"The things that have always been important: to be a good man, to try to live my life the way God would have me,
to turn it over to Him that His will might be worked in my life, to do my work without looking back,
to give it all I've got, and to take pride in my work as an honest performer." ~~ Johnny Cash

Hi all,

This past Wednesday, January 31st, would have been John Dye's 55th birthday.  As I reflected on what his life meant to so many people, I realized anew how many lessons... profound and silly... I've learned from him.  So, in his honor, I'm going to list 55 of those lessons. 

God bless,

Fifty Five Lessons I Learned from John Dye, His Work, and His Legacy
(in no particular order)

1.  What a bunch of biblical characters' names are in Aramaic.  (Dyeland stories)

2.  William Wordsworth poems can make a person feel swoony.  ("Stealing Hope")

3.  How to make web pages.  (JABB)

4.  How to take stills from DVDs.  (JABB)

5.  “Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”  ~~John Donne, Meditation XVII - Meditation 17 (Doc Hock, Tour of Duty)

6.  Grits are yummy.  (My John-inspired Southern adventures)

7.  A coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.  (John, his mom, and Touched by an Angel)

8.  Pippin is a weird, weird musical!  (Per news reports, the song "Corner of the Sky" was performed at John's funeral so it made me want to see the whole musical.  It's... something!  But, seriously, the music is good.)

9.  Back in Puritan days, it wasn't uncommon for daughters to carry the suffix Jr. if named for their mothers.  (Dyeland stories)

10.  It's pretty much impossible to listen to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" without feeling at least a little choked up.  (John Dye's appreciation of John Cale who performed one of the most popular versions and the Emmys' In Memorium.)

11.  Pocket watches are super cool.  (TBAA)

12.  Music really does soothe a troubled soul.  (In the days following John's death, I had a playlist that I listened to on a loop.  It really helped.)

13.  Along those lines, sometimes you just need to listen to a sad song (or several) and let it all out.  ("Last Dance")

14.  Even seeing John portray a lovelorn reptilogist is NOT gonna get me over my phobia of snakes.  (Murder She Wrote- "A Nest of Vipers")

15.  Sometimes it's not so easy to decide which action is the most moral.  (Tour of Duty)

16.  Frappuccinos are crazy good.  ("Random Acts")

17.  Converse Chuck Taylors will never not be cool.  (Campus Man)

18.  If you have a friend who describes a situation in one way and an acquaintance who describes the opposite and you know your friend to be reliable, truthful, and moral... maybe trust your friend over the acquaintance.  Or not.  And let everything devolve into chaos.  ("The Journalist"...  Grrr.)

19.  Friends don't let friends get into bar fights alone.  (Best of the Best)

20.  Flannel is your friend.  (TBAA)

21.  Sometimes you just need the drama of red and black.  (Mother, Mother)

22.  Bachelor auctions are creepy... but make for fun TV.  ("My Dinner with Andrew")

23.  Plato never sounded so good as when a cute Southerner in a tux riffs on him.  ("My Dinner with Andrew")

24.  Mimes aren't always annoying... sometimes they're very attractive.  ("Voice of an Angel")

25.  When John sported a full beard, he kind of looked like Art Jesus and the result was very confuzzling to a teenaged girl.  (Sioux City)

26.  Don't trust Morgan Fairchild.  ("My Dinner with Andrew" AND Campus Man)

27.  You meet lots of very interesting people on buses.  (My first sojourn to the South)

28.  Don't judge a man by his shoes.  Yes, they may be goofy shoes but you may end up crushing on said man for decades.  ("The One That Got Away")

29.  A scene of a man shaving can have the ability to rip your heart out.  (Tour of Duty- "A Bodyguard of Lies")

30.  Sometimes failure is just a gateway to a new opportunity or adventure.  ("Beautiful Dreamer")

31.  An art museum is a great place to go when you just need to pull yourself together and figure out what you're doing.  ("Here I Am")

32.  You never fully realize how much of an impact someone had on you until the veil between life and death comes down. 

33.  Sometimes dissatisfaction can be an impetus for creativity.  (Dyeland stories post-TBAA)

34.  When you're distressed or hurt, it's okay to step away, take a few moments, and consult with the One Who Made You.  ("Feather on the Breath of God")

35.  Boys have emotions, too.  And that's a very good thing.  (Numerous TBAA episodes... just wish Monica and Tess had consistently remembered this.)

36.  One very attractive angel of death can unite people from around the world in mutual swooniness.  (TBAA)

37.  I hold grudges.  (Seriously!  I never realized how capable I was of this until I think about how I'm still mad at Monica for her behavior in "The Journalist" and Tess for hers in "The Violin Lesson.")

38.  Turquoise and brown really pop when worn together.  ("The Sign of the Dove")

39.  Even people you adore look creepy when they do that eerie sliding movement a la Bram Stoker's Dracula.  ("Have You Seen Me?)

40.  Sometimes standing up for what you believe in means you stand alone.  (Tour of Duty)

41.  Try not to hold grudges (unless they're against fictional people, see #37) because you don't know if you'll lose the chance to make amends.  (Mother, Mother)

42.  Good characters can be extremely interesting.  (TBAA- I've heard the sentiment that villains are more interesting than moral heroes but Andrew fascinated me.  8.5 years of TBAA and countless stories written and his psyche still alludes me!)

43.  Billie Holiday is amazing!  I knew of her pre-"God Bless the Child" but hadn't ever really listened to her music.  That episode got me interested.

44.  Orange juice and ginger ale are a yummy combination.  ("The Sign of the Dove")

45.  Writing makes your Google search history super creepy-seeming.  (Dyeland stories)

46.  Sometimes radical change is good.  (TBAA.  I was upset when Adam left.  And Andrew caught me off-guard but then...)

47.  You can never hear "God loves you" too many times.  (TBAA)

48.  Good isn't always nice.  True, The Chronicles of Narnia also taught me this but I think seeing Andrew sometimes react angrily really drove home for me that being good can sometimes mean pitching a holy fit.

49.  If you're on a date and find yourself imagining what it would be like if Andrew was your date instead... maybe you're not ready to date.  (Life :-)

50.  Human sexuality is a whole lot more complicated than I imagined.  (Dyeland stories.  Prior to trying to figure Andrew and JenniAnn out, I knew next to nothing about asexuality, aromanticism, demisexuality, and much more.  I'm sure John would be super happy to know he contributed to my first non-Catholic Church approved sex ed.  Ha!)

51.  Button forgetfulness is a beautiful thing.  (TBAA)

52.  Sometimes silly teenage crushes are so much more.

53.  When you're grieving and just can't even put thoughts into words, just pray.  God doesn't care how you sound.  He just wants to hold you close.

54.  After a loss, things may never be the same but that doesn't mean they'll be awful.  Just different.

55.  "There are possibilities for goodness in a world that's very filled with turmoil."  ~~John Dye

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for imparting these 55 lessons and many more to me and to all of his many fans.

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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; Best of the Best and owned by Best of the Best Films, Kuys Entertainment, SVS Films, and The Movie Group Inc.; and Tour of Duty and owned by New World Television and Braun Entertainment Group.  They are not being used to seek profit.)