes required to wear a smock whenever he goes to the barn lest JenniAnn's goats tear and eat his majestic flannel.

5.  Kemara and Sean have to stock up on delectable cat treats as a peace offering to Warren who has to deal with curious, clasping toddler hands.

6.  Andrew has to constantly remind himself that cocoa is bad for dogs every time he eats red velvet cake as Lulu's and Fawn's imploring, pathetic doggie eyes stare up at him.

7.  Andrew and JenniAnn are bracing themselves for another tough conversation with Violeta as her sheep have begun to reproduce at an alarming rate.  For her own part, Violeta ecstatically documents each new lamb on a Facebook account she created specifically for the purpose.

8.  Adam had to begin making lamb-like substance after Violeta had a meltdown last Passover.

9.  Sy's heart was stolen by a scrappy, little stray mutt he named Esau on account of his abundance of fur.  As a result, Ivy and Sy adopted the pup together.  This has inspired Diana and Zeke to regularly chat about what wonderful parents the two will be to their eventual, non-furry grandbabies.

10.  The little kids may have gotten "the birds and the bees" talk a little sooner than their parents wanted in thanks to Violeta's sheep...

11.  When Andrew overhears JenniAnn talking about her "sweet, beloved boy," he's never quite sure if it's about him... or Yonah.

12.  They all feel even more love than they did before and daily thank the Father and Joshua for their furry friends! 

Another Glimpse Into the Dyeland Finale That Wasn't...

This section actually wasn't integrated into the rest of the original Dyeland finale which makes me think I wrote it right before abandoning the idea.  Reading it over, I think this finds the Dyeland folks most "in character" compared to how they are now.  I like to think seeing that made me think it was foolish and even wrong to have an "in the wings" finale, ready to be tacked on whenever I get bored.  They deserve better than that.  But since I do like this piece (minus the married LJA) and the dogs have woken up, here we go...

Sometime in the future...

JenniAnn paced the hallways.  She eventually found the chapel and took a seat.  Kneeling, she said a prayer on behalf of the one person who could not be there.  And the one person who most wanted to. 

“God…  Father, please grant her the strength to pull through this.  Heal her.  I… I know you love her but… Vincent loves her, too.  He needs her here.  I can’t imagine his life with out hers.  So… just don’t take her Home yet.  Please don’t.”  The woman sobbed for a few moments then whispered some of the hardest words she’d ever said.  “Thy will be done.”

Before exiting the chapel and heading back to the oncology waiting room, she glanced down at her hand and twisted her wedding ring around her finger.  She couldn’t imagine being with out Eliot.  She couldn’t imagine being Vincent right now…


Vincent sat silently in his favorite chair.  He gazed down at his hands, specifically at the carved white rose that rested in his palm.  Catherine had given it to him years ago and he had worn it around his neck every day since then.  Whenever he looked at it, it gave him hope.  Hope that had been vital in the past weeks.  Unable to stop them, a flood of memories came to him.  It had all started only weeks ago.

A call on the pipes had told Vincent that Catherine had come Below.  He wondered why as he ran back to their chamber and prayed it had nothing to do with the throbbing in his head.  Two years previously she had quit the D.A.’s office and taken a part-time job at a women’s shelter.  Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning she left him at 7:30.  She seldom returned until after 5:00.  Her coming Below at half past 10:00 meant something very serious.  Vincent had slowed as he approached the room.  He’d found her laying on the bed.  JenniAnn was handing her a heated cloth which she pressed to her head.

“Catherine?  What is wrong?” he’d asked.  JenniAnn left then, lightly brushing his arm as she did.  Drawing closer to Catherine, he’d realized tears were running down her face.

“A headache like I could have never imagined…  came on so quickly…” Catherine whispered. 

Vincent pulled her into his arms and sat silently with her until it passed.

It happened again a few days later.  That weekend was terrible.  But nothing could have prepared them for that following Monday.  JenniAnn had accompanied Catherine to a doctor’s appointment Above since Vincent could not. 

Vincent had sat then in the same chair he now found himself in.  As he’d sat there her fear and worry had come into his own being.  He knew in that moment what his cousin and his wife, the woman who meant all the world to him, were hearing just then.  When they’d returned it was all verified on their tear-stained faces.  A brain tumor.  The date for an operation that would hopefully save his Catherine’s life was set. 

The night before Catherine, JenniAnn, and Eliot had gone Above.  Before they left, Vincent had held Catherine so tightly.  “I love you,” he’d whispered over and over.  She responded in kind each time.  Then he watched the three leave and prayed it would not be the last time he saw her.

Now he could only sit and wait for word.  He felt nothing through their bond.  He supposed the sedative she had been administered caused it.  Whether this was a blessing or curse, Vincent could not say.  Yva came in and sat a cup of tea beside him.  She squeezed his hand but said nothing, not wanting to interrupt his silent prayer vigil.

Vincent glanced at the clock.  Fifteen minutes into the surgery.  He thought of the first time he’d seen her.  He remembered the lightness and the warmth of her in his arms as he’d carried her Below that first time, hoping his father could save her life.  The first time she’d told him she loved him.  Their first kiss and every other kiss that had followed it.  He remembered them all as he prayed for her.


JenniAnn was sitting beside Eliot in the waiting room again.  An envelope rested in her lap.  She traced the name so lovingly written on the outside.  C-a-t-h-e-r-i-n-e.  It was the letter Vincent had given her to read to Catherine if… The woman began to cry and her hands shook.

“It won’t come to that.  It can’t, lady,” Eliot whispered and hugged her.  But as he said it a nurse came rushing in.  Felicity was a Helper and she stooped in front of JenniAnn.

“I think you better come, honey,” she said softly.

Preternaturally calm suddenly, JenniAnn followed her.  The operating room was a flurry of activity as the doctors still strove to return life to her cousin.  JenniAnn opened the envelope and began to read aloud.


Vincent still stared at the clock.  He blinked.  Then again.  The hands had ceased to move.  Next thing he knew, a soft light filled the chamber.

“Andrew,” he exclaimed, not quite believing it.  He’d not seen the angel since he’d adopted Abby.  He looked older but it was unmistakably him.

Andrew smiled.  “Yes, Vincent.  The Father sent me to you because He knows you need an angel now.  And a friend.”

“I had thought perhaps Adam…”

Andrew looked uncomfortable for a moment.  “Adam is with…”

“Catherine,” Vincent finished, a tremor in his voice.  “She’s going to d--.”  He couldn’t finish the word.  “Andrew, I cannot live with out her.  I cannot breathe…  I cannot… I cannot…”  He began to sob.

Andrew knelt in front of the chair to be level with the man’s eyes.  “I don’t know what will happen but I do know that no matter what, your Catherine will live and you will see her again, Vincent.  You will.  And I also know that I’ve been sent here to deliver a gift from God.  The gift of time, Vincent.”

Vincent brushed at some tears and looked up at the angel’s friendly, compassionate eyes.


“My dearest, Catherine,” JenniAnn read, a strength and calm not her own speaking through her.  “You have meant everything to me.  No words can ever express to you the depth of all I feel for you.  All I will always feel for you.  Whatever happens today, wherever you may go… you will be with me and I with you.”

With those words, the woman froze.  The doctors all stopped.  The beeping and the metallic sounds of medical instruments against each other ceased.  In a moment the entire room was empty save Catherine, Vincent, Andrew, and Adam.

“Speak to her, Vincent,” Andrew whispered.  “She can hear you.  Tell her all you wanted her to hear.”

Vincent knelt beside the operating table.  Catherine looked only to be sleeping.  He gently took her hand in his.  “I love you, Catherine.  I’ve told you every day since the first.  I thought it every hour, every minute, every second.  Now I find myself wishing I had said it even more.  Thank you, my love, for being a part of my life.  For being the best part of my life.  You gave me hope and light, truth and beauty.  I only hope I gave you everything you needed, everything you wished for.  If I did not… I am so sorry, Catherine.  I love you so and I will always be grateful for the life we have.  I will never forget a moment of it.  I love you.  I love you.  I love you,” he repeated over and over.  He kissed her and then rested his head against the mattress.  Then came a feeling of peace.  When he opened his eyes he found himself back in his chamber.  Andrew sat near him, his head bowed in prayer.  Vincent prayed too.  He prayed in thanksgiving for all that God had blessed him with through Catherine, especially the chance to tell her himself what he’d wished for her to hear.


“We have a pulse!” someone shouted. 

JenniAnn stopped reading.  She searched for Felicity.  The woman was smiling. 

“Go, send word to Vincent!” she cried happily.

JenniAnn nodded, ecstatic, and turned to leave.  Before she did she felt someone squeeze her hand.  Turning back, she saw Adam.  He winked at her, nodded, and disappeared.


I could totally see parts of that still happening... but with Andrew and Brittony alongside their respective partners.  Anyway...

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye whose inspiration has kept me going with JABB even when Leo and his antics take up good chunks of time!

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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.)