March 13, 1999 – Saturday – 9:01 p.m.

Closing time for another book has come.  Nearly nine months of my life have been written down in these bound pages.  This 14th Book of Days began as Sarah and I ended.  I’ve been to Texas, New York, South Africa, Swaziland, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Virginia during the days of this book.  And now I relax on a bed in my grandparent’s house in Lenexa, VA.

My aunt Patty just left to go back to D.C.  My brother just left to return to Richmond.  Nate is on the couch, and Mom and Henry are upstairs.

And life is beautiful.

It is good to be here; to be around family.  This was the first time my immediate family has been together since my graduation.  Yet we were all in this one house tonight because of one man, my grandfather.  My aunt Patty sung a song she wrote about him today and it ended with the lyric, “I learned a lot from my daddy.  Most of all, this is what I learned: work hard to provide, live a decent life, marriage is for a lifetime, raise your young’uns well, and always say ‘I love you.'”

I am proud to call him my grandfather.

My mother talked to me tonight about my dad, and how he would call her ugly and tell her that he would think of other women from magazine covers when having sex with her.

How cruel, but I forgive him.

God is my father, and always has been.

I will learn from Him.

Although I am from a family, it seems like such a meaningless thing compared to the relationship between myself and Jesus.  The whole worth of my being depends on a bloodstained hand.  I see from where I have come, and what a beautiful story it is, but I must never stop writing.  I one day will be like my grandfather and perhaps give hope to my grandson as he begins his own journey.  Nevertheless, the work of my hand and mind, the provision that will come from that, the marriage between my future wife and I, and my relationship with my future children is nothing compared to Jesus and me.

I am 22.

Twenty-two.

I have learned many things, but only one do I hold my life to.

Only one.

And that is that Jesus loves me.

Jesus loves me.

And he loves all his little children as equally as he loves me.

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