Well another year is in the history books. 2004 was a good year for me. I received an A.A.S. degree, started working on a Bachelor's degree, and found gainful employment. It was another drug free year for me, as I have been clean since 2001. The drinking was minimal, I really don’t think I drank anything this year and I know I did not get drunk. I thank my family and God for this. A few years ago I was in a drug induced stupor that had progressed for 20 years. My eyes are now opened to the wasted time…..where would I be if it had continued? Where would I be if I never did it to begin with? The houses and cars I lost..the relationships I let pass by..the loss of a good friend one night and a cousin who shared my disease and greed who decided to paint the walls with his brains. I am a survivor. I am very lucky indeed. I am thankful for many things, but most of all…my parents, who adopted me and gave me a chance at life. My family, who watched as I killed myself slowly for years, yet they showed me nothing but true love, this still amazes me. Now sober I try to make amends and return the love shown me all those wasted years. The one toast I make this New Year is to the friends and family who cannot share it with me. To Mitzi, to Hennon, to Pam, to Dianna, to Charlie, to Jay..only the good die young. None of them saw 20 years on this earth. I miss them all and think of them every day. These thoughts guide me now. I try harder every day to be a better man, a good man. When I look into Shannon’s eyes, I see the love I need, and I see the future. As I walk around the home place I see how the trees have grown, and I hear the birds….man, 20 years I never heard that. I see the love in my fathers eyes, for his wife, his home, his God….I want that too. My resolution is to be a GOOD MAN…and if I have to explain that, you will never understand.