December 30th.

It’s been lingering in the back of my mind all day. I’m trying not to dwell on it. I chose not to go to the races tonight. And I’m glad I’m not there.

Tonight would have been Race 200. Or whatever number we ended up at. But knowing my competitiveness and Bryan’s desire to race… It would have been 200. Bay Park in New Zealand. Should have been Race 200. But it’s not. As we all know, the Chasing 200 Tour ended at Race 117.

I didn’t even question whether or not I wanted to go to the track tonight. I knew I didn’t. And I’m not really sure why. I think it’s because tonight wasn’t anything special. The moment that it was supposed to be – that’s not happening. And me not being there… Well, I think this is a step in the process. I’m dealing with it all. I didn’t feel the need to be there to celebrate what was supposed to be. And I think that’s ok.

I spent the day with our friend, Fleur, and her kiddos, Coop and Tayla. I think Bryan would be proud of me for not going to the races tonight. I’ve said it before, but he taught me two things: to live and to love. By choosing to spend time with my friends instead of focus on “what should have been”, I’m doing both of those. Today is the first time that I have really felt that things will be ok (and by “ok” I mean “as ok as they can be without Bryan”). Earlier today, I was laying out on the deck watching the kiddos splashing in the pool… and I just had this overwhelming sense of calmness and peace.

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I am looking forward to 2017 – not because 2016 was terrible. It was indeed the worst year of my life, but I also had the best moments of my life this year, too. Bryan proposed (finally). I became an Aunt (officially) for the first time. We promoted our first race – and it was a success. I was next to Bryan as he was achieving his dreams, our dreams. We were doing it. We were a team. I feel like we were really just getting started this year. So many plans. So many dreams. So many late night conversations about our future. Yes, so much of that was taken away in 2016, but here I am. I have to continue what we started. From promoting races, to our Racers For Autism charity event, to decorating our house (sounds easier than it is). Everything that Bryan and I had planned, everything that we worked on together – I want to continue to do it. I want to make it bigger and better in honor of Bryan. I want Bryan to say, “that’s my girl”. So, that’s what I’m going to do.

Sure, 2017 will have challenges. Tough moments. But nothing can be any tougher than what I have experienced and what I am overcoming. I am feeling hopeful about the new year. I thought I would be sad. I thought I would feel like I was leaving Bryan behind… But I don’t. I feel like I’m doing exactly what he wants me to do.

So, even though it sounds like it was a small thing… Staying home from the races tonight is exactly what I needed to do to be able to move forward, even if it was just the teeniest step.

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