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.