May, 12, 1995 – Friday – 11:55 p.m.

Jonathan and I rented The Shawshank Redemption.  A lot of cursing, but a wonderful movie.

I got my hair cut yesterday morning.  Ginger did it.

It’s good to be here with Jonathan; it’s good to have a friend.

You know, now that I think about it…the first night I talked to Emily on March 26th, and the night I held Syndi on May 7th, were probably the greatest moments of my Freshman year at LMC.  Thank you for them Lord.

We are going to the beach tomorrow.  This’ll be the first time I’ve seen the ocean during the day for probably five years.

I saw it at night last summer with Jonathan.

Last summer seems like yesterday.  This summer seems like tomorrow.

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July 27, 1994 – Wednesday – 1:00 a.m.

It has been Wednesday for an hour.

On Monday Jonathan and I went to Pembroke State University, and by the grace of God he was admitted and will be able to start school there this fall.  This was his last chance and he made it.

We went to his mom’s in Wilmington.  That night we played miniature golf.  And I tell you what…there are millions of beautiful girls in this world.  I know the Lord God has set apart one of them just for me.

We also went to the beach at about 11:00 p.m.  I hadn’t been to the beach in four years.  It was so amazing.  There is so much to see in this world.  So many people to meet.  

The moonlight shining over the ocean.

Sand between my toes.

The Moon was happy.

Open up Jacob.  Enter in.  Find your joy here while you can, so you can take it with you to Lees-McRae.  Your dreams will be tomorrow.

June 10, 1994 – Friday – 11:58 p.m.

As I am writing this it is becoming the 11th day of June, 1994.  Today dad and I saw City Slickers II and tonight I received my high school diploma.

It happened.  I graduated from high school.  Jenna and Tenielle were there.  They seemed to enjoy it.  I gave them a big hug!

I can’t believe it’s over.  All those people.

There was one thing that happened tonight.  It happened twice.  I can’t get it out of my mind.  A girl was near me while I was in the midst of the crowd after graduation.  I was talking to someone happily and then turned and I saw her and she smiled at me.  Then later, while talking to Jenna and Tenielle, I saw her looking at me.  I looked at her and she smiled like she had known me forever.

But this sophomore girl has only said four words to me since she came to high school.  Once, in the sight and sound section of Wal-Mart in Sanford, she said “hey.”  The other three words she spoke to me during switch day of my senior year.  She said, “Turn around Jacob” because she wanted to see how I had stuffed my butt to look more like a girl.

This girl is Renee and it is very unlikely that my eyes will ever see her smile again.  I thought of her the rest of the night.

I am leaving tomorrow to go to Virginia.  Everyone else from my graduating class is going to the beach, but that’s just not me.

My collection has grown.  My collection of farewells.

I will miss it.  I will miss them greatly.  It’s hard to know what to say, but all good things must come to an end.

I have a list.

A list of my own.

Schindler had his and I have mine.

His was a list of lives he’d saved.  Mine is simply a list of people I’ve shared existence with.  And I say goodbye to you.

We are the class of 1994.  You have shaped me.  And even those at Chatham Central who are not in the class of 1994, you have shaped me as well.  

Thank you Renee.  

Thank you for smiling at me.  

You made this graduation so wonderful.