“Fantasy is hardly an
escape from reality. It's a way of understanding
~~ Lloyd Alexander
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.
PS- I didn't actually reread what follows. I will when
I feel better. So apologies if it's beyond
Yet Another Glimpse Into the Dyeland Finale
(continued from JABB
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
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
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
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
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,
Adam smirked. “It’s okay, Tess. I’m sure the other guy looks
much worse. Right, Andr…” Adam stopped cold after hearing a
Andrew moved towards them then, revealing the car seat he was
“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
“The first night is always rough,” JenniAnn told him
“She wouldn’t take her bottle. I mean she’d be fine for a few
seconds then stop and start crying and…” Andrew confided,
“Well, may be it’s just not the right kind of nipple for the
“There’s more than one kind?”
“Oh yeah! Different shapes and materials. May be she needs one
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
“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.
“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
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
“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
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
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
“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
“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
“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’
“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,”
“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,
“I would love that,” Andrew managed. He hugged her then and
she put a hand on his shoulder as she started up with “The
Just as she finished the last verse, Andrew and Abby
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!