Dye Scouts Presents......
First a lil bit about Stephanie:
My name is Stephanie Souders, and I am Keeper of Andrew's "Prayer on the Stairs" and Other Passionate Moments in JABB! The first episode of Touched By An Angel I saw was "The Journalist-" am I lucky, or what?! Anyway, since that first episode, I've been crazy about John Dye, and I don't think that will subside soon. :-) Let's see, in real life, I'm a twenty year old pre-med student at the College of William and Mary, where I'm majoring in Biological Psychology and minoring in American Studies. I hope to become a pediatric neurologist- in particular, I would like to work with autistic children. Besides medicine, I'm interested in pretty much everything else: American history, philosophy, astronomy, meteorology, reading, writing, etc, etc. I'm very easy to amuse!! You can also visit Stephanie's homepage.
Stephanie has earned the Perceptions badge with the following work:
Three poems/songs that deal with death:
The Love of God
William Cullen Bryant
ALL things that are on earth shall wholly pass away,
Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.
The forms of men shall be as they had never been;
The blasted groves shall lose their fresh and tender green;
The birds of the thicket shall end their pleasant song,
And the nightingale shall cease to chant the evening long.
The kine of the pasture shall feel the dart that kills,
And all the fair white flocks shall perish from the hills.
The goat and antlered stag, the wolf and the fox,
The wild-boar of the wood, and the chamois of the rocks,
And the strong and fearless bear, in the trodden dust shall lie;
And the dolphin of the sea, and the mighty whale, shall die.
And realms shall be dissolved, and empires be no more,
And they shall bow to death, who ruled from shore to shore;
And the great globe itself (so the holy writings tell),
With the rolling firmament, where the starry armies dwell,
Shall melt with fervent heat--they shall all pass away,
Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.
This poem by Bryant emphasizes that death is inevitable for all living things on Earth, but it also suggests an eternal element to the universe-God's love. It fits nicely with Andrew's message.
One Sweet Day
Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
Sorry I never told you
All I wanted to say
And now it's too late to hold you
'cause you've flown away
So far away
Never had I imagined
Living without your smile
Feeling and knowing you hear me
It keeps me alive
And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One sweet day
Eventually we'll sing in heaven
Darling I never showed you
Assumed you'd always be there
And I took your presence for granted
But I always cared
And I miss the love we shared
Although the sun will never shine the same
I'll always look to a brighter day
Lord I know when I lay me down to sleep
You will always listen as I pray
Sorry I never told you
All I wanted to say
This song is beautiful- I played it the day one of my favorite actors, DeForest Kelley, died because it described my feelings of regret perfectly- regret that I never met him, and regret that I never told how much he inspired me. If you value someone, TELL THEM! Sometimes death comes before you are ready for it. But again, this song lets us know that even if we can never see the ones we love again in this life, we will see them again in the hereafter.
Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The Carriage held but just Ourselves-
We slowly drove- He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility-
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess- in the Ring-
We passed the Fields of Grazing Grain-
We passed the Setting Sun-
Or rather- He passed Us-
The Dews drew quivering and chill-
For only Gossamer, my Gown-
My Tippet- only Tulle-
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground-
The Roof was scarcely visible-
The Cornice- in the Ground-
Since then- 'tis Centuries- and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses Heads
Were toward Eternity
In this poem by Dickinson, death is peaceful and civil. In it, you leave your Earthly cares behind and submit yourself to the care of Eternity. It's an exceptional attitude on the part of Dickinson, I think. And I think it's this sort of peacefulness that Touched By An Angel wishes to portray.
Views of the Angel of Death:
Death before Andrew was for me a nameless fear. When I was younger, I never really approached the subject of death, but some of my experiences would seem to suggest an unconscious fear of it. For one thing, I was a full blown hypochondriac. When I was around nine, I started reading my mother's medical books (like, for example, the Merck Manual) and when I had exhausted her supply, I went to the public library and checked out medical books there. Intellectually, I could understand the things I was reading, but I don't think I was emotionally ready for it. In middle school, I was always afraid I had cancer OR I was afraid my brain was about to hemorrage and I was going to drop dead that way. When I was almost 13, I was in a serious bicycle accident- my brakes failed while I was coasting down a steep hill near my neighborhood in Bremerton, WA. I was not wearing a helmet, and I crashed headfirst into a tree. When I woke up, it was a little while later and I was in the hospital. Amazingly, I only received a minor concussion and a lot of bruising and road rash. I also had a lot of abdominal pain (from internal bruising) and you can probably guess what I was thinking- I had internal abdominal bleeding. I didn't even trust my parents to keep an eye on me at home because I was afraid my concussion was going to progress to a subdural hematoma! Anyway, I ended up suffering no permanent injury. What happened after that was a spiritual crisis that lasted for several years- I was VERY conscious of just how lucky I was to survive the accident despite the fact that I wasn't wearing a helmet, and began to think God had saved me for something. Sometime in the middle of this spiritual crisis, I tuned in to Touched By An Angel and saw "The Journalist." I was stunned. Here was an Angel of Death who was not scary looking- actually, he was quite good looking, in a gentle sort of way. :-) He was kind, compassionate, and above all, when he discovered that the elderly couple he had grown to care about deeply were about to take their own lives, HE CRIED. Well, I was hooked then!
These days, I still fear death a little bit, but now there's a hopeful element to my fear. I hope to God that whoever comes to take me home is like Andrew- warm, funny, and gentle.
Stephanie has earned the History badge with the following work:
Fanfic set in a historical period featuring Andrew:
You can read her historical fanfiction entitled Letters to Posterity.
Famous people with John or Andrew in their name:
1. John Adams: (This is an essay I wrote some time ago. John Adams is my favorite historical figure.)John Adams was born on October 19, 1735 to father Deacon John Adams and mother Susanna Boylston Adams in a home of modest means. As the oldest son, it was expected that John would receive the very best education. John was resistant at first, preferring the life of a farmer, but Deacon John, a formidable presence, was able to convince him otherwise. At fifteen, John Adams, then a self-conscious bundle of doubts, fears, and hopes applied for admission at Harvard and was accepted. Four years later, he graduated and afterwards accepted a teaching position in Worcester, while, as is the plight of all college graduates, he tried to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. After much tossing and turning he decided on a career in the law and applied for a two- year apprenticeship under James Putnam, after which he returned to his hometown, Braintree, to begin his practice. In the midst of a turbulent and tortured youth, much of the turbulence being created by John's own uneasy temperament, he met seventeen year old Abigail Smith and fell in love. There would be a long delay, however, before their marriage in October in 1764 as John tried to establish financial security for the couple. They would eventually have four children, including John Quincy, future president of the United States, Charles, Thomas, and daughter Abigail. Prolonged separations would ignite a remarkable and famous correspondence between husband and wife that still stands today as an example of what true love entails. Early in the Anglo-American conflict, John Adams would play a peripheral but significant role. He first emerged on the public stage in 1765, first as a surveyor of highways in Braintree, then amidst the swirling tempest of the Stamp Act Crisis as a fearful but sober voice of the Patriot cause. In the autumn of 1765 he published "A Dissertation of Canon and Feudal Law" in the Boston Gazette and composed the Braintree Instructions denouncing the Stamp Act. The crisis had closed down Massachusetts courts, and late in 65, John was named as counsel to plead for their reopening. In 68 he would defend John Hancock against charges of smuggling, and in 69 he successfully argued the case for Michael Corbet and three other sailors who were accused of the murder of a British lieutenant, who, at the time was allegedly attempting to impress them into military service. John earned respect in Patriot circles, but he was inclined to avoid the more inflammatory elements of the cause in favor of constitutional principle and rule of law. No other moment in the Revolutionary era would demonstrate John Adams' fierce integrity more than the Boston Massacre. In 1770, he was asked to defend British commanding officer Captain Thomas Preston and those under his command, and he accepted without pause. To the chagrin of Boston's Patriots, he was successful in pleading their case. It would not be the last time John would stand independent against the gale force winds of his time. In 1774, Adams was elected to represent Massachusetts in the First Continental Congress. There he would be selected to serve on the Grand Committee, whose task it was to draft a Declaration of Rights and Grievances. Every moment was filled with ceremonies, politicking, dinners, etc. "My Time," he wrote to a correspondent, "is totally filled from the Moment I get out of Bed, until I return to it." It was exhausting, as politics always was for John, but he kept returning to it again and again, like a drunkard to the bottle. Late in 74 he was selected to serve on the Second Continental Congress, and in the period before the Congress convened, he defended the actions of the First Continental Congress in the Boston Gazette under the pen name "Novangelus." Not long after the first shots of the War for Independence were fired, John traveled to Philadelphia to attend the Second Continental Congress. Although he had initially hoped for reconciliation, the present circumstances made the possibility seem very unlikely, if not impossible. "I am as fond of Reconciliation...as any Man," he wrote in 75," [but] the Cancer is too deeply rooted and, too far spread to be cured by anything short of cutting it out entirely..." He had made the leap to independence. In supporting George Washington as the ideal head of the Continental army, John was quickly thrust into the limelight in the Congress, and as time went on it became clear that he was the undisputed leader of the radical faction. In the next two years, he would serve on ninety committees, chairing twenty-five! Benjamin Rush would report that the Congressmen acknowledged John Adams to be "the first man of the House." Richard Stockton anointed John as "the Atlas of Independence." He was appointed head of the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence and gave the major speech on behalf of the cause. He also drafted a "Plan of Treaties" as well as the instructions for the first American commissioners to France, wrote "Thoughts on Government," which was used to draft several state constitutions, and was appointed chair of the Board of War and Ordinance. John Adams was an unlikely leader. Dangerously honest, quick-tempered, and a little self-righteous, he had a proclivity for making enemies. Perhaps the most celebrated scandal in the Continental Congress occurred in 1775 when the British intercepted letters containing unfavorable comments on John Dickinson and published them in the papers. Dickinson never again spoke to Adams, and for a time, other members of the Congress avoided him. From this and other incidents in the record, it would appear that oft repeated phrase "obnoxious and disliked" was a pretty accurate description of Adams during this period. But equally evident was the enormous respect the Congress had for John's determination and sheer force of intellect. After his service in the Congress, John Adams would spend approximately ten years as a diplomat in Europe. Admittedly, John did not possess the talent of a Franklin, his impatience always getting the better of him. But he put his shoulder to the wheel and pushed with the same pluck he possessed as a member of the Congress, stubbornly demanding recognition for the United States. Eventually, he would be called back to the United States to serve as Vice President under the new Constitution, and in 1796, he would narrowly defeat Thomas Jefferson for the office of President. Adams's presidency was marked by violent party battles between Hamilton's Federalists and Jefferson's Republicans, and Adams, who treasured his independence above everything else, found himself on no man's land, caught in the crossfire. Plagued with a recalcitrant cabinet more loyal to Hamilton, Adams was left to steer the United States through a French crisis that had originated in the Washington administration. With America in a state of cold war with France, indignation particularly strong after the XYZ Affair, Adams became a hero of sorts for maintaining a strong position with the French. Adams pressed for the continued strengthening of the military, particularly the Navy, in effect demonstrating the American readiness for war. But war never came. John's correspondence with American diplomats overseas, including his son, gradually convinced him that the French were willing to negotiate a peace and that war could be avoided. Without consulting anyone, especially not his cabinet, whom he was beginning to strongly suspect, Adams sent to Congress his nominations for a peace commission that would be sent to France to negotiate. The Hamiltonians were outraged. Caring more for the neutrality and independence of America than self-preservation, John Adams became the early American martyr, effectively destroying his chances for re-election. His selflessness gave Adams little consolation, however- his defeat in 1800 struck the very core of his being. The lame duck phase of his presidency was spent appointing Federalist judges to the American courts, the so called "Midnight Judges," and early on the morning of Thomas Jefferson's inauguration, Adams set out for Braintree, the only president in history who did not attend his successor's swearing-in. Emotionally exhausted and vulnerable, Adams would spend the early years of his retirement working through the wounds inflicted during his time in public service. He sobbed, shouted, bled, threw verbal temper tantrums on the written page. But after many years, he calmed down, the demons exorcised, the man finally at peace. Because he was truly a deeply affectionate and caring being at heart, he started to reach out to old friends and old enemies in his correspondence. On New Years Day, 1812, John sent a missive to Thomas Jefferson, igniting a famous exchange of letters that symbolizes the whole of Revolutionary thought to this day. As an old man, John was nearly blind, toothless, and plagued by a "quiveration of the hands," but his intellect and spirit would burn until his last days. Early on July 4, 1826, a truly providential date, John lost consciousness, and in the evening, sometime around four or five o'clock, he went home to his Maker. His last words- "Thomas Jefferson survives..." He was off by several hours. Thomas Jefferson once wrote to a correspondent in 1821 of John Adams, " I am happy to hear of his good health. I think he will outlive us all, I mean the Declaration- men..." He did. Recommended Reading, as this essay surly does not encompass all of John Adams's personality or life: Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams, by Joseph J. Ellis; John Adams: A Life, by John Ferling, The Adams-Jefferson Letters, edited by Lester Cappon; John Adams, by Page Smith; Faces of Revolution, by Bernard Bailyn; The Diary and Autobiography of John Adams.
2. Then we have his son, John Quincy Adams:Born in 1767, John Quincy Adams was quite similar to his father in both brilliance and temperament. As a young man, he accompanied his father to Europe as his secretary. At age 26, Quincy Adams was appointed Minister to the Netherlands, thus beginning a career in public office that lasted to the end of his life. Quincy Adams was Secretary of State under President Monroe, and was one of the key intellectual forces behind the Monroe Doctrine. In 1824, Quincy Adams was elected President of the United States in a close election decided in the House of Representatives. (Incidentally, John Quincy Adams was the first American President to attend his innauguration in trousers- my mother, the period costume designer, told me this fact.) This was not, however, his most successful office. Though he tried to push improvements of the American infrastructure that were ahead of their time, he lacked popular support. Andrew Jackson would defeat Quincy Adams in 1828, and the former president returned home, believing his life in civil service was over. But surprisingly, in 1830, he was elected to the House of Representatives and became quite a notable figure in the slavery debates- in particular, he his known for his vigorous fights against the "gag rule" that prevented congressmen from discussing the subject of slavery, and, as anyone who has ever seen the movie probably knows, he also argued the Amisatad case in the Supreme court during this period. In 1848, John Quincy Adams collapsed on the floor of the House, and it is here that he finally died some days later.
3. John Collier:Born in 1884 in Georgia, John Collier was a social reformer who fought for the rights of Native Americans as distinct peoples. One of the foremost authorities on Native American issues, he was appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs by FDR in 1933 and served in this capacity until 1945. In 1934, Collier obtained passage of the Indian Reorganization Act, which granted Native American tribes the right to reinstate tribal institutions. Collier was President of the National Indian Institute from 1945 to 1950, and was the organizer and President of the Institute of Ethnic Affairs in Washington, DC from 1947 until the year of his death, 1968.
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