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Q03

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

Dad turned 75. He's just amazing - I never really appreciated him until we lost my mother. I am terrified that we will lose him too, and sometimes this completely derails me; but I am resolved to make the most of the time we have.

My mother had a health scare. It helped me to realise that the family can and does pull together, that my sister and I have a good sensible relationship, and that I have a network that I can and should tap on. I am grateful for my friends who listened, listened, listened.

My younger daughter graduated from high school this year, making me (almost) an "empty nester." This has affected me in that it has highlighted my need to reinvent myself, to redefine who I am and what I want to do with my life, and how important it is to me to find a partner to share my adventures and life with.

My father's suicide has affected me in ways I cannot even fully grasp yet. More than a year out I am still crippled. I have shifted in ways I cannot even really describe or fully see yet. I am simply someone else.

A major milestone would have to be getting married. I was at the point where I didn't expect to ever marry. I was sad and disappointed that I was alone. Someone that I have always loved and cared about came back into my life 2 years ago. We have had to deal with some awful things and we were able to get through it together. Being married has given me the chance to learn how rely on others, how to be vulnerable and to know that I am loved...no matter what. I still struggle with believing and not rejecting all that I have but I am going to spend every day until I die learning to appreciate and to love myself...warts, difficulties, arguments and all!!

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