June 29, 1998 – Monday – 9:29 p.m.

Today is Allen’s birthday, but I haven’t called him yet, since I don’t have my phone hooked up.  Happy 22 Allen!

Matt and I watched Braveheart last night.  I woke up kinda early this morning and tried to run some errands, but there wasn’t much I could do.  I did meet some faculty members, but very few.

I drove to the beach today.  It was very touristy, so I drove onto the Fort Henry Military Base at Cape Henry.  I went to the Cape Henry Memorial.  I was alone, it was nice, like my own little corner of the world.  There were dolphins playing in the waves.  It reminded me of Hilton Head.

Wow, that was a long time ago.

I miss Emily and Sarah.  I miss a beautiful woman in my arms.

Matt and I went to see The Truman Show tonight.  It’s such a perfect movie.  There was a beautiful storm brewing outside as we left.  I can see so much farther here.  Well, not as far as if I were on top of Grandfather Mountain, but far simply because it’s all so perfectly flat.

In nine days I depart for Texas, and five days after that I leave for South Africa.  Today I went to places I’ve never been before.  And that is pretty much going to be my life for the next month.

Tomorrow is the final day of June, then 1998 will be half over.  And I did the math, after I turn 22 in August, it’s 500 days until the year 2000.  Crazy!

Our phone should be hooked sometime tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to that.

Virginia Beach is the largest city in Virginia population wise, but it’s been pretty peaceful since I hardly know a soul.

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August 28, 1995 – Monday – 8:10 p.m.

Today has been a good day.

I got the role of the sentry in Antigone.  I was also cast for some directing scenes.

I had fun in all my theater classes today and Charlie and I went out to eat in Boone.  I haven’t seen Syndi at all today.  I talked to her a few times over the phone.  I felt a little weird this evening because she accidentally mentioned that she slept with her ex-boyfriend Eric when they were together.  It hurt me because I care for her.  I don’t think I’ve ever liked a girl that wasn’t a virgin before.  In fact, I may care too much for Syndi.

But look at me.  Look at me and Jeni.  Jeni and I might not have ever had sex, but we were too intimate.  In God’s eyes, is it the same sin?

I have been forgiven, and so can she.

Rehearsals for Antigone start tomorrow night.

This thing with Syndi will probably hurt in the long run, but I can’t help but care for her.

Good night.

December 26, 1994 – Monday – 7:40 a.m.

It is the 26th of December in the year 1994.

Did you hear me?

December 26, 1994.

I have been alive on this earth for 18 years, four months, nine days, two hours, and 40 minutes.

That’s a long time.

But then again…what is time?

I feel empty.

Arms.  My arms.  They hurt.  They ache.

And I know why.  They are not holding the one I love.

Jeni.

Just writing her name gives me the chills.

She called last night around 11 o’clock.  We talked four hours.

She is in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I am in Lanexa, Virginia.

For the summer of 1995 it looks like I will be where she is now.  She wants me to go home with her and find a job in Cincinnati. Then maybe just visit my family in North Carolina around the 4th of July.

Do you remember when Jenna and I bought Grey Poupon on the 4th of July?

So many smiles, so many moments of laughter, not just from Jenna, but from every person I’ve encountered; every person I’ve spent at least a few fleeting moments with these past 18 years.  Yet I’m sure there are some I have forgotten.

Is my past truly behind me?

Will I allow myself to spend a summer in Cincinnati?  Will my heart?  Will my arms?  Will my eyes?

What is there in Sanford?

What is there to hold in Sanford?

What is there to look upon in Sanford?

Today, Dad and I went to see two movies:  Star Trek: Generations and Forrest Gump.  Star Trek was cool, but will there ever be another movie as amazing as Forrest Gump?

As I left the theater I looked at the different human beings around me.  Some had tears in their eyes.  Some were holding the hand of a loved one.  That certain individual had found that other person they were created to love.

What an adventure!

What a discovery!

What a miracle!

The miracle of another human being.  How Jeni and I ever came to know each other is beyond me.

Beyond me.

There is much beyond me.

But my savior, very close to me, has taught me to love and value another one of his beautiful creations.

Time does not exist.  Days may pass.  Years may pass.  But my past will grow.  My collections will grow.  My love for Jeni will grow.

The end will draw close, but it will not be over.

And in the meantime, I will enjoy my time here on earth.

I will enjoy my time with Jeni.

I will enjoy Lees-McRae College.

I will enjoy the summer of 1995.

I will enjoy the future.

For surely the best days of my life are not the ones you’ve already read about, but the ones I have yet to write.

July 8, 1994 – Friday – 7:50 a.m.

I just got back from the shower.  Yesterday, before I went to the Fish Bowl, I went on a little nature trail to the Shenandoah River and then climbed the side of a mountain in my sandals that Danny and Peter bought me in India.  That wasn’t an easy task.

Last night D&K performed and before that I saw ETW.

This place is awesome!  Something is happening to me.  I’ve started seeing clearer.  Thank you Jesus.

As for the people I’m here with, well, I’ve met some new people.  This little girl who looks like Nate likes me, but she complains and gets on my nerves like Misty.  I had a good conversation with Kristen, a 25-year-old married woman.  And then there’s Hannah, a pretty girl I assumed was 17, but no, she’s only 13.  It seems like there are girls like that everywhere.  Anyway, she’s sweet.

I bought Tenielle a little card with her name on it.  She’s been wanting to know what her names means.

Two more days of this and then I’ll go back home.  This is a learning experience; to help me remember.

July 7, 1994 – Thursday – 6:45 a.m.

I’m at Fishnet!  We got here yesterday afternoon around 2:30 p.m.  The ride up was amazing.  I’m having so much fun.

The people I came here with are so friendly.  Their names are Kenny, Lisa, Tony, Leslie, Bradley, Dana, Kim, Hannah, Glen, Kristin, and some other girl.

Yesterday after we set up camp, we sat around and ate.  I went to the concerts and praise & worship last night.  After that a storm came up and blew down our tarp.  It started to rain, so I slept in the van.  Thank God, I was dry.

There is a whole world in front of me and with Jesus at my side I can do anything.

Time to help make breakfast….

June 18, 1994 – Saturday – 10:57 p.m.

It was a good day.  A lot happened.

While I was sleeping one of my contacts dried up so I had to throw it away.  I didn’t bring my other ones so I can only see out of one eye.  

Dad and I went to the Virginia Living Museum and I saw two bald eagles.  They were so beautiful.  I saw myself in that bird’s eyes.

We went shopping and I bought a keyboard, bigger than the one I had before.  After that we went to see Schindler’s List at a dollar theater.  It had more effect on me the first time, but at the end I still got chocked up.

I go home Monday.  And Friday I go to Lees-McRae for orientation!  I can’t wait.

I have a wish for that day.  I hope it will come true.

June 11, 1994 – Saturday – 11:21 p.m.

I’m in Virginia.  I’ve had a good time so far.  Dad and I went to the mall.  I bought Sunset Blvd., the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical soundtrack, and Schindler’s List, the book.  Then we went to see Maverick, a western with Mel Gibson.  That was a great movie.

Otherwise I’m a little bored and I hope something more interesting will happen while I’m up here.  The last time I was up here was Christmas.  A lot has happened in the past six months.

Christmas of 1994 will be the next time I’m up here.

And, whew, the next six months will bring all the change in the world.