September 17, 1995 – Sunday – 1:47 a.m.

I went to a party tonight at Eliana’s house.  It was her 21st birthday.  Vince and Dan went with me.  We had fun.  A lot of people were drinking and they all wanted me to drink as well.  That was the first time I had ever been exposed to stuff like that, but I laughed and made a joke out of it and said “no, thanks.”  Others seemed to respect me for it.

I called Christi tonight.  I had to ask her a few questions about old games we use to play during youth group.  While I talked to her I realized I was listening to The Power of One soundtrack.  It was that exact song that she and Ryan choreographed a little skit to on the bright green grass at San Lee Park so long ago.  I still vividly remember those jean shorts she was wearing.  And the strength in her bare feet as bounced around on the grass.

Woman's bare feet in grass with daisies between toes

Grass that dies, only to be reborn.

Oh, how I miss her.

A couple of times each year, something will happen and I’ll begin to endlessly think about Christi.

So much so, that I can’t even sleep.

April 17, 1994 – Sunday – 8:17 a.m.

It’s Sunday Morning!

Everyone is getting ready for church.

Something happened yesterday.  Yesterday was not a good day.  I only found two joys in it.

One was when Marcus and Scott and I had a good laugh when I told Scott to fork off on the upcoming road.  He thought I had said something else.

The other was when I was at San-Lee Park and I took off my sandals to run barefoot in the grass.

The rest of yesterday hurts.

It hurts a lot.  But the grass in which I ran barefoot was alive again.  There is hope somewhere.

January 8, 1994 – Saturday – 10:47 p.m.

The day is over.  This day contained a lot.  Too much.  So much it hurts.

It hurts…

Somebody take it away.

This morning I woke up at 6:30 a.m.  The day began.  I showered and got dressed.  Then at 7:25 a.m., I left for Sanford.  Marcus did not come with me.  He had other stuff to do.

I prayed on the way to church.

This morning the praise and worship band went to Shoney’s for breakfast; as they do the beginning of every year.  We made some changes in some stuff and went back to church to practice.  It doesn’t really affect me, since I’m just a backup singer.  Cheryl wasn’t there this morning.

Practice was over around 12:30 p.m.  I then went to Veronica’s house.  I went by to see them because they haven’t been coming to church as much as they used to.

Today, I’m afraid I found out why.

I watched a little of “Drop Dead Fred” and then Shirley asked me a question, “Jacob, do you know the whole story of why Christi’s family isn’t at church anymore?”

I said, “Well, I’ve talked to Christi,” and then told her our recent conversation.

Then she told me that she talked to Christi’s mom in Roses a while back.  She explained it all to me.

It turned out…I didn’t know a thing!

I will not go into detail, but Christi’s Dad and Pastor Steve were always at odds with each other.  Therefore, Steve had been hurt and he could never receive anything from them.

Then Pastor Steve and Christi’s mom talked and got into an argument.  And Pastor Steve was in the wrong in what he said, but he has his opinion.  So Christi’s family and Ryan’s family would hang out together and just talk.  Pastor Steve accused them of having secret meetings in which they were talking bad about the church.

There is obviously a lot more to the story, but to sum it all up, Christi’s family was kicked out of the church.

And that is why I haven’t seen much of Ryan and Amy, or of Veronica and her family.  They still come off and on, but not regularly like before.

I ate lunch with Shirley and Veronica and then I left.  I stopped by to see Scott, but he was at work and wouldn’t be at youth group tonight.  I got all that information from his mother, who was headed out the door when I showed up.

So, I drove off.  I thought about going to see Christi or Ryan and Amy, but I wasn’t sure.

Truthfully, I was scared.  I didn’t want to face the present.  So, instead, I went to visit them in the past.

I went to San Lee Park.  Earlier in 1993 the youth group was there one day and Christi and Ryan were practicing their skit which they choreographed and performed to The Power of One soundtrack.  

I remember last spring when I watched them.  Christi had a pair of cut off jean shorts.  They were cut so high the pockets were hanging out of the front.  I sat there on that fresh soft green grass so many months ago and I watched those two girls dance.

Today, I walked through the cold winter air onto that same patch of grass.  I looked down and became very aware that the grass was dead.

The grass had died.

I walked around some more and thought about everything.  Then I asked myself, “What am I doing here?”

Suddenly, I knew the answer.  I want so much to hold onto the past, but I can’t.  It is dead.

It died like the grass.  The brown, dry, ugly grass.

I left San Lee Park.

And I decided to go to Wayne’s house.  It was around 4:45 p.m.

I stayed there.  I was going to take him to youth group.  While there, Jenna called and I talked to her and Tenielle.

They are my friends, nothing more.  We had a nice conversation, and then we went to youth group.  Their mom’s transmission messed up, so they couldn’t come to youth group.

At youth group, we prayed and learned and had a great time.  Cheryl was there and she said that her and Ryan had gotten in a fight.  She didn’t tell me what about.  

After youth group, I took Wayne home and then I went home.  Once I got here, at 10:00 p.m., I called Ryan and Amy and talked to them both.  I miss them so much.  Ryan told me about their fight.  It’s sort of major, but I’m sure they’ll get over it.  It was just a misunderstanding.

They said they would be at church tomorrow.

As will I.

Another Sunday.  Another service.  Hopefully not another day of hurt.