May 14, 2000 – Sunday – 8:07 a.m.

Graduation was yesterday.  While I’m done with courses, I won’t graduate until next year after I finish Dang! and my thesis paper.  There was a graduation party for David at Parkway Temple yesterday as well.  On Friday I went canoeing with Dan and Theresa at Northwest River Park.

Marie went back to New Jersey yesterday.  She’ll be away for five weeks.  We had a nice time of goodbye on Friday night.

Last night I hung with with Dan and Theresa some more.  We went to Barnes and Noble and ate out at Kyoto’s.  Dan bought some feeder fish for his bigger fish at PetsMart and we enjoyed watching them get devoured.

I start my job tomorrow.  God has been taking care of me this whole time.  I miss Marie already, but hopefully work will keep me busy while I await her return.

May 11, 1999 – Tuesday – 1:15 p.m.

My four days in Banner Elk were wonderful.  Friday, after we picked up Kerstin in Johnson City, we ate at Applebees.  There we met our waitress Celina, whom we ended up praying with before we left.  We went hiking that afternoon with Jessica and Curtis’ new girlfriend Megan.  It was so beautiful out there on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Megan is so delightful.  We became instant friends just like how everyone became instant friends with Kerstin!

We saw Sunny that night in Boone with Abigail, Dan, Grayson, Josh, his dad, and I think that’s about it.

Sarah had a lead in the show and did so well; she looked absolutely beautiful.  I ran up to her after the show and embraced her so tightly.  I spent time with her on graduation Sunday as well.  Our relationship has been healed.  Love has intervened.  Time has surrounded us.  We are great now!

I took Kerstin back Saturday morning.  It was so lovely to see her outside of Regent.  She so beautiful and so much fun!

On Saturday I hung out with everybody I could.  That night I slept in Lindy’s room.  We just talked and talked until we drifted off to sleep.

Church seemed the same as always at Heaton.  It was great, but no longer for me.  All the kids have grown up.  It was weird being there.

And then graduation came.  What a wondrous day.  Tons of hugs.  Tons of pictures.  Tons of smiles.  I loved seeing Ashley, I forgot how much she makes me laugh.  A perfect day…and I had to drive away from it all at 4:30 p.m.

I don’t think any of us realized what truly took place on that day.  Dan, Vince, Jaime, Tracey, Lindy, Allen, and Curtis graduated.  Justin is transferring.  Abigail, Jessica, Anne-Marie, Ashley, and Josh remain.  What will become of our futures?

As I drove back seven hours toward the east coast, I found comfort in my home here.  Voicemail messages from Kimberly greeted me when I arrived.  David took me out to eat.  I was only gone four days, but I was missed.  Now summer classes have begun.  I have homework to do.

It’s already May 11th

Hmmm.

Must mean I’m having fun.

May 17, 1998 – Sunday – 6:00 p.m.

A very wonderful weekend.  I spent Friday with Sarah and friends.  We had a picnic in Reynolds Gardens.  It was so beautiful!  I swung on a swing so high that I kept hitting my head on tree branch.  Sarah and KT showed me the Stevens Center, a beautiful theater in downtown Winston-Salem where she ushered.

We hung out with her friend Madelene for a while, then Sarah went to train for her summer job at the YMCA.  I ate dinner with KT and her family, took a nap, then picked Sarah up and went to her father’s house to watch Conspiracy Theory.  I spent the night at KT’s house, ate breakfast there, then drove to Banner Elk where I met up with Allen.  We drove up Beech Mountain to the house where the girls were staying.  Lindy, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Tracey, and Abigail’s parents were there.

Allen stayed up there the whole week and I later found out through Lindy that they would stay up late every night and make out together.  Wow!  Lindy feels great about it, but Allen doesn’t.

It was nice to see everyone.  We went to Jeni’s wedding.  She was absolutely beautiful.  I was very thankful that our relationship ended when it did, that we never went too far physically, and that I wasn’t the one marrying her.  I hugged her and said congratulations.  Then, surprisingly, she kissed me on my mouth.  It was just a little tap, but it was a nice moment, a nice goodbye, and I greatly enjoyed seeing her getting married.

Thank you God!

I drove to Winston-Salem that night and met up with Sarah at Madelene’s house.  Sarah and I went for a late night walk on those city streets.  The sky was purple, and it felt more like summer than any moment thus far; a very peaceful walk.

This past week I have been working on a book for Sarah that is basically just a collection of poems for her.  I let her read the thirteen poems I’ve written for her so far.  She has been doing a similar thing for me.  I love her so much.  It scares me, because I know I would do anything for her.

I came back that night, slept, then went to church this morning.  Cheryl was there.  She seems to be doing really well.  We talked a little and plan on doing something later.

And I just now returned from visiting Wynne, a guy a graduated high school with.  He caught me up on how all the old high school folks were doing.  Apparently, many are totally messed up.  One guy died, others are already divorced, but a few did finish college on time just like me.

It’s time to go to church again.

May 11, 1998 – Monday – 6:30 p.m.

I am here at my home in Siler City.  Graduation was nothing short of amazing.  Sarah was so beautiful.  We cried at our goodbyes.  It is very hard for me to believe that those four years of college are over.

Marcus and I rode home together.  We stopped to go to a new church he is attending in Greensboro and then we ate at IHOP.

The house is a bit empty, for mom and Henry recently had a yard sale.

My Teen-Mania missions trip acceptance package was here when I arrived.  I’m a little behind schedule, but I’m still definitely going to go.  I’m trusting God wants me in South Africa, so he will send me there.

In 15 days I will go to Virginia Beach and no telling what will happen there.

I miss Sarah.

I miss the guys.

There’s no way I can describe how amazing my final two days were on campus.  Sarah and I held tightly to each other each night, for we have no idea what the future holds for us.

I love her.

May 10, 1998 – Sunday – 10:30 a.m.

It is that day.

Nothing has happened yet, except that Sarah came over last night and we snuggled and made out until 7 o’clock this morning.  Which means I accidentally slept through my Baccalaureate Service.  It was a church service this morning for all of us graduates but it ended about 30 minutes ago.  Oops.

Friends and family should be here soon.

I am tired.

I’m doing last minute packing.

Sarah was amazing last night.

 

May 6, 1998 – Wednesday – 2:12 p.m.

Another day closer.  I’ve been on the phone a lot.  It seems that on the 17th, the day after Jeni’s wedding, I will move to Virginia Beach.  I called Regent University and they said it would be best for me to come in May because no apartments would be available in August.  Since I don’t have a car, I need to stay in their campus apartments and they tend to fill up pretty fast.

So that is 12 days from now.  This, of course, is bad news for me and Sarah.  She cried last night.  We had planned on having the summer together.

Now we don’t.

But God is doing this.  I have to go into my future.

In about an hour, Sarah and I will go have dinner with Sharon.

All of this is so exciting and scary.

I think the only way any of us survives growing up is because we don’t realize it is actually happening.

May 4, 1998 – Monday – 9:30 a.m.

Can it already be May?

This is my final week.

Saturday night, I went to see Titanic again.  I went with Summer from our Bible Study, she hadn’t seen it yet.  We had a wonderful time, and she cried her eyes out just like everyone else.

Yesterday I said my goodbyes to the church.  I cried during communion, and gave a little speech.  I told many families that I loved them dearly.

Sunday night, last night, Sarah and I, plus Lindy and Ann-Marie, went to see Les Miserables.  Not the musical, just the movie, but I didn’t really like it.  There’s no way you can fit that epic story into a two hour movie.  It didn’t even have Eponine.  The first half was okay, but the 2nd half was too vague.  The others liked it, but they haven’t read the book.

I’ve begun talking all of my eagles and such off of my walls.  I’m slowly packing up day by day.

Seven days.

It’s already come down to just seven days.

 

August 29, 1997 – Friday – 9:30 a.m.

We had our Bible study at Canon Cottage last night.  Sherlive came up to my room afterwards and we just sat on my bed and talked for nearly two hours.  I read her a couple of stories that I wrote in Creative Writing a year ago.  She is simple and fun and Sherlive.

Allen and I talked for about an hour yesterday about everyone graduating soon and leaving this place.  It’s gonna be so weird.

Eight months and one week.

I guess I should apply to graduate school at Regent University soon.

This is simply my road to Heaven!

May 31, 1996 – Friday – 11:20 p.m.

An amazing day.  A remarkable day.  The greatest of them all, because it is now.

My last day at McDonald’s!  Omneya and I had a lot of fun today.  Every time we would pass by each other to get food she would find some way to tap me or punch me.  We said goodbye.  She seemed sad.  Perhaps I’ll see her again at Christmas.

Marcus and I went to the Lee Senior Graduation.  After the ceremony full of well-written, but poorly-delivered speeches, we got onto the field and tried to find Christi and Ryan.  It was crowded, and I couldn’t find either one.  Several minutes passed.  I told Marcus we should leave, and I turned around to go to the car and return to college without seeing my first major crush again…but then I saw a face.  A girl’s face who had turned to look at me.  It was a face I knew well, but her smile was different.  She had gotten her braces taken off.  I saw her last August when her card had broken down on HWY 421.  Her eyes brightened.  I knew she saw me.  Her smile grew bright and she said “hey.”

We hugged each other.

And those are the moments I think I live for.  All I need is for a pretty girl to see me, smile, and say “hello.”  I could get through life on that alone.

I asked her if she was still going to App. State.  She said yes.  I told her I would look her up.  She said “Yes, please do, that would be great.”

Then we said goodbye and I walked away.  She looked a little more grown up.  A very pretty smile.

Ryan, you have become so beautiful.  I will see you in the mountains my friend.

And I even saw Christi on the way back to the car, plus Jonathan’s old girlfriend Mandy.

A perfect night to close everything up until next time.

In the midst of it all, I turned and saw the full moon rising above the trees, feathering down on me.

Tomorrow…I go home!

May 24, 1996 – Friday – 10:00 p.m.

Thursday night, Marcus and I went to see Mission: Impossible.  It was so good, I didn’t even eat my popcorn.  We had a good conversation there and back.

Today, Peter picked me up from work.  I spent some time over at his place and then we came over here to play computer games, work out, and then just a few minutes ago we finished watching With Honors, a sweet movie, full of truth.

At McDonald’s there are two young Egyptian brother and sister working there.  They are very funny and I have enjoyed their company these past 19 days.  Their names are Ehab and Omenya.  Names I will add to my collection.

Wednesday night, Christi invited me to attend Lee Senior’s graduation on May 31st.  I plan on going.

Both Christi and Ryan will graduate.

Then, the next morning, I am back off to Banner Elk for summer school and summer theater.

Two years ago I graduated.  Two years from now I will graduate again.

But those are only titles given by men.

I just long for God to give me the title of “Good and Faithful Servant.”

Oh, to graduate from life.