Change is Scary

I have a feeling 2015 is going to be an interesting year. I could be wrong, I think I’d like to be wrong, but I’m not sure that I am. For some reason I feel like this is the last year that my life could look as it has (more or less) for the past 24 years. I don’t know how I feel about that. This Christmas has probably been one of the best, and my family always has a good Christmas. Donald graduated from UNCW, I got to see lots of friends, and spend a lot of time with my family. I finally got to give Donald his Wicked tickets for the end of January (a secret I have been keeping since September), and we surprised mom with an iPad for Christmas (something she’s really wanted). It almost felt too good to be true. I felt the need to really be present more because everything could change at a moment. Like this time next year my entire world could be very different. Even Donald said a few times how this Christmas could be our last one like this. How we may not have many more opportunities for the 3 of us to be together. I’m in a fairly serious relationship (not that either of us are planning anything for anytime soon, calm yourselves people. We have to finish school), and Donald is at a point that at any point he could be in a serious relationship.

The more I think, the more I don’t want things to change. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t handle change well at all. Over the years, I think I’ve become very flexible, and within reason I think I still am. But for some reason, I am terrified to think that my life could change entirely over the next year. Maybe with Donald’s graduation, me being in my first real serious relationship (particularly in which everyone likes the guy), and it being Christmas we were all in a different state of mind. I remember thinking after my grandma died, that life and Christmas would never be the same again. And it was very different, and it was really hard, and I was terrified; but it wasn’t bad. We were all emotional and reminiscent of her, but we still made the best of it. Over the past week mom talked about the first Christmas after Daddy died, and how she was afraid that we wouldn’t make it through Christmas, and not knowing what to do. But we did, and I bet that was a hard Christmas for her, but we made the best of it, and I bet it was good. Different yes, hard absolutely, but good.

I think tonight made it the absolute worst. I went to see my grandpa for a few minutes tonight since I won’t be able to see him before I leave tomorrow. One of the caregivers walked in the living room where we were, and jokingly asked grandpa to tell me who I was. He looked at me and laughed, kind of mumbled for a second, and the caregiver asked again. He laughed, and said “I don’t know.” And mom and I laughed, because otherwise I would have burst into tears. Mom told him he did know me, and she said “That’s Stephanie Diane, better known as your princess” and he laughed and said “yeah she is.” and we all laughed, but inside I felt like I was going to be sick. I know my grandpa knows who I am, because he smiles and laughs, and carries on, when I’m there. He knows I’m his granddaughter, but he can’t remember my name. It never occurred to me that grandpa’s Alzheimer’s would take away my name from his memory. In 24 years, it never occurred to me that he wouldn’t know my name. And he knows who I am, so it could be worse, but still. What will I do next Christmas if he doesn’t remember me? I thought it was bad the day he didn’t tell me to “don’t take any wooden nickels” and to “keep it [the car] between the ditches” when I left and headed back to school. But to not remember my name? I’m trying to rationalise it; maybe he was tired, or he had been out riding around in the car too long, or maybe he was trying to be funny. But I don’t think so.

Tonight particularly, made me really not want to leave home. I don’t want anything to change, I don’t want grandpa to keep changing, I don’t want my family to keep going on with their lives without me. On a very rational level, I know this is all an over reaction. Holidays are sentimental, reflective, emotional, and all of that, but right now the potential for change just seems to be too much. And I don’t really know how to prepare for it. Normally, when change is coming, I know how to prepare for it. This change, this is a different kind of change. This is a potential for drastic change, that I have very little control over, will likely have very little warning of it’s coming, and it is such new change that I don’t know how to prepare or move with it.

So I guess, in a nutshell what I’m trying to say is I’m scared terrified petrified of what the future holds because I can’t plan for it. That’s a normal fear for a 24 year old, right? Someone please say yes.

I don’t like change. I don’t like the unknown. I don’t like not being prepared for change. So please, 2015, be kind to me.

-S

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