December 7, 1993 – Tuesday – 10:12 p.m.

Hmmm.

Last year this time I was happy beyond my wildest imagination.  I remember when Veronica and I exchanged bracelets and hers smelled of her perfume.  That same night after the service was over she ran up to me and hugged me and said that I was her Jacob.

On that night I asked her if her dad was a thief, since he must have stolen the stars from the skies to put them in her eyes.  Cheesy, I know, but it all felt so good.

I wish it could happen again, but only with someone new.

But I am not desperate.  I can wait.

Recently the world has gotten me down.  Purity in the world today simply doesn’t exist anymore.  TV is trash, with “Parental Discretion is Advised” in front of nearly every show.  Everybody is into sex.  All you hear about is sex.  What’s the big deal?

I mean, yes, I’m looking forward to marriage mainly for all the sex involved, but that is about making-love with my future wife, not about all the sinful sex I see around me.  Sex has gotten out of hand in the world.

I have to focus every day not to fall into those traps.

No.  No.  I’m not going to mess up my life and mess up my love for those lies.  

I’m staying pure.

August 24, 1993 – Tuesday – 9:47 p.m.

178 days left of school!

I’m excited.

The day went fine.  In Spanish II, Mr. Benton asked me if I liked the winter.  He said it in Spanish, of course.

I said, “Si, me gusta invierno.”

He said, “Por que?”

I said, “Me gusta chocolate caliente.”

He laughed so hard and shared what I said with the whole class.  Then the whole class died laughing.  I didn’t think it was that funny, but I was glad it happened.

Once I got home I slept for an hour, then I did my homework and Grandma and Grandpa drove down.  After a bite to eat at McDonald’s, we went to visit Aunt Sis.  She lives a few hundred feet from where I used to live.  She is my mom’s mom’s sister and her husband died a few years ago.  They had a few children, including Cynthia who married a guy named Murphy who laughs like an old man sneezing.  They have three boys: Lebaron, Nick, and Ethan.

Lebaron and I used to be good friends.  He is 13 now.  I haven’t seen him in a long time.

Bruce, Cynthia’s brother, married a woman name Lavern and they have at least one girl named April.  They just moved here a few weeks ago.  They are living in a trailer behind the house where we used to live.  I saw April at school today.  She is a sophomore.

They were all over there at Aunt Sis’s tonight.  Murphy and Nick came over.  Boy, are they some country redneck folks.

Several, several years down the road, I will travel with my wife and stay the night in my kid’s house and visit with family I rarely see, just like my Grandparents did tonight.  And we will spend the hours talking about everything and nothing.  But I’m in no rush to get to that stage of life.

The other day, I found a journal that Kevin had to keep in the 6th grade for school.  I found this entry:

March 10, 1987

MY DAD

My dad is coming today to pick me up from school because we are going to Greensboro.  My mom and my dad are divorced.  My dad loves my mom, but she doesn’t love him.  My mom has remarried, but my dad still loves her.

Wow.  Kevin was in the 6th grade and he didn’t understand the complexities of love.  This sure puts Veronica in perspective.  I feel so foolish.  “Muy Tonto.”

Into the Woods came on PBS last night.  I remember watching that with Jason and Christi at their house.  We ate fried bologna and banana sandwiches.  Good memories.

I got my pictures from the zoo back yesterday.  I’ll take them to church tomorrow.  After tomorrow, I won’t see Anne for a long time.  She is so sweet.

Okay, I think I did it.  I think I made it through a journal entry without mentioning Ryan.

Agh!  I just did.  Oh well.  At least I tried.

August 15, 1993 – Sunday – 10:36 p.m.

The day went absolutely great!!

I couldn’t ask for more.

This morning I got ready for church pretty early so that I could go to Sunday school.  Kevin was up but he was playing Nintendo in his underwear for a long time.  He didn’t get ready.

Sunday school starts at 9:30 a.m.  At 9:35 I went in there and asked him if he was going to church.

“Of course!” he said.

“Well you need to get ready then,” I said.

“I’m playing this right now.”

“If you don’t get ready then I’ll leave you.”

“You leave me on my last Sunday and see what happens!”

“You better get up!

“I am up!”

“Then get ready!”

“Yeah, Henry, sure.”

Of course, he was making fun of me by calling me Henry.

Well, I went back in my room and seven minutes passed.  He was still playing Nintendo. I wanted to leave so bad, but I didn’t have the guts.  Then Marcus suggested we should just go to his house, pick up some of his clothes, and then come back to get Kevin.

So we did, but after that I was driving by the house and getting ready to turn in, but I didn’t, I just drove on.

“Marcus, I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I meant what I said.”

So, I left him at home and went to church.  I felt free!

Children’s church was fun.  Afterwards, I was talking to Ryan, then Shirley, Veronica’s mother, came up and gave me a hug and said, “Happy Birthday boy!”

I said, “Happy Birthday to you, too!” since her birthday is tomorrow.

Then, to Anne who was standing right next to us, she said, “I hear your honey is coming down next weekend.”

I thought she was talking to me and I said, “My honey?”

“No, Anne’s, you’re talking to your honey.”

Agh!  Ryan was, of course, the person I was talking to and I felt my face turn bright red.  Ryan blushed as well and Shirley just laughed, then she hugged Ryan and said, “I’m sorry!” in such a sarcastic tone.

But secretly, I was glad she had said it.

Later at the park, I was standing in line for the food with Anne, Amy, Cheryl and Ryan (Christi is still in New York).  Shirley came up and I gave her one of those looks.  She gave me the look back and said, “Jacob, could you go away so I can talk to these ladies?”

Oh boy.  I left.

She told me later what she had said.  She wanted to tell Ryan she was sorry if she embarrassed her earlier.  And she told her, “Jacob just thinks you’re a really neat person.”

Ryan said, “Me?”

“Yes Ryan, you!” she said.

The day continued and we all had a water gun fight.  I got Scott so good.

I was down near where they were playing softball and I saw Anne’s car leave the parking lot.  I immediately felt vacant or lost.  I later found out that Ryan had left with her.  I missed her, even when I wasn’t sure she was gone.

Sherry keeps telling me that Ryan and I are the perfect match.  We look alike, we act alike, we both laugh a lot, etc., etc.

Hmm.  Little Sherry.  Please God, take care of her.

After we left the park, Marcus and I went to High Falls to attend Lisa’s youth group.  It was great and afterwards Kenny and Marcus and I left for my house.

We were going to get some pizza, but we decided to stop to see if Kevin wanted to go.  He did, but boy was he mad at me.  He promised me a pounding when we got home.

At Pizza Hut, the three of them did the craziest things, I can’t even explain it all.  I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard before.  All that laughing made Kevin forget about the pounding he had promised.

We came home and he went to his room and I went to mine and that brings me to where I am now.

11:25 p.m.

The weekend is over.  I have one more weekend until school starts.  I prayed that the summer of ’93 would be some of the best days of my life.  And they have been.  Thank you, Jesus.

I wish I could live them over.  Wouldn’t that be something?  To live this whole summer again.

To go back to June 8th, after Kevin’s graduation, and relive everything:

Seeing Jurassic Park at Midnight with my dad, watching Christi read Jonathan’s secret admirer letter, hiking 13.7 miles in the Smoky Mountains, going to Greenville, SC with Tim, playing cards with beautiful Emily at Deep Creek, seeing Last Action Hero with Jonathan, doing scavenger hunts with Christi and Ryan, starting the singing ensemble, talking to Misty for five hours about her potential suicide, watching the fireworks, writing in my novel Challenger’s Deep, going to see 42nd Street, realizing I sort of liked Christi, all our youth group swimming parties, walking in the dark on Ore Hill, putting up with Henry’s crap, realizing I wasn’t over Ryan, visiting my old playground, helping my dad out at the golf course, hearing the unfinished Canon, watching Sleepless in Seattle, watching Ryan and Amy when they were so young, going to the wedding, leaving Kevin at home, and laughing so hard at Pizza Hut.

Would I go back and live all of that over again?

Would I really?  I know I would.  I would do it in a heartbeat!  If only to really appreciate the endless amounts of joy this summer contained for me.

I know that some more “best days of my life” are coming up, but these were special and I have one more week of them.

The reason these days have been so great is because my Lord and my God gave me the peace of mind and heart to simply enjoy them.

Thanks for them Lord.  I will cherish them always.