“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.”
~~ Lloyd Alexander

Hi all,

I seem to have caught some sort of bug and have been down for the count all weekend.  I seriously considered skipping a newsletter due to illness for the first time ever but then I decided to just go with the idea of not feeling quite right.  So I present another glimpse into the Dyeland finale that wasn't.  Consider it a belated Friday the 13th newsletter maybe.

God bless,

PS- I didn't actually reread what follows.  I will when I feel better.  So apologies if it's beyond awful. 

Yet Another Glimpse Into the Dyeland Finale That Wasn't...
(continued from JABB 485)

Andrew got Abigail to sleep after giving her the bottle JenniAnn fixed. Then the two adults ate their meal in stunned silence punctuated only by a few questions.

“What do you think will happen now, Andrew?” JenniAnn asked.

Andrew looked up from the muffin he’d been picking apart more than actually eating. “I wish I knew. I mean… I’m sure I will soon. I should go check on her.”

JenniAnn nodded and watched him leave the kitchen and head up to the nursery where Abigail lay in Avi’s pram. She washed up the dishes they’d used and then headed upstairs to check on both infants and the beleaguered angel. She stepped inside and checked on Avi who slept soundly. Then she fixed her eyes on Andrew.

The angel gazed at the perfect little girl. He reached down and softly stroked the downy hair on her head. JenniAnn swore the baby smiled in her sleep. She shifted her focus back to Andrew who bore a look of absolute love on his face . Slowly, she backed away and left the room. “As if I'm not hormonal enough... now this...” she muttered, swiping at tears once she was safely in the hall. She remembered the look on Elliot's face when he‘d first held Avi. The expression on Andrew's face was so near it. But to what end? That baby was not his. She couldn't bear to see her friend's heart broken. She was so lost in her emotions she nearly collided with someone. Surprised, she looked up.

“Kelly!” she exclaimed upon seeing an angel she’d only met once before. Kelly had lived among humans for years when she had chosen to raise a child as her own.

Kelly smiled at JenniAnn and then made her way to the nursery.


JenniAnn brushed at tears in her eyes and looked intently at Obadiah. “And that’s the day Andrew, angel of death, became Andrew Perth, deep cover angel. He picked Perth because that’s a character in Moby Dick,” she related with a grin but then grew serious. “Kelly spoke to him. Told him God would allow him to raise the child if he so desired. And he did. It was obvious from the moment he saw her… I was so proud of him. But… worried, heartbroken even. He was… Andrew! Always the same. Immortal. Unchangeable. Or nearly so. But we all knew… he couldn’t raise a child and remain perpetually 33! He’d end up on some talk show or in a lab or… I was naïve to not realize… he wouldn’t. He would age. Or seem to anyway. And hardest of all… how could he raise little Abby amongst his friends? How do you explain to a teenage Abby why Aunt Monica looks exactly the same as she did in the photos of Abby’s first birthday? Or why Uncle Adam for a while looked considerably older than Dad but now… not so much? August 12th, 2015. The day I most respected him. On that day, for love of a child, he gave up his friends, his Home, and the forever-young, forever-healthy body that had been his.” JenniAnn looked down at her hands folded in her lap for a few moments.

Obadiah had grown more patient in the telling of this story and allowed her that quiet moment though he had several more appointments that day. “Thank you for that. It was exactly what I was looking for,” he smiled warmly.

The woman brushed the last of her tears away and managed a bright smile. “Are we done then?”

Obadiah nodded. “Yes, thank you for your time. If you’ll just step through that arch there, you’ll find yourself back in your own home.”

“Thanks. Oh… umm, may be this isn’t my business but… what’s with this? Is Andrew… I mean… nothing’s going to change, right? Because Abby still needs him and…” Her words rushed out, uninhibited.

Obadiah looked kindly at her. “We always do evaluations every so many years, it’s standard policy.”

JenniAnn felt more at ease and turned and left.

Obadiah scribbled some notes and then waited for a few moments. He was glad that his next assignment was a fellow angel. He found humans draining.

Monica walked through the arch all smiles and with a cup of coffee in either hand. “I brought you a little something since I knew you’d be here for a while.” She held one of the cups out to Obadiah. “French vanilla cappuccino with a shot of amaretto?”

Obadiah smiled gratefully and nodded. “You remembered.”

“Always good the know the preference of an angel that does evaluations,” she answered with a wink and sly smile.

Obadiah laughed and sipped his coffee.

“So… I admit I’m not quite sure why I’m here. I’ve not seen much of Andrew lately. He does send me letters about the little one… I guess she’s not so little now.” Monica gave a small, nostalgic smile.

“Actually I was hoping you could tell me about those first days. About how he told everyone. How did they end up leaving Dyeland?” Obadiah looked hopefully at the angel.

Monica sighed and brushed some of her long auburn hair away from her face. Obadiah saw then that her eyes were misted with tears. “The Celtic people have a great reverence for circles. Time, for them, is a circle. Life itself is a circle. That was never more clear to me than in those days.” She paused for a moment, remembering. “Once, after my promotion, I’d stood beside Andrew in a field and told him good bye. But I knew then it was truly more of a ‘see you soon though not as soon as usual.’ But that second time…” Monica shook her head and forced a smile. “I should start at the beginning. The morning I found out about Abby. August 13th, 2015.”


Suspense hung over Monica’s Café. The day before a very vague JenniAnn had left messages at the angels’ homes in Dyeland saying they had to be at the Café that morning if at all possible. So now she and several of her remaining Dyeland friends sat with Tess, Monica, and Adam at a large table.

“Baby, would you just tell us what this is about? And where is the little one?” Tess asked.

“Avi is with Elliot and his parents. And I want to tell you the news, I do. But it’s not mine to…” She went silent when the door opened. Despite the drama of the moment she stifled a giggle when Andrew appeared. His shirt was misbuttoned and a baseball cap had been hastily thrown over unbrushed hair.

“Angel Boy!” Tess cried. “I know you have the day off but this…” She wrinkled her nose as she eyed his mismatched, crumpled ensemble.

Adam smirked. “It’s okay, Tess. I’m sure the other guy looks much worse. Right, Andr…” Adam stopped cold after hearing a baby’s cry.

Andrew moved towards them then, revealing the car seat he was carrying.

“I thought you said Avi was with his father?” Miss Miriam asked JenniAnn who sat nervously biting her lip.

“That’s not Avi,” Lady Beth answered briefly and then looked with concern at Andrew who gently set the car seat on the table and plopped down into a chair. He nodded hello to all his friends.

“The first night is always rough,” JenniAnn told him sympathetically.

“She wouldn’t take her bottle. I mean she’d be fine for a few seconds then stop and start crying and…” Andrew confided, miserable.

“Well, may be it’s just not the right kind of nipple for the bottle.”

“There’s more than one kind?”

“Oh yeah! Different shapes and materials. May be she needs one that…”

Adam’s eyes were starting to glaze over. “Are you two trying to write ‘Top ten conversational subjects you never thought you’d hear an AOD discuss’?”

“Adam… I think you’re missing the point,” Monica whispered.

“Angel Boy… explain this,” Tess demanded.

Andrew paused and took a deep breath which gave Adam time to jump in.

“Well, you see Tess when a Mommy human and a Daddy human love each other very, very much…”

Tess glared at him. “You hush up! Andrew, tell me what’s going on, please, baby.” Her voice softened as she addressed the blonde angel of death.

While Andrew got Abby out of her car seat and held her and tried to soothe her, he told the angels about his assignment in Caelum and all that had followed. He told them of Kelly’s visitation and his message from the Father.

“So what you’re telling us is this wee baby girl here is yours?” Monica asked.

Andrew nodded and, as if on cue, Abby grew quiet and content. “Yeah, she is.” He beamed down at the tiny infant and stroked her little tuft of hair. “Actually, there’s something that I’ve not told any of you. Something I learned last night.” Andrew’s voice sped up, us if he wanted to get this next part over with as quickly as possible. “We’re actually leaving here at the end of the week. Since I won’t be able to continue my AOD duties, I’ll be working at a shelter in Detroit. There’s an apartment ready for us and… I guess we’re set.”

There was silence then as everyone digested this.

“But we’ll be able to visit you when we can, right?” Jess asked, first to recover the ability to speak.

“Yes, you all,” Adam answered. “But not us.” He waved to indicate himself, Monica, and Tess.

“No!” JenniAnn gasped.

Andrew looked sadly at those gathered around the table. “Abby is to grow up as any another child. With hopes, fears, dreams, questions, doubts… She… she can’t know what I’ve given up. Can you imagine the burden that would place on a child? To know… to know…” Andrew was cut off by a sob. Tess moved beside him and wrapped her arms around him and baby Abby.

Monica tearfully picked it up. “She can’t know that her father gave up Home in paradise, eternal youth, and health. And to see us… never changing save a hairstyle there and may be a beard or moustache on Adam, it would give the secret away.” She reached across the table and took Andrew’s free hand.

“Y-you’re in human form right now!” Jess exclaimed.

Andrew nodded. “And so I will be until…”

Karen looked at him in alarm. “Until when, Andrew?”

He shrugged and looked again at his baby. “Until the Father calls me Home, I guess.”

“You could die?!?” JenniAnn demanded, standing up and beginning to pace wildly. Lady Beth tried to pull her gently back to the table but she shook her off.

“No. No, I won’t die. I’m immortal still. My appearance will change, yes. But no, I will never die. Think of this like a very long assignment. All assignments end, it’s just this one… I don’t even know when it will. Most parents don’t know when they’ll leave their children.” He gave a sad smile.

Miss Miriam cuddled her baby, William James, to her upon hearing this and kissed his hair. Adam, too, seemed deeply effected by Andrew’s words.

Andrew looked directly at Adam then who had gone silent. “Adam, please don’t think I dislike being an angel of death. I love it. This decision… it was the easiest and hardest of my life all at once. I hate leaving a job that means so much to me. Last night, when I was up with Abby… I kept thinking of the day I got promoted. About how excited I was to be an angel of death. To lead people Home. And of all I’ve learned in doing that and the joy at seeing people’s faces when they entered Heaven. And the difficult parts… talking to you helped me through them so often. You don’t have to but it would mean a lot to me if you would give me your blessing. All of you.” He scanned the three angels’ faces.

“Of course you have it, Angel Boy,” Tess answered.

Monica nodded assent. “I’m so proud of you, Andrew. Abby is truly blessed to have you.”

Andrew looked to Adam then. His fellow angel of death brushed a few tears from his eyes. “Of course you have my blessing. Just…”

“Thank you. All of you. Adam, what is it?” Andrew prompted.

Adam inhaled deeply then smiled. “Can I hold the baby?”

Andrew beamed. “Of course!” He carefully transferred Abby into Adam’s waiting arms. Everyone watched with tearful smiles as Adam cooed and cuddled the baby. Then they began to plan the next week, their last week together. At some point Adam wandered a few feet away with Abby. Andrew glanced over and saw his friend whispering something to the infant. He figured it was a benediction of some sort. Or perhaps an off-color joke. Either way, Andrew hoped that memory of his friend would stick with his daughter as she grew up.


A week had come and gone. Everyone spent as much time as they possibly could with Andrew and Abby. Especially his angelic friends. Gloria had been on assignment that morning when the others had met in the Café. She’d found out later that night. She had taken it reasonably well and proved an unrelenting source of information on early childhood development. Gloria had also been the one to point out that surely keeping in touch with Andrew via email and letters wouldn’t impact the little one. It was a measure of comfort that day when all of Dyeland’s residents, angels and human, had gathered in the Fields of Gold for a farewell. There was a picnic lunch which everyone shared merrily. But, as the day grew longer, melancholy settled over the group. Finally, at half past six, Andrew stood up from the picnic table he’d been seated at. Monica, kneeling beside Abby in her stroller, looked up at him. He met her eyes then looked away and blinked back tears as he surveyed the crowd.

“I, uh, guess it’s time to be going,” he announced.

An impromptu line formed at his words. Everyone took turns telling him good bye.

JenniAnn, carrying Avi, and Elliot stepped up. Andrew patted his namesake’s head gently and then looked up at the boy’s parents. JenniAnn only cried and hugged him and Abby. She was too overcome to speak.

“You let us know if there’s anything we can ever do for you. God knows you’ve done a lot for us,” Elliot told the angel. “You’re only half a day’s car ride away.”

“Thanks, means a lot. I’ll really miss you. JenniAnn, may be you can come visit and help me with trick-or-treating and costumes when Abby’s old enough for it? I won’t deprive her of the experience but I know I’ll need some help there,” Andrew suggested, trying to lighten the mood.

JenniAnn managed a laugh through her tears. “I’d like that a lot. Good bye Andrew. Good bye Abby.” Then Elliot softly coaxed his wife away and Gloria stepped to where they’d been.

“Gloria…” Andrew smiled.

Gloria jumped into a lecture, clearly fighting emotion. “You just be sure to read up on immunizations and preschools and if you get pressed for time just let me know and I’ll… I’ll…” Her calm façade broke and Gloria removed her glasses as the lenses grew streaky with tears. “I’m going to miss you so much, Andrew,” she cried and hugged him fiercely.

“I’ll miss you, too,” he responded and took her hands in his. “I just want you to know I’m so proud of you. You’ve come such a long way. There’s something I never told you. In the time shortly before you were born… there were times I’d begin to feel let down, jaded even. But then when you came along… you made me remember what it was like to see everything as new and exciting. You gave me hope, Gloria. Thank you.”

Gloria was surprised to find herself with out words. She only smiled and moved into another hug then slowly walked away, Andrew’s words echoing in her mind.

Next came Miss Miriam with William James toddling besides her and her husband, Neil. Andrew stooped to tousle the little boy’s hair. “You take care of your mommy and daddy, okay?”

William James gurgled happily and peeked at Abby. “Andu’s baby?”

Andrew beamed. “Yes and I’m going to take care of her and love her just like your mommy and daddy do you, William James.” The toddler grinned then reached up his arms to his father.

Neil held the boy as Miss Miriam said good bye to her longtime friend. She took a couple paces towards Andrew and just looked quietly into his eyes for a moment. Then she suddenly reached out and hugged him. “Oh Andrew, thank you for all the time you’ve spent with us here.”

“I’ve treasured my time here. Thank you for the times you’ve comforted me, Miss Miriam.”

She nodded. “I do know you’ll do very well with this next part of your life. You have always been so caring and compassionate. I am sure you’ll be quite the father to this little one.” She glanced down at Abby with a smile but then back to Andrew.

“I hope so,” Andrew answered, his voice becoming husky with the emotion of these good byes. Miss Miriam squeezed his hand then stepped away with Neil and William James.

Jess, all ready misty-eyed, stepped forward. She also hugged Andrew tightly. “You’ve been a great fishing partner, Andrew. I’ll miss you for that and so many other reasons.”

“I’ll always remember when you took me fishing after my disagreement with Nadia about her wedding. It really helped me. I can’t believe… I won’t be here to fish with you any more.” His eyes began to flood with tears. “I remember watching our fish swim away and thinking in some way it represented all of you. That you’d eventually leave here. Find your own place. I’d still be Andrew, angel of death. But… I never guessed I’d be the one leaving.”

“Me neither. But to leave for such a reason…” She knelt and let Abby hold one of her fingers. Jess looked up at Andrew. “You’ll have to teach her how to fish, you know. I hope one day, on Earth, I’ll find my own place with a little lake and… there will always be a place for you both there.”

“Th-thank you,” Andrew answered, nodding. When Abby released Jess’ finger and the woman stood up, Andrew hugged her and with a whispered good bye, she joined the others who had finished their adieus.

Sam hugged his former protégé.

“Sam… who knows where I’d be today with out you? Possibly still in the woods behind the Garrett farm,” Andrew smiled.

“That was one of my proudest days, Andrew. I was so proud of you as your case working supervisor and knew you’d be a fine angel of death to Abraham. And you have been to each case you’ve had since. Now, with your latest assignment, if Abby makes you even half as proud as you made me… you will be richly blessed, Andrew.”

Andrew was so humbled and moved by Sam’s words he couldn’t speak but just nodded and returned Sam’s hug.

Nearly as soon as Sam had stepped away, Jennifer hugged Andrew. “I’ll miss seeing you around here so much,” she told him, her voice barely above a whisper.

“I’ll miss you, too, Jennifer,” he responded and patted her back. She stepped away and then a few yards off from where everyone else was and began to cry.

Slowly, Karen walked up to Andrew, not wanting to rush this moment.

“Karen,” Andrew greeted her with a wan smile. He held out his hand and she took it.

“Thanks, Andrew, for all your words of comfort in the past. Ya’ve been there for me when I needed you more times than I can say,” she tried to continue speaking through her rapidly falling tears. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she soldiered on. “I know some day an angel like you will take me Home. And… and I hope it is you,” she choked out.

“When it’s God’s time, I hope I will be there for you,” he answered.

Karen kissed his cheeks then and with one last look, walked away. Elliot handed her Avi to cuddle.

Henry smiled at Abby and then clapped Andrew on the back. “I’ll miss seeing you, Andrew, but I know you and Abby will have a life filled with joy. I always thought you would have been a good dad. Even back to when I saw you care for Hope in Shiloh I thought that.”

“Thank, Henry. I’ll really miss you, too. It won’t be the same not having the AOD Band.” Andrew smiled nostalgically.

Henry chuckled. “About that… make sure Abby never discovers that photo of you from the 80s. The mullet one, I mean.”

“I never had a mullet!” Andrew said defensively.

“It was pretty close…” Henry teased. But then they were both quiet. “Until next time,” Henry said, suddenly very serious.

Andrew nodded, hugged Henry, then took a deep breath to prepare himself for more farewells.

Jarrod, his former bodyguard, also hugged him. “Andrew, it’s been an honor and privilege to have spent time protecting you with Lady Beth for all these years. Now you have your own little angel to protect.” Jarrod smiled warmly at the child.

“I hope I do as well protecting her as you both have me.”

“You will, Andrew, you will,” Jarrod assured him before turning away.

Lady Beth had been cooing to Abby but stood up then. “If you ever need help, you know you can count on me, right?”

Andrew nodded. “Of course, Lady Beth. I know you’ve always been there for me.”

“If you have a disrespectful boss or Abby has a bully at school or… or anything I’ll be there, Andrew.”

“I know you will, Lady Beth. And that means a lot to me. It will to Abby, too,” he glanced at his daughter then back to Lady Beth. They hugged. “I will keep in touch, I promise you that,” Andrew whispered, knowing good byes were difficult for her.

“Thanks,” she whispered back. Then with a faint smile, she stepped away as the others had.

Monica stepped up next. Lines where tears had fallen were all ready evident on her face. “When I got promoted you gave me your pocket watch. During the assignments that followed, when I missed you so, I’d look at it and remember my friend with his sympathetic eyes and loving soul. I’d like you take to this. I hope it gives you as much comfort as your watch did me,” she murmured.

The last of Andrew’s reserve fell away as Monica withdrew a coffee mug from her bag. “Friends Forever” was printed on it with a small dove nestled inside the ‘o’.

“I won’t be able to meet for coffee with you any more but know that I’ll be with you in spirit as you take this journey. May you always know how wonderful you are, my friend.”

“Monica… I don’t know if I can…” Andrew whispered, starting to doubt himself.

“You can, you will. You’ll be an incredible father. After all, you’ve had nothing but the best as a role model. Good bye, Andrew.” She embraced him for a few moments, kissed Abby’s forehead then stepped away to join Gloria.

Adam’s turn came next. “You email me the second you find a gray hair, hear that?” he ordered with a smirk.

The joke made Andrew a little less sullen and he smiled and nodded.

“And I don’t care if it’s the ‘in thing’ or not, don’t let Abby wear strapless dresses or similar until she’s old enough,” he continued. “Even then…” he added warily.

“I won’t Adam. I definitely won’t,” Andrew agreed.

“And… and I’ll miss you. I’ll miss discussing assignments. But what you’re doing… it’s great, Andrew.” Adam shook his head in awe. “You take care of her.” Then he crouched down to look into Abby’s tiny face. “And you take care of your daddy.” Then, with a hug, Adam stepped away and went to Monica’s waiting arms. Andrew stooped down and picked up Abby who was beginning to fuss, seeming to sense her father’s distress.

Next thing Andrew knew he and Abby were enveloped in Tess’ warm embrace.

“You always remember I love you, Angel Boy. From the moment you were born I knew you would do great things. The Father loves you so much, baby, and He is infinitely proud of the decision you’ve made. And He loves you so much, too, Angel Boy’s Baby,” Tess tearfully smiled at Abby who cooed back happily. Tess removed the angel pin from her shirt and stuck it on Abby’s stroller. “So she knows she’s being watched over,” she explained.

“Tess… I love you, too. I’ve known you for as long as I can remember. I can’t imagine doing this with out you by my side,” Andrew admitted.

“I’ll be praying for you, Andrew. And in that way… a part of me will always be at your side, baby. Always,” she got out before tears began to cascade. “There’s nothing more I can say. Words fail me. I’d like to sing once more for you, though.”

“I would love that,” Andrew managed. He hugged her then and she put a hand on his shoulder as she started up with “The Rose.”

Just as she finished the last verse, Andrew and Abby disappeared.

The end... for now.

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for creating a character who is so "useful" in trippy, bug-induced dreams.  Poor, poor Andrew has had a run of it in my dreams/nightmares this weekend!

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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.)