May 25, 1998 – Monday – 4:29 p.m.

My life has just begun, yet I already feel tired.  There are just so many people out there in the world.

Sarah and I had such an amazing weekend.  Our relationship has gotten so tight recently.  Saturday afternoon, wow!  She had my body on fire and shaking uncontrollably.  We are still virgins, of course, but I think we went too far.  We talked about it yesterday and while she was quiet she seem to agree that we shouldn’t go that far again.

I saw Christi and Jason yesterday.  I met her fiancé and Jason is getting married in three weeks and moving to Seattle.  Both Matt and Andy are going to move to Wilmington and try to get into the small film industry there.

My parents gave me $500 to help with the missions trip.  Thirty-six days remain until I leave for VA Beach, and then seven until I fly out to Dallas.  I’ve never been to Texas before.  And I found out Regent gave me a $2000 grant for next year, so that’s great news!

Here I am.

I’m almost 22-years-old, and I’ve had a steady girlfriend for half a year now, which is a record for me.  I’m going to leave the country for the first time since 1982.  I’m planning out which graduate courses I’ll take for the next two years at Regent.  And I’m currently paying rent for an apartment I have yet to see.  And I’ll soon be sharing that apartment with someone I’ve never met.

My parents are moving close to my long lost romantic pen pal.  My friends are getting married, even those younger than me.  No one truly close to me has yet to die, however, deep down, I have a feeling that I’m going to live a very long time and see experience many people die along the way.

And when I am old, gray, and wrinkled, I will be haunted by all the beautiful eyes and smiles I’ve seen along the way.

I’ll even be haunted by these pages I so diligently write in.

 

May 17, 1997 – Saturday – 10:08 p.m.

Today…

Today…

Today was the annual nationwide March For Jesus.  This was my first one that I’ve ever attended.  I had a wonderful time singing praises with fellow Christians as we walked the streets of Sanford.  I saw Gary there.  We talked a little and he told me that there was a big party at Kiwanis Park for Matt, Christi’s brother, who had just graduated from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC.  He said that both Matt and Jason were in town.  So, after the March was over I asked mom if we could stop by to see if they were there and say “hey.”  We did.

A car was in the driveway with the trunk open.  The front door was standing wide open.  We pulled up and I got out of the car and Jason runs out of the house.  His hands were waving around and he wasn’t really looking at us.  Frantically, he said, “Oh geez, oh geez, oh God, oh my God.  Mom and Christi and Andy and his girlfriend just got in a car accident.  They are three hours away from here.  And they’re burned!

It took a second for it to register, but then it all made sense when he just plopped down on the steps and cried.  He was in the middle of changing tires on the car out front because he and Matt were going on a fishing trip on the coast.  So, Clay took Jason to find his dad and Matt at the bank downtown.  Mom and I stayed there and prayed.

A few minutes later, Matt pulled up with Pastor Steve’s wife Nancy.  She said she found him walking on the side of the road because their car broke down at the bank.  We told Matt what happened and he went nuts.  Except he said Andy was in Wilmington and Christi and her mom were going to the mountains and Andy doesn’t even have a girlfriend.  Jason’s muttering made no sense.

Hours of confusion took place.  Phone calls were made.  Hank finally made it home and the emotions went wild because no one knew what was going on.

This is what actually happened:

Christi and her mom Patti and Christi’s boyfriend Adam were going to western North Carolina to say goodbye to Christi’s old gym coach.  Patti was taking off Christi’s shoes while Christi was driving, yet at the same time, they were looking at a pretty mountain.  A bump is felt and Christi shouts out an “oops” as she swerves back to the road.  Yet, the beginning of a guard rail is right in front of her and it catches the gas tank near the rear of the car.  It rips it off and flips the car at the same time.  They head straight into the other lane, thankfully there wasn’t any oncoming traffic.  They come to a stop on the other side of the road and the car bursts into flames.  The three shocked passengers crawl out of the car.

Jason got off the phone with the hospital 30 seconds before we drove up.  Matt, Hank, Gary, and Adam’s mom drove up to the mountains to be with them.  I stayed with Jason until my parents picked me up for a church service at 5:30 p.m.

Christi was burned the worst of all three, but nobody should be left with permanent scars.

And that was today.

Today…

No doubt Christi and Adam’s relationship will grow stronger through this shared drama. They’re love is as good as forever.

It’s a week before I go back to the mountains.  I will so go to my perfect world of Banner Elk.  Yet here, the people of my days before LMC are either pregnant, nicotine addicts, or burned.

And I will leave them that way, knowing my prayers and never ending love will be with them.

I am a little blonde-haired boy, lying in my bed on a school day, only I’m too young to attend.  “Why can’t I go, mommy?”

“You have to wait another year until you’re old enough,” she says.

She should have said, “Oh sweetie, don’t rush things.  Enjoy these careless days while they are around.  Soon your closest friends will be in pain and there won’t be any answers to the flames life brings.  Please, stay a child while you can be a child.”

December 4, 1993 – Saturday – 7:35 p.m.

It’s Saturday, and today the youth group went out on a door to door ministry thing.  It was awesome!  I prayed for a lot of people and planted a lot of seed.

I was the leader of a group.  Nana, Trish, and Misty were with me.

By the way, Trish and Marcus aren’t dating or anything.  Trish goes with some guy named Brian.  He comes to youth group and seems pretty cool.  Something about the way Marcus talked about himself and Trish, I just assumed they were a couple.

Yesterday, I worked, and it was just okay.  But on Thursday, everything did work out.  I went to see The Sound of Music with Ryan, Amy, and Cheryl.  It was awesome!  Christi did perfect.  She played Liesl.  Below you see a newspaper picture of one of the rehearsals.  Yep, Christi kissing the guy who played Rolf.

Image

After the play, the four of us, me, Cheryl, Ryan and Amy, went backstage to see Christi.  I talked to her some.  It had been a long time since I had seen her.  Last time I saw her was Nov. 7.  It’s been almost a month.  She said she misses church so much and that she wishes her parents would go back.  She didn’t know how good it was until she was gone.

Right before I left, she gave me a big hug and told me how much she misses me.

I like Christi, but in a different way than I like Ryan.

With Ryan, it’s like I enjoy her company, she’s always happy, she is so beautiful, so sweet, and she makes me feel so good.  She likes the same things I like, etc., etc.

But with Christi, I…I just want to hold her.  Just hold her and tell her that I am there with her and that I will bring her happiness and everything will be alright.  

After the play, I drove by her house just to look at it.  She wasn’t there; she was still at the theater.  I’ve grown up with her since she was 11.

I know her.

I miss her.

I need her.

I’ve shared so many great times with her.  

She has made me laugh so many times before.  

We’ve talked about so many things.  

Christi and I are both leaving Sanford in 1994.  I don’t live in Sanford, but that is where my heart lives.  And home is where the heart is.

Christi will be with me for a while.  I will keep in touch.

I will never forget back on Mother’s Day of this year, May 8th, when her brother Jason said to her, “But Christi one day you’re going to meet the man of your dreams, the one God has set apart for you, and you’re going to fall in love with him and you’re going to spend the rest of your life with him.”

Why do I remember that so vividly? 

 

October 9, 1993 – Saturday – 10:15 p.m.

Today is Sat. and today I took the SAT.

Ha ha.

It wasn’t that mind-boggling.

We had skit practice today and it was actually fun.  We might be getting back on track.

We had youth group on Thursday because Shurby left earlier today to go to Florida for an evangelism thing.

I worked last night.  I don’t like working anymore.  I definitely don’t look forward to it.

But the big news of the day is also the most devastating.  Jason and Anne broke up.

I know, I was speechless too.  I don’t know how or why but it happened and if I every find out I will tell you.  But it just goes to show you how things are changing.  Not much is the same anymore.  I guess it shows that we’re all growing up, and that is good.

Jason and Anne were supposed to get married.  He gave her a promise ring.  But it looks like its all over now.

Father God, let your will happen.  That’s all I pray.