January 21, 1999 – Thursday – 9:58 p.m.

I worked in the bookstore for eight hours today.  Closing time was chaos, but I laughed my way through it and had a blast.  Mom called me yesterday and told me that Cheryl’s fiancé David had been diagnosed with cancer.  It was in his kidneys and testicles.  He got one testicle and one kidney removed and is taking Chemotherapy.  They still plan to get married this summer even though he may be sterile.  I’ve known Cheryl a long time now; before she was even a teenager.  How strong she must be now.

Where suddenly have we gone?

Life has felt so random the past few days.  I played chess with Jeremy last night and hung out with him and a newly married couple named Andrea and Charles.  Mom and Henry live in a trailer now.  They have some land with it.  Kimberly is having her 16th birthday party on Saturday the 30th.  I’m getting my haircut at Christin’s tomorrow.  Nicole invited me over Saturday evening for a dinner party.  I pretended to be a mannequin at the bookstore today, and I actually fooled some people.

This morning I took some free time and drove around the border into North Carolina.  I went way past Moyock and was reminded of the beauty of my home state.  I miss it so, and I’m glad I’ll always be able to say it is where I am from.

On the way back I visited an amazing park in Chesapeake and found inspiration for a five minute short film.  I hope to make it in my Introduction to Film class.

Today was a good day.

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December 31, 1998 – Thursday – 12:30 p.m.

It is the last day of the year.  Happy Birthday Christi!

And it is nearly the last day of the century.

Emily and I never went to a movie on Monday.  She left a message here on Wednesday night saying she had been in Atlanta for the past two days and now she is back in Tallahassee.  I flew down here from Virginia to see her and she goes to Atlanta, yet she writes letters to me saying, “In a perfect world, I could smell the salt of your skin.”

It doesn’t make any sense.  I want our story to be over.

So 1999 will begin soon.  I am going to spend the final night of this year at Brownsville Assembly of God.

Last night mom and I went to visit a local church and we ended up at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Pace, FL.  There I met the oldest resident of Santa Rosa county.  She is 105 years old.

I often think that because I take the time to write my thoughts down on these blank pages that I’ve figured life out.  But then I look into the eyes of someone born in the 1890s and realize I don’t know anything.  She was all there too.  She had the clearest mind.  Oh God, may I get there some day.

I’ve found myself dreaming of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.  It has happened again.  Another home has come.  I long for it now more than my mountains.

Oh Lord, don’t ever let me go.

I spent the first days of this year in Siler City and Sanford, then months in Banner Elk where I spent time with Sarah who decided to let me go before I would have to let her go.  I played Billy Bibbit on stage, spent a week in Kentucky, a weekend in Tampa, and thousand of moments with the greatest humans on the earth: Vince, Allen, Dan, Curtis, Tracey, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Josh, Ashley, Justin, Jessica, Lindy, Jeni and many more.  Jenny got married.  I graduated.  And I spent a month driving back and forth to Winston-Salem trying to hold onto a girl I knew was fading away.  I raised some money, flew to Africa, and returned to a brand new world of Christin, Sterling, and Kimberly; a world I now greatly miss.

I saw God move in South Africa, but as I grow older, I realize God is moving everywhere.

In addition to my one-act in the early months of the year, I also directed a beautiful Christmas show at Parkway Temple.  Regent allowed me to work on many film projects, and of course there was my job at the bookstore.  I visited Lynchburg, and now I am here in Milton, FL, where I rode with mom to New Orleans and saw the coast line in between.

I am 22-years-old.

The days are not getting any easier.

The days are not getting any longer.

All I can do is grab the hand of Jesus on one side of me, grab the hand of a good friend on the other side, and hope the rock on which we stand will remain.

The first days of 1999 will begin as the last days of 1998 are ending.  I’ll be attending the famous Brownsville Revival.

I fly out on the fourth and will land in the arms of Christin, for she is picking me up from the airport.

If all goes well, I hope to spend most of my days in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake during the final months of the century, for I have a very acute feeling that I won’t be there very long.

Heaven will be nice.

There are no goodbyes there.

December 21, 1998 – Monday – 7:14 a.m.

After church yesterday, David and I went to Sterling’s house for lunch.  Sterling is such a blessing in my life.  She is my joy!  I praise God for her eyes, her voice, her smile.  The show went perfectly last night.  Matt and Kelly showed up, and Sara, Channing’s daughter was there.  Everything was perfect.  About half a dozen or so people got saved!

Many cast members gave me Christmas presents, fantastic ones!  It is unbelievable how good these people are to me.

Christin and I talked over the phone last night.  We are getting closer, but I only want a deep, deep friendship.  Something like Lindy and I, something truly special.

It’s early Monday morning and I have five essays to finish by 5:00 p.m.  I have to work at one, so I’m going to go to the computer lab super early.

On Tuesday night, Christin and Sterling and I are having a little Christmas celebration.  Wednesday night is the candlelight communion service at church where I will say goodbye to Aaron.

On Thursday I fly away.

 

December 14, 1998 – Monday – 8:47 a.m.

It’s nearing the middle of December.  Ten days until I fly to Florida.  Will time never stop?

I am trying to slow these days down.  I’ve put a lot of time into school, which is needed of course, but I feel I’m missing out on some of the better things of life.  I reserved the entire weekend to study, but I didn’t study a bit, I simply lived.

There is so much here to love.  There is so much here I have yet to discover.  An entire summer here will be nice.  I can’t wait to see how this land blooms in the spring.  My first autumn here as already flown by.

Oh God, I just want to be the me you meant for me to be.  I simply want to live and give it all away.  Thank you for teaching me all you have.

December 7, 1998 – Monday – 11:59 p.m.

It was a great weekend.  Youth Church was so refreshing on Friday night, and I talked to Dan and Abigail over the phone afterwards.  Saturday, after drama practice, I went to see A Bug’s Life with Sterling, Christin, Melissa, Aaron, Angie, Rebekah, Jeremy, and his girlfriend Narisa.  It was so funny and the outtakes at the end were the best.  Sterling and Christin say Flik and I act exactly alike.

I went over to Christin’s after the movie and relaxed in her brother’s bed.  She gave me a wonderful foot massage and Melissa massaged my back.  It was so great to be touched.

I think Matt, my roommate, and Kelly, his girlfriend who has been here the past three weeks, are going through some rough times.  It’s been awkward here in the apartment.

Classes are over on the 16th of this month.  I’ll have one take home exam, two in-seat exams, and one final paper to turn in.  My first semester of graduate school is almost over.  Everything is moving along nicely.  I’m excited about living this life.

God is the giver of all good things.

 

December 4, 1998 – Friday – 5:03 p.m.

I’ve been working on my final paper for Dynamic Communication the past couple of days; it is an analysis of the film Never Cry Wolf, and I’m comparing it to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story Winter Dreams.  It’s been a blast to work on!

Rehearsal at church these past three nights have been nice.  Kimberly is turning out to be the Abigail character of this world.  She really acts weird around me sometimes.  Christin is adorable and turning out to be someone I can really open up to more than anyone else.

The bookstore has been super busy the past couple of days.  It’s been hectic, but fun.  Thank you God for that job.

My video production class loved my bellybutton movie.  Dr. Quicke wanted a personal copy he could show to the rest of the faculty.  The only tasks left to complete are my Never Cry Wolf paper, a critical review of a postmodernism book, and then three final exams.

I really like school.  School just works for me.

Twenty days until I board a plane again.

I wonder what Emily smells like, and how her arms feel?

I need to hold her.

November 22, 1998 – Sunday – 9:30 p.m.

Whew, it has been one heck of a week.  So much has happened, there’s no way I’ll be able to write it all down, but I’ll try.

On Friday the 13th, two girls got saved at church.  Saturday’s drama practice was amazing, and then I filmed a short film for class.  After church on the 15th, I went to Sterling’s house for lunch, and then over to Connie and Christian’s house for supper.  On Tuesday I had dinner at Christin’s house and her mom Sherry dyed my hair super blonde for the play.  Everyone loves it.  On Wednesday, I did homework and had another TV studio shoot for class.  I worked nine hours on Thursday, and then on Friday I worked and then watched four straight hours of Anne of Green Gables; I cried the whole time.

I saw Rebecca St. James in concert yesterday, and, while waiting in line, I ran into Sara, who went to South Africa with me.  The concert was great, but the church was super conservative.  I was the only one standing up, singing along, and dancing.  Rebecca made eye contact with me and then invited everyone to stand and praise the Lord with her.  She then looked directly at me again and smiled.  The crowd sat back down, and I moved over to the side aisle to dance and sing and clap.  She kept glancing over there at me, as if to say, “what’s wrong with these people, why did they show up if they are just going to sit there?”  It felt like it was just her and I praising the Lord together.

It was priceless.