February 16, 1997 – Sunday – 1:30 a.m.

Something has happened to me.  Children of a Lesser God has changed me.  For the past month I put so much of my time in becoming James Leeds.  And in about 16 hours, it will be over.  I’ve learned so much.  Mark is such a true professional director.  He taught me the world.  He let me be an actor.  He trusted me.

There was an article in the paper, where Mark said, “Children of a Lesser God is a play about human rights, discrimination, and modern society’s reluctance to care.  Though the play focuses on the deaf culture, its ramifications can be applied to all forms of discrimination and ignorance, from racial issues to sexual orientation to religious preference.  It reveals the root of intolerance as based in the ignorance and apathy of human beings and their unwillingness to take time and energy to explore and understand an issue before they condemn its existence.”

Whew.  I don’t know how to explain it.  I seem different.  This play has matured me.  Even aged me.

Dana and Bradley came tonight, as did Dan and Allen.  They were impressed.  Strangers came up tonight and asked me how I memorized the whole show since I never left the stage.  To not only learn my lines, but to learn Sarah’s lines, as well as sign language.  I’m glad they noticed, but it didn’t seem all that hard, I just really wanted to do it and asked God to help me.

Dawn has been a delight.  To play a person who fell in love with a person she played.  No matter who I am, some version of me will always miss that time we were married on stage.

My dad came and seemed impressed, “Hard to believe that was you,” he said.

Thank you Mark Medoff for writing such a beautiful play.

It’s hard to know what I’m feeling.  Only one performance left.  Kevin is coming with the rest of the family.

So, where do I go from here?

What do I do now?

This love is leaving me.

I will be left alone with free evenings and no one to kiss.

February 7, 1997 – Friday – 10:30 a.m.

How different things are here at Lees-McRae than when I first arrived.  Charlie was over at Canon Cottage and I went to visit him after rehearsal last night.  I’ve known him for two and a half years now.  I think for Spring Break we’ll just go to Kate’s house in Florida again.

This place is so important to me.  Some have come and gone: Jason, Jeff, Michael, Syndi.  And others are going: Curtis and Jeni.

Life is so funny, but absolutely enjoyable.

Children of a Lesser God has become so close to me.  Dawn has become so important to me.  Or perhaps it is her character, Sarah Norman, whom I’ve grown to love.  When I am on the stage, I am in love with her.  She is so amazing.  She has this smell and I look forward to smelling it every evening.

All of the other roles I’ve played were supporting characters.  Now I am playing the leading man.  Other characters are supporting me and I’m growing dependent on them.  It will be very sad when this ends on the 16th.  It will be like losing a lover.

Mark, my director, has meant a lot to me these past few days.  He sees my growth and says people will never look at me the same after they see me in this show.

Thank you so much for this Lord.  Thank you for everything here at Lees-McRae.  I’ve never felt like I truly belonged some place until you brought me here.

My dad might come, as well as Kevin, Mom, Henry, and Nate.

I don’t deserve this love.

Fifteen months remain until the new storm blows me away.

Please don’t let it come too quickly Lord.

If I am to move to Virginia Beach, then please prepare that place for me.

I give you my life Lord.

I give you everything.

January 29, 1997 – Wednesday – 10:04 a.m.

Life is good.

I went for my Crosspoint interview yesterday.  I won’t know until March if I’m offered a job though.

Emily wrote a letter to me and also sent me a couple of pictures.  They are now in my wallet.  She is doing well and I miss her greatly.

Children of a Lesser God is going great.  I enjoy kissing Dawn and I like the way she smells when we are on stage.  I’m sure I’ll miss it when the show is over.  Our stage kisses have become a favorite dinner conversation topic amongst our friends.

The show opens in two weeks.

Abigail is good.  Jessica is good.  Shawna is good.  The guys are doing great.  Josh plays the drums in our church now.

Only three days of January remain.

December 27, 1996 – Friday – 5:11 p.m.

I called Sharon last night.  She told me that Allen and Curtis were back in town as well as Tracey and Murrell.  They were getting ready to leave for Disney World to attend a Christian convention of some sort.  I could have gone, but I needed to spend the holidays making money and not just spending it.

I also called Vince.  He’s doing good, but he is homesick for Lees-McRae; as am I.

There are only four days left in 1996.  It’s about over.

A year in which I got snowed in at my own house as desperately missed school.  I played Bearclaw as well as Polonius.  I stage managed Greater Tuna and went skiing three times.  I broke my pinky finger and had surgery on my lip.  I went to Arizona and Nevada for the first time.  I flew on an airplane, and drove through the desert.  I worked at McDonald’s and flirted with Mon Mon.  I ran the box office and the lights during summer theater.  I directed skits and plays with the kids during Vacation Bible School.  I went sledding with Murrell, drove to Boone with Laura, ushered with Dawn, talked deeply with Sherry, swung on the swings with Debbie and Jessica, and talked about the Lord with Abigail.  I went to Atlanta with Curtis, Tampa with the gang, New York with Vince, and Johnson City with Jeni.  I wrote a play. I met Josh, Timothy, and made new memories with new and old friends.  I stared out my window at the beautiful mountains.  I laughed a lot.  And even cried some.

I am happy with this year.

I spent it with people I truly love.

How could I ask for more?

December 19, 1996 – Thursday – 6:00 p.m.

I took a nap after work.  Then I checked the answering machine.  Dawn called me to see how I was coming along with the script.  I called her back and we talked for about 30 minutes.  She had an operation on her knee because of a car wreck a while back.  She told me that she has the first act down in sign language.  Her and I are going to work great together.

She is Sarah.  I am James.  James and Sarah fall in love.  I guarantee that while she is Sarah, she will not doubt that James loves her.

We talked about other things as well.  She told me about her and Derek.  They aren’t together anymore.  I want to be a close friend and help her grow closer to God.

It’s snowing outside now, but she said Banner Elk has six inches.

I’ll be there soon.

 

December 2, 1996 – Monday – 11:45 p.m.

It’s been a great day.  My classes were fun.  I got a lot of work accomplished.  I saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in nearly a week.  I went to Bible Study tonight.  Sharon has put up her beautiful Christmas tree.  Their home is so beautiful during Christmas.

I found out that I did get the part of James in Children of a Lesser God.  I’m excited and scared.  Dawn will play Sarah.  Yes, the same Dawn I was crazy about over the summer.  She will be my wife in the play.  I’ll probably have to kiss her.  This should be fun.

Please help me God.

November 5, 1996 – Tuesday – 12:15 a.m.

Sunday night I went to visit Ann-Marie, Jeni, and Tracey in their room.  We talked until one in the morning.  They told me all about their recent “girl talk.”  Ann-Marie liked Curtis for a long time, but never said anything.  However, all three of those girls now think Curtis is a big jerk, and they no longer like him now that they know him.

Jeni told me later she doesn’t understand those girls; Abigail, Ann-Marie, and Tracey all say I am the nicest guy, yet I am still alone.

I told Ann-Marie that I really liked her at the beginning of the semester.  She blushed and said, “Really?  I’m sorry…”

We all laughed about it.

They told me that Abigail has returned and that K.C. kissed her over the weekend.  They are a couple now.  I was so happy to hear that.  I prayed for both of them.

Auditions were tonight for Children of A Lesser God.  Auditions were taped and sent to the director in New York.  His name is Mark and he’s a guest director coming down just to direct this show.  It would be crazy if I got the lead!

We had Bible Study tonight at Sharon’s.  Abigail, Tracey, Ann-Marie, Jeni, Dan, Allen, Curtis, Vince, Ellen, Josh, and I all went; Abigail had never been to their house before.  She seemed to have a good time.  We talked a lot; she is such a sweet girl.  I enjoy being her friend so much.  Thank you for her Lord.  She is like another Ryan or Christi in my life; and that’s what I wanted.

I don’t know how to thank you God.  You are so good to me.  You’re doing everything.  You are taking care of it all.  It feels like I don’t really have to do anything.  You are the one producing a good work in me.  I just love you so much.  I give you all the glory, honor, and praise!!

November 3, 1996 – Sunday – 9:45 p.m.

Wow!

Yesterday after lunch I watched Immortal Beloved by myself.  Insanely good movie. Curtis and I talked.  He’s discovered a new girl, someone from Boone.  At dinner, Ann-Marie, Tracey, Jeni, and Jessica decided they were going to see Romeo + Juliet that night.  I was on duty so I couldn’t go.  However they then decided it was too cold to go out, so they just came over here and we all watched While You Were Sleeping instead.  Jessica and I sat next to each other on the bed.  She laughed so many times.  She is simply adorable.

Jeni, Tracey, Ann-Marie, and Jessica stayed in my room until one in the morning.  We watched The Little Mermaid as well.

This morning I went to Sunday School at Heaton.  Dawn came along with Derek.  I left afterwards to go to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship.  I went with Jeni, Ann-Marie, Jessica, and Todd.  I sat next to Jessi and the service was amazing.  It seemed to touch her; I could hear and feel her tears.

I found out later in the day that Dawn rededicated her life to the Lord this morning.  This is the same Dawn that I met at The Farm House.

This evening I auditioned for Children of A Lesser God.  We have callbacks tomorrow evening.  Everyone tells me that I’ll get the lead role of James.  The role requires learning sign language.  It’s very challenging.  God help me.

A smile is on my face.

I have beautiful friends.

And a beautiful God.

I am content.

I am pleased.

God has handed me a beautiful life and I hand it all back to him.

August 13, 1996 – Tuesday – 2:30 p.m.

Yesterday was my last day of summer theater, my last day at the box office, and simply the last day of the summer of 1996 for me.

Sure it will still be warm, but RA training starts today.  The school year has begun.  I consider it the fall.

Leonard helped me in the box office.  We were busy for a while.  Sharon and a friend came to the show last night.  She enjoyed it greatly.  She knows about my birthday this weekend and wants to throw me a party.  I am very busy though, so I hope we have time.

Crazy for You has been a wonderful show.  I ran the light board and felt like I was a part of the magic.  It was kind of sad to see it close.  I hugged most of the cast and crew last night.  I met so many people I will most likely not see again.  The wind will blow over them and they will be gone.

Dawn came to the show last night.  After strike, Allen and I met up with her and her friend Debbie.  We all went over to Tony’s house and watched Casper while I took care of Balki.  All four of us just squeezed onto the guest bed to watch it.  Debbie fell asleep and Dawn cried.  And I was simply happy to be that close to a girl who at one point in my life so graciously satisfied my hunger and thirst.

How strange life has become.

How remarkably terrifying.

But God is behind me.

He is for me.

So who can be against me?

Another summer.  A different one.

Day is light that lets you see the world as if flies by in front of you.

By now, I should have learned my lesson.

I need to stop and try to let go.

But instead, I reflect, remember, and fall in love with my memories.

Soon the day will come, when I can no longer remember.

And then, I shall fly away to heaven.