December 16, 1995 – Saturday – 11:30 p.m.

Our opening night was tonight.

Our last performance is tomorrow night.

The show went really well.  The place was packed and everyone complemented me.

We had rehearsal this morning and then I went with Sharon, Hannah, and Megan to Boone where we went shopping, ate lunch, and saw Toy Story.  I had the greatest time.  Sharon is really nice and she tells me all the time how wonderful a Christian I am and how much I mean to her and other people.  Hannah and Megan were so much fun.  Just two little 10-year-olds without a care in the world.

Afterwards, when I came back here and had dinner with Crystal and Leslie, we went to the show and had a wonderful time performing.  When the show was over, Crystal and Leslie and I played cards up here in Clifton’s room.  They were goofing around and simply being free.  It amazed me.

I mean look at today.

Me, a lanky little boy who grew up in a crossroads called Mt. Vernon Springs, came to this mountain community knowing nothing nor anyone.

And now, in a year and a half’s time, I have found a home.

I feel very comfortable in this house.  I feel so comfortable over at Sharon’s house, and Marty and Stan’s house.

A whole church who backed me up to help me create a marvelous little show.

Before the show started tonight, I recognized about ten people who helped me with this production.  At the end, Pastor Jim said that I mentioned a lot of people but I forgot to mention myself.  So, he did it for me and everyone clapped.

I have come so far.

My mother, stepfather, and Nate come tomorrow.  Kevin cannot make it.  He has an appointment with Pastor Steve about Tenielle, John, and himself.  I talked to him today.

So, about 24 hours from now, I will travel away to a new and different world.  I pray that the Lord use me there to heal some broken hearts.  I can’t wait to see Mike and try to find Jonathan.

A new and old adventure awaits.

October 15, 1995 – Sunday – 11:57 p.m.

What a day!

Church was wonderful this morning.  Crystal was there and she sat with me.  I’m going to spend Fall Break with her and her family.  I’m looking forward to it.

It has been really cold today.  It’s around 35 degrees now.  It’s hard to believe October is already half over.

The last performance of Li’l Abner was today.  Everyone from church came.  We had strike afterwards and didn’t get finished until 8:30 p.m.

Eddie just left my room.  He came to get some notes for Diction.  We talked about Christianity some and then about acting and theater.  He tells me I have great talent.  I’m not sure how to take all of this.  Recently, because of Antigone, everyone has noticed my acting ability, talent, and gift from God.  God has given me this talent.  This gift.

And I can’t wait until the next time I get to use it!

October 9, 1995 – Monday – 12:02 p.m.

Things are great.  I had a lot of fun this weekend.  Dan, Jeff, Allen, and Vince and I have some of the coolest times together.  Wonderful memories are being made.  I see them changing; changing for the better.  They are becoming better people.

For Fall Break, I believe I’m going to stay up here and stay at Crystal and Clifton’s house.  That is probably the easiest and best thing for me to do.

I do have a home here.  It is not in room McAlister Hall, but it is in my heart.  My heart is filled with with love and with Jesus.  Jesus and love are all around me here.  My heart is here.  My home is here.

Molly was asking me at church the other day who my woman was.  I told her I didn’t have one.  So, she said that Crystal was perfect for me.  I didn’t say anything.

Sometimes I feel lonely because Charlie and Kate are always together and happy.

I talked to Marcus on Sunday.

He is okay.

Life is continuing.

And that is good.

March 1, 1995 – Wednesday – 10:35 p.m.

And now this March 1st is over.

We did not have Team Meetings tonight, so I went to C.H.I.L.L. and G.A.G., the two youth meetings at church.  The G.A.G. group went to a funeral home to see the aunt of some girl in the youth group.  But we went to the wrong one and it was some guy.  It was funny and embarrassing at the same time.

Crystal was there tonight.  We went to get some food at a place called San Dee’s in Newland, NC and then we went back to church.  We all rode in a van and had so much fun.  Crystal laughed at my jokes, as did everyone else.  Everybody thought I was funny.  New memories were made tonight.

I see a storm coming.

But it’s over three years away.

These walls in my heart are beginning to open, only to let them close again.

I will say hello, knowing I will one day say goodbye.

I will dream in the summer time, knowing Winter is on it’s way.

I will walk in fresh green grass, only to walk in the dead brown grass.

I will live through some of the best days of my life, only to relive them in retrospect.

I will let a new sun rise, knowing that the storm will come and rain tears of lightning on my world full of happiness.

I will save one more person as I whistle to The Female Bird.

I will invest in this land, knowing I will soon see it in the rearview mirror.

And I will challenge the deep, and dare to let the never-ending Canon in D continue, only to add it to my collection.

Why?

To honor Jesus and slowly save the world.

February 20, 1995 – Monday – 4:17 p.m.

Hi!  Last night at church, I became a member.  Everyone came up and shook my hand and hugged me.  Crystal was there; she hugged me.  But Laura and her family were not there.  People I didn’t know hugged me.  They welcomed me.  Strangers talked to me like I was their best friend.

New stories begin almost every day.  We all ate at Peggy’s again last night, Charlie, Molly, Jason, Caroline, Shawn, Dan and myself.

When I got home I called my house and left mom and Henry a message, “Hi guys, this is your son Jacob.  I called to tell you that I became a member of Heaton Christian Church tonight.  Things are really good and I want to thank you for bring me up in a Christian home.  I love you both.”

I’ve been thinking about this summer.  I don’t want to go to summer school, but I want to try and stay in this area, simply because of my church.  I called mom today and told her that.  She said whatever I wanted was okay.  She also said thank you for the message and that Henry had tears in his eyes.

I read the second section of my 6th Book of Days yesterday and today.  Those warm summer evenings.  Fishnet.  Deep Creek.  If only I had known.

But I know now.

And that is good enough.

February 19, 1995 – Sunday – 3:30 p.m.

Church was wonderful this morning.  Laura’s family wasn’t there, so I didn’t get to see her.  Crystal wasn’t there either.  I borrowed Richard’s car to get there.  It felt good to drive again.  Now it takes me five minutes to get to church; back home it took me twenty-five.

After church, I ran lights for A Piece of My Heart and then came here to my room.  The show opens Tuesday.  It’s a good show and I’m glad I could help out.

Michelle, a girl here at school, asked me if Jeni and I would ever get back together.

“I don’t want that to happen,” I said.

And I don’t.  I don’t want her anymore.  Deep down inside me I wish she would go back to Cincinnati to be with her mother and just finish up school there.  I am not going to be her husband.  I don’t want to be.  However, I’m still thankful for her and I’m sure that I will appreciate her more in the future.  I pray that she find love, Lord.

Yesterday I did homework all day.  I did stop to watch a movie called The Seventh Sign that came on TV.  Demi Moore starred in it.  I thought it was pretty awesome!

That evening I decided to go for another walk with my Lord.

We walked along Elk River.  It was a nice night.  There was a small breeze out.  On our way back we stopped at the bridge and we stayed there for a while.

I told Him some stuff.  He told me some stuff.  I laughed.  He laughed.

I sang to Him.  He listened and smiled.

We had fun.

Then I said, “Lord, this has been one of the greatest nights of my life.  This cool winter air.  This beautiful waterfall and light mist that blows up in the air.  The sound of the rushing water and You next to me.  I’m so happy.  I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.  I could stay this way forever.”

“You can,” He said.

I smiled.  A huge smile.

These years will pass.  One by one.  But I’ll never lose my smile.  It’s the smile my Jesus gave me.

February 15, 1995 – Wednesday – 5:55 p.m.

I wish I could be at church right now.  I can’t wait until the next time I get to see Laura, or the next time I get to talk to Crystal.

But instead, I have to stay here for Team Meetings and A Piece of My Heart.

Jeni received her poem and she agreed to be my friend like the last line had read.  She is my friend forever.

Something has happened.  I didn’t think about it or write about it because I didn’t think it was important.  However, someone has died and I believe now is the time to face it.

A beautiful young girl is now dead.  For all I know I could be next.

A few days ago, a student here at Lees-McRae came down with some sort of bacterial meningitis and was hospitalized.  This disease is supposedly spread by kissing or drinking after one another or even by smoking the same cigarette.

This student was given a 20% chance to live.  Two other guys on campus were carriers of this disease, but they weren’t effected by it.  However, the beautiful young girl that died was the girlfriend of one of the two carriers.  The other guy’s girlfriend is in a coma.  They do not go to this school, but they both live in North Carolina.

A medicine was freely given that kills this virus in you.  It has weird side effects, making your urine, sweat, and tears turn orange.  It causes soft contacts to turn orange and unusable.  I wear soft contacts and I don’t have glasses.  For that reason I chose not to accept the medicine because then I wouldn’t be able to see.  My vision is really bad.

A dancer kissed the boy who was hospitalized, and now other Performing Arts students are showing more signs and symptoms.

Charlie told me tonight that I must go tomorrow to get this medicine.  This may not be a big deal, but I wanted to mention it here anyway.

But after Charlie said that to me, a horrible thought entered my mind:  “You are going to die Jacob.  That is why you and Jeni broke up when you did…so this would be less painful for her.  Soon you will leave all of this and meet Jesus.  It’s your time to go.  You have done all you are supposed to do.”

Later I told Charlie my thought.  Jokingly he said, “Bummer, I wanted to be in one of your movies in the future.”

I laughed.

Then frowned.

Because I had to ask myself, “What did I do here?”

And even if I am not dying, still, what have I accomplished?  Whose lives have I changed?  Have I done enough?

The answer was obvious.

No, I haven’t.