August 2, 1995 – Wednesday – 10:20 p.m.

Church was good tonight.  One of my last for a while.  I tried to call Emily tonight, but all I got was a busy signal.

One more day left.

Tomorrow will be my last day at McDonald’s.  Thank you for the joy I found there this summer Lord.

I’ve been thinking about Regent University and Virginia Beach recently.  Perhaps this is where the Lord will place me in three years.  I already feel him calling me there.

God is the Lord of my life.  Where he wants me to go, I go.  This is more his story than mine.  He has placed these desires in my heart.

I owe him everything.

He has given me everything I own.

I love him.

I love Jesus.

I want my life to glorify them.

Jesus died for me.

I will live for him.

July 9, 1994 – Saturday – 6:30 a.m.

Yesterday I went to The Fish Bowl again, and the same thing happened to me, except stronger.  God touched me.  Jesus touched me.  I reached out to him and he reached in.  I’ve never been so close to God than…right now.  But through all of the joy and excitement, meeting new people, getting to know them, remembering who I am in Christ; in the midst of all that, only one thing seems wrong, one thing that is not right: Jenna and Tenielle aren’t here to experience it with me.

Today is our last day here.  The time has flown by.  I could live like this forever, but Jenna and Tenielle would have to be up here with me.

Yesterday, I did some crazy stuff with Kristin, Dana, and Hannah.  I’ve known Dana a while now.  She will be a Junior at Appalachian State University in Boone while I’m a Freshman at Lees-McRae in Banner Elk, only 17 miles away.  Kristen and I get along okay and Hannah and I are good friends.  Both of them want to come to my church since I told them how awesome our Praise and Worship was.

Steve Camp performed last night.  That was great!  He’s Kenny’s favorite singer.

James Robinson preached and boy was he good.  He said something about Hollywood and how we should pray for them, but he didn’t condemn all the good movies that had been made.  He even said a new movie called Forrest Gump was a movie that all Christians should see.  Hopefully I’ll see it soon.  I walked up to him afterwards and told him thank you for such a good word.

I’ve taken some pictures up here.  I can’t wait to get them developed.

Deep Creek is right around the corner.  I wonder if I’ll have as much fun as I’m having here at Fishnet?

May 3, 1994 – Tuesday – 9:30 p.m.

Tenielle called me earlier in the afternoon.  She told me that she and Jenna were going skating tonight and she wanted me to come.  She begged but I told her that I wouldn’t be able to make it.  She was disappointed.  I hope she thought of me, while I was there.

Well, this section of the notebook is about over and so is My 5th Book of Days.  Time to find another little green notebook.

So, what was this one about?  Easy, it was about Jenna and Tenielle.  The happiness, the sorrow, the need, the impossible.  It was about me realizing that time was flying by and the days were counting down.  It was about hope, and alive grass, and milk.  It was about the world and how I saved it in time.  It was about hurt, and how I long for something so close, yet so far away.  It was about U and I.  It was about leaving the past, living the present, and looking into the future.

My 5th Book of Days!  From the beginning of 1994 to May 3rd.  A little over four months.

A year ago, Ryan wore sandals at Kiwanis park.

Hmm.

My next Book of Days will contain my graduation, and most, if not all, of the summer of 1994.  That includes Deep Creek!

Also my farewell and departure from this lifetime as I venture into another world, another place, another life.

What will it be like to read my journal when I’m eighty?  Will I cry?  Will I know Jenna and Tenielle then?

Christi and Ryan were once important to me and I hardly know them now.

Why do I still mention their names?

Why does Veronica suddenly pop into my head sometimes whenever I’m driving down the road?

Is this going to happen for the rest of my life?  Or will I forget?

Nevertheless, I write.

No matter what happens, I write.

I write my life.  This wonderful life; all the joys given by God.

These are the best days of my life.

One more book of this life here and then I’ll move on.

I have been here simple to love, 

To witness and experience joy and fun.

Soon, I’ll leave calmly, like a dove;

The way night comes, when day is done.

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 20, 1994 – Thursday – 11:45 p.m.

School was cancelled for today because the brakes froze on the buses.  I’m sure we’ll have it tomorrow, though.

Tonight, Scott came and picked me up  and we went roller skating.  I didn’t know how, so after busting my butt all night, I finally got the hang of it (sort of).  Jenna and Tenielle invited me to go with them to the next Christian Music Night that they have at the Skate Rink.  I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself in front of them, so I got some practice in.

Cheryl, Sherry, and Sherry’s sister Megan were there.  Megan was watching Shurby’s kids.  It was a lot of fun.  We ate at Pizza Hut afterwards and laughed our heads off at every little thing.

Thank you Jesus for laughter and joy.

 

December 28, 1993 – Tuesday – 8:43 p.m.

My Grandpa came to visit me today.  He is still the wisest man I know.  I hope I will be like him when I am his age.  Wouldn’t it be something if I kept writing My Book of Days past sixty?  Over 50 years of my life written down.

I just read the introduction in my new Les Miserables book.  Victor Hugo finished writing the book of his life when he was sixty.  I’m 17 and I think Challenger’s Deep is the book of my life.

What will all these days mean to me when I’m sixty?  I’m almost done with my fourth Book of Days.  Is any of this important?

My life has hardly begun.

But nevertheless, it has begun.  I’m here.  I am on this earth, and I can’t leave.  I have to be here.  I often think if I would be a different person if I were born into another family and another environment.  But now that I think about it, it is stupid to think that way.  This is the only life I’ve ever known.  God gave me this life.  I don’t have a choice.  I am me, whoever I am.

I guess that is ultimately up to me to decide.  God gave me free will, but in that free will he gave me characteristics of who he created me to be.  He has a will, but it is up to me to live up to it.

Have I figured myself out yet?  I believe I have.  I know I have.  The people I’ve come in contact with know that I’m a person who loves Jesus, loves the theater, tells stupid jokes, is inspired by Les Miserables, and sees himself as something valuable in the future.  I am a person with hope.  I person with joy.  This is my duty.  I can’t be anyone else.  I guess the beautiful thing is, I like who I am.  I like hanging out with me.  I like who I have to be and need to be for other people.

This could actually be fun.

September 25, 1993 – Saturday – 11:47 p.m.

Things are weird now.

Let’s start with Friday.

School was okay and Ruth gave me a ride to work.  After work I went to the football game; we lost.  Peter was there.  I sat with him for a while.  I finally talked to Jonathan; he was there with Vicky.

Afterwards, I went to this “fifth quarter” shindig at a church out in the boonies.  It was fun and I played twister with some friends from school.  I got home around midnight.

Today came and we didn’t have singing practice, so I cleaned up my room since I needed room to put my 4’x3’ painting that I did in art class of Cosette from Les Miserables.  Everyone likes it.

Image

I went to skit group today on this 25th day of September and I faced something I wasn’t ready to face.

Today I faced my future.  It scared me.

I was directing the skit and we didn’t really get a lot done.  No one was in the right mood to do much of anything, so I just took a break and they all went their separate ways.  My skit was falling apart, just like the Christmas play had fallen apart.

I was upset.  I have the vision, but it just wasn’t coming together.  Christi said it was because of the way the skit group is now.  Since Jason left it’s been dead and our pastor just doesn’t have the talent or the time to give it his all.  It’s just not the same anymore.

It’s been months since we performed the skits that Jason made.  My favorite was the worship skit.  It was the most beautiful song.  I never simply performed it; I always worshipped God with it.  Everyone was doing their own thing, but myself, Christi, Ryan, Cheryl, Amy, and Laura were in the Sanctuary and we got the old music and I said, “Guys, I’m going to play this music and I’m going to perform these skits one last time and get one last memory because I doubt I’ll have the chance to do them again.  If I have to do it myself, then I’ll do it myself.”

I pressed play.

The ancient music of the worship skit filled the sanctuary and I almost cried.

I went down to the stage and Christi and Ryan quickly followed.  Later Amy and Laura joined in.  Cheryl just couldn’t.  It was too sad for her.

We worshipped the Lord together there, with that song, that skit, one last time.

And I knew what to do; I didn’t mess up because it has been implanted in my memory.  I’ll never forget it.

My whole body is shaking right now.  I told the girls that I wish I could live my junior year over because this skit group and these wonderful friends gave me the love and attention that will last me the rest of my life.

If the Lord would let me, I would live my junior year over and over again and never move on.

Ryan, Jason, Christi, Cheryl, Amy, Marcus, Brandon, Anne.  I spent so much time with these eight people.  I love them all.  I miss being an Emmanuel Player.  I don’t want to grow up.  I want things to be like they were.

Thank you Jesus for the times I’ve spent with these people and how much they have taught me.

I also spent a lot of time with Veronica, she taught me much, but come to think of it, I received more love from the eight people above than I did from her.

I’m a little disappointed because Nana tried to get Ryan’s Les Miserables ticket and she was unable to get one; they were all sold out.  November 19, 1993 will not be as special now.  I’m not looking forward to it like I was.  I’ll still go, but no matter how good it is, it would be a hundred times better if Ryan were sitting beside me.  I told her about Lees-McRae college and how I’m looking into it.  When I said it was in Banner Elk, she went crazy and said that her uncle owns a ski resort up there and they usually go up there and ski for free.

That cannot be just a coincident; it has to be the Lord.  Thank you Jesus.

I know that soon I’ll leave Siler City and Sanford one day.  I’ll leave it physically.  But I wonder if I’ll ever leave it emotionally or spiritually.

No, I doubt I will.

These memories hurt, but I don’t want them to fade away.

If you ever drive down Spring Lane in Sanford and pass by my old church many years from now, no matter the date, I will still be there, falling in love with everything around me.

September 24, 1993 – Friday – 12:40 a.m.

As you can tell by the time, I got back from the revival at church pretty late.  It was so awesome.  The Lord was there.  And I’m going to fast every Monday from now on.

Ryan wasn’t there.  But this absolutely adorable black five-year-old friend of mine from the projects came up to me and asked me where Happy, Joy, and Sunshine were.

Not only did I not know where they were, I didn’t know who they were.  Then, after asking more questions, I came to find out that a while back Cheryl, Amy, and Ryan dressed up as clowns for some street ministry in the projects.  They named themselves Happy, Joy, and Sunshine.  Ryan was Sunshine.

It suits her in many ways.