September 6, 1993 – Monday – 11:04 p.m.

A year ago today the youth group went to Fantasy Lake in Fayetteville.  It was for Jason’s birthday.  It’s his birthday tomorrow.  He will be 21.

Everyone went.  Even Brandon.  Even Mike and Ruth.  I got really bad sunburn.

I remember Ryan there.  I remember the swimsuit she was wearing.  I remember the way strands of her hair curled down in front of her ears.  I liked her then, but not like I do now.  I just noticed she was sweet, innocent, and beyond beautiful.

We had all planned on going to Fantasy Lake again this year, but Ryan said it was going to rain.

It didn’t.

Instead, we had a humongous water balloon fight at Kiwanis Park.  It was a blast, but during all the fun poor Amy slammed her middle and ring fingers in the door of the girl’s bathroom.

Amy panicked.  I mean really panicked.

I’ve never seen her act like that before.  I drove her home and Ryan went with me.  I felt so sorry for Amy; she acted like a six-year-old kid, but she’s 14.

Oh, that reminds me, Amy had a birthday party at her house last Friday and Mike and I went.  We had cake and played games.  It was fun.  And on the way out I accidentally bumped into their mom’s truck and dented it a little bit.  Eek.

But anyway, I felt so sorry for Amy; she was just crying and crying.  She kept praying and saying, “God, I’ll never do another bad thing in my life, please take this pain away.  I’m so sorry God.  I dedicate my whole life to you, just please take this pain away.” Ryan was doing her best to comfort her.

We made it to her house and Emily, Ryan and Amy’s mom, took care of her.  She didn’t break anything, but she busted the blood vessels.

Ryan and I left to go back to the park.  She was going to spend the rest of the day with Cheryl.  We had a neat talk on the way back to the park.  She’s simply wonderful and her heart is full of love for her sister and her mom and the rest of her family and all her friends.  She is the perfect example of “Love one another.”  I admire her for that and I wish I could be more like her.

Marcus and Scott and I decided to go to Fayetteville to see a movie.  Scott had to beg his mom before he could go.  But she finally said yes and we had a great time.  We played air hockey and then saw Rookie of the YearGreat movie.

On the way home, Scott and Marcus talked about how abusive their fathers were.  I have never known anything like that.

Misty was right.  My life has been a bowl of cherries.

Thank you Lord.

Speaking of Misty, despite all her threats of suicide, she’s still alive and she still comes to church regularly.  And, she still gets on my nerves.  I try to avoid her.  Cheryl and Ryan said she was looking at my butt on Saturday.  I don’t even really have a butt.  It’s more like a line where my legs join together.  Oh well.

Another Labor Day has come and gone.

This one was really special.  Ryan and I shared something with each other today.  We shared a look, and that look became a knowing.  Today, while helping Amy and driving her to her house, I felt really close to Ryan.  It’s hard to describe.  We both were on the outside of Amy’s suffering, but we still shared the experience.  We both shared looks with each other.

She knows.

And I know.

On the way back from her house, there was something there between us.  It was just an awareness and a knowing.  She knows she is important to me.  And she knows that I know she knows she is important to me.

We didn’t say anything along those lines to each other, but we didn’t need to.  I may be taking a long shot by saying this, but somehow I know Ryan will affect me for the rest of my life.  I don’t know in what form, but I know I will never forget her.

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