December 24, 1995 – 8:16 p.m. – Sunday

I’m at my dad’s parent’s house; in the same room I was for Thanksgiving.  I am bored and lonely.  So, I took out my wallet and took out all the pictures and began looking at them one by one.  I very rarely ever clean my wallet out, so there were a lot of old pictures of people from long ago.

I will list the people on those pictures, some names will appear more than once.  As you read each one (they should be familiar to you if you have read these Books of Days) think about the times we’ve had together.

Jenna and Tenielle

Jeni

Christi

Vicky and Jonathan

Jenna

Tenielle

Emily

Veronica

Kate and Jonathan

Brandon

Amy

Tammy and Sherry

Nana

Misty

Tenielle

Ryan, Cheryl, Christi, and Amy

Jenna

Nate

Sherry

Lisa

Tammy

Haley

Tim and Tammy

Veronica

So many names.  A full page.

I bought a camera this summer.  It cost me $170.  I take a lot of pictures.  I usually get a roll of 36 and take pictures over months.  I’m almost through with a roll of 36.

Every time I take a picture, it is like I’m illustrating my own story.  Some pictures go in my Books of Days; others go in my photo albums.  Only one picture listed on the other side of this page came from Lees-McRae: Jeni.

All of the others are from my ancient world of Siler City and Sanford.

What about the names from Banner Elk?  How long would that list of pictures be if I had them?

Charlie

Kate

Vince

Dan

Allen

Jeff

Mike

Curtis

Derek

Tracey

Sharon, Bob, Melissa, Laura, Hannah

Leslie, Doug, Crystal, Clifton

Marty & Stan

Rachel

Becky

Rebecca

Suzanne

Pat, Gary, Meredith, Caroline, Megan

I could fill up this page with tons of other names.  I spent a whole year with some of these people, yet when Christmas comes around they are no where around me, and I feel like I’m surrounded by strangers.

It is as if the joys of Christmas come when I am with them and December 25th is no where to be found.

I remember when Christmas Eve meant a night of excitement and sleeplessness.  Now tonight; there is nothing.

Last night, I watched It’s a Wonderful Life.  I’ve seen it dozens of times, but while watching it last night, I cried for the first time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel incomplete.  I feel sad, lonely, and confused because I cannot find the other side of me.