|Fun with My
Supervisor's Camera Phone
February 22, 2013 by Violeta2011.
So Andrew won't let me have my own cell phone yet. "Maybe when you're sixteen... and don't ever text and drive!" But he did let me play with his phone when we were in Orlando. So here are some photos. (He said I couldn't upload any with people in them. "Better to be safe than sorry. You never know who might see something online, Violeta." He's very smart.)
The Islands of Adventure Panorama
A Friendly Bird
A dinosaur from the Jurassic Park area
Andrew loved this place and its food. :-)
The Cat in the Hat ride at Seuss Landing
Trufulla Trees also at Seuss Landing
Now my favorites...
The Three Broomsticks
We had breakfast there... before I got sick. The food wasn't to blame. It was great. The awful roller coaster wasn't.
A Hogsmeade Building
Hogwarts at Dusk
And a lot of flowers and plants...
They looked like my favorite: violets
I loved my first vacation!
May 6, 2012 by Violeta2011.
I guess I need to get back on the saddle, as they say. This is my first weekend working with Andrew since I went back Home. The assignments have been pleasant but it was awkward. I feel like the progress we made was washed away. Itís nothing he said or did. And I donít think heís angry with me. I feel like Iíve disappointed him and You. I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to serve You perfectly and make Andrew proud but I just donít understand humans. Sure, most of them have been nice. But how does one make sense of someone taking the life of another person? Iím not sure I belong down here. Yet I know You are always right in everything You do. Iím so confused.
Andrewís friends have been very kind to me since I came back. However, I can tell theyíre wary. They think Iím going to hurt their friend. The worst part is, I think I have. As much as I want to do Your will, I think Andrewís even more set on it. I tried to tell him it wasnít his fault that I struggled so with what we saw. Iím not sure he believed me. He blames himself for not being able to take my pain away. He is so good, so sensitive. I think maybe the hardest part of that assignment was seeing the tears well in his eyes when it started. He said heíd never met that man who was killed but he seemed to love him. I think thatís what I most want to learn from him: how to love them even without knowing them. And how to love them when they are known, foibles and all. But to do that, I need to stick with our assignments. I wonít ask to take any more breaks. I promise.
I think Iím going to see if Andrewís free for dinner. A talk would be good, I think.
April 2, 2012 by Violeta2011.
Youíd think Iíd be more comfortable with this coming from Records. It seems odd, though, to be typing my thoughts to You into this computer but Andrew said it might help. He said he does it sometimes and then it helps him to look back, to see how upset he was and yet how he overcame that, how the Father helped him to. Heís right about so muchÖ
I want to thank You for choosing Andrew as my supervisor. You know I was a little put off at first. I just couldnít understand what he was doing with all those girls hanging around him. Now I understand. They love him and he loves them. Theyíre Your gift to each other and Youíve given me a little of that gift, too. I do feel blessed.
Thatís not to say Iím not confused or annoyed sometimes. Iím sorry for that but I am, Father. Yesterday Andrew and I were in the poorest village Iíve ever set foot in. A woman had died during childbirth because of a lack of the most basic medical care. Her eldest daughter came into the school where Andrew and I were working, carrying the baby and hoping to enroll her younger sister. You know how Andrew is. He did more than get the little girl settled into the school. He talked to the older girl, listened to her as she mourned for her mother, and then he offered to let her sit in on classes, bringing the baby with her. Seeing the change that came over the girlÖ the wonder and the hopeÖ Father, Iíll never forget it.
Then today we were back in Dyeland and Andrew came across JenniAnn, halfway to hysterical, because her cousin and been pestering her. He hugged her and listened to her and got her laughing. After JenniAnn had gone to class and it was just the two of us, I asked Andrew how he could be so patient with her middling worries when only hours before heíd been counseling a girl with the weight of her whole family on her shoulders. He smiled gently and said ďPain is pain, Violeta. True, Adelinaís situation is much more dire. But both she and JenniAnn were hurting and God gave me the chance to ease their pain. So I did. I hope I always can do that for people. All the love He pours on usÖ doesnít it feel good to show it to others?Ē
As they say down hereÖ I want to be like him when I grow up.
And weíre backÖ
April 2, 2012 by Jenni.
Wow. I totally didnít realize that my last posting here was a year ago to the day. That seems appropriate.
Hereís the thing: Iím still having a hard time thinking of getting back to this. I decided that what made writing Andrew in first person so difficult was that I would imagine John as Andrew saying those wordsÖ how his voice would sound, what facial expressions he would have, when he would run his hand through his hair, when he would tilt his head, when his eye brow would raiseÖ And it was hard to imagine him in such detail and think I wonít see or hear any of that again until Iíve gone Home, too. Unfortunately, this hasnít changed. First person Andrew still seems daunting. But I miss writing about his assignments and how he cared for them. SoÖ until Iím able to get back to first person Andrew, Iím going to start doing entries as Andrewís protege, Violeta, and maybe even LJA. Theyíll write about Andrew but in their own words with their own mannerisms and then, hopefully, I can cope with that.
And for my first outing as VioletaÖ I have pumpkin pie and milk to help.
Authorís note from Jenni
April 2, 2011 by Jenni.
This is one area of JABBís web site that Iím having a really hard time carrying on with. Itís not that I donít want to. Frankly, this blog is really convenient for me when I need to look back and see what was happening for Andrew and the Dyelanders at a given time. So I donít want to give it up.
But maybe because itís so tied to Andrewís thoughts and assignments, aspects that are canonical TBAA and not apocryphal Dyeland, Iím just having a hard time beginning Andrewís first post following John Dyeís death. I kept telling myself that ďThis weekend Iím going to update Andrewís blogĒ but each weekend passes without it really seeming right.
Iím sure eventually Iíll feel up to it. Heck, maybe Iíll wake up tomorrow and decide thenís the time to carry on with this blog. But, then again, it could be several weeks out. I donít know.
The conclusion Iíve come to is this: there was most assuredly a John Dye without Andrew. And while he wasnít an angel, by all accounts John was a fellow human who we should be proud to consider one of our own. And I am.
But there was no Andrew without John Dye. I can think of John apart from Andrew. But I canít think of Andrew apart from John. And so itís just a little difficult to hop on here and try to give voice to the deepest parts of a character that only John could really bring to life without just feeling so sad.
And, to be honest, maybe part of my hang-up is that the last time I was so merrily typing away as Andrew, unbeknown to me, John was already dead. Reading that entry now, I donít even remember writing it. It seems written by another person, in another time.
So thatís where I am in this. Itíll come back at some point. I just donít know when. I just know Iím grateful to have been so inspired by John Dyeís work and to still feel that inspiration even if, for now, I need to take care with where I focus it.
The rest of 2010
January 10, 2011 by Andrew.
I wanted to take a few moments to thank You for some events that happened after West Hollow.
First, Iím grateful that the main part of my assignment there wrapped up in time to have a little Halloween party in Dyeland. I may still be ambivalent about the earthly celebration but it would have been a shame to miss out on the Tunnel kids in their carefully homemade costumes and seeing how thrilled they are by simple games and story telling. It also helped my mood to be surrounded by innocence and kindness.
I had a great time in Paris the week before Thanksgiving. I hope Brigette and Dorian have a full, long, love-filled life together. It was really great to have an assignment end so happily on this side.
Then came Thanksgiving in the Tunnels. William really outdid himself this year and I, for one, was happy to be well. More than once I caught some of my friends casting me wistful glances and I could tell they were thinking about Thanksgiving 2009. Thank You for giving us such a calm, happy celebration.
Then there was Christmas. Father, I pray that all my friends get the lives they want. And I hope that if thereís any way I can help bring those dreams around that You will let me know how and when. Theyíre good people, great friends and they deserve that. I hope one day I really do get to meet my nieces and nephews. I love them already and they donít even exist!
I know New Yearís Eve is always a busy time for us so I didnít expect to be able to spend any of it in Dyeland. So that hour was very appreciated and it felt really good to ring in a new year among friends. I hope itís an amazing one.
If my current assignment is any hint, I think itís going to be an interesting year assignment-wise. Vicís quite a character. There arenít too many people who would open a cafe/costume shop/used book store! Please help me to get him to trust me so I can help him to know Youíre there for him. I get the idea that he hides behind all these personas because heís afraid no one will like the real him. You and I both know thatís not the case. I hope soon he does, too.
January 9, 2011 by Andrew.
I think I should have made ďWrite in a timelier fashionĒ one of my resolutions. But I think I needed some time to think about West Hollow, maybe even needed to completely finish the assignment first.
My assignment in West Hollow was difficult for two different reasons: what I donít understand and what I understand far too well. Father, no matter how many assignments You give me, no matter how many eons passÖ I still donít understand how some human beings can be so cruel. During one of my visits back, Erica asked me to go with her when she had to testify. I saw Ted. And I saw that he still had absolutely no regard for her and not any regret for the pain he caused her and Ruby, April, Molly, Laura, Brigid, Taryn, and the townspeople, especially Jonah. I have seen terror. And I have seen shameÖ shame felt by victims who did absolutely nothing wrong. Iíve seen grief and desperation and it breaks my heart. When Erica was on the stand and crying as she recalled the rape, I wanted to hug her and tell her how proud I was of her and how loved she is. And Ted just sat there and glared and leered.
I believe with all my heart that those women will continue to be the strong, caring women theyíve always been. I know Youíre with them. I know Youíre with Ted, too. And maybe that makes it even more difficult for me to understand why there are men like him. Iím very grateful that I was able to help Erica, Jonah, and others in West Hollow but I dread ever having another assignment like that. Please help me, Father, when I do. I just want to do Your will and share Your love always. No matter how hard it is at times.
Thank You for allowing the girls to come. You and I both know that I wasnít happy about it at first but I know they were right and You were right. But knowing that doesnít make what I felt go away. Father, I feel like in some way Youíve entrusted them to me. And it doesnít feel the same as when You give me an assignment. This is different and deeper. I want to protect them. But I know that I canít always. Laja assured me that I protect the parts of her that are most important: her soul and her spirit. I hope I do for the others, too, when they need me to. But sometimes itís very, very difficult to know that I might not always be able to protect them physically. You know that one of the most difficult parts of being an angel of death is the inability to intervene. Sometimes itís nearly unbearable with assignments I havenít even met. But for it to be a friendÖ please, Father, help us if it ever came to that. I know You would never cause something like that to happen but free willÖ it can change things. I remember after I got promoted, You told me that sometimes it would be difficult to understand how people abuse that gift. It is. But You also said that there would be no love, no friendship without it. I hope I always remember that.
I know I might not see Jonah, Erica, and the others for a long time. I hope when I do that theyíre in even better places than they are now and I hope they still recognize that You are always with them and always loving them. From early October until Christmas Eve, You let me have a place in their lives. I feel really blessed that I was able to spend time with them. Iíll miss them but I know theyíre still in Your hands.
Before West Hollow
November 21, 2010 by Andrew.
I know I donít have to explain to You why I havenít written. Iíve already said so much but thereís more I want to say about what happened in West Hollow. First I wanted to take some time to remember what happened before You sent me there. Because I valued those assignments and those occasions with friends, too.
On the 20th my friends yet again spoiled me with their designated celebration of my birthday. They remembered how much I liked the clothes, patched with pieces of their own, they gave me when I was homeless. So they made a quilt for me. I took it with me to West Hollow but You knew I needed more than just a token of them. Thank You. And thank You for seeing to it that I was with them for the party. Iím not sure who would have been more upset to be separated on my birthday: them or me. Having Monica there made it even more special. Even though Tess couldnít be there, it meant so much that she called to sing to me. And the hockey stick from Raquel and Nico was really great. And useful.
Then I had my assignment with Cyril. Like I told Laja: thereís nothing quite like seeing an old man polka his way into Heaven! Thatís one of those assignments I wonít soon be forgetting.
Then came my gig as a postal worker in South Dakota. I hope April is continuing to look on the bright side when she can. I wasnít sure Iíd get through to her. That assignment reminded me of Max. It made me wish Monica and Tess were with me.
After I left April, You sent me to St. James Prep where I was a janitor. You know, I donít think Iíve ever had so much fun scrapping gum off desks. Ed was a character (still is) and I wish more people at the school would have appreciated him before it was too late to tell him. I know Youíve told him. And I know one day theyíll be able to. Thatís one of the great things about being an angel: knowing thereís always forever.
Next came my time as a convenience store clerk. That was difficult. Father, I still donít understand what causes people to harm others. Donít they think about what theyíre doing to those left behind? To You? I wish I could get through to more of them. But free willÖ itís an amazing gift. One of the most important. I wish all people recognized that and treated it as the chance to do good that it is.
You knew I needed some fun after that. And You must have thought my friends did, too. All these years as an angel and this was my first time as a hand model. Itís harder work than I realized! And now I get to spend a good, long time watching my friends flip through magazines looking for my hands. 0:-) At least I got Bernadette to realize that she needs to take some time off for herself and for her health. I really enjoyed my time with her but, for her sake, I hope I donít see her again for a long time!
It was great to spend a day at the Phoenix again at the end of September. Every time I see Crystal she seems even more sure of herself and stronger. And JasonÖ that kid is going places! Catherine and her staff are doing amazing work. I hope their new addition fits in well. You know, Iím really glad You created dogs.
BennieÖ Father, Iím still not sure what I think about her return last month. Iím angry at her for upsetting Rose and Laja. I donít think itís fair that she ran away before hearing us out completely. But when I think about herÖ mostly I feel sad. I feel like she needs us now. But how can you help someone who has made it clear they donít want you around? As I wrote that, it occurred to me that You must feel that sometimes. Itís not easy. If thereís anything You want me to do for Bennie: Iím here.
After that I spent some time behind the counter at Billís Book Bazaar. I may not have gotten many customers but at least I got some reading done. So is Bill still trying to find Shakespeare and Dante and his other favorite authors? I wish I was There for those conversations!
Then came Oct. 8th when I started my assignment in West Hollow. I donít want to write about that right now. Some of the girls will be here soon. But thank You for giving me that evening away from it on the 10th so I could help celebrate Adamís birthday. Thank You for Adam, period.
September 12, 2010 by Andrew.
I know I have to meet my assignment inÖ 13 minutes. But I didnít want to keep putting this off. I tried to share with You how grateful I was for so much during the cruise. But in case I forgot anything, I wanted to do this. I think the girlsí penchant for lists is rubbing off.
Thank You for:
-the talk with Yva and Rose and CJ and Lady Beth and Laja. I feel like a great weight has been lifted from me. And I know they felt better after it, too.
-true love shared by two truly great people.
-red velvet cake
-eye linerÖ especially when used to pull a prank on Tess
-a chance to dance with all my friends
-Adamís creativity and friendship
-the sea turtle
-free ice cream
-knowing that those who die are never really gone
-knowing Tess is happy for us and with us
-the chance to help Erica
-getting another chance to be friends with Monica
-knowing Raquel will be happy and never lonely
-good friends who will come to me when they need to talk and will be there for me when I need to
Buttons the Clown
September 6, 2010 by Andrew.
Once again Iíve managed to get very behind on this. But I canít complain. Youíve kept me busy. And happily busy.
I want to write about the cruise and all that followed. I feel very, very blessed and I think one day I might want to look back on my thoughts from soon after. However, I had some great assignments before that and I donít want to skip over them. We also had some big events in Dyeland and I donít feel right skipping past them, either.
June 30th was Vincentís and Catherineís 3rd wedding anniversary. There was a party Below. Itís been wonderful watching their love for each other grow and Iím glad we had a reason to celebrate it. It was a lot of fun because this was the first time Jacob was really old enough to enjoy the party and even understand the meaning behind it a little.
Then we celebrated July 4th with fireworks and a cook-out. The kids were thrilled.
In mid-July I had that assignment with Brigid in Dublin. What a great lady! Iíll have to show off some of the step-dancing I learned from her when Monica stops by again. I hope Colleenís doing alright without her aunt to guide her. I mean I know Brigidís still watching over her. So are You. Thank You. Itís always easier to leave someone behind when I know You never do.
Letís seeÖ on the 20th of July we had a low key party to celebrate JABBís anniversary. Or was that the 19th? It was fun. Although itís a little weird to celebrate the anniversary of your friends writing jokes and poems about you.
July 24th was Lajaís 28th. Vincent had a great idea this year. Since they could never do much outside when she was little, he organized a party around all those activities. So there were a bunch of us adults playing Hide-and-G0-Seek, throwing water balloons, and climbing trees right along with the kids. I even tried hopscotch again. Iím pretty hopeless. I guess You left the hopscotch ability out when You created me. 0:-) Iím glad Laja liked the Celtic cross. I wanted to get her something meaningful and that would always remind her of You. And, you know, itís fun to be sneaky sometimes. I was the one that had to talk her into breakfast away from Dyeland that morning so she wouldnít suspect.
And then it happenedÖ I showed up in an apartment Iíd never seen before and found myself staring at a clown suit, neon green wig, and very large shoes. And Buttons the Clown was born (named so in Roseís and LJAís honor). Iíll admit I was a little flustered when I found out what You had in store. But I really loved being a clown! It was great to make all those kids so happyÖ and my friends once Mick let the word out. Iíll have to remember I have no guarantee of privacy when Iím working a case only a few miles from our PI friend.
Iím very happy that Timothy is getting the help and love he needs and deserves. That poor little boy was shouldering way too many burdens. Father, sometimes I find myself feeling something like envy. I know itís wrong but I still feel it. Itís such an incredible, amazing thing to have a little life entrusted to you. And to see people not appreciate that giftÖ I know Iíll never be a father. I do. And I would never not want to be an angel. But I canít imagine ever not appreciating that gift if I could have it. But at least, sometimes, you let me be a clown. Or a teacher. Or a pediatrician. Or You let me spend time in the Tunnels or at the Phoenix. Thank You.
And then came the cruise. Iíll get to that eventually but right now I have an assignment to meet.
Vacation Part II
June 30, 2010 by Andrew.
I learned more about Jeff today and I think I have a better idea of what Iím doing here. Iím going to try to talk to him more this evening when he gets home. If You could maybe break a pipe or zap a wall outlet so Iíd have a reason to enter his apartment, Iíd appreciate it. 0:-)
I think I left off at Wednesday in recalling the camping trip. It was Laura Ingalls Wilder Day for us. Jessie was thrilled to see so many of the places and things that were important to one of her favorite authors. We had to tell the kids to be careful, though, because I was leading our tour and sometimes theyíd make comments that raised some eye brows like ďAndrew, did you ever have an assignment as a teacher in a one room school house like Laura?Ē or ďDid you ever take any of the Ingallses Home?Ē I got more than a few chuckles out of it.
Then we had lunch at a cafe and that was sure interesting. The waitress seemed to think all the kids were Lajaís and that I was their father. I quickly set her straight but not quickly enough for Laja to become bothered and Owen very amused. The waitress made a comment about Lajaís ring at which point I realized it was in the ďsomeone has my heartĒ position instead of the single one. I never understood the claddagh thing until Monica explained it to me a few years ago. I donít know when Laja switched it and I guess itís nothing I donít know but it was jarring for a moment. But there wasnít much time to dwell on that with kids needing to be fed.
We ate dinner around the campfire that night. You know, I think the dogs got spoiled having so many little hands feeding them people food!
Thursday we did some souvenir shopping for our friends. I think I found a little something that will be appreciated by everyone. I was most impressed by the little ones. The Tunnel people do a great job of teaching them that itís the thought that counts in a gift, not the money that went into it. And we also did cheese shopping, too. 0;-)
Since it was our last day in Wisconsin, we broke into smaller groups so everyone could do the things they loved best once more. I was in the fishing group with Shelby, Asher, Portia, and Persephone. Then we made sandwiches for dinner and hiked up our favorite trail and had dinner on the hill. It was really a wonderful moment that I wonít soon forget.
Friday morning we left to visit Raquel. Between stopping for lunch and at parks for the kids, we didnít reach her house until shortly before dinner. After that, Owen and Portia took the kids outside so Raquel, Laja, and I could talk. Thatís when she told us the big news about her pending marriage! Thank You, Father, for bringing someone into her life. I know Raquelís been very lonely since Dawn died and while we try to do our best by calling and visiting, she needs someone to share her life with. So thank You for Capt. Leo! I canít wait to meet him and share in his and Raquelís special day. Laja and I were both resistant at first to their hosting everyone on the cruise ship but Raquel insisted that she needed us there so weíre going! I hope everyone can make it. She said sheís inviting Monica, too. Itíll be nice to see her again.
Saturday Raquel took us all around town to the childrenís museum, the zoo, and other places she thought the kids would enjoy. I think it did her good to be surrounded by so much excitement and joy and gratitude. I enjoyed it myself although being back there and walking around town made me remember that assignment. It also made me want my friends there with me again like theyíd been last time. Laja seemed to feel the same way. I think it was a good thing we went home the next day.
It was hard saying good bye to Raquel again on Sunday but it was important the kids and Owen, Portia, and Laja spend Fatherís Day with Vincent and Father. And I know weíll all be seeing Raquel soon! ThatísÖ wowÖ thatís just really great. The miracles Youíve worked in her life are amazing, Father.
Thank You for giving me a couple of days back in Dyeland after the trip. I tried to get in touch with everyone there and at the Phoenix and Tunnels to let them know Iíd missed them. I hope I can do the same when You decide the time is right again, Father.
Vacation Part 1
June 29, 2010 by Andrew.
Thank You for all the wonder and beauty and love Youíve allowed me to see, especially lately.
Itís been an amazing few weeks. On the 8th Laja got her way and we showed that frog movie. 0;-) Maybe it was still a little embarrassing but seeing and hearing my friends laugh made it worth it.
And then two days later we packed the kids into the van and were off to Wisconsin. We set out from Nebraska on Friday morningÖ June 11th, I guess it was. Poor Persi got a little carsick. I forget how novel a car ride is for the Tunnel kids. We were all grateful she adjusted quickly. Shelby and Jessie kept the kidsí from getting bored by playing ďI SpyĒ and word games they must have learned Below. It was great just to hear them playing.
To break things up for them, we stopped at every used book store we passed. Sometimes I see children bent over cell phones and those handheld games and it makes me wonder what their futures will be like. Will they be able to imagine and invent as much as previous generations who had less? But seeing those kidsí excitement over plain, old booksÖ it restored my hope, Father.
They went to bed early that night after I sang ďTender ShepherdĒ at Shelbyís request. It seemed to have an effect on Laja. At times I wondered if this trip was the best idea for her but by the end I was sure it was. Mostly because she told me but I also donít think You would have allowed me to go if it would hurt her.
Since everyone rested so well the night before, the 12th was when we got our first hike in. Evan found a dead squirrel which made some of the younger kids cry. Owen, Portia, and Laja seemed to think I was the best one to handle it. I suppose maybe I was. I told them that everything lives and dies but how death is never, ever the end. Shelby held my hand for the rest of the hike. I think she was thinking of her parents. I know in the future sheíll have more questions. Please help me to give her the answers she needs, Father.
On a far less serious note, poor Laja was really having a time of it. I guess she took my concerns about her caffeine intake to heart and decided to quit coffee during our vacation. Big mistake. I found her outside Saturday night holding her head and I thought sheíd had a seizure. It turned out only to be caffeine withdrawal so I started the 13th with a run to the nearest cafe. Iím not sure if she was happier to see me come back or see the blended iced mocha with a shot of coconut that I was holding. 0:-) Sometimes I think she worries a little too much about what I think.
We spent the rest of Sunday at one of the lakes and ended it around the campfire. There were shooting stars and something about that prompted Asher to ask me about You so we all talked a long time about You and Heaven. Children often seem to have a better understanding of You and Home than adults, Iíve noticed. It touched me so much to hear them talk. They built on what each other said and never criticized.
Homesickness seemed to hit us all in unison Monday. While I still felt close to You, surrounded by all the wonders You created, I did miss my friends back in Dyeland. The cell phones were used a lot that day with calls back and forth to Dyeland and the Tunnels. To keep the kids minds off that, we played football and softball and tag and Hide and Go Seek. I think the kids definitely had the advantage on the last one. I couldnít believe some of the tiny places they got themselves into!
Tuesday was a very laid back day. We did more hiking and swimming and fishing. That night we toasted marshmallows and told stories around the campfire. Since the site of the fire gave us full view of the cabin door; Portia, Owen, Laja, and I stayed out and kept talking while the kids slept. Persi had fallen asleep on my lap so she stayed with us, too. Somehow we got to talking about some of my past assignments and I found myself opening up to them more than I usually do. I kept looking down at little Persi and thinking of all the children and all my friends and praying that bad things never come to them. But I know that even if they do, Youíll be there with them always. As much as I love them, I know You love them more.
After a while it was only Laja and me so we just sat quietly, listening to the owls and watching the stars and the bats. Suddenly I felt more strongly than usual that this part of my lifeÖ it wonít last forever. Laja must have sensed something of what I felt because she reached for my hand then. I think You probably heard from us both that night.
Jeff just got back next door. Please help me to find the right words for this assignment, Father.
June 2, 2010 by Andrew.
Hey there, everyone,
Years ago Laja set this up for me because she thought I needed a place to share my thoughts. I suspect she just wanted a place to read them. 0;-) I had a great time with it but after a while stopped using it. Then I started using it again but only for writing to the Father when I needed to. Now Iíve decided to do both. So occasionally you might see something here.
I have a few minutes before I go meet my assignment so it seemed like a good time to start this. I guess Iíll just start writing about whatís been happening.
That last week in May I was away from Dyeland working an assignment as an IT security specialist. The Father sent me to help someone get through a trying time and I know hearing about His love really helped her. The assignment shook me up a little but between praying and spending a couple days in Dyeland, Iím feeling much better about everything.
And, you know, Iím pretty proud of myself for succeeding in banishing viruses, adware, and spyware off several computers. 0;-) All those years of de-spamming the main Dyeland email account really paid off!
I missed everyone in Dyeland and the Sibling Cities. But it was great to be back and check in at the Cafe, the Phoenix, and Below. Sometimes I canít believe how large our once small circle has grown! ItísÖ wow. Just really great.
JABB 300 happened. It was a good excuse to look back on all weíve experienced together. I had a great time reading Lajaís and Vincentís and Mickís and Willyís and Nigelís and Yvaís memories.
Memorial Day was really special to me this year and Iím thankful to all of you for that. Not only did it mean I got to come back to Dyeland after being away (for which I thank the Father) but our picnics are always a lot of fun. Cooking out, hiking, joking, hearing the little ones play so happily and carefree, reliving good memories together: it doesnít get much better than that! And it meant a lot to go with Mick to pay our respects to the men and women who served their country. Sometimes the time we spent with them doesnít seem so long ago.
Next week Laja and I are headed to Wisconsin and Missouri with some of the kids. Iím really looking forward to that. I havenít been camping in a while. Or fishing. Hey, if any of you are reading this and want to come along, we still have room. Just let one of us know. Owenís driving a second van.
Also, weíre planning for a movie night Tuesday night. Laja has a film she thinks you all need to see. I say you should never see it but Iím deferring to the lady. 0;-)
Now I need to head to the call center. Take care, everyone!
June 1, 2010 by Andrew.
I feel much better than I did when I last wrote to You. I still feel sad when I think about what happened in Denver but Youíve let me see so many great things since then. It helped to spend time with people I care about, too.
Around the middle of last month, Laja had her bad bout with her allergies. I was sorry she felt so awful but it was nice to be there for her. I feel like they all spent so much time watching out for me last winter and I want to do the same. And if that meant watching Little House on the Prairie then I wanted to do it!
Mick, Josef, and I took to the new golf course for the first time. I had a great time with the two of them. Sometimes I suspect they donít feel as much a part of us as we wish they did but that evening out on the green, I think they felt itÖ even if Mick couldnít believe I came in second after Josef.
I found myself with a lot of time to think during my assignment last week. Maybe that was Your plan. I have to admit that for a while I wondered what I was doing there. Installing virus protection and removing adware from computers just isnít the typical angel of death gig. But then when I found Kristiís suicide note on her computer, I understood. Iím glad I could reach out to her and help her find a reason to live. Sometimes I have a hard time understanding how something as beautiful and blessed as love can leave such a dark, frightening void in its wake. Her sadness and her struggle to find hope really hit me.
I donít ever want to be the cause of a void like that, Father. I donít usually have to concern myself with what people feel for me. Just that one time with Erin. I thought about her when I confronted Kristi. And I thought about Jordan, too. Erin and Kristi found their way back. And I know Jordan found his way to You. But I still think about that night sometimes. Did he do it because he didnít want to face a life without Molly if the worst happened? Was he thinking clearly or was there just a moment when his dread drove away his sanity and in that moment he made the decision?
How can a person be sure that theyíre there for their loved ones and at the same time help them to know that, even without them, theyíre strong people who have so much to give and who can lead a full life? Thatís what Iím praying to understand. I think itís important I know. Please help me.
Apathy and betrayal
May 10, 2010 by Andrew.
I wanted to write earlier. Speaking to You always helps but sometimes I need to sit down and write it out, too. But first I wanted to thank You.
Thank You for a childís understanding and curiosity. A few weeks ago Shelby came to my place because she wasnít picking up on counting money and wanted my help. Thank You for letting me help her and thank You for the help she gave me. It seems funny that one little girl and one shiny penny could cheer me up but they did.
Thank You for all the women in my life. Yesterday at their Motherís Day lunch, one of the kids at the Phoenix asked if I had a mother and I told them about You, in a way. But it made me think about how Iím surrounded by so many women who bear the qualities the kids were listing off when they spoke of their mothers. The unconditional love, nurturing, patience, creativity, and strength they all have and share with all of us is amazing. I hope my small gesture helped them to know how much I appreciate everything about them.
Thank You for the dedicated people who serve and protect those in their community.
That brings me to my last assignment. It was a complete change from the Spanish tutoring assignment in Georgia. I think I really helped people there. But in DenverÖ Iím not so sure.
Normally I love being a caregiver. Itís how I met Cora and Iíve had so many other memorable assignments while working those cases. I guess this is another memorable one but not for reasons I want and I know itís not what You want, either, Father.
Why would someone take advantage of and scam elderly, sick people who relied on them? Who trusted them? How could they hurt or neglect them instead of taking time and the resources entrusted to them to see to their needs? How could someone be so cold that the hurt they caused didnít seem to impact them at all?
I thought Lana seemed like a really nice lady. But then when I spent more time working with the people she was supposed to be watching overÖ One lady, Mina, cried whenever I left and I thought it was just the dementia. Why didnít I know Lana was hurting her? Sometimes I donít understand why You tell me some things but not others. Iím not doubting you, Father, but it is so hard.
Now Lana has been caught and sheíll pay for what she did. And I hope she makes restitution for all the money she pocketed instead of used to help the people she was designated to watch over. But even if she does pay it all back, sheís caused so much confusion and pain and guilt in people who trusted their parents, grandparents, patients, etc. with her. Before I took him Home, Gordon told me he was worried his daughter would beat herself up over what happened. Please help her to know she couldnít have known. Lana put up a good show. I even fell for it.
I know one thing. I wasnít doubting my decision to age alongside my friends. But if I was, this would have stopped all those doubts. As long as You allow it, Iím going to. I want to be able to be as present as possible for my friends. I hope I can protect them from people like Lana. I have to.
For right now, Iím happy to be in Dyeland, surrounded by them. I think Iíve laughed more in a few hours with them than I did in that entire two weeks I was away. I hope they always know how much I love them.
I hope the people I left behind in Denver will be surrounded by just as much love as they heal and learn to trust again.
Attack of the Killer Frog People from Planet Z
April 21, 2010 by Andrew.
The subject line says it all!
As You know since You sent me, one of my first assignments of April was as a Media Studies professor. That was a learning experience and not just for the kids in the class. TV has really changed, hasnít it? Or maybe I only think so because I never cared to watch much. I wonder how much violence people would write if they actually knew and had to see what actual violence can do? And I wonder if the students I was sent to help would feel less hopeless if they saw more inspiring, uplifting stories? I hope I gave them the hope You wanted them to have. Maybe one day theyíll be the ones creating those hopeful stories.
Before I led the class, I had a great time getting prepared with my friendsÖ even if it did mean Laja seeing me as a Killer Frog Person. I remember how I complained when I got that assignment! But I ended up having a great time with Harry and I even had a great time watching the film with Laja. And listening to music with Rose and Yva and talking about movies with them, books, etc. Looking back at my younger self in the movie, I found myself feeling sorry for him but also very grateful for the amazing friends I knew were in his future. Then I was awed thinking that as I was acting in that, You already knew that one day Iíd be sitting on a couch with Laja, watching her laugh with delight. Thank You, Father.
Iím also very grateful for the last couple of days in Dyeland and NY. It was great to see Crystal and everyone at the Phoenix. And I missed the children Below so thanks for giving me that time with them.
I need to grade some Spanish papers but we both know thereís more to it than that. Please help me to get through to Kyle before itís too late. And please give me the words to help his bullies know how hurtful they are not just to him but also themselves.
Notes-February through Easter
April 18, 2010 by Andrew.
Because I havenít always been able to get on a computer, Iíve been keeping notes. Here they are:
Remainder of February- After Valentineís Day I had my assignment in Alaska and that was great. It made Dyeland seem even warmer when I returned! I spent most of the week of the 21st meeting with my friends there and talking with them about what I decided. Thank You for giving me that time with them. I didnít want anyone else to find out by accident and I know You didnít want them hurt like that, either.
March-That was an interesting monthÖ And not just because I worked the check out lane at a Target and people say some very interesting things to cashiers. On the 16th Lajaís grandmother gave me her ďdowry.Ē I know she was joking but Laja was pretty livid. Iím glad we were able to talk after that, make a couple good things come out of it, and then the party distracted her, I think. And she wrote me a top ten. Thatís always fun. Please help her to be at peace even when family pressure become strong.
We celebrated my 10th anniversary in Dyeland on St. Patrickís Day. Lots of decoration, lots of food, singing, dancing, boating, star gazing, and the best part: lots of friends. It was great! That Youíve given me these ten years with them is something Iím very, very grateful for, Father. Sometimes I still wonder what Your plan is with Dyeland and me but whatever it isÖ thank You.
And from boating and dancing I jumped to sky diving. 0:-) That was a really fun assignment. I hope Tony and Samantha remember that adventure is good but not to be too reckless with the precious lives Youíve given them especially now that theyíll be parents. Theyíre gonna have one brave kid, I imagine!
Shortly after I got back from that, Laja confided in me how upset and confused she was by the scandals in the Catholic Church. I hope what I told her was what You wanted her to hear. Iím so used to Your voice guiding me when Iím on assignments. I hope what I tell my friends is just as true as Your words. I know Youíre with everyone who is hurting. Please help them to know that.
The 25th brought about a much happier occasion! Roseís birthday! I had a great time hiding the clues for the scavenger hunt that led to her gift. I hope she enjoyed it, I think she did. She deserved a wonderful birthday and I hope she got it.
On the 26th, after her classes ended for the day, Laja and I drove to Missouri and stayed with Raquel for the weekend. It was difficult in some ways. We were both reminded of Dawn very often. But I was thankful to be there and to be able to help Raquel with her garden. I hope her loneliness decreases soon. I know nothing will ever fill the hole left by Dawnís death but I hated leaving her alone. I know sheís not really alone. Youíre there, as always. But someone to hug, someone to share a meal withÖ I want that for her.
Shortly after our return to Dyeland, I hosted a Seder for Passover. I wished weíd thought to do that previous years. The Tunnel children were all very interested. Most of them arenít Jewish so had never attended one. I think itís great that theyíre so eager to learn about othersí cultures and religions.
Easter was a lot of fun. And no robot bunny surprises this year! It was a beautiful day and perfect for an egg hunt. The kids loved being out in the sun.
I better get ready for star-gazing later. Iíll get to April soon. I wish I kept up with this better but I kind of like looking back over a month or two and remembering all the miracles Youíve let me see, all the people Iíve been blessed to know, and all the love Youíve given us.
February 21, 2010 by Andrew.
Thank You for the many wonderful, heart-warming assignments Youíve given me lately. Thank You for Austinís selfless dedication to helping the people in Haiti. Thank You for letting me witness joyful reunions. Thank You for giving me the chance to help people take better care of themselves before itís too lateÖ even if Laja did think I made for a problematic cardiologist. Thank You for this past week. Being able to help reunite a family before it was too late was a real joy. I pray they make the most of the time they have together. And for the assignments that were difficultÖ thank You for welcoming them Home to Your love. And thank You for being with me and for giving me people to help make those memories a little easier to bear.
Being able to spend Valentineís week in Dyeland was very special to me. I always enjoy hearing about what people love, what theyíre passionate about. And this timeÖ this time You pushed me to express whatís in my heart. You know Iíve never been very good at that. Iíll admit that I wasnít thrilled about it. But I know You were right.
Now Iím praying that Youíll help me know when the right time is to change. You know itís what I want. But I want it to be on Your terms. So, please, lead me, Father. You brought us together, help me to know when I need to do what I need to do to keep us together.
January 12, 2010 by Andrew.
It feels great to be writing to You in this way again. I jotted short notes while I had the cast but it wasnít the same.
I donít know where to begin. I promised to meet some of the girls for some coffee since Iím leaving tomorrow so I donít even have much time. But I did come up with two words to sum up what Iíve felt since Thanksgiving: incredibly loved. Not only by You but by my friends and even by people I didnít know two months ago. Iíve gone from feeling cast out to feeling so much love that sometimes I find myself smiling for no apparent reason.
I can remember ohÖ You know how many yearsÖ when I considered myself a loner. I had You, I had my assignments, and I was happy. When I met up with friends, I rejoiced in that. But then it was back to working on my own. Then You had me work with Tess and Monica and then Gloria. I know sometimes we had disagreements and hurt feelings but I was even happier. Then that ended. I never really gave much thought to how I was growing closer to the Dyelanders at the very time I felt greater and greater distance from Monica and Tess. Now I believe with all my heart that You planned that. You knew better than I did that I was never meant to be a loner. These past two months have proved it. I wonít ever take my friends for granted. Thank You.
November 18, 2009 by Andrew.
Laja just left. Thereís something going on Below. Itís not like Vincent or Jacob to call a meeting like this. Please help them to face whatever this is.
Soon Iím going to the Cafe. Iím looking forward to spending some time with the ladies before I leave. They always put me in a good frame of mind to begin an assignment! So You wonít tell me where Iím headed? Itís OK. I trust You.
Thank You for letting me go to KC with them and spend Halloween here. It was great! OK, maybe not the dungeon part but everything else was. I loved spending time not just with my friends but also the Tunnel kids. We all had a great time and it meant a lot to spend time all togetherÖ playing with farm animals, drums, dancing, enjoying great food, listening to great music, and so many things I didnít even realize they did at Renaissance Faires. It seems like we havenít had as many chances as usual this past summer to be together and I hope thatís changing. Starting now. The Cafe is calling.
Itís all a very fun blur
October 25, 2009 by Andrew.
I am a terrible blogger. 0;-)
October is nearly over and I never did write about September. I do know I had a great birthday party and then got to celebrate with Adam not too long after that. Who can complain about two big parties in as many months?
Everythingís been really great with my assignments. Iíve met some wonderful people so thank You for that. Iíve also stayed in touch with some wonderful people. It sounds like Iíll be doing more of that this weekend with the Renaissance Faire and then our Halloween party here in Dyeland. Itíll be great to spend time with some of the Tunnel kids as well as my friends here.
Weíve made amazing progress at Catherineís shelter. Sheís named it the Phoenix Inn. We all love the name although I think weíll miss all the time weíve shared putting it together. But I know weíll have time to help her once she starts welcoming guests. Thatís only a week or two away, I hear.
This blog isnít turning out like I thought it would but Iím very glad I can talk to You all the time, in all ways, Father.
August in review part two
September 7, 2009 by Andrew.
It was Mick checking to see if I could make time for some pool this week. He seemed stressed. I hope he and Beth are doing OK.
I know I spent some time during the last month helping at Catherineís shelter. Sheís so proud of it, Father, and with good reason! I keep imagining how many people will be helped. Of course, itís also brought everyone closer together, too. Vincent seems more at peace than he has been since June.
That third week I spent some time helping at the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It was draining and heartbreaking. Itís no wonder You ensure none of us work those shifts for too long. But my shifts always give me so much respect for the amazing people who work there.
I know I had lunch with Tess at some point. As always, it was great catching up with her. Iím so grateful for Dyeland but I do miss the time I used to spend going from place to place with Monica and Tess.
The guys and I found time to play at some point. Got to love getting together with the band!
Things with Amy really began to deteriorate then. Everything hit rock bottom on the 28th. Laja and I ended up discussing her own battle with anorexia. It was hard but I think itís right we finally got it out in the open. I think it helped her to reach out to Amy. I know it helped me to see the determination in both their eyes. I know Youíre always with them but please help them to know that. Itís what I want most for all my friends.
Iím also praying that Yvaís allergies let up. Maybe with the change of weather? I know we all feel helpless at this point.
Adamís been having trouble sleeping although he seemed alright at the party today. Iím concerned about him. What can I do, Father?
Lady Beth, Henry, and Rose seem to be doing well. Aunt Josephine also. Nigel and Willy have been keeping busy. And todayÖ today was great. Having everyone together at Adamís was a real blessing. So Thank You for Labor Day. Or maybe itís better simply to say: thank You for all these days You give us.
August in review part one
September 7, 2009 by Andrew.
Yet again I seem to have let over a month go by without writing here. I wish I was better at finding the time because I find myself going back over these and thinking of all the blessings Youíve given me.
This month was full of them.
I mentioned July 31st/August 1st before. That was great! OK, so maybe it was a little worrisome at first. Creeped Laja and Rose out for a minute. Then I thought maybe theyíd lost their minds! And all because I apparently have more names than a phone book. It was a great night and then working with everyone to repair the storm damage on the 1st made for a wonderful day.
A week later Laja confided in me about Amy. I couldnít have guessed the road that would have ended up taking us down.
That was also when I was assigned to Rebecca, the choir leader is Bismark. I donít think Iíll ever forget her face when she heard our choir and joined in!
Iím still thinking about Benton. I wish I could be sure I got through to him, Father. You and I both know heís headed down a bad path with his drug use butÖ I didnít know what else I could say.
Thank You for the encouraging, love-filled assignments You gave me after that. I needed them. Maybe even more than they needed me.
Letís seeÖ I think it was the 14th a bunch of us saw Eli as Lumiere in ďBeauty and the Beast.Ē I had no idea my fellow AOD was that talented! Between that and the road trip there and back, it was definitely a highlight of the month. Thank You for giving him an assignment that made him so happy. I was concerned about him for a while after Sophia died.
I hear someone at the door. I guess the middle of the month is a good place to pause.
July in review
August 4, 2009 by Andrew.
Itís been a month since I wrote. Itís a good thing Iím better at praying than writing!
Youíve sent me on quite a run of assignments!
There was Trina in Delaware. I hope everythingís going OK for her. I was concerned about all the stress she was under as the apartment super on top of her unresolved grief for her husband. I hope I always remember the look on her face when You had me tell her that You felt every tear she cried and that she was never alone and that You love her. Sometimes I think more than anything humans just want to know that someone feels for them. Maybe humans arenít the only ones.
Then on the 12th of July it was back to Dyeland and chasing fireflies. 0:-) I donít think I really thank You enough for those breaks. You know, nothing restores oneís faith in and love for humanity like seeing them running around in the dark, shrieking and laughing, like the children we all really are. Itís like I wrote Laja, all the memories of hatred and abuse fade for a while when Iím there with them.
Letís seeÖ Then I left again on the 20th. That was Harold in Missouri (stopped by to see Raquel, thanks for that opportunity), Ayesha in Afghanistan, Simone in London, and three days as a cardiologist in Vermont. I hope Dr. Carlen remembers that sometimes your first patient needs to be yourself.
July 24th- The Day I Accidentally Made Laja Think She Killed My Hair
Please donít give me an assignment as a hair stylist. You obviously didnít give me that gift. 0;-)
I think I left on the 26th. Or was it the 27th? Either way, I hope I accomplished what you wanted me to with Dale. I have a whole new respect for golf caddies. They sure have to put up with a lot sometimesÖ
Back to Dyeland on the 31st. August 1st was fun. Weird but fun. Iíll get to that soon.
Right now I think Iím going to take a walk on the beach and admire Your work.
July 5, 2009 by Andrew.
So much has changed since I wrote to You last time. I know now why I was still assigned to Cora. Iím glad sheís Home. Iím glad sheís with Lor. And with You. But Iím sorry for Vincent. Itís as if he found and lost both of his parents in the course of two weeks. But he said something today that I found touching. He said his family makes the most of what time they have together because often it is so brief. Knowing what I do of their lives, I know thatís true. I know that he and his mother did a lifetime of living in their precious weeks. Thank You for giving that to them.
I also want to thank You for all the joy weíve had. Iím grateful that Catherine and Vincent were still able to celebrate their anniversary. Then there was Canada Day which was great. Lady Beth and Henry did an amazing job. Then Independence Day. How can anybody be unhappy with good food, good friends, safe and beautiful fireworks, and an abundance of tie-dyed T-shirts. Itís just not possible!
All this has reminded me of how much I donít know. I donít know how long weíll all be together in Dyeland and the Sibling Cities. But I do know that Iím going to make the most out of those things: the parties, the messages flying back and forth among us, the hugs, the purple-tinged tear stains on my shirt, the teasing about my age, the notes tucked into my things when I go away, the stray Gobstopper rolling around the back seat of the van, the goofy nicknames, and every moment of our lives here. And Iíll never forget You made them all possible. Thank you.
June 19, 2009 by Andrew.
Iím not even sure where to begin. This week has been a rollercoaster emotionally. Iím amazed at Your work this time. Itís not that Iím not always amazed but this timeÖ wow. To think that ever since this month began Iíve been working with Vincentís mother!
Monday seems so long ago. I spent the morning worrying that Laja had a one-way pass into my mind. Then I spent the whole day wondering if she was seeing things in Cora just because she desperately wanted to. Then came Tuesday when Rose, Yva, Laja, and I found out who Cora was. Then seeing her reunion with Vincent. Itís justÖ amazing. I sound like a broken record butÖ wow.
Now our friendís finally getting many of the answers heís wanted for so long. Iím happy for him. Elated for Cora. Itís been a wonderful experience for everyone.
But now Iím left with my own question: why am I still assigned to Cora? Vincent needs her, Father. Please help them make the most of whatever time they have. And use me to do Your will, whatever it is.
June 7, 2009 by Andrew.
Thank You for giving me this assignment. I appreciate that Iíll have some time in Dyeland. Being close to the Tunnels, even if Iím not going there, makes everyone seem so much closer. And I really enjoy spending time with my assignment.
Today wasnít a very good day for Cora. For a while I thought she might need to be readmitted with pneumonia but now sheís feeling better. Even when I know she doesnít feel well, she never snaps or sulks. Itís amazing. Thereís something about her, though, that I canít quite put my finger on. Every so often sheíll be talking and then it seems like she goes somewhere else. Please help me to help her.
May 11, 2009 by Andrew.
Sometimes it seems like the times I most need to write to You happen when I canít find much time to. Thank You for giving me this time right now. And thank You for this afternoon with some of my friends. It may not have turned out like we planned (at least I donít *think* any of us planned to be interrupted by scam artists on the phone) but altogether Iíd say we had a pretty great time. I think itíll do me a lot of good to spend a couple days in Dyeland.
As You know, I spent the week before last working an assignment with Eli at an assisted living home. Thank You for letting us work together. I felt like I was there not only for our assignments but for him, too. I know there were many times he thought about Sophia. So often I wanted him to go Home. To see You and her. But I understand why he didnít. We see people struggle with so much and they donít get to go Home whenever they want. So sometimes it doesnít seem right to come Home during an assignment, even during our downtime. Itís times like that Iím especially grateful to have Dyeland to go to. There I feel part of the human world yet still surrounded by healing love. And I know itís the times like that when Eli went to visit Sophia but this time she was gone.
The worst was when we worked with the Alzheimerís patients. I could tell how much it made Eli remember those last few years. I told him how much I admired him and the strength he showed.
And the whole time I kept wondering when I would have to find that strength myself.
But I know I have right now with them. Iíll enjoy every minute and thank You for each and every day You give us.
April 26, 2009 by Andrew.
In some ways itís hard to believe itís been 144 years since the day Sam found me in the woods and told me the news.
There have been difficult times but there have been so many more wonderful, inspiring times when Iíve seen the joy Your love brings to people and felt it myself.
Thank you for every moment. Good and bad, theyíve brought me closer to You.
Now I need to get ready for the cook-out. Thank you for that, too. 0:-)
April 14, 2009 by Andrew.
You know Iím not happy about what happened. And I know You arenít, either. But I know, if theyíll let You, Youíll work great things into the lives of the HóĖ family even after this tragedy.
I donít know what Robert was thinking. I just keep remembering the look ofÖ of disbelief and betrayal and fear on Melodyís face when he pointed that gun at her. I wanted Robert to learn to control his anger, to make amends, and find peace. I wanted him to really hear me when I told him how much You love him and his family. But Iím glad that police officer was there and kept Robert from killing his wife. I wish it could have ended without violence but Iím thankful she was spared and that Jason and Cera have their mother. And You.
Since Francescaís back from her vacation, my work here at the shelter is done. Thanks for letting me head to Dyeland. I think some time there will do me good. Itíll be hard coming back here for the funeral but I know having some time with my friends before will help.
Itís hard to leave when everyoneís still grieving. But I know Youíre with them forever. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of their lives for these few weeks.
What a difference a day makes
April 3, 2009 by Andrew.
Thank you for answering my prayer. I was so angry on Wednesday but by yesterday I felt it melting away.
First, Mr. HóĖ was taken into custody and the police assured us he wonít be coming back to the shelter. As the days have gone by I knew something was terribly wrong with that family but whenever I tried to talk to Melody she shut me out. I think when he hit Jason that was the last straw for her. I still cringe when I think about how long she must have kept quiet about her own abuse but now she and her children are healing and surrounded by people who care for them. Iíll never understand how people can hurt others, especially those theyíre supposed to and even do love. But I do understand compassion and friendship and Melody and the kids are surrounded by both now.
And so am I. Yesterday Mick drove some of our friends here. It was great. We had lunch at what Laja deemed a ďcutesy, retro dinerĒ and then they all came to the shelter to help me put the donations away. It lightened my mood a lot. Iím feeling pretty amused by the idea that Ebenís big prank resulted in a fun lunch at a diner and donations to the homeless. I love the way You work, Father.
Now, as You promised, Iím headed back to Dyeland for the weekend and grateful for that. Monday Iíll return to the shelter feeling more relaxed, more grateful, and ready to help as many people as You send to us.
PS- I canít wait to see their faces when they see that photo Mandi created of me. I think this is even better than emailing it to them. Now Iíll see their expressions when they find out what Iíd look like if I aspired to be Gene Simmonds!
April 2, 2009 by Andrew.
Please help me with my anger.
Bakersfield, CA and a huge calculator
March 25, 2009 by Andrew.
Thank you for getting me back to Dyeland for tonight. I would have hated to miss Roseís party at the Cafe. I donít like missing any of the important events in their lives but birthdays seem especially bad to miss. I hope she enjoys what I got her. Both the serious gifts and the Jumbo Bejeweled AOD Age Determination Calculator. I told her she could shorten the name as she saw fit. 0;-)
Itíll be nice to spend the night back in my own bed but I am anxious to get back to the shelter, too. Bright and early tomorrow morning, right? A family arrived this afternoon that I hope I can check in with at breakfast. I know a lot of people there are depressed and frustrated but I sense more going on with the HóĖ family. Please help me to know what I need to do and say to help them.
I think Luluís finished outside so Iím going to head back to the Cafe and spend some more time with everyone. Thanks again, Father.
March 13, 2009 by Andrew.
Iím still thinking about my last assignment. I hope Trevorís recovery is going well. I also hope his parents learned something. Pushing a kid too far can have tragic consequences. This time their son survived and I hope thereís not a next time.
Now here I am in Oregon. You sent me from the baseball field to the library. Big switch. 0;-) Iím having a better time here, I have to say. Five year olds begging me to read about Clifford or the Very Hungry Caterpillar are a little easier to help than a high-schooler in self-destruction mode. It does me good to see such happiness and kids so happy to learn. Thanks for bringing me here.
Thank You also for promising me Iíll be back in Dyeland by Monday. Iím looking forward to the dance and party on Tuesday night. Nine years. Thank You for each one.
March 3, 2009 by Andrew.
So now Iím an assistant baseball coach? It was quite a change to go from the laidback friendliness of the Cafe in Dyeland to a high school pep rally. But I think Iím going to enjoy this assignment. Although next time something during football season might be nice. 0;-)
Even though I think this could be a lot of fun, Iím already concerned. Iím afraid one of the players is getting pushed too hard by his parents. Is he why Iím here? If he is I hope I can find the words to help him rediscover the joy of simply playing the game and his parents the joy of simply loving their child. And all of them the joy that comes from knowing You love us.
February 26, 2009 by Andrew.
I guess Iíve gotten too used to emails. It started to seem odd typing to no one in particular. So I decided Iíd write You on this blog.
Iíve done a lot of thinking since the last time I wrote here.
The week leading up to Valentineís Day made me realize even more how much Dyeland has come to mean to me. I loved having a chance to talk with so many of my friends about such a great topic: love.
Of course, there was the forged letter (not) from Laja. I think it made me aware of more things than I realized at first. I felt hurt when I read it and I know no one would be surprised by that. But there was another feeling that did surprise me. I donít know how to explain it. I felt like something I had counted on was snatched away. Thatís when I realized how much Iíve been depending on my friends. It felt like those last few days with Monica butÖ more. Things were changing and I didnít like it and I wondered what would be taken away next. Part of me wanted to go Home because You never change and I know You always love us. But another part of me wanted to stay in Dyeland then more than ever to enjoy whatever time I have with Rose and Yva and Lady Beth and Countess Jennifer, Adam, Henry, Tess, Willy, Nigel, and everyone else. So I did. Rose and Yva made me feel better. So did interviewing the next few people, even if they didnít know what was going on. Then Laja came back and with the story about Eli and Sophia. So now everything is great. At least I hope it is. Everyone seems happy. But I feel different. Good but different.
But since You have me starting a shift at 4:00 AM I should get some rest. 0;-)
Iíll talk to You again soon.
February 1, 2009 by Andrew.
I told Tess Iíd take some time to think about that week. So many people have offered to listen to me but as of yet I havenít known what to say.
Watching someone dieÖ violently and painfullyÖ itís never easy. And when itís by the hand of someone they love? Itís unbearable. Even knowing Dawnís in Heaven and knowing her mother has found some peace, those memories still replay in my mind at times. But I can feel the Fatherís peace and love and that always pulls me back. And my friends pull me back.
Seeing Monica again was good. But it made me think, too. I miss working with her and Tess. I miss the closeness we shared. I miss discussing our assignments and sneaking in cups of coffee or frappuccinos. Mostly I miss the company. Iíve always known God is always with me but during that assignment in Missouri I realized that I donít work alone. I still work with other people. Laja was right when she said that, after theyíve gone Home, theyíll still be in my heart. But she projected it too far into the future. Theyíre already there. No, not in the same way as Monica and Tess used to be. But they are there.
Home for Christmas
December 28, 2008 by Andrew.
Wow. Itís been quite a few days since I got back to Dyeland. I donít think Iíve had more than a few minutes at a time to myself. I havenít minded it. I missed everyone so much. But I think now Iíve more than made up for the days I was away! Since I missed caroling we had some karaoke at the Cafe last night. It was awfully funny. I donít think Iíll soon forget our group rendition of ďI Want to Know What Love Is.Ē
Tomorrow morning Iím leaving for an assignment again. I think everyone feels a lot better about my going to Missouri, though, than they did Iraq. Iím going to be a staff psychologist at a hospice. Iím not sure of much more than that but the Father says Iíll be there for a few weeks. Iím not too worried about leaving here, though, because He also said Iíd be able to stop in often during those weeks. Iím thankful to Him for giving me the time in Dyeland He does. I used to only be concerned about the impact it had on the people there when Iíd disappear for weeks at time. But now I realize it impacts me, too. Sometimes I canít believe how much like Home it seems.
Iím going to see if anyone else is up for another round of ice skating.
November 30, 2008 by Andrew.
I wonder if Iíll ever get used to having a lowercase home? Itís really great.
When I got back to Dyeland I didnít feel like talking about what happened the last few days but I think I need to. Laja suggested I reclaim this blog but move it into private mode. So I did. I know Iíll still keep up with my real journals but sometimes this will be easier.
Coming back to Dyeland after an assignment is always a great experience for me. I know I shouldnít but sometimes I find myself comparing it to when Iíd show up during an assignment with Monica and Tess. I know I shouldnít have taken it personally but sometimes the disappointment on their faces hurt. I know I made the same expression when I was a caseworker and saw Adam or another angel of death. I regret that. But with DyelandÖ itís a whole different ballgame. Instead of bracing myself to see that look, I end up physically bracing myself for a massive, running start hug. Itís great. Iím very, very thankful the Father brought me here.
Sometimes I think He had other ideas in mind, too. Getting to know the people here has made me a better angel. Being their friend has prepared me for some of my assignments. My most recent one was working at a clinic specializing in treatment of people with eating disorders. Itís not that I was ever insensitive about the topic. At least I hope I wasnít. I donít think any angel, especially an angel of death, can be. But itís different when youíve personally felt that anger and frustration and worry and youíre trying to make sense of the fact that you love this person so much but they just canít seem to see it. Or you wonder if they do see it but itís just not enough. Then you begin to realize that nothing you do or say can save them if they wonít save themselves. Then you feel helpless. And you start to get angry at them. I hope those memories and those old feelings helped me to help the patients and their loved ones.
Father, Iím so thankful that right now everyone here seems to be doing pretty well. Please keep them safe and thanks for bringing me back here.
April 1, 2007 by Andrew.
Iím sorry itís been so long since I wrote here. Iíve been busy and when I did write it was letters and emails. But I thought it worth noting here that Iíve at least temporarily inherited JABB. Jenni needs some time to think about things. She had poor LJA absolutely devastated. I donít think Iíll ever get my blue flannel shirt back from her now. Oh well I prefer my gray one.
I spent part of this morning adding new content to JABB. I wasnít sure what to do with the site. I donít feel comfortable writing about myself as much as Jenni and her friends wrote about me. I hope what Iíve done is OK. If not I guess she can fix it when she returns from the Netherworld. Iíve just never run into someone running their own fan club so Iím not sure what to do. It would seem wrong for me to write something like ďTop Ten Reasons We Love Andrew.Ē
I better go check on Lady JenniAnn and see how sheís doing. Maybe she and some of the other Dyelanders will help me. Although maybe itís best I donít try to co-write another story with LJA. I find it tedious to dwell on my, uh, ďstudly arms.Ē
Iím write more once things settle down here.
December 4, 2006 by Andrew.
Iíve been emailing all of you so often since I started my extended leave at Dyeland that I forgot about this blog LJA set up for me. I only have 10 minutes on my break (Iím working at a grocery store, stocking shelves) so Iíll try to do a recap for those of you who arenít on the Dyeland list but do read this blog.
Iím happy to report Lady Bethís memory was fully restored. Weíre all very grateful for that. Iím reluctant to report that those of us in Dyeland went through a difficult time during the early part of November. The good part is I learned how to handle upsetting assignments better. I guess I just saw myself in this last assignment too much. My eternal thanks to all the Dyelanders and friends that helped me through.
Another happy event is Adam and I are no longer the only angels regularly in Dyeland. Princess Yvaís guardian Nigel has taken up residence with us. Heís a great guy.
Unfortunately I need to get back to work now. Iíll do everything I can to keep in touch with my friends in Dyeland. Iím thinking of you all.
One Response to ďBreak timeĒ
Lady Beth says:
December 5, 2006 at 9:28 am
Yes, I am thankful my memory has been restored. Now I can do things like cook and throw mighty good snowballs. lol The events that happened last month were a learning experience for all of us, one that we wonít forget in the near future.
You always know where to find me. Iím either at Kindred Spirits or at the cabin (on the occasion I need to get away) so never hesitate to find me when you need to talk.
October 10, 2006 by Andrew.
Lady JenniAnn gave me a heads up that new visitors may be stopping by this page. I figured I should post something since I havenít in weeks.
Welcome new visitors! 0:-) You may be wondering what an angel of death is doing with a blog. JenniAnn thought it was a good idea and I figured Iíd give it a try. I just wish I could find the time to write here more often.
I guess I should write about whatís going on with me. I had a lengthy assignment in Vegas. At least is seemed lengthy. Adam would have spent the assignment in a never-ending cringe based on how he reacted to one of Monicaís strapless dresses. Letís just say my assignment had an interest in entertainment of a variety that I do not. Strapless dresses were the least of the concerns.
I was grateful to finish that. After wrapping that up I returned to Dyeland. Unfortunately, our Lady Beth has gotten amnesia but Iím confident sheíll recover soon. I hope and pray she does.
Well, I promised Adam Iíd check on his turkeys while he was on assignment so I better go do that. I donít want Alexander to tattle on me if I donít. 0;-)
September 22, 2006 by Andrew.
Thank you to everyone who wished me happy birthday Wednesday. It really was a happy one and my Dyeland friends had a big hand in making it so. 0:-)
Lady Beth I did read your comments. Rest assured I never ended up in a bed and breakfast. With or with out LJA. That was just her way of trying to get people to participate in JABB 200 (which was a great read by the way). As for the white shirt, Iím afraid Iíll have to keep my source a secret for their protection.
To everyone else I hope you have a great weekend. May be Iíll be able to sneak away for an hour or two and visit Dyeland.
3 Responses to ďThank youĒ
Lady Beth says:
September 22, 2006 at 10:45 am
I think from now on Iím going to have to watch what I say. lol Such information as that could end up in the wrong hands and I could be in more trouble than what I want to be if that does happen. I wonít mention who I could be in trouble with but letís just say that if a certain member of the male species were to hear that, wellÖÖÖÖÖletís just say I wouldnít be able to show my face around him anymore.
Lady Beth says:
September 22, 2006 at 10:45 am
Oh yes, youíre quite welcome about the party.
September 22, 2006 at 11:59 pm
Glad you had a good birthday Andrew. BTW, when are you coming back?
September 2, 2006 by Andrew.
I donít have much time but I just wanted to let Jarrod, JenniAnn, and OzSez know that I had a great time in the chat last night. I hope next time more of you can join us and that Iíll be able to attend again.
3 Responses to ďGreat chatĒ
September 5, 2006 at 4:00 am
I had a great time too. Thanks for coming to our impromptu chat! We appreciate it.
Lady JenniAnn says:
September 5, 2006 at 10:37 pm
Aww. Yes it was *wonderful.* Iím just sooo glad you could come, Andrew.
Jarrod, thank you for suggesting it!
Lady Beth says:
September 22, 2006 at 1:22 am
I hope that next time Iíll be able to join in unless I have another computer issue to deal with.
Please help Lady JenniAnn
August 29, 2006 by Andrew.
Before I get to my reason for posting on this, the last day of my current assignment, I wanted to let Lady Beth know that Iím still trying to figure out how to give you an idea of what I look like with a beard. I also am supposed to tell you Iím wearing a white shirt. A little bird told me you would want to know that.
Now, if anyone is reading this could you please email Lady JenniAnn with a list of things you learned from JABB. If she doesnít get 200 items (she currently has 76) sheís threatening to unsubscribe me from the Dyeland email list. I think sheís joking but Iím not positive. Helping her would be appreciated.
I hope to see everyone in Dyeland tomorrow. But I canít promise anything at this time.
12 Responses to ďPlease help Lady JenniAnnĒ
Lady JenniAnn says:
August 29, 2006 at 8:51 pm
WellÖ no feedback yet. SoÖ since you may not be catching up on email I, umm, wanted to ask you something.
Are you ::blush:: free this weekend?
August 29, 2006 at 8:55 pm
Donít Worry about going away with her for the weekend Andrew. She has devious plans. Iím suprised in you LJA! Tsk Tsk. You better hope Tess doesnít read this! BTW, Andrew, hope to catch up with you later and chat.
Lady JenniAnn says:
August 29, 2006 at 8:59 pm
Why would Tess care? Surely sheíd not object to Andrew learning a bit more about Amish culture, would she? Besides, heís been on assignment. He deserves a break. And lots of good food served in massive quantities.
Andrew, when ya get to Serendipity, check your mailbox. The real one. Not Inbox.
August 29, 2006 at 9:00 pm
I think she would care if she has read your ummÖ.last post to the list, wouldnít you say? Maybe I should just forward it to her. Andrew, What do you think?
Lady JenniAnn says:
August 29, 2006 at 9:02 pm
I said we were gonna read the Bible! And not even the blush-inducing parts!!!
August 29, 2006 at 9:15 pm
Lady JenniAnn, Baby! Jarrod forwarded me your email. Baby, this is a direct quote from your email ď. We donít need beds. Weíre gonna stay up all night uhÖ Ē I have one thing to say, that is there will be no TRIP for Angel Boy. He has another Assignment coming his way. He will get his break donít you worry about that, baby.
Tess, Angel Director
Lady JenniAnn says:
August 29, 2006 at 9:21 pm
Unfair representation! Unfair representation!!!
How convenient that you cut off your quote right where I said we would be reading the Bible.
What are you implying, Tess?!
August 29, 2006 at 9:48 pm
Whoa. This is the most comments Iíve ever got. But now Iím very confused.
I did think I was free this weekend but now Tess seems to think Iím not so may be Iím not.
JenniAnn, I will check my mailbox but I think we should probably plan a chat when I get back to Dyeland. Iím concerned about you. Why donít you tell me what the rest of the email said so I can see what Tess cut?
Jarrod, I see you forwarded the email to Tess so I guess you found your answer with out me.
Finally, how did the Amish get brought into this and do they know?
August 29, 2006 at 9:56 pm
Andrew,sorry if I got you in trouble with Tess. But lets face it you donít have alot of time to answer sometimes. You really should go take the poll though after you have had time to read all of your emails.
Lady JenniAnn says:
August 29, 2006 at 9:56 pm
ďIím concerned about you. Why donít you tell me what the rest of the email said so I can see what Tess cut?Ē
Iím okay, really! How are you? I said in my email that we could read the Bible at night at the bed and breakfast since thereís nothing better to do. Except not the Song of Songs. Cause that makes me blush. Tess only quoted part so it lookedÖ questionable.
Hope that clears things up, dear.
August 29, 2006 at 11:40 pm
Whoa there! What bed and breakfast? Are you building one in Dyeland, JenniAnn? I really hope thatís the case.
Jarrod, I will look at your poll just as soon as I get to the bottom of this bed and breakfast thing.
Lady Beth says:
September 22, 2006 at 1:26 am
*blushing profusely while trying to hide in the corner* Okay, who told him about the white shirt issue? That person is in some deep trouble.
Iím not getting involved in the bed & breakfast convo cause I know I could say something incriminating that could be past on to a certain someone who will remain nameless. All Iíll say is that I like bed & breakfasts whenÖÖÖÖ.never mind.
Greetings from Yellowstone
August 21, 2006 by Andrew.
Iím currently on assignment in Yellowstone National Park. Itís really amazing here. Iíve not been here for a few decades.
My assignment is a park ranger so Iíve been spending a lot of time with him and his fellow rangers. Great bunch of people.
Iím thinking of growing a beard. What do you ladies think?
And Lady Beth: If my blog does prevent a recurrence of something that happened a couple months ago I will be one happy angel. 0:-)
2 Responses to ďGreetings from YellowstoneĒ
Lady JenniAnn says:
August 22, 2006 at 11:25 pm
ďIím thinking of growing a beard. What do you ladies think?Ē
When you say beard, what do you mean? Like a full beard or some lil goatee thatís just gonna make it look like you have bad hand-eye coordination while shaving and missed a spot?
Course, ya do know no matter what you do weíll all ooh and aah and fuss over you anyway, right? ::giggle::
Lady Beth says:
August 23, 2006 at 4:33 pm
Well I wonít be able to decide until I actually see you with a beard. Mind you, it should be kept trim and nice looking unless you are on assignment and need it scruffy looking. lol
Oohh Iím sure you would be a happy angel should the blog prevent a reoccurance of what happened a couple of months ago.
Where do the children play?
August 15, 2006 by Andrew.
Lately Iíve been working at a childcare facility. My assignment worked here with me and passed away last night. I stayed behind to help counsel the kids over the loss. I decided it would be a nice break for them to go for a walk. So we all went to the local park.
It was not one of my better ideas. When we got there I realized that over the night someone or some people had ďtaggedĒ a lot of the equipment. So then I got to explain what ďPoke Smot!Ē meant to little kids. And that was the most benign message.
It just made me sad. At what point does a playground stop being a place to have fun and start being a target for defacement? I felt bad for the kids in my care but also the people who did that and were once children. What happened to those children?
Well, my break is nearly over. I need to get back to the kids. I get to read ďStellaluna.Ē :-)
One last thing, thanks for the edits LJA. I like this much better now.
3 Responses to ďWhere do the children play?Ē
Lady JenniAnn says:
August 15, 2006 at 10:31 pm
Aww, hugs. Sorry that happened. Iíve wondered myself about that sorta thing when Iíve seen grafitti. The kids are lucky to have you there for them. Hope you enjoyed ďStellalunaĒ! I love that book.
Gotta say, you have me stumped on the ďpoke smotĒ thing.
August 18, 2006 at 6:55 pm
Revert the first sounds on ďpoke smot.Ē Itís a pro-drug message.
And yes ďStellalunaĒ is a wonderful book! I really enjoyed reading it to the kids.
Lady Beth says:
August 19, 2006 at 12:18 am
Never heard of ĎStellalunaí. Obviously itís worth reading.
August 15, 2006 by Andrew.
Clearly, this is an unofficial fan site. Andrew, Tess, Monica, Adam, Gloria, Rafael, and probably any other angel whose name gets dropped here is owned by ďTouched by an AngelísĒ executive producer, Martha Williamson, and MoonWater Productions. We are not seeking any profit from this site or any other part of the JABB site. This is for fun only. And to keep TBAA, and its beloved characters, alive in our hearts.
Co-Founder, Head Writer, and Web Mistress of the John/Andrew Bucket Brigade
(Photo Credits: The images used on this site are from ďTouched by an AngelĒ and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)
August 15, 2006 by Andrew.
Whining is hard to do on a blog. From my About Andrew page:
ďInterests: Telling people about God, wearing leather and a toolbelt, eating treats the amazingly talented and utterly enchanting girl who runs my fan club makes for me
Marital Status: A *forever* single heartbreaker but very, very sweetĒ
Obviously that is Lady JenniAnnís (the talented and utterly enchanting) doing. It makes it sound like I wear leather all the time! Like pants. And I do not!
I really hope Iím not a heartbreaker either.
4 Responses to ďTe-ee-ss-ssĒ
August 15, 2006 at 1:17 am
Angel Boy, your whining is not very becoming of an Angel and I expect better from you. So Get Over It!
Tess, Angel Director
Lady JenniAnn says:
August 15, 2006 at 11:42 am
Aww, now donít give him too hard a time, Tess. Please. I was being kinda bratty. Just cause heís so cute when he gets flustered. ;-)
Iíll make the necessary changes soon, Andrew. I promise you that.
Fare thee well,
August 18, 2006 at 6:54 pm
I hope I didnít disappoint you too much, Tess.
And youíre not a brat JenniAnn. Thanks for what youíve done here. I really like it.
Lady Beth says:
August 19, 2006 at 12:16 am
Tess, if you need any help straightening him out in regards to the whining, just let me know. Iíll be of assistance anytime you need it.
My blogÖ I guess
August 14, 2006 by Andrew.
JenniAnn thought it would be a good idea if I got a blog. To prevent people from worrying about me when I was on assignment. I said sure if sheíd set it up. I love computers but I never did get into blogging. I prefer my own leatherbound journals. Iíve kept them forÖ a very long time.
Now I think perhaps I should have done it myself. Does it need to be so pink, LJA? I feel like a teenage girl. Not that thereís anything wrong with teenage girls. Iím just not one of them. Thank you though. It is a good idea.
I need to go now. Tess is giving me the Look. I donít think she approves of blogs.
6 Responses to ďMy blogÖ I guessĒ
August 14, 2006 at 11:28 pm
Aww! But the layout is so cute! Dontcha like the horse!?
;-) Iíll see what I can do!
PS Did ya check out your About page yet?
August 14, 2006 at 11:52 pm
Now Mr. Halo Boy, LJA put alot of work into this and if you wanted a different color scheme then you should have done it yourself!
August 14, 2006 at 11:56 pm
I like the horse. The horse should stay!
August 15, 2006 at 12:21 am
See! I knew I was right about the horse. But Iíll see about the pink. Maybe. :-) Thank you, Tess, for your support.
August 18, 2006 at 6:53 pm
Yes, I like the horse. Iím glad Jennifer likes it also. Iím glad it stayed, too. 0:-) I do really like the blue and pink together much more than I did all pink. So thank you LJA.
And Tess youíre right. But LJA offered so I took her up on it.
Lady Beth says:
August 19, 2006 at 12:15 am
Yes this is an excellent idea. It might be useful so something like what happened not too long ago doesnít get repeated (Andrew, you better get the hint lol).
August 14, 2006 by Andrew.
Age: 50 Bazillion years old but doesnít look a day over 32
Interests: Telling people about God, wearing my leather jacket and a toolbelt (sometimes), eating treats the lovely people at my fan club make for me.
Marital Status: A *forever* single heartbreaker but very, very sweet. (From the Editor: He doesnít *mean* to be a heartbreaker. Heís perfectly innocent!)