May 20, 1997 – Tuesday – 3:00 p.m.

Please, take a moment and close this book.  Walk outside and breathe in the air of your own lifetime.  Take a minute just to say thanks to God.

Why have you taken the time to read about my life?  Thanks for reading, but please do yourself a favor and write about your own.  I often thought I was writing to some future strangers or to my future self, but no, this is all for me; for me right now.  These notebooks simply help me see the magic, pain, and beauty all around me.

Tenielle came to church on Sunday night.  It was nice to see her, but she is different.  She pierced her bellybutton; doesn’t surprise me.  Marcus was there as well as Megan.  Megan is engaged to Brad, a guy I graduated with.  I told Megan and Marcus how good it was to see someone here from the original group.  They both agreed.

We had a little fellowship for a newly wed couple named Dorothy and Vernon.  I sat next to little Anita, an 11-year-old girl I’ve seen grow up from the age of 3.  Marcus and I drove home together.

I got my wisdom teeth pulled out on Monday.  I slept all afternoon, so I was unable to sleep last night.  I listened to the radio all night.  The female DJ invited anyone who wanted to call at 4:00 a.m. to feel free.  I did, simply to let her know that I was wide awake and had been listening to her all night long.  So, I was on the radio earlier this morning; cool, I guess.

I’m writing some Vacation Bible School skits for Heaton Christian Church this morning.  I called the church to get some information.  Jaime told me that the doctors found a tumor in Josh’s skull near a gland.  They believe this is what has stunted his growth all these years.  He had surgery yesterday to get it removed.  The surgery took 7-8 hours.  They said he was okay and Charlie went down to be with him.  I wonder if this means he’ll finally go through puberty.

Oh man, puberty around college girls?  That’s a recipe for disaster.

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May 10, 1997 – Saturday – 2:00 p.m.

I’m in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.  We are here in Ryan’s new studio apartment.  She is unpacking.

I spent Friday driving Kevin around.  We visited Danny and Peter again and then drove to the airport in the evening.  My flight was nice.  I  saw all the city lights below.  Man, I love to fly.

Curtis and Ryan met me at the Atlanta airport.  We drove to his house and then we drove down here to Florida in the morning.  I saw the place where Marcus and I broke down nearly two years ago.

We also drove through Crestview.

I have called Emily.  She is at FSU for the weekend.  She’ll be back on Monday.

Carla is also looking forward to seeing me back in Atlanta.

My collection is stretching all over the globe.

January 6, 1997 – Monday – 10:01 a.m.

Marcus and I drove up here to Banner Elk on the 4th.  We met Timothy and it was a fun trip.  We stopped in Boone so I could buy a new Bible.  It’s awesome.  We moved into our rooms.  Marcus and I watched Philadelphia and then went over to Sharon’s and Vince showed up right after we did.  We all stayed there until midnight.  It was great, so so great to be home.

Yesterday, the service at Heaton was awesome.  It’s clear to me now that that place is my church, that’s where I belong.  Allen and Marcus and I ate lunch with Charlie’s family.  It was nice to spend some time with him.  Charlie let me borrow A Time to Kill, and Marcus and Timothy and I watched it.  Great movie!

We had an RA meeting that night and then met the new students for the semester.  One beautiful girl introduced herself to me and then said, “Wow, you have the most beautiful eyes.”  I felt great for the rest of the evening.

Allen and Vince and I stayed up until two in the morning, just talking.

I am blessed.

I love this place and these people.

I love you God.

January 3, 1997 – Friday – 1:20 p.m.

Life has slowed down way too much!  It seems as if tomorrow is never going to arrive.

I was talking to Marcus a while back and he told me that he has no social life.  Kevin and I are off at school.  Everybody who he was close to at Abundant Life Christian Center has either changed or left; he is basically alone.

I told him this while we were driving home from church a couple of weeks ago:  “Marcus, I got to hand it to you…up at school there is a huge group, a big family of about 20 Christians all around the same age.  We all help each other grow.  We are there for each other.  We’re serving the Lord together and it makes it so much easier.  I mean for you, you’re trying to serve the Lord alone and…”

At this point Marcus brought his car to a stop in the middle of the road.

“Why did you stop the car?”

“Finish your sentence,” he said.

“Well, it must be really hard.”

Then he leaned into my face and looked at me with with such seriousness.  “Very hard,” he said and then started the car up again.

Smiles, words, compliments, they can all help so much.  Vince, Dan, Allen, Curtis, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Jeni, Tracey, Derek, Jessica, Shawna, Josh, Timothy, Rachel, Paul, Ellen, Kate, and those are just the ones on campus.  Then there are all the families from church, not to mention Charlie.

Marcus told me once that he prayed, “Father, I wish I had what Jacob has.  Can you give me what Jacob has, please?”

Why are you so good to me God?  I am nothing, yet you give me all this.

Love’s sweet name is Jesus.

 

September 13, 1996 – Friday – 7:45 p.m.

September 12th passed by and I didn’t even realize it.

Four years ago.

My Winter Dream has melted away.

It is Friday night and I lie alone in my room. Curtis has gone to Atlanta.  Dan and Allen are out.  Vince is with Laura.

I’m listening to Les Miserables.

I tried to call Marcus.  No answer.  I tried to call Christi.  No answer.

Sharon called me earlier today.  She brought a smile to my face.

I went for a walk and found that a duck had fallen off the waterfall at Elk River.  It was dead.  I took a picture.

I think I’ll try to call Emily.

. . .

I just got off the phone with Emily.  She was blow drying her hair and getting ready to go to a football game.  We had a fun talk.  She made me smile.  I miss her.  She sounded so beautiful.

She turns 18 in November.  As does Laura.

I can’t believe I’m 20.

May 13, 1996 – Monday – 3:25 p.m.

Friday night, Marcus and I went to see Twister.  It was so cool.  The best thing I’ve seen this summer yet!  The two of us had fun.  Its good to hang out with my good buddy.

I worked Saturday and then took a long bubble bath that night.

Marcus and I went to church on Sunday.  Cheryl was there.  The three of us sat together.  Then Jenna and Tenielle came in late.  It was good to see them and to hug them.  Cheryl and I rented Braveheart, picked up Amy, and watched it at her house over cheese pizza.  Sam and Anne came up, they live in Charlotte now.  They both looked good.  They bought a puppy together.

Ryan was doing something with her boyfriend and Christi was busy with her boyfriend.  Cheryl is seeing a guy named Shawn.

And Amy dyed parts of her hair blonde, and well, she looks like a skunk.

They liked the movie.  We drove to High Falls afterwards, but the youth group was cancelled due to Mother’s Day.  So they took me all the way home and then left.

I wasn’t supposed to work tonight, but they called me in and gave me tomorrow off instead.  This old guy named Herbert takes me home every time.  He is kind of funny and weird, but he loves The Lord.  We talk about Jesus on the way home.  I thank God for him.

My past is still here.  I could be part of it if I wanted to, but I don’t want to anymore.

I want to go back home.

May 6, 1996 – Monday – 2:30 p.m.

Marcus was here at the house when mom and I arrived yesterday.  On the way back we drove through a huge thunderstorm.  Lightning was everywhere.

Marcus and I talked a lot.  We got caught up.  He’s going well now.  But it hasn’t always been that way.  Things are hard for him.

I went for a walk this morning.  Then I washed clothes, watched a movie on TV, lifted weights, and talked to Kevin on the phone.  He will be here on Wednesday.

Everything is green here.  It is so much warmer.  It’s so hard to believe that I spent three months here last summer.

But this summer, I am only here for 26 days.

June 5, 1995 – Monday – 3:30 p.m.

Yesterday’s church fellowship wasn’t much fun.  Jenna and Tenielle don’t regard me anymore.  Cheryl said hi and I said hi back, but that was it.

Marcus and Jonathan are the only friends I have these days at church, and they practically spend every waking moment at my house.  They often feel more like brothers than my own brothers.  Outside of church, I have Mike and Danny and Peter, but all of my other friends I will see again soon in Banner Elk.  I talked to Charlie a little earlier.  I called him at church.  He said that Caroline, Molly, Crystal, and Clifton say that they miss me all the time.  I wish I was there.

Today, I didn’t have to work since I had an appointment with Dr. Smith, my orthodontist.  It was very short.  So, I went to Food Lion to try and find Scott.  I found him.  It’s true, he is getting married.  He seems to be doing fine.  We laughed a little.  It was good to see him.

I went to Wal-Mart afterwards and bought a camera and some other stuff.  I spent two-hundred dollars.  I put it on my Visa card.

I work five days in a row starting tomorrow.

Please help me Lord.

I love you.

June 3, 1995 – Saturday – 11:55 p.m.

Things easily pop up!

This past Wednesday, Tim invited Marcus and I to attend a David and the Giants concert.  We went and it was absolutely wonderful.  We also met two Christian girls.  They’re both 19-years-old and they both go to App State.  Their names are Erica and Kristen.  We sat next to them.  Erica is very pretty and she is 5’10”, that’s pretty tall for a girl.  I have her number and her address and what not, as well as Kristen’s.

This evening has been perfect.  Both of the girls will be in Cary for the summer.  That’s not too far away.  Marcus took a liking to Kristen.  Perhaps this is the beginning of something!

May 14, 1995 – Sunday – 4:50 p.m.

It felt good to be back at church this morning.  I sat next to Jenna and Tenielle.  We laughed a lot.  Tenielle wrote me this letter wrapped in tape and tin foil.  She put a bow on it.  It was pretty funny.

As the band was playing I would look over at them.  They are both so beautiful.  I think the world of those two girls.

Marcus was there, as was Cheryl.

And well, I was there too.  That was the oddest part.

I gave my mom her mother’s day card this morning.  She liked it.  I told her this morning that in three months I bet to go back home.

She laughed.  “Home?”  She said.

And I realized it wasn’t just school to me now, it was home.

Siler City and Sanford are as much a home to me as Banner Elk and Boone.