"Joy is the serious business of Heaven."
~~ C.S. Lewis


The
          Charles/Adam Bucket Brigade

Hi all,

62 years ago today, Charles Rocket was born.  Though we remain saddened that he has passed on, we also remain grateful for the hope, laughter, and peace he brought us as Adam. 

I hope he and John are looking down from Heaven and knowing completely and utterly just how much they were and are loved and appreciated!

God bless,
Jenni

Remembrances

From Rebecca:

I may have said something very similar last year but I would like to comment on how much I have always enjoyed Charles Rocket's work especially as Adam. I loved his dry sense of humor and I think he brought a special style to Adam. Adam was a very different interpretation of an angel of death from Andrew, however, I really loved them both.

Charles Rocket's interpretation of Adam was both humorous and sophisticated mixed with an appropriate sense of seriousness. I loved both angels of death dearly and was especially happy when they both were included in some of the later episodes.

From Jenni:

So every week I sit down to a "new" episode of TBAA.  For a few years now, I've been watching the episodes in order, one episode every week.  And, for the most part, I don't allow myself to skip ahead.  So it had been a good, long time since I'd seen "The Sign of the Dove" and when I first started Season 7 back in November 2010, I was sooo
excited to get to it.  Of course, I knew it would be a bittersweet experience.  Sometimes I still can't believe that Mr. Rocket is no longer on this earth.  But I knew the warmth and humor he brought to Adam would still bring me happiness and amusement.  I anxiously awaited getting to see our two beloved AODs hang out in a pub and talk shop!

I couldn't have known in November just how bittersweet viewing it after so many years would be.  When April arrived and "The Sign of the Dove" rolled around, I was still in shock over John's death.  I was worried that this episode that I loved so much would become doubly painful.  Yet, as I sat down to it, I found myself writing "I don't feel nervous about watching this.  I love these guys.  It's still them."

And I was right.  It's still them.  We still love them.  And they can still bring us joy.  And maybe teach us a thing or two, also, if we're willing to listen...

I think what I take the most from Andrew and especially Adam in "The Sign of the Dove" is the importance of being a good friend... even during the tough times.  Especially during the tough times.  I mean let's be honest: Andrew is kinda a jerk in this episode!  He shoots Adam with a "Whatever..." (Is he thirteen!?) and then insinuates that Adam can't treat Ben as well as he could.  Class act, Andrew!  But he's upset and grieving.  The Masons meant a lot to him and then suddenly it seems as if he's going to lose the last of them.  Like many of us, he doesn't exactly grieve in the most beautiful and angelic of fashions!  But Adam takes it all in stride.  While I woulda been tempted to let lose with a "Boy, I was hanging around gallows while you were still practicing your 'Hallelujahs' with the choir!" before storming out, Adam sticks with his buddy.  Sure, he tries to put Andrew and his ego in their places a bit.  But he doesn't bail just cause Andrew's suddenly not very fun or sweet.  In fact, he looks so tenderly upon his friend when Andrew goes upstairs for what he believes will be his final conversation on this side with Ben that it melts my heart.  Sure, Andrew may be the epitome of who I most want to be with but in that silent moment, Adam is the epitome of who I'd most like to be.  He's someone who can see beyond a cranky facade to the broken heart beneath and do his best to bring peace and love to a troubled friend.

Now more than ever, I realize how important that is: just being there.  Just sitting there with a person as they remember and they fret and they get emotional and maybe say things they shouldn't.  I'd like to thank Mr. Rocket for demonstrating grace and how to be an angel of comfort to our friends in need.  I hope I can take those lessons and help others as he helped Andrew.  To paraphrase Andrew, I am very, very glad he was born. 

I pray that in Heaven Charles Rocket knows that he's being remembered and appreciated with gratitude and love.  May his family and the Dye family know that our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them.  They shared their loved ones with the world and we are most assuredly better people for that.  Thank God for Charles and John.

God bless you all,
Jenni



Moving On


By:  Yvette Jessen

 

The rain was falling as young Chloe Williams walked towards the edge of town, her rubber rain boots sploshing against the concrete as she walked.  Passing a newstand she could see the headlines for the various papers.  These were conveniently covered with plastic to keep the rain water from smearing the ink.

 

As her eyes blinked back the persistent tears, Chloe had no way of knowing that she was being observed.  It was not by anyone who meant her harm, quite the contrary.  The one observing her was a tall blue eyed angel.  His name was Adam and he had been watching over her for several days.  It was like this whenever a human was dealing with unspeakable sorrow.

 

Chloe's boyfriend had ended his life the week before, and the teenage girl's mind was now filled with questions about what had been wrong and why he had done it.  These were, of course, inquiries that only the boy could have answered, but he was not here to do so.

 

Adam knew that she was very sad and more than anything he wondered if there was anything that he could do to help her.  He had been an angel of death long enough to know the thoughts that were drifting about in the young girl's mind.  They paralleled anyone who was affected by this sudden loss.

 

Further down from where he stood, the street ended and extended into a small wooded cemetery.  The angel followed but watched as she approached the gate and entered.  She turned back around, but only for a moment in order to close the gate.

 

Keeping a small distance from her, he watched as he approached what looked to be a fresh grave.  The name Brian Hutchinson was etched on the stone and fresh daisies covered the mound of earth in front of it.  Adam stopped walking as he watched the teenager sit down on the ground.  The rain continued to fall on her and instead of waiting, he approached.

 

As he came closer, an umbrella appeared in his hand and he walked over to where she was seated.  When she felt the rain suddenly stopp falling on her, she raised her head to see him standing over her, his blue eyes staring at the gravestone.  Instead of speaking, she started to get to her feet and back away from him.

 

“I'm sorry,” he spoke.  “I didn't mean to interrupt you.”

 

Chloe nodded.  “I didn't expect anyone to come out today.  I just wanted to spend some time with Brian.”

 

Adam nodded.  “I understand, Chloe.”

 

“You know me?”

 

“Yes, Brian told me a great deal about you,” he said.  “His description of you was quite accurate.”

 

Chloe took a deep breath.  “It doesn't matter.  He's gone.”

 

“Perhaps physically, but in his heart, he will always be with you,” Adam said.  “Even when he is in Heaven and watching over you.”

 

“How do you know?”  She asked.  “What makes you so sure of that?”

 

“Faith,” Adam said softly.  “The belief that God is here and knows the pain you are in.”

 

“God?”  She whispered sadly.  “If that's what you think, all that I can believe is that God abandoned us when we needed Him.  Brian's family believed in God, and Brian attended church every Sunday.  He was a good student too and wasn't sick or anything.  Everyone thought he was destined for something great.”  As she spoke, tears streamed down her cheeks.  “But, not this.”

 

Adam leaned towards her and rested his hands on her shoulders.  “I know,” he said softly.  “No one expects this to happen.  They want to believe that the people they love will always be with them.”

 

Chloe took a deep breath and nodded as they started to walk away from the grave.  “I guess that's what I needed to hear.  I know they mean well, but the preachers are always trying to tell us the things about God that I don't really want to hear.  They say it was God's will or how we should feel or what we should think, but no one really knows what to think or feel.  I just want to understand why this happened.  I thought he loved me.”

 

“His passing does not mean that he didn't love you,” he affirmed.  “I think he cared very deeply for you.  He simply wanted the pain to stop.”

 

“The pain?”  She whispered.

 

“Yes, Brian suffered depression, and untreated, depression can cause people to often do things that they otherwise might not do.  The key to it is getting the help one needs when it happens.  Perhaps that is the legacy that Brian is leaving behind.”

 

Chloe looked at him, but instead of speaking, she lowered her head and stared down at the boots she was wearing.  After some moments, she looked at him.  “Why didn't you tell him those things when he was alive?”

 

“I couldn't, Chloe,” Adam said as he began to glow, the light of God's love surrounding him.  Around them the rain had stopped.

 

“You're an angel,” she whispered.

 

“Yes, my name is Adam,” he began.  When she nodded numbly, he continued speaking.  “ Brian wanted you to know that he did not want to hurt you when he went Home.  He wanted only for the pain to stop.  He told me that you were always so strong and he admired your strength.  It was a trait that he wished he possessed.”

 

“He was strong,” she whispered.

 

“He did not view himself in that way,” Adam said softly.  “He knew that this would be hard for you to accept, but it was his wish that you would move on, and find healing in the sadness, and courage in overcoming this pain.  One day, you will meet again and all the things that made you sad and filled with sorrow will be gone.  When that day comes, you will see me again, Chloe.”

 

With that the angel was gone and the teenager was left holding a small daisy in her hand.  As she stared down at the small blossom, she could feel the light of the sun resting against her arm.  Raising her head, she could see that the sun had come out and the clouds that had danced across the sky only moments ago were gone.

 

Adam was right, she thought to herself as she cradled the flower.  Maybe all we can do is heal, and try to understand the sorrow that Brian was in.  Maybe one day we can use this experience to help prevent others from believing that this is our only option.

 

With a new sense of determination, Chloe crossed the street and made her way back in the direction of home.


The End



Suicide Prevention and Depression Resources

As Yvette's story demonstrates, depression and suicide can have a sad and lasting legacy.  If you or anyone you know is experiencing depression or contemplating suicide, please seek help.  The numbers and sites below are just a few of the many organizations ready and waiting to help.  Thank you, Rebecca, for help in collecting these.

The United States National Suicide Hotlines
(Toll free, every minute of every day)
1-800-784-2433 (1-800-suicide)
1-800-273-8255  (1-800-273-talk)

National Institute of Mental Health's Depression Information

Kristin Brooks Hope Center Information and Phone and Online Support

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

For a list of international suicide prevention hotlines please visit:
International Suicide Hotlines




Thank you, Charles Rocket!!!


JABB TOC

JABB 335
(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)