December 23, 1999 – Thursday – 9:22 p.m.

There has been much time of reflection tonight as I wait for Marie to call or visit.  I enjoy waiting for her.  There is a calm peace about me now.  There is time to sit with Jesus in the candlelight and the blinking, colored lights from my very tiny fake tree.  I’ve listened to music and I’ve listened to the silence of my breath.  I’m listening to my own breathy laughter as I remember all that my beautiful God has brought me through.

And now I turn to ink and lined paper to simply see what happens when I combine the two.  I’m attempting to end the nineties.  I have cleaned up, thrown old things out, and listened to ancient music from the past ten years.

My father called me tonight, and I love him.  He has problems, he doesn’t do too much, he’s not very exciting, but he is alive, and that alone surrounds him with hope.

My 23 years have shown me the eastern coast of America.  Good things are happening here.  I’ve even seen the Gulf of Mexico and walked along Santa Monica Blvd, but who I am will always be an Appalachian mountain.  For over seven of these past 23 years, I have not lived in North Carolina, but it is the land I grew up in.  I hope to always know it is only a short drive away.

I realize my story is small, and I pray it always remains that way.  I want the simple.  I want the small.  There are many more states to see, but I would exchange them all for more time with Marie.  There was at knock a my door this evening, and I thought it was her.  I opened my door to a short lady with a plastic bag.

“Oops, wrong door.  Sorry,” she said.

I helped her find who she was looking for, but as I returned to my room my whole body was shaking in result of the thought of seeing her.

Hmmm.

A younger me experiencing these final days would reflect on each individual year of the ’90s and comment on them, but I would rather live in the now, in the hope of seeing Marie.

Lord, make me ready for a life of sharing.  Let me give to her all that you have placed in me.  Purify me.  Break me and burn me.  I love letting you take over Lord, but I realize this freedom comes at a huge price.  I thank you.

Eight days remain in this time of closing.

I want to spend them quietly with you.

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