My 20-Year Diary

I will be posting 20 years of my diary entries, ages 8-28, from 1993-2014!

My Grandparents Are Really Starting to Change — October 15, 2017

My Grandparents Are Really Starting to Change

12/28/04:  Christmas came and went very fast. I can’t say it was a bad Christmas because I got almost everything I asked for, but other than that, it was terrible. My grandparents are really starting to change and I wasn’t aware that it was to this extent. I don’t want to go into detail about it all because I’ve already told the whole story to Carson and it’s not fun to think about. Long story short, my grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease awhile ago and we are really beginning to see signs of it. In my opinion, it’s one of the worst things you can possibly have. It’s not as bad as something such as cancer where there’s a lot of physical suffering involved, but there’s definitely emotional suffering for family members. You’re witnessing someone you’ve known and loved for so many years slowly become more distant and change into someone you feel like you don’t know at all. At least he hasn’t forgotten who we are at this point, so I’m thankful for that. The next day on Christmas morning, we went over to my grandma and grandpa Hitchell’s house. I was relieved because I thought it would be better than how last night went, but my other grandpa isn’t doing very well either.  Apparently, he has been waking up several times during the night thinking that someone is in the house stealing from them. He does have Parkinson’s disease, so it either has to do with the actual disease itself or a side effect from the medications. He has also been trying to sell some of his personal belongings, like his coin collection, to complete strangers. He even let some random people come to his house to look at some coins. That’s actually pretty dangerous because he has a lot of old antiques and things from the war and if people see that, then they might actually try to break in at a later time. All of this has been very stressful and hard to deal with. I’ve always been extremely close to my grandparents and it’s really difficult when things start to change. When I try to explain all this to Carson, I feel like he doesn’t understand or just thinks that I’m complaining. I really need his support right now to get through this, but I feel like he doesn’t even want to hear it.

My mom and I also haven’t been getting along lately, but that’s nothing new. It just seems like she’s constantly in a bad mood. Oh, and then I got my grades back from ISU. I didn’t do nearly as well as I had hoped. I worked really hard on my English portfolio and revised my papers enough to make them A papers, or so I thought, but I ended up getting a B-, which dropped my final grade for the class from an A down to a B. Then the same thing happened in another class. The other “A” I was supposed to have was in my criminal justice class. I never did find out what grade I got on that darn final, but it had to have been pretty bad to bring my grade down from an A to a B. It’s extremely frustrating how you can have an A in a class throughout the entire semester and then one exam screws it all up. I emailed those darn teachers a week and a half ago, but they haven’t responded yet. So basically, my break hasn’t been going as well as I’d hoped. I haven’t seen Carson in a week because he had to go to Chicago to be with his family for Christmas. He’s coming over tonight at 10:00 because he had to work at the Olive Garden, so he’ll head over here after that. I’ll finally get to see him and show him everything I got for Christmas. Okay, I’ve done enough writing. Time to get out of the house for a bit.

Commentary: Both of my grandpas have since passed away, but these memories I wrote about regarding the first signs of change are still fresh in my mind. My grandma is the only surviving grandparent I have, and unfortunately, she was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As upsetting as it is, I have to remember the good times and be thankful for all the years we’ve been able to spend together. She has forgotten a lot of things, but somehow always remembers my book, “Artifacts of a ’90s Kid,” that comes out on November 7th. It’s the first thing she asks about when she sees me and I cannot wait to show it to her. 

I’ve Been Thinking of Some New Year’s Resolutions — October 7, 2017

I’ve Been Thinking of Some New Year’s Resolutions

12/19/04:  A lot has happened since the last time I wrote in here. Last week was finals week, so that’s the main reason I’ve been so busy. I had tons of stuff to finish up, like my portfolio for English, and it was extremely stressful. That was due on Monday, then I had one final Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and two on Thursday. On Friday morning, Carson drove me home and I was so happy that the semester is finally over and I survived all my finals. I won’t know my final grades until tomorrow morning, though. I really hope I did good!!! Anyway, Christmas break hasn’t been going that well so far. On Friday, Carson and I were very tired and didn’t do that much. He studied for the GMAT exam that he has to take, which is tomorrow, so it was kind of a boring night. Then Saturday and today (Sunday) I’ve been sick. I really wanted to get my Christmas shopping done, but I wasn’t feeling up to it. I hope I feel better tomorrow because I have a lot I want to get accomplished over break. It’s almost New Year’s Eve and lately I’ve been thinking of some New Year’s resolutions. I feel like you’re only supposed to have one, but this year I have several because there’s a lot I want to change about my life. Here are a few of them:

-Go to bed early every night

-Eat three meals a day (stay healthy, take vitamins)

-Take more pictures of family members/friends

-Do my best in school (try to not get discouraged easily)

-Pay a little more attention to my appearance (don’t wear sweats every day, shave legs regularly)

-Don’t be lazy

Well that’s all I got right now. I don’t know what else to write about…Carson is in Bloomington because he has to work and I miss him so much. Especially since I’ve been sick all weekend. He’s the only one who can take care of me and knows how to make me feel better. Gosh, I miss him so badly I could almost cry right now. I would if I wasn’t so dead tired. I can’t wait until Tuesday night because that’s when he’s coming back over. Well it’s almost 2:30 AM right now and I really need to get over my sickness, so I’m off to bed. I’ll try to write later this week.

Commentary: It’s nice to see I had some goals in life, as trivial as they seem now looking back (shave legs regularly?!). My life must have been pretty darn easy if those were the main challenges I was facing. Too bad I wasn’t able to accomplish any of them, but I guess that’s how it goes with New Year’s resolutions. 

This Thanksgiving Was One of the Best Yet — October 6, 2017

This Thanksgiving Was One of the Best Yet

12/02/04:  A lot has happened since the last time I wrote in here. I meant to bring my journal home over Thanksgiving break, but I forgot. My doctor called with the results of my biopsy and said there was no cancer, thank goodness. I was glad to hear the news and happy that I didn’t have to keep worrying about what was wrong with me. A few weekends ago, my mom came to visit and we went to look at apartments. Most were already taken, but we found a good deal on a two bedroom. My mom actually said that Carson and I can live together! It was really the only good deal we could find, so my mom finally gave in. I’m really excited and have been shopping lately trying to come up with some ideas of what we need for our new apartment. I know it’s kind of risky living with a boyfriend because there’s always a chance we could break up, but I’m willing to risk it because I love him so much. I’m pretty sure at this point that we won’t be breaking up anytime soon. We just had our 1 year and 2 month anniversary on the 23rd of November. We didn’t even get to spend it together, though, because Carson went back home to the Chicago suburbs. Last week we had the whole week off because of Thanksgiving break. I went back to my hometown and he went to his, so we didn’t get to spend much of the week together, but I still had fun. It snowed for the first time this year the night before Thanksgiving, and my brother surprised us by coming home. He originally said he couldn’t because he had to work, so it was a nice surprise. Thanksgiving is usually a holiday that I don’t look forward to very much, but this Thanksgiving was one of the best yet. Not too many people showed up at my aunt’s house, which I liked because I got to be myself and talk more. When we got there, we ate first and then played Trivial Pursuit, the 90’s edition, which is a really fun board game. My mom brought it and only people in my family were playing at first, but eventually everyone else joined in. The teams were me and my dad against my sister and mom. Everyone else was either doing something like watching football or watching us play the game and helped by yelling out answers. Later on, my sister and I went downstairs to play pool with my brother and my cousin’s wife. I don’t play pool very often, but somehow I ended up winning! I was having a lot of fun, but by that time it was already 5:00 PM and getting dark out, so my mom said we needed to get going. Usually after spending all day with family I’m ready for a break, but this time I didn’t want to leave. Then we went to my grandma and grandpa Day’s house for a while so they could see my brother. That visit also turned out to be really fun. We were dancing, playing the organ, and then started playing a game. We didn’t get to stay long, and once again I didn’t want to leave. Looking back on Thanksgiving, I can say that it was one of the best holidays I’ve had in a long time. The rest of my break was fun, too. I got to relax and be lazy, which is exactly what I needed. Well it’s 2:00 AM and I have class tomorrow, so I gotta go.

Commentary: I don’t always have a clear memory of specific holiday gatherings because they tend to run together after awhile, but Thanksgiving of 2004 definitely sticks out in my mind. My brother had moved to Nashville, so having him show up was an awesome surprise, plus we got to see both sides of our family when usually we would only spend it with my dad’s side. Things are much different now that I only have one surviving grandparent and don’t have many family members that live nearby, so I’m especially grateful to have these special memories documented.

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