May 10, 1998 – Sunday – 10:30 a.m.

It is that day.

Nothing has happened yet, except that Sarah came over last night and we snuggled and made out until 7 o’clock this morning.  Which means I accidentally slept through my Baccalaureate Service.  It was a church service this morning for all of us graduates but it ended about 30 minutes ago.  Oops.

Friends and family should be here soon.

I am tired.

I’m doing last minute packing.

Sarah was amazing last night.

 

May 8, 1998 – Friday – 11:15 a.m.

Sarah and I had a great time with Sharon and family.  It was priceless.  Laura and Hannah were so sweet to Sarah, and Sharon adored her.  She adored all of them as well.

Thank you God.

They gave me a graduation present and card.  Even Laura had a card from me just from her.  She is the greatest!

It turns out now that I can’t go to Virginia Beach until the 26th of May, but I did make a $100 deposit, so I have an apartment reserved.  I think a guy named Matt, who is currently still in school in Minnesota, will be my roommate.

We have graduation practice at 2 o’clock today and 48 hours from then is the real graduation.

Three days are left.

Only three.

May 6, 1998 – Wednesday – 2:12 p.m.

Another day closer.  I’ve been on the phone a lot.  It seems that on the 17th, the day after Jeni’s wedding, I will move to Virginia Beach.  I called Regent University and they said it would be best for me to come in May because no apartments would be available in August.  Since I don’t have a car, I need to stay in their campus apartments and they tend to fill up pretty fast.

So that is 12 days from now.  This, of course, is bad news for me and Sarah.  She cried last night.  We had planned on having the summer together.

Now we don’t.

But God is doing this.  I have to go into my future.

In about an hour, Sarah and I will go have dinner with Sharon.

All of this is so exciting and scary.

I think the only way any of us survives growing up is because we don’t realize it is actually happening.

May 5, 1998 – Tuesday – 1:00 p.m.

Sarah and I spent some awesome time together last night.  I told her the stories of the two novels I wrote in high school.  Can you call them novels if they were never published?  Hmm.

And I called Emily today.  I hadn’t seen or spoken to my beautiful pen pal in a year.  I woke her up.  She sounded so much older and so much more experienced.  She just got back from her first year at FSU in Tallahassee.  I told her my parents are moving down close to her and she couldn’t believe it.  I asked her about her first year at school and she just sighed.

She and Brandon got back together after he beat her up.  She said they had an amazing relationship for a while, but then it fell apart because they had sex.  They both felt guilty for that, but then she got pregnant.  A month or so later, she had a miscarriage.  Brandon then felt like he was off the hook and left her.  She was alone for a semester in her apartment, dealing with all of that by herself, and I started to feel guilty because I didn’t keep in touch with her when she needed me the most.

I told Emily about Sarah and how we both read her letters together the other night.  She said she wanted to meet Sarah.  I told her I may be in Pensacola for a little while and that we have to hang out.  She agreed.

This is unbelievable.

Emily.

We can never say goodbye it seems.  She messed up, but she is forgiven.  She explained to me how she was getting her life back in order.  I want to go down with my parents just so I can spend time with her.

It’s been nearly five years now since we first met on that summer night at Deep Creek.

My how we both have changed.

May 4, 1998 – Monday – 4:40 p.m.

I talked to my mom over the phone today.  She told me some wild news.  She, Henry, and nate may move to Florida this month.  They are selling the house.  I had planned to live at home this summer, visiting Sarah and raising money for South Africa.  Now I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I can try to move early to Virginia Beach, or I can move to Pensacola with them.  That means I would be away from Sarah, but would be less than 30 minutes away from Emily, for Crestview is in the neighboring county.

AHHHHH!!!

This is crazy!

May 4, 1998 – Monday – 9:30 a.m.

Can it already be May?

This is my final week.

Saturday night, I went to see Titanic again.  I went with Summer from our Bible Study, she hadn’t seen it yet.  We had a wonderful time, and she cried her eyes out just like everyone else.

Yesterday I said my goodbyes to the church.  I cried during communion, and gave a little speech.  I told many families that I loved them dearly.

Sunday night, last night, Sarah and I, plus Lindy and Ann-Marie, went to see Les Miserables.  Not the musical, just the movie, but I didn’t really like it.  There’s no way you can fit that epic story into a two hour movie.  It didn’t even have Eponine.  The first half was okay, but the 2nd half was too vague.  The others liked it, but they haven’t read the book.

I’ve begun talking all of my eagles and such off of my walls.  I’m slowly packing up day by day.

Seven days.

It’s already come down to just seven days.

 

May 1, 1998 – Friday – 11:00 p.m.

This month has finally arrived.  Sarah and I have been doing really well these past couple of days.  I only have one final exam on Tuesday and then my Gus, the Theater Cat scene goes up on Sunday.  My beautiful Sarah is in it as well as Timothy.

This afternoon I finally heard back from Teen Mania.  They are sending me to South Africa to serve as a Team Leader for a full month!  South Africa!!  You are amazing God!

I’ve been rummaging through my boxes of stuff from Lees-McRae.  I found all the letters that Emily ever wrote to me.  What a story!  What a collection of words!

Sarah was in here the other night when I came across them, and, forgetting a lot of what Emily had written, I let Sarah read some.  She was amazed and speechless.  She did not leave my room until five in the morning.

I just got back from the spaghetti dinner tonight.  She and I went together, and just like last time, we all talked about the old ’80s TV shows we grew up on.  It was kinda weird.

Many memories have been triggered thanks to my rummaging through ancient papers of the past.  What a life I have lived here!

And in nine days, all of it will be a memory.

This room and these walls will be mine no longer.

My ending here has been a nice one so far.  At Bible Study they had me sit in the middle of the group and everyone said something nice to me.  Many just looked at me and cried. My friends said the nicest things.  Last weekend we all went up to Table Rock and experienced a perfect night together.  The city lights surrounded us in endless beauty.  I will miss this land.

I spoke at chapel on Tuesday and Allen and Abigail were in tears.  I speak at Heaton on Sunday and there I will say my goodbyes.

Sarah and I are going to have dinner at Sharon’s house on Wednesday.

I went with Jeni today to see the little cottage that her and David are moving into.  It was small and cute.

Carla will not be able to make the drive up from Atlanta to attend graduation.

In case you haven’t noticed, I really don’t know what to say except that I know I am changing.

South Africa will change me.

Regent University will change me.

But if there is one thing that is constant, it is change.  I can always count on God and I can always count on him bringing change.

God, I give you all the glory for these four years of beautiful moments.  I will follow you.  You are bigger than Lees-McRae.  You are bigger than the people I love here.  Holy Spirit, help me keep my eyes on you.

. . .

Sarah just stopped in.  She left to go to bed.  She said that I had spoiled her.  I asked in what way.  She said that I was perfect to her.

. . .

I guess I’ve been doing a pretty good job then.  She has defined my senior year.  We have had five special months together here at this beautiful campus in the mountains.  And we have decided to continue our relationship over the summer.

I’m not sure if she is perfect for me, but I sure do want her to be.