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

Grandson turned one What a cutie!

I don't think a major milestone with my family happened this year. We got a dog.

My sister got engaged- thus taking the pressure off me. Family reunion in honor of the family matriarch who is 96 years old and in terrific health. I hope I will be like her in my aging.

My father appologized to me. I'm sure he meant it, but I don't feel like it really changed anything. When you're father is on his death bed, you'll say whatever. So did you really mean it, Dad?

No major milestones because no family. Next time, how about more empathy for diverse situations. You could use a question like "with family or close friends who are almost like family"?

The middle of my 3 younger brothers moved to Hawaii with his girlfriend and her family. I don't know when the next time I will be able to see him will be, but it is very strange for him to not be around anymore.

We lost Grandma Pat in June of 2009. I think my family have come to value life better and not to let the small things have own over more important issues and to live life to its fullest.

My son's medical diagnosis. I have learned a lot about his disorder and it makes me more compassionate and forgiving towards him; my love is abundant yet my boundaries are still strong. I cannot live with him or support him; he has to take control of his life and the choices he makes. At first I cried, for the loss of having a "normal" son, but more than that I cried for him, how awful it must be for him to even begin to think of himself through this filter. . .

My Grandfather found out his brother, who had moved to Canada after the Second World War, had died. Since he had no immeadiate family, all his worldy posessions were left to Grandad and my Mum. I don't think that this is as important as some of the other answers to this question. I just think that it is remarkable that we all have family out there that we might not know exist.

I guess if we are talking about miletones in the family, we had our first holiday together for about 12 years. Everyone got on famously and there were no arguments, which felt like the early days of my childhood when everyone was just happy to be with each other. We're now planning our next trip away!!

My sister had her second baby, a boy named Ryan. Ever since she had her first child it has brought the whole family closer together. I see their family much more often than I used to. I absolutely love my niece and nephew, and it just gets better as they get older.

Found my homeless, wandering brother last year after seven years of no contact with him, lost him again this year. I find this to be very troubling as I can't reach him to give him information he needs to survive.

Well, the main milestone that we have left backwards has been our moving. This crisis or economical shrinking has the property of changing both mind and persons, changing both ideas as places. And I'm very worried if after moving from one town to another, we have to change our minds too and we were not able to do so.

I (finally) finished high school! I guess it's made me grow up - I can't pretend I'm still a child, because I'm not. And while I'm not totally out in the real world yet, there are fewer and fewer people holding my hand or who will catch me if I fall - which is far enough! Another thing that happened was my sister got married! SO exciting! Although, it's weird not having her here anymore. It's changed our family dynamic - suddenly my alliance & accomplice is no longer. But the good thing is we still see each other heaps, and we're getting on better than ever - even if I am just a little jealous...

My 4 yr old son was, how do I put it, 'diagnosed' with a speech impairment. This means that he doesn't express himself as well as a 4 yr old should. I'm very happy that he was 'labeled' because it means he can now go to a special preschool and get help, at no charge. It's only been a month and already we've seen a vast improvement.

My firstborn son turned one. I have so much emotion regarding him - I am grateful, delighted, amazed and proud yet also protective, vulnerable and strong. It made me want to be a stronger person, to take stock of what's important in life and to smell the roses and enjoy his beautiful personality during his childhood - because it will go quickly, if this first year is anything to judge by.

We are building a house. Our own house in our own lot for the first time in 20++ years. Our family. ;-)

The major milestone for our family was that my sister, Miranda, got married. There have been way more funerals than weddings on this fierce Irish Catholic side of our family. Our father passed away when she was twelve and I was 22. And we would cry about his loss every time we were together. Our family was non-traditional to begin with, but the sadness and material confusion brought on by this event eventually drove a wedge between some family members. The wedding changed all of this. It brought an unfettered joy (and now baby on the way!!) and lifted the cloud of gloom and loss that had descended. Miranda's smile has returned. We are unified, we are going to make it.

WHAT IS UP WITH THESE QUESTIONS? I did not expect them to be this deep. I was hoping for questions like ''What did you eat for lunch today?'' but apparently not. So instead I will make this my daily diary. Today I woke up. Then I went to school. I had shin noodles, a cinnamon scroll and dorritos for lunch. (Side note: Dorritos/Burritos. Any relation?) After school me, Zoe and Diva went to the Candyman. I bought Razzles, sour gum, a peanut butter cup and weird sour things. For dinner I had curry. Today me and Zoe(S) also speculated about whether we would end up living together. So far this diary has revealed that I eat a lot. I'm okay with that. I like food. PS. I hope you went to see the midnight viewing of Harry Potter. If you didn't I have a large amount of disappointment in my soul all ready for you. I have decided that I will now send an email to myself everyday. If I remember. I hate you. Now that i've made you sad Iwill proceed to cheer you up. Look at this picture. http://weheartit.com/entry/3036840 Ps I don't really hate you. I just wanted an excuse to show you such a great picture. ByE hUn XOXoxoOXoOxoxoXOXoOxOX lUv Ya MWAHXXXX

There really weren't any "major milestones" this year. Lots of little ones, but maybe those are the ones that count the most.

I realized that my older sister isn't someone to look up to. It has made me happy to be me.

My Mom´s cancer became worth and still is. That´s one reason why our relationship became closer and I hope we will intensify contact. I became a bit more serious about my life in general...

My nephew graduated from high school this May. He is my only nephew. His graduation made me realize that I really don't know him at all and now he has grown up. I've thought a lot over the past 17 years how different my relationship with him might have been had he been my sister's child rather than my brother's. I've come to the sad conclusion that my sister-in-law is a weirdo.

No major milestones - thank goodness! We've had enough parental deaths, sickness and personal misfortune over the last ten years to make us beg for a quiet year.

My brother received the opportunity to go for an accelerated masters program, much to my parent's joy. I think it's great, but I know it's going to put pressure on me at least in my own mind to be just as good if not better than him.

The big event would be that day that I came home during the day and Adam had the day off work. I'd just came in the door when he went to take a shower. I had headed into my room to swap laundry for fresh clothes when I heard a heavy thunk. Initially I thought he has just dropped a bottle of shampoo or something but something told me to be more wary. I headed up the corridor with dread growing in my mind because we always lock the bathroom door from the inside. I threw all my weight on the handle and pushed it open, right into his head. He hadn't made it into the shower, just fallen as he was waiting for the water to heat up. He was seizing and so heavy, so strong. I was crying and screaming trying to get him to roll onto his side so I could clear the saliva from his mouth, torn between leaving him to find the phone and trying to keep him alive. I was talking to him, trying to make him feel safe and familiar but his eyes never registered me. I finally worked up the courage to find a phone and called the ambulance while sitting beside him sobbing hysterically. There was so much spit, and vomit and blood and the bump on his head was terrifying. I just wanted him to feel okay, and I didn't want it to be my sole responsibility to keep him alive. I had to leave him again to open the garage door and came back to him repeating Adam, babe, please, stay with me, oh my god, it's okay, we'll be out of it soon. I was so scared. I never thought I would have to deal with his illness head on. The paramedics finally came, and my parents, and he was wheeled out, shaken but responsive. I never had such an eyeopening moment. I never realised how close he could get to death while having a seizure. If I was not there, if I'd arrived just half an hour later everything would be different. I am only grateful that everything fell together just as it did. And grateful for him, and life and the fragility of it all. Everything happens for a reason. And for some reason, he was feeling a bit off that day, and had left the bathroom door unlocked.

The loss of our first child has changed the way I view the world. This has affected much of my thought processes- I view the world in a "before the pregnancy" and "After the pregnancy" ...

My nephew got married which resulted in my mother having to be in the same room as her daughter-in-law whom she hadn't spoken to for over 5 years, due to a nasty verbal fight during the Christmas period. I was very anxious beforehand, but it all turned out well. Everyone was on their best behaviour and we were able to celebrate a very happy family occasion without any angst or stress.

I now have two teens in the house. It is great and scary and fun all at the same time. I enjoy the adults they are becoming most of the time but as always there are times when they are too much like me for their own good! :))

My Great Aunt turned 90. Celebrating Aunty's birthday made me realise how little time we have to spend with her. And how one day soon, she will be gone, and in the not too distant future, so will my mother. That made me sad.

My cousin and my mother's first cousin organized a family reunion of relatives I didn't know I had--thanks to the Internet! It was great, and really nice to meet people and find out that my family wasn't as small as I thought it was. I met some people I really liked and hope we can sustain the connections we made. On another note, my sister-in-law left my brother and filed for divorce after 30 years of marriage--quite a courageous step for her, as my brother is emotionally abusive and disturbed in many ways. She attended a support group for women in her situation and has been in therapy as well. I am supporting her in many ways in her move. I also feel very sad for my brother, who I have been estranged from for years because of an abusive incident that happened to me with him.

My daughter overcame her addiction to pain pills. Her children get to school on time and every day. They get dinner and clean clothes. Her focus is on their future, not the next hour. I can sleep at night now and don't dread her phone calls.

There really haven't been any major milestones with my family. Most of my life changes this past year had to do with friends, relationships, school, etc. My family has been quite stable.

When my brother went into high school, he was very difficult to handle. Yelling and fighting a lot. It caused my parents to mainly focus on him and not me and my little brother.

faith olivia started walking and talking

I have moved house and had to stay with my mum whilst everything got sorted out

intense deepening connection with my sister and mother in particular, as a result of my impending divorce...these women - along with very close friends - rallied around me in fierce support...but also, major milestone was watching my niece (8) and nephew (5) for 4 whole days by myself - i consider this one of my most significant accomplishments of this year, and there have been many!

Earlier this year I found out my younger sister was going to have a second child. As I was not at all supportive when she was pregnant with my niece, I had to find out this information through Facebook. I have tried to be supportive throughout her current pregnancy, which I believe has strengthened our usually strained relationship.

My parents had their 25th wedding anniversary, and we our 5th. It is said that every girl seeks a husband after the example of her father, and if so, I am happy to have found a man with similar family values and a similar love for his wife to those of my father.

That my youngest cousin will be starting College and that we are all becoming adults time has really become a milestone my generation "the kids"with in the family are becoming the adults and my parents are becoming grandparents. Just realizing time is prescious and should taken for granted

I found out how supportive my partner is, what issues have been lying around that we needed to deal with and how healthy our relationship is.

We moved to a new house. 5 months later, still adjusting.

This is the year my children's release was complete. Both kids are off the checkbook and live their own unique lives. It's fun to watch them take bold steps into the world. Working, studying, traveling and making new friends. We don't see them nearly as often as we'd like, but the amazing communications tools we have now make it far easier to keep in touch and keep tabs on their lives. It helps keep us far closer as a family then when I was leaving home... and I lived in the same town as my parents. It's also given us freedom to make broader decisions and focus on important parts of our lives that may have not gotten the attention they needed in the past - like our health. Overall it's been a good thing and in retrospect it happened at the right pace - although there were times we wish it happened more quickly ... or never happened at all. Amazing to see how God moves through all out lives and how His circle of seasons continue on.

My grandmother has Alzheimer's. And though the progression of the disease has been slow, incremental, and constant, since I live far from her, it's also been distant. However, when I visited her in the spring, the change in her from last year's visit was astonishing. How angry it makes me that my grandmother is reduced to coloring in a children's coloring book, or playing preschool games on the computer. How terrified it makes me for my father's future as her caregiver and as a potential victim. Though this disease has been wearing down a crack in my relationship with my grandmother for years, I feel that this year, something finally broke. I used to call her weekly; now it's hard for me to pick up the phone, as the disease angers me so much that I can't get through a phone call without sobbing.

My daughter turned 21. This was freeing and exciting.

My older daughter learned to ride a bike. This means that we can go on family bike rides which is wonderful because my husband and I used to do this before we had children. Feels like we're moving to a new, freer, more fun mode in our family. She also went to sleepaway camp for a week. These things make me reflect on how fast things change with children and that I should enjoy it while it lasts.

I guess I can't think of a particular milestone per se, but My great aunt Edith passed away. I barely knew her, but her passing leaves my grandma as the only one left from her generation. My heart goes out to her, it must be so hard getting older and hanging on and watching all your contemporaries pass away. I hope I never have to experience that myself, and I pledge to make more of an effort to spend time with my grandma so that she won't feel too alone, and so she'll know that I care about her.

First grandchild, last kid in college

My parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary and we threw this huge party for them. It was awesome having all the family in town and having conversations with all of them, reiterated how many awesome and strong women I have in my family and how blessed I am to have them in my life. Also highlighted for me how strong and independent I am, and how much I value those traits in myself. Also reminded me that we just do and see things differently than other people. We entertain well and easily, we cope with tragedy and sadness with laughter instead of tears, we celebrate life instead of mourning death, and we are really there for each other (even if you acquire a few bruises along the way)

This is another hard one to answer, not because I don't have an answer, but because the answer is a difficult one. My grandfather is very sick - he has Alzheimer's, and doesn't remember things, and sometimes leaves the house and no one knows where he is. Mom went to visit for two weeks this year to help, my grandmother didn't want to put him in a home, but he needs proper medical care that she can't do, and its making her sad and sick. She finally agreed, and his name is on a list, but they are still waiting. It's hard, because it makes me sad, and I don't know what I can do about. I don't even know what to say to my grandparents or aunt, or even Mom about it - it's a tough situation.

so far no major milestones...boring year so far...

My sister recently decided to move to San Francisco; it’s been a dream of hers for years. I’m sad to see her go and will definitely miss seeing her as often as I do now, but I’m genuinely so happy for her. My parents were upset at first and very dismissive, but they have come around. It was important for my sister to have their support and they quickly realized that, even though they don’t want her to be living so far away from home, it was important for them to support her through this transition.

i past my public exam

My son became an Eagle Scout!! I had to push him at times. i was very proud that he was able to accomplish his goal. so few actually do achieve this level.

Marriage and babies... it makes me feel like I'm starting a new wonderful part of my life, rather than just getting older.

My mom retired and now I think I see her less than before. She and my dad are traveling all over the place, but that's a good thing. I want them to do as much of that as they can while they can.

Seems like everything is related to the same issue this year: Henry, his illness, getting him up here, dealing with his situation and his insanity. And it continues to affect me in a very deep way. Sometimes I can just sort of dismiss it--yes, he has always been mentally ill. But at other times, I get very deeply depressed and sad and despondent about life in general.

my mom still thinks I'm a little child and it affects me in my everyday decisions. Because I always have to think about her when I'm doing things for me. That was the worst part of my year. But I'm learning to change it.

I had my first wedding anniversary. It was exquisitely beautiful. I feel blessed and so lucky to be with my wife.

Buying a house together and deciding to marry. I got obsessed with weddings and marriage, but otherwise things are chugging along in an entirely appropriate way.

My oldest son started college. It was very hard for me to let got of him, and I worried for a couple months he wouldn't make any friends and would be homesick. Fast forward to this year - lots of friends, loves his school, works hard ... it feels like I brought him up right, that he will be a successful, well-adjusted person in his own right. I'm so proud of him and watching him grow and change. It's hard to let him go sometimes, but you have to do it in order for them to mature and move on to the life you want them to have.

I think having brain surgery to remove four benign tumors in my head was kind of a "milestone". My whole family came together (except my problematic sister), even cousins and aunts/uncles, in support, and especially my mom. It made me feel very supported and loved. It was very helpful for my recovery.

Mayor mileston? We went on vacation together. It made us spend quality time together. It was pretty awesome. :)

Its been a year since both my aunt and uncle died. This affected my family seriously but it brought us closer together, since it has been a year since their passing we have moved on with our lives and are no longer in the same pain as we were however we are now much closer than we ever were and I see much more of my uncle from Yorkshire and other family members who I didn't see as much, we are all supporting each other.

We have moved to Portland, OR -- It makes me feel excited about the future and content that we are in the right place to raise our kids

We moved home (on my birthday). My mum moved in with her boyfriend and it meant I had to leave my home, my friends, my church, and my entire life behind. It seems silly because we only moved 40 miles away but not being able to drive meant I felt completely abandoned. Almost a year on, I still refuse to like it here, though I have tried to adapt - I still just want to go home.

Death brought out the best in people, and their incompetence. Friends who are family are wonderful. I found out that my extended family is inept, ill equipped, and clueless.

the only major milestone in my family this year has been the birth of my granddaughter. After the losses of last year, this is a great thing!

My daughter going off to college -- we had only males at home most of the time because she was away -- changed the energy at home. Big step for me as a mother. Shifted the relationships between family members quite a bit, in a subtle way.

My father has always had a problem with alcohol. 2 years ago he had a major accident where he suffered 25% full thickness burns to his body. There is no disputing the pain and suffering that he underwent but he has got through it. The past 12 months however his alcoholism has get worse and while the accident would not have helped this situation we are at a point where we are struggling to support him as he won't support himself. No-one sees his drinking and when we drink together as a family when I go home he "sneaks" extra drinks while he thinks we are not looking. The last 3 occassions where we have gone out for dinner - he has been so drunk it has become a seriously embarrassing issue. He is not aware of what he says or does and he is incredibably abusive verbally. When it happened again last week, it was the final straw. I will no longer "share" the alcohol I bring in to the house to consume on a social basis and he is no longer welcome to join us as a "family" when we go out for dinner. My mum has a dog's life with him and I do wish she will leave him. She is going to Australia next week for 2 weeks - the first time they have ever been apart and I hope that this is the point where my mum takes hers life in the direction she wants it to be and becomes more independant. Travelling on her own from Wales to Oz will hopefully be the confidence boost she wants. As for my father, well in all honesty I can't be bothered anymore but as long as my mum and brother are OK, that is all that matters to me. I'm fortunate, I have a wonderful partner and life and I can get away from it, but I do wish I had a place in my hometown, as I want to go home (as my mum, brother and friends are there) but I don't want to stay in the family home because of my father.

Well, my wife and I bought our first house, which was fantastic. There is that little extra stress with being a homeowner, but it is great to have a place of our own. So, how has it affected me? Very well.

My family in NY met Nate for the first time in years and had a chance to really see his disability and behavior problems. I was able to see who accepted him for who he was, and who was unable to accept him. I was so sad, but also so fiercely protective of Nate. It confirmed once again what a great "people barometer" Nate is - I can always tell through him who is good and who is a waste of time in my life.

My boyfriend lost his job and as a result had to move back in with his dad. It put alot of stress on our relationship which was already strained as we were living 100 miles away from each other. After months of job searching and anxiety about our future living situation, he has now found a job that he loves and we have moved into a lovely flat together. It's good to look back on our old situation and see how much better off we are now.

My partner has become unemployed, after less and less work, there is now none. I have taken the financial reins.The realization is that I will really need to make enough money to support us both into our twlight years. Further I realize that this is what I should do even if he is working full time. It has give me more focus, but I am a little stressed.

I moved to Israel. Being so far from my family has been both a poignant source of guilt and anxiety and a real chance for perspective and personal growth.

My oldest daughter spent the semester in Costa Rica. I took my sons to see her in October. My oldest son doesn't see himself traveling again.

My now ex-partner ended our relationship and I have found out since that she has loved another man for 23 years. This has left me devastated. I can hardly look at her, I feel sick. I wonder now if I ever knew her at all and if she ever loved me.

Major milestones this year has to be our youngest son entering his last year of high school which coincides with me leaving teaching. I have been able to focus on him and have realized what a GREAT kid he is. He'll be 18 in a few days and I couldn't be any prouder of him. Besides surviving an awful year of tennis last year, he rose to the challenge, was named captain of his team, and has become an example for younger players to follow. He has taken great pride in his grades and is leading the charge for picking a great university. I feel beyond blessed to have him as my son. I love you Adam.

remission and relapse with laura. the only constant is change.

Adopting my son Jonah has changed my life and made me happier than I have ever been.

My daughter was born. And this has affected me in all thinkable ways... To be honest: My old life as it used to be stopped the very moment my girlfriend and me walked into the hospital. Now everything is different. Everything. Starting from the way I've got to organise my days, weeks, months to the meaning of an evening out with friends. And even the interaction with our own parents changed. Has become closer and pretty often pretty nerve-wrecking.

my mom was diagnosed w/ cancer. it is scary and it has made me think about my own health and everyone's mortality.

My grandad passed away. It has made me realise that we aren't all invincible. My gran hasn't coped very well and in fact she's losing her marbles which is sad to see. It's quite an eye opener to see how much one person can actually rely on another and when that person is stolen away, just how their lives can be completely shattered.

My nephew was born and is the life of the family being the first of the next gen saadeldin's.

After the death of my first wife Shirley in 2008, I have re-established a closer relationship with my two daughters. I have come to feel more useful as a parent and becoming more involved in open discussion, which is of course fulfilling after nearly forty years.

My newly sober brother began healing his relationship with our father and our paternal grandparents. I am so relieved that he is now an active part in their lives. They have become so proud of him and I can tell it's like a weight lifted off the shoulders of all that are involved.

My sister left o go travelling for 9 months! the longest fucking time we have ever been apart. With there being only 18 months between us we are very close and always have been! I missed her so much but the feeling when i saw her again after that time was so overwhelming! Glad you're back sister of mine.

I got married and it has been great! It's a bit scary, but wonderful and exciting.

My step son went into treatment for anorexia after battling it for over 20 years. I left his father after being married for almost 22 years.

Moving into our new home. Lots of added stress, but so worth it!

In the past year I have tried to put more effort in to staying in contact with my immediate and extended family. I haven't done enough yet, but I hope that this change will bring about a change in how I view and interact with my family.

My daughter is starting kindergarten, which is a milestone not only for her, but for me as well. This journey is the beginning of my returning to work after staying home to care for my daughter and son. I'm scared, but very hopeful that I will be able to continue to pursue my career and be a mom 100%.

My son moved to California to go to college. My daughter is already in college though only 2 hours away. I am now an empty nester and am figuring out what I need to do to make my life complete, happy and satisfying that doesn't involve my role as parent.

These questions make me think I lead a terribly boring life. No one got married, divorced, died, born, promoted, or fired. I pulled Doc out of Pillow Rock Rapid on the Gauley River. That had potential to be bad.

My husband has returned to school. My son is beginning school. I am expanding my business. Nervous but excited and grateful. My mother is losing her home.. My father's health is not good. I am worried and heartbroken.

I don't really think there were any milestones with my family this year. I feel like my family and I have grown apart and I'm the only one that seems to care. I try to reach out, but the effort is very one-sided, especially with my dad. He hasn't called me in years. I call him, and he acts as though I'm imposing on him.

My father passed away. He was elderly, his health had been failing, but he was stable and fine when he suddenly lost consciousness. He died 2 days later. This year has been a year of bereavement, adjustment and discovery as we mourn and create a new normal at the same time as juggling everything else.

My father's 60th birthday was one of the happiest family events of my life. Planning the weekend brought my siblings and I much closer, and it happened at a precarious time in some of our professional lives so it served as a massive reminder of what is really important in life - not one nor the other, but a combination of the two. It was very special.

Our son was selected to go from a position in Nutritional Services to become a Human Resources Generalist at the Health System where he works. This has made us all quite happy and very, very proud. I actually look at my son as an example of what a person can achieve given time. He took several years while working full time to get an Associates Degree, then the next thing you know he is graduating with a Bachelor Degree in Business. Five months later he is starting work as a professional in Adminsitration. He is very samrt and is using his gifts to help a lot of people. I am awed by his example.

My parents are being evicted from their house. I feel numb to this issue. They've known for so long they were struggling, yet she continues to spend money on things she doesn't need, such as lottery tickets and dining out. Our home for 10 years will no longer be ours. It makes me mad they weren't able to work it out, it's like they're giving up. I know they're not, but there's absolutely nothing I can do for them when I've been supporting myself since I was 16. I hope I learn from their mistakes and keep swimming, so matter what I'm trying to get through.

Within two months, my son was born and my father died. My father was the subject of answer 1, so this time it's my son. Two main effects: 1. daily, the family dynamic shifts to accommodate the developing personality of a fourth person now sharing our space; 2. the increased pressure on my wife of being primary carer for a second child creates challenges that we all have to deal with. (I use 'challenge' not as a euphemism for 'problem'. It isn't a problem - 2 is just the price we're paying for 1, and we need, together, to find resolution.)

My brother leavings us, it was hard I admit but it's not like this is that first time someone left...

My husband's Grandad died, after years of illness. He was the first of his Grandparent to die. I no longer have any of my Grandparents here, and so I felt that I could be there for him, and knew what he was going through. It has made me realise that we need to make the most of the time we have with cherished family.

My dad decided to take us on a vacation I did not want to go on. Wackiness ensued. Also my brother had twins last month. My mother started giving me a hard time when we were at the hospital for no reason and my brother stood up for me, which he never does.

My husband retired from a job he hated at the beginning of the year; I am still working, with 3 years to go before I am eligible to retire. (Luckily, I don't hate my job though I do long to retire to pursue other interests.) Having a happy, relaxed, retired person in my house and life has made my life so much more pleasant. My husband and I can focus on the things we love to do together, and he has plenty of time to pursue his own interests. Viva la social security!

My Uncle and my Grandma died within a month of each other. My Uncle died on my birthday and it was fitting. He was incredibly important to me in my youth. It made me realize my mortality. Hopefully their deaths will help me focus on the important aspects of life.

Crazy enough at it sounds, the biggest milestone that happened with my family this past year was my sister going abroad, alone to Italy for the summer. We all weren't sure she would get through it alive, or make it through the whole experience without coming home and she passed with flying colors. Not only did she do great, but she had an amazing time in the process and I think letting her go has changed her life forever. If we had listened to my mom who wanted her to stay home, I think it would have been a big mistake. This has affected me because I can be more at ease now when it comes to her. We are always so worried about her, but I can now know that she will be fine, on her own. As her big sister, its a big step in our relationship, and I think we are even closer because of it. We were able to keep in touch a lot, and she trusted me throughout the entire experience to be there for her, virtually, if I could. She is finally, a grown up.

We moved into a new house. It has been the most wonderful thing to have our own house with a nice sized back yard to garden in. We love our neighborhood and our new neighbors. We are so blessed. We now feel settled and happy in our new home and look forward to creating our own little nest here.

My brother got married. meant I had to to costa rica where i met two people who i am now happy are in my life too (ed and Steph)

My dad turned 88. I don't know if that's a major milestone but it sure is a big deal. And if he's 88 then I'm 62 and suddenly I realize how few years I might really have left. The time ahead is so much shorter than the time behind. I want so much to make a difference and to live to be a healthy 88, or older! just like my dad.

It would have to be Mom and Dad's loss of independence, requiring a much more active role for all three of us. (Some of which I've been holding back on, partly out of denial, some out of not wanting to repeat mistakes.)

My brother got married just a week ago! I have a brand new sister and she's wonderful! I am so happy to have her as a part of my family.

My family made their first trip to the Magic Kingdom this year. I was unemployed, so I was grateful for assistance to make this happen. I feel like I let them down for not being able to provide this for them on my own, but bigger things were happening than I was able to control. Knowledge that situations were beyond my control tempered my sadness somewhat.

My dad died in June after struggling with complications from diabetes and a stroke. My mom's a bit of a paradox: ready to try every single extreme life-saving measure that doctors suggested until we finally convinced her that Dad wanted to be let go, yet now she has more physical energy than she did before; she is learning how to make decisions on her own, and is really enjoying her life in a different way than ever before. My siblings and I are generally on the same track regarding my mom. A few disagreements, but we keep the lines of communication as open as possible. I am amazed and impressed at our resilience, both individually and as a family. But we're not extraordinary people--you would see that if you met us!

Cynthia's youngest son, Matt, got in way over his head with drugs over the years. This past year was the worst. He put us through a lot of hell, and the things he said to his mother were really inexcusable; namecalling, accusations, all of it. He's gotten counselling and he seems to be doing a lot better. He and his mother are talking again. I will probably never get over the things he said and did. He's his mother's baby, and I would never do anything to interfere or disrespect that fact, but I honestly don't want any contact with him.

I made a random decision to see the Aquabats in March. 6 months later, I've fallen in with the best crowd of friends I've ever found. I have never been so glad to randomly decide to go to a concert in my entire life!

I think it's made us all a lot stronger.

I got engaged, which was a big step because now I'm being assimilated into a new family as well. I spent Christmas with my fiance's family in 2009 and it was hard being away from my family, but they made me feel welcome and at home.

I guess my plans to go to uni (after debating it for so long) were pretty major. Also my job. Both have meant that I've matured a lot in the past year and calmed down a lot, which has meant that the way in which the three of us look at each other and treat each other has changed. Also we've had Charlotte come to live with us; that's been different and has given us another, different insight into teenage life. I feel protective of her. Dramas on both sides - my aunt and uncle's divorce and the complications of that and sadness I've witnessed. The fear and worry and stress over the hereditary polyps disease. Reminds me how valuble life is, how much I love these people. And the siliness of the whole thing with Jo's engagement etc. etc. Shows me when to step back and think "These people are different. I don't need to get involved."

I don't know of any really. I mean i've got a Job, My girlfriend's in school for the third time. My son is a dough eyed little genius which isn't a mile stone but warms my heart. so yeah no Miles, just Smiles.

My Grandmother Passed Away. It was really sudden, and we are all still mourning the loss and still figuring out what happened and how it's going to change us.

My eldest brother spilt with his first girlfriend of 7 years. It hit him hard and caused the family to rally around and actually start being a family. It made us all think twice about things and how we know each other.

There has always been an unspoken agreement between my now ex partner and I that I was the bad one, the one most likely to lie, or otherwize act out, the my darkness was deeper, more distorted, more dangerous. After a year and a half of her seriously fucking up, I remembered, and maybe finally learned at a deeper level, that being loud about your messt internal world doesnt mean it is uglier, and being quiet about it doesnt mean its absent. I hope I will holdpride about the work I have done and do to keep my side of the street as clean as I can pull off.

I am about to receive my Master's degree, at 54. I have inspired my husband, children and grandchildren to think about their education and how it will enhance their lives. I have proven it is never too late to grow and learn.

My eldest daughter left my business and started one of her own. It has torn the family apart and made me very sad. It has also forced me to reexamine my relationships with others and, hopefully, will motivate me to find new friendships.

My very first grandchild was born. I attended the birth. It was truly one of the most incredible experiences of my life. In addition to witnessing the birth of my grandson, I was in true wonderment watching my son and daughter in law as these beautiful loving parents. Being a grandma and loving this baby has opened a new door within my soul.

my grandmother has wished openly to die ever since my grandfather passed two years ago... her wish was finally granted this august. my father whispered at the funeral, "i'm an orphan." orphaned. as a family we no longer have a central home to return to for holidays or family events...i wonder when i will ever see some of my cousins, aunts, uncles ever again.

Husband turned 40... I guess that is somewhat of a milestone. I do not notice much difference, except that he might be a bit more cynical? Does that have to do with age though? I do not think so. Our marriage feels stronger, I stood up to someone who really hurt me, and my kid is doing great.

Daughter had first Holy Communion. I objected to it strongly at the time due to the church's poor record on child protection and women's rights. However, on the day I realised how important it was to her. It was a marker of growing up and we've started treating her more like a young person and less like a baby. It's been a nice transition and she relishes her big girl status immensely.

My father's never before seen care towards my mother after her cancer has renewed my faith in marriage.

My sister-in-law passed her boards & is now an official RN. In my 'chosen' family, a friend of mine just got into medical school. Their accomplishments are making me seriously wonder what the next step is for me. I need to have the strength to put the time into myself.

This year my sister and her husband separated after two years of marriage. Though it is less a milestone for me, and more a milestone for her, the changes that she is going through in her life are pretty radical. This is the first time she has had her own house and a job to pay all her own bills. She is financially independent for the first time in her life, and I know very well the satisfaction and the trepidation that comes with that, as I went through the same thing last year. Watching her take her place in the world as a woman and mother has been really great, and I can be proud of my same accomplishments as I see her start her life anew.

My son had his Bar Mitzvah this year. Having him stand before our community and read Torah, do a d'var Torah and basically "present" himself as a man, was very moving and emotional. Doing it with his cousin meant that there were dozens of family and freinds that came into town to be a part of this significant rite of passage. I chanted Torah as well which was hugely meaningful. Though I myself did not have a bat mitzvah, I felt like this was "my" time too. I feel blessed.

This past year i've had to confront my failing relationship with my child's father. the realization that I did not choose wisely. The difficulty in comunicating with someone who has no respect for me as a person,as a woman. Someone who never planned on marrying me,and does not believe in true commitment. I've had to accept this and it's very hard, because i was in extreme denial. It is ,what it is. I believe this too shall pass.I won't settle anymore. I deserve a man who will swim in shark infested water ,just to bring me a glass of lemonade!!!!!

I turned 40 this year. I have never really thought about my age, though I am really starting to feel it now. It's not so much that I feel old as it is I feel irrelevant to the young people out there.

We moved over 1600 miles away from our family and friends. It has made our little family stronger, but I miss! I MISS my family and my friends. I get sad for our kiddos to be missing out on family things. But I love how the four of us have really galvanized. Time will tell if it was worth it!

This last year has felt like we coasted without major milestones. Maybe this is because at 62 I am better with coping with stuff. I did have to move again (3rd time in 18 months) and I'd only been at the place for 6 months. But this has turned out to be a good thing because I am happier in my new home.

Again, this question comes back to my Aunt Jayne. She passed away this January after 20 years of fighting breast cancer. Our family has an empty place that will never be filled, but we are starting to forge bonds that cross the gap where she used to be. We are all much more aware of each other, although we live so far apart, and we are trying to plan a family vacation together for next year so that we can see one another and enjoy each other's company without there being a death in the family.

Yesterday I spent 8 hours with my nephew at the hospital bc he threatened or more so questioned what my sister would do if he killed himself. It broke my heart. I can't imagine life without him.

Used to have fairly calm relationship with son's ex father but now this relationship is antagonistic and has caused stress and unhappiness for my son This makes me sad, disappointed but I feel I am doing the right thing for both my son and I despite current consequences

We have made contact with my children's estranged half sister and her daughter. It has been a little awkward, but definitely needed to be done. I have no idea where it will lead.

Made me stronger, more compassionate and thankful what I have. I was able to be with my father in law as he passed away..

My father-in-law died in July and his death and the months leading up to his death were devastating.

It was the one-year anniversary of my grandfather's death. I realized how much I miss him, and how intricately his and my grandmother's lives were intertwined. She's doing okay, but there's still an obvious void.

Dad dying, but I really don't think it's negatively affected me much. I'm more glad he's out of pain. Hope mum fairs ok.

I got a whole new family when I got married. They are very different from the family I grew up with so it's taken a bit of adjusting to my new husband and what he considers a "normal" family. I think it's made me have to adapt and understand differences in a new way.

Peleg moved out (first to the room and now to Zichron and the communah) and Guy back on Kinneret. Motherhood by various media (text, mail, phone) interspersed with hands-on which is often under time pressure eg to get laundry done or pick them up from or take them to the bus. Each of the family doing laundry as and when they need and dealing with other people's that is still in the machine or hanging out. Communism en famille! Netta converted. Good for her and she is taking it seriously. And it solves her tons of problerm. OTOH it is a capitulation to the institutional racism of Israel

Enough about being laid off. My wife and I started sleeping apart because I snore really loud. We both sleep better now, but sometimes I feel rejected and lonely. Something nice is that my son did really well at school and has just started highschool a year earlier. He is becoming more independent, and that's a good thing.

Many milestones, but not in the traditional sense. No big birthdays this year, no graduations, no weddings. Instead, we had 'moving on'. My sister has moved to the States - a big step, and we shall see how this plays out for the next year. I left the family home to move to London and go back to being a semi-student type in a shared house. My Dad retired - he's too young to collect his pension yet, but he has no desire to find any sort of job. We also had the death of our beloved family dog - our first - and it showed that we are a close family unit and we are not embarrassed to show our love. These things have marked my life and are set to evolve in different ways over the next 12 months.

the only major milestone so far in 2010 was the birth of my grandson. This has affected me tremendously - I have a new outlook on life and a new "why" I need to build a legacy for my family

I think the purchasing of the second pharmacy, worlds fair was pretty big. It put a lot of stress on my family, and i dont get to see my dad as much, and its not like i saw him a lot before.

I got engaged in March. I can't believe Josh was able to surprise me after all of this time. It was perfect. And it made our families so happy. And now I have something to look forward to -- October 2011!!! Which next year when I read this will be soooo soon :)

After a series of strokes, my grandpa has developed alzheimer's, we had all pretty much given up hope on him making any kind of recovery. Just last night, I spoke with my mom and she says he is acting more and more like his old self, and doing much, much better.

My grandfather introduced me to the arts: music, art, history, and he has been succumbing to Alzheimer's for awhile now. Coming to terms with this has been hard for everyone, especially my grandma who is his main caretaker. I don't regret our time together but now that I'm in college I know the progression of the disease will be ore noticeable when I do see him. I know he's content where he is right now, and I think that's what's really important.

We realized that it would be best if I just moved out.

I celebrated my 50 yrs birthday and was embraced and surrounded by family and friends who did beautiful things and entertainment along with showing me how much they care for me and love. It made me realize and showed me how abundant I am in my life even though my financial situation could be far better off. Gratitude and joy is what is left from this major milestone. Also for having reached it , some people never get to live this age.

We are dealing with the aging of our family. It is not easy to watch as the ones that used to pick you up and tell you all is ok, need the same from you now. I am affected because I wish I could have them back as they were. This will never happen. So, I tell them everything is ok. Give them everything they need and thank them for everything they did for me. I am forever mindful of aging and the brevity of it all.

My daughter turned 40 and our small but extended (through divorce and remarriages) family gathered to celebrate. It was an emotional time for me. I had hopes and expectations that of course were not met. But overall, I was pleased with how everyone came together to give my daughter what she wanted for this milestone birthday.

My oldest brother's two sons - both adults - have kids in their lives. My oldest nephew's girlfriend has two children from a previous marriage. The youngest nephew's partner has a baby due in December. My brother has started signing his messages "The Old One" and says he is uneasy with being called "grandpa"! I personally think this is a time when my brother's parenting skills will mature and that he will be the best he's ever been in this role. It has affected me because I have all kinds of emotions tied up in my auntie role with my brother's family. I will be "great-aunt" at age 39 (I am the baby of our father's second marriage). And I am far away in a foreign country. Sadly, I cannot be a part of the lives of the children as much as I'd like to. This is a repeat of my involvement in my nephews' lives, since their parents were always away (living in foreign countries) when they were small.

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 divorce. It was such a long drawn out process. It took over a year, and he was horrible through the whole thing. I tried to make things go smoothly, but he just kept making things ugly. When I left the courthouse, I looked at him and said, "Just be happy". He was so nasty, and said "Don't worry, NOW I will be". I was bitter about him being in the house all the time. He would bring his girlfriends to the house and expose the kids to all of it. When he moved out, I felt like my life began. When the divorce was final, I was relieved. I never have to deal with him again.

This past year, my son decided to return to school four years after leaving high school. His course of choice was Architectural Technology. To prepare for his reentry, he took extra courses in math and English. Naturally we were concerned about his returning to a classroom, but to everyone's delight he thoroughly enjoyed the classes and the learning environment of the college he attended as opposed to his high school experience. He aced each course he took and wound up with a grade average of almost 99% and has been recommended for the dean's list. The change in his attitude and bearing is astonishing. I feel so much better now, knowing that he seems to have found his bearings and is preparing himself for a career in an area that he enjoys. I am glad he was able to make these decisions on his own without being pushed into anything. As hard as it has been for four years staying keeping quiet, it is so gratifying to know that he was able to see the light on his own.

Our son moved out of the country for a few months on an internship. It was the first time he'd been away from home for any real duration and he had to deal with a lot of issues on his own as we were many hours and hundreds of miles away. He had a major health scare which he had to manage on his own. It made me feel a bit helpless, but also somewhat proud that he was more self reliant than I had given him credit for.

Seems like all the major milestones happened last year. But I think our milestone would be that we decided to start trying for children. We had been not careful for a while. Now we are actively trying. After the first month, it was a little stressful with the sex on demand. But we learned to navigate around the issue. Hopefully, in a few months we will have our first child on the way.

OHMYGOD. My grandmother died on 8/9/10. How did it affect me? It made me realize that we were such a close-knit family (all the Adonas) and that is just really awesome. I thought all families did the things we did, I thought it was all normal, even boring, but whoa, we really stuck it out. Suddenly we had feelings. Suddenly we hugged, suddenly we really talked to each other. We'll love you forever, Lola.

I had my first major flare-up of COPD this April. I have had the diagnosis for a couple of years, but this was the first time I got a taste of what the condition really could do. I was not able to walk my puppy half a block without being terribly short of breath. By the take I took myself to urgent care, I was dehydrated and very ill. I was given oxygen, breathing treatment, IV fluids, etc. It was a sobering experience which brought me out of denial about this disorder. I recovered well without hospitalization and have since been in a pulmonary rehabilitation program with supervised and monitored exercise and education. I am now more mindful.

My mother was hospitalized and had Emergency Carotid artery surgery after a few scary episodes(90+% blockage). This really made me realize that every day spent with family and friends is a gift. Money problems, job stresses...they don't matter as much if you have family there to lean on and to be leaned on by!!!

Well I don't really want to have what seems to be the same answer for another question but the major milestone would have to be how my mother has helped me come to terms with my big breakup with my ex. She had also gone through a breakup in the last year before I experience mine and so she was both helpful and unhelpful. Sometimes she found it hard to distance her experience from mine and this caused her to bring some negativity into trying to help me cope. I'm not quite sure how this has affected me, or my relationship with my Mum. I guess we finally can both say we've experience excrutiating pain over a man and I guess that's brought us closer in a way. But we still have a lot to work through and sometimes I think we'll never understand each other, no matter how much we love each other. Though we must try, me especially. I'm such a bitch to her and I acknowledge this but find it really hard to get past. I guess this is probably an effect this milestone has had, it's made me realise exactly how much of little bitch I've been towards Mum, lately and also during all the years of my relationship. Hopefully with this realisation I can learn to change my behaviour as she really is a wonderful Mum.

My older brothers both moved out of the house, one to an apartment for grad school and the other moved in with his girlfriend. Its the first time that it will really be just me in the house with my mom. It caused a lot of tension and stress amongst everyone but once it was over, it all went away.

My sister got married and I'm so happy for them, they make such an amazing couple. But I'm also jealous, not in a vindictive way but its a reminder of my age and current single status. I didn't want this for myself and I feel a bit like a failure.

No major milestone this year. My mother turned 70 last year. That was a shock and made me realize that she won't be around forever and I will probably be alone after she's gone. There is family but no one geographically or emotionally close. There is a milestone coming up in 2012. My father will be dead 30 years that year. Very sad to think that I've lived longer without him than I did with him.

My sister graduated from college and moved to Argentina. We used to be incredibly close when she was younger, but then the past few years drifted a part a bit. She was defining her own identity as an adult and needed to shatter the concept of being a "younger sister". Now we've started a new definition of a relationship. More as peers. As friends. And being so far away is actually rough. We still have some rough spots to work out. It's not always easy to accept everyone, warts and all. And it's important to remember that the quality of a person is the sum of all of their parts. I'm excited for us to keep getting closer and share our lives together.

This past year was the 1st anniversary of my wife, Patty's, death from cancer. This anniversary reminded me that: "Nothing is worth more than this day" (Goethe). I realize how fortunate I've been to have had 22 years with Patty and to have had the experience of a great partnership. I hope to have the good fortune to experience that again.

This year my son was born, and it has been the most joyous, thrilling, scary, confusing, stressful, beautiful time of my life. This little tiny being forced me, and my husband, to look inside ourselves and figure out not just how we wanted to raise our child, but how we were going to face our marriage as a threesome. While very trying at times, we've ultimately emerged a much stronger twosome and a wonderful threesome.

my aunt cherna turned 70, and I got to visit her in london and spend some wonderful time getting to know my british relatives. It was great.

I have to choose my daughter starting high school. It is amazing to me. I remember vividly standing outside her primary school, looking up at the high school and thinking how far away in the future that was. And now, here it is. I am getting old, she is getting older, things change so fast.

My mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with a form of kidney cancer. My husband and I are pregnant with our first child and his mother has been so excited about the pregnancy. However, she has been acting very defeated since her diagnosis even though the prognosis is very positive. My in-laws are not the most optimistic people and it's very frustrating to deal with this negativity. I can't help but feel that it has taken away from what is supposed to be an exciting time for my husband and I. I want to yell at her to fight, that she can beat this disease - I want to compare her situation to my father's and remind her that his cancer was far more pronounced and severe and he's 3 years cancer-free. I want to wave our child in her face to remind her that she has to battle and put on "courage" so that her first (and possibly only) grandchild knows her.

It made me regret how I'd bad mouthed and treated my family. It made me realise that, even though I know my best friends have got my back, they could leave me at any time. My family won't, because I was lucky enough to be born into a family that will always have my back, even if I don't realise it. I love them the most at times I want to rip their heads off because you know they're right, and you shouldn't lose that type of bond, because those are the people that see the whole situation at times when you're only looking at yourself. Family isn't just the people you're born with, but it's definitely where it starts for me.

In this past year, my sister had a baby boy. She allowed me to be the room with her the whole time. Witnessing the miracle of birth before my very eyes was life changing. It's absolutely amazing how we come into this world and in turn become these adults and how we allow things to shape who we are. I'm trying my best to live life to the fullest, being more bold and taking more risks, just getting rid of my box completely.

My ex got out of prison, where he had spent 7 years. Our children had really missed him, and they suffered greatly during his absence. Post -release, he resumed co-parenting with gusto, relieving me of a lot of stress. Our friendship and partnership is as strong as ever, and the boys are blossoming again.

My Goddaughter's first love was killed in a car accident. It was so hard to see her go through the grieving process -- esp. since I am on the other side of the country! His death seemed so senseless - it shouldn't happen to one so young. Nor should my Goddaughter be having to go through the pain of the sudden loss of a loving 3 year relationship. It made me look at my own mortality - and how in the blink of an eye, our whole world can change.

My mom got remarried. My dad did, too. But that's not really something worth being excited about. But, it feels like I actually have a family again. Even though we disagree, and there's drama, and people don't listen, and feelings sometimes get hurt.... It's real. And I've been craving that for almost 2 years now.

It would have to be getting my younger sister a place in a special school. It was a major achievement as she had been off school for over a year and had fallen into a bad crowd. Though at the moment she's not actually going because the fool refuses to, I hope she sees sense before she gets sent away to residential school.

We're selling our house, finally. I have lived in the house my entire life, and my mom's been here for about 30 years. It was hard for my dad, since he has a deep connection to this house. But Mom's been dying to move for years. It's too big, too isolated, and has difficult memories for her...I imagine those memories are connected to Dad. So there's been drama with Dad not wanting to sell the house, and finally he came around and helped make it happen, closing up the attic bathroom and basement shower so we'd pass inspection and get our Certificate of Occupancy... There's this realization on his part, I guess, that it's time to let go of this house. And we will never have our amazing family dinners in that gorgeous dining room, gathering in our big kitchen to schmooze before the meal and organize the leftovers afterwards. But I feel ready. After being in Europe with very little stuff and moving from place to place constantly, I realized that it's not where I am or what I have that makes my experience. It's the people I'm with that make me happy. So, while this house has my life's memories imbedded in the walls, the carpets, the molecules in the air, I have a lifetime of memories ahead of me wherever I go. This apartment will be a new start for both mom and me. I am excited to embrace change. This is a big deal for me, because I once cried when mom replaced our master bathroom toilet...

I'm currently going through a divorce. One I'm at fault for. One that is both grueling and liberating. I'm dedicated to making the upheaval as little as possible on our very young children. I hope I will look back at 2010 as a year of awakening as opposed to regret. It seemed inevitable either way.

My mother remarried more than 10 years after my father left. Watching them testify their love changed the way I looked at marriage, and led me to believe it is more than just a legal document.

I finished my doctorate and am, for the first time in my life, earning a full-time, year-round wage. This is obviously a huge personal milestone, but it has also dramatically changed my husband's and my financial situation, not to mention my own self esteem!

My younger niece gave birth to a healthy baby boy and whenever I see his pictures or a webisode, it helps me during my stressful times. This little baby puts a big smile on my upset face!

my parents are moving from their home to an apartment. I know this is the last move they will make in their lives. The place is beautiful and they are doing the right thing but it makes me sad to think that they are at the end of their lives. I also turned 60 this year which is also making me feel vulnerable.

The major event in my life this year has reminded me that my mother won't live forever. Its motivated me to be more patient and empathetic with her and appreciate her for who she is not for who I wanted her to be when I was a child.

My parents celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. I realized how much my dad still loves me, even though his memory has deteriorated. My mom's memory is poor, but inspite of the ways we are trying to help them help each other by getting someone in the house to stay with my mom while my dad gets some time for himself, my dad won't do it. He is a real control freak and cannot handle someone else doing what he thinks is his job. My mom thinks that she is a burden and is being "babysat." My realization is this: you make your life for yourself at the beginning and it devolves along a certain path. It cannot be changed at a later time because it isn't working. My dad did everything for my mom and now he can't get out from under this. She refuses to have someone in the house to give him time off. His frustration is palpable, but he made these decisions 70 years ago. I try to stay out of it, but it is hard when I see their struggles. He is 93 and she will be 90 soon. Wish I was in their health at that age.

My immediately family took our first "real" vacation together to a place none of us had ever been- Ireland and England. It took a lot of sacrifice to make it happen, but it was so worth it. I got bitten by the travel bug again :) Now I can't wait for two years until we can go to Japan (maybe :) together. On the flip side of that, my 40 yr old (married into the family) uncle started an affair with our 15 year old niece and hung himself in August after the mess came to light. My aunt is devastated, to say the least, and it has divided my once close family into multiple camps. I think I try not to think about how splintered my family is now. We were so close just one year ago.

The births of my granddaughters India and Tiana. I LOVE being a grandpa. All the time I spend with my granddaughters is joyous, even the times when they are fussy. I am immensely proud of my daughters and their husbands as parents.

My mum got sick. She's ok, but in her reaction to it, she pushed everyone away. We're all ok now, but my sister and I are starting to prepare for the day when she's older and not recovering, to make sure that we're still able to help her.

My son got his driver's license. This terrified me.

I retired and began helping my husband do our daughter's kids in the morning for school. It has helped build a stronger relationship between me and the middle child who I primarily work with in the mornings.

Simply learning and accepting that you can only control certain things. Do your best, consider the feelings of others and then move ahead using the information you have at the time. Don't dwell on what could have or should have been done - just do.

I came out to my parents.

My mom passed away. I'm now alone after being her caretaker for years. I've learned to become self-reliant.

My grandmother passed away. It's makes me ever cognizant of my mortality. It makes me worry about who will care for me when I'm old since I don't have children. It's also a relief because she suffered for so many years. I know she's at peace now and I know I'll see her on the other side some day. I miss her.

Well, I mentioned these both in my last two answers too. The biggest milestones would have to be having my father treated for cancer and having my Owen come into the world. Both things have made a drastic change in my family by bringing us all closer together. I'm very proud of us ♥

My older brother Evan graduated from college. Even though he's not working in his field yet, i have a lot of respect for the way he's making things work... it makes me feel like I can be successful without a superstar career. But I also miss him more, feeling like he's out of my life for good.

My grandmother had a life-threatening injury and her children all raced to the hospital to be with her during her surgeries and her recovery. Aside from getting a deeper sense of my mother's/aunts'/uncle's relationship to my grandmother, it made me realize what a terrible position my grandmother is in and how well she bears it. Since my grandfather died a few years ago, my grandmother has lived alone; my one uncle and aunt look in on her regularly, but many of her close friends have died or don't live nearby. Her hearing loss makes it tough for her to take part in social activities, even things she used to love, like playing cribbage. She's still very sharp and very independent, so it's really hard for her to get used to walking with a cane or asking people for help with every little thing. Basically, just getting through a day is a experience that would infuriate me and most of the people I know. The fact that she keeps a smile on her face is a constant amazement. Will I ever be that strong?

My brother decided to enlist in the Marines and has requested the infantry. He goes to boot camp October 2010. I hate US military exploits generally and am sorry to see him involved. And I'm of course worried about him in a physical sense - worried that he'll be maimed or killed. But more than that, I'm worried about him emotionally. He's always been kind of an angry, impulsive kid. I'm worried that the Marines will encourage his worst tendancies - there are news reports and youtube videos everyday showing American soldiers laughing about killing civilians or taking trophies off the dead. I've shared my concerns with my brother and I trust him.

Relief. After years of taking care of my father... he may be realizing his own behaviors and how that has affected the rest of us. He is starting to get his act together. This is a huge burden off my shoulders.

I finally accepted that I cannot cultivate real relationships with many of my family that I've been attempting to relate to for years. It may not be a family milestone, but it is a milestone in my progress as a person who should waste less time on people who can't really relate.

Our house flooded when a pipe broke in our master bathroom. We dealt with the actual flood, insurance co, etc and also our displaced family for months. The even brought us closer together and we also learned to appreciate our home and take better care of it. We pared down our belongings to what we really love and although that is still a work in progress, we are getting there! A year from now I hope to say that we'rve come a long way!

I had dinner with my parents together for the first time in my life. They have been divorced since I was two. They, along with my grandma, sister, best friend and partner all came to the city I lived for a celebration. I threw a dinner party and they were all there, along with 5 of my friends. It was a raging success. It made me see my mom's dysfunctionality and how it has transferred over to my sister, even as she is suspicious of it. It made me see how surprisingly functional my dad is. I was afraid of my partner meeting them all. I thought I would be exposed as a freak. But he liked them. And wants to see more of them in our lives. This was deeply comforting.

We became a real family, I guess; and of yourse if affected me the best way possible. I also begun to drift my wings, and it affects my parents a bit badly, but they'll get over it really soon I hope:)

My dad left his house of 35 years, the one where my mom passed, and moved himself into an apartment. He did a wonderful job, but it wasn't without some agonizing on my part about his needing/wanting financial help and then deciding he would go it alone. I wish that he were willing to move to a house or apartment near us, but he doesn't want to, and I have to respect that. I sometimes am concerned with what other people think of me in this, but mostly I'm ok with knowing that I'm doing the best I can to be a good daughter to my father within the boundaries he's set up for our relationship.

I retired. I now have an income of $41,460 per annum. My health, vision, dental, & audiology are all covered. I have privileges that I didn't have access to before. It gave me incredible freedom to pursue my art classes. It gave me the freedom to live life on my own terms. I even have my own fan club, They're called haters. It taught me who my friends are.

My family spent a couple of weeks with my parents, which afforded my daughter her first opportunity to spend more than just a day or so with her grandparents. This extended time together made me see that my mother hasn't got a single motherly instinct in her body, and in fact does not enjoy children at all. The disappointment is immense, but it is matched with the clarity and understanding, relative to my own childhood experiences.

I've been watching my nephew Tyler grow up. I didn't realize that seeing a baby learn to just talk and walk and laugh and know who I am would leave me literally so full of wonder.

Best friend died. reminded me how fragile our lives are and also how short a time we have on this Earth.

The biggest thing that happened this year is happening now. With my husband just now starting a sexual relationship with my friend. While I have always lobbied for a 2nd wife to take the sexual attention off me (due to my own lack of interest in sex) this new arrangement has actually sparked a new ability for me to get off, alone and with him. So far this is working out for all of us but it remains to be seen what the ultimate outcome will be. He spent the night over there last night. It was my Rosh Hashanah gift to them. I talked to him as he was driving to a meeting this morning and said he can't fall in love. I don't want to have to deal with emotional fall out like that. I actually don't have issues with them fucking as long as I don't have to watch or get involved in any way. They really want ME involved and I keep telling them the whole idea was to get me off the hook, not to get on another one with even more people making sexual demands.

I got married but it hasn't changed much of anything since we've been together for so long to begin with. There has been a lot of sickness and injuries in the family....but we have all survived. My aunt celebrated her 106 birthday.

I had a miraculous recovery from cancer.

My brother and sister in law bought their first house. While I was happy and excited for them, I felt a bit insecure and left out, given that my life doesn't seem to be progressing towards the achievement of my own personal goals. Currently living in England, I am very unclear what the future holds and where I will be settling down (if I ever get to!)

My partner and I realized that we are in over our heads in debt. We're planning on selling the house. At the same time, my partner and I have both realized that our lack of higher degrees is keeping us from making the money we deserve to make given our skills. Since I'm currently disabled, my partner will be going back to school first to get his Bachelor's in IT (he has an associates). I'll go back after him to get a degree in Creative Writing. Yes, this will incur more debt, but it will also help us get out of debt. If we can sell the house and we don't incur too much emergency debt (we've planned for some), we can be out of debt even without the degrees in a few years time. It's a matter of focus.

My brother came home from North Carolina to Minnesota. I wasn't happy. I was thrilled and I was horrified, but I wasn't happy. Its meant looking at a lot of issues from years ago that just got swept under the rug. It also means I have to clean out my childhood room to make room for him. I am glad he's closer to us, but I really would want him to act more like an adult and less like the 15 year old he was the last time we were both home.

My husband and I are expecting a baby! This has affected me physically more than I expected. I've been exhausted and unable to do many of my regular activities, such as making dinner. This has led to depression about my perceived shortcomings as a wife and partner on some of the worst days. However, I'm starting to get some energy back and transition into a more hopeful and anticipatory mood. It will take a lot of adjustments to become a parent, and I'm glad I have 6 months left in which to make those adjustments.

My brother got married and he and my sister-in-law are now expecting their first baby--the first on our side of the family. It has been weird and amazing and beautiful. Watching my little brother become a husband and now a father, and watching him do it with integrity and honor has created the proudest moments of my life!

I had the opportunity to see cousins I like very much who I didn't see since my childhood, it makes me understand how I am attached to family matters.

My partner celebrated her 70th Birthday... these older years put a different emphasis on life itself... now we are both addressing a kind of spiritual crisis, if you will. The habitual ways of seeing ourselves are out-dated, inaccurate to who we are now, but take a lot to fade away. Today is another sad colored day.... I will have to just stop of BE quiet for a few moments

My Mom and Stepfather moved 2500 miles across the country to live eight miles away from me. I feel very special that they changed their entire way of life to be close to me. My husband and I have been living out west, far from any family members, for the last 10 years. I feel like I shouldn't waste this opportunity to spend quality time with them and I hope my husband will support that idea.

My brother graduated from college. In the process, he grew up. He also decided to move away from home. Perhaps subconsciously this inspired me to commit to doing the same. I'm lucky to have a new partner in crime, so to speak, within the family.

Three out of five family members were laid off. Mom, dad and one of my brothers. Not only that, but both parents had fairly major surgery and my mom had to have the same procedure twice because they didn't do it right the first time. To say it's been a rough year for us is an understatement. So I've learned just how truly strong we are, how supportive, how tight-knit. And with all the cutbacks we've had to make, it's made us reevaluate just exactly what's important. Such as Netflix over HBO and Showtime. :) My family is everything, and I'm so proud of them.

The children have started daycare/preschool. It has been an adjustment to cede control over the entirety of their experiences, but also a great relief not to be scrambling for relatives to pick up childcare shifts, and to have more energy for them when they are home. Also, it is nice to know that they can do well in peer groups, and that others find them just as charming as their family does.

My partner and I endured a *very* rough patch about six months ago that nearly tore us apart. We're past it now, and are both more optimistic. I wouldn't revisit that period for anything -- but in retrospect I think those challenges helped draw us closer together, and somehow gave us each a greater appreciation of just how precious we each are to each other. Our relationship is stronger as a result.

A milestone for my family...My mom has continued homeschooling my siblings even though there was a small period of time when they went back to school. It makes her stressed out all the time, but I think it is a great benefit to them. I wish she was around more to talk about things other than the kids, but it is definitely worth it.

Nothing, which is kind of sad.

I have a son that all ready changed his residency to the USA. Now one of my sons in law decided to change his residency to Canada or to the USA.... Having only three children, this represents around 66%... I think this is a very good representation of what is happening to my country, Mexico. Just imagine how this affect not only me, but all Mexican citizens...

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.

My mother died and while she lived a very long, healthy independent life - it's difficult adjusting to not being able to pick up the phone and tell her something nor have her at the holiday table for Rosh Hashanah.

The birth of my daughter. She is my parents' 1st grandchild and our first child and my grandma's first great-grandchild. The presence of a baby in the family has changed everyone. My grandmother was not this excited w/ the birth of her own children or grandchildren. She worships her great-grandaughter and it's so much fun watching her finally enjoy a baby. My parents' are finally grandparents and they are so ready for that role. They cherish every little new thing that she does. Children make people softer and it's so much fun seeing people soften after so many years.

Ha! Every answer to every question seems to be about my father but his passing ten months ago means I can finally leave this slum and get back to beautiful Oregon. No more unbearable heat. No more listening to constantly barking dogs. No more listening to Mexican oom-pa-pa music and hopefully less rap music. No more cars speeding down my street. No more gangs. No more bars on windows. No more Graffiti. No more Spanish billboards. Not as many dollar stores, pawn shops and check cashing stores. I will be able to go into stores and actually hear English being spoken. No more smog. And maybe, after a few years back in Oregon, I will stop being so resentful of the Mexicans living here who expect everything to be given to them for free, and expect US to learn THEIR language. Right now it makes me very angry.

I can't think of one particularly major milestone within my family from the past year, but several things have been going on that have slowly altered the dynamics within certain family relationships. In May, my dad's dad died, but I wasn't very close to him. However, seeing my dad cope with that sort of thing brought us closer. The trip we took to trinidad exposed a good bit of his vulnerability and being my first summer back home after college, my dad also saw me in a different light. It was the most time we had ever spent together. My mom has been fending for herself since I've been gone, and she is fully capable of doing so, it just gets lonely for both of us being separated by an entire country. The more time I spend away from her, the more I miss her. She is truly the most valuable person I know.

Its kinda hard to say. My grandmother's health deteriorated rather dramatically. She had a kidney infection and some further disc damage. She was in a nursing home/rehab facility for several months. This all happened while I was living in Boston and I was shielded from a lot of it. I was kind of relieved to not have to be there to deal with it all. My father's relationship with his brother and sister changed in a lot of ways and I think he finally realized how little he's done to care for his aging mother and how much his siblings resent it. In some ways this looked like a view into the future with my parents. It was super scary and something I really wasn't able to think about. Some good came out of the whole situation. One is that my grandmother regained some strength in her legs so that she can go to the bathroom with little assistance. The other is that she got on antidepressants which helped her mood. She seemed like the gregarious bawdy lady I knew when I was younger. The sad thing is that her home is still in such a state of filth and poor upkeep that I have a hard time going to see her. I only get to see her when she comes out with my aunt and uncle. I really wish I could just sit and have a meal with just my grandmother again.

Mackenzie started college this fall -- that was a big family milestone. We helped him find his apartment and helped him move into the place, right next to campus. His success and excitement about going to college brought a feeling of success and excitement for me. I remember when I first went to college: The excitement, the nervousness, the possibilities, the expectations, the sense of being on my own. I could tell he was going through the same. Marian and I were proud of Mackenzie and his accomplishments at that point. I don't feel there's a sense of "empty nest" yet with Mackenzie gone because, so far, he's been home every weekend since school started. I'm sure his weekly returns home will begin to dwindle as befriends people in college and his life continues to evolve independent of his parents.

my sister aliyah started school and my twin sister got into a school that she has been trying to get into for a year. It affected me because I was really proud of them. Really just want now to achieve something for myself.

My older brother moved back into our house. It's been nothing but a constant stress. He leaves his stuff everyone and treats the rest of the family like we're all his personal servants. He's part of the family and he contributes absolutely nothing.

Our second baby girl was born. She is pure Buddha energy. It brought me so much closer to my girls and so much farther from my husband.

After the earthquake (in Chile), communication between us about how we are and stuff has been much more attentive and frequent. This is nice, always being in touch. This and my mother's failing health at times, has, in positive way, made us be much closer. Of course the issues which do this are not optimal but nothing is so bad it can't be surpassed. I trust the relationship will be closer and closer still now that I will be alone for a couple of months.

My sister has moved out of home. I love her to death but it's great to have more space.

My oldest brother died. Quite unexpectantly. Sadly, after the shock and weirdness of funerals, wills, and whatnot, my family has all decided that it has made our lives just a little bit easier...

My sister became engaged to the guy she had been dating for 4 years in February, and while we absolutely adore her fiancee, and think they are a great match, it hasn't made wedding planning any easier. I was out of town working for 3 months this summer, and basically unavailable to help. My parent's have had to deal with the thought of their oldest finally being out of the house and their care for good.

This year, my great aunt passed away. She was the last of her generation within my family, as all of my grandparents have passed away as well. This milestone made me realize that I want to make the most of the time that I have with my own parents. I want to cherish this time while they are still young and vibrant.

Both my mother and stepfather have had severe medical problems. Additionally a family rift between my sister and my mother has impacted our small family significantly and it is very sad. It's been a very bad year for and with my family and I am very upset and feel very alone.

My parents have been fighting with my grandmother whom I have always loved and spoken with at least once a week growing up. After visiting her this past summer I have come to realize that she is very much what my parents say she was like. She is a bit unstable and manipulative. I just realized how annoyed and stressed she makes me feel, especially trying to get me to take sides in their fight. it upset me how much i didn't want to be with her anymore.

My twins completed one year of preschool, and just now have begun their 2nd (of two). Their ineluctable progression (toward grad school) is the most exciting stimulus for me to plan the future. I harbor an ambition to spend the next year, a sabbatical, in NY, and it's largely wrapped around a vision of inculcating the most stimulating lives for this pair of under-4-year-olds.

My sister got engaged! It has shown me what true love is, and what the commitment of marriage means. It means forever. She is going to be incredibly happy with him and their relationship is based in God and I want that.

My sister got married. This has added so much joy to our family and a whole new dynamic as well. We love Ronnie so much and love seeing Abby so happy. It makes me realize how much I want the people I love in my life to find love and be happy. I am so excited to see their lives unfld together and to be a part of it.

I've really grown closer to Ashley in the past year. She's growing up to be such a great kid, and we get along so well. I wouldn't say we've had any specific milestones, other than continuing to learn more about each other and developing a fabulous mother/daughter relationship.

Lisa got divorced! Finally! My soon to be ex brother in law is not a nice man. We (my family) are so grateful that it is over and she can emerge from the land of the lost. He took her energy, because he had non of his own. He took her love, because he had non of his own. For the sake of my nieces and nephews I want his therapy to pay off! My sister is working on herself, and growing stronger everyday. It been such a learning experience for me. I witness her transition from confused to confident brings me tremendous joy.

It's taught me to value the relationships I have with the people I've nearly lost this year. It's showed me petty arguing, holding a grudge, etc is not worth it. It's help me realize the strength my wife possesses. She is as strong as she is kind. To be mentally sound through it all is a true testament to her character. As for getting married, exchanging vows. Rekindling the very reasons we got together in the first place was an eye opening experience. It's reminded me of how magical our relationship really is.

My brother and his girlfriend brought a daughter into the world. I am very excited to have a niece, but also terrified about their roles as parents. There has been turmoil and discord since her birth, and I feel powerless over the situation because they live so far away. The family is rife with dysfunctional relationships, and bringing a child into that world scares me. I don't think children should have to grow up with the kind of inconsistency and distress I grew up with.

My daughter graduated from college this year and moved across the country for graduate school. Her college was 7 hours away, so it's not as if she had been living close by, but her room in the house was still her room, she came home for school vacations, and this was still where she "lived". It has been almost scary to have her so far away. She's a funny one - when she is home she needs me almost too much - she can be emotionally demanding and sometimes overwhelming. But now that she is gone she barely needs me at all. And while that, and the new " extra" room, makes life easier on a day to day basis, it is almost as if she is disappearing and I feel like one day I will wake up and she will be gone forever.

For the first time in our 5 year relationship my husband and I are both gainfully employed. Even though we don't make a lot of money at least we have steady jobs and can start planning for the future. It feels good. And its got me thinking about what's next. Babies? Sometimes I worry too, that now that we have steady jobs we are going to get in a rut, but I am determined not to let that happen, and that we keep living an adventure. So, it has affected me by getting me thinking about whats next, and it has prompted me to stay motivated to keep dreaming. As I write this I think I also need to just enjoy exactly where we are at this moment.

My maternal grandfather died. It was the first time someone I was truly close to in my family passed away. It made me aware of the passage of time. It makes me fearful of the aging of my own parents. I don't know how I'll handle them losing their capacity later. I'm aware of the fact they are aging and by extension so am I. My children make me feel young and yet I am no longer a kid. My life is happening now as opposed to being all ahead of me.

My relationship with my mom seems better and more relaxed. I got to see my aunt perform at Governor's Island which was really great, because she lives in Amsterdam and I've never seen her act. Made me feel closer to her.

my little sister got married. it was an interseting expereince for our family and gave me much insight into the ocmplexities of intermarriage.

Not really major milestones, but lots of family fun days. It's nice to see we can still spend time together and be happy doing it, no matter how different we've all become.

My younger son retired from law enforcement and told no one in the family. His wife finally confided in his older brother, and the brother in me. I do not as yet know if he has told his father and step-mother. His wife later told his brother that she is worried about her husband, and at a loss about what to do; she is still working, and needs to for their medical coverage. His long-time estrangement from me is one I cannot reach him to heal and now lets him only sign his name to the cards she sends me, and I am thankful for that small grace.

My son left for college at the end of August. He is now settled in, across the country. I'm a mix of emotions, happy, elated, excited, relieved, petrified, lonely, alone, tired, exhausted, frazzled and generally in a different state of mind...and that's so far today.

My Aunt died last August and my Uncle died this year, the day before my birthday. With my mom (his sister) dying 4 years ago, I feel a little adrift. The older generation is gone now and my cousins and I are that now. I really miss my Aunt, my mom and I could never really get close but my Aunt and I were. I really miss her. I feel like I'm supposed to be an adult but someone forgot to tell me how todo it. I'm floundering a little, both professionally and personally.

My father's death. It is just slowly becoming a reality. Mostly it does nto affect me on a conscious level, though there are moments that I think about his suffering at the and that makes me feel sad and perturbed. On a subconscious level, maybe I have become less outgoing, less talking to anyone on the street.

The closest we've come to "celebrating" a milestone is when my husband was finally willing to think about buying a house. He's avoided the subject for a long time and has finally warmed up to the idea. I think he is afraid to make this kind of commitment, especially since he has not saved any money, thought about things he wants in a home, researched neighborhoods or even gotten his credit and spending under control. With baby steps, we set goals of buying a home in 2012, and to get our finances (and furniture) in line by then.

Major milestone? My first job loss ever in 30+ years of working. I was a budget cut for our state university. While it has given me the freedom to work on my art, it has been a financial burden on my family.

My youngest sibling went to college and my parents became empty-nesters. So far, they're doing fine, but my siblings and I have a new commitment to calling each other and keeping tabs on them too. It's a new dimension of family responsibility that's working well so far.

2010 has been a year free of numerous doctor appointments and caregiving because my Mom has been cancer free since having lung surgery in December 2008, colon surgery in February 2009, followed by chemo. I pray it stays this way.

Nannie died, and Poppa moved into the old people's home at the end of our road. It's so sad. It's really hard talking about it with Mum and no one really knows what to do with him. It's unbelievable to think about how it feels to lose someone you've been with since you were 16, especially if you're 87. I'm amazed by him. He's one of the greatest characters in my life. The other thing is that George and Alice are getting married in two weeks. I'm still in shock that someone so whimsy could settle down in such a minute space of time.

My girlfriend found a new job with more responsibility and better pay. Her old job was causing her so much misery, it was making it difficult to say honestly that we had a happy life in this otherwise idyllic town.

I no longer have a home, no "home base," no place to "go home" to. It has dramatically changed my perspective on my life; now I have to think about where I shower or how I get myself clean, how & where do I eat (do I cook something on the little electric one-burner or do I eat something already cooked out of a can or go to Taco Bell for $2?), where's the nearest restroom.

This past year has not had much in the way of positive milestones or events. Positive - my youngest daughter gave birth to a healthy baby girl - her second child. I was able to spend some time with them at her birth and caring for her older brother during that time. that was a bright spot for me. Negative - my oldest daughter dug herself a hole financially and moved back in with her alcoholic boyfriend who is verbally abusive to the children and her. It also contributes and supports her alcoholism. my oldest granddaughter has become homeless and will not commit to living with us. she is still trying to find a way to live with her mother, brother, and her mom's dysfunctional boyfriend. she has stayed with us the past 2 nights. how can we help her break the cycle she is in? can we? all of this has contributed to my feeling very sad - I am barely able to motivate myself to care for myself. not good. how do I break this cycle? can I?

Reconciliation and discovering each other after all these years and getting to know each other all over again has been wonderful. It made me much more "whole". It does not matter if we speak for days or weeks. But the fact they are there and accessible is a comfort. But more important, I am less dependent on other relationships to replace a void I once had. I can put a healthy distance from certain people knowing that I am loved and cared for by family.

I would actually have to say there hasn't been any big news with my family in the last year. Ursula is turning 2 in a couple months and can walk and talk (although she tends to be a little intimidated by me). I try to spend time with her when I can so that she'll get to know me and remember me, and so we can be close as she grows up. Since I may not have kids for a long time I am excited about watching her grow up and seeing her turn into a fully realized person. My dad retired in February of last year and seems to be doing well, although my parents are worried about their finances and he wants to start working again when the economy improves. My grandma (last of the four) just turned 87 and she seems to be doing pretty well too. I am mostly concerned about my mom's health since she doesn't take very good care of herself and may not live another decade, although she'd deny it if you asked her. As for my own family though (just myself right now), I have started to feel my biological clock and the urge to have children, just like I often joke about w/r/t women- reading the book Sperm Wars definitely influenced me in this regard. I am conflicted though, as I want to have children with multiple women (over the next 10+ years) but I am concerned about how my life would change with the responsibility, wondering if I could be a good father (doubtful), and worried about the money (i.e. child support). This is an issue I'll be thinking about a lot in coming months, even before any real opportunities arise. One thing that has changed though, is that I feel like an authority figure within my extended family, like my parents don't have any power over me, and in fact need me to watch over them and make sure at any given time that they are ok. And I feel ready to handle major issues with them (and M&C), such as gradual health declines and caretaking issues, and when the time comes, dealing with the practicalities of my parents deaths and estate. What it will actually feel like to lose my parents I'm not really sure. I can really only hope their around long enough to get to witness a few more epic accomplishments from me.

My mom had to leave her usual job and our family company because it hasn't been doing well and they could not afford to pay her. (or so they say) She took a job at Winn-Dixie and it makes me so sad to see my own mother have to work such a job just to make it by. She now works at Winn-Dixie, for my brother in law's feed store, and still helps out at the family business without pay. She deserves more and I hope that I will be able to give it to her when I graduate and have a career. I always think of things that I want to do for myself, but I try to remember how much she did for me and even though I could never totally repay her, I hope that my success will make her happy and that I will be able to provide for her as she did for me.

My mother had to live with me because of financial reasons for both of us. It takes a toll on my mental, emotional, and personal life. Not always negative but certainly not always positive. She is getting older, crankier, more negative in her attitudes and more paranoid in her beliefs. It is a struggle to keep my individuality separate from hers.

My father and my stepmother stayed home this summer rather than going cruising. My sister and I were both suffering from depression; she stopped working; I stopped living. I ended up on Eagle Ridge one night while he waited at the house, afraid I would harm myself. He called almost every day in April, May and June. They stayed home for me. They stayed home for her.

My sister, brother-in-law and husband turned 40, which wasn't a huge deal in and of itself. However, it pushed us to say yes to a family vacation I had said no to for a long time. It was a tide-turner. I can envision such cooperation and respect in the future--and a yearly vacation as well.

My cousins are all having babies! It made me realize how much I don't want children. Nothing else major has happened this year for my family.

My second niece was born. It's been amazing including this new little one to the family and seeing how Julia, her older sister, interacts with her.

We decided to try and have a baby

My sister has become more independent - I don't see her very often now. Its made her a different person, more hardened and less delicate. I do not like it in the slightest.

The biggest major milestone was adding a baby girl to our family. She was been a perfect addition. As with everything wonderful it wasn't easy being pregnant or giving birth but she is amazing and perfect. Our sons love and adore her as much as we do. I love seeing them with her, they are so sweet.

My grandad went into hospital, and this made me appreciate how much we need our family and how much I love them.

Parents & Parents in law health. Think about our health and life after life.

I think that a major milestone that happened this year was my mom getting a job with the census. She hasn't worked for so long, that she really needed the esteem boost that it provided. And I hope that it will give her the confidence to continue looking for a job.

Death of 2 uncles. Last year was a bad year.

in spring our house flooded. we had to come home early from our mexico trip and search for a rental house to live in while the house got redone. we are still living in the rental house it has been 6 months and weve got at least another 3 to go. this event has put a huge amount of stress on the whole family. so this has affected me in two ways. one way its made everyone really irritable and unpleasant to be around, there has been a lot of time outs that had to be taken by everyone. in a positive light, it has brought us closer as a family. the house were in now is samller meaning we have had to learn to tolerate eachother, which has brought us closer as a family.

Losing my mom was by far the biggest milestone in my family. It made me realize how close my brother and I are, and how very different we were from the rest of the family. My mom raised us to be much more open-minded and grateful than the rest of the family, and I am forever in awe of how she managed to do such an astounding job all by herself. Our summer vacation this year without my mom made me realize that I love my family, but I can never be as close with them as I was with my mom.

My mother had lap band surgery, and I was the one that picked her up from the hospital and got her home. She is now happier and thinner than I have ever known her to be. While I'm thrilled that she is happy, I feel the pressure from her to do the same... I feel like she took the easy way out, and it makes me uncomfortable. I do want to lose weight, but I want to do it on my own. I don't want the surgery to change who I am inside..... It scares me.

This past year, both my younger brother and my older brother each had a son. It was my younger brother's second son and my older brother's first son. They were born within about a week of each other. Though both births occurred during the week, I made a point to drive the 140 miles north for each separate occurrence to welcome my newest nephews into the world. I now have three nephews. Each of them is unique and holds a special place in my heart. It's actually quite strange how being an uncle and watching both of my brothers (two of my best friends) interact as fathers has gradually changed my perspective on life, what's truly important, and what I want out of it. It has enhanced my confidence in myself with my own children some day. I don't know that I'll be the best father in the world. But, after watching both of my brothers and my own father as an example, I'm damn certain that I'll be the best father to MY child.

There were deaths, births, and weddings all within my family this year. When we gathered for each of these events, it made me realize how amazing my family is. We have the ability to mourn and comfort, celebrate and be happy, and despite our losses we can still move on and keep growing together. So many different emotions but we are always there for each other. We have always been close, but this year particularly we have grown closer. I love it :)

Not sure we had any milestones as much as we had drama.

My husband has been very depressed about his inability to lift his business, and feeling trapped in this city. He has been sinking deeper and deeper into his chair in the den, eating, watching TV, and playing on the computer. As a result he's becoming less and less capable of physical work, and household care . I'm increasingly learning to take care of myself emotionally, and understanding that I don't need to take on his emotional state. I think the biggest milestone has not yet happened - either he will figure out how to get himself moving again, or he'll sink lower and hit bottom. I don't know what "bottom" looks like. I'm worried.

My father was sent to Afghanistan again this past June. It's always difficult to see him go there because you never know what the outcome will be. We always hope for the best, but can't help the little voice way in the back of our heads saying that he might not make it home this time.

My younger sister went away to school. With only my youngest sister and parents still at home, I felt even less of a draw back to my hometown. Over the year, Berkeley became more and more my home.

My sister got married. It means the family is bigger, and I have to work harder to be nice to her husband. As well, my grandfather passed away, and he has been and will continue to be a constant inspiration to me, a WWII veteran, as well as a survivor of depression, and polio, that lived for 91 years.

I cannnot think of a major family milestone happening in the last 365 days. I guess that the two major events which happened months earlier, the passing of my brother in law and a heart attack I suffered affected us in a way that held up to our days. My sister moved to a new place. The most significant event this year, I would say was selling our parents apt, which gave us some space to think about our dreams and goals. I also sold an apt I had, which gives me the opportunity to redeem the loan on the apt I leave today.

I kind of fell out with my sister. We didn't really fight or anything but we just drifted far apart, very far apart. This other woman, my brother's fiance, kind of unknowingly replaced her. Anyway, she sent me an email, because she couldn't confront me face to face, and I cried when I read it because I felt so horrible, but the next day I went into her work and we had a really long lunch and sorted everything out and it was really lovely and now our relationship is better than ever. Which I'm really fucking thankful for.

John died and that's made me feel less secure. He was always in the back of my mind as someone who would rescue me if I got into trouble. Megan died as well and that's made me realize how quickly life can end. Barb died and did Ms. Campbell and both of those make me realize that you never know who's next. It's put a little fear into me but has also made me want to enjoy my life while I'm here.

I finally decided to move out on my own, and stop feeling guilty about choosing my welfare over that of others. So far, so good.

The anniversary of my younger sister's ex-boyfriend's suicide. I learnt three things from it. Firstly, the strength of my family - my mums strength especially as she carried intense stress, questioned herself as a mother and yet she provided astounding support for my sister the whole time. Secondly, I think it strengthened my relationship with my sister - I had to take care of her one morning in school and hold her hand and I felt that I hadn't been in the role of a protective big sister for a long time. However, thirdly, I will never forget how horrible it was when my mother felt like my sister had thrown all that support back in her face. It made me determined to support her and make her feel special.

my sister and her partner became engaged and she turned 30. it's made me realise how fiercly protective of her i am and how much i value her friendship and happiness. her fiance is a wonderful man and we are deeply lucky to have him join our family officially. she will always be my little sister, but i have so much to learn and be appreciative of from her.

My grandparents making the decision to move from the house that they have lived in for over 30 years to a smaller place with one of my aunt's. That house is the main place that I associate many memories and their lives with. Helping them go through their stuff and preparing for the move has been bittersweet. It made me realize for the first time, at 25 years old, how special my time now is with them.

After graduating with my BA in Art History, I found my day job depressing and frustrating. I quit in the hopes that I would use my time more creatively and productively. I have yet to take action on my new path, partially because the avenues for opportunity are so numerous that it's difficult for me to focus my efforts.

My husband and I got married. It hasn't made a great deal of difference to how we live our lives, though he seems to think now I'm his wife, I should also be his cook and house cleaner!

We've made the decision to try to make it off welfare starting with the new year. This has been stressful, but also satisfying. Hopefully my taking extra hours at work won't adversely effect my family.

Moving home after 5 years of boarding school and university...........it has been tough at some points getting used to having to do things their way for a change, but its been nice to not have to cook for myself everyday!

When my younger cousin got married a couple of weeks ago, we were a bit apprehensive about the ceremony and the reception and the honey moon. But, they did everything exactly the way they wanted to and it turned out beautifully. I was reminded why we were up there in the first place- because they truly love each other and that they wanted to share that with us. We all had a great time seeing family we hadn't seen in a while, meeting new people and eating lots of lobster. My cousin also told me her feelings about someone else at the wedding (after some champagne), but it was good to know she felt the same way that I and others did.

Double graduation - one from college and one from high school - in June. I'm very proud, slightly disbelieving that they are both so grown up, and feeling a bittersweet mix of emotions as my nest empties. Thankful that they have both stayed close by and visit often!

Two major milestones, my oldest daughter tore her ACL on a bad ski landing and my youngest daughter started her first year in college. Having the oldest back at home and grounded for recovery at the same time as her sister's first flight has created lots of tension and opportunity for growth.

My son got engaged to a Brazilian. It continues to expose the family to new worlds

It was initially very upsetting when my sister was rushed to the hospital with renal failure. Then it was poignant, because it was a reminder to me that life is short and we don't have the power to know when our time will come. We have to realize how fragile life is and how quickly it passes by. When we went through the day to day hospital stay and rounds of kidney dialysis, it was tense and unnerving, but it was also comforting knowing that there was a way to rescue her from certain death. My dad had been through dialysis many years earlier and was in much worse shape than she was. Each day that I wake up, I express my gratitude for arriving at another day well and happy. Every day I try to make sure that I keep my day as full of life as I can and share love with everyone in my life. I never want it to all end without anyone knowing what they meant to me.

My mother finally kicked my uncle and his family out of the house she owns after he defaulted on the mortgage one too many times and basically took all of her money from her. She should have taken this course of action years ago. Actually, she never should have put her name on his mortgage and given him all that money to begin with. At any rate, the only option left for her is to sell the house, which meant kicking him out because he's a disgusting hoarder who would have left the house a mess (this is also on top of being the human equivalent of cancer). The entire thing has been really upsetting and stressful-- both for her, because she hates that she had to do it, and for me, because I've been pushing her to deal with the situation for years and she still isn't being forceful enough with him--he has left hoarder-level amounts of crap in the house, preventing her from fully unpacking and moving in. The situation with him has affected me for over 15 years, particularly where I lived in high school and college. Coming from a wealthy town, this affected my confidence levels and self-esteem in some key formative years, which in turn affected a lot of the choices I made in life (specifically when it came to dating). I mean, I would say that it's one of the top 3 or 4 events that has hugely shaped my life. At some point in 1995, my mother made a choice that essentially put the wellbeing of my uncle's kids ahead of mine, and I've been dealing with the repercussions ever since (I'd say most intensely this year, though). The fact that it's finally coming to a close and we don't have to deal with it much longer is a huge relief, but it has also unleashed a ton of anger and resentment in me, and seriously affected my relationship with my mother and other members of my family.

My middle daughter got married - major milestone in her life. How did it affect me? It was hard. Felt as if she was not only "leaving the nest" but her entire life. Changed her last name, left almost everything Jewish out of the ceremony and I feel out of her life as well. This wasn't a merger of two families, we have nothing at all in common with the guy's family, although they are nice people, they celebrate Christmas, we do Hanukkah, which they know nothing about. Now that it's Rosh Hasannah, a new year, it's hard to realize she won't be part of our family celebrations anymore. Of course I could be wrong, but it still saddens me a little that she doesn't "feel" any connection to her Jewish heritage. Then again, I don't know why it bothers me so much. At her age, I wasn't all that into religion either, married to an atheist! It's just when I go to Jewish events and see all those families, wives AND husbands and their kids, I'm feeling very much alone. Especially since my husband doesn't share this important part of my life, and I know that if she ever does decide to become more involved with her Jewish identity, the guy she married won't have any idea what it all means. So, I didn't lose a daughter, I gained a putz, but he's HER putz, not mine!!

For the first time, I spent most of the year away from my family, a 7 hour drive away at college. I found that I could fend for myself just fine out in the world, but I did miss them a lot.

My mom and her brother stopped talking a year ago.. and now they are speaking again. Though he wrote me a nasty e-mail and isn't talking to me.. I am happy for my mom, but hope he makes up with me too because he hurt my feelings pretty bad..

My son and daughter-in-law had a baby after 11 years of marriage (when everyone else had abandoned hope that they would ever procreate!). The baby is my first grandson, and has made me think about my role as a mother and grandmother.

My mother had a stroke in september 09 and i was again searching for a new job, after quitting the first one in may 09. I was thrilled at the thought I'd start in a new place with colleagues, and overnight at my mom's. But the job's responsibles revealed to be tough and the salary low. So I came back each night from that job to my Mom, who was soon better in october, praying that the next day would be less hard and des-humanized. It didn't change. My only pleasure was being with my Mom.

A close friend of my family died and it made me really sad, I just got home from england when I found out, by reading my sister's blog because my mom forgot to tell me, when I found out he'd been dead for 2 or 3 weeks and I missed the funeral and everything :/

I've realised that my relationship with my partner is pretty much unmendable. But I don't know what to do about it, because we have children together.

My dad got cancer. It made me realise how fragile life is.

We recently lost our dog. We were all sad about it, it had been living with us for 14 years... The last few days I enjoyed the fact that I could give him any food (mum and dad couldnt, he wouldnt eat it) and that he wanted to go for a walk with me :)

Moved to Vegas. It has been an incredible learning experience and we have grown as a family.

My family.... I found out that my biological father, who I have never met but who I have spoken to on the phone twice, died of lung cancer this last year. I also found out that I have five siblings from said biological father that I did not know about. In the past I have found out that he beat my mother, broke her front tooth, and even punched her in the stomach when she was pregnant with me. I've also found out that he was in prison for strong armed robbery and was a heroin addict. But this year I also found out that he molested my older sister who I did grow up with. Again, mostly I feel numb to this, but also somehow strangely, I also feel relieved that I never met him. I couldn’t possibly be more embarrassed or sickened that I came from such a monster. My only consolation is that he suffered for the last days of his life. But in my hatred lies a distinct fear, however irrational, that because I am made of the same cloth, I must be a monster too.

I had a visit with my daughter during which we had no blowups. A little steam started to rise and one or the other of us let it die down today. This has given me hop that if I listen better we will be able to improve our relationship.

I hit age 35. Whoopee.

My daughter Sophie got braces. We were watching baby videos of her the other day, and I realize how amazing that she is now a middle-aged child old enough for braces. It really does go fast (as the cliche goes)! I miss that baby, but I also love her more and more everyday! Every time I look at her I am grateful for the miracle of life. As I see her growing and feel myself aging, I am reminded of the preciousness and ephermal nature of every day.

My Dad had open heart surgery and thankfully has done extremely well. It wasn't an emergency and both my Dad and I are pretty geeky, so we were interested in the technical aspects of the surgery and not so concerned that something would happen. I'm still living in the lala land where Daddy will be here forever.

I heard my mother say, perhaps for the first time ever, "I'm so lucky to have people in my life who support me...and thankful that I didn't have to do this alone" - she was just talking about a garage sale that her boyfriend and I helped her with, but it was nevertheless a major paradigm shift. For as long as I've known her, my mother has felt alone in the world, and it would always break my heart to think of her seeing her place in the world in such a solitary, lonely way. Hearing her say she wasn't alone made me feel so happy and much closer to her, like we're finally experiencing life in a more parallel way.

My wife and I began to understand and accept each other at another level this year. We are in our 4th year of marriage and every year we learn and grow but this past year we really propelled to a whole new level. The has affected me by allowing me to feel more free to be the man I am flaws and all and not try to be somebody else. It also has opened the door for me to love my wife more deeply. The best part is that the better our relationship is the more positive impact it will have on our daughter.

Baby Brother got ordained into the Methodist Church, moved to sunderland to have his church in Fullwood. After 8 years of training and studying became a local preacher in the methodist church :)

It's not really a major milestone, but it's the best I could think of. We had a family holiday this year, as we usually do, but we argued non-stop. Every day there was an argument, and it drove me crazy. It was really hard for me, arguing, especially with my sister. I'm stubborn though, and I don't give in to arguments. I guess it just taught me not to be so stubborn. And not to go on holidays with my family again. We spend way too much time together. It's kind of upsetting, actually, realising just how dysfunctional we actually are.

We lost a dear family friend after a year of ill health. He was one of my fathers closest friends and they were similar in age. This has served as a reminder once again of my fathers mortality and despite our differences to try and cherish every moment.

I moved out of the house and went off to college. Being the oldest child, I saw how my parents reacted to me becoming an adult. My mom almost cried when she drove away from the college and my dad seemed fine, until I realized that he kept bringing me stuff and calling me about things. My sister is probably enjoying that I don't sing constantly and that she now has somewhere to sleep when her friends are over. I am affected because I now take care of myself. The strange thing is, I'm already used to it. I feel like this is what I've been waiting for and I finally have it. The solitude when I want it, the friendship when I need it. I have a new experience everyday and this is truly a great chapter of my life.

My husband and I both returned to college full time. The economy marginalized our jobs so much that there really weren't any other choices for us. But it has done wonders for us. Our confidence has boosted, our focus is clearer, and we are excited about what we are doing. My sister also got a divorce from her POS husband and now she and I have begun to grow closer together after 20 years.

Jason (my brother) left on a road trip across the US with Holli. I found out through facebook. He never said good-bye, or introduced me to this new girlfriend. I accepted it, though it hurt. And made me realize how far apart I have drifted from my family. It also made me incredibly jealous that yet another person close to me is living out my dream while I'm stuck in the American delusion—debt, job, mortgage, regret.

My niece, who is 10 years younger, had her first child and has more on the way. I'm proud and happy for her and our family, but it underscores to me my own dim prospects for raising my own family. I fear somewhat for my old age. I also feel bad for my mom. This isn't her grandchild and she may pass without ever seeing one. Besides, so many of my peers are married with children now. I feel increasingly marginalized.

I found out that I need to balance, work, play, learning and life in general. I also found out that sometimes things are just more than a person can handle and we have to readjust and make changes for the good of the family and not just for the individual.

When mother sent me a hurtful email and I called to talk to father. That was the first time that we has such an open conversation about the way we felt. I definitely got to know him better and became closer to him. Other than that, I graduated from UCSD, and Hank is starting college at Berkeley!

My Cousin got married in my family's hometown, bringing us all together for the first time in many years. I wasn't exactly at my best with parts of my nuclear family as I not so subtly avoided staying with my brother and his wife because of our differences which I now regret. However I felt like I was able to connect well with the rest of my family (extended).

My sister bought a house. She is finally showing signs of actually growing up. It has allayed some fears I had about her ability to support herself as well as to make good decisions about her own life.

My uncle was found dead in his home in January. He was a recluse. His life changed around ten years ago when my grandparents died. He slowly stopped coming to family functions. I don't think I had seen him for over eight years. Around Thanksgiving last year my mom and other uncle received an email from him saying he was doing fine and that he might visit soon. Looking back on it, they think he was just telling them what they wanted to hear. My uncle was found weeks after he passed away. He was alone, the heat had been turned off. The autopsy was inconclusive. Aside from affecting me with typical grief from the death of a loved one (is grief ever typical?), my uncle's death made me feel a profound sadness. I lost not only a great uncle, but since we hadn't seen him for so long, it was like saying goodbye to a mirage. Looking at photos from happier times, I was struck with his vivacity, love of family, and caring nature. I didn't understand his refusal to come to my sister's wedding, my cousin's wedding, my wedding, or the birth of my cousin's children. I didn't understand what he might have felt that made him stay home by himself for so many years. We learned a lot about my uncle after he died, but his life has a lot of question marks surrounding it. My uncle's funeral was one of the more emotional and fun services I've been to. His longtime friends came, as well as family. no one judged what his life had become, but we all remembered what a great person he was before he shut himself off from the world. I will always love my uncle. I have missed him for so many years, and I continue to miss him now.

Thomas moved in with his dad. I'm heartbroken. He is 16 now and I travel so much for work. It makes sense but I've lost my baby boy...

My nephew graduated from boot camp. It's been a bittersweet experience. I'm so very proud of him for taking on the responsibility of "growing up," but I'm also quite anxious as he has chosen a job that puts him on the front lines of battle, should he be sent to a warzone.

My aunt passed away from an aggressive disease recently. She made a lot of bad choices in her life that caused her health to deteriorate raidly instead of heal. I see very clearly now how our lives are a result of our thinking and our choices. We own our life. Only we can take responsibility and live it well.

My niece had a serious car accident that resulted in about 30 broken bones, a fully collapsed lung, a partially collapsed lung, and possibly a head injury. Because I've been in a similiar situation (a coma & a more serious head injury, but thankfully no broken bones) I could relate to a lot of things she was going through mentally, and got first-hand knowledge of what it must have been like for my family waiting for me to come out of the coma.

No major milestones that I can think of. Retired life rolled along pretty uneventfully. Our youngest daughter, 23, had/has some issues that are costing a portion of our "nest egg" to address, but I wouldn't call that a milestone . . . or major for me. It is major for my daughter and I hope she's getting closer to the resolution she's seeking.

A major milestone that happened in the past year was that I started to understand what makes a good relationship. I became aware of negative energy, & how it can be contagious, so that even if I'm not the one being negative, I can "catch" the negativity from someone else. I also became aware of my internal feelings when I do or say something that isn't right. This was a HUGE awakening! I regret that for most of my life I just lived unconsciously. I hope in the future to live more consciously & take advantage of getting what I want out of life.

My sister got married over a week ago. It was the first time my parents had been in the same room for a really long time and it went fine, the wedding day was really nice and I got a chance to go home and have a fun weekend. My younger sister seems to be overtaking me in responsability bit by bit.

Being so physically distant from my parents has brought me closer to them. I confide in and talk to my mother more and on an 'adult level'; she doesn't do things for me, I do them myself, while asking for her advice. It has also helped me be able to tell my really good friends that I love them. I know that everything I have accoplished here I have done myself with the support of my family - I feel like an adult.

My brother had a second child. It's affected me in that it hasn't affected me. I haven't even met the child who is my nephew. I should drive down for a visit. Maybe this winter. I want to be affected by my family in a positive way. For the most part it's always been negative. Maybe that's why I haven't been for a visit.

My younger brother proposed and is now engaged! It's made me really happy and proud to see him reach this stage of life (and is also giving me a kick in the butt to get a move on with some of these life things too!).

With my mother here every weekend, I've learned a lot about her and myself as well.

The affair of my wife seems to be the major milestone in my life this year... It may be bad, but like the saying goes- "When God closes a door, he always opens another" Don't know what will become of any future relationship with her, but I do look forward to the future to see what God will bring for me! Could be interesting...!

I was finally able to come to grips with my many mixed feelings about my father and give him a loving, discreet eulogy.

When dad had surgery for his spine, he was put on a cocktail of medicines that made him psychotic. Talking to him on the phone, he would say that people are trying to kill him, or that someone stole his house, or that people were on the ceiling watching him. It was scary for my mother and me, but it must have been terrifying for him. For the first time, I really understood how frail my parents are becoming, and that my time with them is finite. I also realized that I know more about working with people than I thought I did as I coached my mother on how to be with someone who is delusional.

A niece from the heart turned 15 and we all had a great party to celebrate it.

Alex grew into a little girl this year, and I am in absolute love with the person she continues to grow to be. She has the funniest personality and the best expressions. This summer she went to camp every morning and formed great relationships with her coaches and friends. She left diapers behind and is 100% potty trained. And just last week she started preschool with the institution she may very well graduate from in another 15 years. This new developmental stage has affected me in a few ways. Most importantly, I feel free. I feel free to get pregnant with another child without it curtailing her babyhood. I feel freedom in my schedule now that she's busy until 3pm every day. I feel like I have more creativity to bring to my work since she's more engaged in her own stuff. I just get to heave a big sigh, having reached a major milestone in my mothering. I don't know how people manage when they have kids close together. I feel like I've made contact with what it means to have my own life and space again, and thus can make conscious choices about what I want the next phase to look like.

My oldest son moved out in May to a little house with his girlfriend. Then plan orginally was that they would get a flat but she discovered she was pregnant. This put the whole family into turmoil. It wasn't planned and they were unsure whether to go ahead with it. They have now settled into their house and the baby is due around Xmas / New Year. At the scan a couple of weeks ago they found out it will be a boy. My son will make a fantastic Dad and hopefully his girlfriend will make a fab Mummy too. How has it affected me?? Well, although you know your kids will eventually leave home, nothing quite prepares you for the actuality. I miss him every day. I done my best to make him the best he can be and I know he'll be ok. The thought of being a Grandmother scares me.. I hope the baby will be healthy and that they'll cope ok with another major change to their lives.

my dad's parents have always looked down on my mom, and as I'm growing up, I'm realizing this more and more. it makes me like them less and not treat them with enough love as I should.

My dad moved to Oklahoma for a job transfer in February after about 11 months of being unemployed. The job is a blessing, but the distance is awful-- my whole family misses him, especially my mom. My sisters and I are out of the house now and my mom is alone with my brother who has cerebral palsy so it's a tough situation. I pray that my dad gets to move home again soon... Sometimes I think unemployment is better than the distance.

My aunt will probably lose her job soon, but that doesn't really affect me? :/

We welcomed Oscar into our family. He's been a great dog and we love him a lot.

My son & grandchildren visited. I had not seen the children for many years. The visit was too short & it saddens me that we live so far apart & I cannot watch them grow & share more with them.

After giving up everything to move to Florida to help my post-divorce mom, she found a man and I became redundant. It brought home those things about her and her priorities that I had previously ignored or denied. It was a milestone for me because it forced me to reevaluate the meaning of family. I eventually escaped back to Nashville, back with my roommate and my dog - my true family.

Both of my grandmother's turned 90 this year. Definitely reminded me of what I have to look forward to :)

My sister and I moved away from home to University. This move is my first terrifying step to independence. I left the ones I loved the most in order to move on with my life, as did my sister, and although I am completely perilized with fear at what my independent future holds and sad over what I have left behind I can't help by feel excited and happy about leaping into the unknown

I had two major milestone's this year. The first is that I got married to a wonderful man and we had a child together (who is a light in both of our lives). We blended together the perfect little family, with him becoming father to my two children (from a previous relationship).

The thing that has most affected me in all areas of life is a major family milestone. My mother's diagnosis with stage 4 lung cancer has changed everything about my life. knowing that there is a high probability that days with her are numbered has caused me to re-evaluate everything, every activity, every commitment, every friendship. I am not looking at anything through the same lens that I had used before.

In the past year my sister divorced her husband of almost 10 years. Oddly her divorce has affected my own love-life. About a year before she told me about the impending divorce, my boyfriend of 6 years broke-up with me so he could move back to NYC. He quickly changed is mind and tried to court me back, though he was still adamant on moving to NYC. He persistently tried to reestablish our relationship for over a year. I refused every time even though I still loved him. When I asked my sister why she never tried counseling before pursuing divorce she said “because I’m beyond the point of that helping, I don’t even love him anymore.” I have since decided to take my ex back because we actually still love each other and though New Jersey lies between us, making things difficult at times, at least we’re trying – whatever the outcome may be.

My biggest milestone was moving in with my boyfriend. We moved to Davis and everything good that has happened to me this year flows from that: having the time to heal, living in a new place where "everything is easy," winning the Best In Show ribbon. I've finally found a man who cares about me.

Again, the birth of my daughter is a major milestone, both for me and my family. For my parents, it is their first grandchild. It's pretty awesome to see my own parents in this strange new role. Their love and softness is a beautiful thing to witness.

There have been no major milestones in my family this year. However, my father's health has deteriorated, and at the age of eighty one, I can foresee that someday he will pass away. It is so hard to accept. It has caused me to feel my mortality, and to worry about my own health.

We sold our house that was financially killing us and had eaten almost all of our entire savings. Shortly thereafter, within a month of moving, I was laid off but fortunately we don't have that house so we'll survive. There's no way we could have predicted about my job but thank goodness we got rid of our largest expense - we would have been homeless and unable to get an apartment without my having a job and with all of our house related debt.

My almost 83 year old father, who lives alone, was in the hospital recently 3 times... that I know of. He tends to call me, his only child, when he's LEAVING the hospital. That's right-- he doesn't tell me he's going in. I'm frustrated, worried, and trying to listen to people who tell me I am doing all that I can to help him when he won't accept help. Dementia doesn't run in my family. Instead, we are independent, stubborn, and sometimes too clever for our own good.

My brother moved out of my parents' house, which has put a huge strain on his relationship with my father. This has caused a lot of tension when my parents and I are together. My mother and I try not to talk about the move, and if someone else brings it up my father rants about how stupid he thinks my brother was to move out on his own while my mother and I pretend to not know what's going on. It's exhausting.

Actually, a few major milestones...My husband retired, my daughter had a son, our second grandson, and my older son moved out to the city. Our day to day lives are changed. We have to decide daily what to do, make choices to be together or keep our space in the house, and realize that someday soon we will be empty nesters. Our two grandsons across the country makes us consider if we should move or stay put. We miss them but also treasure our own time. We earned it.

Our oldest son began Kindergarten. This was a big step for us as it is really the first step of letting a major influence into his life outside our family. It is scary and makes me question how we have raised him to this point and how his character will respond to outside influences. I am proud of him and excited to watch his growth.

This year is my 15th wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe that I've been with my husband for 17 years (we dated for 2) -- in some ways it feel like we have always been togther -- other times it seems like I just am getting to know him. My goal for this year is to get closer to my husband again.

We celebrated our first anniversary! I was great to get away, celebrate our relationship and spend an uninterrupted weekend together (which hadn't happened since our honeymoon!). I try to think about that weekend very often to remind me that although we are insanely busy, we can always find time to come back together and find eachother again, even if it's just a few minutes a day.

My brother and I have both grown up a lot, and started to have proper conversations rather than just shouting and fighting all the time. I'm really grateful for it.

My husband completed his third year of teaching High School Math at a low performing school. I truly admire how he keeps looking for different ways to reach these kids who are totally turned off by education. The fact that a student came up to him at the end of the year and said, "This is the first time I have ever passed a Math class." I feel this says a lot about the great job that he is doing.

At Thanksgiving last year, my 54 year old brother, who has been in therapy for many years, in the presence of my daughters and our 84 year old mother, chose to lash out at me( my husband and I were not present) in a restaurant! The rants continued in emails and phone calls despite my calm and third party counseled intervention. Now he doesn't want to talk about it and prefers to 'move 'forward' as if nothing happened. I keep coming back to this topic with each question this year because it is truly the major milestone for our small family. It has fractured our family. My daughters do not feel the same about their uncle and independently choose not to have contact. I cannot 'pick up' with him without discussing this mess and he will not so I wait him out.The only one, thank goodness, who is least effected is our dear mom, who suffers from dementia!

It has been a mixed blessing. We had two of our four children move back into our home due to the loss of job. One of them brought along their significant other. They got jobs (some better than others, but in this climate any job is better than nothing). My son moved out after 2 months, my stepdaughter and her boyfriend stayed for 6 months. It was grueling in many ways because it really pointed out how connected I am with 'the way I do things', but it was nice in a way because we got to play games, and visit, and share. I'd always been close to my son, but I'd never been very close to my stepdaughter - so we got a chance to learn more about each other. I do not think I'd like to go through it again though.

My sister got married this year. It was so wonderful! I think she's really happy, and as far as I can tell, the guy she married is a really good guy. I'm just so glad that she's finally married, and I hope she has a baby soon so my kids can finally have a cousin!

My mother, step dad and I moved to america, leaving my half brother, sister, (who I consider brother and sister completely, no matter of actual fact,) father, and step brother behind. Not only them, but my sister an brothers dad who I consider a second father to me, who had a brain tumour when we left, it was treated, cured, and it reappeared about a month before my return to the UK. It's affected me badly, depression, insomnia, failing in school, adjusting badly to a new school system, smoking more than I ever have before, but also affected me positively, I've had a lot of artistic oppurtunities, started a band, met a pretty awesome band, went to Glastonbury with them and also am going to start work with a radio station here. Every cloud.

We had our second child, then I had my tubes tied. Very positive development.

My mother, my sister and I faced the painful realization that my mother could no longer live on her own, and she moved into assisted living. Her transition to the new environment and circumstances was difficult, but at this point, she is settled in and comfortable, and we are extraordinarily grateful for the dedicated and compassionate caregivers there to help her. I drive two hours each Sunday to have dinner with my mom, and it means the world to see her secure, relaxed, comfortable, and surrounded by friends.

I feel somewhat fortunate there were no major milestones (which at my age, are probably more sad than happy ones), other than I turned 40. No news is good news. I'm so happy for my brother and what his 2 year-old child has done for his life. I'm also very proud that he is pursuing his Ph.D at UT Austin and already flourishing there. My wife's mother has been fighting lymphoma for the last year, and it has definitely put mortality center stage for my wife and her entire family. Life is so short, and as someone who is not religious, staring down the void can be terrifying. It must be for everyone, and when your parents go it's the last sort of barrier between you and that void. That's why I'm glad that everything in my own family is more or less business as usual.

The move to Berkeley is still the biggest milestone. I miss everyone, especially when I go home to visit and then have to drive back.

A lot of fights about who Ichoose to date or be around. Sorry parents for thinking I'm shit because I like another girl.

It was my mom's 60th birthday and we had a surprise party for her, which she's always wanted. It was a huge success and I think a great thing for her. Our family rarely does any big fun things like that so I think it was a big deal and brought us together. Now we have to think what to do for my dad's 60th!

Clarisse becoming really independent, eg on holiday when she wanted to play with her new friends rather then with her parents . It made us realise how quikly Kids grow up and how important it is to let them go with confidence and not be selfish about it.

May 19 my son came home from 3 yrs in state prison (for trying to protect a young girl from a bad boyfriend, but got charged with assault for his efforts), & the following morning my partner of 8 yrs walked out on me. I thot we'd soon be leaving to start a new life in Mexico, but he abandoned me for a wealthy woman he'd been seeing for 4yrs, who he married a few wks after leaving me. So now my son is living with me & we're trying to help each other to start new lives of our own. The abandonment & loss of a future at 65 yrs old crushed me, I wanted to die. I've had to realize that the man I loved was a sociopath, who doesn't have the capacity to love. I still don't know what I'll do with my life. I'm still in deep depression. All I know is that I have to move forward & feel positive about my life, or I'll have no life ahead of me....only passing time.

My parents built their dream house and moved into it. With my brother and parents now in the same place, I have realized how much I want to be near them. I love my husband and son, and I want so much to have both of my families close physically and emotionally.

My great-aunt died this May. Her death made all the family realise that sometimes it's better just to say goodbye rather than holding on to something/someone that does not hold on back to you. Also it made me grow personally to attend a funeral for the first time and see how despite all the tears, life & laughter are still there.

A major milestone my family has achieved this past year is all the kayaking and outdoorsy stuff we've done together. At the beginning of summer we went on a week long camping trip on the Deerfield river. The campsite was always peaceful, there was little arguing or fighting. We spent one day just sitting in the shade of a Oak tree, reading and naping. On the river Zack, Dad, and I get along well. We don't argue or critique. We use each other for support and to learn. We joke around and have a good time. Though we aren't always peaceful at home, in the outdoors we get along amazingly.

I turned 40 and my partner turned 50. I have always felt that I was Peter Pan. And Don has never looked his age. So, you can see that we're a good fit. Conversely, I lost a cousin who was 2 years older than me. It's affected me in that I've changed my perspective on aging somewhat. Even though I'm grossly out of shape, I think my 40's are going to rock. My thirties were absolutely amazing. We bought a house and 3 cars and enjoyed the lives of many pets and had (/still have) fabulous family and friends. I remember as I child telling my father (who was in his thirties) that he was OLD. I can look back now and realize that children have so much to learn from their elders. And sadly I lost him at the entirely too young age of 58. And with the passing of my42 year old cousin, it reminded me againof how very short a life is and how quickly it can end.

I got engaged with my girlfriend Michelle. This has solidified our relationship and has made it clear that our relationship is for the long term.

Henry was born! I have a new identity - mommy. And a new understanding of the meaning of life. I am tired, but those rare moments of transcendence I only felt now and then, now come frequently. He has changed my life and I am so grateful to God, to him, and to my husband for our family.

My mother passed away and her passing freed me from the guilt and lies she laid throughout her life. I felt scared and free, finally.

For the past year, we've been living without my great aunt, who passed away last July. While death brings initial sadness, the event of mourning and the need to tend to paperwork distract from the permanence of it. Although my aunt was ninety-three years old, I spoke to her several times a week, sharing stories and encouraging her to share stories of her life and our family history. Her presence in my life was not only cherished because she was special, but she made previously nameless faces in photos, real and gave life to people whose images have been long since lost. Missing a person from your life always feels like getting tricked- just at that moment when I want to call, I remember my mistake. It's pain and sadness, but a clumsyness- like always trying to make words on a keyboard with letters that aren't there anymore. I've spent a lot of time thinking about a better, positive way to share her stories.

My family and I started looking for a house. We have been living in the same condo since my parents got married and we always talked about moving to a house, but now we are really looking for one. And it actually brought us together, seeing this houses, imagining and talking about how we would decorate them, what we would do when we had our own house, what would change.. But it also made us quite nostalgic about the condo were we spent all our childhood, it will be hard to say goodbye with all these memories there.

My brother's children have distanced from him (and us), yet my parents, all of my siblings, and some of the next generation traveled to my niece's wedding, reinforcing our awareness of each other's commitment to family and our connections with each other. Her mother's family, however, distanced from us at the wedding, creating coolness during a time when we should feel close. Good illustration of triangles and why one should avoid creating triangles in divorcing families.

I got sick. One routine test result led to a CAT scan, which led to a cancer diagnosis, which led to surgery. Which led to blood clots in legs and lungs that disabled me for weeks, and took away my athletic ability for months. Did I learn a lesson about mortality, about the beauty and value of every living moment? Yes. Did I learn that we are walking, talking, thinking pieces of meat, here by the grace of God, or chance, or whatever, who should not imagine that their time on earth is unlimited? Yes. Did I learn that my wife is a saint? Yes.

I have decided that I must lead what's left of my life by my own ethics and needs rather than those of family members that I want to love me. It is sometimes frightening to recognize that I will walk this path totally alone and without familial support.

The past year has been remarkably milestone-free. No births, no deaths, no marriages, no divorces, nothing of that sort. My father hit 70 and my sister hit 40, but it doesn't seem to be affecting them in a noticeable way. I continue myself to be single and not have my own family, which is OK some of the time.

Our family lost our grandparents. They were 90 and 91 and they disappeared and were found in a very rural area at least five hours outside of our city. The story became a national and international "human interest" story telling the story of their lives and their romance. They lived a full life, they danced to their own tune and we all moved along with our noses up against the bubble that they existed in. They lived for each other and they died together, after a 70 year romance. This has caused me to take a look at my life and re evaluate my priorities. I have cut back my hours at work and made an effort to spend more time with the people I love. My grandparents lived a long time but they did not expect it to end so soon; they fully expected to live to be over 100. From any perspective life is too short and definitely too short to be doing anything that makes you unhappy.

My college "family" recently saw its first member married off, and the wedding pulled all of us in from different corners of the country. The resultant evening was one of the best in recent memory and reminded me that even though we might not keep in contact all the time, I really do have a great group of friends who I miss terribly.

Is the major milestone my Father's death or Angela's re-marriage? Both sharpened the focus of Truth. Both will reverberate across the entirety of my remaining life in ways that are beyond my ability to calculate.

My sister and I are trying to be friends. - Not much affect yet but it is a start so it does make me feel good.

I guess on of the Major milestones that happened in my family, was me attending Basic Combat Training. Before I left, I did not really connect my parents or family members. Since I was away for ten weeks, It showed that my family really did care, for me, and it has made me able to communicate with them more. So It is a good thing, that I can now talk to my parents.

My oldest daughter got her driver's license and she is much more mobile now. It's wonderful that she is more independent and is able to drive herself places but as a parent, it is hard to let go.

A fortnight before the 10th anniversary of my father's death, one of my brother's lost his battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). My brother was like a parent to me, so it was a tough loss, further complicated by an irrational fear that I was going to lose my mother 10 years after losing my dad (the year she turned the same age as Dad was at time of death). I'm happy to report that my mom is alive and well, but my fear still manifested as a strange prophecy. It has all served to remind me of how preciously short life is and to do the most with the time I have here, as well as to take care of myself in hopes of allowing myself a life long enough to leave a positive legacy when I'm gone.

I think the fact that I can't recall a single family milestone this year shows me how removed I am from my family, and yet I don't know how to get closer to them. We seem to be entrenched in this pattern of polite distance and I have no idea what is truly going on with anyone. The fact that we are all spread out across the country doesn't help. I pray to find the courage to connect with them on a deeper level this coming year.

College. It may not seem like this happened with my family but it has affected all of us. Around the same time I moved to college, my mom got a promotion at work to HR, which moved her to the morning shift. She has started to work out, and the whole family is eating healthier, including myself. I've been talking with my brother more. College has really been a new beginning for all of us.

In the mist of my Family grieving.,For 2 Family members.I was told a little Grandaughter was to be born. With mixed emotions and highs and Lows there was a feeling of Joy! This little child unexpected, to arrive into our Family..We have so much Love to give.. We have puzzled over how strange Life can be,to take one Life ,and give another. Surely this child is the greatest gift,and has warmed our Hearts.Bringing us back into the stream of Life. I have 3 Beloved Grown Grandsons,and soon with Gods Blessing we will have a little girl in the Family.That i live to welcome her into the world,is a something i did not expect. Being a Grandmother is a Blessing. I no longer care that i am getting Old,Who cares? Our little baby is in the wrong position to be born.Will enter our World by Cesarean Section. Within a few days. Now we Pray; My Family at Logger heads,will come together once more. To welcome our baby into the Family. We are overjoyed that she decided to arrive ,and make us look ahead..To Look to the Future,that of the Young. To pick ourselves up ,and somehow renew our footsteps-Sorrow we cannot escape,but Joy we can share . Now i wait,my Heavy Heart ,is running fast-The years are catching up with me.I know how to catch a Little Sunbeam of Hope, and hold it fast. Life has taught me that;The hard way.

The birth of my nephew was a milestone in my family. The obvious reason is because he is the first child born to my siblings and me. The birth has affected me because I can simply say without hesitation that I am not ready to have a child on my own. I know that where I am in life having children is the furthest thing from my mind.

My cousin got engaged to a great guy who definitely seems to be her soul mate. The engagement was kind of a surprise, as they'd been together for less than a year when he proposed. But they're awesome together, and the relationship seems so solid. At the same time, her sister is with someone who seems like less of a match, but is staying with him because there's love and familiarity in the relationship, and it's hard to leave. I look at her and see myself a few years back, in a relationship that was never destined to work but which we stayed in for many of the same reasons. I wish I could encourage her to get out now, but I just have to watch and wait and hope she does what truly feels best for her.

Last October my grandfather entered the hospital, and he was in and out of the hospital, physical therapy locations, skilled nursing at his senior living. My family thought that my grandfather was going to get better and make a full recovery...my grandfather passed away mid-December. This whole ordeal has had an impact on me and my family, I realized that life is too delicate of a thing, and that it's short, so make the best of it. It also showed me the true colors of my my mother's family, and showed me who they really are: The cousin, a youth pastor, who never went to visit my Grandfather once in the hospital, or ever when he was healthy; the aunt who was always in town, never visited, but claimed she did when approached by people; the uncle who only cared about his inheritance and the most expensive things he could find; the other uncle, who seems like a nice guy, and I do think he is, but is also concerned a little more with the monetary gain. I realize now who my family is, and now I don't have to deal with my mother's family anymore because now there's no reason for them to come into town.

My brother (and 2 of his young children) and I visited our father's grave together. He left when I was 3 and I never saw him again (I found out he had died a few years after the fact). My brother was an infant and he never knew him. We have accepted this fact of our childhood and it was nice to be able to just explain who was whom in my father's family's plot to my niece and nephew. They are still our blood and our heritage.

When I decided to leave my girlfriend of 9 years, moving out was far from easy. It affected my children, my releationship with my girl whom by now was my also my best friend and also my fianaces. But most of all it allowed me the freedom to accept the scary burden of being truly independent.

In late March my wife of 15 years (C") gave me 6 hours notice of her plan to move to Hawaii in order to live for an undetermined time with her "nurturing" sister. C intended to find a job that seems unavailable to her at home. C also abandoned my siblings and their families, my 4 grown daughters and their spouses, her own 2 childen and spouses as well as our 8 grand children. I told them them after C's departure. We are an unusally close family. Each family member was shocked and many both devistated and angered. The reaction of her daughter was more complicated C has suffered through severe mental problems for more years than I have known her and has begun the suicide process on more than one occasion. C was fired from her most recent position well over a year ago, not for any lack of talent or commitment, but because her inability to handle the stress of her professional responsibility made her an unstable employee. I have survived in rather heroic fashion. I have availed myself of a degree of stregth, courage and discipline exceeding my own expectations. I have been able to control my anger, shock, humiliation, fear, sadness to the extent that I am able to continue my emotional support to C. I have encouraged our family to come to their own conclusions and to each deal with their feelings. I have avoided self pity. I suffer my own depression, but I have functioned at a rather high level. I have enjoyed the peace of my home and the marvelous support of my family. I am rather proud of myself. I am too tired to continue. I assume I will return to the topic in response to one of the subsequent questions. I DONT KNOW IF I WANT TO SHARE.

My sister has become pregnant by a man that no one else likes. It has changed our family dynamic and not for the better. Hopefully with the birth of the child the rift will be healed.

My cousin came to live with my family. He's family by blood and all, but my mom is super private. She was uncomfortable the entire time, complaining to me, my bro and my dad, but being all nice to my cousin's face. She'd complain about having to do his laundry, but feared he'd break her washer and dryer. This was just one of many examples with comic similarity. In reality, she feared potential conflict and rather than addressing whatever with him, she complained to us to emotionally cathart and then took action (did his laundry, vacuumed his room, did his dishes, etc.), but did it with resentment in her heart. It reminded me that the apple didn't fall very far from the tree. Fortunately, life gives us daily opportunities to do things differently. Each moment. Like now. And now. And *this* now too!

My first born went to college. We have always had a tumultuous relationship. I was glad to have her go and get a dose of the real world and hopefully an understanding of how well she was taken care of, in spite of her parents being divorced. I missed her. But I pray to God that she grows up and turns into a warm, loving and caring human being. I also contacted my mother for the first time in many years. I said and wrote to her about the physical, sexual and emotional abuse that she and other people inflicted on me as a child. I was strong and proud of myself for finally confronting the bully that my mother is and the denial that she has lived in all my life. I know she was never and will never be the mother that I deserve(d). But I, to my personal detriment, some way have been a wonderful, world class mother. I have forgiven her. I wish her no ill will, but I know there is nothing for me there.

Getting accepted to Northwestern and spending time with my family in Israel have both been great milestones. It has made me more confident and out family closer.

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past June. There was all of this talk about how they never cheated on one another (do we really know this?), how my mom has been the source of all my dad's success (and yet he finds her lacking and worthy of criticism so often). Has it affected me? Perhaps in that I have taken stock of my own marriage -- wonder if they are all like this -- wonder if I can make it to 50 -- and I wish for something more. Last night, I was at a funeral of a friends' mother. They were all so in love and together. I don't feel that way--why?

My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Although a joyous occasion, it forced me to examine my own loneliness and to reflect on always be single, while my friends around me complained about their relationships. My parents met when my mom was 23 and my dad was 25. I am twenty and have no decent relationship to my name. I am a virgin, but more than that, I never see myself being married or loving someone as much as my parents love each other.

I went to New York with mom and after she had saved all the money and vacation to take me on the trip I was a complete brat and I was feeling so guilty the whole trip and once I returned. I really tried to change my behavior towards her, because even though she may be extreme at times she is my mom and I am so lucky to have her and she loves me more than anything and that is such a gift because I realized, some day she may not be here.

I moved back to my hometown to be closer to my parents and take over the family farm. It had a huge impact- building a new community, new relationships with my parents, change in work, etc.

One major milestone has been moving in with Anne, and redefining for myself the definition of family. I now see us as having our own family, which extends to our individual families. We have had to negotiate where and how we spend holidays, which has also meant that I have missed out on some of my own family traditions but have been able to be a part of hers. I anticipate that the meeting of the families this Thanksgiving will be a pretty major milestone.

My grandmother will turn 90 in just a few short weeks. I pray that I will have the good health and fortune to see my family grow for many generations.

I cant say anything has happened! Boring year!

My uncle has cancer...he may not be alive when I look at this response next year. That thought is hard to wrap my head around. The older I get, the more I'm aware of how fragile life is.

My sister-in-law became pregnant. It has brought me closer with my brother and patched almost all of the negativity between us.

My aunt and uncle and family moved to Belize for one year, and my brother went to a school across the country for a month. Even though it took a bit more of an effort to talk, it was great to see that our family can still be really close even when we are really far apart.

Milestone= g'ma in hospital. ALL IS FINE NOW> :D ummmm uncle will be getting married in a few weeks so that willl be awesome. also, my 16th soon. and yeah. :)))) Haha. I wonder if I will type differently in the future? :)

My grandmother battled (and beat) breast cancer for the second time in 15 years. She had to have a double mastectomy this time as well as chemo but she is now cancer free, thank God. After being in remission for 15 years and then finding out that she had breast cancer again, it was a very scary time for the whole family. She is not the only woman in my family to have had cancer and it concerns me for my own health. I'm only 22 but I feel as though I am just destined to get cancer as well. I thank God that all the ones in my family who have suffered from breast cancer have made it through and I hope and pray that a cure is found.

My daughter is now is the process of mediation to leave her marriage. The last year she has been really stuck in an unchanging cold war at home and it was really painful to watch and feel helpless about. Now at least, while it is still painful, very painful particularly because there is a 7 year old girl, at least the situation is on the move and towards hopefully something eventually better. My heart aches.

My wife converted to Catholicism, and my daughter had her first communion. I have never been particularly involved in organized religion, and found myself more and more attracted to the Church. I was involved in wife's conversion, which forced me to re-consider the reason's I was was (or wasn't) a practicing Catholic. I found that I enjoyed being a part of a spiritual community, even though I find myself at odds on particular views of the Catholic Church. But ultimately I find myself this year more focused on the spiritual side of my life, and working on a much better balance of family and work life.

After my stepmom found out about my dad cheating on her, a lot of hidden information came out into the open. Stories, secrets, explanations that I had not yet known - even between my dad and mom and their marriage. Although most of it was apinful to realize, it was a serious milestone because Ive always felt as though my parents have never been completely honest with me about everything and have tried to shelter me, but in doing so they created an environment of distrust and unease.

My sister dumped her waste of space boyfriend. Lots of things happend and the police were called.

THE major milestone that happened to our family is that we "discovered" more family members alive after the devastating losses of WW2. Our losses included 38 family members killed in the camps of Poland - my grandmother and my mother and father, his sister and family did survive. But we did not know that there were others, scattered throughout the world - London, Florida, Chicago, Stockholm, Los Angeles. We had a family "reunion" with 32 people gathered together, including my daughters and their families and my mother and sister and her family; a family from London, another from Florida, another from Los Angeles. We had a party at our synagogue here in Santa Barbara, where our Rabbi blessed this miracle (thanks to the internet) and a full weekend of "getting to know you". It has been so exciting for me, as I always felt a little alone in the world, and now we have extended family. We keep in touch with one another and my daughters have new cousins, and the grandchildren have new second cousins. It is simply phenomenal. I am so grateful.

My "family" is my close group of friends in New York. This past year we've had a couple of weddings, several newly minted PhD's and a brand new baby (today!). Although I haven't had any of these milestones in my life (yet!), I am hopeful and grateful to be celebrating alongside such a dynamic, talented, creative group of friends.

I guess the biggest milestone in my family was me moving out to college. Obviously it's affected me the most, but in a really good way. I needed time and space to be independent from my family and figure out who I want to be. Now that I've figured it out (almost) I just need to find a way to put those plans into action.

Rather than a fixed milestone, we've been settling in to a whole set of new roles in life. Adjusting to bhabhi coming in to the family, SKS settling in to being married and having a lot of responsibility, AYS not making it into RA and finding his feet at work, Papa trying to grow the business, issues with the erp etc, Ma trying to fit in the business with the family and juggle everything. Things with Delhi going more and more pearshaped, and I'm becoming more cynical by the day. It's a protection mechanism I guess. Also a lot more protective of Ma... feel like I have stand up for her when no-one else will.

My husband won't talk to his parents. Although I've never been close to them to begin with, it's hurtful to see him struggle with releasing them; acknowledging that they were not the parents he needed. I'm saddened by this. Our daughter ran away, and self injured herself again. This caltapolted us into a circle of help for her, and healing for all of us. It's made us closer. But I'm tired, hurt, and still angry that she did this to our family. Forgiveness seems to be a daily thing for me.

Hmmm maybe the most major thing is that I don't give my family enough attention. My grandmother went to an estate sale the other day only to buy me new silverware, but I did not go to her Labor Day lunch. I hope to spend more time with all of them, especially the little Ginny whom calls me LaLa now.

we reconnected with my extended family. It was a pretty big deal because we had been all but estranged for the past 4 years following my grandmother's death. I only have the one brother so growing up and getting to see my 4 other cousins was like having more siblings and that was fantastic. we always had a good time together. Not seeing them for years was heartbreaking. I felt like I didn't know them anymore, so getting on the path of becoming family again is a huge blessing.

My husband turned forty. We celebrated with friends old and new. We are in a great place in our lives and our relationship, but are struggling to balance staying put or moving up. Are we old enough to stay where we are in life (have we reached our goals?) or are we young enough to keep sacrificing to reach some other higher peak? Hard to know.

I'm from a family of five girls and I had four nieces until my first nephew was born this year.

My grandmother sold her house and moved near my mom in a senior residence place. It has been heartbreaking to watch my grandma decline, and my mom shoulder such a huge burden. I have felt guilty for being so far away.

Steve and Gideon just moved in with me two weeks ago. I'm both happy and overwhelmed; the house is chaotic, there are boxes hanging around in the living room, and Gideon with his Asperger's syndrome can be really challenging, but it's nice to have people in my house to talk to and have fun with. Steve's cooking is great, and while it's been a major change to go from a single woman with no kids to being a "stepmom" to a 13-year-old boy in such a short time, it's good for me and for him as well!

My mom was finally diagnosed with sleep apnea. It had been slowly taking away her personality, her energy, her will to even live, it seemed. I am hopeful that the diagnosis and treatment will bring her back to herself. I have been so angry that my parents have passively accepted their bad health as though it is all due to aging. I still consider them young and it frustrates me that they are acting old before their time. I want them to take good care of themselves and live life to the fullest. That's what I have decided to do for myself. This year marks a full year of almost daily cardio and strength training, and I have been a vegetarian for almost three months. I am determined to age not only gracefully, but actively, embracing everything life has to offer. I hope I am surfing at 80.

We held a military burial for my grandparents this summer. Our grandfather passed in 2005 and our grandmother this past fall. They were the rocks of our family and now that they're both gone, it seems like something is missing for me and for all of us. What was great is that all of their children could be present for the service and spend time together reminiscing about all the times we've had. I just really miss them and wonder if they knew how much I love them.

My sister got married. :) I'm so happy for her and it affected me by finally giving me a good brother.

Both of my teenage sons moved out of the house and went to University. This has been a huge shift in our family. Some good, some sad, but mostly just different!

My mother finally found another job. She is still looking for a second one, but the one she has now at least has Health Insurance. Her getting the job was almost a release for me in some sense, it was Maslow's Hierarchy of needs in the real world. I hope things continue to improve for my family on the economic side of things.

Well, I guess I'd have to say Josh & Sandy's wedding in June and Steve's 70th birthday in August. They didn't feel all that "major" to me but continued the cycle of family events that we are so blessed to enjoy together. The most major would have to be Steve's attaining 70 years as he is the oldest of that generation, only 7 years younger than I, the youngest of mine.

My daughter graduated from college and moved back home. She is in limbo about her future and currently does not have a job. I feel like I am constantly walking on eggshells when I am around her, as I never say the right thing. I understand her confusion and her mood swings- but it makes it very difficult to cohabitate.

Our eldest daughter is off to college. She had become frustrated with her need to grow more than she could in little old West Chester. She seems to be happy and thriving, even saying , "This is where I belong." Of course, we miss her terribly, and I'll have to check back next year to see how it affected us, because she's only been gone 3 weeks.

I came out as gay to the family who practically raised my younger sister and me. It didn't go well and now we're on bad terms. To make matters worse, my sister chose to side with them. I've decided to move on, though, and my partner and our close friends feel a lot like a family.

nothing really major. we live in this tiny apartment the size of a trailer home. all things considered i think we have survived it pretty well. but i do look forward to living in a bigger place soon.

Although I can't think of any major familial milestone, many small occurrences have taught me what growing up means, and how, although my life is not as intwined with theirs as it used to be, there is no feeling like knowing there is a group of people in the world who love me just for being me, and being born in their midst.

The most major milestone, and the one for which I am most grateful, was the 10-day road trip/ forgiveness journey I took with Dad last November.

Finally broke a toxic friendship and moved on. My life is simpler and the stress level is down. I no longer feel like a hypocrite.

Although we've been trying to get pregnant, we haven't. We instead started a corporation. I don't love the company yet. Maybe it's a kind of post-partum depression.

My sister-in-law's mother died. Now my brother and she are both orphans. We're next in line to leave the planet and enter eternity. I think this had served to draw us closer, made us more appreciative of our mutual affection and history, and made us realize that we have finished much of the caregiving work of our lives and are now looking ahead to years of needing others to give us that care. My brother was also retired against his will and they are facing financial challenges. Existence feels more fragile and precarious when you realize you are not in control of major events in your life.

my parents are about so separate and im 18 so ya im rlly tryin to figure out were im goin without relying on them.

Grandma's Alzheimer's has gradually got worse. She had a fall that made me realise that I was avoiding seeing her because it hurt me to see her. I decided to stop being selfish- she loves seeing me and I would only regret not seeing her more.

Both my mom and I had cancer scares this past summer. Thankfully, we are both healthy and the results came back normal. It was terrifying to think that I could lose her (and she could lose me) when we are all the other has in the world.

My son got engaged. Instead of it being a joyous culmination of his search for happiness, which, in turn, should bring me great joy, it has, instead filled me with sadness. I feel more distant from him, in large part because I cannot summon feelings of warmth--let alone love--toward his future wife.

Nothing, really. I think this is a good things, though.

So many.....New Dream house given to us by my Husband's Father whom we just met 7 years ago. Also a $40,000 inheritance from the paternal Grandmother whom we met at the same time. Also, the reality that I want a divorce, yesterday was our 10th Wedding anniversary. The hardest part is that my Husband is a Wonderful Man. We met and spent 5 years just us and our dogs. Then we had three Beautiful Children, all Birthed at home. The most Amazing Experiences have come from being with and Marrying this Man. But now, I want to reinvent the wheel concerning divorce. The thought of us not being able to be the BEST of Friends or not being able to talk about the Children is the real big thing....I want him to be able to walk into my house anytime, grab something to eat and the kids and then go to his house where I could do the same. I'm Visualizing this Peaceful Co-Existence for the Betterment of Myself, My Children, My Husband, My Friends & Family, My Village, My Fellow Humans, My Planet, and God.

My cousin left her husband and moved with her three kids back to her parents' house. They are all struggling to make ends meet, and my cousin can be confrontational and difficult at times, but I think on the whole it has brought our extended family closer together in an effort to spend time, help the kids and give my aunt and uncle a break. I am constantly in awe of how my mom, who has a demanding full time job, always seems to find time to take the kids on fun outings and lend an ear to my cousin--- I aspire to be as giving and available as she has always been!

My brother got re-married @ 45 years old. He's much happier now with his new wife. Unfortunately i couldn't make the wedding as it was 5000 miles away, and conflicted with surgery that I had been waiting 2 years to have. His marriage hasn't affected me, but I sure am happy for him and his family.

When I made the decision to start a new life in Houston, my parents supported me in all ways. Eventhough this meant to spend my money studying and moving. They had supported me everytime I make a decision. I don't need anything else if I have them in my life.

A little over a year ago when I found out I had cancer, I was thrown into a situation where at only 17 years old, I felt the appreciation of my mother the way an adult would. The morning after I flew home from medical treatment in Philadelphia I drove away to college, 3 hours south of my hometown. My mom didn't try and be overprotective from afar and while she showed concern, she also let me have my first year's college experience the way I would have hoped. Around Christmastime we got news from Penn State that genetic testing had come back from a sample they took of my original tumor, and while the cancer was very aggressive, there is only a 10% chance it will ever return. My mom and I had not, and probably will not ever again, share that kind of relief and happiness with one another.

My sister was married this past summer. While this isn't a huge change for us, they were together for five years, it was certainly a milestone. At the same time my entire family also met my boyfriend and helped him to feel like he is a part of a family, something he has never felt before.

I don't know that there's been a major milestone with my family this past year; as I've not been living with them. But my separation from my family, which is necessary for my attending university, has been a major milestone these past two years. It's forced me to grow into an adult, and the separation has made me realize how much I miss them, and how much I appreciate them when they're around.

My mother lost her job, her car, with no savings. And as a financially savvy person, I had savings and a job. Having to drop out of school to help my family has really humbled me and showed me that even when you reach the lowest lows, as long as you have family by your side, you can accomplish anything and start new beginnings. I have a newfound ardent faith and belief, compassion for people and for my family. I can always pick up where I left off at school but the guilt of letting my close ones perish while I succeed might have prevented me from success itself. I've learned to be grateful for what you have because you could lose it in an instant. But if you have faith, no loss will compete with the growth you're going to experience if you don't give up.

I chose to create a new life with my sweetheart, releasing many aspects of my previous life in the process. It was hard to do, and I had many moments where the losses involved seemed so much more obvious and real than the more abstract, not yet realized possibilities. Now that many of those things have been released, it will be much easier for us to create something better together. I am very curious - and hopeful - about how this next year will unfold. I don't think I have ever been in a better place with more encouragement to create good things, connect to others and be joyful.

Both of my parents lost their jobs. But somehow my mother has still managed to do whatever she can for us kids. She's amazing.

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 mother had a very tough year. Her book -- about 14 years of work -- came out, and shortly before, her best friend died. My mother has been widowed twice and losing her best friend was the ultimate devastation. I started answering this question with her book, because that was truly a milestone and I am proud of her, and I think she finally feels unburdened by a project that she seemed to enjoy less and less. But truly, it is now inextricably linked with losing her friend. It affected me in many ways. My mom has few real confidantes left and I am proud to be one of them. But we don't live near each other and that has been tough for both of us. I was also a major admirer of my mother's friend and had my own grieving to do. I have felt burdened, but mostly I've felt very very sad.

One big thing that happened to my family this year was that my mother's father passed away. Overall, it hasn't affected my day to day life too much, but emotionally and spiritually it helped a lot, as terrible as that may sound.

There were a couple...1st off, my daughter got married - I couldn't attend the ceremony and that made me incredibley sad; then we moved to my brother's house to stay and help him with some financial trouples. That was a happy thing. So the 2 cancelled each other out.

My older sister had her first child at the age of 43, she had a very difficult birth & both her and baby nearly died. It reminded me how much I love my sister. My daughter has become a teenager.... interesting... I love her even more & it's helped me unlock all the confusion of those years to witness how innocent they really are...

I realized that no matter how stupid and irritaing my mom can be, I do still love her. Even if she is still a religious psychopath.

My brother became engaged. Months away from the wedding, he cheated on his fiance. Having been cheated on, I was confronted with the balance of supporting my brother and, yet, believing the woman should leave him. The wedding was canceled and they eventually split after trying to work it out. My hope is to continue supporting them - separately.

My daughter, a professional writer, had her second book published this year and I am enormously proud of her. She appeared at a local book signing recently which was very successful.

My father continues to be ill. He had two heart attacks - the last one two years ago. Yet, he also has diabetes. I am very close to him and writing about the possibility of something happening to him makes me want to cry right this moment. I feel regret and distance for not living around the corner in Long Island. I'm only in NYC, but it matters. I've made my wedding for May instead of September and hope he is there to walk me down the aisle.

My mom and I decided to do intense therapy while I was in town for a week. We went to a psychologist once a day for 5 days and spoke freely about the past, present and future and in the end came up with a contract to improve our relationship via new behavior (main thing- letting go of responsibility of each other). Although we are still figuring out other ways to feel close (aside from taking on each others stuff) this has made me more free and able to see her as a person not a project.

Our niece and nephew were born last November. We also became pregnant this year and are expecting our son this November. All of these new little ones have brought so much love and joy to the family, and we are all awaiting the birth of our son with full hearts.

My parents have recently put my childhood house on the market. They are looking to downsize and move somewhere closer to restaurants, shopping etc. Because I don't live there any more it hadn't really hit me until yesterday. I realized at Rosh Hashanah dinner that there will likely never be another family gathering at the house. We have been getting together there for 18 years for Christmas, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and even Thanksgiving, and that era is over. I am excited for my parents but it is also so sad. Just as I move into what I consider to be my first real home after moving out, they are selling. It is another example of how fast adulthood has come on.

Birth of my nephew Thomas, it has made me grow up abit, and get more used to having babies around

One major milestone is that our eldest went to sleep away camp for a month. It gave us time to reflect on how much we love him, on how our family changed so much with one person missing. It also allowed my to grow, in that I had to give up control and protectiveness, a big thing for me. It showed the other kids that they can conquer their fears. Also,it made me less nervous about letting my kids try new things.

A major milestone. Well, my mother was diagnosed with uteran cancer -- something that scared all of us. I remember very clearly sitting on the floor in the hospital's waiting room with my laptop, trying to do anything and everything to distract myself from the fear that the doctor would come back and tell us that the cancer had spread to her lymphnodes. Thankfully, it hadn't, but now she has a disease that carries a gene for colon cancer. My brother and I might have it as well, but need to get tested. We'll know more in a few weeks... It's still very scary.

i started applying to universities and ive been on the deans list for the past 3 years!

Last year we visited my daughter who lives way across the country. We volunteered to watch our 3 yr old granddaughter while she worked. The child was a terror! There were daily tantrums when things did not go her way. With top of the lung screaming and kicking, lasting from 45 minutes to a couple of hours. We put her in her room during those times and tried to ride out the storm. Apparently, from a facebook post, we learned the child has continued with this behavior. We will not be babysitting this year when we visit. Hope it doesn't affect our relationship with the daughter.

We became parents and that has affected me profoundly. I can't be selfish any more. When the baby needs to eat or have her diaper changed or just be with mommy, I can't decide that having dinner with a friend or going to the bathroom is more important. Everything is centered around the baby so nurturing my relationship with my husband and friends takes more effort and intention. It has been difficult at times but I love my daughter so much and love my husband even more.

My daughter started first grade.

My husband had back surgery and found out he didn't have spondalitis. This has affected our whole outlook on life. It released a huge weight and created an amazing freedom. It has made us realize that the possibilities are endless. For me specifically, I am so happy my husband is healthy and working toward being happy and living his best life. It keeps me motivated to do the same. I keep getting the lesson that you have no idea what the future holds and God has way bigger plans than you could ever think up for yourself.

We had a family reunion for my father's side of the family. This was a big event, considering "the white side" of my family never before made an effort to get together. This was the first time I had seen many of them in years. I was afraid to see them at first, as if I wouldn't fit in. I don't even look like the rest of them. But when I went I felt welcomed. I met my cousin's children for the first time, the oldest of which was 15. I never realized I was connected to such interesting, dynamic people. I learned a lot about where I came from, just being near them. For a long time I had been trying to establish my own identity by rejecting where I came from, but I realize that much of who I am blossoms from that. In meeting them and getting to know them, I realized I am a part of something special, always. And that's what family is about.

Being in contact with my youngest daughter whom I have not had relations or contact with in 8 years. This is very emotional and the realization of what I have missed in her life as well as her sister and two brothers (who are not ready to be in contact with me).

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 entire relationship with my parents has changed as a result of mom nearly dying and then their divorce. This year has made me have to reevaluate what I think of relationships and trust, how I feel about my parents individually, what I do with my information and how I want to convey it to my family, what I want and hope for with respect to the future and how my family will be part of that... nearly everything. I feel like my life got turned upside down. It's been difficult for me to figure out how to start building trust again, even with people who were close to me before all of this happened. And I am certainly much less willing to be the one to do the work to keep relationship afloat, which has cost me some buddy and established friendships, but has also taught me that what I was worth to those folks, as they didn't reach back to me when I was finished reaching out to them. I guess part of what I've learned is how to close doors that I might otherwise have kept open out of fear. I am less afraid now. Though with that came a lot of pain.

I moved in with my boyfriend, my brother moved in with his girlfriend, my other brother still loved swimming and roadtrips. Our parents bought a cabin with many little cabins where my father can write the book he's writing for my mother and where I want to get married. We decorate, we talk on Sundays, life is the same but seems calmer, since the cabins saved my parents marriage and gave them space to get away from killing each other.

A major mile stone that happened this year was, my dad is in the process of losing his job. The plant where he works is shutting down and soon we will be living off of one income, my mothers. We have less money and now need to worry about what to spend on what and start asking the questions, is this needed? is this important? Soon I fear we will not be able to pay for my college education that is coming in two years and I need to know, will my life soon become different?

See Question 1. The decision was a difficult one and goes against my nature to stick to natural resources in problem solving, be it housekeeping, consuming, or health maintenance. I believe my decision to go forward with the surgery is the right decision—it just required a paradigm shift.

My Aunt finally got married last October. She's the only one in her family that hasn't gotten married yet - and they're all over 50 years old! It was great welcoming someone new into our lives, being part of a wedding, and growing together as a family. The transition from "my aunt's boyfriend" to "my aunt's fiance" to "my uncle" was seamless. It feels like we've known him forever. And since I don't really have a father, it's great to be able to turn to him whenever I need anything. I think we've also hung out as a family more and more because of their relationship. I love having a big family that's always there for me if I want to have a nice dinner or go to the movies or do family activities. Before, It was just me, my mom, and my little sister. Now, it's so much more!

My grandparents died, my father's parents. It was especially hard on him and his siblings since they all remembered the person their mother had been before her descent into dementia and illness. For me, it was harder when my grandfather died. No one expected that to happen. I don't know if I will ever stop missing him, or stop thinking "Oh, Grandpa would love that/doing that/etc." He was my favorite relative outside of my immediate family and I will always regret not knowing him better.

We bought our first house. We realized we are not cut out for yardwork. But we love having a space that is ours.

Then major thing that comes to mind was my sister-in-law and her family having to put down their beloved dog who was suffering with cancer. We all loved the "doggie" so it was sad. We all said our goodbyes and then waited until we heard it was over. Saying goodbye to people and pets we love is a hard thing. The only thing that eases the pain is if I know that the person is going to heaven. There are many people in my life that I'm not sure where their are going. It is my job to give them the information they need to make their choice and I don't think I've been doing a good job of that......

This past February, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer which had metastasized and spread through all the bones in his body. He was quite ill and so frail that he couldn't even lift pills from the countertop to his mouth to swallow. We all rushed to the hospital to spend time with my dad. My father did not want to discuss the present or future, and he just wanted to share stories about his youth and about the regrets that he had in his life. One regret was that when my brother and I were younger, my dad worked a full-time job and went to school at night for his PhD. As a result, he felt he did not spend enough quality time with us. We assured him that he was, in fact, a very good father, and I resolved to spend more time with him and with my own children. My father has responded well to his treatment and seems stabalized for now. This has given us an opportunity to spend more time togehter. I've also asked my dad to write an ethical will to share with me and my brothers any guidance, insighs or "life lessons" that he has accummulated over the 81 years of his life. I plan to draft my own "ethical will" to share my own values and insights with my 3 children as well.

I stood in the rain at the bottom of a stranger's garden and howled my eyes out, and crushed an apple into the ground and threw it over the fence. I wrote a blog post and strangers responded. I have long depended on the kindness of strangers; I love them beyond measure. My strangers have become some of my best friends. My dad is, and will always be, a total cunt. I hate that word but sometimes it's necessary. Please god, this time next year he is out of this black mood; I hope he is in an up, two days before my nineteenth birthday. Two days before my eighteenth he is a walking black hole of depression, and spite, and seedy philandering. I hope he's either pulled himself together, or she has left him. I can't bear to see him do to her and my boys what he did to me and Little Sister and Mama. She's not as strong as Mama. This is hot water. I can tell. By next year let her be stronger. Let him be better. Let my boys be as beautiful, as wise, as funny and as perfect as they are now. By next year let me have loved my internet strangers more and more. By next year let me have helped them as they helped me. Let me keep dealing with this as I am now. I am strong as my mother, please please.

The death of my 95 year old Father. It haas made me more aware of the fraility of man in the world.

My father passed away September 1st. It has made me realize that life is meant to be lived and also that what is in your heart may not necessarily be what's in other's hearts.

The two major "milestones" of the year have probably been, our youngest son starting college and our oldest son becoming a father. How have they affected ME? They've both made me feel kind of old. They've both made me hope that they were both raised well enough to handle their futures, and the futures of their future FAMILIES. Both milestones made me think back on my own choices in life, sometimes with a smidgen of grief over loss, and sometimes with an inner knowing of "things are as they should be," and "there is a reason." I think both things have had a pretty deep psychological affect on me as a mother.

My eldest daughter got married, but a bigger milestone in terms of impact was losing my job in January. There are no jobs out there for a white 59 year old male. We are selling the house and starting a new life.

All I can say, as I've been for the past couple of days, is that my son changed everything, not only with my wife and I, but also with our own families. I haven't seen my own parents so happy in years.

Well, my mom had 2 cancer scares, thankfully it's not, and my great grandfather died in January. At first it was really depressing and i didn't want to leave the house. But, now everything is good and all that's happened as made me stronger.

My little brother graduated from college. I went to the ceremony and stood in a special photo taking area so that I could give him a high five on his way up to the stage. He just sort of nodded at me and scooted by really fast, but several of his classmates (my former students) were really excited to see me. It was a little disappointing.

Son Sean got engaged. Brought great Joy to everyone. Mother in law Mildred died. Sad but life is simpler

My relationship with my dad being culminated around his depression, as a lot of it had to do with his job, but a major factor had to do with me leaving for college out of state. We've never had the best relationship and this for the most part showed me it was something I needed to work on, ultimately ending in me realizing family isn't the only constant you can rely on.

I honestly can't think of a milestone my family has gone through in the past year which is really freakin sad.

I hugged my father without hesitation. I allowed myself to feel his warmth as a father. I accepted my mother for her great qualities rather than from my distorted view of my family dynamics. I focused on the important aspects of my family. That they love me unconditionally and have been there to support me and what I feel is right for me. Forgiving myself and forgiving them for there mistakes.

I got engaged, then called it off. I finally said "yes" to Ray, a first in 62 years and then found out he wasn't the person he presented himself to be. I was totally fooled. I didn't see the lies. Maybe it's because I didn't want to lose the lifestyle he offered me. He promised me financial security including a home in Nahant of my choosing, travel, no worries about money, and an adoring husband. None of those were realistic. When I found out he'd been lying about pretty much everything, I broke the engagement. I might still have ownership of a timeshare in St. Maarten, but he might have blown that as well. Oddly, he didn't break my heart but he did put me in a difficult situation due to closing my "business". My income was lost when we broke up, his promise to take care of me broken. It has brought me to the place I now find myself in, broke and soon to be homeless, or at least leaving the place I love more than any other place I've lived. If I were marriage phobic before, and had intimacy problems, I am now of the belief that I will never find anyone I can trust and give myself to in any meaningful way. I've learned a lesson but at a great cost.

There's been nothing major that really impacted me. My family (Sister and her children) live 6,000 miles away. Lot's of things go on in their lives that I'm not part of and vice versa. For me, personally, I have a going level of dissatisfaction with my life. Am going to be thinking about it a lot of the next few weeks.

This past year has been such a happy one for the whole family. My husband is goingg on his third year alcohol free! We are so proud of him for giving it up, and now he is the husband I always knew he could be. Our children see how well we get along now, and they do not have to ever see him drunk and sleeping on the couch ever again!

My grandmother recently moved into assisted living, and the move has been difficult on her and on the rest of the family. She has felt depressed and stressed, often resorting to denial. I've really struggled with how to handle it, because I really don't know how to act and I want to be supportive but feel like my hands are tied. I also wasn't able to be there for the move, and while I tried to call my family frequently and check in, it's definitely not the same. I wish I could have shared in the burden more, but I'm really pretty isolated since I live so far away. I haven't seen my grandmother since the move and her mental and physical struggles have really shaken me, but I'm looking forward to being home for a little while soon and hope I can keep supporting my family emotionally even while physically distant.

The father of my children moved out. I'm so much happier to not have him around 24/7 but he still hurts so much that I'm still having to put up with his complaining. Its rather like he never left at the moment. Except the peace at bedtime...

My father hurt my brother very badly. We all want to accept my dad for who he is, but if we can all make changes in how we treat people and ourselves, can't he? I don't feel too affected, but I feel sad for my brother and his family. I got over wanting my dad to get better 20 years ago.

I keep milling over the events in the last year. The only big milestone I can really think of is the passing of my cousin Andy. He and I were about the same age. He had a lot of health issues. He was severely diabetic and was not in the greatest of health at all. As it is my understanding right now he had been through a few surgeries on his legs and feet due to the diabetes and also on his eyes. He was around my age though. Which led me to think a lot about my health. I'm not in the greatest of health at all. I'm slowing gaining more weight and I don't exercise at all. I get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs. Dealing with supposed kidney problems a while back left me in a weird state of mind. I often wonder how much longer I can go without making a significant change in my day to day life.

This has been another rough year for my family. My mother announced that she intends to buy a studio in Charlottesville and move there after my sister graduates high school. My dad is heartbroken and is trying to avoid reality, while my mother is just further alientating herself from her kids.

My sister (I'm the 2nd of three girls) got married & had a baby. My older sis already married & has baby. So milestone is...I'm the only one in immediate family not married & no kids. I'm not in mommy club as I've been told 'you don't understand you aren't married and don't have children'. The irony is I was the responsible one growing up, mature for my age, and I've always wanted to be married with kids. So its sad, feel left out alot. I would love to be married share my life with someone just not in the cards yet!

My daughter spent 6 weeks away over the summer for the first time. It showed me how much I missed her and how much I value her being in my life.

Being unemployed, I am being emotionally supported by my family which is very comforting. My little sister was unemployed, now employed, but my little brother faces unemployment now, too. No one is freaking out, we are all being supportive which helps in thinking more clearly.

My mother was dianosed with lung cancer. My father and her were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in Italy when she was sent to the hospital for some testing. Upon returning to the states, she under went further testing which revealed cancer in the lung. It was removed and she went thru cemo and radiation treatments. Today she is doing wonderfully! My father took it the hardest, seeing his bride go thru this. Im not too sure how it affected my brother but for myself, I dont think I took it as serious as it was. I am an idealist and knew everything would work out for the better in the end. I LOVE YOU MAMA!

My mother's cancer made me realize that my biggest regret is that I don't have much of a relationship with my family. I'd like to work on correcting that in the coming year.

My 21 year old brother who is 7 years younger than me went through a complete nervous meltdown. Coincidentally was home for an extensive period for the first time for 13 years to study for the bar. I feel lucky to have been able to be there for him and to support him through it. It brought us much closer together than we have ever been.

My nana moved back to Windsor. It's made me want to hang out with her more because she's closer, but I still havent done that as much as possible. I don't want to regret not making an effort so I'm going to.

Nothing bigger than having a positive pregnancy test on June 29th after my first round of IVF. This is only the beginning of how my life will change drastically in the coming months. For now, I feel a sense of fulfillment, because I wasn't sure if I was ever going to bear a child naturally.

Our son was born two months ago. The strange thing is that his arrival didn't feel like an arrival - it felt like he'd always been here, always been part of our family. Only now we can see him and hold him and love him directly.

My son, age 30, broke up with his girlfriend of 4 years' standing and seems content with his decision. His dad, sister and I all think this was for the best, that his heart wasn't in it. He seems warmer towards us since this happened, and more open. Hope he winds up with someone he deeply loves -- and I wouldn't complain if she turns out to be Jewish (sue me).

I think a milestone was reached during my great grandmother's funeral. The entire family was represented. I have never seen my family so intune, so united. Yes, it was sad that it caused the death of our matriarch to bring us together, but since her death, we as a family have been whole. It has affected me by allowing me to be closer and more intimate with my family members.

My father lost his jaw to cancer and he can't talk anymore. I had all of that time to get to know my fater, but now it is too late.

I turned 50 just over a month after celebrating my daughter's 1st birthday. Some of my friends with children are working on grandchildren now. My wife constantly teases me about being old and old-spirited. she may be right but in my mind, I'm "old-ish" only compared to some. I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying the journey with our baby and how little I resent having my life completely turned upside down. Now if only I could do something about those gray patches on top of my head.

No, thankfully no one have died this year yet. But I had a wonderfull summer vacation with my parents and that made me realize that I can not imagine living without them

My nephew had a Bar Mitzvah and we had a family reunion of sorts. It was the first time in a long time that everyone got along and truly enjoyed each other. I especially enjoyed being with my nieces and nephews since I do not have children of my own.

My husband and I bought a house this year (just this last month). It's been exciting and stressful in ways that I expected and didn't expect. It's been stressful because it seems so perminate. If I don't like my neighbors or if the neighborhood goes downhill or if my husband or I get a new job on the otherside of town I can't move easily. I hate that. It makes me worry about the neighborhood a lot more and about things like mold, not enough insulation and getting water in the basement. I worry more. It's been exciting because we really get to make our home our own, and get a dog, set up a kick-ass yard (I hope) and have a basement and garage for the first time. The extra space has been amazing!

My cousin Josh enlisted in the army after months and months of mulling it over and fighting with my aunt. It made me realize how lucky I was for having a stable immediate family; I never felt like I was willing to die to get away from my parents or siblings. I'm overwhelmed with pride that he's serving our country and made the most of his situation.

My girlfriend's brother is moving to Texas with his wife and two children. It is causing a lot of stress and unhappiness in the family. They are planning to move before the holidays.

We had to give up our cat, Buffy, because she was peeing all over the furniture and the carpet. We tried all sorts of herbs and other remedies, but nothing seemed to work. For a while we thought we were going to have to put her down, because no one would want a cat who peed in the house. We cried and agonized for weeks. Then we sent her to live with my husband's parents, but she ran away. Again, the pain was awful as we imagined how she might have died. Then she mysteriously showed up at my in-law's neighbor's. I've therefore been thinking a lot about responsibility, mortality, and the pain of letting go of someone (even if it is a cat) that I love.

My brother got married. Through all his ups and downs, with my parents despairing of him ever growing up, he's matured into an amazing man. With the addition of his sweet, gorgeous wife and her two wonderful boys, our family feels complete.

My father became a priest. My sister's aren't accepting it well, but I'm SO proud of him!

Major milestones were the kids' birthdays. I'm sad that this is the 2nd year in a row that we don't celebrate Ben's b-day with a party. Next year I'll plan better over the summer! It's effected me by feeling guilty. yeah, he's only 5 and I don't really think he "needs" a party... we're going apple picking and eating lunch out.

A major milestone with my family this year was when we all got together in Austin, TX. We have gotten together in Florida every so often - but for the first time my family was being exposed to Halley's world. It affected me because I felt for the first time how I could be a leader in my family - and how it would be nice moving forward to be the one to bring together my family - rather than feeling victim to Mom and Dad's lives. Moving forward I would like to create a space of joy, comfort, and safety for myself, avoiding old feelings of helplessness that were once created in a broken family since I was five years old. It makes me feel good that I am moving toward a direction of gluing together the missing pieces - to make something that was once separate - now complete - to be filled with joy and happiness. That is what family is for.

My brother married his long-time girlfriend, but I'm not certain how much it actually affected me. I suppose that since my younger brother is now the married and employed son then his stock may be higher than mine, but my father has never played favorites. Other than that, it's been a quiet year on the family front.

My stepmom and father had children at 50. At the time I believed this to be one of the stupidest ideas of their lives. After seeing them grow into little people and watching the family dynamic for my brother change, I feel that the decision has been helpful to us all and that life is a better place.

My grandpa died. He was very close to all of us and was very much the head of the whole family. I think we all feel like lost sheep now. The grief has passed for some of us, but not all of us. Its still eerie to think about how he lived his life and its over. I think it made me think about death in a different way and life too. Death is so permanent, and life is so short - and there must be more after you die.

Around the holidays last year, I suggested to my grandmother that she look into her stake in the family farm, which could potentially become much more valuable because of natural gas drilling in our area. From that conversation, my family started having regular meetings, hired a new lawyer, and organized a farm trust, with members from every branch of the family in different roles as president, VP, secretary, etc. It made me feel that I was able to make an impact on my family, that my opinion mattered, and more importantly, that my time and concern made a difference. It really made me feel involved in a family I'd pretty much written off for being so geographically and culturally distant from me. It also showed me how much my family can do with just the small seed of an idea. I'm great at coming up with ideas, but I often fail to put them into action, so I am very impressed when they tell me all of the work they've done and progress they've made.

It has been two years since my little sister (my only family member left,) and I have been estranged. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her.

Our youngest turned 21. That made me realize that I don't need to be supporting anyone for much longer and gave me hope.

in the run up of me preparing for university me and my mum have definitely gotten closer, we have been doing more things together and i have realised how much she loves me and how much she would do for me. i'm really going to miss her when i'm gone.

My grandfather died and my grandmother moved in right next to my parents because she cannot live on her own. It has strained the relationship with my mother and me to some extent because my grandmother is a very complicated person and my mom tends to be on her side without questioning her or her actions. My dad is more like me so I tend to side with him... not an easy situation. I've had to take a stand and stay with it, make my family understand why I think what and so on. I think in the long run it will make us stronger.

This has to be my marriage to Kate. Simply a fantastic day and honeymoon. A wonderful time which everyone enjoyed. The cost of the honeymoon is something of a burden though...

My Father in law at the age of 82 fell on his head and suffered extensive brain injury . He was thought to be near death and doubtfully ever to regain cognitive function .Happy to say , He showed them ! He can walk , speak, and continue with assistance to lead a life of some joy ! We all went through a glimps of our own mortality and those things truly important in life such as Love , Family, and a sense of usefulness !

I finally got it that the remaining members of my family of origin were never going to see me outside the mould that had been cast for me as the eldest in a big family. Except my closest sister who, sadly, had died 8 years ago. I've got past the anger and most of the sadness and now am occupying a new mental space which has freed me to explore other options for happiness in my life.

My mother got remarried. She's a completely different person now: nice, friendly, happy. She was the picture of a bitter, aging widow for the past 15 years. It's like having a whole new mom. It's nice to think that, what with her getting older, I don't have to worry about her being alone anymore. Even if he voted for President Bush. Both Bush's, both times.

Went to stay with my oldest son, Oliver in Syracuse with his brother, Lucas and it was an eyeopener. Really wonderful. O was the most gracious host. We had such a lovely time and a good bonding experience for Lucas. O is 23 now and has seemed to come around to himself. He had a tough time for a while and now is so straightened out and more in the world, more responsible and thoughtful. Really a pleasure. Thanks in part to his girlfriend, Natalie I'm sure.

My daughter turned 16 and got her drivers license. She has always been fairly independent, but now she doesn't need the chauffeur service! She drives to school, dance team, dance class, and to her new job - teaching dance class. What's more - she can take her brother when it's their dad's night or weekend - no more wondering what time (or if) he'll show up to get them. Just this small thing ends over 12 years of weekly stress and confrontation. I think a collection of moving boxes is starting to pile up in my nest...

My younger sister (the fourth of five children) graduated from college. I'm happy that she's settled into a relatively more responsible phase of her life, but I hope that she doesn't forget that she should also enjoy it. Now that she's moved on to the next phase in her life, I am motivated to move on to new challenges, adventures, both personally and professionally. I will apply to the JET program this year and will look for new opportunities in anticipation of graduating from graduate school next spring. : )

My younger brother had a baby with his girlfriend, a beautiful girl, and got married. They have continued to take advantage of my parents, despite the trouble it has caused their marriage. It has made me realize the things that I do that are not so different from them, and start to step out from that. Also that there will be a need in Annabella's life for role models and positive influences. I hope to be that.

A big milestone that has been reached with my family is that I think we're all starting to really realize that we are different people, and we are all growing up (me, specifically) and becoming who we really are. It's good we are growing up, but I worry that as this goes, we will grow even further apart then we were before.

My mom turned 65, after having beat cancer. She went from my mom, who annoys me and drives me nuts and makes me snap, to being my mom who is closer to my grandmother and her quirks, although annoying, don't get me so upset. They still drive me nuts, but I am seeing more of a child due to her age, but also due to her deteriorating health, even after beating cancer. I feel like I have another person in my horizon I must be ready to care for.

My wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary on her birthday in late July. Being married to the woman I spent too many years, alternately chasing and then running away from, for 20 years has been the crowning achievement of my life.

My husband turned 70. The event was joyous in that we planned, organized and celebrated with our sweet son and daughters, our fab grandkids and our dear bro/sis-in-law and their wonderful sons, partners and kids....We serendipitiously discovered the venue, a sprawling ranch in Oregon, cattle, pine trees, two spacious, comfy houses with views of the lake....idyllic. The depth of how touched I am by the time we spent together goes beyond my ability to express....these people feed my spirit...they have no idea how meaningful they are to me. Watching the "children" grow into caring, giving adults and amazing parents is a feast for my eyes and heart. Their dad is perfect. And he has brought to my life this legacy....given the periods/events of sadness that families have to endure at various times in life, this was a miracle of lovliness and I feel profoundly grateful.

My oldest brother moved out. Even though we drive each other insane we're a really close family and having my brother move out made me realize how much my siblings mean to me.

My youngest daughter went to college. It was harder than I thought it would be. I had an aching for both my daughters and moments of their childhood.

My wife turned 50, 10 years of good health since her MS diagnosis and we celebrated 25 years of marriage. All make me grateful to have her in my life.

My Mom turned 70 in August. I wanted to have a big bash for her milestone, but she said no. I was terribly disappointed at first because I felt she deserved it and I wanted to really celebrate her achievements. But, I concluded that the best thing I could do for her was act like an adult and accept that it was her big day and so, her wishes for how to mark it should prevail. I think I really earned her respect by not pushing my position. It was a turning point in our relationship and she seems to have been treating me as more of an adult since. As sorry as I was not to "fete" her, I think the ultimate outcome has been very positive and I feel quite good about it.

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.

Well my family isn't really a part of my life. I don't trust anyone in my family. the only real family member I have is a boy I am sponsoring in Zambia.

My brother went to Honduras for a mission trip. He just really seems to have matured alot and we're closer because of that.

Nothing has really happened in my family.I havent seen anyone i truly care about in so long,i stepped away from whatever was going on

My mother's 80th Birthday - I suddenly realized she may not be here for much longer - We live in different countries I must make it possible to get home to visit more often

Our Son graduated from High School. It combines excitement and loss as he prepares for University. I'm more excited than he is (on the surface). He also turned 18, so a lot of my memories of him have been drifting through my mind.

My older sister moved out of the house and into her own. Not only that, but she's pregnant. In the same month, my mother and my younger brother moved an hour and a half away. It made me realize how much my family is changing and how different life is going to be. And also, a glimpse of my future when I move out of the house. It made me appreciate my family and the time I have left with them just living across the hall instead of across the country.

I am in the first serious relationship of my life, and I have flown out form under my parents wings. Though they still support me, I am on my own, living a life that they are physically only a small part of. It took them some time to realize that though we are not together, they still mean the world to me. It took me just as long to realize how much I still need them.

Mum turned 65 and Dad is just about too. Reflecting on how I am now the age they were when I was at school. Now that I have a son age 6 and growing up so quickly I am reminded how life marches on so quickly and how important my family is to me. I feel like I need to speak to and see Mum and Dad more often while I still have the opportunity. Lighting a candle for my Nan in a church in Cancale whilst on holiday this summer - as I did last year - I texted Mum to tell her I was thinking of her Mum and got a heart-wenching reply saying that you are never too old to miss your Mum.

Dealing with multiple deaths in the family and pushing someone into finally being on there own. It has made me stronger and moved my life forward.

My father died. The one person I could always count on to make me feel loved. I miss him. And because of the way my stepmother chose to deny his declining mental status and the needs that accompany same, he needlessly suffered in the end.

My dad and siblings went on a cruise with our stepmom and stepsiblings, and it brought us all a lot closer together. I get along with them a lot.

We got stronger.

I went to college this year. For the first time ever, I left my family and had to forge some sort of path on my own. Admittedly, it's still very new to me - I'm not independent yet. I skype call my family once a day, cause I can't stand the thought of not seeing their faces. When it strikes me that they're not around, I get very close to depression. I'm not quite ready to grow up yet, and I don't think they're quite ready to let me. Let my adulthood begin.

Not a milestone, but after many years of practically no communication, my sister reached out to me. I responded with kindness and support. However, as it turns out, I now believe it was once again only for selfish motives on her part - -she wanted something for me. However, as much as I dislike her, for the first time I felt pity and compassion for what an unhappy, lonely, and scarred person she is and existence she has, and I was grateful to notice the change in myself.

My son was born. That started a powerful rollercoaster. His presence was amazing and overwhelming. Postpartum depression was doubly overwhelming. My husband and family and chosen-family-of-friends coming to my aid was equally so. I'm still marveling at how deeply my life has been changed by the experience of becoming a mother -- becoming his mother, specifically. Getting to know this small, demanding, beautiful little person who grew inside my body and then emerged nine months ago. Pretty amazing. It's definitely changed my relationship with God.

Again, I point to the loss of my daughter, my brother-in-law and my cousin. Their deaths have brought more sanity into our lives, and allowed us to appreciate the small things we can do to make our family time more meaningful.

My grandmother died this year. It has taught me to respect life.

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.

don't want to sound like a broken record... but my son and daughter-in-law had a baby boy! game changer.... we all smile when we think of him and can't wait to watch him grow as we mark time.. yea that's it... marking time with a new birth is what people used to do in the family bible.... so we are marked for life... L'Chaim

My mom--after years of encouraging her to retire at a decent age--is officially retiring at the end of September. Since March, she's been using up paid leave and starting semi-retirement. I've been so happy to know that she can spend days of leisure at home with my dad. I also like that I can call my parents' up any time of the day and chat them up. I'm thankful for all the years she worked 2-3 jobs, sacrificing her own time to relax and even remotely try to be selfish.

My dad started spending more time with me this year. We talk on the phone but the in person is so different you know hes paying attention when hes looking at you. Makes me feel like im his kid not just someone he knows. It made me realise that just because you know someone your whole life they can still suprise you and old dogs can learn new tricks.

Joshua (Alan's nephew, soon to be my nephew) was born this year. It made me realize how wonderful Alan would be with kids, and how much it would mean to him. We are both really happy with our lives WITH OUT children right now, but eventually I think it would be something we would both enjoy and be quite good at. I have become closer with my in-laws, and have continued to get closer to my parents. I am really proud of my brother's accomplishments and character, I have a wonderful family which is constantly doing wonderful things!

I don't know if a "milestone" exists. The biggest event of the past year was the passing of my brother. It's been working on me for quite some time now. It will ultimately help me be a better person... and I know in many ways I've been correcting a lot of the mistakes of my past. To me the key is to stay the course, keep on track, and relentlessly pursue my goals (which still need to be written down). But I am getting better at taking action, even though at times, it hard to see it.

This year we added two dogs to our family. Somehow it made everyone's mood so much better. The dogs just give this calming feeling and it makes the whole family really happy. It's just so fun having them around. They are both so cute.

My parents celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary. I think this just shows that there is such thing as true love with the right person and even from a fairly young age. This gave me more faith in the human race and my own future (hopefully with my lovely boyfriend).

A major milestone with my family? Guess that would just be the continued accomplishments of the grandchildren which reflect on their parents. I've been proud of them, wanting to be closer than I am.

A family member committted suicide which brought my sister and I a litlle closer.

I turned 65. I had to relinquish middle age and realize I am, as someone eloquently put it, in the 4th quarter of my life. I am much less willing to waste opportunities for enjoyment and am taking full flavor out of all I do..

My parents are not realy talking to their nieces and nephews any more.. this has not affected me because I don't really care about them.

I can't think of a milestone my family had this past year, which makes me think that we need to set goals and move our family forward. It makes me sad to think that we've not had any accomplishments together!

Hm, it wasn't really a year of any major milestone. Maybe ... Elder daughter performing in Nutcracker Ballet. Gave me/us more continuing ed in facilitating kids' extracurriculars & the commitment it can take. Also was a sweet family focal point, and a good lesson for the kids that they can be adored in other ways once they've outgrown the "cute little kid" phase.

As a mother of two young children, this year has been one of on-going identity change. Feeling into what I am supposed to be doing, as a professional person, when ready to step forward. I used to create national media to be seen as a reaction to feeling invisible as a little girl. That strategy no longer fits, nor does it work any longer. I have developed important skills along the way, however, my body, mind and soul won't let me do what I used to do any longer. I've been grasping to define my work life inside the safe bubble of early parenthood, which has been a safe haven. Today I just received an EIN number from the IRS. I am going to get a bank account for the new storytelling business my husband and I are creating. Feels scary. Feels far from what I've done and yet so close. I wonder what will happen with this entity one year from now. Hmmmmm.....

My family, all four of us, were able to be in Israel together. Wow, what an experience. It made me even more grateful for the 3 of them in my life and how our differences make us an even stronger unit. It was difficult at times, and definitely emotional, but I think we're all stronger because of our shared experiences there!

Our daughter is turning from a toddler to a girl, our son from a baby to a toddler. I have gone from being mother of a newborn on maternity leave to working mom. We have had to rethink our family identity and adjust to find the right balance. We're still looking for that balance, but we're getting closer.

My mother had to have her left lung removed. She had a tumor that was taking up most of the left lung. It was such a hard process for all of us. I had to take off from work for 2 months and care for her. I was so afraid that she was not going to make it.... seeing the humanity of my mother caused me to realize that life is unpredictable and we never know when our last breath will be. I had the blessing of seeing how loved my mom is and what an impact she has made on the world around her. I got to be blown away by the love of my friends and to gain a deeper sense of the need to value and love those around us while they are still with us. I thank God that my mom is still alive and that I get to hug her and hear her voice still. I am blessed!

I think my mom getting a new full-time job has definitely changed us. She used to work for a school, so she had summers, holidays and afternoons off. Now she works 8-5, and it has put a toll on our family in some ways, but as long as she's happy, i'm happy.

I can't think of a major milestone in my family. My partner and I have been together 13 years now which is great, but not sure it qualifies as a milestone. I sometimes feel too lucky.

My 60th birthday. I don't think I have my mind around it yet...it seems so old! I may eventually panic but so far so good!

My sisters and I have become even closer this past year, we talk at least once a week and it is a wonderful feeling. They have been there for me and I hope to someday pay them back for all the support they have given me. They always believe in me and have my back.

I have always been proud of what a strong, cohesive family I come from. We rarely fight, stay in touch, and genuinely enjoy seeing each other. That's why I was so shaken when my two older sisters got into an argument over what seemed like nothing but quickly escalated into the kind of rift that only happens in other families. They didn't speak for almost a week, there was threats of canceling our Thanksgiving celebration, long held grudges were brought to the surface in a frightening manner and there were threats of never speaking again. They did make up within the week but it made me think about how fragile seemingly strong ties can really be underneath the surface. I'm not sure their relationship will ever be the same and it worries me that another seemingly silly disagreement could cause even more lasting damage to our family.

My parents celebrated their twenty fifth wedding anniversary. This made me think about my future and who I might marry. I know that my mum met my dad when she was nearly eighteen and they have been in lve ever since so I hope to find someone that perfect too. It also meant I spent my first holiday home alone which made me consider how student life will be. I have decided I can cope with it.

My dad bought a house. I never thought that he'd get his shit together enough to. For once in my life, I'm a little proud of him.

My grandfather died. This really affected me in particular because my grandfather had been researching a book that I'm now expected to write.

there were so many major milestones that happened this past year, it's hard to pick just one. I think the one that most affected me was the moment when we got the call that my grandmother had passed away. I remember just 15 minutes earlier I had gone into the bathroom and was hit with an overwhelming sense of sadness and I started to cry. when i had finally calmed down enough to leave the bathroom I headed into my mom's bedroom, halfway there the phone rang, my mom and I answered it at the same time and normally i would just hang up but for some reason i decided to stay on the line. The call was from hospice saying that my grandmother had passed away 15 minutes ago. I don't think i'll ever forget that moment and I miss her more each day.

Our entire family gathered twice, in the last year, at Our oldest son, his wife, and their two sons (our grandsons) home. Our daughter and her husband, our youngest son, their Mother and her present husband. At Christmas and a second time to see our youngest son off to a semester of college in Europe. I find such pleasure in watching all of us interact.

My sister graduated from college this past year. She was the youngest so now my mother is having empty nest syndrome and wants us to come home every chance that we get.

Getting pregnant has made me a stronger advocate for myself, while also bringing me closer to my partner. I have learned that, even when my hormones are raging and my emotions are on high, I can take a breath, listen and then respond, rather than reacting in a hot-headed, impulsive way. The combination of my being more in my own corner, while also being more open to listening to others, is helping me create more fluid relationships with those closest to me. And it also leaves me feeling much healthier within myself.

Great Aunt Lily died recently. Didn''t know her too well, but the funeral was moving. Lots of people were quite upset, and I as harsh as it seems, I got a microwave for my new flat.

Kimberly Ann Cohen Westmiller became Kimberly Ann Walters... The announcement of the engagement was hard, the party was fun, the bachelorette party was fun/gross/weird, the wedding weekend was great- a lot of fun, and the whole thing wasn’t so terrible. My mom, hated it all (thought she was treated like dirt, not my problem). Tandy and I have decided to give Justin a second chance and forgive him for all this past misdeeds (he did buy me a shot after all). I’m just nervous about their future. I hope it is filled with happiness- I hope they stay together forever and make a happy life, I hope Kim doesn’t get lost along the way. I will be more nervous when they get pregnant, bring a new life into the world and how Justin will respond to that. It is weird to have my sister now be someone else- she is no longer Kim Westmiller and we are no longer the Westmiller sisters. Maybe it’s weird because Tandy and I do not have boy friends and are not on the marriage path, maybe its because I know I will do things much differently than she did. Maybe it’s weird to me because they are not Jewish. Either way, I’ll get used to it; she’s Kim Walters of the Walters family, my biological sister who lives up north who has a giant ring of diamonds on her finger and a trust fund from her mother-in-law. I still love her with all my heart and still want to make a better effort to go and see her more often! Tandy helped me think of another one, my parents going into forbearance and borrowing tons of money from other people. They sold my Grandmother’s wedding ring diamond that I was hoping would be mine one day, not for monetary reasons, for sentimental reasons- I will never forgive my parents for that. Now that I have moved out of the house (be it only a few months), I think the rift that has occurred between my parents and me will forever leave me colder to them then in the past. The fact that I was one of the last people to know what was happening, hurt, the fact that my mom is stupid and ruined my graduation, hurt, the fact that even therapy with my mom could not open her up to her own problems and how she could fix them, hurt, having her hear that if she did not see these things that this rift would occur and said she was fine with that, hurt. There was a lot of hurt from them this year and this is something I will deal with on my own to be able to continue my life and be happy regardless of the choices they make with theirs. Unfortunately, my sister continues to live with the financial burden of their choices and in the future I will be sure to help her financially whether she likes it or not because she has helped me so much in the past. So bottom line is my parents suck, but their not homeless, but they suck!

My cousin turned 18 years old, graduated high school, and enlisted in the United States Army. While most kids his age take a year off of college and work part time, just work part time and go to college with no clue how to pay for it and having no direction on what to do for a career, or do nothing but party, he's got a career in mind as a doctor, taking the money Uncle Sam is giving him for working, and saving the money from school and using it for school. Our grandpa would be so proud of him - I know I am.

My ex son-in-law was released from jail for stalking my daughter and wonder of wonders has spent this year maintaining his sobriety, his anger management and other therapies and has re established a relationship with his children (my grandchildren) and his ex wife (my daughter) that appears to be mutually gratifying for all parties. I am particularily content and relieved with this miraculous turnaround, since i no long think my daughter is in physical danger from him and she is much happier as are the children. He will never be completely trusted or considered totally safe from my perspective, but I sleep better at night, knowing she is not in fear for her or the childrens' safety.

My brother got married this year and they showed me what true love looks like.

My uncle got married. Its cool because I have an awesome new aunt. :)

I don't know if anything could be classified as a major milestone this year, except this was the year that I lay on the couch in the dark for a year and then one day got up and got a teaching job. So I guess that's it, that's the milestone. And I'm gazing at it having completed my first day of teaching at my new school. So there's some vertigo there. But some pride as well, I guess, for having a good, prepared day.

My son became more social while my daughter less so, a bit of a flip from what had been the norm in our family. It made me shift attention and think about what my goals are for my kids.

Families in Sweden and The US got a lot closer through the common Cruise in Dec/Jan

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.

I have been faced with many challenges! Married life, friendships, family, and work have all been very difficult to balance. I love being married to George although my new relationship has had an effect on all of my other relationships. Most importantly, my kids are having a very hard time adjusting to the new living arrangements and having to "share" mom with another person! I have been trying very hard to find a happy balance that allows me to be the best mom I can be while also being the best wife I can be. This has not been easy but I'm doing my best! My friends and family have also gad a hard time adjusting to my new life. After 3 very hard months, summer was very hard, I am finally seeing a happy balance between family and friends. Still working on it though!

The most major milestone was getting everything-but-married to my partner. Pretty life changing stuff any way you slice it.

My brother has had almost a full year of feeling functional from disabling Depression. Two years ago, I worried he would die from this disease -- either by his own hand, or more likely, from the affects of the medication. This year it has been a relief from worry about him.

Obviously the most major milestone is the birth of our daughter S. How hasn't this affected me?

The birth of our first child. Everything else I've ever achieved in my life pales in comparison to our daughter. She's going to turn one next week and it always makes me cry when I think about how much I love her.

My dad lost his job. I found myself playing financial advisor and retirement planner for my parents. One of the first times I saw myself as caretaker fro my parents.

2009...?I actually cant remeber anything...after i started working at Bagnare i lost track of some stuffs about my family...we havent traveled, noone died, thank god...guess that what made me a bit uncomfortable - if that was was the feeling -was the time i saw my dad so pissed at his life time job, that he started sending resumees....then i thought he either would get fired or quit his job....i guess i was sad cause he was unhappy...

Aside from the most obvious - the birth of our third child - my eldest child started school. From the first day, she was so excited and I was so immensely, overwhelmingly proud of her, of her bravery and enthusiasm. Now every day she practically skips and sings her way to school. It's affected all of us because she is not only the most enthusiastic learner, but a wonderful teacher. It has very much felt like it's her first big and important step into the world away from us - something that evokes such a mixed bag of emotions.

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 twin brother returned home after living overseas for more than two years. He moved back with my parents and got his first full-time job. In some ways, his return has changed the dymanic between me and my parents. I feel older and much like a close aunt who has the ability to forcefully interject my opinion as to how my parents should handle their adult son back in his childhood bedroom, since I have lived away and financially independently for four years. Overall, it has been great to help him get on his feet and find his way in the working world. Hopefully he'll soon be living in his own apartment Downtown. In the meantime, it has been fun to help him articulate his skills and goals.

My Grandad turned 80 this year so all of my family gathered together for a weekend to celebrate. My grandparents, uncles, auntie and cousins were there as well as my parents and brother. It was so nice to see everyone as we aren't that close with that side of our family. It was so nice to feel like we all belonged there together and to feel our family bond.

The death of my uncle. He is the first of my mother's siblings to pass away... and the youngest of 6. My brother said something profound in that we'll be experiencing more of that, not less since none of us are getting any younger.

My grandmother broke her hip and didn't even cry even though she was obviously in a lot of pain, this made me proud and gave me someone to aspire to be like.

My sister and her kids moved in with us ( my parents and I) and they stole from me and destroyed property and were just generally disruptive and disrespectful. They were told to move out 5 months later. I used to dislike her children and despise her, but this destroyed what was left of our relationship. I now have no feelings toward her at all, other than those that I would have for a friend of a friend of a friend. There just is nothing to build on anymore. I don't care about them at all.

I turned 40 this year and my son turned 13. I decided that I want to try and be there for him through his teenage years and to, hopefully, help him through all that the next few years will bring, to try to be understanding when I don't always feel like it, to dicipline when it's needed and to be honest and open with him. And for me, I have decided that this is the decade in which I would finally like to take a degree in photography - something I have been putting off because of feeling inadequate for so long.

Our children are grown and have their own families, jobs and responsibilities. My milestone is two fold realization: Our children and their families have busy lives and we would like to spend more time with them than is possible for them. Accepting that reality is a milestone. On the other, our adult children are responsible, make their own decision and choices, have their own challenges. The milestone is my realization is that their problems are not my problems. I love supporting them when I can and at the same time don't need to take on their problems/issues.

My uncle died. It brought my father and I closer but also made me see my family dynamics more clearly, where fault lines existed, and made me realize how strong my faith is and how I want to show my family what faith can do in one's life.

My little dog Sparky died suddenly and surprised me with the emotion his loss created

I tried to get custody for my mom and not my dad. I now have to live with my dad, I'm crankier, and I often feel sad for no reason, probably as a reaction to this and other stressors relating to my parents' divorce.

My father recently split up with his girlfriend who he had been with for roughly 13 years. She was an awful person, who I honestly think tried to keep him away from me. Now that they're not together, I've been seeing a lot more of my dad and talking with him via text and phone. Life is a lot more normal now that I actually feel like I have both a mother and a father, even if they are divorced.

A major milestone in my family? I don't know, not going completely ballistic after last summer. I suppose it's mostly my brother turning out to be a lot different than we expected. I don't want to say it, but it's how I feel, he really did turn out to be a disappointment... Harsh, but it's how I feel. He's just, I don't even know. I get so frustrated with how he handles everything. I hope by the time I get this back things will be better. I'll be an aunt for the second time. Baby's due in November. I hope it's fine. I think it'll be a girl. Poor thing. I hope I enjoy her. Maybe you should read her some Harry Potter. For sure. I wonder.... will DH Part Two be out by then? I should. If it is and you don't have it. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

I changed jobs to be less stressed. My baby brother, and twin cousin turned 50, and my partner is back in school. I feel less stressed out, I realize time flys like my grandma said and things always change but you go with the flow.....

Both my grandmothers died. It brought my family closer for a short period of time. We each grieved differently. I cried with my parents. I don't know if it changed the whole family permanently, though I'm sure it did both my parents.

I told my family that I got raped, even though I didn't want to. My mom told a lot of people against my wishes and talked with my boyfriend about it behind my back, and I felt really betrayed. My sister has been fine about it, we've only talked about it once which is good by me. My dad has definitely gotten more attached to me but never ever mentioned it (my mom told him, I didn't). I don't want to talk about it with him, but somehow it still bothers me that he's pretending it doesn't exist.

Since past December I haven't been talking to my sister at all, and since March/April I haven't talked to my brother much. This hasn't affected me much because it just goes to show that I can live on without depending on people. I'm independent, I'm free, I'm a bird.

When my cat got sick back a while ago, with a bladder infection and liver failure, we all stood together and got past it, he is still doing okay, but it has taken a toll on his health and he is now blind. we will stick with eachother through it.

My nephew is getting ready to enter college soon. He's very creative and artistic and thinking about going to art school...something I always wanted to do myself but haven't done yet...so I'm having a lot of fun talking with him about his plans for the future. He is the *most* wonderful person I know and I can't wait to see what he will do as time goes by. He has a beautiful soul.

My milestone is yet to come. I will become 50 on November 2nd. The plans and party I envisioned are now not possible due to lacking finances. As I search for another job (again...) I am hopeful the celebration I desire will occur.

I became an adult and my brother got his driver's license. It was a big independence step and has changed the family dynamics in a major way, as we all grow to respect each other as responsible individuals.

I guess in round numbers, the milestone of this year was turning 60... my husband passed it two years ago, and now it's my turn. Interesting to see that others from my high school class also thought it was a big deal! I've been thinking more about the near-term future... doing some concrete planning for retirement... sharing my own retirement planning resources with others... and very aware that time is ticking. I think it has made me long to have more days off, more time to travel, and more time to visit with family & friends.

I reached senior year, Jess reached senior high. That's about as milestoney as we got. :) Basically just makes me wish I could pause time.

I got married this year. After 4 years of living with my partner, I began learning new and interesting things about their past. It was a very scary time where we had to learn how to negotiate each of our desires and each of our families' desires. Now when we had something incredibly important to us, it was hard to back down and see from the other's perspective. We'll never be the couple we were before. But now we're stronger and we're learning how to negotiate from the small to the large.

My sister had a baby and that has changed the dynamics of our family quite a bit. Who are the children now? who are the parents? In some ways I feel like the mediator---and the grand adult.

A major milestone in the past year has been the realization of my dad that he's in serious danger because of his high blood pressure and weight. It's made me be more self-conscious and realize that it's never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle because if I start early, I'll never get to a point where I'm in danger, like my dad.

My Nan passed away. I really regretted that I let so much time pass without seeing her. Going back to where she lived was strange and made me think about times when I was a child. Being altogether with my relatives was a suprisngly enjoyable experience that made me want to renew contact despite the big difference in our beliefs. Overall I reflected on how growing older had softened me and made me appreciate family more.

My sister alienated my dad's side of the family. It was like a family feud with me in the middle. My mother and paternal grandmother would get into fights, and then my mom would come and complain to me. And my dad would always ask me how my sister was because she wouldn't talk to him. I just wanted it all to end. It was like I was Switzerland so everyone just came to me to go-between. I'm glad it's over now, but it took more than half-a-year before my sister got the courage to go to my paternal grandmother's house. No one apologized, but it seems to have been forgotten between them.

My 21 year old sister had brain surgery. I realized that I love her more than I love anyone else in the world. I would have given anything to take her place. To save her from her fear.

We just had our 10 year anniversary. We didn't celebrate that much, because we are so busy; the gifts we got each other were not surprises; but we will take our first trip away from our 5 year old son (we've had nights away before) to a beach resort. I'm so exited.

My sister gave birth to her third child. I'm much less interested in children than I was when my first niece was born. I really don't enjoy the company of small children much. I don't have the patience. When I'm with that part of my family, I keep a low profile. I don't want to be the kids' favourite because I don't want to be high in demand. I don't have the energy.

After my husband and I seperated, I moved house, my daughter changed schools and we became a single parent family. It has been tough settling with the new changes, but we are lot more content then we were living in an abusive relationship. My oldest daughter has started to overcome her emotional issues after suffering physical abuse, but it is along journey. My youngest is very adaptive and does not even talk about or mention the absence of her father. We are all coping together us girls. Hopefully we will continue to develop as our own little family unit.

My son got married and I found out about it on FaceBook even though we had just spoken three days before! While I understand the "just elope" thing, I really wish I could meet my new daughter-in-law. Distance and circumstance prevent us from getting together. My son sounds content and his wife seems very sweet! When they decide to have kids, I'd better not find out about it on FaceBook! :-)

My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It seems like yesterday we were married -- well, if not yesterday, certainly not like 25 years. The anniversary didn't seem like a momentous occasion. But reflecting on the milestone now, I realize what an amazing achievement it really was, especially considering the hard times we surmounted around year 10.

My father and mother are going on trips together as of a few months ago. They have not been together in any romantic way since their last divorce 18 years ago. They have been married and divorced to each other 4 times. And married & divorced a fifth time to other people. So, this new togetherness of theirs has my sister and I quite shocked and shaken. I don't know how I feel. Its a mixed bag of course. I don't want my mom to get hurt again, since she was usually the one getting hurt, but it is so powerful to see her vibrant and happy, and having sex again. Dad will always be dad - an eccentric romeo, but maybe at age 70 he's had enough carousing...perhaps he can really be with her now. I am trying to protect her whilst being happy for them both.

My grandmother died. I felt responsible. I still do.

God, major milestones for my family? The death of my Uncle Robert. His death affected everyone in my family. It devastated my dad. I saw him cry for the first time in my life. You never really know how much someone means and how much they affect you until they are gone. Cliche I know, but so very true. Also, another major milestone would be the decision of my Grandfather to keep the family business going. With the economy like it is, it is a struggle everyday, but the entire family has put their hearts and souls into this business for the past 21 years. We are running on faith and prayer right now.

My grandfather died this year of cancer. It sucks beyond belief. Every day since then I have been trying to see the light in everything. It's hard when all you want to be is bitter. But its better in the long run.

My parents got divorced. At the time I was 15 and my brother was 14. We were just starting to figure out who we were and our ideas and opinions on things. So when we had to decide whether we would stay with my dad or mom it became hard for us to stay true to ourselves. My brother didn't get the option to choose. He was forced to stay with my dad, whom he doesn't like. I got to stay with my mom. My sister was 20 so she wasn't as affected by all of this as we were, but nonetheless still affected.

My stepfather passed away in January and my first child was born in April. The loss of my father was profound. He was kind and beautiful and human and full of love. We, I, miss him dearly. He had cancer and he wanted so badly to hang on until our daughter was born. He didn't make it. We named her after him. Our daughter's name is Frances. She is beautiful, funny, human and full of love. The night my wife's water broke I felt his presence in a big and unexpected way. He was there for a few moments. He didn't miss it.

20 years of rage and resentment came screaming out from me to my aunt. It wasn't pretty, but, I finally opened my mouth and spoke my truth... it felt like 1,ooo lbs had been lifted off my shoulders

5 of my 6 nieces and I began having periodic adventures. The 6 of us spending time together with a sense of tradition, like we're carrying on the family essence. It's neat to be a leader of such a young, promising force. ;)

The man I found by accident 2 years ago asked me to marry him. I burst with happiness every time I think that someone has chosen me. Someone in the world thinks I'm so brilliant that he wants to marry me. ME!!!! I love him so much and I literally can. not. wait. to start being his wife. x

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August. All my siblings and my kids gathered for a week vacation. It made me think of their marriage and how I'd noticed that they're treating each other with more kindness now.

I started being a student at Sydney University which meant I went from spending most of my time playing computer games to spending most of my time at lectures or tutorials or studying. Much more fulfilling!

My son went off to college for the first time, and now I'm getting ready to leave for a 6-month deployment. Both of these are very hard because I love my family so much. It really drove home how much they mean to me and how deeply connected to them I am.

We moved to another state several hundred miles from our roots. It has allowed us the get a fresh start, and make some long overdo changes in our lives.

My grandpa turned 100 years old in May 2010. It has given me hope that I can live a long, healthy life. It has also sobered me because he is being taken care of 24 hrs a day by his caregiver in his home. He has a lot of doctor appointments and tests done all the time. I worry about aging because I am not yet married or even dating anyone. I want to age gracefully, in good health, with loved ones/family with me. I want to get married and have a family, even if it's an extended one or non traditional one. My only living relatives are in Israel. I do have one brother, however, he has Asperger's Syndrome and isn't able to bond with anyone.

My husband and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary and in front of close friends and family, it we made a conscious declaration to chose one another again. I am grateful to him and for him.

Well my mom got breast cancer and I guess it reminded me that at any moment I may not have parents. I am a lot more somber when people complain about their parents.

Este año mi bisabuelita y mi abuelito fallecieron. Se me hizo mucho más triste ver partir a mi abuelito porque fue muy rápido, y lo extraño mucho. Ojalá nos esté cuidando desde el cielo, porque nos hace falta su mano que nos guíe.

My brother ended up in coronary care for 4 days earlier this year, and didn't tell anyone. His wife didn't even tell our 90 year old father. What if he had died, and no one had a chance to see him? I have lost all love and respect for this brother, so now when he does this again, I won't give a rat's ass if he lives or dies. I'm angry at him for not telling our father. I don't hate him. I am now indifferent towards him.

Instantly I think of two major milestones. In no specific order: Chrissie our youngest daughter graduated from the College of NJ....The ceremony was beautiful....and I was so proud of her. I know how hard she worked not only to graduate but to raise her GPA...Pure will and determination...just like the way she played basketball. I was moved and will never forget how she looked in her cap and gown on graduation day... The second major milestone of our family was our daughter Jessica's wedding to Blake Chaffee...What a fairy tale wedding it was. It was everything I would ever want for my child's wedding. I was glad I was able to experience this with her as we worked together to plan every last detail. I did not have that with my mother or my family....unfortunate circumstances...but there is always a second chance (of sorts) if you are patient, forgiving and wait long enough....

My Aunt Alice has moved to our town from Seattle after 60 years of being on her own. She has been so kind to me. I want to give back and help her in every way I can. She is an inspiration and has a special place in her heart for all of us in her extended family (she has no children) especially for me and those who are depressed or mentally ill.

I am turning 40 and I for the first time in my life I feel my age. This is totally depressing and totally unacceptable.

I began a relationship with my mother in law in South Carolina - I call her three evenings a week and do energy healing on her. We have developed a wonderful relationship and it helped me feel like I still had a mother figure in my life since my Mom died the previous year. My mother in law's healing has been pretty exciting for both of us and it helped me believe in my abilities.

We decided to buy a condo. Close date is soon- I am excited and scared.

This past January, my maternal step-grandmother passed away. Although I wasn't especially close to Grandma Helen, she was the last of my grandparents alive, and I recalled fondly the few times that I'd spent with her as a child. In fact, she was, of my six (four biological, two step) grandparents, the most beloved. My maternal, biological grandparents died either before I was born or before I was old enough to remember them. I recall visits with each of my paternal grandparents (separately, since they were divorced), but the memories are ambivalent at best. Grandma Helen was therefore something of a beacon, the only positive grandparent figure that I had. She was, more importantly, the mother figure that my mom lacked in her biological mother, a temperamental alcoholic and social climber. After Grandma Helen passed away, I reconnected with my "Uncle Andy" (my step-uncle, Grandma Helen's son), which has been very positive. I also did a lot of thinking about my parents' respective fractured families, and came again to the conclusion that I want to break that cycle in my life, to have a happy, healthy family life and to devote myself fully to being a good partner (for now) and, eventually, a good husband and father....and, maybe one day (G-d willing), grandfather.

I was on the brink of divorcing my husband--totally convinced that he did not understand me, our children, parenting, emotional closeness... He didn't even have a clue--started a huge apartment renovation project! I was lethargic, sad, angry and frustrated. Everyone but him noticed.

My mother turned 86. She is getting querulous and a bit cantankerous. I am her chief chauffer and it's hard to keep my mouth shut as she rails against the government and the president and all the little slights by family and friends, mostly immaginary.

My nephew turned 18 and had a big party the other night - it's the first time I've been around a big crowd of 18 yr olds. I was surprised to find myself thinking that I'm so glad I'm not 18 any more!

My Dad retired so I get to see more of him which is nice.

Relationship with brother has drastically worsened since his marriage one year ago.

my parents just sold their house, and its where I've spent most of my life. Usually I'm the kind of person that holds memories in objects, but that house hold more pain than happy. I find it strange that I don't think I will miss it that much..

My Dad had a stroke, I thought it would bring the family closer together but it has brought out characteristics in some that aren't nice. I think my mother has become more worldly and not so narrow minded and judgemental. He can't talk yet so it has been hard on him.

In May 2009, Stephen's family and my family met for the first time in person and shared a Mother's Day lunch :) November 2009 marked the first time that e hosted our families for Thanksgiving, and we continued the tradition of sharing holidays with Mother's Day 2010 :)

Well, Emma got an apartment and I guess officially moved out technically. I got her room. But I don't sleep in it. I probably should start, it's a nice room. All purple. Maybe the family reunion was a milestone. We all got together for the first time. That was fun. So, yeah. Not much went on with my family this year.

My grandma died this year, expectedly yet unexpectedly. An hour before I was supposed to get on a plane to say goodbye for her, I received the phone call that she had already gone. I think this has affected us all deeply in different ways to lose her, but for me, I've only experienced death twice. The first time I was lucky enough to spend time with my Pops and say everything I needed to before he went. With my Grandma, I was out of state and the last time I had spoke to her or had seen her was Christmas. I keep trying to find someway to say goodbye to her, but I can't. I want her to be here. And even though I believe she is here with me in spirit, all I want is just one moment with her alive to tell her what she meant to me.

Morgan's wedding--the coming together of 3 out of 4. One has left the family. Not sure how I feel about that.

My parents are getting a divorce... it hasn't really had an effect on my life except to make it more complicated in how I interact with them.

apart from my step-dad killing himself, another important event this year would have to be my mum dating an old friend of hers from england. he came over to visit us in new zealand for a few weeks whilst the world cup was on. it was okay, although i guess i have some issues with 'intruders' and just men in general, i became very jumpy during his stay and i haven't yet gotten over it completely. he kinda helped us jump start and push us into moving back to england, which is a good thing, because my mum really needed that support. i hope that we can really go back to england ASAP!

My wife died It broke my heart

My mom lost her job, and subsequently a lot of her sense of identity, not to mention her sanity. It's been tough on all of us, but I think we're learning to see the situation for what it is... a real struggle for my mom that sometimes ripples out and hurts the rest of us. I've certainly learned that I'd best find something besides my career to pin my identity on, because jobs can disappear in a heartbeat. I also never want to become accustomed to making the amount of money she did -- it's keeping her from taking jobs with reasonable salaries that would at least get her on a schedule and give some shape and meaning to her days. I want to feel safe and comfortable with what I earn, but never extravagant.

I've been in a steady relationship for over a year. It has given me comfort when I've needed it most.

My cousin, who is basically my sister, became engaged. Normally, this would just be happy news, but with her engagement came her plea to me to promise that I would keep quiet about the fact that her father sexually abused me as a child so that her fiance wouldn't find out and leave her. I agreed, because I want her to be happy and I want to keep my Aunt happy too.

I feel very sad for my grandfather and his deteriorating health. It's only going to get harder.

We had our second child, our love has grown in ways we never thought possible. Children change your life in the most amazing ways, nothing is important but these little people you created. They are my world and I am profoundly and forever changed by the love and happiness i feel for them. Jackson and Jamison make my life complete.

My parents celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary and my wife and I celebrated our 37th anniversary. Demonstrates that it takes work in addition to Love to stay together for any length of time.

My brother was diagnosed with Lukemia

My brother graduated high school this year. He's the baby of the family and its very weird to think of him out in the big scary world. Also reminds me how old I have gotten =)

My wife and I made the daring decision to buy our first house this winter. Fraught with all of the known and unknown risks, including whether this was the best or still worst time to buy, we simply agreed that our family, and our young son, deserved a home. After a very frightening first month, where the upkeep, bills, unexpected costs, and very real child-proofing concerns almost overwhelmed us, we quickly started to see how much we loved this house. And as week after week, we took hold of the responsibility of caring for our home, from its polished to its most neglected corners, we realized how much the house loves us. I feel a very real hug from the house every time I climb the stairs. And for my whole family, I am grateful.

My mom got bit by a spider. It was quite a while before one of her doctors noticed and ordered her to wound care. Which scares me. How do you not deal with a quarter-sized circle of necrotizing flesh surrounding a hole in your body? This time wasn't major, but it's not the first time she's done something like that.

It may not seem like much, but, this year my family decided to build a pool. It seems silly, but when i was younger, my family had a pool (we have moved since). Building a pool has lots of fun memories for me.

first real time my grandparents on dads side have had any sort of health scare. has made us all realize that someday they too will pass and that they arent indestructible.

One major milestone would be that we moved back to Indiana.This has had a positive effect on me because I have been able to visit the ones I love more often and this has helped us become closer. Although I do miss hanging out with my former friends and feel a bit isolated because my family members live 2 hrs away the short drive to visit is worth it all.

One of my nephews returned from service in Afghanistan. His younger brother just left for Marine Boot Camp, and will most likely go to war as well. For me, it is a peculiar mixture of honoring the paths they have chosen, and having pride in their desire to serve our Country and put their lives on the line, with a deep aversion to war in general and these wars in particular. In the end, it is a lesson not about politics, but about respecting each person's chosen path, without judgement, no matter what my own beliefs might be.

I finally accepted my dad's facebook friend request even though I hadn't talked to him in at least 12 years. Even if we only have small talk, its still a pretty big milestone from no contact.

My mom got a dog. First of all, he's really cute and I'm smitten. But I also think he makes my mom happier. Which is good.

Mother tried to contact me twice by mail. I couldn't bring myself to open the envelop as she always has bad news, gossip or something bad to say about someone. I am slipping into a period of depression because of this.


Getting married was probably the most significant. It has been quite a chore trying to balance my own life with my job, family and work, dealing with a spouse, and now having to deal with two-sets of in-laws that just can't seem to deal with the changes of the life event. I wonder if perhaps things would have been better had we not married. The whole thing has really been frustrating, anxiety-filled and annoying. I try to think positively but feel more indifferent with each passing day.

I have always loved and supported my family, they have been my number one priority. I am the oldest of 5 kids so I have always felt responsible for everyone. This year I fought with my brother more than ever before and I realized that I had to styop worrying over everyone else and focus on me. My life is passing me by while I worry and care about theirs. So I decided to be selfish with myself. I am moving out and taking time for me and not caring about how they get places or how my parents manage without me. I need to live my life and be happy for me.

My daughter got a divorce, but through it I think she found herself, and made me realize what a wonderful woman and mother she is.

My sister graduated from elementary school. I remembered how excited I was and how optomistic. I thought I was in for the best times of my life but it turned out to be a nightmare. I still learned a lot but going to that graduation made me really depressed about how things turned out. I felt like a muted Ophelia, unsure wether I should warn my sister or let her live in oblivion for a while.

A family member now has the power to assist in caring for my mother, but I am fearful she will not follow through on assisting long term because of her own personal issues. As much as I would like to I am unable to do it all.

My husband lost his job (one that we both hated, and one which didn't pay very well) and just when we thought all was lost, he pulled off a coup: scored an amazing new job that pays incredibly well, and makes him incredibly happy. He renewed my faith in him.

I seem to be a little closer to my family and my sisters. We talk a little about uni and things like that. It's a little nice I guess.

Me, being able to get my driver's license. My mom becoming the manager of a Apartment complex. My brother working hard to see his daughter again. My mother dying. I just have no idea what to do next or even how to start.

I've managed to work out a lot of my emotional issues surrounding my childhood. After many years of non-acceptance, my parents have accepted my coming to Judaism. My relationship with my parents is less neurotic as a result. I've come to view my synagogue community as family. People I look forward to seeing, care about sincerely, and who share my values.

Dad passed away. Mom & I are closer. I sunk in & out of depression. I learned that people can't fake compassion. Those who have gone thru losing a parent... understand.

This past year my father turned 70. This is monumental given that by the time he was 16, both his parents were deceased, his brothers had passed from heart disease and cancer, and most of his cousins do not live past 65. This past year my father also found out he had stomach cancer, which has not metastasized to his bone marrow. Aside from God, my father has been the single biggest influence on my life and the life of my daughters. He is very wise, chock full of common sense and has a fantastic sense of humor. Even with these negative diagnoses he keeps optimistic. This past year (before the cancer diagnoses) my father also reconnect with God in a deeper way, taking it upon himself to read the bible. In January of this year I celebrated one year anniversary of my blessed outcome from having surgery to repair a brain aneurysm. Throughout my ordeal I was constantly telling my father about the source of my faith and healing scriptures, with the inherited optimism and humor he gave me. Facing mortality, facing my father's mortality has made me really evaluate the meaning of my father in my life. I realize that my father, the man, who is a spirit being having a human experience, will one day shed his physical body but his spirit being will transition into divine connection. That is who he, Ben Kearse, really is. It is the physical connection that I have shared since birth that I will miss…this is what we miss when we are separated physically through death of the body. But I have found tremendous strength and comfort and faith in this realization – which Ben truly is will never die, just the vehicle he operated in while on the earth realm…so I will never lose him and he will never be lost. This realization has given me tremendous peace and strength as my own faith fight for healing continues. This year my father and I have a faith connection that is growing stronger regardless of what is going on with our physical vehicles on this realm.

Um, does this whole thing really need to be about Levi's birth? Probably not. But really, it sort of ripped everything up and changed it all. Like say tonight, for instance. My parents were here, so we went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday, albeit a day late. 8 course tasting menu, splurge, la la la. But hey, we went at 6 pm. Because my folks go to bed early, and Levi wants to eat at 10 and wakes up at 6 and this and that. It's all about him these days. Good dinner though!

I've been unemployed since June 2009. Whenever it seemed that I was going to be on the outs somehow I came into the money that I needed to survive for another month or two. After rejecting job offers in hopes of finding something that I truly would love I've found myself more or less self employed doing things that I love on my own terms and time. I recently accepted a part-time job that will enable me to have 'guaranteed' income for peace of mind meanwhile still embarking on new ventures and possibilities that I'm finally excited about. Everything happens for a reason and God only gives us as much as we can handle. I am thankful for my faith and the strength it has given me to hold out for happiness.

It's all been overwhelming. Very very overwhelming. Too many family emergencies in too short of a span. While capable, I realize every now and again that I really really don't want to be "the Adult". There are times that I'd give anything to be able to crawl into my father's lap and feel that security again.

I watched my husband grieve for the loss of his best friend. I learned that he views dying differently than I do and he fears it. He fears the process and not the outcome. My granddaughter was born. My blood relative granddaughter. I watch my son parent his daughter and my heart swells with pride. My son is a beautiful, warm and loving father. I did okay and his step dad did okay raising him. We have succeeded as humans. My grandson was born by by step daughter. We have a blessed loving blended family. I am so proud of that accomplishment. I learned that I can love my step children and step grandchildren equally. I am so so so blessed. I learned that I can love fully and without end.

My grandpa had a heart attack in the spring of this year. I don't know if this has necessarily made us "closer," but I think it's made us, or at least me, feel guilty about not being closer. During the summer, when I was in the same state as my family, I would visit my grandparents a lot with my mom or my sister, but I didn't call them or anything on my own, and I feel bad because I don't think people call my grandpa on his new cellphone, or write to him at his assisted living place. I want to, but... why don't I?! Why don't I write him a letter right now instead of writing this here? What is wrong with me?!

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.

I saved my best friend from her abusive father while her mother is in Afghanistan fighting for our country. She's a part of my family, and it made me realize that not everything in the world is good, and that things will hurt me in life. I love her, and I just rest peacefully at night knowing she's okay.

We are now about in our third year with economical instability, but I think, even though its been a rocky road, we´re pulling through. Maybe as the time passes and I go on to college it could become worse, but I feel we should be hopeful, but not conformists.

My mother passed away last June. It's changed my relationship with my dad, creating a role reversal that makes me the one with most of the authority.

It's not really a major milestone, more a process of deepening our relationships. My dad and uncle helped me move out to the community farm I've been living and working at this summer. My dad was really skeptical, but he came back and visited the area again later, and actually came to the farm a couple of times, and I visited him in the city, and we talked a lot. Now he's inviting me to come back for an extended visit and help him and my mother put in a garden and, basically, permaculture the back yard. He's attracted by the idea of eating more healthily and saving money on their food budget. I was so excited to talk on the phone with him the other day and hear him say that he went to a farmer's market—by himself! Which meant he had to get on the internet and research to find one near their home! That's a serious change in his lifestyle.

I got married. I never knew how much I could love someone.

It has tried to make me a stronger sister. I have to balance my love for my father on one side and my sister for the other. I am in a warzone and I am the only peacekeeper who can speak both of their languages. In itself, I have learned to love more.

My dad and mom went out to dinner as a family with me for the first time since their separation. It made me happy knowing that they could act civilized towards each other.

My daughter gave me my one and more than likely only grandchild. And my step-son went through puberty and is no longer a cute cuddly boy but a big hairy young man. I'm also debt free except for my morgage payment.

For the first time in 51 years, my parents spent more than 4 days apart. For 4 months, my mother was on the East Coast to care for her new grandchild (my niece) and my father stayed on the West Coast to "hold down the fort." They both rose to the occasion---yet again---to do what they needed to for our family. This included the first time my father ever had to scrub a toilet. (Here's to teaching an old patriarchial dog some new tricks!) We all, including my 5 brothers and 2 sisters, pitched in to make this new period less stressful.

This past year, My Mother In Law almost died and we didn't know how close she came. We took her to the doctor and her heart rate was at 175. They stuck her in the hospital & then a rehab center. For awhile she wouldn't eat and could barely raise her arms. They diagnosed her with Polymyositis. So little is known about it. She has now gotten most of her strength back but cannot seem to manage her medications. For so long, I was her caregiver and we griped because we had to take her everywhere. Now, she is getting back to normal but still seems to be depressed. It is frustrating because so many of her meds have depression as a side effect. I am always torn between her driving me crazy and wanting to make it all better and have it all go away. It has been extremely stressful.

Someone passed away. It made everyone reflect about what is really important and distinguish what is genuine from what is superficial.

My stepdad moved back in with my mother and I, and my two stepbrothers came with him of course. It has been at least two years since we moved out and having them back with us is strange at times.. Especially since my mother and I are so close. I feel like I don't get to have quality time with her much anymore. I miss the nights were the two of us would go out for dinner and a movie. We used to go at least once a week or so... With my stepdad in jail and my boyfriend at the time being no good we cherished those nights together laughing and talking. We grew so close in the past few years and I'm not ready to stop growing closer.

My father came down with a major mysterious illness that has forced him to retire early. He was always so career motivated that it is interesting to see him adjusting to a life that focuses more on family. After going through the scary period where we thought he might have a life threatening disease, we are all now learning to live with him in his compromised state. It reminded me that life is unpredictable and you never know if you will get to those things that you put off for the future. I am also reminded that my parents are getting older and I must not take them for granted. The physical distance between us has never been so obvious before.

My sister is going to school over on the mainland now. Pretty much half my life happens over there and now it'll probably be even more this year. I'm trying to get her to do x-country but she keeps not wanting to go for no reason

I've experienced a questioning of all I believe in, re-evaluated my choices & the impact of my energy on the world I've been living in & realized as long as I have my family, everything is going to be okay.

I got married, so now I finally have a family!

My sister's 21st, where my recently divorced parents had to work together and tolerate each other's presence. It was challenging but it made me appreciate the strength of my family. I let go of a lot of hate.

After 86 years of marriage, 7 kids, and 33 grandkids and great-grandkids, my grandfather passed away. It was the first time I was really old enough to be a part of everything-the hospital visits, my family's grief, and that final saying goodbye. Seeing all of that, especially my mom and grandma looking completely broken for the only time I can remember, was probably the hardest thing I've done in my life. However, I wouldn't change anything, because being there so intensively was my way to show my love. Even eight months later, recalling it in such detail makes me cry, and I'm glad that for a relationship so strong I was able to be strong enough myself to say and do everything I wanted to before it was too late.

Through the army, my family discovered I had suicidal feelings then and 2 years ago. When we talked about it with the army's psychologist, I realized how much my parents care for me.

It's almost 4 years now since my sister died, tragically and hopelessly and uselessly. This past year has been another step in coming to terms not only with her death but with the past and present. My parents are elderly - it's still very hard for me to forgive them. It's clear to me, however, that doing so might just contribute to making the world a better, sweeter world.

My sister had her first baby (my third nephew) I was excited during the start of her pregnancy however we are no longer on speaking terms. She had the baby nearly 3 months ago now and I still have not seen him. I would lover to be a part of my neohews life however this would mean involving my sister in my life and I am not willing to forgive her for what she has done. It makes me sad that I will not be there for him and am leaving him to grow up the same way I did.

The major milestone that happened in my family this year was me being away from them. I had to learn how to live independent of them, and they had to learn to live without me. I think that for both me and them, it has made us realise how much we like having each other around, and how close our family is.

Not so major, but long in coming. My relationship with my mom and brother has become closer. It seems that the hard things in life tend to draw people closer, and that is true with me. I can't pinpoint one, singular thing, but I notice it; in the phone calls, in the tone of the voice, in the attempt to treat each other with the kind of love and respect that comes with not wanting to hurt or offend each other.

My brother got a serious/stable girlfriend, the girl next door, made me think more about finding someone to be with.

Nothing has really affected me that much.

My first child turned 10. It was a very bittersweet moment for me. The first year or two of his life was so amazing and intense and it feels like those pivotal years were not very long ago. So when my son turned 10, I had to face the reality of how long ago it was when he was my first, my only baby. And of course, I had to face the reality of how quickly he will grow up. On the other hand, I think he's amazing and I love to watch him grow, change, and develop. He just gets more and more interesting!

My mum was rushed into hospital with a perforated bowel at the beginning of summer. She had emergency surgery and spent 3 weeks in hospital. This was extremely difficult to deal with and I feel it brought us closer together as a family.

Both of my parents had cancer scares. Both have had cancer in the past. I'm usually pretty health conscious, but this year sparked a more in depth conversation with my doctor. I am now supposed to exercise an hour every day. I haven't met that goal yet, but I haven't given up yet either. This year was also the year I got married and both created another family and joined my husband's. I'm still trying to navigate the dynamics of preserving our couple time while spending time with my distant folks and his somewhat overbearing ones.

Not a lot happened, I guess. My parents are not getting pretty lonely with everybody moving out their house. That probably the biggest difference. Did not affect me that much. Sorry, do not have a better answer :P

My brother came home after travelling for two years to be with his son for his first birthday. It was really great to see him again, and to see how his relationship with his son and the mother would play out now that she's engaged and his son doesnt know him. I feel like I'm too involved because I'm the babys favourite, he pushes my brother away to be with me and I feel guilty. Who knows how it will all play out in the end.

Our youngest son was able to get accepted for readmission to the four year university of his choice and moved into student housing this fall. It was hugely reassuring to see his success in getting some direction back in his life after a couple of years of just messing around and a drunk driving incident. In the last year he really applied himself at the local community college, made a plan as to how to return to the university and executed it and began to take some responsibility for himself and his life. This has given me encouragement that both of our younger two children will be able to find their way to happiness and responsible adulthood.

My father turned 75 on 8/5. This made me realize, more than ever, that time is going top run out with my father and that no matter how little I feel we have in common (especially with respect to religion and politics) I need to cherish every moment with him and appreciate him for who he is, because there will come a day that he will no longer be around.

My sister asked me to be the godmother to her first long-awaited son. While in no way I can't be considered to be a Christian anymore -let alone Catholic-, she said that she didn't mind. I felt a little like a fake.

my oldest niece turned 18! i was 18 when she was born - bit of a head-f*** if i think about it too much!

Lots of little ones along the way. The Birthright trip. Time with the cousins. Math research and the unpredictably wonderful conversations.

After ten years of mourning the loss of my only sibling, I let my parents know I needed to stop coming home twice a year because the weight of the loss pervades almost every minute of our time together and I no longer have the patience for it. It has been a relief, as sad as it may sound to some, and I know it has helped redefine our familial relationships, hopefully for the better.

Not too much has changed, although the reality of my uncle's life and its impact on ours is wearing through. He's been out of a jail for a little over a year now, but his emotional burdens have physical manifestations - stuff in my parents house, stuff in my grandmother's house. His stubborness, and argumentativeness is no longer just means for fodder, it's stressful.

A major milestone in my family would have to be my parents reaching their 51st wedding anniversary... I was always looking forward to their 50th; but was too afraid to think past that huge date. I am so thankful for them.

There haven't been any major changes with my family, but I have noticed my parents and grandparents age more than ever. Seeing their frailties has made me more aware of the progress of time.

My brother and his wife had a beautiful son. Watching my brother become a father, and truly learn how to put another before himself, has been an amazing thing to watch. It has been healing for everyone, especially his wife.

My father passed away this year and I learned how many lives he touched. 10 months after his death, people still tell me they miss him. And there are days when I really feel the void left by him.

We are more there for each other than I thought.

Honestly, there hasn't been any major milestone with my family this year. I don't know. Everyone seems to be a bit stalled. I mean, not in a bad way, just no major moves this year.I guess maybe the closest thing to a milestone was that my little brother got his license. He is the baby of the family and 11 years younger then me. It's crazy to think he is going to graduate high school this year. I can remember him being a baby but at the same time it's like he's always been as he is. It's tough to be 17. I'm glad that I don't have to do that again. My sister and her boyfriend finally moved in together after being together for 3 years. This is something she had been wanting for a long time and I'm glad that it has happened and that it seems to be working out. My brother and his wife bought a house. I think it was this year, but maybe longer? They've been doing renovations and finally finished the downstairs, which looks great. Exciting for them. My mom lost about 40 pounds doing Weight Watchers and sort of seems happier then she's ever been. She's a tough cookie. I suspect that I get my melancholy from her. My dad is ever the same except that he's developed this quasi obnoxious/charming habit of buying old jukeboxes from Craig's List. At least he's keeping busy. I don't know. None of the stuff listed above falls into the milestone category though. I don't think so. Isn't a milestone something like having a kid or dying or getting married? I don't know. This year I too moved in with my boyfriend, of only a year, but whom I've known since the 6th grade, and within 2 months he moved out. Things just spiraled out of control. So, again, maybe some type of milestone, but it came and went so quickly I don't think it counts. How do you know if anything counts? I guess milestones are a way of keeping track. It's weird to be in a place where I don't necessarily care to do so. I guess that is my problem.

My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The impact that this created is major. His adult children have totally stepped out of the picture and have been absolutely no help or support in any way. In fact, they have created more issues and more stress. My children, on the other hand have been supportive, emotionally as well as physically.

I've become closer to my mum, I've never really been close to her before so it makes a wonderful change.

My eldest turned 21. Has it affected me? Not in so much as I feel time passing by but just the realisation that I am parent to a 21 year old man and that he will never be a child again. As I say it doesn't make me feel old as I still have 10 and 8yr olds that keep me young physically and mentally. Though by the time my youngest is 21 I'll be very nearly 60.

My brother is going to court with assault charges. I hoped this would change things, but it hasn't. We don't talk about it, and even though he's clearly guilty, they insist on acting like he was falsely accused. This is the same brother who abused me physically, emotionally and sexually when I was a child. I never told them because I thought they wouldn't believe me. This has just reaffirmed my decision to get as far away as possible, as quickly as possible. I don't need to be around people who stand up for a monster

My dad lost his office job and had to go back to working on his feet all day. He also has crazy long hours and works anywhere from 5am to 2am the next day.. he is a strong man but I know he is getting tired of being overworked. My mom complains he is never home and I know his new job puts strain on their marriage. I keep thinking, "at least he still has a job" but my mom can't help but complain anyways.. in the end I feel bad for my dad, and I realize how much he does for our family. I am so thankful to have him working as hard as he does for us.

My parents' health is improving, thank G-d. And my mom let go of some abusive situations in which she kept herself. She...we...realized that we don't need all the stress in order to honor the memories of my sisters and all our friends and family buried in the only Jewish cemetery in this area. We just need each other. My family is getting stronger.

The death of Brenda, my daughter-in-laws, stepmother. She was such a lovely, vibrant, fun personality. The sort of person who lit up a room when she entered. The sort of person that you think will always be there. Yet another reminder of the fragility of life and the need to really seize and enjoy every moment. Perhaps enjoy is too flippant a word. Maybe what I am meaning is to experience every moment to the full.

Our youngest daughter found a job, and has begun to find her independence and what i hope will be a path to her happiness.

I do not know if you can call it a milestone or not but my granddaughter moved almost 1500 miles from where we live and she has accomplished a great deal in her new environment. I am very happy fo her but I am sad that she does not live nearer. We were very close.

My two little sisters graduated from high school, and started their freshman years at college! It has helped remind me that I need to get my act together and really focus on my goals- getting a great LSAT score and getting into a good law school.

My Grandma got progressively sicker and frailer and the family had to deal with the reprecussions of that. It brought out both the best and the worst in people and that, more than anything, may have affected me and made me question familial relations and maybe just adult maturity in general. Thankfully, Grandma is doing much better now.

When my daughter was on the brink of a breakdown and didn't want to live - we asked - what will help you to heal? That question sparked a great discussion - and we found ways to help her healing process. She turned herself around. Our deep love and surrender to our daughter's illness has helped me as a chaplain working with mentally ill adults. I can be with them in their pain, without having to change anything. Just be present, acknowledge where they are, and pray for their healing.

I went to see my mom after avoiding her for over a year. It was only one day out three but it was very emotional. A talk with the social worker at her nursing home released me from a good deal of guilt. I still own my part though. I improperly used some of her funds and tried to justify it because of some of her past actions. Looking forward to bringing her here but need help to move forward.

For the first time in 33 years, I had 8 weeks of non-parenting when my youngest went to sleep away camp. I discovered that I will be fine living alone, that I love going inward and learning new things. But also discovered how precious all of my children are and that I do miss them when they are away. And I appreciate them more when I see them.

Took my nephew to look at my college alma mater and realized for the first time just how young I was when I was off on my own for the first time and making decisions that impacted me for years to come. I thought I was so grown but really I was just a baby.

My 3 sisters and I traveled back "home" to New Mexico after not visiting for 10 years. It was wonderful getting to see so many friends and family. I reconnected with several cousins that I had lost touch with. Now that I've gone, I want to go back more often. :)

My step-dad's sister dying of cancer was pretty huge. My mom remarried 5 or so years ago and I got a bunch of new family including this step-aunt. Since I'm an adult, I didn't get to know her all that well, but I definitely had met her a couple of times, which makes her the first person that I've actually known to have died.

I think perhaps it could be that my mom's husband has been reunited with his kids. That's made him a happier person and has in turn made my mom's life better. Their relationship has improved and I know it's been a huge weight off her shoulders. That makes me feel great.

See question 1. I'm in limbo over this until I'm, in a relationship. Then we'll see, who bans me from their house, who excommunicates me. Whatever the outcome, I now know I can deal with it.

I was brave enough to tell my mother I have Lupus. I hoped she would treat me a bit more gently, but not really - she goes through the motions in public, but she still doesn't want me to use my cane or my wheelchair - even though they give me more independence.

My daughter's injury by her gynecologist is the event. She is suffering from this and is in need of help and hope. I have felt helpless to really help her even though I have done lots to try and ease her burdens.

My son turned 1 year old last July. It took me about a year to get a good rhythm between work and family.

My husband and I both reached a year of sobriety/working our programs. Our relationship is better than it ever has been in part because we share a common language and goals. It is also the most healthy one either of us has ever been in, despite the fact that it started out very dysfunctional. We attribute this to our developing spirituality and conscious contact with god.

Me and my sister made up and stopped hating each other. Our whole family had been slowly falling apart up until now, but this probably saved us from a complete fall.

At Christmas, all of us kids only made it to my parent's house for about a day - day and a half. When David and I finally arrived, my parents seemed overjoyed that someone had come to join them for Christmas. It was only then that I realized that I hadn't given them what they deserved, and promised to make more of an effort to spend time with them next year.

My step-son came back home after being away for almost a year. His return has inspired me to be far more compassionate and patient with this child, who is navigating his way through a life situation no child should have to go through.

I got married, wife became pregnant, refinanced the house, and took on a major new program at work. Ayear later, we're STILL married! I am so happy and contented - in a good way - with how my family is. Now that there is a child on the way, I know that there will be plenty of excitement to come. :)

My cousin graduated from grad school, and many of us were able to attend her graduation. it was great to see our family gathering on a nice occasion

My sister celebrated her first wedding anniversary with my brother-in-law. I suppose you could say their wedding was also a milestone this year? Either way, I felt happy for them, but also sad. I want that one day. I want to share my life with another people for the long haul and know that I will wake up to them every morning. It made me realize that I didn't have to wait anymore... I could go find that myself. And make it work.

My major milestone was my niece being born. She was the first grandchild born into the family and is the sunshine of my life.

Our lifestyle had completely changed. Only my dad was working, and even working overtime it was hard to make ends meet. The stress of it all nearly drove us apart. Now I appreciate everything we have, and my work ethic is much stronger now.

My family has grown together in so many ways. My brother is getting married so they whole family's been pitching in to help. It's really drawn us closer as a family and made me realize how blessed I am to have them.

i think we're actually a family again. 4 years ago it seemed impossible. i broke all their hearts when i lied and failed to be what they wanted me to be. but we all grew up. my mother's accepted my visions of the future, my father's bragging about my skills, and my little brother's smiling and hugging me.

My mothered turned 60 and began for the first time began to slow down; show signs of being hard of hearing and nearsightedness. It scares the living day lights out of me. She's my rock and one of my closest friends. Time is fleeting. She is getting old and so am I. The idea that I may lose her is not one I can bear without teary eyes and a stone in my heart. I cherish her and am attempting to become closer to my sisters with whom I've always had a rocky relationship. I'm working on myself to let go of childish past grievances and coming to sense of peace with my complicated family. It's made me conscious of what I mean by love and the intent of all my interactions.

My son-in-law, Josh, was hired as a full-time, tenure track teacher at the school he most desired to work. He completed his teaching credential at a time when the California state budget crisis was culminating in the layoffs of many teachers, a reduction in the number of classes, and in an increase in the number of students per class. He spent more than a year as a substitute teacher at a variety of schools and in a variety of grades. This summer (2010) a rare opening became available at his number one school of choice, and they selected Josh! He is teaching the grades he most enjoys (7th & 8th) at a school he most admires. For me, this life-changing event brings to mind the truth that my behavior and experience in every past moment prepares me for this current moment. If I continue to act in each moment with compassion, focus, and integrity, then times of adversity that pass without immediate relief will prepare me to recognize and answer clearly the knock of the next opportumity. The universe rewards the prepared mind. This year marks Year#1 of Josh's new identity/role and the wonderful impact this has on all the family.

My Dad turned 91. He's not fragile, or frail and he looks amazing. He still enjoys and appreciates life. We live in different cities and he calls me every Saturday morning to tell me he loves me. I realize how lucky I am to still have him around to teach me that it's the simplest things that are the most important and provide the most pleasure.

My father-in-law has been quite ill since the beginning of the calendar year with prostate and heart problems and several things that came along with them. It has affected my family and me, both, making us worried but also making us want to be closer.

My father's deteriorating health at the age of 92, and the inability to make social services understand why he should be cared for in a secure environment.

One family member essentially ran out of money this past year. It ignited panic, fear and a tremendous tsunami of wild emotions among every member with the fallout continuing to this day. For me, it brought up long dormant feelings of lack and helplessness which I needed to face and release.

My husband retired after 30 years as a helping professional due to ill health. This has caused a great deal of stress as it was hard for him to leave work that he loved, but harder to tolerate the stress he was undergoing before retirement.

My older brother leaving for college was a huge change in our family. It made me realize just how close we were; often times, I fought with my parents and my younger brother. Emotionally it was a very trying year not only because he wasn't home, but my father lost his job and my mother almost lost hers, as well. It's had both positive and negative effects on me, though.

Mom dying. My brother went off on me and my sister and instead of taking good care of mom and dad he abused the power of attorney and cleaned out their bank account stole property and ran. Mom's death and the actions of my brother finally made my sister get back in contact with me after we had had a falling out.

On the way home from church one Sunday, I explained to my parents that I have come to not believe in Christianity. I tried to describe my own beliefs about divinity, but I could tell that nothing was getting through to my obviously upset mother. I don't know if I'll ever be able to see eye-to-eye with her if she doesn't learn to become more open-minded to other viewpoints on religion.

Sadly, I can't think of one.

My dad retired. It hasn't affected me so much but there has been a slight shift in family dynamics. My mum is still working. I realize they are getting older, and I worry about not being able to talk to my dad so well. The thought about one of them not being there at some point.. I guess I made a jump in feeling older this year.

This wasn't a milestone kind of year. That's probably good. Sometimes just spending time with your family trying to celebrate the normal and the everyday is even better than celebrating a "big" event.

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.

The weekend of my birthday, I went back and stayed with my parents and realized-- they're old. They're old, they can't retire, I can't support them, they have no savings, they're in debt. Made me extremely sad and depressed.

My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and renewed their vows. It was just a short and simple part of the church service that Sunday morning, but it was wonderful to see that a man and woman can make it that long and not just stay together, but still love each other. I think we forget that in our society where 50% of marriages fail.

My sister has made good friends with her ex and his new wife. I'm proud of her that she was able to bury the axe but he left her when she had breast cancer. I'm still very angry at him for doing such a thing. I wish I could be so forgiving but I just can't seem to do it.

For the first time I brought a boyfriend with me on a family trip. After being single for so long -- and the only single one -- it was a real joy to have a partner, and one who fit in so well. They welcomed him and he was great with them. It made me relate to my family in a different way -- and I enjoyed being less dependent on them. I feel like I'm building my own family.

My youngest Son graduated from HS...with 2 older children out of college...this is certainly a milestone for my Son the graduate (he did it his way and he is proud of himself and very aware that he is stepping into a new stage of life). This affects me personally as a single Mom and soon to be empty-nester. My two older children who are 10 and 9 years older have an adult friend in their Brother and recognize their age in comparison to thier little brother (the baby of the family). His younger Half-brother has a role model who is growing.

My Grandpa passing away was definitely the biggest milestone in my family. It was a moment in which I was so proud of him and had even more respect for him, but was also just sad. And sad for my Grandma and for my Dad. He was given 6 months to a year a little more than 2 years prior to his death and didn't accept that answer and made it through this last Christmas as a family. It makes me sad because my Grandparents were married for more than 60 years and I can't imagine losing a partner like that. And I really hate seeing my Father upset - he's had a rough year or so in terms of death and I don't like to see it. Finally, I think he went to the grave without telling his full story. The greatest generation is dying, and I think we have a lot to learn from them in general from surviving the first Depression, fighting in WWII and building our country up to the most powerful in the world. I wish we had asked him more questions.

Both of my parents turned 60. It really puts life into perspective that we all won't be around forever. It's really made me question whether or not I want to have children.

The breakup of my son and his girlfriend has been a big deal in the family this year. They have three kids, ages six, four and less than a year. I really thought I'd be able to maintain some kind of relationship with his ex, but she's behaving so badly toward him that I just can't bring myself to reach out to her. We are all worried about him, worried about their kids, and concerned that he's not making good decisions because he's so hurt and confused by the breakup. I'm flinching every time the phone rings.

My daughter and son-in-law chose to terminate a baby that had life-threatening genetic problems. It was very sad for the whole family. She is now pregnant with a genetically healthy baby. Going through both experiences with them has been emotionally wrenching and morally challenging. When she told me the baby was healthy, just days before Rosh Hashanah when we read Unatana Tokef--I have never felt such relief and joy.

My husband finally applied for his VA disability after over 10 years. Even though he was quick to complain and press me to file mine immediately when I just retired. He got a huge back payment, which would have been even larger if he'd filed sooner. *I* sent for his records and *I* pushed him to file as he insisted he'd get nothing...All the while he worried about when *I* filed *My* paperwork... It felt very good to say "I told you so." And it made me realize how very many times I've been right and he hasn't listend to me nor has he taken me seriously. It was just one more nail in the coffin of me giving "us" any chance again. It really all goes down to respect... He's great at telling me I was right after it's a proven fact. Which happens often. He just never believes me beforehand.

Most recently was my son starting high school. He's 14 and about to turn 15. I got pregnant with him when I was a freshman in high school, so it made me realize that he is truly growing up and able to make decisions that will affect him for the rest of his life. That wasn't the biggest impact though. My dad quit drinking after having been an alcoholic for about the last 17 years. His alcoholism has, at times, almost destroyed our relationship where i thought it was irreparable. I have been wishing for him to stop drinking for so long just because I felt he was wasting his life and ruining his health. Because he has stopped drinking, he is looking for more ways to fill his time and find fun things to do that don't involve alcohol. This has brought the family closer together. I've not only wanted to be around him more, but I've also seen a change in my son wanting to be around him also. I hope that he continues to choose the path of sobriety, and hope our relationships continues to grow.

I guess the marriage of my mum to my stepdad. I know its not "major", but it really shook me up. I hated the fact that my mother was replacing the family she previously had by remarrying. Changing her last name was a slap in the face. It feels weird that my own mother has a different name from mine, a link that is now broken. Even worst was how she ignored my plea for her to keep my last name, for me. She didn't care.

Lighting the candles to remember my father on the anniversary of his death...with my son first real sentence "What you doing?" Jewish 101?!

My son won an Oscar, which was thrilling and for which friends bestowed upon me for a short time the title of "Oscar Mom."

My sister has headed off to med. school. She now lives only 3 hours away as opposed to the day long drive when she was in college in Memphis. My parents are putting more trust in her and she is becoming more independent. She now has her own apartment (although the money for rent is coming out of my parents' pocketbooks :) ) and decided on her own to get a kitten to keep her company. Though my mom was furious at first, she understands now that my sister needed a stress reliever and without our dog and cat that we keep at home, she nearly became bogged down from the first week of school. This is hopefully an experience that will help me in the future as I follow the footsteps of my sister and my parents.

A good friend of my parents' was visiting us with her son last summer - they were behaving so horribly that I certainly learned how NOT to behave yourself while you're a guest. My family still makes jokes about it.

I found out all the bad things my father had done in the past and it has made me understand some things that happened and some things that were said when i was young. its made me not care that he doesnt make an effort to see me :)

I think that Briana and I, while not always agreeing with each other, at least listen to each other - and we have been able to do that with the help of a very good therapist.

My youngest son left home to go to Yeshiva. For the first time in 26 years I have no children living at home, they all live in Israel now. I was really worried about how I would define myself going forward because I'm not really a career woman and I would say that my main job in life has been as a wife and mother. I now realize I have the rest of my life to look forward to, one of the benefits of being a young mother and that there's no urgency to go out and reinvent myself, I will just look out for opportunities, go with the flow and see what happens.

My mom's side of the family had our huge family reunion in Florida in December. It was wonderful to see everyone together but it also made me realize how different I am from everyone and how I don't really feel like I have a place.

Again, it was when my Nana died. It had been so much back and forth with her, hospus, no hospus, to hospus again. It was so hard. But, she's gone now, but it's ok.

My daughter got 8 As and 5 Bs in her GCSEs. It made me feel very proud - all the more so because she was having boyfriend trouble and she managed to hold it all together and still deliver on her results. She is so emotionally mature for her age and I am so grateful when I see how better prepared for adult life she is than I was at her age

Planning for a wedding has taught me that family will help out in the financial burden even if they have little to provide. Also, even if my sister is anti-marriage she is still supportive of my own decision to do the marriage thing by being in the wedding as the maid of honor.

?? My brother's one year wedding anniversary. It made me feel very behind. Very unsatisfied with life. Like I always imagined that I would be amazing by this age - a young, beautiful career woman on the way to the top quickly with a loving boyfriend and a lot of friends and a fabulous life. Instead, I feel fat, only marginally successful, underachieving, unlovable, lonely, and dissatisfied.

My little brother's therapy was increased so he has better social skills to deal with his autism. It has helped wonders with his attitude and physical involvement. The way he has calmed down his emotions has greatened our family bond and helped us be closer. I appreciate him more than ever now, especially because I know how bad the things he is going through are.

There have been a couple of major milestones...my mother and I had a huge fight that to this day still feels unsettled...my daughter started kindergarten, where has the time gone....my grandmother has decided to move into a senior living center because it is getting to hard on her to do things on her own. This year has been a year of a lot of negatives and very few positives. I hope, beyond all hope, that this year is better.

The one year anniversary of my Papa's death was this July 11. It is still difficult to believe he's been gone for a year but seeing how my family has changed and how strong my grandma is after losing her one true love has shown me the type of love/marriage that I want for myself. I've also seen how I'm now treated like an adult, especially when my mom confides in me. Although Papa is gone, I've consistently referenced the lessons he taught me or his work ethic throughout all aspects of my life.

My stepgrandpa died in May and it barely affected me because I didn't know him very well. My best friend's father committed suicide a few weeks ago and I cried the night after I found out. It made me realize that I need to get to know my family better while they're still around.

Our family reunion in Chicago helped redefine the value of my relatives.

Our son graduated from college this year. It is such a feeling of pride and accomplishment not only for him, but for us as well. He wasn't always an easy kid and sometimes I wasn't sure if he would finish school, but he graduated on time and I couldn't be any prouder of him.

Mother's death has caused me to feel emptier than I've ever felt.

My mom remarried. It sucked.

My youngest daughter moved away to college, going to the other side of the country. I thought I would be devastated, but it was actually a good thing for us both. As the third and last child, she and I were exceptionally close. And we have managed to maintain some degree of that closeness, even separated by more than 1000 miles. It was a wonderful surprise, finding out that she wanted to remain a big part of my life, even while finding a new life for herself.

I don't think there has been a major milestone that happened to my family this year. A change that we all experienced is that my older brother who was pastoring a church in San Francisco moved back home and has decided to change his career path. This made me sad because I saw how lost and broken my brother was and had been for a long time. It also made me wonder how else each of us was just coping and getting by through the circumstances and challenges in our lives. I knew that my brother had been struggling for a very long time and had made his very best efforts at being "good," "healthy," and "whole." But at a certain point we are powerless to make ourselves better and are even terrible at making ourselves appear better. I was glad that he wasn't faking the funk anymore, but sad that he wasn't completely giving himself over to the process of healing...he's still coping; drinking, smoking, hanging out w/friends; just trying to get through.

The first six months of this year were full of medical challenges for us, especially for my daughter. This has affected all of us in several ways. Jocelyn has a bunch of daily medications to take; she lives with more vigilant supervision from me than she used to, and she lives with the daily challenges of asthma and epilepsy. The costs involved in her diagnosis and treatment have delayed our progress in all our financial goals despite our good health insurance. That means we'll carry credit card debt into 2011, and very possibly into 2012, when we've somehow got to get ourselves to England. That financial stress weighs heavily on me.

I was there to catch my 7th grandchild as he came into the world. Watching him grow and being part of his life and having him be part of mine has reopened parts of my heart that had been dormant since my youngest daughter was killed in September of 1992.

I always thought that my older sister (and only living sibling) knew all of the answers and had life figured out. Now, after watching her in five years into retirement, I have come to realize that she is almost a recluse and can't deal with life outside of her boundaries. I wonder how I missed it all these years.

My mother at age 65 found the finest man she's ever loved (and the first my sister and I ever liked). He fosters her hidden talent for art and takes her dancing. I've never seen her so happy. Also my half-sister got back in touch with us after disappearing in Guatemala a decade ago. She apparently was working with orphans and got remarried in the interim.

I think our foray into family therapy was a pretty big deal. In the beginning I think it helped clear the air, but ultimately, I don't think therapy can repair the damage that has been done.

My parents let me go to Israel with a ton of friends this summer, and it made me realize how much they love me and want the best for me.

I spoke seriously to my boyfriend of 4+ years about marriage and children. I feel like I am constantly coming more into my own and that accepting that I want some of the typical things is alright and it is just another facet of the things that make me unusual.

I resumed voluntary contact with my father after not speaking with him for three years. It was been a struggle for me emotionally, but it is getting better, and easier, and I am beginning to relax into a new reality of living without fear of him, and in a state of forgiveness for past abuse. It is frightening and exciting and heartbreaking and liberating."

My family lost my Dad in 2008 suddenly and although a year plus has passed, it is still a major adjustment for us all. I think it has been interesting to see how his life and leadership in the family has affected and impacted each of us this year. I think 2009 without my Dad was still very new and we were all still adjusting to life without him. For myself, I feel 2010 has been my year to really face his loss in a healthier way. My family is very private and not very forth coming with emotions - so I think we all have grown in different ways to begin to break down those walls and embrace our feelings...for my Dad and our family as a hole. I think every day I realize and become more greatful for my parents. I have learned more about my Dad's life in his death than the years I shared with him alive. I feel as children, we put our parents on a pedastal and when they fall short we are so disappointed or hurt. I find it interesting now as an adult, I can understand some of the circumstances and personality traits that shaped my father, based on learning more details about his childhood and life. It has helped me to appreciate those in my life while they are living and to not take anyone for granted OR to judge too harshly. Everyone should be forgiven, in the end to hold a grudge or bitterness is just not worth it.

The beautiful time with my sister, my youngest son's recovery from crisis, the love and support of my 2 oldest children, my brother, parents and dear friends - grateful

It was my partents' 45th wedding anniversary this year. Seeing them together and seeing how much they still love eachother after such a long time touches me deeply. They are a living example that love exists and lasts. They are inspiring to me, every single day, and I love them (and my sister) more than anything in this world.

My cousin got married; the first marriage in my family in many years, which is especially important since our family seems to be shrinking lately due to death and divorce. It's nice to see the family growing again.

My husband and I adopted cats, and then one of them died. I had never had a pet before, and certainly had never had the experience of that loss. I have a new sympathy for those who have lost a pet and also for those who love their pets.

My first son left home to live in the world. I feared it and feared it..for the year before. And there is a loss...I was right about that! But other things have grown between us: I love the new relationship. And it has given the 3 of us left home, a chance to form a new relationship dynamic. Life changed but I did let go and we did find something new and wonderful. Yay!

My mom finally made the decision to sell my grandparents' house this year. The house she grew up in... the house *I* practically grew up in. My grandparents lived only 2 stoplights away my whole growing up, and were my resident babysitters and second home. Guy Lombardo lived in their shower. :) To walk through that house -- almost completely bare of anything that made it the one I knew and had made me feel comfortable and safe all my life--was almost surreal. To be there with my mom made it that much moreso. It's funny, the house was almost emptied but its scent remained the same... I will never forget the way that house smelled -- homey and familiar... and now only existing in my memory. And knowing that my mother who tried so hard to serve her parents for so many years... despite all her efforts and sacrifice, this house would only ultimately live on in her memory either. When my grandparents died -- first my grandmother then my grandfather -- we all moved up a rank in the family hierarchy. Suddenly, my parents became the oldest generation. Mortality and reality collided with that very thought. Similarly, with the selling of my grandparents' house, it made me think that the next house to be gone through, cleaned, hemmed and hawed over, sold and relegated to memory will be mine in St. Louis after my own parents are gone. :( Still trying to wrap my brain around that notion...

My mom and dad are separated, and has been for 20 years, since I was one year old. When I was in Australia they talked about old stuff, and nowadays they no longer talk to me about things they don't like about the other. It feels like they have both began on a new chapter in life, and it feels amazing. I've always felt sad, irritated or angry for hours when they've trashtalked each other. And now when they don't, there are so much room for happiness and love instead! Amazing!

My husband and I were the first children in each of our families to get married, so it was a big adjustment for everyone. In fact, we are all still adjusting to our new roles and changes in our relationships with each other, our respective parents and in-laws.

Dave moved out. It was harder, sadder than I thought, although we'd been prepping for this for two years. It was weird, that last time he walked out -- ran out. It was just sadder than I thought it might be.

My grandma will turn 90 this year. I grew up with her living at home. Over the past few years, I have noticed her not being as sharp and present as she once was. It breaks my heart. My grandma has always been there for me and helped raise me, I will forever be in her debt. I am a better person because of her love, intelligence, and grit.

My father in law was diagnosed with dementure. It's caused all of us to live a little more for the moment. We're making lots of efforts to ensure that he and his wife experience as good a quality of life as is possible. My wife is now worried that she too might be susceptible to this in the future and it has weighed heavily on her mind.

My brother married the love of his life in May. I love them both dearly. It has made me feel more like an adult. It has made me feel a much closer connection to both my brothers. It has made me understand how loved and safe he is with his wife, and, as an older sister, that brings me peace and joy.

We had the cat put to sleep. Honestly, it hasn't affected me that much on an emotional level. However, I was seen as an adult and part of the decision, and I was there during the procedure. I guess I've crossed the threshold. My parents realize they can't protect me anymore.

birth of my godson...made me relax about issues that were beyond my control and generally gave me a sense of perspective

Sara started middle school and my little girl is growing up right in front of me. I am amazed by her sudden sophistication and maturity. This summer I watched her play on the playground equipment with her friends and knew that what I was seeing was as fleeting as the sunset. Soon she will be "too old" for such childish things and instead stand around talking like the teenagers I saw in the park that day. It was a reminder of how precious my time is with my children.

As quoted by my cousin "this is the most that I've seen you guys in my entire life." I'm 30 years old and grew up far away from my extended family. Now that I'm nearby to them, we're closer than ever and had a blast over the summer. I'm still over 100 miles away but that's not nearly as bad as being in California.

The most major thing that happened in my family this past year was my parents actually attending my Bat Mitvah, after I worked up the courage to invite them. I was both nervous to have them there, and elated that they actually showed up and stayed through the whole thing. This is the first religious experience we have shared together.

Aunt Joan and Uncle Bob's 50th wedding anniversary was super fun and I just loved to celebrate SOMEONE's successful marriage. It was very meaningful because most won't or don't make it anywhere near 50 years and I am happy for them. Also, we got to bond with Aunt Joan, Jenny, and Julie on our trip to Germany this summer - along with the German relatives. While the weather didn't always cooperate, we had a great time, and I'm a lot closer to everyone as a result of the trip.

My family has not had a major milestone this year.....

Just as I said on day1, my wife's pregnancy has had a massive affect on me and my family. It has changed our view on life, changed how we live.

My best friend moved out of state in January. It has really forced me to look for friends instead of relying on old friendships to keep me happy. I have made an awesome new friend, Devin, and I love her immensely and we have lots of fun. I probably wouldn't have gotten as close had Kayla not moved. Toby has also learned to talk and that's been awesome because now I can ask him what he wants and he'll actually respond. Hallelujah!

I just found out that my father is planning on retiring within the next year or so. Wow. He's ending his run (almost 30 years with the federal government) just as I'm beginning mine. Circle of life, rat-race edition. It gave me a lot of perspective on what's ahead.

This year my father and stepmother moved from my home town in Texas to the suburbs of Chicago. After having lived within 10 minutes (by car) of my mother for nearly 35 years, he left without saying a word to her. She would never have known he was gone had I not updated her. Granted my parents have been divorced for 14 years, they have never had an unfriendly relationship. Not the departure itself, but the way my father handled it, truly signaled the dissolution of our family unit. The whole scenario jolted me into adulthood. I realized that I am a twenty-something without a singular home.

My daughter, who is the single parent of my six-year old grandson, Isaiah, became engaged to a man she recently met. He is responsible and hard-working, and Isaiah adores him. As a single parent for 18 years, without a man around, ever, I know the trials of walking life's path alone, of being self-sufficient and too stubborn. Of being alone, by choice, but seldom lonely. Of the immense financial struggle that plagued our daily lives. I don't want my daughter to walk my path. I am happy that she has found someone to live her life with. I hope this man will love Isaiah and treat him with respect, as if he were his own, and teach him to be a good and caring man. I want him to love my baby girl and that baby boy until the sun refuses to shine. Those two lives, my daughter and my grandson, are more important to me than my own life. Does he love them to the core of his being as I do? Will he gladly walk to the ends of the earth for them, be loving and not cruel, take time for them each and every day? This me, this one filled with fear for the future, with the 'what ifs' and 'maybes' has a hard time trusting this new stranger in our midst. But my daughter has chosen him, and he, her. I must choose to believe all will be well.

Losing my father. There are some moments that are not different at all, but the overall lens I see things through has changed significantly. I found a need to journal at night; I have found myself crying at random moments; and I feel a new sense of responsibility for my mother.

Well, my Grandee recently sold his company and we now all have "allowance" type things. Personally, this has made me respect my parents and watch my spending because whatever I wanted to buy was on me. I think it will, in my future be a great asset to have. My mom used to lay awake at night and wonder what bill to pay the next day and who would give us another weekto pay it off and such. The money we acquired has made us a more easy going family. I wish for my parents to be happy for the rest of their life. They deserve it.

i visited my dads house after he renewed the property with my brother and i felt a sense of peace and appreciation of my past in a new way. i looked upon my history differently and was able to stay present during my visit

Dad's cancer. I feel so conscious of the uncertain future, when he will be gone, that I feel pressure to get things right, use this time absolutely as well as possible. And I am often worried. But: for now, I have been given a gift of the present moment, and the awareness that it won't last. It's surprisingly freeing, at certain moments. I think I knew all along that nothing lasts, but I was trying to deny it.

It was just over a year ago that my grandfather died. It hasn't really affected my everyday life which I guess goes to show how little I really knew him. I regret not sitting down with him more often, he had interesting stories that I feel should have gotten the opportunity to be told.

My brother's marriage problems. This made me angry and sad and I have wished I could "rescue" my brother from his situation. It also has caused me to reflect upon what may have brought my brother to this point in his life and how I cannot "rescue" him but be a support and that my brother will be able to get through this and learn from it and that I don't need to feel anxious that he is not shielded from difficulties in life. He will not be knocked off his feet. Also, the idea that my little brother is probably heading for divorce sooner or later has reminded me that things like this happen in life and its not the end of the world and to feel grateful for the good things in life.

My grandparents remain to be healthy and vibrant, which I believe is always a major milestone as time continues to pass. They are my everything, and I wish I knew how to express my love for them to the highest degree. I am growing up, so it is hard to make time for them every day; I can only hope they know that I am trying my hardest to make them proud and as happy as I could make them.

My Grandmother died from cancer. It was a slow and painful death and I went to the hospital every day for two weeks. It was terrifying and sad, but I feel completely fine with our last talks and about how we treated each other. I was the last family member to see her and it was crazy to me. I know the way I am typing this doesn't flow smoothly but it's the best I can do with the subject.

my daughter turned 1 year old and my husband and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary! They were excellent milestones that I celebrated happily, but also a reminder at how fast things have happened in the past few years of my life, and made me think about the dreams and goals I have put aside because of other people. I hope to dedicated some time in the next year to resurrecting a couple of those goals and pursuing them, for myself.

I went off to college? I guess? But we're still not quite over Annette leaving.

Our third daughter got married and this was a very joyful and wonderful event. The man she married is a wonderful guy studying to be a rabbi, the whole family was together for an extended weekend with good food, great music and a lot of good spirits.

I moved to a different country to pursue my own future. In the process I think we've become a lot closer than when we were living under the same roof. With the distance came a lot more perspective, and the focus has shifted from the minute everyday things to the bigger picture - which in my case, building a stronger, better relationship with them focusing on the important things,

Three of my cousins announced that they were getting married in the space of a year, this made me think more about when I would be getting married and settling down with my long term boyfriend. The conversation that followed was more serious than those before and gave us a date to aim for to have enough money to save for an engagement, wedding and house.

It was my Mum's 70th this year so we all went away to celebrate.This was the 1st and probably the only time that we were all together as a family on holiday,my parents have been divorced for 20 years but even my Dad came which was great for him to spend the weekend with his children,grandchildren and great grandchildren.It was lovely being with everyone for such a long space of time as we all have busy lifes and dont see each other so often,it was just lovely and made me realise how much I love and cherish my parents,sisters and nieces,nephews and great nieces,I love my family!!

My cousin died. She was much loved and respected. My mother related to her more as a sister, and for me I was much closer with her than with my actual aunt. She didn't suffer fools, and I loved her for that. I knew she had great confidence in me and was very fond of me. It is humbling to realise that someone who has seen you grow up, respects and likes you as an adult and takes pride in your achievements. I never realised how much I would miss her - gossiping over a cup of tea, a mischievous look in eye and wise word in her mouth. Her son is an only child, about the same age as me. He and I have always been close, and now we need to make room in our hearts and house to give him a sense of home no matter where he is in the world.

The birth of my nephew reminds me of the sanctity of life.

My son is still not well, and my father has been (finally) diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's. It's all so overwhelming, frustrating, depressing and sad. I feel so incompetent to handle it all - I was never strong in those areas. I'm turning to my Higher Power, to G-d more, to listening to people helping find the words and means to get comfort and strength from the most important source, but it's still hard. As a result, I've turned away from 125% at work, and focused more on me and my family. One good thing, as a result, my brother and I, who always got along, but because of distance, in age and geographically never spent much time together face-to-face or talking, have really built our relationship, something I've longed for my whole life. For that, I'm truly greatful.

My dad has cancer and subseqeuntly, it took not only a physical toll, but a mental one on him aswell. He has recovered from his illness but he is not the same person. We are still dealing with his paranoid/schizophrenia like personality but it's making all of us a stronger person.

Within the past year, my oldest Auntie on my mother's side passed away. The death was very difficult for my aunts and uncles and for my mother and grandmother. One of the things that happened upon my aunt's death was the contending of our age. Knowing that our parents and aunts, uncles and grandmother are living in the latter half of thier lives and the mortality set in, not just for them, but for myself. This certainly makes you examine what you want from your life, and what is important. Within the year, I had my first child. I have wanted to be a mother for over 10 years now and life circumstances just did not allow that to happen until 9 months ago. Upon my daughter being born...actually since her conception, my way of thinking in the world had completely shifted. How i did my work, how i decifered the news, how I dealt with difficult situations, how i interacted with people...and so much more, had all shifted because this life was growing inside of me and I was soon to be responsible for another little being. This little girl has been a blessing to me and my life more than she will ever understand. Although I like who i was prior to her coming along, I love who I am because of her presence in my life.

Our major milestone was moving and beginning a new life in a new community. It has been both an exciting and anxious time.

One sister became a mum, and another is about to get married! These are firsts in our family, so it's made us all realise that we have grown up rather a lot...!

Do I have to pick one? Let's see...I got married, I got pregnant, my mom decided to move to California (though it hasn't happened yet), my sister is on the verge of poverty...It's been a crazy year. How has it affected me!? How hasn't it affected me?

My parents have asked me to take over their day-to-day finances, checkbook, bill paying, etc as they don't feel they are able to responsibly handle this any longer. It makes me realize that you lose reasoning abilities as you age and it scares me that I, too, will be in that situation one day depending on my daughter to do the same for me.

Milestone? No, unless you call sickness a milestone. My husband has been sick for 2 years now. Life has always been quiet, but it's even quieter. We don't go anywhere because he is just too tired. That has been hard. I'm not a socially active person so doing even less I'm sure has not helped my emotional well being.

It's hard to think about a major milestone. But because of all the things I did this year I realized I'm very happy with my family. I love them all and our trip to Italy, France and Canterbury was great. Now that I life by myself in Amsterdam I get to know my parents and sisters on a different level which is really great. The relation of parent-child is changing to friend-friend which is really nice. I get to show my mother around Amsterdam and have tea with my sister. It's great we're all moving on and how supportive my parents are to me.

We lost my father in-law, and my mother, the only remaining parent/grandparent fell and suffered a permanent brain injury which has seriously curtailed her activities. These losses have made me more aware about our mortality and the importance of spending as much time with the people that we love.

My daughter just entered kindergarten this fall. It's hard to believe I've taken nurtured this amazing little person for the last five years and here she has turned into this independent girl, full of imagination, creativity, love, and spunk. She is my heart. It wasn't easy to walk away from her that first morning, leaving her in her classroom, knowing that someone else has influence over her. It's not just my small family and the people we choose to be around - she's part of the bigger world.

Gabriela graduates HS and goes to Florida State and starts her true grown up life and has the world at her finger tips. I am so proud, words cannot describe how I feel about this amazing human being who is my child.

Rachel moved away to college- Scott and Joan are empty nesters!! I think that's probably the biggest one- my Mom and I seem to have moved past the last year. I feel that things with my family are wonderful. We probably treat my Dad harsher than we should, and that makes me nervous- I may always be scared that my parents will divorce- but I think this past year was a good one for the four of us.

I guess this again would be with my soon-to-be family - with me and my fiancé. In addition to the wonderful thought of creating a new family together, it has been great to experience the expansion of my immediate family to include my fiancé. Sharing her with them and them with her has been a very beautiful thing.

My sister has gotten healthy, her hair has come back (not cancer), she is working regularly. That's awesome. Although I don't let on much I was terrified something horrible and irreversible was happening to her. Really, I thought she would die.

Mom's retirement has been a big transition in my family. I am forced to think about how they can live on a reduced income. I hope that my mother will be tremendously happy now that she can be more active and involved in her home. I hope they get a dog. I hope it forces my Father to soften. I hope to spend more time with mom.

This summer, I realized that my dad isn't all that I wished he would be. And although I know that he cares about me, he doesn't know anything about me and doesn't really take the time to find out and I'm not really open to tell him because I have so many mixed feelings to him. I felt that when I went to Colorado, I was just help to him, not someone he should be spending time with when he doesn't see me except once a year. I finally realized that I'm going to stop trying with him.

Dad wet back to rehab. It was tough because all the old feelings we thought were dealt with and put to bed woke up and came back. It was hard to deal with, well thats an understatement. But we came out the other side and hopefully we've beaten it this time but there's still the fear that it will never be gone away.

My oldest aunt died recently, and I'm now the "matriarch" of the family, most of which is out of state and out of contact with me. Because I've been distant for so long, I did not attend the funeral and connect with them after all this time. I have some regret that I didn't. Her son communicated via email but there is virtually no connection.

My Mother in Law had a fall on a Friday night and we had to go there to help her out. I really dont want my wife or I to end the same way, but I have noticed that my memeory is not as sharp as it was. I pray that I can stay sharp and keep optomistic to the end

My cousin turned two years old. This was a milestone because when he was born, there were severe complications. His mother, my aunt, had contracted a disease that my great grandmother had when she miscarried and died in childbirth. We were worried that my aunt would do the same. But here they are, two years later, alive and well. I value my family more than anything, and I don't know what I would have done if anything had happened to them.

sister found a boyfriend! the boyfriend is not her "type!" she was able to look outside her box and she is so happy she glows! he is brilliant and intellectually well matched for her. also attractive in his own way. the downside is that we talk much less frequently because she is so busy with him and changing jobs. but i hope things work out and they will stay together and be happy.

my big sister got into uni which means she's leaving in a couple of weeks. it's weird... and i'll miss her, even though we fight. truth is she's one of my best friends.

My marriage was certainly the biggest milestone of the past year, which has helped to bring us all closer together and to know down some long-standing prejudices and conflicts between generations. Also, my grandfather died this year, after which my own father said that it really hit him that that was his only father and has made efforts to deepen our relationship. It has brought us a lot closer.

I think the biggest that comes to mind is my mom finally finding a job she loves. For years she's been moving between various jobs that she'd liked in moments, but mostly just tolerated, all because she was the one who needed to provide health insurance for herself and my stepfather. (He is repeatedly turned down due to his "pre-existing conditions." It's something I can hear in her voice, a kind of lightness, that was often missing, particularly during the time she was working two jobs--one of which involved an overnight shift. She's incredibly happy now where she is and it's such a relief to know that. Makes me very happy.

Meeting my biological/birth family was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me this year. I feel like it's opened a window into my history where it was previously a big question mark. It's helped me feel more whole, in a way, to know more about the beginning of my story.

I unexpectedly adopted a third German Shepherd. He has been a wonderful addition, but my personal life now has become quite dog-centered. It takes much more time to exercise all three of them, and I regularly feel that I fall short in this regard. And needing to be sure three large, young dogs aren't confined at home alone for too long I am not able to be out and about as much as I might like. But life without them would be awful; another example of life's trade-offs!

My big brother acted like a big brother for the first time ever, but in doing so got it wrong and over-stepped boundaries. It's opened a door for my to express myself far more truthfully (and unfortunately painfully) than I ever have. This has not even begun to heal...

I was laid off and I need to rethink my life.

My brother told my mom that he was ashamed to have her and my dad as parents, it showed me how protective I am of my parents and that sometimes family's not always there for you!

The roles finally shift with my siblings experiencing that i cannot be the ONLY one to take the lead in helping my parents. Earlier this year both my mother and i had major surgeries. This forced my siblings to step up and be on the front lines of doing whatever needed to be done. For so long i needed this to take place and if it took me being ill for it to manifest itself....then the lesson was learned.

My mom graduated from her Master's program last year. Her being there, kinda put a strain on the family, but we got through it together. And seeing her win a ton of awards and accolades was really inspiring.

Well, by the 14th aprox of feb my parents signed the divorce papers... Im guessing that was a big deal, but it really hasnt made much of choice that Ive noticed, maybe it has and it just hasnt sinked in or its actually true that Ive decided to live and let live...

Over the course of many months I think that I've come a long way in improving and repairing my relationship with my older brother. It's been really wonderful. I've made a lot of strides in my own issues (such as being too passive and not wanting to rock the boat and avoiding confrontation), and I think that the more I've worked to get past my issues, the more it's had a positive effect between him and I as well, where he's also made progress in his own issues (even if less overtly or consciously).

My Aunt Irma turned 103. She remains in her own apartment,but has a live-in companion. Seeing how she lives and functions raises many questions about aging. How we care for the aging, how our minds and bodies are affected, how taking care of an elderly person affects the caregivers. No one I know knows anyone 103, let alone 100 or near 100, so I have an unique experience. My aunt is is fairly good physical shape, given her age. Not what one would call frail. But she has no short term memory, which makes having conversations difficult. At the same time, ask her about something in her childhood, and she remembers it with great detail. I look forward to celebrating her 104th birthday!

MAybe my aunt falling and head injury atround New Year's. It seems to have affected he mind. Made me realize I don't have much time left with her, because myabe one day she won't recognize me

Ahhh... my sister moved our father into a nursing home (elder care facility). At first I was really happy because I knew he'd be getting more of the care he needed, and that my sister would finally have a life in her home free of having to care for dad! But then... now I feel as though he's even more lonely... like he dislikes the new place. I think it's made me a little sad...

My brother had a stupid car accident (no1 was hurt) and had to go to court... It affected my mum the most because we found out that if he was found guilty then he could have possibly been sent to prison... luckily he didn't :) I dont think it affected me at all really... i tried not to think too much about it until it actually happened.

The first one that comes to mind is the death of Dodo. Although Julika and Dodo had been a part of my daily life, and I was never good about keeping in touch with them, they are both family to me and I love them deeply. I was really saddened by Dodo's death, particularly for Julika, who's whole life was shattered. The silver lining, however, is that it has brought me closer to her. I'm being better at keeping in touch and reaching out. I am so grateful for that affect, although I wish it hadn't taken a tragedy to spark it.

A major milestone that my family has had was my cousin who I think of more as a brother, left for Iraq. I know that he will be safe because God is looking after him, but I still can not help but worry about what is going on with him over there. I love him very much and I know that he will be okay. I think that this has made me realize that people enter your life and they leave your life, but they always affect you, no matter who they are.

Milestone? None significant, but continuing to work towards milestones - one son getting his BS; a sister changing jobs; one son moving to California. I continue to trust all is in order.

Our son went to Israel to volunteer over the summer at a school for specials needs children. At 17 he went on his own without an organized program and not really knowing anyone there. In addition, his Hebrew was less than functional and considering he was working with children, Hebrew was the only language he would be able to communicate with them in so over the course of the summer, it improved quite a bit. I think it made both me and my husband realize how soon he will be leaving us for good. This is his last year of high school, then he'll be back to Israel for yeshiva and possibly the army and then on to college. He is number 3 out of 4 so it's not like this is the first time we've had a child leave home. But I think we both realized how final his leaving will be. Much different than having a daughter go away who still seems so connected and dependent on you. I think it's mad us proud and sad at the same time.

I really have troubles with answering to this question. I think that the biggest milestone has been that I moved out of my parents house and started my own life. It made em realize how important family really is and how much you need to cherise them. Because there is only so little time you can cherise them, your life can be over any second from now on...

My Grandpa passed away. I know that this will sound odd but the whole thing was mostly just really uncomfortable for me. I remembered 10 years ago when my other Grandpa died very suddenly how really devastated I was and how I broke down crying in the parking lot of the DMV. We knew that my Grandpa was going to die. My mom would call me weekly to give me updates but we saw it coming, clear as day. My Grandpa was in a home and had been there for many years. I couldn't bring myself to visit him the last couple of years because he had no idea who I was...sometimes I was my mom or his sister but Katie was never someone he knew to exist and as silly as it sounds it really did hurt me...he had memories of my mom and his sister and his wife but none of me. I felt really terrible for my mom as I know it was really hard on her...she still mentions it now the guilt she felt for him living out his years in a home. I can't imagine how that must feel considering the guilt that I already feel about just not having visited him...even now it weights on me from time to time.

I reached my last straw with my partner. After leaving her secondary to finally becoming aware of how she tried to control me through her anger and her need to control my finances and my friendships I had left her. In my process of trying to co-parent in different homes and finding myself to still be in a place of being controled by my ex's lack of communication and anger- I chose to take control. I began a legal process that eventually lead to mediation, joint parenting with clear lines of communication as the goal. I also set-up supports- which included quarterly mediation meetings, an ongoing communicaiton notebook and my partner knowing that I will return to synagogue at the beginning of 5771

My sister graduated with a doctorate in physical therapy and got her first job. That means my baby siblings are all working professionals now. It makes me feel proud and happy for them. And happy that my parents are done helping their kids through school and joblessness. I know that makes their lives a little less stressful, especially my Mom's life, and I feel lucky that we're all at a point in our lives where we're taking care of ourselves and making small contributions to the world. I think I also got a little closer to my sisters this year. I hope we only get closer as they distance between our ages becomes less significant.

I got to spend four days vacationing with my son and his young family. My son and I have been aliened for almost 20 years. It was so nice to have the wounds of the past laid to rest, however, I don't need to be around him or his family drama until vacation time next year.

I was diagnosed with a lifelong debilitating disease --- Rheumatoid Arthritis. It hasn't stopped me from doing any of the important things. It has made me more grateful for everything.

The separation of my parents and their coinciding (if related) mid-life crises, mental breakdowns, and unfair demands of their children with respect to the whole situation rattled my sense of what great parents they have been, how healthy our relationships were, and how long they would be a guiding and reassuring force in my life. I guess everyone gets to a point when they feel their parents can no longer take care of them - perhaps this is what it really means to be an adult - but to so question the fitness of my parents as my role models at age 27 has been a real shock.

Both my parents losing their jobs, and reminding me that a secure state of being is neither static not should be taken for granted. We're all susceptible to change, without a moments notice. Their enthusiasm about moving on and using this moment as an opportunity to do something they've wanted to do for a long time has been inspiring..

My grandmother died. It brought together a lot of family, but the real question is if it will bring us together any longer than the funeral rights did. I learned an incredible amount about she, and her previously deceased husband, that I never knew. I have always had a great respect for her, in raising four boys virtually alone. I have also known that I get a lot of my quiet, non-emotional behaviors from my father, and her as well. But I saw a picture of her, from before the accident she had in her twenties, that left her with scars, and I saw myself. I never knew how much I looked like my own grandmother, and that realization just made losing her even harder.

My dad retired from the military. It was insane. I'm not really affected, but my mom and dad have been. We had to move cross-country, and that's been tough on them. It's not so bad though, because they're finally getting settled in their new house, and new job, and everything is working out.

Well, my last grandparent passed away this year. I'm glad she got to be around to meet her great grandchild, even though she had no idea who he was or how he was related, and he won't remember it at all. It was still nice. It's sad because that generation is gone, and I don't think I fully appreciated how much I had to learn from them. I mean, I know my mother told me when I was younger, I just wish I'd actually listened to her instead of blowing it off and reading romance novels in my room when I should have been collecting stories. Also, her house was completely cleaned out and redecorated, which makes me immensely sad. That house has been (somewhat) the exact same since before I was born, and it really kind of hurts that it's not around anymore. I mean, it's still there and we still own it, but it doesn't look the same, and it does not have my granny and granddad in it anymore.

It seems the hell my family has gone through the last years has finally simmered down. We're going to be alright, I think.

My Godmother, who is now a Naturalized Citizen, had a stroke a few years back and almost died. She lost a piece of her short term memory in the process, but can remember some short term instances. She began to take classes to study Sonograms and is now about to take her 2nd Board exam to become accredited. Her english is not so strong, but she has persevered. I am inspired by her, I go to FIU and my freshman year was tough. I remember how she's doing it and making something of herself when there was a point in time she couldn't remember if she had fed her child or not that day. She has advanced so much that one wouldn't know she had a stroke, just attribute a lapse of memory to her easy going attitude. I know I will get into Medical School when all is done.

My older sister got married last November. Although it did not directly affect me, I feel like it has made me think more deeply about the choices I make about my future and who I want to be.

I turned 40 this year; it was a bigger deal than I would have thought. In some ways, i am more confident and less concerned with what others think...i like the idea of being more secure and comfortable with myself...still concerned about the dating situation....hopefully, it will sort itself out....

The birth of Isaiah Paul, my first nephew. A gift of new life, new hope and new possibility for redemption. Each life in Judaism offers us the possibility of a better world, a more perfect world with less poverty, destruction and hatred. He is our family's hope, our people's hope and the world new hope. Each time I look at him I think of that and I feel at peace and filled with hope.

I became close to my nephews. My sister was in a situation where she needed help, and I am so blessed that I had the ability to be there for her when I could. If not for me, she could have possibly lost custody of her children to her asshole ex husband. It was a milestone for me because it was the first opportunity I got to know them as people.

My uncle got remarried this year, and it brought my family together in a way that we have never been before. I have never before so enjoyed time spent with my cousins, aunts and uncles. However, it made me realize how deep the gap between my mother and I has become. It's sad, and happy at the same time. I feel that I can't have both.

Again, the adoption thing. Sort of overwhelms all else.

This year we discovered that M is pregnant again. After the incident with the blighted ovum I didn;t want to consider that there was even the possibility that it could happen again - and neither did M - so we let it get to 20 weeks before we investigated further. I'm still not quite mentally attached to the idea we are going to have another child.

My dad finally moved to the place him and I love, Washington I simply adore his new house and i love everything about that place.

My sister moving to town - I was uncertain as to how it would impact our family dynamic, but it has only made it stronger.

I have come to realise this year that not only am I incredibly blessed to have my own wonderful family but through my partner I now have a new family that has made me feel very welcome and loved. In particular, his lovely sister has become a very dear friend and both my partner and her have become just as much a part of my family as well. I feel incredibly lucky and can't thank the universe enough!

My father-in-law determined to continue his life in his own home, despite the advice of everyone - his wife, his chilren, his physicians - that he move to assisted living. I learned that one can only ask one's parents, "Are you happy?" If they are not, then one is obliged to ask, "How may I help?" These same two questions - in the same sequence - are the important basis for communication with one's adult children. One can learn by observing the actions of others in response to the events of their lives.

About two weeks ago (as of 9/12/10) my grandfather died. We went back to our home state to attend his memorial service and to pay our dues. All sorts of family members that I never remember meeting were there and most made heart-warming speeches about him. However, the one that stayed in my mind the most was that of my dad's. It's the only time in my life I think I've ever seen him show sadness about something. I, however was not affected so deeply since I felt like I never really got to know him. Life goes on...

My son started High School and I am blown away by how different it is for him then it was for me. I am inspired and grateful to spend my days supporting him and watching him blossom into a compassionate and happy young man.

My grandparents' health have seriously started to deteriorate. This has forced me to acknowledge that they won't be around forever and that I should cherish all the moments I have with them

The major milestone was the birth of my two grandchildren. I think this has helped me to slow down a bit (I am a workaholic according to my spouse... of course, she's right!). Having grandchildren is awesome. This event certainly has me thinking about personal transcendence and my own aging and mortality... not in a negative way, but in a reflective way.

This year marked my sister's 13 birthday and the 13th anniversary of my grandmother's death. She was my mom's mom and her best friend. She died 4 days before my little sister was born. It caused major emotional and physical damage and caused my mom to become extremely sick while in the hospital. This year I realized how much it really affects both my mom and my sister. My mom lost the woman who meant the most to her before she could show her a new light in her life. My sister lost an irreplaceable role model whom I had the honor of meeting. I'll never forget, my sister was 2 and in a timeout. She was being really quiet so my mom went upstairs and asked if she was okay. My little sister answered, "I'm okay mommy. I was just talking to grandma. She told me that everything will be good." I remember seeing my mom cry for the first time. I was 6.

The death of my Grandma late last year was pretty sad for my entire family. I went down to Victoria for her funeral and all of the family were there. She was so well loved and I really miss her. But she had dementia, so I can't feel too sad that she's gone. Also I broke up with Ian, whom I'd been going out with for 1 1/2 years. He hit me. I don't forgive that kind of thing. Plus he was a manipulative control freak, which I'm only just starting to see. He betrayed me and I feel pretty terrible about it all. But I have a new bf now who's lovely.

My brother moved out! Living with each other was very difficult and we always had a strain on our relationship. Now that he is moved out and we do not see each other every day, it is much easier to have a more healthy relationship with him.

I was thought to never get mad. To hide negative feelings and just share the "good ones". This has led me to being unable to experience "hard feelings" since I´ve learned to deny them. Now I´ve realized that yelling, getting mad, and even feeling envy or hate are aspects of every human being... including ME!!!

Starlight went through that scary drool, losing hair thing for a while.

My sister decided to go and work in Europe and give up her job to be a deckhand on a yatch. This has caused my mother to put more pressure on me to be what she sees as "normal".

a major milestone would have to be the outcome of all the downs and ups involving our situation. the outcome, was that we became so close. I don't know another family as close as ours. the milestone would be overcoming and preservation and that instead of breaking down, we've just kept building. I'm proud of us and I believe we learnt how to really be a family this year and that we built a solid foundation for all the good that coming into our lives.

My husband and iI celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary, which is 2/3 of my life. I am awed by this long marriage in a positive sense, and awed by the passage of time in a mot so positive sense.

My sister had a baby daughter. It made me aware of my age, the passage of time and that we are assuming the roles that we once ascribed to our parents. The death of my cousin made realise this even more. When people died it was our parents who took care of funeral arrangements and saw to the burial and the prayers. Now it was my generation. We had to bury and pray and bid farewell. It made me realise the knife edge between life and death. It made me feel weak before the power of destiny. It worried my immensely. It has forced me to revisit my assumptions and my faith.

Grands died. It was actually quite a nice time we all spent together reminiscing about such a wonderful woman. It was great that Laurie came back, a shame that he didn't get to see her, but positive that he will always remember her for who she really was, and not the dying weak person she was for the last few months. This has affected me greatly as it has taught me that no matter how busy you think you are, you can always fit time in for someone special. I don't really notice the extra free time I have on the weekends, even though my weekly visits to Grans took up a fair chunk of time.

I think my brother finally coming out to us was a milestone in my family. As the eldest sister I have always known my brother was gay, I think I knew before he did to be quite honest. It may seem like more of a personal rather than family milestone, but it has affected the whole family because it was a subject that we had never really confronted until this year. His "outing" allowed us to be honest with each other and to see my brother finally comfortable enough to let us know his true self. To see him embrace his identity was very rewarding for me because I saw him struggle with being comfortable in his own skin for years and fail in relationship I knew were only of convenience and not about a connection. We are all very close and when one of us is struggling we all feel the weight of that burden so to have lightened that load was very freeing.

No MAJOR milestone with my immediate family, but I'm glad as the family still stays strong together and progresses, seeing as there are so many problems with many other families I know. I did find someone who I want to start my new family with. Now that's major.

Finally I feel independent and free of strong negative influences from family members

My Mum has a heart condition called SVT where her heart goes at speeds that shouldn't be humanly possible, the ER literally has to stop her heart and restart it. She has been in the ER four or five times this month and they have said she has to have surgery to make it go away. The surgery itself is scary as you have to be awake for it so they can basically see what the heart is doing. I get scared every time my Mum has one of these attacks sometimes I think she may not make it.

My aunt died, being the last of the my father's (who died in 2002) siblings. It felt like losing a link to the past and I was so sad that I never found out what an interesting life she'd had until her funeral. I wish I'd talked to her more while she was still alive, and it's made me determined to talk to my aunts and uncles on my mum's side more while they are still here.

My son started college so my husband and I have the house to ourselves for the first time since the birth of our daughter nearly 21 years ago. At the same time, my parents are in poor health so taking care of them is a growing part of my life. It's a strange convergence: my children need me less, and my parents need me more, but in both cases I know that my relationships with these people who are so essential to my life are changing irrevocably.

My daughter's educational career change has place much less pressure on the family

The birth of the love of my life and the apple of my eye Eva!

My middle son graduated high school and made plans to be in Israel for the year. It made me realize that his brothers and I all had to rise to the occassion to fill the gap he leaves in keeping our family running and in keeping our communtiy together. I think we're doing it - so far.

We have recently added to our family-- an exchange student from China. This has been remarkable since we never had children and them having a 17 year-old. Your priorities totally change.

My mother and wife have not had the best relationship this past year. I think we are coming to a better spot with it but it still makes me really sad that things are the way they are. It has forced me to learn more about acceptance, forgiveness and unconditional love.

My son received his driver's license, which hit me as a sign that my 5 children are really growing up fast. We'll also begin visiting colleges with this same son this fall, which causes me anxiety wondering how we are going to pay for his education and his 4 siblings to follow. Despite this trepidation re: my children's impending entries into adulthood, I am extremely proud of all 5 children, particularly in how 1. they treat others (kindly and with respect) and how confident (but not cocky) and happy they seem to be. For this outcome, I will be eternally grateful to my wife, who worked diligently to ensure they were raised possessing our strong family values. Thank you, Sue!!!

I got married! I changed home, family, country of residence, friends, habits, housemates, pets, jobs, responsibilities, available income, and anything else you can think of. Biggest life change so far. And so far, I love it!

My immediate family went on a wonderful trip to Mexico with friends, had a very active and fun summer, and both kids excelled in school. I am very proud of my family. We received some scary news about my mother, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. It is the first time since I was a kid that I started getting fearful for my parents' health, and realizing their mortality.

Nothing significant comes to mind although my mother and sister continue to be at odds over their relationship due to my sisters gay lifestyle. I believe it is something they must both work through mutually. It happens to stand out that as the years pass the ebb and flow of our closeness hasn't progressed much. I would like for that to change but lack the understanding or patience to be the driving force behind such a movement.

grandpa was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, it is manageable but it is something that makes us all realize that there is only so much time left. he has been much more than just a grandparent, he has been a parent to me, i dont know what i would do without him.

My sister got pregnant after many attempts with assisted reproduction. I have decided then to try as hard as possible also to pursuit this dream, this changed many plans that I had in my professional life....

There haven't really been any major milestones this year. My best friend gave birth two weeks ago to a baby girl and that affected me weirdly. I already knew I want children and am super broody about the whole thing but I felt really really jealous, jealous and happy for her at the same time. It made me feel shitty tbh. I suppose a major milestone in my new family would be that I moved in with my boyfriend, so we are a family of 2 whereas before we weren't. This has made me inordinately happy and jolly and also scared because I don't want to fuck it up.

My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. Where have the years all flown? Sad to say, we are getting along much better now that the kids have grown up and left home. My husband's anger over the messes our daughters make has abated. It's good that we don't have anger issues between us, but bad that our daughters can send him into such fits of anger. I get pure joy from having them around; he gets frustrated and short-tempered.

Among other secrets, my brother's affair came to light. I'd known about it for some time, but having it on the table was ultimately healing. The initial jerk of emotions was very difficult and wounding for most. But healing is now taking place, I believe.

My family have completely broken down around me which although in theory should be intimidating or heartbreaking has been liberating above all. For example, my mother has agreed to finally move out and I had the strength to tell my father how I felt about him leaving our family behind. I've felt alot more connected to all of them, yet still with little to no emotional bond. It's quite nice.

My little brother turned 40, and that's pretty creepy. But at the same time it is wonderful to observe life and all that we can do with it. It's a reminder to try to do as much as you can giving it all goes so quickly!

Got my family ties back.

The Birth of Sofia. It made me more aware of the love to my family, his brother was upset and jealous, so we had to pay more attention to him.

Having a baby has brought my family together and given us all something to celebrate.

Grandma Julie died. It has brought me closer to my extended family, put my relationships into perspective, and pushed me to not give up on my family.

My grandmother passed away. She was the rock of our family -- everyone seemed to get together around her milestones (birthdays, celebrations), and her home. It has made me wish that I had gotten to spend more time with her before she died. She was a really incredibly lady, and I hope I am able to make as big of an impact on the world as I have seen her make.

My daughter and I have reached an understanding that I need/want a close relationship with the man I am dating and that it in no way diminishes my need and desire to continue the very close relationship I have with her. This has reassured her that I am not giving up my "mom card", but getting a dating card to go with it. It's hard when it's been the 2 of us for the majority of her 20 years.

My mother and I have FINALLY found a good, solid relationship with each other, after 34 years. We've both grown, accepted and forgiven and even though we've had moments of truce before, they haven't lasted... I do believe this time it's for real.

My mother in law died, this was tragic but most of all it confronted me with being mortal and it made me wonder if I was doing the things I would like to do most.

My wife divorced me. This has thrown our family into complete chaos. The (adult) children and I are still in shock. She moved away to Miami to start a whole new life away from every one. Very strange. It has totally disrupted the way I thought life was going to continue. It has made me grow though, i n ways I never thought I would.

- My mom got into graduate school! We are so proud of her. She put her education on hold while we all worked hard on ours, but now at 55 she has a chance to get a Masters in Jewish Education. Way to go IMA! She's a fighter and a trooper and I love her.

My daughter nearly had a psychological breakdown that scared me to bits. Our bond grew stronger as I helped her through that episode. She has become confident and free spirited again.

When my family was all together for Christmas this past year, my parents sat us down and talked us through their will and all the details of their intentions for when they past away. This was a very sobering experience even though we were all very loving and a little goofy during it. It has made me think about death more. Both about my parents, me and the whole of my family. I don't like thinking about death. My parents also told us that we would be taking a family vacation together to San Juan. I just want to spend as much time with as much of my family as I possibly can. Not a huge change in my life, just a clearer and more pronounced realization of my feelings and fears.

My wedding was the biggest milestone in my family this year. It had a positive effect because our intimate, very personal wedding ceremony was moving for everyone who was there, and I think gave my family a better idea of who I am, and what my relationship with my husband is about. That was very affirming for me. But at the same time, we chose to exclude a lot of family members from the event, out of our preference to keep it intimate and affordable. That was a bigger deal on my side than his, and caused resentment among many of those I didn't invite. I am left with really mixed feelings about it- on one hand, like everyone says, "it's YOUR wedding, not theirs", and I am 100% happy with the event we created. But on the other hand, I hate the idea of people I care about resenting me and I wish that didn't have to be one of the outcomes of such a happy time in my life.

My niece bought her first house at age 27. I was about that age when I purchased my first house. Of course, I'm very proud of her -- she's intelligent, hard-working, fun, and has a great future ahead of her. But as the next generation, I've been forced to recognize that I'm one of the older ones now. It's just further proof of how fleeting life is, and how repetitive its patterns.

It got a lot easier to be a family of five. My kids all play together and are each wonderful children, albeit different. I feel lucky and blessed.

My sister got engaged....this has been a huge milestone and has begun to reshape how our family interacts with one another.

Getting married. It's made us closer, elevated our standing in the family and our community. Reminds other people outside our circle about what the gay marriage debate is really all about.

My grandfather left his condo and moved into an assisted living facility to be closer to my grandmother, who is lost to Alzheimer's. I continue to learn about love and devotion from his commitment to her well-being, as well as his commitment to the memory of the amazing life they shared before we lost her mind to disease.

A major milestone in my life this past year is my retirement. I left a job I loved, after much soul searching. My question to myself was,"What do I really want?" How did I want to spend the rest of my years? I asked God for guidance and I believe I received it. I do not miss the routine of working. I am relieved of answering to a clock, an employer, students and parents, and of commuting. I get up in the morning when I'm rested. I savor several cups of coffee at the computer or with the newspaper. I get dressed when I chooose. I keep committments to a minimum. Still, I have not gotten bored. I'm incredibly busy. That is the most surprising thing to me about retirement. I thought I would have large blocks of spare time and yet at the end of the day my list of "have to's"and "want to's" remains unfinished. I have a great sense of freedom. And I'm loving it.

My husband graduated from Business School. Major milestone. But not in the way we expected. I think both of us thought he'd get a fulfilling, high-paying job, and live happily ever after. But he got a normal job, and the burden of student debt is much greater than we expected. I am concerned about money for the first time in my life.

In the past year I unfortunately lost 5 family members in the space of a 2 month period. Being in the middle of one of my semesters at university and being away from home made this a very difficult time for me and I struggled through my course work, but carried on regardless. The family members I lost ranged from the ages of 40 - mid 80's, and has really made me come to realise that you don't know when your time is up, so I should make my time on this planet as amazing as possible. In the words of Bob Marley, love the life you live.

My brother was fired in such a bad manner from his previous company. Thank God that he found a new job quite fast. We witnessed the blessings of God. We prayed a lot and he answered our prayers. This affects me a lot spiritually. It was amazing.

Evan didn't get into medical school, and that threw us all for a loop. I It made me realize that nothing was a given.

My husband's father died. It has made me appreciate my mother-in-law more. She's always kind of rubbed me the wrong way in the past.

I told my family that i'm Trans, They're still coming to terms with it, and I guess I am aswell. But I feel like we're getting to be on the same page and I'm nowhere near as afraid to tell people now, in the knowledge that my family are so lovely and supportive.

I met, feel in love with and got together with the woman of my dreams.

I addressed the lack of sex in the relationship with my wife. We still haven't solved it, but just getting it out there has made our relationship better.

My daughter moved back to NY & found an apartment & a job. This is a chance for us to bond again. Will she find her bashert?

I added a 3rd child to my family. I have always wanted a large family with lots of children and now I have that. I had no idea, though, that the birth would affect my first two children so profoundly. They were 5 and 3 when our last child was born earlier this year and the adjustment emotionally, physically and mentally has been hard. For them and for me.

My oldest son bought his first new car. It made me remember being young and learning to be an independent adult.

A major milestone has been the realization that my mother was unhappy and becoming self destructive in ways that i was trying to ignore. It has frightened me to actually realize how human my mom is, i miss thinking she could handle anything.

My brother has been at rabbinical school and is now studying in New York City at the same yeshiva as his girlfriend. I've been inspired by his focus and direction, and would very much like to be that settled myself. I've even felt envious of his career development and seemingly happy relationship.

My sister got married! We are a family that doesn't put much importance on marriage. My sister had been with her now husband for 16 years. They are both in their 50's. They married because of insurance/financial reasons. Still, I felt this was a cool thing for our family.

My daughter did something that I felt was amazingly stupid. It's still stupid, but I now know that I cannot make all the decisions... or even as many as those that I used to make, for her.

The most major milestone was that the third of our six children graduated from high school, moved out of the house and lived off his friends for almost six months. When when that cash cow ended, within a few weeks, he moved into his grandfather's house, enrolled in college, and got a job. Of all the kids, I was most worried about him becoming a street person. Now, he seems happy, fulfilled and is for the first time becoming an independent adult. I am now able to talk with him in a positive context instead of always negative. A huge change in our relationship.

Well over the summer my dad's work were making redundancy cuts of around 1/3 of the staff.. He wasnt going to find out until towards the end of the summer if he still had a job or not and unfortunatly this was while we were on holiday.. Determined not to let this get in the way everyone went on with the holiday as nothing was wrong i however became quite worried for a long time.. Not even telling my girlfriend (who i trust with my life) As i knew she'd worry about me being worried... Luckily after the holiday he found out that he was going to be fine and kept his job.. but this has made me worry about how bad i am at saving money as im 17 and its vital that i keep as much of it as i can..

Major family milestones -- family home of 18 years is sold, parents divorce, son goes to college, daughter is treated for mental illness. What more is there? The way all this has affected me has yet to be fully defined. It has been a year of elation and extreme anxiety. Ironically, I have never looked better. I even dreamed that "my ducks hatched." That dream meant the world to me. On my most difficult days I remember the feeling I had in my dream as the little ducklings popped out from under my bed. Not to worry, new life has begun!

My mother's pain in the ass boyfriend moved in this year. He's annoying as hell and I'd really much like it if he would leave. However, my mom really likes him and I don't want to break her heart by forcing him to leave. Being the only son, I get defensive of my house and when he barges in and acts as if he owns this house, that's a big no-no on my part. Hopefully this jackass will realize what he's doing and stops before I have to stop him.

Having lived away from home and only seeing my parents and the rest of my family for no more than 2 weeks a year it has been good to spend time and get to know the again!

I celebrated my 40th birthday with some of my family. I look back at how life has gone by so fast, and want to treasure the time I have left with my family.

After years of being very close to my father I finally made the connection with my mother. She is an extraordinary women, that I feel over the years I may have taken for granted. Now I can see the how wonderful and brilliant she is, and am proud to be apart of her gene pool.

The most major milestone in my family this past year is that we truly became a family - not in a legal sense, but in a committed, emotionally close sense. I think we now see ourselves as a family, and this has been hugely significant for me. I don't think I really knew how much it meant to me to have my own family. It really fills out life and gives it more purpose. I love being part of a family!

My grandfather has been in the hospital since March of 2009. I'm not sure if I should feel guilty about that. Nothing of significance really happens in my family.

A major milestone...wow...my separation? my move? starting a new career after not working for a decade? starting my own business? my daughter having a baby? me getting a dog? my other daughter being stalked? me learning I have a form of Lupus? buying a home, looking after it myself & having it flood? living with a grown child who has a mental illness & is verbally abusive but putting up with it to help her child? It's been tough. Mentally & physically draining. It could have screwed up so many positive things in my life. I got through it & am making the best of things. I'm trying to move forward, stay positive. I need to learn to balance my life & look after myself better. I'm becoming the person I was meant to be :-}

We purchased a new home. After a long and tedious process in a Short Sale, we moved in, and I'm slowly feeling like part of the community, something I never felt before as a renter.

My mom came for a 2nd visit at Thanksgiving. I did better than the 1st time, but it was a total struggle. I want her to be more present. Barring that, I want me to be more present without so much sodding judgement about her lack of being present...

Some of them started to use Facebook. Aside from a nasty wall post and some awkward friend/no friend decisions it has changed my life in virtually every way imaginable. Or not.

My turning 40, realizing that there are probably more years behind me than ahead of me, realizing the shift of generations in our family as my nieces and nephews enter their twenties and thirties and have children of their own. Gaining a sense of my own small window on the passage of history. Blissfull somehow.

My uncle was taken to the hospital just last week. He is old and diseased, and we expect that he will die very soon. At that moment, our big, separated family united for this cause, even for only a moment. And the best part of it is my uncle came out of the hospital safely.

We settled back into our lives in the Kibbutz. I think that's been good for me. I feel like I am doing the right thing.

My aunts had kidney transplant surgery. It was one of the most moving experiences to witness my aunt give an organ to her sister. The gift of life is both monumental and intimate at the same time... very inspiring.

My stepfather's dad passed away. He and I went through cancer treatments at the same time. He fought hard, and enjoyed his life to the fullest until the last. I draw strength from this - I can continue to beat this.

The reality of both parents working without the help of our extennded family was an awsome challenge all around.Missing our extended family and being so far away from them which lead to questioning the decisions to move countries.

My dad's alzheimer getting worse. Heartbreaking to see how an active, energetic, full-of-fun and life person can be decimated with age and illness.

Well my Aunt's passing surly left an impact or scare on me and my family. I feel that my Aunt was last tie that bonded our family for my other aunt and my mother do not get along. So the continuation of the seperation adn detirieration of the family continues. Althoguh the passing wasn't over all bad i wasable voice my thoughts at the service vollientarilly.

Jonas, my younger son, decided to go to public school for 8th grade. He has been at an independent school for his whole education. He has pretty severe dyslexia, and we were all scared to launch him into a public school environment. It felt like having him leave home. But we trusted his instincts (lesson 1) and trsuted his teachers at the independent school who paved the way for him (lesson 2) and hoped for the best (lesson 3.) It's been very very good so far, great kid who will thrive wherever he is planted.

I don't know that there were any major milestones in my family this year. I've decided to take "my family" as a reference to my husband and I. It fits better. We have gone through our ups and downs this year in terms of how close we are. I think we're settling into figuring out a nice balance as a married couple. We have our own lives but are starting to treat each other with more affection lately. For a while there we weren't close enough, but we seem to be gradually re-correcting. I like that we can do this and don't have to have any dramatic showdowns to effect change in our relationship. I like that he is always there. His warm presence in the bed beside me -- that's what I love most of all. My husband is always there. He's loyal and kind. A gentle person. That's what I love most about him. Even though it frustrates me to no end sometimes that he's not the type of person to take the initiative, I know that if he was, we'd fight like crazy. I'm way too much that way to ever live with someone else who's especially *driven*. My husband and I don't clash, we just have to work on making sure we make time to do the things that lie in our areas of compatibility. I guess what I've learned this year about our relationship is that we can move into a stage in which we're comfortable but still working to make it better. Comfortable but dissatisfied, perhaps. It is not such a bad thing. It means our low points aren't so low anymore, and I think our high points are starting to get higher again lately because we both recognized the need to reconnect. I really love him. I want him to "find himself" and be happy with his own life, be moving in a self-actualizing direction. I already am. Our relationship is starting to. I think our family is coming together and I'm glad, because it makes me feel very comfortable trying to have a kid. Our child will be in a good environment, and I think that's vitally important. Now just hoping we can manage to have a child! =)

we went for vacation in Kerala which help to rejuvanate ourself and for first time we went for outdoor, over night picnic

Before the summer we learned that my contract with the congregation that I have been serving for the past 11 years will not be renewed. After a lot of soul searching during the summer, writing for the High Holidays has liberated me from the angst that comes with change and I begin to realize the blessings in beginning in a new place. I am now free to be "me" instead of trying to be someone else to others who have their ideas of what I ought to be to them.

The death of my mother, and it feels like it ended my family, it's just me now

Two major things happened in my family this year - both at around the same time. SOC was born and GRB got engaged. Neither one affected me as much as they should have as I am so far away from everything. I am deeply happy (and relieved) for GRB and the news didn't trigger depression about my own situation - which is good and can not be taken for granted. As for SO. It makes me sad that I don't know her. She is growing and turning into a person and I am missing it all. I was also and envious to see how much Mummy was helping CYC through it all - going over every morning for months. It made me sad and envious because that kind of support won't be available to me. I will have to figure how to do it alone without my mother. But that was my choice so I can't complain.

Youngest son was potty trained. Awesome!

Major milestone - albeit temporarily - this had to do with my house re-modeling and that I have a very crazy schedule - and frequently can NOT contact people re scheduling times for them to come and make an estimate. My son (grown and gone - but nearby) works at home - and has the ability - and desire - to work with contractors, etc. So I handed over the reins re the house project to him, albeit temporarily - and did the same for a rental unit in IL. He has done a fantastic job with both and I'm very proud of him for that!

Although she downplayed it, my Gorgeous aunt turned 85. She still has more energy than a chorus line and the legs to fit into one! She has been a friend, role model, confidante, adventure companion and cheerleader for me for each of my 60 years. Her example has made me truly look forward to whatever is still ahead in my life.

I was finally able to get a loan modification on my home, which dropped $1000 off the mortgage payments

My father's parents passed away this year within months of each other. Finally learning more about my family history in the context of their sacrifice and contribution has changed my perspective of self. Knowing that I am indebeted to those that came before, and being able to see influences of their teaching in my own development and daily life I have an even greater appreciation for family and the roles we play in each other's life.

My mother told me that I don't need to leave the house until I end up in a job I truly want, or in a place I truly want to be. I never thought I had that kind of support until now.

I survived a family holiday - but only just - I realise I need to be more tollerant and appreciative of my family - they will not be here forever.

My favorite aunt died quite unexpectantly, and although I was unable to attend her funeral, I made a special effort to forge ahead to regain contact with lost relatives and to celebrate a major birthday for my mother. My daughters and I traveled a distance to surprise her on her 80th birthday. This was the best gift I could ever have given her. She was so happy and so was I.

My mum moved to Toronto for three months. It showed me how dependent I still am on her and how weird my dad and my relationship is. We get along better when she's not around but I miss her so much when she's gone it's not worth it.

I have become a little more efficient on the P.C and have been able to use the Webcam. I have thus felt closer to my family who are away from me. I still have to use the telephone for contact with one of my daughters and my granddaughter

my children turned 4 and 3 years old. they are growing up and i am a little sad about it. i am happy to see them learn and grow and explore. still, the changes can be scary. i want to appreciate every bit of time i have with them... i know they are not "mine"-- they are here to fulfill their own destinies.

We spent the major holidays without my husband/father. Everyone has made an attempt to be a close family on those days.

The major milestone has been my and my daughter's conversion - While that reads as a "me" milestone, it's also a family one. We have his new language to talk about the "big" things now - values, ethics, how to do the right thing and be good to each other. It's a process, and an enriching one, for me. I'm so grateful.

This year marks 15 years with my high school sweetheart. The way has not always been easy, but I've appreciated and am grateful every moment.

My Dad retired from one of his two full-time jobs in August 2009. He is such a better person for it and seems to be really enjoying his free time to spend with his grandson, my mom, and in the yard. I'm really happy for him.

We bought a house and moved. My wife and I also made major headway in dealing with some of our chronic emotional `hooks' and improved our relationship a lot. Both have been very positive and not unrelated.

It was in 5769 when we laid to rest my grandmother, my wife's grandmother and a great aunt of mine who was the matriarch of the family. So we dedicated their stones in 5770, this allowed us as a family to move forward from what had been a mixed year, when we had those three funerals, but also saw 4 new grandchildren for my in-laws, including one of our own, into a year when we could really celebrate the new arrivals and remember fondly those we had lost.

My grandfather died two months ago. I was the only grandchild present during the decision making process. It appears I am the chosen one for all the big decisions yet to come. It is a great compliment, and, in a way, a huge burden, but one I am prepared to carry.

I am 29 years old and lucky to still have 4 living grandparents. Both of my mother's parents are unwell, and we have all had to confront the reality that caring for them has become a large stressor in all of our lives. It's hard to watch my mother go through so many different emotions as she looses both parents, one of whom was abusive to her when she was growing up. My mother loves both of her parents, but feels guilty for wishing that her mother would pass on instead of continuing to inflict pain on those around her.

Just recently my maternal grandmother passed away. It wasn't unexpected, but it was sudden. She has been ill for a few years, suffering from dementia. With my extended family, we cared for her this summer. My two aunts bore the brunt of taking care of her, but on the weekends, my sister and I would care for her. We took her to brunch on the weekends and did things with her. She was taken from us, but we were able to make her life easier in the end. I am still extremely upset about her passing. It hurts to lose someone, but I am so glad that I have my immediate family and extended family to rely upon.

Having our fourth child was a major milestone that impacted every member of my family. For me personally, the first few days felt like a restart, a chance to correct omittions I may have made with the first three. It felt like a rebirth for me too.

My mom renewed the restraining order against my sister. I often find myself trying to re-assure my mom that she is not a terrible parent. I resent the drama. As an adult, my sister is responsible for her actions and the accompanying consequences. My mom did her best, she is not a loser parent. I really wish she could see and understand that. And....make some room for peace in her heart.

i have better relationship with my husband

I got married. I find that it has given my parents peace, my sisters peace, and in coming home this year for Rosh Hashana, it was one of the most joyous holidays. It reminds me of how much in a family can be eased by the family members having the basics of a happy home. How much this affects parents and siblings, how worry plays such a part in our lives, and perhaps some lessons are in here of how to ease these stresses even when the situation is not ideal.

My daughter moved to Korea. It has taught me that love has no geography.

Well this seems to be all i talk about, but I got engaged and that was a massive thing for my family as well. It has meant a lot more family dinners and conversations than normal, and it has meant that there has been intentional working through of issues. It has been hard trying to plan a wedding when times have changed so much and weddings and who plans them and who goes have changed.

I was molested by someone I always thought was my friend. But it has brought my family and I closer and they still choose to love me though I still have other issues to conquer.

Wow. Lots. In the last year: Mhairi turned 21, Lindsay 18, Trenton 11, Euan 7, Lewis 16. All major birthdays. James got a 'proper job' and moved to London with his girlfriend. Acknowledging that my family is/has grown up and Jim & I have done a pretty good job by them all considering the circumstances. Many pats on the back to both of us.....

My son went to sleepover camp. And although I missed him, I realized I had needed a break. And, that my younger son had needed more attention. I felt unsettled in his absence, but happy for the ease. And then,after a few weeks, I missed him terribly and felt so proud of him at the same time. I cried when we picked him up.

My son went to kindergarten. He was born a 3lb 6 oz premie six years prior. I would not have pictured him then, as he is now. So big. So sweet. So articulate. So much a playfull boy.

The rest of the family realized how manipulating and selfish my grandmother is. Its affecting me in a good way actually, because i feel better now that everyones on my side and im not being scolded as much for being brash with her.

My mother has had greater difficulties and has made a major transition to an assisted living community. It's a wonderful place, and a great choice, and she's as happy as I've seen her in a long time, but she's still in a lot of pain and she is sad much of the time. I see my future in her, and I keep thinking how I can improve some things now so as to improve the future. At least as much as I can.

Our family has decided to really become a family. Shawn and I have decided to become husband and wife, so that the role of mother and father are clearly defined for Dana. Also, it is a clear expression of my love for this man. I know who I want to grow old with... my best friend. This has made me content and happy.

The death of our 21-year old nephew is still affecting us, and probably will for years. To lose a life, so full of promise, and one we have followed since birth... is so tragic it's hard to put into words. I know our pain is nothing compared to his parents, but it's difficult nonetheless. Eric touched so many and died too young, what more can be said?

Charles moved to the farm this fall. It made me sad. Very sad.

No major milestones. Not much interaction when you're part of a majorly dysfunctional family. My sister and I seem to be a bit closer though. For this I am grateful. I continue to build my own "community family" for whom I am also grateful.

My paternal grandfather died. I hadn't seen or spoken to my father in over 10 years. There was no happy reunion there, but my sister and I did reconnect with our grandmother and aunt--an inspiring experience.

My grandmommy has been in and out of the hospital over the last few months, and we can all see the toll it's taking on my granddaddy. It's hard to watch a man who's always been so confident and able to handle anything admit that he's out of answers and ideas and doesn't know what to do. So, we do the best we can at helping out, being attentive, and staying positive for him.

My youngest brother, Zach, got married at the end of June. Initially, I was not sure that he was making a wise decision because he was so young. But now that I seem him with his wife and see how happy they make each other, I am happy for him and I also envy his ability to love so honestly. I am also happy because I have gained a sister and have never had one before.

My grandmother had another minor heart attack, it causes me the grim reminder that she won't always be around, I need to appreciate her more.

My wife has been cancer-free for three years, which statistically means she's done with that phase of her life. It has lightened her load more than I can say, and so, mine as well.

We finally got together for Eid celebrations after so many years. All nine of us plus the newest addition, my baby nephew Ali. It made me feel genuinely happy, something that I hadn't felt in a while.

Since Archie was born, we have had to adapt to a life with demanding bundle of fun. It's been tough, but we've become a proper family now.

My wife changed jobs about a year ago getting a much better salary and summers off. We have been steadily moving away from "hand-to-mouth" living.

My younger sister got engaged and then married. To begin with I was unaffected by thoughts that I was behind her developmentally, until people started asking me how I felt... I had brief pangs of "why not me?", but soon resolved these feelings. It was the planning of the wedding and the hen nights, and the change in my sister's behaviour and personality that had a far greater effect on me. She became self-obsessed, demanding and difficult, and I struggled to find a new way to relate to my very different sister, and to my parents, whose whole focus was her. I felt sidelined, ignored and undervalued. The experience as a whole has had a lasting effect on our relationship and if I'm honest, I harbour some lasting resentment toward her for the way she behaved during the 9 month period. However, I think we are over the worst of it. I love my sister, and value her input during times when I find life tough. I still struggle with relationships in general, but I hope ours is one that will withstand even the greatest stress. After all, we are family.

Sarah getting sick was really scary. I was terrified that she would be permanently disabled, and the thought o her trying to look after Mia scared me so much. I resolved to look after Mia no matter what, in whatever way she needs me to.

My daughter had her Bat Mitzvah. The planning and learning process brought us closer as a family and has made me even more in touch with my roots.

Going on holiday with my family after realising that we are't really a family of 4 any more, more a family of 3 and 1 extra person who is sometimes there. I came to an understanding over the past year about what my being absent from home and family holidays for so long has done to our dynamic and came to also understand that it wasn't intentional. I felt respected as an individual and welcomed as a part of the family and I really felt like we've grown through the division that I felt had existed for ages into a more adult relationship.

the major milestone this past year was the rebuilding of my relationship with my daughter in law and their family. I am important in their lives, they love having me visit and I love being better known by the children. I feel free to stop in for lunch, to stop after work and just shared a lovely "grandparent's day" dinner with them. It has been a wonderful time of rebuilding and reconnecting. Also Zack's birth and seeing Julie as a mom has been delightful. Witnessing the birth of a grandchild for the very first time was an awesome experience that I will never forget. I felt privileged to be in the room and privileged to be a woman who has both given birth and seen the next generation come to being.

the second of three children (myself being the first) moved out of the house to (like myself) a far away country. all of the distance has helped us realize how much we love each other although it has also brought me worries of how to help support her in addition to myself.

Again, the death of my grandmother signified the end of an era in my life, but it's made me appreciate my family much more and realize how lucky I am to have them.

SUNCADIA..............My daughter has never trusted us to invite us on vacation. I am 22 years clean and sober, and yet she still isn't comfortable..................well HOORAH this year she invited us ! We brought one of our other Grandchildren with us........................and stayed and played for 24 hours in Eastern WA, with all THREE of our grandchildren. This WAS MY MILESTONE.

We're adding a new member to the family with the baby. I guess two with my fiance. The fiance addition has been incredible and stressful and I wouldn't change him at all. The baby is still too abstract to feel anything solid about. I'm awash with worry and fear; not the excitement everyone around me feels.

There was nothing major. Minor things--uncle herb died, Gus got her period, Coco moved in with Matt, Dede found and then lost a girlfriend. The major things are ahead: coco turns 21 and Gus becomes a bat mitzvah and Eric turns 50. Now that you mention it, I would like a major milestone for just him and me, but don't know what it would be.

I think our trip to Mammoth Mountain in the Sierras was a bit of a milestone for a good part of my family. I think a lot of insight came into those cabins. Secrets were finally revealed and through loss we eventually came back together. It was not the easiest Christmas and it was certainly not a normally one for us but I feel like it went as smoothly as it possibly could. A lot of things changed that Christmas. I feel like it was one to reflect on and one that will is a milestone

My mom had a health scare. She decided to return to live home earlier. We have bonded more.

Finally settling my grandfather's trust - it has made realize the importance of making sure the people you love are taken care of. It has made me more responsible for myself in the future.

Jerry moved into assisted living. Dori and Ira, seeing the situation new, stepped up, and Sy did not have to help out. The stress this relieved for him I can only guess at. For me, it really is wonderful to have Jerry in his own place. He seems happier and healthier, and I really enjoy that he is not in the house. ****, as previously mentioned, tried to commit suicide. He failed, I'm gla. So glad. We have new legal troubles regarding his behavior, which outcomes we have no way of knowing. I'm learning to call people and talk instead of isolating. This is very new! Anna moved away to college and I think about her, her new life, what it all means. Gary died. Bill Gumenik died. I think about this, too, and what it all means.

My baby brother and his then-girlfriend had a baby when they were both 14. They gave the baby up for adoption thirty years ago. She recently found my brother and will be meeting him next month. This has affected me deeply, enriching my love and compassion for my brother, a tender-hearted and troubled man. He is a bass player, and the heart of our family "band," providing a deeper rhythm than anyone elese ever to grace our family tree. My newly found niece looks like ME and to my Dad's delight, is an engineer, like him. She lives in Houston, one of my favorite cities. I long to meet her and her husband and baby boy.

My brother and mother were estranged for about two years, and now they are speaking again. The poignancy of the whole thing, especially my mother's vulnerability, was tough to watch. Obviously, we're all healthier now, which is good, but it made me so protective of her.

My ex husband and I broke up for good. This made me reconnect with family and friends (that I consider family). I realized that a spouse may not be forever, but your family and friends are...sounds cliche, but I now I truly understand the meaning.

Not much. I know death is part of ones life. I have no fear, and I know that one day I'll die.

My little brother finally spoke his mind to my mother's boyfriend (and father of my half-brother). I disagree with the way he treats my mother and acts in general so I had already distanced myself from them, but after my brother's outburst my mother's boyfriend finally told us we were not welcome in their home. It hasn't hurt me too much. My mother is the exact opposite of who I am and that is on purpose. I have made sure that I avoid adopting the same messed up ideals and opinions that she has. I have seen the way she lives and that's not the kind of person I want to be.

My sister-in-law moved across the country to be with her boyfriend and go back to school. I miss having her around, and miss having some family close by. It has made us think about moving to be closer to family, something my partner would love, while I would like to stay here...

My ex brother in law who I was very close to reconnected with his girlfriend & has literally disappeared from my life. I miss himvery much but I am glad for his happiness.

I don't know if we have had any major milestones this year but the one thing that has really affected us is the the fact that we had to place my mother in law in a care facility and then also make the decision that my sister in law needed assistance where she lived. It has brought us closer together as a family and I have found who is willing to step us to the plate or not.

a milestone with my family is that under no circumstances should religion, politics, or race be discussed at the dinner table.

My brother = in - law, Bill, was hired after being off work for almost 8 months to work and write in the Obama admin. He is loving his work. My sister, his wife, Nancy, is moving from life coaching to working in a very rescue friendly AC facility in Fairfax, VA. I gave up the chance at a family reunion in WI for a weekend of quiet - YESH. I realized my extended family of blood has become less crucial in my life - that my local families at church and work sustain me with support from my siblings. A sad thought but true.

Remarriage. This has been positive even when it doesn't appear to.

We lost my father in law just a few months after his wedding to my mother. He was a beautiful man who wished all his life for something, got it, and only had a few months to enjoy it before he died. It continues to affect me as I struggle to define the boundaries of a healthy relationship with my mother. It also reminded me of how short life is. beyond the cliches, you just can't sit around and wait for things to happen.

My husband and I moved to New York this summer. Whenever we move it just reminds me how important our relationship is, and how we will follow each other everywhere and be there for each other.

Mike got out of rehab. My relationship with him is definitely different than it used to be. He actually feels like my brother again. He keeps in touch with me and listens when I talk about "big things". He's trying hard to stay out of trouble and change the way he approaches life. It's made our family feel more complete.

The one i loved and trusted most did what he does best, broke the trust I had in him, how do I now forgive and believe in a world where what people say is as the say it is ?

Moving. I don't feel like it brought us closer together. For the first time I feel like I can't go to my parents as there is nothing they can do. Even more jealous of Aoife than usual because as usual I feel like she has it easier. She seems selfish and self-absorbed. I feel hopeless.

I have a preference for right-brained seeing, doing, and thinking. I have had to make accommodations all my life to become fluent in the left-brain language which dominates our culture, institutions, corporations, and the majority of our interpersonal and interpersonal relationships. It is the assumed way of perceiving and relating in our world. The assumption is that the line from A to B is always straight. I realized that I too had marginalized my point of view and in working very hard to be seen and heard in the preferred style, I was not only losing a connection to myself and my world, I was constantly creating more chaos by not following my nature. I began to ask for things such as more "think time" and "dream-time" so I could really find out for myself if I wanted to do, or get, or be something. I asked for some accommodations to be made for my style and my way of being in the world, especially in my own home. This year, for the first time in my life, I am allowing for pauses and peering into the spaces in between, seeking the silence and the stillness and now I feel more like running and dancing and leaping than ever before because I am finding my own rhythm, my own knowing, and my own being. I am more openly received by all my beloved left-brainers because I am more present and open than ever before. By my honoring my way of being in the world, by slowing my own self down, I became more grounded and grounding and it helped bring a deep peace and comfort into our family because I no longer trying to keep up or see or be what I wasn't. I didn't even realize that this was a way in which I wasn't being true to myself because it's so ingrained in our culture and the cultural map told me, "They are right and I am wrong." Now my map shows me we are all right.

My aunt died. I think it has made us all very protective of my uncle. Her passing has made me continue to believe that you need to see your friends and family at every opportunity you're given.

I am pleased that my husband and I are healthy and able to volunteer in our community after forty-nine years of marriage. We look forward to many years of happiness surrounded by our children ,grandchildren and friends.

I think we both had a moment when the baby turned 1. We realized that the tough nights and the unexplained crying were over and that the walking/talking/laughing thing was OUR daughter!

My sister has asked me to be the caretaker of her children in the case of an emergency. I'm glad that she trusts me.

Kairo .. my dad moved to NY (closer to him now!!)

Rachel turned 30 and we honored her with a surprise party, and our relationship, hers and mine has gotten to the very good stage, the place it was when she was a kid but without the limits where she would break down after too much fun, e.g. our trip to buy her sleeping bag.

Nothing really happened to my family this year.

My sister graduated college and is now starting a job. We all now have our little part to play in helping out my mother's needs.

Both my sister and I got engaged, which were obvious happy milestones. But my parents also celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary, and in the midst of my nervousness about my own upcoming wedding, this has been a spot of hope. They may fight, they may annoy each other, but they last.

Nothing such important happened

My niece Eliana hits major milestones every day that fill me with joy and only a tinge of bittersweetness, remembering my dad. She just started preschool a few weeks ago, has the best laugh I've ever heard and can really talk and play now!

I guess my marriage was the biggest one. Definately hard on my side as it included my settlement in the UK, very far away from my mother and rest of the family. However there was the merging of our two families which is always a blessing and a joy. I think the affects are yet to be felt in their entirety!

My dad turned 60 this year and it was the first time in three years my brothers and I were all together again. It was so much fun and reminded me just how close my family is

My sister moved to my city and then left to go to grad school. I really miss having both of my sisters here. She was really helpful during a tough time for me. It was very nice having a year with her in the same city as an adult. It also made me happy that my other sister and I live in the same city.

My daughter moved to New York City to begin her graduate work, and set herself in a direction to live on the mainland. It is exciting to see her take this big step to fulfill her dreams.

My grandma finally retired, which we never thought would happen. Hearing everyone she has worked with praise all her work made me proud but also made me want to work harder towards having that kind of career in my future.

My recent ex partner and I lost a child this year, it practically destroyed me as a person. I felt like someone had offered me everything I ever wanted on a plate, then ripped it all away at one go. I am still struggling to handle being around people some days, and despite loving children find it incredily hard to be around them at all. When it was all happening I felt so useless and incapale of doing anything. I didn't even feel like a person anymore.

I had promised to clean up /fix up my mom's house for her, if she agreed to go into an assisted living residence. While there my b-in-l died so I had to assit my sister who was VERY stressed. Then mom fell, broke her leg, etc. & landed in the hospital. I was fixing the house, helping my sister & visiting mom - speading myself too thin. I didn't listen to my body and overworked myself. In the end mom was not too grateful as in "I wasn't going to pay somebody to do it" (when she knew I'd do it for free) & as bad as I feel that she's not doing well and has to go into a nursing home, my sister & I talked openly for the first time in our lives about how we felt about mom, finally learned that she's bi-polar (always knew there was something wrong with her & her emotions but it was "nameless") & leanred that my sister also feels guilty alllllll the time too. We're both caught up in the "yearning to please (mom)" & from this experience I've learned & realized that NOTHING is EVER going to make her happy; to quit knocking myself out trying to do it & dump the guilt.

No major milestone, but my baby is growing up too fast. She just started her last year of elementary schooll.

my sister has gone through the ringer this year, emotionally and physically and my parents are divorcing after almost 40 years together. my role in the family has been the one who carried everyone's emotional baggage and i've decided not to be that anymore. though i have been affected, i have not allowed my vulnerability to become a reason to over extend myself to the degree that I previously had been.

My sister moved away for university this fall. It was tough, because she has been the one I've looked up to for years now. She's always been the life of the family, and without her, things seem to be lacking. I miss her, obviously, but I'm glad that she's following her dreams. We're all proud of her. It's a big change, and it's different for all of us.. but we're adapting.

There have been many, the death of my aunt, and ex-step mother, the death of my other aunt Joan, the marriage to my husband and the getting to spend the summer with and then have to let go back to Oklahoma with my son Markus, knowing that he is not healthy there, and knowing that it is going to hurt in so many ways. I have dealt with it, even though I didn't think I could and I have tried to call him as often as possible. I know that if I continue to get my life in order I can get him back. However it will be a challenge when the legal system is crooked... but like they say, money can buy justice... right? I just have to pay enough money to get a lawyer as crooked as that of my ex.

The biggest milestone was all of my family going back home without fighting. Usually our family reunions are marred with anger and frustrations, however the Caribbean breeze was blowing and we had two hotels and separate rooms. Everyone did their thing and had time to be alone. It was amazing. This year has been incredibly stressful, but being where my entire family (but me) was born and seeing how far we have all come as a family, just made me appreciate them so much more. I can fully understand how amazing my family is, even when they piss me off! I know they are there for me and I want to be there for them in every way too!

The biggest milestone was all of my family going back home without fighting. Usually our family reunions are marred with anger and frustrations, however the Caribbean breeze was blowing and we had two hotels and separate rooms. Everyone did their thing and had time to be alone. It was amazing. This year has been incredibly stressful, but being where my entire family (but me) was born and seeing how far we have all come as a family, just made me appreciate them so much more. I can fully understand how amazing my family is, even when they piss me off! I know they are there for me and I want to be there for them in every way too!

Well, I wouldn't call it a milestone, however, it was something that affected me greatly. I was out of town for Christmas in 2009 when I get a call from my older brother telling me that my mother was about to be hospitalized. This was something my family had never experienced and it changed the way I thought. And this is the simplest most common lesson one can learn - don't take things for granted. Now I cherish every moment with my family because one can never know the misfortunes that may come o ones life.

We have teenagers -- the kitty cats turn 13 in 2010. Because of the big move we've been particularly, ummm, observant about their stress levels and health in general. They're good, and they will be for a good long time. But accepting that 13 in cat years is old -- as in, no getting around the word O-L-D old -- is tough. They're still kitties to me. I want them to live forever.

Selling the family business that's been in our family for 3 generations. It was sad for me because this was in my deceased Grandma's name. But it has helped my parents financial issues. So now I don't feel as guilty about my parents helping me out financially as well.

We lost another beautiful boy. This time by violence. I can no longer assume that my life and privilege is for me alone. And there is little consolation in the words "I'm busy" when the next time you see a loved one is in a damned box.

My 'family' is more broken then ever before, now that Mom and Dad are no longer speaking. This puts me in the position of mediator once again.

My in-laws moved from So Cal to Virginia. My husband now spends hours on the phone every week, talking to his sister and parents. Even more than before, our vacation time seems to be centered around my in-laws.

my youngest sister got a divorce, my other sister found (hopefully) love, my dad had a semi-heart attack and, maybe because of proximity, i can't relly think of how i have been affected by any of it. in the moment, i try to be 'there' and be supportive and perhaps that reinforces a lasting relationship, but i don't know that there has been anything truly made a lasting impression on me. probably says a lot about how i view things (pretty self centrically).

My father dropped out of the play writing class my mom and I gave him as a gift. For me, it was tragic and seemed to be proof of his unwillingness to cultivate new friendships and relationships and hobbies as he teeters on the edge of (involuntary) retirement. I was furious and after he left I wept, on my bike ride from Edgecombe Avenue to Brooklyn. But it's his decision and the world has not caved in because of it.

My father turned 80 this year, and he did not want us to have a party or any kind of celebration. I was saddened by this, but my sister and I respected his wishes. The milestone itself and the reminder of my dad's current life (remarried after the passing of my mother a few years ago) was bittersweet for me. I found myself missing my mother and being grateful that my father was alive, healthy and comfortable in his current life.

Yoni and Lauren's wedding. I want to find my love the way they found theirs. And ideally, I want her to be Jewish.

We got married! It has changed my life in so many ways, but mostly we're the same as last year. But I'm now a homeowner, and more settled into my future. It's a good place to be.

Earlier this year, we commenced the expansion and reconstruction of our house. It's been exhilarating thus far, but of course i expect that the best has yet to come.

I have semi-reconciled with my mother because she's divorcing the evil stepfather. I think that's really all that needs to be said about that.

This past year my sister decided to get a divorce. It was very difficult because our families were broken so abruptly. I also found out that she was physically and verbally abused throughout her relationship with her ex-husband. It has been definitely difficult to watch my sister go through all of this, and the worst part is that she's not really in our lives as much as we hoped she be. On a good note, all of us (sisters) decided to go back to school and finish. It is incredible to see G-d moving in the little ways. The economy made our family forced to do a lot of labor work on our own. I had to carry pounds and pounds of granite with my father. To be honest watching my parents work so hard is heartbreaking. I just want them to rest for once in their lives. They haven't had a break since they were 17 and 21. It has really driven me to be a better daughter than my older sisters have been. I know that I will have to support them with time. I want the best for them and they have done so much for me, how can I not? Thus, this fuels my desire to be a great physician

We finally set a wedding date. It has changed the way I feel about my own family, and I now realize that I have a whole other family that is becoming my own. It's kind of surreal. I love my family, but I am excited to have my own life and not always feel influenced by them.

It has closed the past and opened new ways in my life.

My family has managed to dodge significant milestones this year. Talk to me next year when we will hopefully be living in a new house and sending our daughter off for her first day of school in a new community. That's a milestone I'll savor.

This was not a year of big "milestones," but the four of us have continued to grow together, as always. We took what might have been our last family trip to France, and though it started out rocky we soon found our rhythm again and took it as an opportunity to strengthen the ties that have held us close for so long.

I got married, it changed my life and the life of the ones around me.

The 2nd anniversary of my father's passing was in July. It marked the ending of the one year shock of firsts and allowed us to sink in to what our lives have become since he passed.

We bought our first home. And my nerves are a wreck. I think we will lose it as soon as 2011 comes unless somesort of miracle happens.

Two milestones personally - 30th wedding anniversary and turning 50. I've been feeling introspective and kind of mid-life-crisis-ish for a few years, but I think having numbers ending in zero really drove it home. They've affected me by really pushing me to ask if this is where I want to be and to think where I want to go in the future.

My daughter, at 32, is pregnant with her first child. Our roles, the way we personally interact as mother and daughter, are forever changed. It is like a changing of the guard. Good side: Now she will know what it's like to be the mother. I'll be gettin' some respect here:)

My brother asked his girlfriend to marry him. She said yes. They asked me to officiate at their wedding. I'm not sure I could feel more proud of him, more excited for them or more humbled to stand under the chuppah with them next year.

My daughter and I resolved an issue that kept a distance between us.

My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a month ago. I am still shaken and sad an much more worried about being a good daughter than I ever was before. But I'm not sure I am a better daughter! We're trying to visit him more often, and I'm thinking crazy thoughts about getting pregnant so he can see a grandchild before he dies-- although I don't want children, at least right now.

My grandfather past away and I think made our family a little closer and not take things for granted. My younger sister graduated from college and we all attended her ceremony. It was a very joyous occasion and now she has job and is living and commuting from home. I think we're all happy to see her growing up.

My mother died this year in June. The effect is still taking place, as I was a bit distant from my mother. I really wanted to get closer to her during her final days, and yet I was in turmoil with my relationship with Joe, and trying to get used to having a new family meaning his daughter Emma. I have a lot of guilt around my relationship with my mother, that I am still processing. I feel that this year has been full of challenges that having me posing deep questions to my inner being. At the moment, I feel a missing and a longing to hear my mother's voice and see her face. I am deep in thought. I love you mom. I miss you

Discovering that someone I care about has an eating disorder has led me into a new area of research. It has also led me to realize that the "referred" pain of compassion can be felt as acutely as if it were my own, and that there may be some times I would be advised to make my boundaries less permeable.

My grandmother is dying. It is slowly tearing my family apart.

My kids and I are working closely on some projects. It brings me joy and fulfillment

On May 1 my mother was one year post her first heart attack. She is finally recuperating and back to being active in her community, working 2 days a week, and making trouble whenever she can. It had been a long haul during her recovery, and it is a huge relief that she is so much better.

My youngest turned 21. Some relief that legally I am no longer responsible for her. Of course, as her Dad, rightly or wrongly, I will always feel responsible.

I had a baby, but more dramatically, my unmarried younger sister had a baby with a man who has turned out to be a terrible father and even worse husband. The impact of her unwise choices has had my family reeling, especially since the baby was born three months early with several major health problems.

Our son got married. Our small family cluster is significantly transformed to include an entirely different and lovely family.

I have become closer with my sister and it now feels like we are brother and sister rather than just two people living in the same house but I wouldn't say that is a milestone I'd say I still have another half a mile to go...

I am now officially a rabbinic student. My confidence is soaring and i feel legitimate. and scared and extremely thrilled. I am excited for the work and nervous that my tendency to go to crankiness when I am overworked will impact my family. To do this year... embrace the ability to ask for help with explicit instructions in how to get the tasks done.

My mom's DUI was the biggest thing. Not that it was unexpected, but that it's causing me to re-think the way I feel about her. I want to give her tough love and tell her to change--but she's so emotionally fragile that I worry about what would happen if she felt that her daughter hated her. I try to defend her as a good mom who loves her kids, but JR tries to convince me that a loving mother wouldn't drive her daughter to elementary school drunk. I hate the things I think and feel about her and I'm just passively hoping that this all works out, even though somewhere inside I know it never will.

my father's dad died - this will now allow him to retire if he wants. well, once UWMadison stops money grubbing on the will.

Most of my older cousin's got married or engaged. It made me really happy! But it also made me realize we're not children anymore, and I need to think quite seriously about my future.

This past year, my brother went to jail for getting a second DUI. This not only cost us money, driving him from jail to work and back, but cost us time. It also meant that we didn't even have an immediate family get together for Christmas. It was kind of a sad holiday.

Dealing with my husband's addiction has been a real struggle this year. We have 2 small children and I made the difficult decision to stay in my marriage. I hope we can overcome these challenges together, but it's going to hard to trust him again.

It has been always the same. Trouble with my eldest son. The death of my uncle, too. I didn t know it would have affected me that much

My daughter and son-in-law bought a house with me in mind so that I could move out here & live with them. I had not felt that wanted in over twenty years. It gave me the freedom to learn how to be myself

My mom turned 60. Which is mostly about her, but we gave her a really nice celebration that was memorable for her and just what she wanted. That made me feel like OK, I'm pretty indisputably an adult now, complete with adult responsibilities to my aging parents. And I will have more responsibilities to them in the coming years. But that's fair. They have given me everything they were able.

I officially passed the two year mark of being unemployed and one year mark of living in California on my own. It's affected my entire family because they are the ones who have supported me financially that entire time. For me though, it's proven my own strength. Not in a million years did I ever think I could survive something as horrible as being unemployed for two years. And yet I did, in fact I survived it for 28 months. Wow, I learned so much in ways I can't yet even comprehend but I know that it's changed me for life. It's shown me what's important and what's not. It's shown me that pursuing my dreams to act for TV and Film is where I need to be and that I can survive that industry with so much downtime in between jobs. I now know my strength.

Well, I don't know if I'd call it a milestone, but my husband was laid off. It affected us big time, obviously. Things have been very, very hard. Without my mom, we wouldn't have a house right now. It's made me even more appreciative of her than I was in the past.

Milestone in my family life? We don't have them, we just are.

Our daughter began going to bed without an hour or two of crying, and later in the year xhe started going to school every morning at a school she liked. For the first time since she was born it seems possible to reclaim some of the adult, independent life I've been missing - sex (which came first, surprisingly), reading books and magazines, travel (at least a weekend now and then), reaching out to old friends. Much of this is still potential, but it's there.

In August 2009, Grandpa Zimbrick had a massive heart attack and was given 6 months to live. That scared me and really rocked me to the core. Sure Grandpa Z smoked and drank and ate red meat, but he'd been doing it for as long as I've known him. That's part of what made "grandpa" Grandpa. He never got sick and if he did, he didn't talk about it because he's a "man's-man" and that's just not what you did... When my mom called me and told me he was in the hospital, I was there. It's been over a year and thanks to quitting smoking and drinking, watching his diet and getting the correct amount of exercise, Grandpa is still here. In April 2010 my other grandpa, Grandpa Venske, had back surgery to relieve pressure on his spinal cord that was causing his low-half to remain numb. My parents, brother, and myself were all at the hospital with Grandma waiting for Grandpa to come out of surgery. We were there together, for one another, to support each other. When Grandpa came out of surgery he was still heavily sedated, but as the nurses were moving him to his room on the intensive care unit we got to see him. He was weak and tired, but he knew us by name. He knew we were there and that we loved and cared for him. Later each member of the family got to go into his room and chat one at a time. I don't remember exactly what we spoke about, but I remember Grandpa asking for ice as his lips and throat were dry. I'd place a few ice cubes from the Styrofoam cup onto a plastic spoon and gently place the spoon at his lips to let him get the relief he needed. We're family. We depend on each other. He's been there for me many times throughout my life and I was honored to be there for him. The older I get, the older everyone gets. Sometimes I forget that. All my grandparents remain living active lives. One day this won't be the case and there's no way I can prepare for that day. If there's anything I learned this year, it's that family is incredibly important. So put aside the "he said/she said" and forget about what Aunt Sue said about your table arrangements, that shit doesn't matter. What matters is that when family needs you, you're there for them.

This past year, my brother had another boy. His name is Victor. This year, I realized how important family is to me. Many times, I chose to baby-sit and spend time with mhy nephew over hanging out with friends/boyfriend. He just brings such positive energy and joy to my life and I really hope that in the future we will continue to have a strong bond between each other. I wish him all the best.

I reached a level of adulthood and emotional maturity that was new for me. I still seek the support of my family emotionally, but there is not as much comfort in coming back to my childhood home. All three of the siblings are now grown up and out in the world, and I am encouraged by feeling closer to them than ever.

My sister got married! Our family grew yet again! I love it. I'm so glad my sister has someone wonderful to share her life and love. It brings me a sense of joy and peace and appreciation.

My paternal grandfather turned 80 and things with him have been awkward ever since my grandmother died. I honestly dont know if i will cry at his funeral. I still love him though.

My parents had been living with us for about 20 months and they moved out in June. It was a major adjustment, but also allowed a major sigh of relief. I didn't know how much we were all holding back so that we could make it work to live in one space. I learned how amazing my wife is.

Brother S. had a breakdown. The rest of us became a little closer by discussing our worry about him. We reached out to each other to share the information and ask opinions. I feel more conscious of my family, more generous toward them emotionally.

In January my mom died after an eight-month experience with pancreatic cancer. I cannot even call it a 'battle' with the disease, because she did not fight for even one moment--or, that is how it seemed from the outside anyway. This is not to say that she moved towards death with grace and acceptance; rather, it is to say that she refused to fight, that she gave up. Watching her navigate the path towards the end of her life taught me a lot about her, and even more about myself. I do not ever want to waste time, I do not ever want to be complacent, I do not ever want to say that I tried less than absolutely everything. My mother was a very dissatisfied and negative person throughout the entire time I knew her. I saw over time the many ways that she made decisions out of fear. I never want to follow that path. Losing my mother has set me free to be the person I truly am in ways I was embarrassed or ashamed to admit at first. It does not seem popular or appropriate to tell people that you are happy your mother is dead. But, I was and I am because it means I can become my true self, openly, without fear of her criticism or judgment. I hope it also means that somehow I will be able to find the love in my life that she was not able, or did not choose, to give me. This has been very challenging, especially in the area of my relationship. I have never had a person in my life who both loved me unconditionally and who also is emotionally and physically present and available. I have spent a lot of time attracted to and pursuing people who were never really there for me and I see much more clearly now where that came from and why I have struggled with it. There is someone who has been in my life for about a year and a half now and I feel like I do not know how to move forward in that relationship--or even what moving forward means. Maybe it means making a commitment, or maybe it means moving on. When and how will I be able to tell? Do I already know the answer but am just afraid to let myself see it? On a grander scale, my mother's passing brings a lot of big-picture questions to mind: How do I make choices out of self-love and self-respect instead of out of fear? What does choosing myself really mean? How will I continue to discover my truths and share them with others? I hope that in the coming year I am brave enough to seek--and act upon--the answers to these questions.

Hmm, not sure about any milestones, which I guess is a good thing. My niece starting her last year of high school is kinda big. I guess my nephew getting engaged and soon to be married. He's way too young and I think he's being dumb, especially with his choice of date. I kinda feel bad for not being supportive about it.

My mother is continuing to deal with major back issues. Ironically, she has always been the picture of health (takes vitamins everyday, exercises, eats right). And still, her back hurts so much that she can't engage in activities she used to love. It makes me realize how delicate my own body is. It makes me realize that I too am growing old, one day at a time and that I am not invincible. I need to take better care of my body so that I will be as strong as I can be as I age.

I admitted to my husband that I hate his kids. I really do. And he still loves me. The fact that someone can do that blew me away. It's made me feel more secure and grateful for every day we have together.

My wife has shown that she has faith in me and is not the kind of person to walk out when things are financially difficult. I realize now, how good of a person she is, and that she means so much to me and she is the most important person in my life. Not that she doesn't complain quite a bit...

My dad passed off the responsibility of being synagogue treasurer after over 25 years in the post. It reminded me that my parents aren't immortal, and that they have dreams and goals for their time left on the earth, which will hopefully be for many, many more years!

My major milestone was coming to peace with the family I'd created (my husband and my son) and placing its value over the one I'd been born into. I love my parents and my brother more than words can express, but without my James and Wil, I'd be lost.

My son got married. It has made me extremely proud and happy. I love my daughter-in-law as family already and I am proud of my son for loving such a wonderful person. I also feel that Alec has matured into a good man, honest, caring and intelligent.

Probably the biggest thing to happen in the family was my mum going in for an operation. It was pretty minor and she recovered easily, but it made us realise that she's only human after all, and forced me certainly to be more grateful for everything she does for us.

I outlined it in question two, duh!

My widowed father started living with a pushy, crass, much younger woman, and now we don't see him nearly as often. We miss him.

My children are everything. They are growing and evolving so quickly. Without going into detail. I am seeing growth without pain. That is a good feeling. Honestly, I don't need or desire milestones. I prefer small steps!!! Milestones are like the lottery. You win, then most loose. Small steps are earned and don't go through the screen as easily.

My two youngest children graduated. One from University, and one from high school. I've had to come to terms with being an 'empty-nester' after having kids around for almost 30 years. All year I felt as if I had a fork in my heart. I would get used to the ache, and then something would come along and give it a vicious twist - the last parent conference, the last band concert, the last prom night. Ouch. Now that it's over, though, and they've had their graduations, I love and miss them, but I realize that this is what is supposed to happen. They're supposed to be out on their own, learning to be independent, making their own lives. I'm proud of them. Time to let them live their own lives now.

Well, I got accepted into a great University this year and I am going there for my college years. We also moved out of our 'house' and into an apartment to get away from our father. I graduated high school, visited family. Got my mom and one of her sisters talking again for the first time in a long time. Personally, I think it has been a wonderful year.

I was separated from my family again after having had the privilege of being able to live close to them for two years. I haven't lived close to my family since I was 17, and I'd always taken for granted that this was how the way things were: People live apart, have to take care of themselves - you can't rely on anyone to bail you out. While I've always prided myself on my self-sufficiency and independence...I realized that I enjoy living close to my family, that it isn't something normal or healthy for me to be so far apart from them. I probably won't have the opportunity to live close to them in the near future. I miss them.

The milestone that I most remember is the day that i walked out of the Wisconsin Prision System. I vowed that I would never return to that type of environment again. There is nothing in this world that would make that worthwhile. Another pretty major milestone is that I finally got the girl! Allison has been in my heart since I was a kid and finally this year, we became a couple. She is amazing in every single way.

Finding a Jewish community we could relate to surprised both of us a bit. I ran away from Judaism a long time ago -- the values of my congregation made me ill -- and I never saw a reason to find community that way. My wife discovered a strange and mellow group in our city that was collaborative, welcoming and inquisitive about the faith, and we're both very sad that we've only had part of a year to spend with them. I'm glad I could contribute to the group's growth, but I wish I'd had more time to dig into the meat of the religion with them and see how I feel about it, what there is for me in it. That seems selfish, I suppose, but that's how I feel about religion. My relationship with G-d is my own, and to me, religion is about our relationship with everyone and everything on this planet. No one can tell you how to connect to the Source. But connecting with this group showed me how hungry for that part of life (discussions, play, philosophy, some connection (however minor) to tradition) that I've been, and I know I'll seek it out again in this new city.

Our teenage daughter (and we) survived middle school -- and it was not the miracle panacea we all hoped it would be

Gosh there were so many. Charity coming out and being gay. Her behaviors that followed, the drinking, the drugs, the sex. Rory and his inability to grow up, he is 20 and he can't pull it together, Kicked out twice and it did no good. He wouldn't leave. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. Our family has always been so strong, this year is the has been the year of many struggles. Our year of insanity. I hope it is the last one.

My grandparents got old all of a sudden. My grandfather started a process of dementia, and my grandmother went into severe depression. My mom had to be with them in Florida for 2-3 months. It was really tough on her. It was hard for her to realize that your parents get old. It made me realize that this is going to be a tough next few years with them, and that scarily enough, my parents will get old someday too.

I feel very alienated from my niece. It has made me feel sad and lonely. I miss my parents beyond belief. I have tried to accept this as part of life's journey and have sent her love and light on a daily basis.

My cousin, who is the same age as me, is getting married. I'm happy for her, though I have not yet met her fiance, but it makes me think about where I am on my way to these 'adult' milestones.

My husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. I love him today as much as I did the day I fell for him 22 years ago. I am the luckiest woman on earth to have him for a husband. I try to remember that every day and be the best wife I can. I look forward to growing old with him.

Nothing much, I mostly bonded with my studies not much family time

I turned 55 and went through menopause.

No major family event this past year, and that was a nice change from the turmoil of my Mom's heartattack in 2007 and my Dad passing away in 2008

My (half) brother had a child. A baby girl. It has brought my family together in a way that I couldn't have imagined as a child (half siblings, step, etc). He and his now wife has been together for some time, wavering on marriage- the main issue had been that she wanted a child and he wasn't sure he did. OOPS! She got pregnant, they got married, and now my family has a precious little one to dote on. Family gatherings have a bit more excitement and purpose, and watching everyone be so joyed is heartwarming. I'm really happy I moved back to SF. I'm also not afraid of holding a baby anymore..

My parents came out to visit us for the first time since we moved to San Francisco 4 years ago. I feel much closer to both of them now, and miss them a lot more. My wife's parents will come next month for the first time since we moved here. I hope we have as good of time with them as we did with my parents.

My husband quit his job to pursue his passion. I think we are both happier and more optimistic about our future than ever before.

WOW! My sister and I reconnected (although the road is rockey now), my mother and I spoke for the first time in like 8 years...maybe closer to 9/10. My brothers and I actually hang out. I spent 2 weeks with my brother in Chicago. Hang out with my uncle and little cousin. Seem y grapndparents on a regular basis. I'm grateful. I can't believe I get to do this. Work on those relationships that I thought were lost forever.

A family milestone would be Mom and John tying the knot after 13 years of partnership and cohabitation. It affected me deeply because it signaled the end of a family legacy of women accepting less than they desire and deserve in a relationship. It was symbolic of following your own heart and doing your best to honor the ones you love, even if all the details seem unconventional. And it was quite something that Jeremy came with me and that we were the only two witness. Hmm. To be continued....

Our daughter has started to drive. And will vote soon. That feels big. She seems much older to me. She's interested in a boy. She's busy and likes it. She feels more competent. I see the end to daily parenting looming and it feels simultaneously like freedom and like "now what do i do?"

My dad passed away last year. His passing was not a surprise, and given the condition he was in, it was almost a relief because his last few years were so unhappy. This left my mom alone and the three girls wondering how we could best support her. We have all spent a lot of time with mom and worrying about mom. I've definitely cut back on doing other things and my partner has taken the biggest brunt of this, ending up 3rd on my list of priorities, family, work, and then him. This has taken it's tool on both of us. I realize I need to make him more of a priority as he is a very important part of my life. I also realize I HAVE to spend more times with friends and doing the things I love so I don't become resentful of the time I'm spending with my mom.

After going back and forth with the decision to try to have a second child, we decided not to get pregnant. A part of me is sad that my son will not have a sibling, especially when my husband and I are elderly. However, I was an only child and am doing just fine....

Movie from Virginia to Wisconsin had affected everyone in my family over the past year. I had to leave everything I loved, including the possibility of working and going to college, my friends and boyfriend, and It's changed me a lot. I've had more faith and hope than in past year because I know without a little faith I could not be happy or think I have a future that's destined for me. I've been sader and lonlier because I don't have friends here, only my family, but its elped me learn to appreciate my family and friends and Ruben a lot more.

The man to whom I was married for approximately 20 years has just moved into a large house with his girlfriend. That means our teenagers will now be able to spend a lot more time with their father. And consequently not with me. I feel like I am losing a competition while, intellectually I know this is no such thing. I am hurt that all the commitment I have put into maintaining my kids' lives counts for nothing now that the big house in a great location is available.

The conflicts in my family have struck me deeply, especially the one with my mother.

I was admitted in to my master's, making me the most educated member of my family. I haven't discussed this realization with them though.

One big milestone this year is my grandparent's 45 Anniversary. While it wasn't major, it affected me because it was the first time my entire family got together at an event that I could and did drive to. I also drove for the first time with my Grandfather.

Chris passed. I miss him. I feel a hole in my life.

My sisterinlaw died, and I wrote and read a poem at a funeral which incorporated references to music she loved. It was a creative and loving tribute and I was surprised that I was able to put it together quickly and beautifully at the last minute -- it was just right. I was grateful that I was open enough to channel the right energy and honor her memory in a way that she would have appreciated. We weren't really that close, but the experience actually deepened the connection.

The girl I've been dating long-distance off and on for four years moved cross-country to live with me at last. I've been learning ever since how to be more responsible and more caring, not so self-centered, and placing the needs of another person before my own.

After 15 years, I finally saw my dad's family again. When I was younger, I wished that I could have a relationship with both sides of my family like my peers. But this year, after my father's mother refused to see me even though she was terminally ill, I realized that I never needed that relationship with her. After she died, I saw the rest of his family and I am perfectly happy without them. It was ironic that I was 18 when this happened, I felt that realization was a coming-of-age moment for me.

I've more or less forgiven my dad for his emotional abuse.

My wife got a job in my hometown, thus giving us an excuse to move back. However, as boring as our old town was I think I miss it more now that I am 'back home'. It might be that I am disillusioned about my friends and family after spending some time with them again. I really hope though that it's just my inborn fear of change that has got me down.

Finally making peace with my mom who told me she loved me and was so proud of the woman I had become. that was 27 years coming. and worth waiting everyday for.

The birth of our second child was a very major milestone for us. It has really changed the home dynamic and made my husband and I realize how lucky we are to have happy, healthy kids and to have each other.

our shifting to ahmedbad. my parents decision to settle in ahmedabad, after my wife refusing to rent them our house in baroda. after the shock of her refusal settled, i think, i experienced a kind of a certain release from the attachment to her and our relationship. along with the anger, hurt, helplessness and shock, i think there was a certain kind of let go, or falling away of some unconscious clinging - to an image i had about her and my relationship or connection with her. in some ways, i was freed of something false. i think that had an under-the-surface effect of centring me more in myself. this added to the freedom i must have been experiencing from forced detachment from baroda - the old 'hooks' were pried loose, in a way.

1) my grandfather had a stroke- see answer to #1. 2) myhusband and I decided we're finally ready for kids, so I'm now on all kinds of hormones to help me get nice and fertile.

My uncle married another woman.. Leaving my lovely aunt behind with nothing. It affected us in a wrong way. We know it's wrong but the woman my uncle married will never be a part of the family..

I got into one of the worst fights with my parents. I know that nobody can be perfect, and I love them – I really do – but it shocks me how hypocritical they can get sometimes. Recently, they’ve taken to using the things I tell them against me, which hurts like a knife to the heart. It’s terrible, the feeling you get when your family is the one that’s causing the pain, but they’re still family, in the end. If anything, this has made me very determined not to behave the way they do when I have a child of my own.

We went the first full (Jewish) year without my mom. It has been difficult to watch my dad dating, and also has been a strain to watch as some parts of my family just seem to fill up that wound with other people. I sometimes don't know who to count on, though my dad (sometimes) and my second cousins and my brother's friends and my own friends have really stepped up to the plate. It's made me re-evaluate what family is, and I hope to host more Jewish holidays with my cousins, friends, and my boyfriend rather than rely on closer family who need to cope in their own ways.

I skipped this question until the end because - thankfully - there was no "major" milestone. Unlike last year, when my son was in the hospital. No new schools for my children, no births or deaths, no bar or bat mitzvah. Next year will be very different, as my oldest turns 13. This year, I just revel in the happiness of the year. I am well aware that this is a glorious time ... when my children are still at home with me and actually like being here, my parents are close by and healthy, I am surrounded by friends. We have enough money to be comfortable, and good health. May we pass the next milestone with all this intact.

The children returned from foreign countries and now we are complete as a family again. I visited my sister and got to know my nephews better. Oh gosh, and husband bought a dishwasher after 28 years of marriage! Major milestone lol

It has made me really happy to see Jennifer engaged. I have lost weight and now I am a bit of a "food pest" encouraging everyone to watch what they eat. Eddie's prostate cancer has just made me more aware of my mortality.

My Dad's moving away to another city because of his training has been a pretty weird time for me because now I've had to assume more of responsibilities around the house. I don't mind because I love driving around but I do miss him and something always feels off kilter when he's not home. Plus, there isn't as much money coming in as before and that puts a strain on everyone, naturally, but I think we'll make it through insha'allah.

We had our first wedding anniversary. We've been together for awhile so have had other anniversaries, but our first wedding anniversary felt different. I worried about it more than I expected. I felt more permanent and real than just another day we decided to celebrate something.

my youngest daughter stopped speaking to me for unknown reasons. my oldest daughter has been cut off financially by her father and i have very mixed feelings about it and am finally finally finally over him and know my illusion of a functioning family including him will not happen, which has given me space to begin again... i am very sad about my youngest daughter and i worry about my oldest daughter...

My dad finally moved out of the awful area he's been living in for countless years. I was constantly afraid that one day he was going to get injured or killed there, and now I needn't worry any longer.

My Uncle Charlie died and my folks turned 70 years old. It made me realize their--and my own--mortality in a different way.

Camille: dad open heart surgery Brought things up with sister to the sister Eventually have to deal with it "Feels like her father has an expiration date" he is py different She feels guilty recognizing this and living life in dc but can't move back to la

My mom lost a job, I lost a scholarship, She found another job. The emotional ride of last year was really scary. My mom losing a job put a strain on me, and it was an indirect cause of me losing my scholarship. Now, I can adapt to changes better. But it was at the expense of my scholarship.

In late January, I drove home from Santa Barbara early on a Friday night. I came home to eat dinner with my mom and dad--we were eating chinese if I remember correctly. For the past few weeks we had all deliberated about whether we were going to visit my brother who had just begun studying abroad in Rome. So sitting in living room, tv turned on, I said, "So, we going to Europe or what?" I noticed my Dad just laying horizontally on the couch--head in hand. There was a long pause--silence of sorts. My Dad looked at me and said--"I lost my job today." I wish I could have been an outsider looking in on that conversation--the facial expressions and the overall disbelief. I immediately looked at my Mom--exchanging glances to make sure this was not a joke and that this was actually a reality that was about to hit our family along with thousands of others. The economic recession--the great recession--became real in that living room that night. I tried to ask more questions about how it all went down and what it was going to mean--were we going to have to move? Did I have to get rid of my blackberry? HBO? Was Europe out of the question now? I kept asking these silly questions in my head--when finally I asked my Dad the real question at hand. "Are you ok?" I couldn't believe it. My Dad believed in Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom--everything about it. He love this this product as long as I knew him--driving around to restaurant, wholesalers and everyone else who would seemed slightly interested. My Dad lived and breathed sausage--he made the company successful, interesting, fun and a true family. A family that ended up fucking him. I couldn't believe it. Turned out that my Dad was brought into a room with Jody, a lawyer and someone else. Jody sat silent. The lawyer gave him the news. The locks were changed the next day and that was it. My Dad had taken a cart on Venice beach, manned by one person and built it into a nationally recognized brand--one that in Los Angeles people knew as the best sausage in town. I loved telling people what my Dad did--that he was part of a family owned business that he was a big whig in. Now--I cursed Jody Maronis and the years that I worked there--wanted to burn my t-shirt and it was hard to eat sausage--any kind. SO how did this affect me? Well it affected how my mom and dad act with one another, how we as a family spend or do not spend our money, and how my Dad work up in the morning. My father--the happiest, positive, amazing guy I know--was dejected, rejected and depressed. 8 months later, my Mom has a chip on her shoulder about it all. That he should have quit years ago when it was slowly slowly declining. She blames him for the financial rut that we as a family are now in. That she has the weight to carry the family. I understand how she feels--that woman works harder than anyone--weekends, week nights, early mornings, vacations--she works to provide for her family. But she felt alone--then again--so did my Dad. It has been a tough year in that sense I feel like my Mom and Dad are estranged from one another. I used to depend on their relationship to get me through--that they were the paradigm for relationships, love, friendship and care. It's been a tough year watching my Dad stay home and sometimes have nothing to do. But--as dejected as my Dad was--he felt relieved he said. Relieved from a company, a partner who was irresponsible and made mistakes for years. And in his dejection--he still got up early in the morning. This time it wasn't to go to the office on the Venice Boardwalk, but to his new corner office on 4909 Morse. 8 months later my dad has his hands in a lot of things--he is a connector, a maven--someone who is working his ass off to be happy, reinvent himself and still provide for his family.

My dad's cancer has returned and he is now terminal. After fighting for over four years he's now decided to live out what life he has left. I'm worried about how ill he will become before he passes away and how much I'll miss him when he's gone.

The move was been social, emotionally, and economically positive. Considering my age, and getting a job back at my old employer, it seems sometimes as a turning back, but after 9-months, perhaps a metaphor there, it is proving to actually be more forward looking in terms of my career than originally thought. In summary, all positive and retrospectively more of a milestone than originally thought.

I am going to be an uncle, I am looking forward to it. But Yes my kid brother told the family that he and Ditte where expecting a kid. It is both something good and scary.

My sister and I broke new ground as friends. We have been close for the past 5 years but our relationship continues to deepen in a way that I am incredibly grateful and proud of.

My Aunt Jenny who lives in California was diagnosed with cancer. It's been interesting to see my mom's reaction as well as how she and her other sister have stepped up to help. It's inspiring and also helps me to understand my mom better.

My family forgave me and I forgave them. It gave me back my childhood and brought back much laughter into my life.

My mother's passing away in Dec 2009. It's been difficult, even though we weren't that close on a day to day basis. It feels like the center of my birth family has fallen apart - my relationship with my dad has always been difficult, and this hasn't helped any.

This year I became the first person in my family to go away to college, rather than stay at home and become personally stunted and unable to grow. It's given me a better relationship with my mom, we don't argue as much. I find myself missing my niece, my sister, and my dad. I feel my relationship with my dad is different now that we aren't under the same roof and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

My engagement was canceled. It has not completely run its course of affecting me yet. I am heart-broken and stunned right now. Upon sharing the news with those closest to me, I found an outpouring of love. Though that outpouring does not surprise me, because I am lucky to have that depth of character in the people around me, it is affirming to experience it nonetheless

There have been a lot of changes between me and my sisters. I don't feel as close to them as I once did. Now that they live together, they spend a lot more time together. They gang up on me a lot in arguments, but it never used to be like that. It is difficult because they live so far away. I am hoping to one day be closer with them again, but it won't happen while I am in Amherst. I just can't depend on them to come visit me. I wish they were more interested in my life. Even when I try to tell them things, they act like they don't want to hear it. I hope things will get better as we grow older.

My sister and her eldest daughter were reconciled after many years of being estranged. Almost as suddenly, they had a fight and have become estranged again. They are just too much alike, and my niece, of course, 'knows everything' at her tender age of 22. I was reconciled with my niece at the same time and am still in contact with her, but we are not close (as evidenced by the fact that she moved to my area in July and I have not seen her, though it is now Sept).

My in-laws are definitely moving and acknowledging they cannot live completely independently anymore. They're falling more, having other health issues, and it's obvious they need someone around. I wonder less about the effect on me than about the effect on my spouse. He's gotten much closer to them in the past couple of years.

My step-daughter and her very young son have moved in with us. The strain has been huge, but the baby is the sweetest thing ever. Slowly, we are all learning to get along with one another and trying to maintain some peace and order in the house.

Kirstie got her own house. This meant Ben and I moved back home. I think it's been a good thing, definitely feel more stable, the place is cleaner and it's a nicer area. Tris maybe inviting us all for Christmas at his house. Don't know if it will happen, but could be interesting if it does.

My sister had a baby boy and I've made up with her after a long fight. I hope this makes us closer though i don't think it has yet.

My father dying was of course a huge milestone for our family. My son is still grappling with the meaning of death and I am still grappling with the meaning of mourning. I have an over-arching sadness in my life, and yet it also hasn’t affected me much day-to-day. I’ll be very curious to see how it unfolds as time passes.

I don't know if this would be considered a milestone, but right now, my cousin has about a month left to live. Brain tumors came back for the third time in a more sensitive place than the last two times, and now it's just a waiting game. It just makes me feel so many things... mad, sad... and angry at myself. Angry because I have chances she won't have, but I'm trying to figure out how to make the most of them. I know this life is fleeting, fragile, but the live examples of that are so overwhelming sometimes.

I went to Germany for 2 months and I realised how much my parents and family mean to me. I think that's the main thing that's happened...

I got married this year! Weird, I feel the same inside but it is different. I wonder if I will get used to it?

I made a pretty major break from my family in that I moved 5,000 miles away from them to a new country after living three years only two hours away from where they live. My family is Italian-Catholic and very traditional so this was a big deal. My father did not want me to go and was not happy about the move, and I have not been as in close touch with my sister or her family as I was before the move. I have felt somewhat guilty about it but at the same time I feel like I am finally being myself and living for myself and doing what I wanted to do, not what my family wanted me to do.

My Mother has gone through the eye of the depression/ pharma addiction needle and come out the other side ready to take on the world. It has affected me in a way I have been able to have a good look at my addictive behaviour, given the smokes the flick and looking very closely at how I deal with the ups and downs of life.

Obviously Papa dying was not a happy milestone, but it made me closer to my parents, especially my mom. I think moving back in with my parents (and with Andrew) was a huge turning point luckily it worked out pretty well. I think we’ve become a lot closer and a stronger family.

Our daughter started H.S., which brought home the sense of time passing in a visceral way. Both good and bad. There's a sadness and joy in this milestone.

My Dad got married. I've never see him as happy as he was that day and it made me realise how much I really do love him and that in the long run, my parents' seperation was the right thing for both of them. I just hope that one day my mum will find the right guy for her so they can both be happy.

my son's awesome bar mitzvah! he worked sooo hard and finally made it look easy. he wanted to quit but we got him sympathetic help and he persevered. i hope he also learned the lesson that he can not only succeed but excell at tasks that seem insurmountable at first.

My family has become more disjointed from one another over the year. My brother and sister do not get along and my brother does not make an effort to keep in touch with my parents. I feel like I am constantly trapped in the middle. We are grown ups, this shouldn't happen.

I don't even know. I'm terrified of disappointing my family, but I want to do what makes me happy, not in a selfish way, but in an I'll-explode-if-I-get-too-stressed way.

Both kids are now in college, private schools. We never intended to pay more than a state school tuition for 5 years each, instead, we are double the tuition. Affect? I must work harder and longer, even after having heart failure this year. But, I am ready.

The major milestone for me was that I completed the GMAT and was accepted into grad school. I am super excited to go back to school! This affects me a lot because of the financial piece as well as the time I will need to spend on the classes and assignments.

My mother asked me for forgiveness. Really. That felt very good. Of course, she messed it all up again after a few weeks, but still. I think she might be recovering.

Blood is thicker than water, some people say. This is true, I suppose. In this scenario blood is family and water is friends. Blood forces the water to the bottom and tries to crush it. Water, however, washes away the sticky residue blood leaves after it has dried; water keeps the blood from tarnishing your hands forever. I believe in water because the truth is in most cases you can't choose you're family, but you don't have to be stuck with them. I don't like my family. I don't trust them and don't believe they're all good people; some are even criminals. I don't have to carry that around with me. My mother's husband is my biological father but I believe there is a big difference between a father (sperm donor) and a dad (caring male role-model). I have erased my mother's husbands family from my life and my mother is estranged from her family; I have no family, that is my choice. I am better off without them. I have friends. I choose my friends. I love my friends. I choose my friends based on their character, their values, their morals, our differences and agreements, our respect yet mockery of each other. I trust my friends, I choose to be with them because I can trust them and that is important. The only family I truly care for is my mom because even though she has lied to me in the past I know I can count on her. My sister I still must live with but neither like nor love; she lies to and misleads me constantly and I have no need for a person like that in my life. I choose the people I interact with and no one can force me to be with or care for anyone I dislike, distrust, or disrespect.

I took my mom on vacation to the galapagos islands. She was still having a hard time getting over my father's death. I thought getting her out on a fabulous vacation might reawaken her spirit and wake her up to the fact that she was still alive and well. We had an amazing time. And I think it worked. She wants to travel again. She met a male friend and went on a vacation with him.

I lost an adult child this year. I was powerless to prevent it, even though past behavior predicted the possibility. I blame myself for not doing more, while at the same time I know I did everything I could. This has caused me to be depressed, caused my grief to be mingled with anger.

My brother who used to live with us move in to another city, he came back in the weekends but for me is not the same, I haven't spoke with him inso many months but I think he has to make his own life far of us and I'm happy because he is happy

Unfortunately I do not see a major milestone if this means a kind of developement - in fact, after the death of my Mother the whole family broke up. I felt desolate, desparate - I cannot stand it ...

Umm. Jesse finished mostly everything. Got the flooring down, and we just bought the tile a couple days ago. So everything's progressing. Slowly, but surely. Wella passed away too. That was rough. It brought up a lot of tension and past history in the family. And my mom actually reconnected with the other side of her family. Not really sure how any of this has affected me yet.

My grandmother died. It was a relief to me, because she was in a nursing home for a while, but had been in bad shape for many years. I felt peace for her instead of sorrow.

I think we were all finally able to accept that my mother was never going to be the person we wanted her to be. It has made us stronger.

As mentioned, my father passed away. It made me realize how quickly time passes and how I have to live life to the fullest and savor each moment as if it could be my last. (I'm not there yet...I'm working on it!)

We are moving on from the death of our infant daughter and focusing on our two boys, aged 4 and 19 months. Last year I felt like we were missing another child and investigated adoption, thought about getting pregnant again, thought about fostering. I now feel like our family is complete and it is allowing me to enjoy our sons and the light they bring into our lives every day.

My wife turned 35 and I'm realizing that the person she is today is probably the person she's going to be for the rest of her life... and I love her for it.

our church has been in a growing process. it has been a tough work but it is completely worth it. i am priviledged to have my whole family (including myself) seving the Lord in every possible way!

My family has been going through a rough patch financially. This hasn't affected me than as it is now. 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. I am more than grateful for my older sisters and the support and knowledge they pass onto me as I learn more and grow into an adult.

I gave birth to Henry. The most amazing thing to ever happen to me and a source of almost constant joy and delight. My family is a happy place to be. I have relaxed about life in general a lot more and have also lost part of my filter that used to stop me saying things. We will see whether this turns out to be a good thing or not!

Gathering with my family in Pittsburgh is always sacred and there are always opportunities to further connect and grow those relationships.

Gracia and I are starting to get along better. On the other hand, my dad has recently developed health problems. It's got me worried, and I think that's why I never spend any time with him any more. I haven't even seen him in days. This needs to be fixed.

Repeat answer to Q1

Thankfully, my family has been stable all year, and nothing much to report. We are call healthy and trying to pursue our passions in life. I hope with all my heart we can all continue to be a close, happy, healthy family.

My aunt a double mastectomy, and I started thinking about everything more. It's been an improvement, but I hurt sometimes. I feel older.

Hmm. Well I can't really think of anything that huge, but when I think about something that affected me with family in the past year I think of my Uncle Scott. That night in December when he got me out of my house and stayed up half the night talking to me, acknowledging the things I had to go through living in that house with those people. We talked about music, Louder Now got to it's second repeat, and I heard some of the music he liked and he told me about bass and the band he was in. I told him about the summer and how my mom would only text me after he said "you know she loves you, right?" and the look on his face after I told him about it and how he said "seriously?" and then kind of didn't know what to say, was nice, I'm glad he didn't try to justify it like most people would. And he told me that I could just walk in and be sitting at the table for dinner and he wouldn't think anything of it, they'll always be there for me, they're gonna get me to the Cape, find me a car. He laughed at my drinking when we had the fireworks and still told me that he wanted his kids to be just like me, that he meant it, and that they're really proud of me.

Two milestones. 1) I have a full time job with benefits, the first time in 2 years. This a chance at financial security. 2) My son will live with his Dad. My son living with his Dad will allow me to discover who I am. Give me a chance to do things I couldn't do before or better said wouldn't allow myself to do.

it's interesting to me to watch my brother become a father and to see the evolution from wanting that to making it happen, and the ensuing joy

My younger son came to live with me. He has been a wonderful help and companion to me. While I had to adjust my daily schedule to his, I found him most helpful.

Daughter got her learner's permit. She's growing up!