August 11, 1995 – Friday – 11:56 p.m.

Danny and Peter came over today.  They are the greatest!

Tonight was interesting however.  The only people home were Mom, Nate, and myself.  We cooked hamburgers on a grill on the porch.  And while eating, a wonderful conversation arose.  Mom told me of her high school days, a boyfriend, seeing my dad, and getting married at the age of 17.  My dad was 19.  I turn 19 in less than a week.

How stupid they were.

How could they have known?

She told me about them driving out to Arizona and being conned out of over $200 because when they stopped to get gas, a mechanic convinced them they had bad tires and needed to buy new ones immediately.  She later realized they were just trying to sell tires and make an easy buck.  This was in 1971.  Kevin was born in 1975.

They moved to Columbus, Ohio and I was born in August of 1976.  We moved to what was then West Germany in August of 1977.

She told me of a diary she kept during those days.  She ran upstairs to get them.  I read about days before and after I was born.  Her writing was beautiful.  She wrote of smells, sights, sounds.  It reminded me of one of my journal entries or even of one of Emily’s letters.  I was shocked!

On November 2, 1976 she wrote an entry.  This is a small part of that entry:

Jacob and I had our special time together today.  I love nursing him while he’s half asleep and he grins while on my nipple, so cute.

I couldn’t believe it.  This was my mom at 23 years of age.  She wrote about nursing me.  All these years, my mom was right next to me, guiding me, and I hardly noticed her.  And I’m sure that many times when she looked at me, she still saw that two month old bald-headed baby lying helplessly at her breast.

It seemed as if my mom gained so much wisdom tonight.  Or maybe it was me who gained the wisdom.  She has given me so much and through her diary, I could tell that Kevin and I kept her going through those years when my father didn’t know how to love her.

And now…although I am almost 19-years-old, I sometimes still feel like a helpless baby, needing my mother’s breast.  But it is not there.  I must be me, and I must rely on God.

My mom sees so many things I thought she did not.  I owe her so much.  I want to give her so much.

Thank you for showing me this God.

Goodnight everyone.

May 8, 1994 – Sunday – 10:13 p.m.

Well here it is, My 6th Book of Days.

By the time I finish writing in this notebook my life will have begun again somewhere else.

It has been five days since I ended My 5th Book of Days.  Five days of joy.  Wednesday I went with Rhonda, Lisa and Wendy from school to sell Bear Facts (the school newspaper) at J.S. Waters school.  We went out to eat lunch afterward.  Nice time.

I worked at McDonald’s on Friday night until about 11:00 p.m. and then I went with Kevin, Kenny, a guy named Rodney to go bowling in Asheboro.  I didn’t get home until 3:30 in the morning.

Saturday, I directed a skit which everyone enjoyed at church this morning.  After youth group on Saturday, I took Jenna and Tenielle home and stayed with them for a few minutes.  When Jenna hugged me before I left I licked her cheek.  She always does that to me.

She couldn’t believe I did that.

Tonight we had a birthday party at church for Shurby and I wiped cake icing on Jenna’s face.

The three of us, Jenna, Tenielle and I have come so far so fast.

We have nothing to hide and we get along so well.  I love our friendship.

Cheryl went to the beach this weekend.  She told me that she went with Ryan and that Ryan was drinking.  But Cheryl didn’t drink.  Ryan, I wonder if all of this was ever a reality to you?  Please don’t fall too far, I won’t be there to catch you.

Today, we visited Veronica’s and she got out all the old letters I wrote to her and began reading them out loud.  I couldn’t believe I wrote some of that stuff.  What was I thinking?

But that was in the past.  I have grown up a little.

And by the time this book is finished, I’m afraid I will have grown up a lot.

This may actually hurt a little bit.

Bear with me.

February 13, 1994 – 11:30 p.m.

Oh my gosh!!!

This can’t be happening!  There is no way!  I must be dreaming.  Somebody pinch me.

First of all let me say that Jenna and Tenielle didn’t go to youth group Saturday night for the same reason I didn’t.  Jenna gave me a letter today in church.  It was sweet.  I wrote her a letter back but she wasn’t at church tonight so I didn’t give it to her.

Now let me tell you what I am excited about.  But before I do, go back and read a few entries of my Book of Days.  Read August 2, 1993, and August 11, 1993, and November 8, 1993, and December 1, 1993.  And then there’s December 23, 1993 and finally Feb. 8, 1994.

Did you read them all of them?

Now what do all of these entries have in common?  Sure, a few of them are just a few lines here and there, but all of them have only one person in common.

One girl.

Christi.

When the day began, I didn’t know it would end this way.

Mom let me drive to church.  Very shocking.  Scott asked us to go to McDonald’s with him.  We did.  But afterwards, for some odd reason, Marcus and I decided to go visit Christi.  We did exactly that.

Christi answered the door.  She hugged the two of us.  We went in; the Olympics were on.  I hugged everyone else.  It had been two months since I’d seen Christi.  But I did send Christi a Christmas card.  I can’t remember exactly what I wrote word for word, but I believe it went something like this:

Christi,

I’m wishing you a merry Christmas.  Everything is changing and nothing is like it used to be.  I don’t see you as much as I’d like to now, but things happen.  Christi, through everyone I’ve ever known you have always stood out.  I feel like I could trust you with anything.  And Christi, when I say this, I’m not asking you to marry me or anything, but I love you Christi.  And Jesus loves you too.  Merry Christmas.

Jacob

Tonight I had forgotten that I had written her this letter.  But we talked about stuff, about theatre, about music, about church, about the past, and then we had to leave.  It was getting late.  As I was leaving, Hank, Christi’s dad, pulled me off to the side.  This was our conversation:

“Jacob,” he said.  “Let’s talk man to man.  To this day, Christi has never dated a guy.  She has always gone out with her girlfriends.  And she knows that each guy that comes along has to answer to us.  But if you are willing, I will let you take Christi’s hand and you can go out with her with our permission.  Her mom and I will not say no.  I have never given my permission to a young man until now.  We feel we can trust you Jacob, so all you have to do is ask her.”

Needless to say, I laughed and my whole body got really hot.

“Jacob, this no laughing matter.  Her mom and I both agree.”

What he said did not hit me just then.  I told everyone goodbye and left.  Once Marcus and I got in the car, I couldn’t help myself, I just screamed as loud as I could!  That was when it hit me.  You would have to know Hank to know how amazing this is.

Christi.

I have her dad’s permission.

I didn’t even ask.

He gave it to me.

Oh my gosh!

CHRISTI!!!!

Christi and I have practically grown up together.  We have never had anything not to talk about.

I told Hank thank you and that I would think about it.  I mean, you just read how I used to feel, right?  On the way home, I just prayed and prayed.  My whole body was shaking and every fiber in my being, my soul, my spirit, my flesh, wanted to say yes.

Then I began thinking.  The first person to come to mind was Jenna.

Christi is 16.

Jenna is 13.  Then I thought about how everyone got into our business at the Skating Ranch on Monday night.

I compared that to Christi and I.

I don’t go to her church.  She doesn’t come to mine.  I don’t go to her school.  She doesn’t go to mine.  The only people she sees that perhaps I see is her family.

No one could get in the way.  Just me and her.

Guys, her dad practically asked me to!

DANG!!!

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know what to say.

I don’t know what to think.

Dear God!  You always told me that I would never have to do anything.  It would just happen.

Lord, I didn’t even ask.  It just happened.

Seeing her tonight brought back so much.  I didn’t want to leave.

When I got home, I called Jason, her brother and my old youth pastor, now away at college.  I just called to say hi.  He is wonderful.  And he told me, “Jacob, when I was down for Christmas, you sent Christi a Christmas card.  And I want you to know that that really touched her.  She said that she felt like crying and it was so sweet.”

I never thought I would see her again.

For some reason I did not see it there before, but in time’s bitter garden there is one flower that did not fade away.  And still it stands, growing slowly while another begins to bloom.

November 14, 1993 – Sunday – 10:38 p.m.

I can’t believe it.  It happened.  It has been a year.  Fifty-two weeks ago, I started writing My Book of Days.

Yesterday, I went out on the bus ministry at church.  Ah, the projects.  I often think I don’t have much and that we are poor, but then I see how others live and I understand that I am beyond blessed.

So, Kevin came back from for the weekend last night.  I was talking to him about Rebecca and he told me that he liked her.  Evidently he met her at cross-country meets earlier in the school year.  It didn’t bother me.

Church was wonderful today.  I went into children’s church.  I wasn’t supposed to, but I had to take someone’s place, which meant I was actually there when Ryan and Cheryl were.  They told me that all they want (and what all women want) is romance, attention, and sensitivity.  If that is the case, I should be okay when it comes to the finding a wife down the road.  I sure hope they know what they’re talking about.

After church, I was talking to Shirley (Veronica’s mom) and she said she was pregnant.  They evidently been wanting that to happen for a while.  Praise God it did.  She was so happy.

I didn’t go home after church.  I went with Cheryl, Ryan, Amy, Jill, and Marcus to Mr. Gatti’s.  Afterwards, we went to Ryan and Amy’s house.  We watched a little bit of Far and Away.  

Tomorrow is our Pastor’s birthday, so we had a little fellowship thing after church tonight.  It was a nice time.  He is 41.

So it’s been a year.  Since this is a special occasion, I’m going to look back through my journals and copy here some of my favorite things that I’ve written or quoted:

“These are the best days of my life and I will take them one day at a time.”

“And she is eleven.”

“Is your dad a thief?”

“I’m still laughing, why?”

“If only I knew.”

“I fell straight on my knees, and then on my face.”

“And the plot of my life thickens.”

“Stay a child, while you can be a child.”

“Time is just a fragment of man’s imagination; it doesn’t really exist.”

“Poof!  It’s over.”

“Dare to be happy!”

“And being so in love you can hardly eat.”

“Winter Dreams are things you want so bad, but deep down you know you’ll never get them.”

“Maturity is learning what to do with your free will.”

“The party is over and I have no one to talk to.”

“How can I see so far?”

“My ears are starving for some honesty?”

“Man does not live, he just survives.”

“I didn’t pinch her to hurt her.”

“If only the sun would set.”

“Life is simply a collection of greetings and farewells and the love you share in between.”

And now another year has begun…

September 12, 1993 – Sunday – 10:58 p.m.

It is finally the 12th.  It has been a year.

My feelings for her have only grown.

I thought the day was going to be rough, and in a way it was, but overall it wasn’t.  Children’s church went well. Marcus stayed at Christi’s house to hang out with Andy, so I came home by myself and got lectured by Henry and Mom over stuff they say simply because they have the power to say it.  Ugh.

I took a nap, which was nice, but then I woke and it hit me.  I sat next to her a year ago tonight and she shared things with me that she usually doesn’t share with people.  I felt close to her as we sat in that balcony.  But 12 months have flown by and there is nothing I can do about it.

I stopped by her house tonight to pick up a tape.  She has contacts now.  She looked beautiful.  We talked about a few minor things, and then I left.

Wow!  This section of this notebook is almost over.  Soon I’ll be starting another one.

I’m reading Les Miserables again.  It’s even better the second time.

Mom got mad at me today because of my long-distance call to Emily down in Florida.  That doesn’t make me regret calling her.  Marcus says Emily is more my type than Ryan.

I don’t know.

But that doesn’t really matter.  The Lord is picking out my future spouse.  In fact he already has.  I’m falling asleep.  Sorry for the messy handwriting.  I’ll end this section later.

August 14, 1993 – Saturday – 11:57 p.m.

Boy, am I tired.

Everything went pretty much like I had planned today.  It was nice.

Singing practice was cancelled because the church had to get ready for the wedding.

It was great, really beautiful.  They even played Canon in D.  But it finished this time and only one person was on my mind.  All the notes seemed like the first one.

They had a lot of wonderful food there and I ate all I could.

At youth group, we just had a bit of a cookout for Kevin and Anne since they were leaving for college soon.

In a week, my brother will be gone.  Out of the house.

After the wedding, I went with Jonathan and we rode around.  He had to do a few things around town.  He even stopped by Kate’s and caught her with another guy.  Jonathan was P.O.ed.  That situation still isn’t any better.

Before, only Marcus and I had planned on going to the zoo, but now the whole youth group is going with us on Wednesday.

Ryan has never been, she’s looking forward to it.