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Q03

Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

I completely underestimated my parents and everything they have been providing for me all of these years.  I've definitely become a lot closer to my family because of this realization.

My Dad got married.  I've never seen him as happy as he was that day and it made me realize how much I really do love him and that in the long run, my parents' separation was the right thing for both of them.

The girl I've been dating long-distance off and on for four years moved cross-country to live with me at last.

My ex-husband's death has changed everything. It's such a cliche to say (but it's true) that his sudden death has made me re-evaluate everything in my life: what do I want to do with the rest of my years, however long or short that may be; what gives me joy? He never found direction or satisfaction, let alone joy: I do not want to have the same ever said about me. I've taken one important step: I left my job of five years and returned to the work I love: teaching and research. I'm so lucky to have the chance, but I'm also scared -- excited -- scared.

My wife's completion of chemotherapy. After 6 months, she emerged a slightly different woman, and I suppose i'm a different kind of man. I have seen my wife battle a painful and brutal treatment, and through it all she kept her sense of humor and her generous heart. She always thinks of others, and during her chemo, she had to let me in to take care of her just a little bit. Going through this together has made us both very aware of the unpredictable nature of life. One of my favorite quotes is, "Man plans and God laughs."

My sister and I are both adopted. We discovered that we are biological sisters and that we have two brothers and a half-brother! We are excited and scared and reeling from this information.

My son and his wife are expecting a baby around December 20. I am looking forward to having a grandchild again, this time when I am not busy with young children myself.

My parents were in a really tough spot with their relationship, and it was stressing out the entire family. My dad even moved out for two months into his own apartment. I was dating a guy who was treating me like shit. I don't know what happened, but somehow everything bad just went away and our whole family came together again. We are so happy and I am so proud of all of them.

My mother just graduated from college after going back 5 years. She worked really hard all those years and now she is trying to get a job. It's affected me in the way that she's been a great influence on me to never give up even when the work may seem impossible.

The swift decline in my mother's mental faculties has been distressing and sad. It's as though she's a different person--and I suppose that she actually is, if a person is his or her mental state and personality. I also feel disoriented because of her incapacity, as if someone had half robbed her from everyone around her.

My little sister turned 13 and had her bat-mitzvah. i feel as though it has effected me the most because it has really start to hit me that there are no more little kids in our house and there won't be until i have kids...its kind of a surreal feeling. it feels like we grew up to fast but that there is still so much to come.

My mom and I went on vacation abroad for the first time, and it made me realize how I have, in a lot of ways, become the caretaker. I wonder what things will be like as we get older?

My 19 years old niece got married. I couldn't believe she was going into marriage being so very young and inmature. Once I realized she had made her mind up, I tried to be supportive. I realized that besides my prejudice against young marriage, I also responded from my own grief because I had gotten divorced the previous year and had struggling to get over it. Since I move to Spain, it has been my niece and her husband who now live and enjoy what used to be my home.

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