I told 2008 that you my dear friend 2009 would be a better year! And thank goodness I was right. Now don't get me wrong, you and I also shared some moments that were not so bright - but overall our time together was fairly smooth.
It was a year of discovery and reexamining. I discovered myself once again and the things that I have always loved. I reexamined my life and made some changes based upon that evaluation. I said that you, 2009, would be the year of "me". And that you were. I did what I wanted when I wanted and at times with little regard to anyone else. That last part I regret, but at the same time I have always done what everyone else wanted me to do - leaving me very little time for the things I wanted to do. You changed that 2009.
It was so nice to get back to Barrel Racing -- horses are my true passion and I am never happier than when I am in the saddle. And the fact that Vixen wanted to make this a part of her life too was amazing. She was such a natural and it was great to share something I am so passionate about with one of my best friends. It is now a love that we both share and has perhaps made us even closer as friends, if that is possible.
2009 you also proved me wrong. I had closed the door of my heart and promised that I would never let another in. That was famous last words. I will be forever grateful to you for sending a young Marine into my life and for granting me the sense to realize that some promises are meant to be broken.
You and I have had an interesting trip around the sun together and I am sad to see you go. But I know that I will always look back on you and smile at our shared memories but also cry over the loss of Grandpa - a loss that came to soon but am thankful he has now entered the gates of heaven.
At midnight tonight I will bid you farewell, 2009. I hope that 2010 will be as kind to me as you have been.