Great things happened in 2009 to be sure.
My sister and niece came home and live close enough to visit as often as schedules allow.
Adam had an outstanding year playing soccer and has been accepted to the college of his choice.
Jakob grew into a giant who really enjoys high school and girls.
We shared four months with our beautiful "daughter" and will hold her in our hearts forever.
Joe created a beautiful Christmas - one of the best I can remember - for me, our children, and our friends.
2009 was not my favorite year.
My mother is a stranger to me. Some small voice whispers that it's time to create a new relationship with her. Yet every time I stand on the verge of connecting, she does something completely heinous and I remember why we are strangers.
My brother is using again, and he's a fugitive. He's not being a good husband or father. And yet I am haunted by the thought of him, alone and with no safe place to rest his head, a head once as dear to me as my own children's heads.
My son is marking a year of "lasts" with us. It's perhaps the last year he will sleep at home more than he doesn't. Excited as we are for him and his future plans, each "last" is a little bittersweet. Not heartbreaking. Bittersweet.
I'm ready for a new year with all the hope and promise it brings.