Q03

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

My husband went into a treatment program for PTSD. It has helped me better understand dynamics in my home.

Mom's declining health brought a lot of introspection and gratitude. Painful to see the decline but happy for a life well lived.

Daugther new job, new appartment and back in school. Good moves that family subsidized - investment milestone.

No major milestones. A quiet year.

The only thing that comes to my mind is my second son leaving for college. I'm very confused about it. I no longer have little boys. They have grown. So what is now?

My mum is really happy with my nephew and my sister is studying well. I managed to go visit my grandma too :), I will be back one month a year to see them.

Mom survived cancer. I tried my best to help her and this made me a batter person.

Not much has happened. Sydney started school... I can't believe she is five. Part of me definitely wants kids. Currently, my family is me, a cat and a turtle.

Kate earning her BSN and RN Sarah's promotion and raise Charlie's crisis Beth's work problems Beth's surgery Charlie's success with Bellhops and fraternity leadership My 2 year work anniversary I experienced a range of emotions, but walked away with a sense of resilience and hope.

My husband's grandmother passed away. It prompted me to think more about Jewish mourning and ritual practices.

I helped move my father and his wife to a new home. Much had to be thrown out. Terrible waste both of things that could have helped others and original art that was valuable before being ruined by water.

My brother has really resurfaced after a bad marriage with a woman who never really connected with the family. It's been great. I missed him.

It was my grandparents 50th anniversary, and it taught me how fast time goes.

My partners Dad and his sickness followed by his attitudinal betrayal of her. This has had a profound impact on the way that I view that man. I believe he is quite foolish and has some major personality issues. I was not conciously aware of this previously.

I met my husband's daughter from a previous marriage, and her two little children. It was wonderful to be included in a family that prevously acted as if I did not exist.

There were no major milestones.

My uncle passed away. It's made me realise that you can spend all your time with the one you love and then one day they might be gone. How do you carry on, without your partner/soul-mate? And we really need to get our will in order etc. It was amazing to see how the whole family came together for this though.

Mom turned 50 and I turned 30... I guess... At most it prompted reflection. My love asked me what 3 things in my life made me who I am today. I said my kids, my divorce, and the hardships at a young age. She then asked what do I hope to accomplish in the next 30 and I said a second chance to love and be in marriage that makes my kids want to get married, a career in which I am director or higher, and to be satisfied and happy with the simple things. Family milestone... This is all I could conjure and I guess it reminded me that there is plenty of life to live and too much time left to live it... I just don't want to live it without the one I love.

A great job position came to me in June and I decided to take it, at the same time my husband was able to start working for himself again and get out of a job that he was not happy with. One of his new clients offered to teach him how to work on a movie set. This was a needed break in our lives since we had been struggling financially for the past two years. We no longer worry about how we will make our rent every month and it is an amazing turnaround in our lives.

Major milestone ummm yeah we had a lot of health scares this year. I had to have a biopsy three times, to make sure I didn't have breast cancer. Then Mum got a scare they thought she may have lukemia thankfully it was just something auto immune. I have Lupus and I kept telling her I thought it was an auto immune thing since it had to do with her white cell count, however she is doing fine now and her white cell count is fine, unlike mine which will never be because of Lupus. I try and live everyday to it's fullest.

I guess it's my parents both telling me, in different ways, that their pensions aren't enough to maintain their quality of life. It's affected me because I've been sending them money - for mum, I set a £100 per month debit order up. For Dad, I helped him go on his dream trip to Russia. Dominic, also, has been helpful in passing on to me things that Dad says, and he also makes good suggestions on how I could help. It's all made me feel a little more like a parent than a child; and I've heard such things happen as parents get older. Well, they're alive and I'm glad; and I'll continue to help if I can.

My parents purchased a home in the villages retirement community. At first, I was disappointed. They surprised my family when we were visiting them on vacation and I thought they had not made a good value purchase. I wish they would have asked for my opinion before buying new. I would have suggested that they spend a bit more and buy in a more established area. With that said, I am happy for them. There is a lot for them to do there and the seem to really enjoy their retirement there. We will not see them as much in the cold half of the year.

We had a baby, Ava. She has helped me reflect on what I've been screwing up & why I need to keep it together. She is a great source of joy and aggravation. Colicky and adorable. I don't feel as "in love" with her as I do/did with my son.

A key milestone the family reached is that my daughter went to college. Though the college is in another country very far away, she is learning to be independent, take decisions and live her own life. But it is not easy for us to get used to an half empty nest. Its tougher for my wife. Its tough to let go of someone who you have taken care of for. 18 years. We pray to God that she is happy and comes out of college a happy and confident adult.

My mother died this year. I think this has affected me by making me more aware of how fleeting life is. Sometimes my days are so busy-working, coming home and taking care of everyone, that I view my life like a series of tasks or moments to get through. I am trying to do what my mother did in her life, which was to focus on the little moments of beauty and enjoyment: a blooming flower in the garden, the sunrise through fog, petting a dog. Even though the last year has been really hard, this is still my life, and I want to enjoy it as it happens.

When we argue it will always end up in shouting and flare ups. We made a pact that we will talk it through in a calm voice. We will not react if the other spite us but tell him/her that what he/she is doing does not help with the situation. And we always talk about the resolution. This made my family more understanding of each other and more aware of what the other is feeling. We stumbled a few times. But we always make it through without much resistance.

There's always something big going on around here. Our daughter went to Girl Scout camp for the first time, and spent a night away. My husband is finally cleared to go back to work after a year and a half. We got the taxes done all in one sitting. These are all things that make me feel like maybe I'm a grown up, and things are about to change for the better.

My daughter graduated from high school and went on her trip around the world before she is going to volunteer in a city in Siberia. We all have to cope with her being away for good. I think about how fast time runs and how I wasn't the mother my daughter should have had. But I did my best.

I got engaged and it made me think about the future in a more positive way.

Family.... Hmmm.... Well, yes! We discovered that my mother has a brother in Paris, her only sibling. That was an amazing discovery that has helped heal some old family wounds, as neither my mother nor her brother managed to spend much time with their father before his untimely death when they were children. My uncle had done a lot of family research and shared very important family history with us that has helped us clear up some painful lingering questions. I have been trying in my own way to resolve our family mysteries for over a decade. I went to meet him and his family in France in March this year. It was shocking how much he looks like my mother. He was kind and warm and very welcoming. I met his lovely mother as well, who passed away a few months ago, BDE. I am so grateful for this reunion. One chapter closed, a new chapter opened. <3

The girls are really growing up. Ella's potty trained and hilarious. Eva is dynamic and exciting and playing the electric guitar! As the girls get older I find I have more time, and so it's really making me re-evaluate how I spend that time. I'm teaching a poetry workshop right now and last night I had a reading and tonight another, and Cody and I are going to Italy next week. Things feel really good but hectic. Oh, and September is always a whirl!

Mark's death strongly shook up the family this year. All the children lost their father without having been able to feel his love in the last five years. I know he missed them and loved them all, but he was so tangled up in his own conflicted feelings that the expression of his love was lost in the mix, and all that came out was the anger and the hurt. I went through a strange bout of extreme nostalgia after he died, causing me to wonder if I loved him so much, why did I divorce the man? Then reality came back to me. When I opened the box of his ashes, I was nauseated to think that this was all that was left of a human being. After I filled my urn, I went on a search for other things that I could put in with him, viscerally understanding the urge of people everywhere to accompany their loved one with flowers, tools, food... I just couldn't bring myself to seal it up. But finally, I had the sense that Mark told me it was OK now, and then I was at peace, and could seal the urn, and move on.

Dad and Mom both re-married, and Theodore is going to be a father soon. It makes me wonder when my life will "start" in terms of the obvious milestones--house, marriage/long-term partner/baby. It's clear I haven't settled down yet, and I can't force things to happen.

a major milestone that jas happened withy family in the past year is that we have decided to seriously consider moving next year. I'm grateful that I have had the courage to push the issue. I hope I can continue to have the strength to carry through with it. it won't be easy -and it's scary but deep down I know it's the right thing for our family. I wish I had had the insight to insist we think about it sooner.

A major milestone was meeting My husband and getting married. It made me more balanced and happy. Another milestone is discovering more about my family history. This made me understand some things better.

Well this is pretty similar to yesterdays question. My fathers death means that both our parents and one sister have died so the 3 of us are a smaller family unit. We have been finding our way to new roles and relationships within the family group. I am renewing my relationship with my sister who lives close and working to find a comfortable place with my brother who lives farther away. With both my parents now dead there is no parent figure to discuss life with and all its changes. Thats the biggest void. Fortunately for me I have the gift of a new partner for life who came into my life just about 2 years ago. The loss has given me the opportunity to share those deep thoughts and fears with someone other then my parents. and through that I am learning that unconditional love and support can be found in other places besides my parents hearts. Thats been a big step and an unexpected reward in the process of grieving. This change has also freed me in a way that allowed me to take the steps needed to start working at what I value in life rather then making money being my driving force.

My grandmother is unable to speak easily. This has been very difficult on her, and it's been hard to not have her be a source for advice.

My youngest became a bar mitzvah this year. I was very proud that day, but other issues have intervened so it has not affected my life very much (except for feeding into yelling at him more for not sending out thank-you notes). He has also chosen not to continue his Jewish education.

It has allowed me to see new aspects of God's character and love for me. He has sustained, comforted and spoken to me in ways I had never experienced, and wouldn't have sought, we're it not for challenges my family has faced.

The biggest milestone of my life is the birth of our beautiful daughter! What an incredible journey this has been! It has been very humbling and reminds me of my mortality- I have to take excellent care of myself so I will be around a long time for my beautiful little girl. I also want to be sure that my partner and I set a good example for her in our relationship and show what a loving partnership looks like. We will all be happier :)

My oldest son DID move out and away. Well, I miss him but I am glad that he is on his own....This has been a tough one, because I love my children and I also like them. I genuinely enjoy having them around, so it was hard to push him out of the nest - I just felt that he needed to make some kind of life of his own. He still comes back for a few days at a time to do laundry and help me with small chores around the house.

It isn't a pleasant milestone, but when my grandmother died, it was a major event, because it has really brought us all closer together as a family. Being there when she died, hearing the nurse say "...and she has passed," was profoundly affecting. It's hard to really even put the experience into words. Since then, we have all maintained close contact, rallying around my uncle in particular, and now spend Sundays having dinner together. I've had days where I just think about her often, and sometimes it's sad, but then there are so many hilarious and wonderful memories, too. This is the first close-family death in my adult life, and the impact has been far different than when I was a child. It's been terrible and precious at once.

Jail for my son-in-law. His brothers and we have all been affected. Financially, emotionally. Taking care of his son. Knowing that the boy will be without a father for at least 4 years.

My mom and stepdad officially divorced last fall after being separated for a year and a half. I can't say that it's had an effect on my day-to-day life, but certainly on my emotional life. Questions of what will happen to me and my relationship if this is the example being set. I think I've come a long way since then in then in separating myself from their experience and recognizing that I can have my own relationship with each one.

Ben's move to Amity Care after traumatic transition with Values into action. Much grief and worry and distress during that period of utter uncertainty. Now with Amity Care, Ben happy and calm. Great thankfulness wells up. Sense of peace and comfort, as Amity Care people grow their relationship with Ben and are communicative and responsive.

Got married and nearly a year on I think I'm enjoying it more than I did at the start!

I'm just over 30. My parents who had been married for just shy of 35 years got divorced. I learned all about their secret lives that they'd been hiding from me. It also graduated me into full fledged adult status when I realized that my parents are normal people with their own insecurities and insanities, just like everyone else.

My sister celebrated her first wedding anniversary, I moved to Boston and my sister moved to Tennessee. It is good for us to leave the nest but it is new dynamic for my family. Holidays will be different for the first time.

My wonderful wife is turning sixty this year. In addition to celebrating in Scotland and finding her great-grandfather's headstone, we will continue the celebration on the actual day in October. After 23 years of marriage, I love her more today than yesterday, and I'll love her even more tomorrow. We are living out our life long promise: "wanna grow old together?"

My oldest niece's graduation from high school and transition to college. It was a huge relief to know that she successfully completed high school. She is such a talented young lady but does not apply herself in a way that takes advantage of that talent. I was proud of her for earning her diploma and even prouder of her for choosing a college that made financial sense. I am excited for her to experience college life and I look forward to helping her as much as possible so that she can begin achieving at her full potential.

I would have to say me and my partner's fourth anniversary. This is important to me as this relationship is nourishing to my spirit and comforting in a way no other has been.

Our last child graduated high school and moved away to college. An end. A new beginning. We are parents forever putting many things on the back burner like a 27 year marriage and our physical fitness. Feels like a new chapter with shiny gleaming white pages to write on. Hoping and praying that the kids will be ok and that the marriage will grow stronger. Life is short and sweet and nothing is ever forever. Even love. It needs warmth and care to keep the fire going. I will turn 50 in 2 weeks. It's just a beginning for a wiser decade.

Matt and I both graduated. Kat started college. I've gotten a job. Dad's expenses have gone down a lot and he can focus now on saving for retirement.

An adult nephew got married this year and a son was born to the couple, his first, her second. There was much joy in the family for the union and the birth. It made me feel very happy for my nephew because he was so happy. Something more that happened was the way my respect and love for my nephew grew and changed, in much the same way that he grew and changed as a man.

My son at age 28 finally got his driver's license. He has actually been working since he was 16 using the money he earned to help pay bills for the family, take care of his younger sisters, and funding his interests in technology and backpacking. He never liked cars. He is now driving himself and helping us out still. I hope he finds a wonderful, intelligent woman to share his life when he's ready--that lady will be getting one hell of a man.

I turned 50. For a very long time I had assumed that when you became an adult (20, 30, 40....) that you would 'grow up',that you would be given the 'adult wisdom' and that would be it. You would understand everything. As the decades past I realized, at first with disappointment, later with relief, that there were no answers, that you never finished growing and that you were always learning. It has also come with a new attitude, I'm 50, I've raised my kids (mostly) and now it's time to work on me.

My mother in law passed away. Gathering for her funeral helped me remember who she was before she was ravaged by dementia. I am grateful to have married I nto a family that knows how to gather, honor, and remember with humor and dignity.

My cousin dropped out of college. He'd dropped out of university a few months before, and decided he didn't want to go in that direction. Now it seems like he doesn't want to go in any direction. He's just going through the motions. And none of us know what to do. It's impossible to help someone move forward, when they aren't even interested in moving forward. It's taking a toll on all of us.

Back in February my sister and I really connected. We were able to speak up to each other about the things that had bugged us about the other for years. It turned out we were both feeling very judged. This conversation led to a deeper connection and sense of sister-ness. I am so grateful for the openness and closeness that it opened up between us.

My brother, Brian, died in April. My brother John is in the midst of a major health crisis. I was diagnosed with RA this summer after a health crisis of my own. My mother, at 86, is the healthiest of us all. I feel very protective of her and upset with my surviving brother whose demands are hard on her and our sister. I want, above all, to stay positive and not become a complainer...which kind of flies in the face of our human need to be understood by others. I get to decide how I present myself to the world as a person with a chronic disease. I don't want to let the fatigue change who I am...an active and engaged person.

Moving into our new house: Overall moving into the new house has been a positive thing. Space, new neighbors. It's made me feel a little overextended, stressed, overwhelmed and anxious with the sense of disorganization and the amount of work still to be done.

The milestone is my youngest son graduating from high school and heading to college. We are now "empty nesters" as they say. It is helping me assess where I want to go with my life at this stage. On what do I want to concentrate. It is as profound as they always say. I like it , but feel a bit overwhelmed. I've been making lots of lists and doing a good deal of writing, like this.

Birth of second grandchild, far away and with a mother who is LDS. I don't see how we'll ever have a close relationship.

A major mile stone that happened to my family this year is we all moved into a new house. It made Me, my sister and my brother get a lot closer since our mom got divorced.

My dad was out of my life for over a year and a half. He is consider a psociopath. He got arrested for the child support he is behind on. Almost $25,000. After he was arrested he filed for parenting time, hoping my mom would go to jail for denial of parenting time. So dealing with my dad coming back into my life is hard and I don't like it at all. I really enjoyed the year and half he was gone it was very nice and we were learning how to be happy again without him. And now he's back. Yesterday I went to conseling again. So I guess in a year I will know how that went

We went to Europe as a family. My first trip to the mainland and the kids' first trip to Europe ever. It was amazing-the culture, the food, the history. We loved it. What was especially affecting was the realization just how fortunate we are to be able to afford to spend two weeks traipsing through Normandy and Western Germany. It made me feel extremely grateful for all the good things that have come my way.

This past year we reached a level of financial independence that is allowing us to relax about a number or significant concerns. On the one hand my mind spends less time thinking about how to pay for the future. But now my mind spins around the question of how to invest my time and energy to have the impact that I desire. Which leads me to the question ..."what is the impact that I desire?"

A major milestone was my son getting accepted to HUC and moving to Israel for the year. I have never in my life read an Israel paper, but since June, I have been glued to it. During the height of the war, I was really nervous. I have even had several panic attacks and a very bad case of vertigo which I attribute to worrying about Daniel. It is hard to be the party that is five thousand miles away and listen to someone say it is safe. Then you turn on the news or you read the paper and you learn that the sirens are going off and everyone is headed for the bomb shelter. Since the peace treaty went into effect, I have been a little bit better, but now I worry about IS attacking Israel from Syria.

My wife and I bought our first home, a condo. Prior to the condo, my wife and I have lived in three different places in five years. It's nice to know that we'll be living in the same place for a relatively long time. It's nice to be settled and not wonder if we'll be living in the same place next year, or the year after that. Home ownership isn't easy and it isn't cheap. It has given us some stress and aggravation. But we are thankful to have a home to call ours.

I found that a niece has started drinking with her new husband, and is in denial about its being a problem. this has been confirmed by her daughter, to whom I've given a copy of"Hope for Today," an Al-Anon daily reader for adult children of alcoholics. Another niece appears to have stopped drinking, and is distancing from her alcoholic husband, for which I am grateful.

Papa had knee surgery. With all of his pain medications, he has gone a little loopy. This has put a strain on our family dynamics, Mom, and his relationship with Oma. This has shown me so much about my family and unconditional love. With his crazy eleavator repair man talk, I lost my patience and became angry with him. Upon reflection, I realized I only have so much time with him and can't spend it angry. I have seen what I want and what I want to avoid in my future relationships with my parents and grandparents. Patience, kindness, and understanding (not tolerance). I haven't spoken to my Dad's parents in years, which should change. I don't know how often he talks to them, but we have basically isolated ourselves from his side of the family. I can be a leader, step up and reach out to them. I see my mom's family constantly, but never my Dad's. I want them both to be my family, not just blood relatives. My grandfather's knee surgery taught me how to handle fear, how to calm and sooth it, and how to assure myself that all is well. He is doing well and is recovering still.

See answer to question #1 - Kim had a daughter Michelle married Barak Started a new decade Started a new job Writing a "wine" column people like and are reading! REALLY HAPPY and OPTIMISTIC for the first time in 10 years!!!

We all realized that my siblings and I are more independent now that we're almost in college.

Mortality/ Begining my life's 70th year........ Reflection/ Having experienced so much of life's emotions I look only briefly at my past. My known knowns. The future holds both known unknowns and also the unknown unknowns....the fascination and perhaps the fear of tomorrows.. I am appreciative of where I am and whom I'm with today. I have learned to pause and enjoy the present. It took a long time

I drifted away from My family. i dislike feeling second rate. If My parents are going to disowned me. do i really want to pretend with My siblings .

My oldest son got married! He's only 24, but he has been with his wife for a long while. They are swans. They inspire me.

Our daughter Alex graduated college in December and eventually moved to her own apartment in Atlanta. Even though she had been living away for school, this seemed different for me. As she matures into adulthood, it makes me even more conscience that my role of mother is dwindling. I have to stop myself often from calling or interfering in her life. It's hard to sit by and watch right now when I think she may be making a mistake that could alter her future. I have to trust that she figure out what's best for her.

I got married! It's been wonderful. I'm less stressed, because I know that no matter what happens with work and petty bullshit, I have my favorite person to come home to and to build a life with. But I also feel a greater responsibility for eliminating the stress and bullshit in my life, because this person I love has agreed to tie her happiness to mine, so I have to live and be happy for 2 people instead of just myself.

That my mother was finally admitted into hospital and diagnosed with schizophrenia. To know that her problems (and therefore ours) have a reason. It made me come closer with my brother again. It helped me to speak to other people about my difficult childhood. Another milestone: I decided to move to Europe to live with my boyfriend.

Bobby's dementia has increases and Rose's pain is unmanageable. Elder parents issues have increased. This is requiring daily communication and management. Wanting to help but resentful of the intrusion. This is my time in life, I do not want to share it but I/we will do the right thing.

My younger sister died 7 yrs ago from breast cancer leaving behind her husband and then-3-yr-old daughter. This year, my brother-in-law started seeing someone. I am overjoyed for him and my niece--they seem to all fit well together!! I did, however, feel a wave of sadness...I mean, it's not like a divorce, or my sister is coming back: it just made it so real that she is permanently gone. Of course I would NEVER say this to my brother-in-law, niece, or his new lovely girlfriend!

OK so this is 3 days in a row writing about divorce but it is big this year. So Eric, Evan, and myself all lost our significant others. The impact on me has been personal. But the ripple through the family has been hard. There have been times of isolation of each other. Trying to figure out how to interact be open and understand each other. There were times around the holidays when alienation was felt. It was hard to be around each other (all of this from my perspective). The result of this was learning what it takes to be a family with each other again. Having to communicate our feelings with each other and even about each other. It must have been so hard for my parents to watch each of their sons go through such loss and not be connected to them enough to support them through it. I want to be more connected to my family but distance and time separates us. Texting and quick phone calls does not suffice. It makes me want more to come to my intention of being a good brother and son, but also defining what that means. It takes an understanding of what those other people in my life want and need. Maybe that is the growth we can find together this year.

Jane and I turned 65. Andi turned 60. Stephen turned 70. Age does not matter. We are healthy and the future is bright!! We get to enjoy the successes of our children and the next gen grandkids.

Thumper passed away and we adopted Miss Rain and Kale Kat (all cats). It was and still is difficult. We did wait a month before adopting again, but sometimes I wonder if we should have done the full period of morning and really observed the morning as without a child, Thumper was our son and very important to us. Still we're coping and it serves as a reminder to me to try not to live so much in future plans and be thankful for the present.

Amelia was in a major motion picture as a feature. It made me realize that she truly is cut out for the film and television industry.

Well, obviously the birth of our second son! Beautiful Gus was born on January 25, and life will never be the same. When I found out that I was having a second boy, I thought that it would be "Tony Part 2." The minute he was born - even before he was born - I knew he would be different. His birth was different, and he was his own little person from the moment he was born. He had his own distinct personality, and that was when I realized the power of God in each of my son's birth - each was created to be a unique, individual human, and it's a powerful and amazing realization. We all love Gus so much, and although I suffered with difficult postpartum depression and dealing with my husband's lack of helping out as much as I think he should, I still am happy that Gus joined our family and is such a delight to us every day.

My mom got a contract job in Washington State which meant every few weeks she was there. She was online first thing in the morning to talk to my father, which meant we also talked more than usual. It was nice.

A major milestone this year was my wedding! It affected me in so many ways because I got to get close with so many family members, including my mom who I haven't been close with in a long time.

The twins graduated from college. It was exciting to be able to 'participate' in the celebrations through Appletv and iPad. I am proud of them both. It hasn't 'affected' me per se, I'd say. I am envious that my nephew-one of the twins - is now literally traveling the world.

Hannah and Matt graduated and moved in with me in June 2013, I nudged them out into the world in February 2014 and they have been living and survivng in Scarborough - Matt recently teaching drumming and Hannah being creative and also working at McDs to pay the bills. Sam finished his Foundation Degree in June and has just gone back to attempt a third year at uni which will give him a full degree. I am proud of all three! June 23rd marked us living for 3 years without Pat, still hard, we still miss him so much.

My husband lost three relatives in relatively close succession. Three folks from our parents' generation. They were aunts and uncles, but it serves as a reminder that our parents will go one day as well. They are all 70 or close to it. My grandparents and great grandparents lived to be 87-100 yrs so I tell myself it's something I don't need to dwell on right now. At the same time, I know those years aren't guaranteed. It makes me feel a great sense of loss to think about - the experience and wisdom that will be gone when my dad dies especially. There are so many things that I haven't paid enough attention to in my life because I've had the luxury to think, "Oh, I can just ask Dad about how I should do that." One day that won't be an option anymore. We both live states away from our parents and I know I'm missing out on time with them even though I'm really happy in our adopted hometown.

I became an aunt for the first time. I want very much to be a good aunt and to help watch my cute nephew grow.

Everyone is getting older. This is both great and terrible. I get no greater pleasure than seeing my kids and my nieces and nephews and friend's children growing up in the world - and celebrating the milestones and changes with them. That is just so much fun to be a part of. On the other hand, my in-laws are more infirm, my parents are slowing down -even my brother and sister in laws are entering into new phases of their lives. My oldest niece is going to have a baby this January. This is conceivable. That her father is going to be a grandfather is a little more far fetched in my mind. All in all, I am really lucky. My in-laws have lots of other children to help them with their aging. And my parents are still in relatively good health - and are willing to discuss with me what they envision and want for their futures. It will be beyond hard but at least I know what they want and what they can afford. I really appreciate their willingness to have these sorts of hard conversations!

My dad retired! It's so huge for every single one of us. He is much more relaxed and happy and it lowers the whole family's stress level. I think things are only up from here.

My sister moved to another state and my brother left my parents' house for the first time. They are now empty-nesters. It's been weird. I don't see them as much anymore, but I think it has helped my sister and my relationship a little. We talk more and we are more open with each other. My brother is only an hour away, but my sister is in a new state with a new job.

We moved 1/2 way across the country. I love our new active neighborhood- bicycling, kayaking,etc. It has been very positive for me

My brother became engaged. This affected me because I now will have a sister in law.

My grandfather passed. I personally feel like it's a weight off our shoulders but I know that it pained my mom very much. I had to go home a lot over the summer and with the death and my breakup happening at the same time, it was difficult for me to be there for my family while I was an emotional and mental wreck. This resulted in a lot of guilt that I feel for not being there for them. My relationship with my parents hasn't been the same since then.

My youngest son got out of the Army after 9 years which included Afghanistan and Korea. Just feel relief more than any other emotion though it's good to see more of him as well.

A major milestone thst happened was when 2 cousins of mine got married. It made me want even more to find my special someone to make me happier, and my parents peaceful.

My little sister got pregnant! She is 7 years younger than me. I'm 39 now and quite sure I won't have kids. I was never quite sure, I'm quite old now, my boyfriend is quite sure he doesn't want them and I'm happy to make other plans for the future together. I'm super happy for my sister and my brother-in-law and glad I'm going to be an aunt and that my parents will be grandparents. It does have me thinking about how to make the rest of my life a fulfilling one since I'm opting out of the obvious fulfillment of raising a child. I'm starting a yoga teacher training next year and hopefully someday I will have students so I can pass something on to a next generation.

My sister's move to DC to be with her girlfriend affected me positively. I'm excited about their future and really love her partner, and hope she becomes a part of our family. I've had to learn not to project my own goals and thoughts onto my sister. I might have acted differently in a similar situation, but she has to decide for herself what's best. It's been a struggle.

Um. The fatherhood thing.. Didn't you just ask me this?

Again, I got married. This has had an extremely positive effect on my personal outlook on life. I am a more compassionate, empathetic and understanding person as a result of having my husband in my life.

My daughter graduated and got a job at one of the top schools in Sydney and my son managed to claw out of a hole and find his way to Sydney and start working. Both in Sydney and seemingly happy Great

My sister is the mother of four beautiful boys. She found out this year that she is expecting her first girl (in just a few days). I love my sister to the ends of the earth and back, however this was at first a sharp blow to me. The timing of her pregnancy came about six months after I had my left ovary removed due to the damaged caused by endometriosis. As the sister who is "reproductively challenged" the news of her pregnancy was very hard to hear. My initial response was, I must say not my proudest moment, however I've radically accepted that my sister and I have different reproductive circumstances. I love her very much, and I can't wait to meet my first niece!

My brother had a huge surgery to try and stop his chronic head pain. He has been going through the pain for almost 3 years now and its a huge burden on my family. The surgery didn't work and we are moving on to the next potential option. I am trying to stay positive for the rest of my family but its gets harder every month. My brother is only 31 and recently married. He deserves to be going through problems like having children and saving for a home. Not trying to survive this unbearable pain.

In the past 12-18 months My family has survived my divorce, Roberts cancer and a bit longer, bit melodys cancer tx too. Family is very important to me but I find that I am more independent and ok alone, more outspoken but not as driven to always say what's on my mind; less ego intervention. It just doesn't mayter. I'm good with me. I don't feel compelled to explain or to follow. It's very liberating.

My sister started college; she'll be overseas for the next four years. While I'll see less of her, I moved out before she left and we never talked much anyway, so I can't say I'm really affected one way or another. I am excited to visit her though.

The death of my beloved husband. I feel unmoored and adrift and lonely

My grandmother died as I stated on the previous question. My father lost his leg to diabetes and then got married. I am happy that is so happy with Sally, his childhood sweetheart and it makes me happy that I don't have to worry about him all the time.

The birth of my neice... It has made me feel more insecure and useless.

Both of our sons got married. One new daughter-in-law is Christian and has a 9 year old son. The other is a practicing Hindu. They all live far away and I love them all. I have been reflecting on our changing world.

I am turning 70 and I am having a party. It is for family and it is a family reunion as well as a birthday party. Small family with different schedules and busy lives makes it that we never get together as a group- except at bar mitzvahs and funerals. I prefer that the next gathering not be at my funeral. It is best to do things NOW!

I am a Mom and a home owner. We had a lot of milestones this past year. I love having a son and am very proud we were able to sell the town house and buy a house with a yard for our son to grow up in.

My sister announced that she would be getting married. Although I am happy for her, I can't help but feel pressured to stay in a serious relationship when I don't want to be in one.

My older son hit puberty and is officially a teenager. This is a big deal for a few reasons - some of them totally universal. I see the man that he is becoming, which, overall, pleases me. He is also as tall as I am and physically stronger now. I ask him to help me with things that I used to have to do for him! (And the mood swings - oy vey!) He is still very affectionate and will ask for hugs -something not to be taken for granted. He is the same age that I was when I lost my mother and so I realize that our connection is not a given. Additionally, I realize now that he can choose whether we will be connected so immediately. I want to hold onto this age but I know that, if my son is to grow, I need to let go a little bit while letting him know that I will always be here with my arms and heart wide open.

Our youngest daughter graduated high school, moved very far away and has started college. It makes me very proud, it has caused a whole new level of life evaluations and introspection and my priorities have shifted a bit. My life is so full and so blessed that each day I give thanks for all that I get to experience and the amount of love and support that I receive.

I guess one major milestone is that my sister lost her home and hasn't given me her new address and I suspect she won't. I have also recently moved and they are unaware of this and since I basically never heard from these people when I lived in L.A. and when I was in N.Y., what is the difference? As for myself, I appear to be a confirmed bachelor (aka gay).

Probably the biggest milestone this past year in my family was my getting engaged to my fiancee. There has been a lot of celebration and joy and with wedding planning it has become tense at times. There is disagreement between my fiancee and my parents in a way that I'm still trying to work out and I am caught in the balance. I hope it we will work it out soon.

1. My daughter got pregnant and will have a baby next March. Given she lives with me, this will be a game changer but not much happening now 2. A fabulous vacation with all my kids this New Zealand which brought us all closer together and was the best vacation I have ever had 3. Otherwise it has been a boring and fabulous family year

My Dad fell and injured himself- broker his hip and discovered that he needed triple bypass. Although it is sad, i realized that our relationship is not fixable. I reached out, again, and was rebuffed. The issues he has are deeper than any conversation will go. He wasn't there for me as a kid. Why would I expect him to be there now? I am gaining peace, slowly, knowing that I cannot fix it and to let it go.

My in-laws moved here. It is wonderful having them closer. Also challenging to juggle schedule.

My closest uncle had knee replacement surgery. He had always been the one to kind of poo poo people's pain. He found out that he had made it to almost 80 and never really had physical pain before. He was opened to more compassion to other people through his experience. It was really important to me because he and I have more of a connection than every before. It was surprising that we could bond over something that hurt. Even though it is not advisable to bond over pain because of the victimhood it can promote, this pain opened up a new line of understanding through which we could have empathy. Nice~

In a little over a year I have lost both of my Grandpas. As if it weren't bad enough to lose them, both of their deaths have caused a ton of drama on both sides of my family. It's quite depressing that at this point I don't have any desire to see most of my relatives because of all this drama. I wish people could see what things are actually important rather than fighting over belongings and money.

Jonathan's Bar Mitzvah & Natalie's Bat Mitzvah were big turning points in our lives. I am so proud to see both of them develop into beautiful young adulthood.

I can't think of any specific milestones in the last year...we seem to be in the middle of milestone expectations. Our daughter is already out of high school, and struggling to find her place in the world, and has failed out of college. Our son is still in high school, and is just beginning to consider his options afterwards. And our oldest is married, unhappily, and raising our beautiful granddaughter...so while life trickles on, I don't see any milestone moments to consider. And maybe that's OK for this year...

We have not had any milestone birthdays or anniversaries this year. We did make the decision to hold my son back from starting Kindergarten. This was a no brainer - he is a boy and he was born only a week before the cut off. Mentally, he might be ready, but socially/behaviorally, he is not. This put significant financial pressure on our family, because it means another year of tuition and another year of my wife not working full time, but we know it is the right thing to do. On the bright side, it has allowed us to connect with an entirely new community.

Our elder daughter really picked up speed with her reading. It's a pleasure for me to see her develop her independence in learning, because she is so intent on it, and because she reminds me of my younger self.

My partner, who lost his job during the recession and was unable to find employment at his age (63) started volunteer work. He drives senior citizens to medical appts, grocery shopping, whatever they need, through an online scheduling database. He does this about 3-4x per week and has the dates scheduled weeks in advance. This has GREATLY impacted his happiness, sense of self-worth, and well-being, and that has impacted me greatly as well. Also, my daughter started driving and attending college courses (while still a senior in high school). It is so hard to believe she is so grown up… and both of these things seem to help her self-esteem and sense of independence greatly. Good stuff!

Karen's daughter gave us Benjamin. As a result we, Karen and I have had much more contact with Megan and her husbank Ken. Needless to say Karen is ga ga and I am thrilled. A rift that had been growing between my son and I was healed with a renewed trust and love for each other. The rift was the result of tension in our business relationship. Praise God for both events!

A major milestone that happened for me in my wee little family this year, was moving in with my childhood sweetheart, Jon. We were each other's first "relationship", back in our teens in 1986, and he looked me up after 27 years in 2013. On December 1, 2013, we moved in together and neither of us has ever been so happy. If I ever doubted it before, I have learned that we should listen to the young when they say they are in love. As we get older, and more jaded, we start making compromises. Over time, trivialities like a partner's earning potential and our fears about life get in the way of the innocent, clear-sighted intuition we had about romantic love as teenagers. When we decided, at 15 years old, that we'd found our soulmate it turns out that we were right.

Grandson finished nursery and started school in September full time. Such a growing up time- each year that passes creates the man. So lovely to be with- and he says school makes him "happy". Sociable and interested. Parents have taken responsibility in a more direct way- for themselves and as parents, now that he is less of a baby and more of a companion for them. Of course this makes me happy but I feel he will gradually slip away- as I fade into old age. I hope instead to fade into a dynamic new me!

Sherri's 65th Birthday. We're stepping off the curb and don't know what will happened; will we get hit by a bus or stroll across the street.

We taught our dog to get in the car - now we spend so much time together as a family swimming in the lake, walking in the woods and even out to restaurants with the dog! Our life and his life is so much better since he got over his fear.

My nephew, the youngest of the siblings, married. Clarifying for me that the generation really has changed -- the younger generation is are settled; most are parents. The youngest generations are celebrating their own milestones. And that clearly makes me the oldest generation. Fast. It's all so fast.

My mom turned 91 and, although she is pretty darn healthy (no prescription meds - just a couple vitamins and aspirin) she is experiencing age-related memory problems. Not dimentia/Alzheimers, but still memory problems. She still lives in our family home. Thank goodness my sister lives about 10 blocks away so she can sheck on Mom daily, take her grocery shopping, etc. Although I live quite a distance from her (7+ hours driving) I have increased my trips home and spent more time there just to be with her and savor that time. She has long outlived her two much younger siblings and she may just keep going to 100. Many of her Amish kin have lived well into their 90s, so Mom may just be following those gene paths.

My parents bought a house. The picking out of the house and the time leading up to the closing was terribly stressful and my parents drove my sister and I nuts. However, now that they have the house and I'm helping them clean it up and everything I think it might actually be helping my relationship with my dad. Maybe. The days spent cleaning up their house have been okay so far, and I think what I'm doing has really made them appreciate me more.

As usual nothing fun or exciting happens with my family. So I don't have a good answer for this.

When I got married back in April, it was the first time that my mother, her husband, my father, and his wife all got together in one place. There's so much awkward history between everyone that it could have been incredibly difficult. But instead, it was absolutely magical. Everyone had a blast, and by the end of the weekend, there had been so much joy and laughter, healing, and bonding... My mother and my father's wife were practically best friends. And everyone promised to stay in touch. This was huge for me! It was such a beautiful and symbolic integration of two disparate parts of me. And for that I am crazy grateful.

My Mom just turned 80. I am grateful that she is content and seems to be at peace with herself. My father and his wife just separated. He is now living alone on a small Gulf Island, at 80 and fair health. But he has always said he is willing to leave there feet first! I am now a Great Aunt. Henry John was born about 10 months ago. I'd like to really be a great aunt. Ian's mother, brother and sister-in-law and I got to spend 7 -10 days together on the Oregon Coast at the beginning of July. It was the first time we have spend so much time together and we did well. Although the all-day drive down and back was hard on our bodies. It would be good to do something closer to home next year.

My 26 year old daughter started graduate school this fall. She has had a dream since she was abound 6 or 7 to work with marine animals in some fashion. It has delighted me to watch this dream evolve into a very directed and singular goal and she's achieved and persevered. I'm very proud of her. Makes me feel I did a good job as a mother to see this happen.

My mother turned 90. My dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I went back to work. The ups and downs.

On December 6th, Emma Rowland was born. A daughter to my sister, a granddaughter to my parents, a great granddaughter to Nana and grandma. And a niece to me. She is beautiful, perfect. Now 9 months old, she smiles and plays and I am excited to see her grow and develop and build a relationship with her. Cool aunt debs, hopefully a breath of fresh air from her highly strung parents! But it has also made me nervous. I was accidentally present at the birth. Yikes. That's awful. Sarah an Matthew were exhausted that day and have not recovered. They barely leave Southgate. Babies need non stop attention (selflessness). So much can affect them, hurt them. Will I ever be ready to take on that responsibility?! I hope so.

We moved to a new home, putting us close to family, giving us breathing room from an overbearing landlord, and a better living environment.

My older son passed the CPA exam. While I am a CPA, when he was younger my son had no interest in business and his only interest in school was that it allowed him to play baseball and basketball. His first year in college was best described as a disaster from a parent's prospective and great fun from my son's prospective. He realized he would not be able to earn a living at his first love - sports, so he got focused on school. He received a BS in Accounting and his masters from the College of Charleston and in August was recognized by the State of South Carolina as a Certified Public Accountant. It was great to see him do well, when he had such challenges. Must be how God feels when we realize that doing his will is the thing to do .

my in-laws (89 and 91), who moved into assisted living last year, passed away within weeks of each other this fall. both my husband and his brother put 90% of the "blame" on the less-than-stellar nursing care they were receiving (and went to the extreme measure of hiring an outside part-time caregiver for them within the facility). the 60-something brothers have reached the conclusion that they will NEVER go into an assisted living facility in their old age, no matter what: 24-hour caregivers in their homes, if that's what it takes. can't say i disagree. good thing they are both saving like mad to be able to make this happen, because it's frightfully expensive; boomers beware.

I guess the biggest milestone that happened in my family this past year is that Julie got divorced. For years, I've thought of her more like a sister than a cousin, and whens eh called to tell me that she had filed for divorce from Mike, I was genuinely sad for her, because I know that she'd tried to make their marriage work. About two years ago, I started opening up to her, about boys, about being a drag queen, about myself, and I am grateful that I did that, because it seems like we've gotten closer since then, and I love her so much.

My mother-in-law died in November of last year. She was the last surviving of our parents. We were not ready to let her go. She was the hub of our family, the matriarch. We all tried to please her and dreaded running afoul of her. I miss her. My wife cries every day, but hides that from me most of the time. The family all misses her and there is a void that can't be filled. And I'm having trouble getting used to the notion that my wife and I, as well as our siblings, are now the senior generation in our families.

I'm not sure of any major milestones but my son has become more independent and he has started to come up with his own preferences and opinions about things. This has inspired me and it has given me some pause when I am asked to provide my opinion. I try to make sure it is all my own and not just an idea given to me from someone. He amazes me and I am enjoying getting to know him better.

This last year my parents paid off their mortgage. It was really nice to see them feel released from that burden, and really own the home that they had already created and made theirs. My father built our house in 1988 and it was remodeled in 2002/2003. It's a beautiful home, and I am glad that even though the remodel added a few years to what they needed to pay, they made the investment in our home. It was more than worth it, and it's so nice to know they enjoy their time there, the same place that I grew up and still come home too. It has inspired me to be smarter with my money and given me a new value of the idea of "home." A "home" is something I definitely think I want someday (as opposed to NYC renting) and it has made me happy to know my parents are cozied up nightly in a place that is really theirs.

My dad died. I'm not sure how this has affected me. I'm very sad. A lot of the time. It's troubling to the point that I sometimes just want to skip appointments and work to do nothing but sit and play video games. Not even writing or cleaning or building. Just TV and video games. Maybe I'm trying to hide.

My dad was diagnosed with MSA and suddenly, we were dealt a huge dose of reality and perspective.

My father had a major health scare that involved time spent in the ICU and a long stint in rehab. My mother was also in the hospital for four days. It made me realize that as much as I need to take care of me, I want to take care of them. Love sometimes requires sacrifice.

My eldest son passed his final matric exams with 7 distinctions. Made me feel proud.

My in-laws are currently living with us while they wait to move into assisted living due to my mother-in-law's Alzheimers. Life is precious, in any form.

The big milestone for my family has been my son's graduation from high school and entering college. It's funny but the bigger milestone for me was the moment I hugged my son goodbye and left him at school. It's a bias that comes from my father that he never really thought his high school graduation meant much -- it was easily achieved and didn't really reflect what he learned. The act of going to college was a major event in his life and something that he taught us, and so my son leaving for college is what's important, but high school graduation might be the milestone. There is the physical affect on my life. He isn't around the house, the time I have available has changed, I miss his presence. There is also a strange loss of purpose. For the last nineteen years I've had a sense that I needed to be helping my son grow up. When he was young this was very direct and involved. Lots of time spent, stories read, holding his hand guiding him through adventures. But even through the last two years of high school where he was very independent, there was still a sense of helping him along the way. Supporting through search for college, being there to talk about events in his life. Being a father will remain my purpose, but it's now more abstract and more indirect. That leaves a gap in terms of what I view as the important roles for my life.

I feel like I should stop talking about my wedding, but hey it was a big deal. My husband and I are the first to get married in both our families, and it's the start of a new chapter for more than just us. One of my greatest joys is bringing people together and watching them form new relationships and come to delight in one another as much as they delight me. Watching my family grow and embrace a new branch of in-laws has been wonderful and I have never felt more loved and safe.

My mother moved into independent living and then into assisted living. This was a lot of stress and some disagreements with and between my brother and sister. Also, my mother's house was sold so all these involved a lot of moving. But it means much less stress now. My mother is well cared for and I have fixed up my guest bedroom so my brother and sister and spouses can visit and stay there. I organized my garage and I'm working on other parts of the house and yard. And I continue to fund my retirement accounts.

I came out to my entire extended family as trans* and have found more acceptance than i ever dreamed.

We just visited our folks, and my mother in law is getting more confused as she slips into dementia. She called my brother in law (her other son) by the wrong name a couple of times. This is the first time that has happened while we have been with her. She said she keeps her spirits up by telling herself her life is very good and it's not such a big deal when she forgets things.

My mom's husband died. He had a long, good life. His passing made me more compassionate towards my mom and more aware of the aging process.

I was diagnosed with Cancer. I was surprised that I handeled it so well. I dealt with it without tears and fears. I am very positive and happy. I wanted to set a good example for my children.

A few things come to mind. First my oldest daughter Lauren is now a college graduate and my youngest Danielle is driving. My wife and I turn fifty soon and as I look around I see the fragility in life. I haven't completed anywhere near the goals I would have liked to by this point in my life so I'm fairly resigned to allow fate take me where it may.

when i think of milestone i think of good things, the only reason i say that is because when i read the question i immediately thought of my older brother who passed away in February and i knew that wasn't right.it makes me realize how mush i miss him. so contemplating the question, I have to say its my retirement from my job. i am excited because i get to do pretty much what i want. however I am responsible to my family and try to be a big part of their lives. i have three grand children and one that's going to arrive any day now. thinking about the page's of my life, i was going to say that sometimes i feel like i am getting to the end of my story, but then i realize that i am just feeling sorry for myself. who am i to think that i know better then G D.. when my life will be over.

This year Rafi began walking AND talking. It has enabled him to be more independent and assertive, which I love and loathe at the same time. I love seeing him grow and thrive, but it's a big challenge to acknowledge that I am not in control.

After 8.5 years I'm ready to marry Rick, that wonderful, incredible man who has been by my side through thick and thin. My love for him has matured and I'm not afraid of the commitment anymore. Knowing that we are bonded and committed forever is really peaceful.

My immediate family is just me. My nuclear family consists of my parents, brother and me. Not much news there. My "chosen" family of friends have seen a lot of weddings this year now that people can legally get married in Minnesota. I think this has added a lot more stability, though it has left me (and I think other singles) feeling more alone.

My oldest son getting married. It made us closer as a family. It was a hard adjustment for me after such a busy year of planning. I have to re-purpose myself. A work in progress

My sister made her first step toward becoming a TV/film actress when she had her professional photo shoot done. We are all incredibly proud of her. :)

Unfortunately, the majority of the "milestones" this year have been medical for my family. My dad nearly had a massive heart attack 5 days before my birthday, my mom has to walk with a cane or a walker because of some undiagnosed pain that causes a severe limp, and my surgery last year was unsuccessful with the pain continuing to increase dramatically. It's been a very tough year to say the least! My hope, though, is that next year, when you send me these answers, every single one of these medical issues will have been resolved and that my family will be happy and healthy!

My sister getting pregnant. I had just finished draining my savings and 401K to freeze my eggs so that I could have the option post chemo and she was unemployed and pregnant. Cool, universe, cool.

My eldest son started kindergarten. He is really blossoming into a charming young boy. I am thrilled to think of what a wonderful man he will be someday.

A went to college! It has affected everything about my life--from the amount of pasta we buy and the number of shirts in the laundry to my struggle to be the "right" kind of parent to a college student. I miss him in profound and tiny ways alike.

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in March. She's only 52, so it was a major shock to the whole family. She's had radiotherapy appointments and I had to take unpaid leave from work to take her. It was so hard to hear that diagnosis, my sister is only 19 so I think it hit her hard. My brother and sister are away at university so it was up to me to deal with it. Its definitely brought us closer as a family, and I check in a lot more now than I used to, and I think we all make the extra effort. Seeing her in hospital after her appointment was absolutely awful, so I think its made us all wake up to the fact that life really is short, as cliched as it is.

My sister got engaged. And it made me very happy. I feel that the burden of passing on the family genes has been lifted a bit. But more importantly I am so happy that my sister is marrying a wonderful guy.

We were able to combat our financial distress on a specific intervention. This showed me that in future such cases can occur

My grandson became a teenager and is becoming a real friend with whom I love to talk-- he is smart and with it, and I love him in a new way. His brother who is younger is smart and witty, and I am so thrilled to have them in my life, not just as grandchildren but as truly interesting and real "people"!!

My partner and his son moved in with my children and me this past year. Overall it's been a good milestone. We've learned to work together as a family unit. The children get along well. It's involved some hard work along the way, but it's been worth it.

Generally my Grandmother is getting older and I think that it makes me realize that I need to try and spend more time with her before its too late, or before she starts to loose her health. Her walking it starting to become a concern, and if that goes, the family is worried about her being able to live alone like she does.

My brother and his girlfriend not only moved into together. They also adopted a wonderful dog. It solidifies a beautiful growth of family that welcomes in new loved ones and additions.

My parents got Valentino this year!!! He is the sweetest, most earnest, soft, little, wriggly snuggle bug! I love how he perks up his ears when he's being attentive, and I love how he looks at my mom. She has been glowing since he joined the family, and my dad seems so calm and content knowing that she is happy again. To me, Zacky's death left a real void in our family. Although he can never be replaced, I am so happy that my parents made the commitment to raise this new little rascal!

My wife's mother died, our 3rd grandchild was born, our 4th grandchild will be born any day. Life is so short. Makes me want to make the most of my days. Indeed life is short. One generation departs, another one arrives. Life is a vapor.

There were no major milestones in my family

My uncle (cousin really, but closer than that) died the same weekend as a family bar mitzvah. I think it has made me take a step back and just confirm for myself that life cycle events are part of life and we should welcome them, and that it is worth the effort to keep in touch with and enjoy family events. In many ways my cousins are closer friends of mine than people I meet and get to know through activities, work or kid events.

We welcomed our son in June. He makes me so happy, and I hate being away from him. Having a son is teaching me patience and to put others first and also about what's really important to me. I no longer have time for the trivial stuff. He makes me want to take control of my health so that I can always be there for him.

My grandmother passed away about a year ago. She was my only remaining grandparent and definitely the one I was closest with. Losing a grandparent is hard (she was 96 and sick, so we were aware this was coming) but watching your father weep is heartbreaking. My dad, sister, stepmother, aunt and I drove up to Chicago together for her burial. I don't know the last time I took a road trip with my family but it was likely middle school on a family vacation to Wisconsin. The circumstances were not ideal, obviously, but the 5 of us together, in the car, and all weekend long, was the closest we've been in a long time. It was nice to be able to come together like that, especially coming from a family that often times can only tolerate one another in small doses (we're an obnoxious bunch 8-)

My youngest spent 8 months living in West Africa. It was the first time one of my children was living out of the country and gone for so long. It was also the first time my three girls were not able to be together on a fairly regular basis. It was very hard at first and there were many tears shed by all, but during that time the dynamic seemed to change a bit in our family. The youngest, who had been babied all her life, grew up. She lived a hard life and found solace in that. She got to experience being part of a different family, lead a life so unlike anything she had ever experienced and it changed her perspective. She has always been a good person, but she came back from this time abroad more aware of her blessings, more aware of who she is and what role she wants to lead in this world. For us, we got the experience of knowing how to live without one of us there. Learned to live with the void that her being missing caused in our hearts and everyday lives. And now all three of them are living in other places. Two in the north and one in college and I think this experience that one had, changed us all and opened us up to the knowledge that we can still be a family unit, even if we are living far apart. For me personally, I had the opportunity to see this child in a new light and it made her going off to school and me becoming an empty nester easier.

My entire. Family dynamic has shifted. My dad is now distant since he yelled at my family drunken uncontrollably. My mother's husband is finally dead. She now has a chance at a life without the bars of a controlling man. At times I feel like an orphan, at other times I feel strong and independent. I feel confused about how I am who I am when I came from the people I came from. I'm grateful for my sanity and my "levelheadedness".

My stepfather died this year. I never had a good relationship with him and we never really liked each other. He made my teenage years very difficult and caused my mother and brothers a lot of anguish. His passing was a relief. It meant I could visit my mother for the first time in my adult life without having to walk on eggshells around him. It meant I didn't have to wonder if he was going to lose it for no reason and ruin the visit. It meant my mother was finally free of his depression and manipulation and misery. She gets to remember the good parts of him and, since for me the best part of him is his absence, I'm happy for her.

I guess the answer is the same as given earlier: Adam married a wonderful Jewish girl, Jason got out of a miserable marriage and is back in the fold (a miracle in itself), Jared has another year under his belt and we've been given good health - mental and physical - to care for him. We took him out for ice cream last night and he was so happy, just making happy noises. Sadly, Shulamit, brothers mother in law in Israel, passed away, really the last of a generation. I was happy to know her.

My mother and I have struggled to have a relationship that was healthy for both of us most of my childhood and well into my adult life. This past year while spending time with a grieving friend I realized I wasn't getting any younger and neither was my mother and there will come a time in my life where she won't be here in the physical world - so I committed to forgiving her this year of everything over the last 47 years of my life - This was a huge daunting task and one I didn't take lightly - We met and discussed what we needed from each other using the 5 languages of love to identify needs - For me my entire life was met with harsh expectations and feeling like I was never good enough - violent outbursts and abuse from a very young age that my mother has apologized for and is water under the bridge - we realized that we both needed affirmation from each other as well as acts of service which we are both really good at for other people but just never for ourselves and our relationship. I realize there is a lifetime of pain and anger and hurt and that it just doesn't really mean as much to hold onto it anymore - we can hug each other and be in a room for an extended period of time- we can laugh and joke and help each other with yard work -we have family dinners and are traveling away for Thanksgiving this year - so I know we are a work in progress and that perhaps we will never be 100% but we are stronger and better than we ever have been and it all started with a thought to let go... L'Shanah Tovah!

I was officially divorced on Feb 9th. It was a 2 year process that was very difficult on me and my 2 sons. I am through the process but I still get angry about the disrespect at times. I need to let the past go.

I sold Mom's house and was able to close outs my estate management responsibilities. It made me feel like I was successful and a "good" sister. It was also the official end of my physical connection to our childhood. Amazingly, it was not a devastating loss.

We got a new dog Clover. It has taught me that I do not want another puppy for a long time. That sometimes certain things are known even if they aren't. I also have a goof ball to laugh at each day.

Mom died. I knew it was coming -- I mean, she was 90 -- but I still wasn't ready. She hated doctors, refused certain tests, and so it wasn't that much of a shock to hear it was a significant mass at the base of her esophagus. Dad is declining. He's always been rather angry and incoherent emotionally, and now, with cognitive decline, it's worse. I feel trapped in a loveless marriage. My children are getting older, and soon they'll have their back to me. I feel lost and at the same time, strangely motivated. If my fear is lessened by my enthusiasm, the rest of the year should be okay. If not, more of the same.

It was our 10 year anniversary. We did our best to reflect and remember how important our love us and how lucky we are. Other than that it was a year if ongoing ness. Growth for our daughter. Health for our close family. We saw sine dear friends get sick and that was worrisome. Made everything else more precious and fragile.

My cousin passed away recently. While I don't think it's brought us closer together as a family, it has caused us to take a hard look at our lives. For someone so young to pass away without most of us being able to say goodbye, it forces us to re-evaluate our relationships and wonder, if this person was gone tomorrow, would they know that we loved them, that we cherished every moment that we spent together? If not, then we need to make sure they know, because tomorrow isn't promised to anyone.

My grandad turned 90, Now he's almost 91. His heath has also been a bit precarious recently. It has made me realize how lucky I am to still have him in my life, but it's also bittersweet, because I feel how his days with us are numbered. I am trying to be mindful of the time we all have, you never really know how much you have with anyone, and I try to take a step back and appreciate the good moments as they are happening.

We moved from Cincinnati to St. Louis. The move itself was very stressful, but now that we are settled we are very happy in our new home.

My parents spent their first summer living on the same city that I live in. I enjoyed having them around more than I expected that I would.

My sister died and I miss her conversations,sharing our family loves and issues,and our friendship becasuse we were friends,not just sisters. Then a good friend and my brother died, so Iam learning to live with loss which sometimes is tough,but I am glad for the memories and for the fact that I often chuckle about shared experiences. I've always believed I've had a lucky life and I still do.

Watching my mother lose her mother. Nan was 94 and had suffered a stroke. For a while, a couple of months at least, it seemed as though she might pull through, maybe even go home, although she didn't really know where she was to be honest. But she suffered another stroke in the hospital, kind of like a mercy, and she passed after that. It was the most heartbreaking and awe-inspiring to see my Mother cope. She was calm and resolute, she never lost it. She organized everything and she stood at the wake for 8 hours, greeting everyone, talking to everyone about Nan. Only once did I see her sob, when she crouched over Nan in her casket, touched her hand, kissed her, said 'you can sleep now, Mom..." Seeing her in that moment, knowing it would be the same with her and me, as it ever is with Mothers and Daughters, taught me so much.

D started high school and E started middle school. It has affected me on a pragmatic level by changing my schedule - I no longer do pickups in the afternoon, and I take E to school in the morning. On an emotional level, it's strange thinking that I'm old enough to have a child in high school or that we've progressed this far in the whole parenting gig. I am having some feelings of 'where did the time go?' and a bit of fretting over worrying that I wasn't present enough or didn't savor the good parts enough. On a positive level, they both seem like they're each doing well with their respective transitions, though, and that feels really good.

My childh!ood home sold Many memories lived there Goodbye again Dad

We relocated across the country for my wife's new job. We are closer to family, but at 36 and 37 years old it's been challenging to find new friends. There are many people here like us and we are all busy with work, family, and "stuff", which makes it hard to get people together. I've felt lonely at times and sometimes, when the day is done, that loneliness is a facet of my own mortality.

My brother built a new house. He loves it and is very happy. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but it bothers me that he gets most any material thing he wants, we struggle for everything we have. We rarely can afford to go out for dinner. I love my brother so much and would never want him to struggle like me, he's always been successful. I know I have more of the things money can't buy compared to my brother. That helps put it in better perspective, but sometimes not... Though I am making progress. I need to be happy for him, no strings attached.

more inclusive, specifics inconclusive, relevance elusive

My father passed away three weeks ago. I cannot yet say how this will affect us, or how it will affect me. Right now I am extremely sad. I cry every day. I wake up sad.

My niece was born. She's adorable and kind of looks a bit like me. I'm so proud of my brother. Despite all the issues we had when we were younger, he has really turned into a good man, and he has a beautiful happy family.

Son got a big promotion which meant a move to North Dakota. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed having them nearby until they were gone. We didn't get together all that often, but we could if we wanted! Now it's a little harder, but we're still in touch every few days. Mommy will survive!

My father had a cancer scare with his prostate this year. I still think of him as really young, but this really affected how I view the future and raising my own son. I continually try to be as fair and as generous as my own father, and would like to instill those values in my son. How would I be able to do that if my own health were affected?

I moved in with Rich. That's pretty major. I am hoping that at some point we get married, because I would like to do it right once in my life!

My wife was selected to be a speaker at her 50th reunion from Stanford. I am bursting with pride.

My grandfather died. I was never particularly close to him, but I did come to an understanding of what an incredible Man he was. It brought me together with my father's side of the family, for the first time ever in my adult life. It also instilled a strong sense of pride and hope that I descend from good genes (on that side of the family).

First grandchild, Simone, will probably figure large in this year's 10Qs. I have had to come to terms with my daughter and her "man" in sheer defiance and disregard for my husband and me and for the realities of this child's future in the decision to have a baby while they were still financially dependent on us. No thought whatsoever about everyone else being drawn into their vortex. I have had to reschedule my life to be part of the baby's life, knowing that I will be the stabilizing force on so many levels. I absolutely adore her, but it calls for sacrifice on numerous levels. It has also increased the awareness that I am totally reliant on God to intervene and sustain us all.

It isn't a major milestone, per se, but my grandparents are getting older. That has been a big learning experience. My grandpa is a pain in the rear and not very nice sometimes, and I've learned that is okay and I can love him even when I don't like him very much. My grandma chose him and she seems happy with her choice. My grandma refuses to take care of herself, and I see how important it is to take care of myself. My grandpa loves and cares for her so much and it is sad to me to see his life limited by her choices.

Many mikestones, we got married. The start to founding a family. J will soon get married founding a family. A has found himself or starting to - the best wedding gift I could ask for - now i'm trying to have kids- it is a struggle - I have to remember that with the greatest risk can come the greatest gains - getting myself ready for motherhood with the assistance of science - ready to not feel let down - by next year when I read this I'll have a new attitude & outlook on this - hopefully it's an optimistic one not sorrow - but getting ready for both - the unknown

Two major occurrences, not necessarily milestones: 1. broken tibia-tibial plateau fracture. On crutches/nonweight bearing for 3 months. My husband had to become the care giver. He quit working fulltime. 2. Because of the fracture, I decreased work, and began working from home. I then finally retired. So, together we are trying to figure out our identities as individuals and as a couple. How to organize our lives

There's none actually.... Speaking of which, I guess I probably should start to spend more time with them. I think I've spent the least time I ever have with them this year.

Our daughter turned 16 and inherited my car. It's great to see her navigate her new-found independence, and reminds us that she and her younger brother are growing up so fast. We value our time with them because soon it will be time to leave the nest.

My sister had the courage to leave a dangerous situation and to protect her children. I'm so incredibly proud of her, and scared for her.

My mother's sickness... My father showing us he can "deal" with everything for our family but himself. My in-laws receiving me fully into their family and me feeling happiest to be that way. Having to asume a role of leadership within my own family even being the youngest of our generation.

On October 9, 2014, Giuliana Sophia was born. She is my first grandchild. So many grandmothers had told me the immediate love and awe would be overwhelming, so many bragging about their most perfect grandchildren. I was a teacher; I realize every parent and grandparent thinks their children are special and unique and wonder-filled. Yet nothing could compare to that feeling I felt when she was born: Our family would continue into immortality, she was our future before us. When I first held her, I was overwhelmed with true love. I was surprised at how instantly I became her advocate for all things, how immediately I loved her then and forever. I fully realize she is just another human being on the planet, but as I looked at her, felt her in my arms, let her fingers grab mine, it was then I realized each and every human on the planet is that precious, that unique, that vitally important to our future. I was changed.

My mother and I came to a peace accord that rivals any military truce in Amercican history. We agreed to lay down our arms in a unified effort to be more harmonious, specifically in light of my father's recent medical troubles and the wife's pregnancy. We have previously and endlessly butted heads over many things, but primarily the status (or lackthereof) of my employment. Being from an era passed, she struggles to see the value in a dad being the primary care-giver and home-maintainer whilst holding down part-time or temporary job. But I believe we have come to a peaceful resolution and a joint understanding. Of course, a year from now we may not be on speaking terms. Remains to be seen.

My 47 year old cousin got married for the first time. He was the one we all thought was going to stay single forever because of the type of person he was. Getting to be at the wedding and spending time with family just reassured love is possible.

My lovely wonderful nan sadly passed away on Christmas Day and then my step grandad passed on 2nd jan. Both these passings had a major affect on my whole family as it has now changed the way we look at the festive period of the year, but I am going to focus on the fact that I get to celebrate their lives every year with people I love and care about very much which is all they would have wanted me to do anyway.

We kept our kids home from school this summer. AND, I left my job. The combination of the two was magical for our family. It's as if we hit the reset button, and so many things shifted. I worked in the mornings, from 8-2, while my husband and the kids spent time together. He left for work at 2, then I was with the kiddos for the afternoon and evening. We all grew so much closer, had so much fun, and really shifted things in our family in a beautiful way. They were also delighted that I no longer worked on Sundays or had nighttime meetings (which they hated). By the time they went back to school in the Fall, they were so much more confident and happy to be there. And now we have built-in special time with each child each week. Hooray for one-on-one.

A general dissolution of a core sense of trust has caused short-term, self-interested divestment from the family's common essentials. It is as if the social rot of smart phones and tablets Twittered and Netlflixed us to families of one. As the world abandons marriage and turns to living alone, some families are digitally doing this under one roof. My family is fine with it, but I am the luddite of this modern revolution. I now feel like I am the abandoned mystic, who just might need to ride a water buffalo off into the horizon.

My wife and I eloped and got married this year, as part of our reaction to my unemployment. It was a fantastic time and a fantastic decision and I've never been happier.

Can one call a heart attack a mile stone? If "yes", I had a heart attack in January. I was not feeling well after it for several months, it is better now. I am learning to adjust. It is sad to see that I have more limitation now then a year ago.

Nothing major really happened with my family. Maybe the fact my brother finally got full-time work?! It's definitely a milestone for him. I'm hoping he's finally gotten a bit more mature and ready to graft for a living. My mother moved jobs too actually, and it's significant as it's her first 9 to 5 in, well, probably ever. I'm glad too as she's no longer working in hostels, with drug-addicted or alcoholic patients, and instead is looking after a team of carers in the community. Much safer and I'd think less stressful. I worry it might bore her fairly quickly though. She just needs to hang in there initially.

my mother turned 80 this year marker with a major family "big chill" week that underscored the sense and need for family

My sister went to jail again for shoplifting. I never get over the pain of knowing she is in a cage like an animal. Iv'e been going through this for twenty five years and the pain and hurt I feel when I find out she is locked up is as fresh as it was the first time. Twenty five+ years of experiencing trauma...

A major milestone would probably be the increased poor health of my husband. He's 86 years old. There is the normal stress of my job. I work full time. But recently, the stress level has been compounded by worry over my husband's health. I have my own health issues, for which I get regular medical treatments every 3 weeks. Since I have never really involved my husband with my issues (and he chooses to ignore them anyway), I have had to leave decisions to see (or not see) his physician to him for the problems he's experiencing. Most times, he chooses not to seek medical help. That' when my worry kicks in. In no way will I disrespect him by treating him like a child and forcing him to see a doctor. So, the best I can do is suggest that he see the doctor and then do my own research and offer alternative solutions.

Mom died. In some ways I found her death a freeing thing. I am no longer living in her shadow. But it is very profound to feel that she no longer exists in this world. Her last years were such a time of loss--confusion, loss of language. And this following years of loss of her my father and then my baby brother. It seems like maybe she was just finished with thinking and grieving for them, that she wanted to sink into a blessed forgetfulness. And now I am without for forever. And all that she did or did not do for me, to me, with me. All over, all gone. And now, strangely, having friends from my childhood with whom I have recently connected, remember her as a strong and positive force in their own lives.

Jason and I got engaged! I feel so much happiness that we have publicly declared our love and commitment to each other in getting engaged. The scary step of getting married and embracing the uncertainty of all that we can't predict is yet to come, but I feel no doubt about marrying him.

At my graduation in May, my mother and my stepmother were able to get along for the first time. Granted, my stepmom made the entire occasion about her and paid me no mind, but I was so anxious that she would be awful to my mother and make the whole weekend a living hell that I was just relieved that they could connect in a positive way that I just let it happen. Really, I guess, this question centers around my stepmother. When my she and my father moved to Chicago from New York City this summer, I finally stood up to her; my father was trying to get me to do something for him (he had called me at work) and I wasn't able to do it. Unfortunately, saying that meant picking a fight with my stepmother. She was very nasty to me, but I was able to defend my answer in a manner that was concise and mature-- I finally felt like my own person, and not just my father's daughter. I felt empowered. It was amazing to feel like I was finally a valid person, and that it truly didn't matter what she thought. I liked feeling that way. It was more than a rush.

My parents had thier 44th anniversary it made hopeful that long lasting love still exists....somewhere..

I have had several milestone affecting me and my immediate family. Here are a few words/phrases describing each one: 1. K selling his old house - positive, freedom, relief, the only thing we had fought about is now gone 2. Dropping to PT at the hospital - positive, more freedom, more time to focus on business and family 3. Getting pregnant - anxiety, changed mine & K's relationship, strained it, so sick, loss of time/attention to the business, soul-searching whether or not I want to have kids, thinking about how my decision will impact K & G 4. Having an abortion - anxiety, is this really me?, am I really doing this?, relief, no longer ill, sad, regained freedom, regained control over my body, regained physical relationship with K, am I selfish?, feeling like myself again, so much more than I can even think to write 5. Quitting my hospital job - relief, freedom, turning dream into reality, questioning the decision, do I have enough faith in myself?

My son left the job he'd been so unhappy in and went to work for a place where he seems to be appreciated for his amazing abilities. I was so proud to learn that he'd been recruited away from the old place by someone who, as it turns out, needed to find her own replacement. She's moving way up in the organization and he's skipping years of having to pay dues that he doesn't really need to pay -- because she (and the company now) recognized that he's a rare jewel. I can hear the happiness in his voice when he calls.

My mom's health has deteriorated significantly, her ability to move around and be active has diminished due to the issues with her back, managing pain has been the order of the day. Of course, the introduction of narcotics to a 90 year old woman brings on a whole other set of challenges. As important as her needs are, I am finding it complicated to integrate into my busy life and guilt for not doing enough, is something I struggle with. My friends and mom would say , I am a wonderful son and am doing so much, but.....

I can't think of a major milestone. When were milestones used? What kind of stones? How did people keep others from moving them?

No one single event. My daughter married her long time best friend. She is 3 classes away from her Master's degree. My son bought his second home. A nephew retired from the Navy and purchased his first home. What this means is that we prepared our children to live productive lives and provide for their iwn futures.

The big milestone has to be the birth of my second child. It's weird even now to write down that I am a dad, but I am a father twice over now. She came 6 weeks early and it was pretty scary even though I pretended it wasn't. My wife was amazing, though, and everyone pulled through. She's doing great now and never lets me walk out of the room without picking her up. That's a change from my older daughter who is much more attached to my wife right now. I feel like I got another chance to work on being a dad. I'm trying to do better this time with both of my girls. Not to say that I was so bad the first time, but I didn't realize how fast it goes the first time, so I'm trying not to take any of it for granted this time.

My husband has been cancer-free for a year now, and that's a huge milestone for us. I still get nervous every time he has to go for a CT scan; I barely sleep until we have the latest test results. But every day he is healthy and cancer-free is important to us. At one point, he only had 9 - 12 months to live. The fact that he has far surpassed that brings me huge comfort.

Over the last year, my brother has been sharing with me his struggles to save his 37-year marriage. And over that time I have seen his hopes decrease week by week, month by month. Having to deal with a sense of powerlessness has been hard for me - I want to fix things, and this is something I can't fix. But over the last year I have told him I love him more times than in the previous 37 years, and he knows that nothing will change that. He also knows that the only think I want is for him to be happy. I figure those aren't bad things in a relationship of brothers.

My son, our oldest, graduated from high school and started college. Wow. Hard to believe 18 years flew by so fast. It was certainly bittersweet as I wasn't ready in a way to let him go yet I knew that's what I had to do. I always say I wish I had a freeze frame so I could stop time here and there along the way to savor some of the really great moments. Good or bad they all go way to fast. And now he is happily living away from home in his freshman year and learning to navigate his life, making his choices and hopefully choosing wisely and well. THe house isn't the same without him. He is a very funny kid and I miss his antics. ♥ grateful.

Everything revolves around J. Is that me? Probably. I think one of the biggest family milestones has been that F has finally started going to therapy and it's actually working. The new therapist (who is also his new psychiatrist) doesn't let him get away with all the distraction techniques he's so good at. It's been hard, as he begins to uncover some of his insecurities and self-doubts. But it's been good. He's already becoming a better father, and I have high hopes that he will be a happier man soon.

My sister died. It took a lot of pressure off of me to live my life without fear or her constant bullying!

I started my own business. This act has only been possible because of my supportive family. So grateful.

My father has cancer. And is going blind. Its been devastating financially (because he has no health insurance) and emotionally (because we are not close, and I resent this sudden burden).

Our friend Ira died. It has made mortality so clear as a possibility today. It made me reflect on life deeply. He led an unhealthy unhappy unfulfilling life and that brought so much sadness to the surface for discussion and contemplation. His choices were not well thought out and he did not seek counsel. His own family tried their best to ignore these choices and not face them. This feels almost violent. If not violent then certainly a violation. I do not want to be that enabling codependent individual. Some codependency may be inescapable but most can be faced.

A major milestone...Well, nobody was born. Aunt Angie died but that affected me personally very little. The three existing children all got a little older, I got pregnant for the last time, we renovated a bit, but we did not move or graduate or win anything...These questions are really making me question my ability to introspect and reflect. Am I forgetting significant events from the past year? This is why no one writes novels or movies about the years spent with small children: it's not conducive to a plot. Too much drudgery, too much minutia, all very physical and hands-on-the-ground. Doesn't make for good answers but it's what's I've got.

My youngest daughter found a significant other this past year. As a result of this, in conjunction with her graduate studies and the fact that she is living across the country from me, I have had little contact with her. She packs her day with her studies, her teaching, her girlfriend and meeting both her friends and those of her girlfriend. She is very busy, but I find I miss her and have trouble giving myself permission to ask her for time when she is so very busy. She is very happy and I am happy she is happy and wish her, always, every good thing. I have learned to hold her close in my heart and thoughts and give her permission to set her own priorities. At the same time, I have asked for a weekly phone call. I believe this is good, as we are important to each other, and she will also benefit from keeping connected to her mom and her roots. Parenting is a process without a "How To" manual. I am constantly thinking through my role and how my needs will effect my children's growth and lives. I have to remind myself that whether present or not, my experience can communicate to their future choices and emotional health. My value is always to do the best I can for them.

My oldest son went off to college a year ago, and I had to adjust to his absence from my day to day life. One outcome is that I developed a new appreciation for and relationship with my other two sons. At the same time, it is clear to me that my older son is now launched on his own trajectory, and we no longer have the closeness that proximity provides. He is on the other side of the country, and does not come home often. There are times that I miss him so much it is almost unbearable, although I am so happy that he has found his own path.

Mom'a heart surgery was huge for all of us. It brought me a sense of appreciation, grace and peace. It was challenging and also an exceptionally love filled time.

One of my sisters got married! I was thrilled!

My mother-in-law spent the better part of the past year in the hospital with a life threatening health issue. My wife withdrew from her studies for a semester to fly back to Israel and be with her mother and the family. She became the primary caretaker for almost four months. In this time she was gone from my life except for a phone call a day. This pushed back our life and our plans for the future by six months. It also opened me up to being single again, but not really single. It was confusing and I was lonely, but I also enjoyed being being with myself.

Jenna finally moved out of Mom's house a couple of weeks ago, and moved in with her load of a boyfriend, Casey. I helped them move all of their stuff and one of Jenna's friends and I unloaded the entire truck up to the second story before Casey even showed up. I'm happy for Mom that she's finally moved out, but also a bit worried that she may feel lonely without someone there with her as often. I'm also happy for Jenna that she's taken this life step, but I'm thinking/hoping that she will figure out that she deserves better than Casey after living with him full-time.

My mom passing away in August has really affected my view of how I curate interpersonal relationships with family and friends. Ensuring that I maintain contact, however brief, as long as it's regular and meaningful. I am trying to txt/reach out to my sister often and show those with whom I have regular contact that I care for them. A good lesson to learn under unfortunate circumstances.

my mother passed. the effects/affects are still seeping in. its only been a few months. i thought i would be elated and though im relieved greatly because she was and incredible burden, i feel as though i have a lot of catching up to do and i feel a sense of anger with myself that i spent so much time involved with her and yet this was my destiny and i cant waste more time beating myself up over what cant be changed.

Three weddings. All prompted me to reflect on the passage of time--I watched some of these newlyweds grow up--how I have chosen to spend my life, with whom I have chosen to spend my life, and the role of love in influencing my life. Many, if not all, of my major life decisions were made because of the man in my life at that time. Which college to attend, which graduate program, which job, where to live, whether to have a child, which house to buy, trip to take (or not take)... I seem to function best in a relationship, but I wonder sometimes what my life would be like if I weren't?

My sister got married and I felt weird about it because I don't know the guy - It was great to get to see family again and spend time with them. At the same time it felt so disconnected because there were two families coming together that didn't know each other at all. It also made me think about how I really want to find that one person.

Again, everything comes back to the fire. It really did change our lives...for the better. We were stuck in the same apartment for over 7 years and had so much stuff we didn't need. The fire was like pushing a reset button. The insurance money helped pay off a ton of debt that we were drowning in. It brought my husband and I closer together because we were finally forced to rely upon each other. Now we discuss finances more, which is something I was always terrified of doing. Now we're living in our first house. It's a duplex and we're renting it, but it's not an apartment and life is so different. Nothing is perfect, but we've learned a lot this year.

I really got in a much bigger way that my kids are their own free agents sometimes it hurts sometimes I feel neglected, unloved, unimportant It has taught me to go deeper in loving with detachment which is not=I don't care but is = to I love you and you call the shots having my uncle sam die and the power of his funeral also equalled a letting go as well as a deep sense of graditude

This year my parents borrowed money from me for the first time. For the first time I thought of them as a serious concern and consideration in my trajectory. I am really worried about my dad, he lost his job and seems to be in a really dark place- I want to help him and support him, but I can't make him change. It has affected my plans and made me really consider my next moves differently , I think I have matured because of it tremendously

I have a new grandbaby, born April 9, 2014. His name is Xavier Jacob. He is a sweet boy - a little buddha boy - my nickname for him. My family of grandchildren has grown incrementally over the past two years, as my son is partnered with a woman who has two little boys. Xavier is the 4th grandson. The dynamics of this are not always comfortable for me, for while I surely love them all, Jaxon who is 4 and my 1st born biological grandson occupies a space in my heart that has not been matched. Maybe this is because Jaxon needed a mommy-figure in his life. His momma is young and not prepared well for her role. Xavier, on the other hand, is adored and tended to by a mama with the ferocity of a wolf. I have no concerns for his well-being, as I did and do for my sweet Jaxie boy. I hope time will allow some of this to settle. As both Jaxon and Xavier grow, my relationships with them will grow and perhaps "even out" in some ways.

All the kids are out and we are "empty nesters". Initially disorienting, but have adjusted well. The opportunity to do what we want is interesting and exciting

It's really a personal milestone but I suppose has an effect on my family. I turnded 60 this year. It really hasn't sunken in yet. 60. I'm on the back end of things. Now, I don't want to get too dramatic and I realize that I could have several years ahead but.... There are so many things now I will never get to do. Many things I physically am not able to do anymore. My life has changed and I am thankful. There are so many good things. But this reality, this milestone it demands a sober reflection and I haven't stopped to do that work yet. I must.

My major milestone this year was marking one of the items off of my bucket list by making a long- time anticipated and planned trip to London, Normandy and Paris. The trip humbled me and gave me a greater appreciation of the sacrifices made by those soldiers of WWII. It also gave me a greater appreciation of what it means to be an American.

Cousin fucked my wife. By doing so, also fucked me. Now I don't have a best frined and my kids don't have their favorite cousins. Thanks, buddy.

The kids all had next steps - a new baby on the way, new jobs, graduation. I had picked 2007 as the arbitrary date when the kids would be grown and I would start a new segment of my life. Reality, being gradual, jerky, back-and-forth, ignored that deadline. Their physical moving out into the world happened some time ago, but the emotional move into a new era that feels like real independence happened this year.

Henry has started school this September - it was a big, emotional milestone. I was very emotional in the few days leading up to it, but on the day, only a bit watery-eyed and mostly really happy for him. He is only a few weeks in and although he is a bit tired, seems to be loving it so far. We didn't really think about the impact it might have on Jasper...he suddenly has a lot of time without Henry. Montessori say that he has become much more his own person, and he seems to really enjoy the 1:1 time he has with me and with Jodie. He does seem to miss his big brother and he has been really tired - it just shows that you can't underestimate the impact of change.

As my little sis is getting married, I'm filled with joy and happiness.

There hasn't been any major milestones in my biological family that I can think of. At least nothing that has had a major effect. Actually, the Gay Games was pretty big for me. I've never had family come to see me compete and it was really special to be able to visit with them for the day. To most people it may be something simple and silly, but it was a big deal for me.

My youngest daughter began college in Baltimore, a full 2 days drive away. Saying goodbye was seriously difficult and my exhusbsnd captured the moment on film just as I was sniffing her head for one last inhale as she cringed with embarrassment. Priceless! He and I drove back to our town together and during those 2 days we reconnected and remembered why we were ever friends to begin with. Major growth and milestone! Our children are ecstatic that he and I are friends again!

My "little" brother Mark turned 50, and my sister Kathy and I threw a party that was quite impressive! I created the menu and made most of it. Jalapeño Gouda chorizo poppers were a hit. Live music, longtime friends and family from afar attended. It was epic and I'm surprised we pulled it off. My first party without Pam. She was renowned for throwing and hosting large, beautiful parties. I was merely her assistant.

My relationship with my mom wasn't the best and thn it hit a critical point this year. the point where not only she criticized me around me and the family, but she also sent that message outside, to strangers. So I had strangers coming to me to tell me how affected they were with what my mom told them about me... That was the point where I thought - 'Okay, I have to distance myself from her'... So I had to move out and find a place to live.

My sister graduated college and moved to Colorado. I'm really proud of her for growing up and moving far away (the same way I did when I graduated). She used to be really reliant on her local friends, but I think that being independent will really help her develop and mature and learn to be self-sufficient. Privately, I also hope it leads her to appreciate her family more, but I'm not holding my breath.

Seeing my parents react to the birth of their granddaughter. I resent that they feel like this was such a necessary or important part of their lives (like I was failing because I hadn't had a kid yet, or their lives weren't complete without her), but I really appreciate how much they love her. Knowing that my parents love this child is an amazing feeling. Seeing my Dad show some strong emotions, even without knowing what to do with this small bundle, is pretty cool.

In December, my estranged aunt's husband passed in his sleep. He was not in great health, but it was rather unexpected. I say estranged because before December 2013, I had not spoken with this aunt for eight years but for a time I threatened her if she did not stop harrassing my mother. By the end of last year, they'd been as odds for three years, with my aunt being hateful and my mom--if I can believe her--ignoring every bit of it. The death of her husband has thrust her back into our lives. You just can't leave family out in the cold. Sadly, during their marriage she lost so much autonomy. He did all the books, handled all the bills, and made every decision. Not to say he was controlling, though it seems he was, but rather she abrogated her autonomy and now it has come back to bite her. Several times I tried to lend a hand only to find that she latched on immediately, desperate for someone new to fill the space left. It makes sense. She's quite lonely. She's better than she was when I stopped speaking to her in 2005, so it hasn't been hard to help her except that she is close by, I'm the nearest relative she has, and I feel a lot of guilt when I don't help. It took a few months of feeling like I was selfish to realize she needed to have the opportunity to sink. My mom and I can be here, ready to pull her head above water when she does, but the only chance she has to depend on herself again is to be shown it is the only option. In many ways, I feel closer and more protective of my extended family as I get older, but I've been burned many times before and I have an ever lowering threshold for the bullshit I'll put up with. It is an interesting fight. I hope I like the person I find myself to be through family trials.

My sister-in-law got married. My husband's younger brother passed away from cancer about 5 years ago. About 2 years later our SIL met another man on a Jewish match site. Over the last 3 years he has slowly and gently worked his way into our lives. He is a very giving person and has a passion for family. We were a bit worried our SIL would break away from us if she married another man but just the opposite has happened. Our family has grown larger due to him. He has brought my SIL out of her shell and taught her how to be more engaged with family. He teaches me constantly about the Jewish religion and traditions... but most importantly he is a great reminder that family has a high value and should not be taken lightly!

Nothing "major" comes to mind. We had a great vacation leg up at Telegraph Cove with my family and my husband's parents for his 30th birthday. It is weird to be married to a 30-year-old. My husband's sister also got engaged very recently, so I am looking forward to seeing her wedding plans unfold. She and her boyfriend have been together forever and I'm very excited for them. Mostly I am thankful for getting to spend so much time with family.

Nothing this year!

Gosh, there have been several. My brother had a baby and it made me realize that once our baby gets here my parents are going to be all about the grandchild and won't want to visit me anymore - I'm going to both love and hate that, and probably have to deal with jealousy and a desperate need to have my child to myself. Then my mom got cancer, had a mastectomy, is in remission - I was so stressed by that that I went two months without a period and I was so unaware of my stress that it wasn't until we started trying to get pregnant that I realized it had been that long, and that was why. I like to think I'm really self aware but moments like that make me realize I've got a long way to go yet because I'm very good at hiding my feelings from myself. Then we did get pregnant and I've had that while journey. Will we be good parents? Was this a good idea? How will we pay the bills now that I'm on mat leave? It's been a whole exercise in trust - trust in God, and trusting my husband. And trusting my body and myself to do what needs to be done, and to know what needs to be done. I'm not an intrinsically trusting person, not of myself anyway, but I'm going to have to get better at that because this baby needs a mom who trusts her gut and shows what it looks like to listen to that inner voice.

In January, my brother announced that he would be a father. This was very unexpected news, but he seemed very excited. Everyone handled the news differently. I have had a hard time accepting the situation, and was filled with conflicting emotions. My parents were very disappointed in my lack of excitement and voiced their disappointment often, which was very hurtful. Baby Dennis Schwarz was born on September 5, 2014, and I don't know if I could love him any more. Being so far away has left me feeling so homesick. I'll meet him over Thanksgiving, which seems like a long time from now. One thing I've recognized is my parents' never-ending support for my brother. They once again have stepped up and provided comfort and guidance to Daniel. I have accepted and honored the way they've handled this, and I wish they would do the same for me and acknowledge my feelings. I am reminded that I can't expect certain behaviors from my parents, and I need to accept them for who they are and recognize that they always do their best.

Our one and only moving to Boston. Sense of freedom, loss, accomplishment, joy, and pride. The freedom of just the two of us. Returning to what it was like when we were first married. Not that having a child was a bad choice from a relationship standpoint. It was one of the best decisions we have made. It's just that as much as you try to maintain that relationship it is changed with kids. So it is now fun to explore our relationship again. Loss of our daughter's presence everyday. Sure she calls, texts, emails and even sends cards and letters. But she is not here. I can't hug her. I can't sit with her in the room and now she is present. And being the oldest in my family with an over developed sense of responsibility I want to fix everything for when she does tall me that something isn't working. Accomplishment in that she has learned to fly. I hear talk about being homesick, not having any friends, overwhelmed with reading, trying to find a job or jobs. And each day it is better. She shares her success. She learns from her failures and mistakes. We can look at where we are and realize that we accomplished raising a daughter who is strong, courageous, creative, caring, intelligent, and faithful. Joy not just happiness but the broader feeling that includes contentedness and peace. Pride of seeing that with all of the challenges of life up to this point we as a family and individually have more than survived and succeeded. Pride in being thankful for God's hand in our lives. Pride in being able to say that and live it.

My son, my daughter in law, my granddaughter and grandson are an awesome family unit to behold. There is such love, nurturing, intelligence, learning, and patience. Their family unit comes first before anything in the world and watching them grow is always the major milestone every year. There is no other milestone which comes close because the foundation that is built to cope with life joyfully informs what you refer to as "milestones". I have been affected by this - my life is also full of joy. Whatever happens, I find the joy in it. The magic trick is to wait and see!

When my beloved, beloved, deeply adored--I don't have words that will explain how we loved her--nana passed away, it was probably the most difficult time of our collective family life. It was a painful and drawn out passing, but it was also one of the most beautiful weeks of my family's life. We were all together, supporting my grandfather, talking about the past and love, supporting each other, and experiencing the support of the community. It taught me so much about what it means to show up fully for people, without expecting anything in return, and there were so many parts of that long winter that were inspiring, and still are.

In January, my mother told me she had been diagnosed with colon cancer. They found out before Christmas, but didn't tell us until after the holiday because they didn't want to "spoil it." I felt so scared hearing the news. And so angry that they didn't tell me as soon as they found out. No one seems freaked out but me. She had a successful surgery and her follow-ups have all been good. I'm happy that she is ok, but I'm still carrying around this giant hurt inside of me that she didn't tell me sooner. I feel so disconnected from my parents.

Our son graduated from elementary school. It obviously made us proud, but it also makes us trepidatious for the future. Middle school years are the hardest, coupled with the impulsivity of ADHD could lead to difficult times. We hope we guide him properly.

The word "major" does not begin to define the milestone of my mother moving from her home to be closer to my sister and me. She left her home (which she loved), her friends, her church, her activities. She really has nothing to do and is very unhappy. It not only affects her life but all of the rest of the family. She has always been inclined to be one who does not keep healthy boundaries. In this instance, her unhappiness is creating a need to control our lives. I feel bad for her. I pray for her.

My nephew turned 21 on July 11th and my niece turned 16 on 9/10. I have not seen either of them since 2001 and we rarely communicate due to years earlier of estrangement with my brother. I have have deep sadness around the time of their birthdays. I have learned now not to have any expectations that they will contact me or t thank me for the gifts I have given then. I always put great thought into them but this year, with my niece's 16th I didn't put as much thought. My brother said she just wants gift cards so I got her a gift card for Sephora cosmetics and added a cosmetic bag with some some lovely cosmetics already in it and a lovely card and letter to her. She is busy and has no time to email me or write (that's clearly a thing of the past). My nephew is into music and my gifts for him are always on a music theme and to introduce him to different kinds of music. Since he's into hip hop and rap I decided to introduce him to country and get him to great CD's by Johnny Cash and his biography and the DVD "Walk the Line." He did email and shared a little about his current life. That's all I really wanted was communication with them. They and my brother are my only blood family left. My family now if my partner, my boyfriend Luis who is from Cuba. A major milestone for him was at the age of 47 he finally got his driver's permit and I've been his coach...which has been stressful for us both! Also he is now working full time and so this is a major milestone. I am incredibly proud of him as he had so many hurdles to overcome after the death of his late wife. I have been driving Luis to and from work 4 times a day for a total of about 80+ miles give or take...and when we have other appointments it is more. The alarm goes off at 4:45 a.m .and I get up at 5 a.m. and we leave shortly after 6 a.m. I am pretty exhausted and burnt out and can't wait till he gets his driver's license.

The discovery that my daughter had a growth in her brain that was causing precocious puberty. It made me think a lot about embracing the difficulty as part of your story... That this is just something that is her and our path and we incorporate it and become stronger and better for the difficulties we overcome and more compassionate for others and their own.

My brother got married (that was technically last year but the only major milestone recently). I am very happy that he has a steady significant other who encourages him to focus. It makes it feel more possible to have a relationship with him. I also like his wife and enjoy spending time with both of them. I would like to be closer to them. I'm not sure that I'm jealous but a little surprised that he got married before me considering how much less focused and structured he is. Maybe I can learn from him and be more liberated. More recently (last month) my mom visited and we had the best visit we ever had. Not a technical life milestone, but it was historic in terms of my relationship with her. She left and we both felt closer than we ever have been. She's actually a sweet person who has a lot of things that make her feel bad about her self. Those feelings bubble up and look like defensiveness and isolation and loneliness and depression. She just wants to be around nice people and chat with them. Like any mom...

Gene, my step father's, death is a major milestone that happened with my family this year. This has affected me immensely because I had to leave college and come home to be with my mom. Well, I didn't have to, but it was definitely the right choice to make and I don't regret it one bit. In the time that I have been home, I have met many new people- including Eric, Drew, Sadya and have become much closer to Matt (who confessed his love to me in this period of time). I have also started to work for new families and have taken up the hobby of pole dancing. I have also made a new relationship with my step sister, Megan, who I met at the hospital. I could not be happier with the relationship that we have formed. She is my best friend now. As I have a gained a new friendship and sister, I have also lost my friendship and I am beginning to come to terms with that. I am also really grateful for the amount of time I have been able to spend with Celeste. I have been able to pick her up from school (I can not believe she is in Kindergarten!) and we have had many sleepovers since I have been home. I am also so fortunate to get the chance to spend Shabbat dinners and holiday dinners with her. Sharing the joys of Judaism and Israel with Celeste is very special to me and I love how much she loves to do these things with me and my ema.

My father turned 75! It really hit me hard that my father was turning this age because it's the first time that I really realized that my dad was getting older and this was the first time too that his health was an issue. It definately made me realize that there would be a day that he would no longer be here and that has shaken me a lot and makes me tear up when I think of it and makes me realize that I need to make more of an effort to spend time with him as he won't always be here. I get really caught up in my own life and my kids and all their stuff and forget that this man is really important to me and that I won't get this time back if I let it get away.

My 93 yr old mother's husband died Sept 13. my takeaway from his death is pre-plan review yearly update pre-plan

I'm getting married! My whole family will be there. I can't wait <3 My parents. Everything about them. Unconditional love. Witness, that's what a family is for.

My brother seems to have survived a cancer diagnosis and treatment and is currently thriving. It has caused us to bury some axes and move on. There had been a falling out. Things are not what they were but we are at a point where what happened before no longer matters. I worry about him, his wife worries about him as his cancer often comes back; he is happy to be here and takes each day as it comes greeting it with enthusiasm and gusto.

Kid with food allergies is appearing to slowly grow out of them. Not that we're able to go a lot more places, but at the very least it's not a complete ordeal to eat someplace or take him out with other kids. I'm hoping that he can eliminate his one remaining (albeit serious) allergy and have a somewhat normal childhood.

My daughter produced her first professional CD entitled "My Love Prayer" and it is available for purchase on Youtube and Facebook. Her name is Edra Frazier and she is singing under Ehdra Frazier. It is truly wonderful to see how God answers prayers and how He continues to bless my offspring.

No milestones have really happened. For my family, it seems like nothing good ever happens to us. Just tragedy.

This past year my son nick whom was in and out of trouble with the law started in a different direction. As a family we watched him go from a drop out to a graduate. As a mother and as a family we have stood behind him to help him reach his goals. I'm Proud of him and the rest of my children are able to see you can do whatever you set your mind too

Both of my siblings felt a significant change in their life due to Landmark forums. I still and not interested in attending but see big improvements in the attitudes and our relationship. My father got his first significant girlfriend and broke up with her. I saw an huge amount of joy he got out of that relationship and hope he continues to date with an open mind. My mom has decided to retire... Again and I hope she lives her retired life to the fullest extent including seeing her grandchildren more. My son has milestones everyday and I treasure each one and anticipate more and more.

I've seen my parents more this year than since college. It's good.

Well, our two big milestones, DJ's graduation and subsequently leaving for college, have had a huge affect on me. It left me with emotions ranging from pride to happiness to sadness and mourning a childhood that has moved on and a family that is being forced to change and grow. It hasn't all been horrible, at all. But it definitely left me questioning who I am and what my role is as my kids continue to grow up and move on as a mother and even as a wife and how we will make our lives one that isn't child focused, but us focused.

My dad passed away in January of this year. My mom had already passed three years ago so this left me in charge of taking care of my brother. My brother is older than me but younger than me: he's special needs. Today is my birthday and it makes me realize that my parents are really gone. They would always call me on my birthday no matter what. Today they won't. And my brother can't tell time so he doesn't know what today is. But he'll call me anyway since he always calls on Friday. He knows the days of the week usually, especially Fridays. This is my first birthday without my dad. I'm a little depressed. I never knew if I wanted kids and now I feel like I have a ten year old- that's the age the experts say my brother is mentally. In actual years he's almost 42. His birthday is only 2 weeks away from mine. This year I'll be in charge of the birthday stuff for him. I feel lonely. I have an awesome husband and we might start a family soon, if we are able to. But I still feel lonely. I hope this year will be full of good changes and love. Happy New Year, L'Shanah Tovah

My dad turned 69. No men on his side of the family has lived past 70. It has made me more aware of how precious time is with loved ones. It has made me return home more often this year...just in case he too sticks to the not wanted family tradition.

I turned 60 and my husband turned 70. We always think young and keep going strong, but now have really had to stop and "act" upon the following: 1) retirement planning: thinking about actively doing things on our "bucket list". 2) thinking that the past 10 years flew by 3) I am trying to re-invigorate my business and hitting goals in the next 3 years. 4) Trying to achieve our dreams, fulfil our goals and still be cognizant of saving for healthcare and retirement.

Kelly is employed, I am employed, my mom is going out in the world. Stephanie and Gina have both come to visit. My mom even went to California by herself. So the emerging from the cocoon, while still and ongoing process of awe, wonder and gratitude, is a milestone that I note and am thankful for, the continued healing, may we be so blessed, especially for Stephanie.

My mother turned 80. She looks like she could be in her 50s. I don't feel like I can write about this, but I will. Aging is beautiful and hideous. I don't fear getting old, but I do find it annoying at times - when joints ache, etc. I hope I look as good as my mother does at 80, but I cannot say that I really want to live that long. I guess that's a bad thing to say.

My parents had their 50th wedding anniversary. It's made me reflect on my life with them, their role in making me what I am today (whether I like it or not), and how their declining health is forcing them, if not quite yet to look death in the eye, at least to hear his car pulling up in the driveway.

This year, my sister moved across the country. As the only family member left on the West Coast now, it has been an adjustment to keep in touch far away and also, lose my best friend. It honestly has made us closer, now, as proximity can no longer be used or confused as a connection.

Mother dying. Cause a change in family dynamics. How I think about life. How much I miss her

I guess the most major milestone is that our daughter began high school. It's been great to see the growth, (emotionally and socially) and her inner directed drive to work hard and do well. I feel such awe...and a bit humbled to see that. I pray that we've established a good foundation - and now she can begin to build her life through her own choices and efforts. Grateful that she's making good choices.

My son left basic training and is now stationed far away from home in texas ..I think about him all the time . I call I send packages..I realize that he is helping our country and I really admire him for it..I see he has grown into a fine man

My parents told me that it was my fault that I was raped. It made me realize that my parents don't love me. I now question if they ever did.

My dad found out he had a tumor on his adrenal gland, that could have been cancer. I found myself extremely frightened that this could be the beginning of another long journey of sickness. I think my biggest fear was that I had spent so much time in grad-school, that I had not spent the time with him that I wanted to. I have tried to spend more time with him, and force myself out of my normal excuses. Maybe I miss a workout....so what. Maybe I eat an unhealthy meal. So what if my laundry doesn't get done. My fear was that I had placed all of this stock in the future, when the future is so unpredictable. All we have is today, and I needed the wake-up call.

Dad moved to RPP. Positives for me: less worry, more clarity about health and finances, sister bonding time, post-marathon-like sense of my strength. Negatives for me: Hard, hard emotional work in apt uncovering length, breadth and depth of mental illness/incapacity, realizing the poor quality of life he has had and his inability to have real relationships with people; letting go of the wished-for-dad, and of the wish to ease his anxiety and anger. What did not kill me might have made me stronger but has also left scars...and maybe opportunities. He is cognitively impaired and mentally ill and cannot change, but I can change my interactions with him, and maybe how I feel about them and him.

My sister and her husband had their third kid. I got to meet her when she was 3 months old. I spent 5 days with my sister running around being the mom taxi, watching and helping with the every present mommy needs. Changing diapers, homework, making lunches, doctoring owies, breast feeding, spending quality time, not giving in to the ever beckoning television and internet to distract the kids for a few golden moments of peace. This is tough work with little sleep and demanding unending patience, wisdom, and restraint. They are consciously being intentional about raising their family. It all makes me very proud to be her sister. She's doing an amazing job with very steep prices, but a priceless pay off.

The milestone event that happened this year was my daughter's graduation from CCAD in photography. I realize that I have to change my relationship slightly because she is living at home until she either goes to graduate school or moves out on her own.She is a young adult. My son is also at home looking for work related to film and writing.My relationship has to change with him too.The kids are now young adults.

Again - year of change. Grandpa died. My husband got sober. A lot has happened.

All three of my kids are in school. They are continuing their education at higher levels than I could've ever imagined and they each continue to excel in their chosen fields. It makes me so very proud. One of the last things my father said to me was, 'all your mother and I ever wanted to you kids is to have a better life than we had'. Higher levels of education are going to make that happen for all three of my kids.

Our daughter went to college. It has been great as she has matured immensely and my husband and I have drawn closer withy the conflict of parenting. We also moved to a new city so it has been a new beginning for all three of us. I am happier now than ever before!

My mother died. Her death left me lonely without a purpose.I have only myself now to draw on but it is the excuses goals restrictions freedom it's all about me. I don't know what that means

Proud to cross 150 Million personal investments

My brother got married and I have a sister in law whom i adore. I would like to be close with her but unfortunately my actual sister is much closer to my brother and to her and over the course of the year the family has grown apart.

I am taking a new job, back in the last state I lived in. It's new for me to go back to somewhere I've lived before (it's not the same city but it's close enough to go see my friends often). So, this is exciting and a little daunting.

My nephew was accepted into his college of choice. Big win for the family. His dad did not want him to go to college and his parents were not financially prepared but everyone has chipped in to help him. It really showed me the power of family and giving to those in need. It brought more meaning to my work and wages. I want to direct my efforts to embracing more philanthropic causes and concerns. Clearly, when kids want to learn, money should not be something that handicaps them.

This year, I feel like I am finally ready for settling down and it's changed the impact that I have on social communication with others. I've learned a lot about the way I communicate and some of the things that I do wrong. Allowing myself to listen more than speak gives me the opportunity to learn about others and actively engage in conversations about the things that my significant other enjoys. To top it all off, I think I'm in love with you, Danielle.

major milestone was that I got married expanded our family :-)

My daughter celebrated her bat mitzvah. There was a large gathering of family and friends which was a lot of fun, but the real significance was the realization that my daughter is her own person now who is more than capable in making her own life choices. She has an inner strength that needs to be reckoned with and nurtured. My son gives her more respect which, thankfully, has brought more peace in our household. I need to grow as a person in order to help her without getting in her way. So far, I'd say I'm doing O.K, but I feel inadequate in that I wish I could do so much more for her. Helping my son seemed so much easier because he was/is receptive to what I try to teach him.

I was looking for a good milestone, but the one I keep coming back to is my uncle's decision to basically cut ties with my father. It makes me more angry and disgusted by the day.

My mom retired this year. I am very happy for her and proud of her many years of hard work in service of giving the best life possible to her daughters. She and her husband are now looking for a house in Florida for the winters, which is going to mean some big changes for our family, but I think in a good way. I am a bit worried about what she's going to do with all of her free time, particularly as regards how it affects how she thinks about and treats our relationship. It will be very interesting to see how she's doing a year from now.

I had my college graduation and my entire family came-Mom, Dad, my younger brother and Grandma and Grandpa. It was the first time I got to show all of them my college campus (east coast college and west coast family do not mix together well). I was so happy to show them a place that became so solidly part of my identity. At the same time, I was very aware that my days in college were coming to an end and desperate to cling to my friends, my favorite places on campus, my little haven of a room. Probably the most surreal part was being in the car just after my graduation and my mother is on the phone to make hotel reservations for my brother's graduation, exactly one year from mine.

One is happening right now...my closest sister is moving away; forever. Brings to mind how very, very short life is, and it is of utmost importance to tell one's truth to whomever one needs to communicate it to, no matter how scary it is to do so. We feel better when we are being brave.

I just realized that when my mother passed away I became the matriarch of the family. Wow. The weight of that just hit me. It's a weird feeling to not have any parents or grandparents. But I do have great memories of my relationships with all of them. I hope my kids will be able to say the same thing one day. I have a sudden urge to call my daughters.

I feel like I've had two major milestones: Kat turned 21 (and finally started acting like a college student) & Lily entered high school and is getting ready to take her test for her temporary license. I think both of these milestones have really helped me put our whole family relationship into perspective. I'm moving out of the "wild child" role and into "sophisticated adult" (at least I would like to think so). Its nice to see myself changing along with my sisters, although I do get nostalgic for the old times when nothing was expected of me.

We bought a farm. My husband have talked about buying a farm for years and we have now just been able to do it. We are not in our house yet as we are still building it. Building a home together has been a defining moment for our family. My husband and I, our children, his uncles, my in-laws; a whole community of people have helped with this home. It went from being a 100 year old house that no one had occupied in years to becoming a future home. It doesn't even have interior walls and it already feels like love. For most of my life I have moved from place to place. This home and this community feels more like home to me than anywhere I have ever been. I have found where I belong.

My stepson T and his partner M got engaged this summer. Their partnership brings more happiness into our family. When I see M I dream of T's future with her. Kids? Maybe. Love? Certainly. Hope? Yes.

Hmm, it is tough to deem something a major milestone but this comes to mind. My youngest sister finished her first year training as a nurse and started full time in the ER. That is a big deal to me for a number of reasons. (Hopefully not selfishly) My sister lost her job in finance while she and I took care of my Mom as she was dying of cancer. We moved to Florida to do so and it was tough stuff. That pissed me off (the dying and my sister losing her job). Talk about adding insult to injury! My sister didn't deserve that. Soon after she decided on a career change and went almost broke going back to school for nursing, sleeping on a friend's couch for some of it and getting by on nothing. She did great in school but suffered for so many reasons, having a hard time recovering from the loss of my mom and all the fall out. It was tough to watch her struggle. Her completing training and being a full fledged nurse this year is a relief to me because I was worried and stressed about her all these years. Through this process she seems to be gaining strength as a person. She has a steady income. She can take credit for doing it all on her own and all of the pride that goes along with that. It makes me happier to see her happy. She still seems to have some things to work out for herself but I feel a little more at ease as her big sister.

Our son made law school happen for himself. I have never seen him work so focused for a specific goal. And when he was accepted to his school of choice, there was a new confidence within him that was a joy to see.

My kids growing up and going to middle school and growing up so fast.

Mom diagnosed with cancer. Brought us all much closer.

My daughter was married! It was a happy day and a sad day. Now she doesn't need me to love her as much. But love her differently. The biggest me stone had been about not falling into love with David- so stressful- so painful- it causes me to entertain suicide regularly- as a way to end the pain. If robin did it what hope do I hsve? Each item- event causes me to question and reflect - every day!

I feel very content knowing my children are being educated and will live a better life. Billings, MT

I now realize as a result of flying to Chicago to be with Brian on a Path to Spirit Weekend that he does not want to have a closer relationship with me. In fact he does not want me in his life. That became very clear to me. It hurts but I now realize that is the way it is. Our decision to move back to GV was also important. We moved back because this is where our friends, connections, and interests are. Also we are not two home people and its a relief not to worry about another home. It also frees us to travel to places where we have never visited like Hawaii or the Pacific Northwest.

Oh gosh, so many things...Rosie entered high school and made the Varsity soccer team. Could that be the same child who didn't talk in elementary school?? She has come so far and Dad and I are so very proud of her!!! Therese is driving and going to start looking at colleges!! She is so awesome!! Simon found a college...Yea!! It was such a journey!! Isaac is Isaac...He doesn't need milestones...Lucas is rockin' Texas!!! All good!!

My daughter got her first permanent full-time job, which will allow her to move out on her own and be a fully independent adult. It is reminding me that she is capable of leading her own life, and that my job as mother is really nearing its functional end. Now I am enjoying just doing things with her, and being part of her life as a friend rather than "authority figure." Still, she'll always be my little girl.

I moved back into my apartment after extensive renovations -- that's a major change, but not what I think of as a milestone. I'm happy here -- and will be happier still when all the work, including all the furnishings, are finally done. How will it be to be here the rest of my life? That's what I'm thinking about now.

My Dad died and I realised how much everything revolved around him but not positively. Not that he was the sun around which we happily orbited but that he was immovable, fixed and uncompromising and, as a result, everything had to be done his way. Without him in my life there will be little difference but I already feel closer to my Mother not through a sense of duty but through a sense that jointly we are agreeing an agenda and enjoying one another's company.

One of my cousins bought his first home, which was a huge affirmation of his entry into adulthood and commitment to his girlfriend. We all couldn't be prouder of him!

This year both of my parents turned 60 and also celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. It was an exciting, happy time, with lots to celebrate (and a fun party!). A big accomplishment to have such a strong lasting marriage 30 years later. It has though made me realize they they and I are getting older and our time is finite. It makes me sad to think about that, but encourages me to value all the time that we do have here together.

My mom finishing cancer treatments, she has come so far since first diagnosed

My wife and I decided to buy a house. It makes her very happy, and so I'm also happy by extension.

Well... my dad and I ended up in a pretty bad fight a few months ago and I can't say things have been the same since. I get so mad at my dad. I feel like there's many things that he should have done to point me in the right direction. He has this idea that the world should take care of the underdog, that if you get screwed over its so unfair that you shouldn't be responsible for it. But, that's not how life works. If you have shitty lucky, it doesn't mean someone is out to get you. Or that they owe you something. I believe that life is more about being pro-active to try and avoid those situations... Our big blow out in court showed me A LOT about him. I guess its not new really, it's the same shit I have always dealt with when it comes to him. But I just haven't been around it lately so I thought, maybe it had gotten better? It leaves me torn to decide if I should just completely let go of loving or wanting or expecting anything from him since its such a lost cause- and wanting to rise up and be the bigger person and just love him fully and make sure he knows it. But why should I? I can think of reasons but I think I am to the point in my life that I just... am willing to wait to make my own family to fulfill that emptiness inside of me. Not that I hate him or anything but... I just don't think he has much interest in being apart of my life, so, I can't change that. I can't make his demons disappear, I can't give him everything he feels like he lost. I know he isn't happy with the way his life turned out and I am no power over that, he has had all the power all along. I don't know whats going to happen in the future with my family... my brother... there's so much broken that, I just can't fix. I don't want to. Its a huge part of me that is actually no part of me. Is that fucked up? I do not know. So in the end... how has this effected me? I wish I could say that I learned the lesson to be nice to my parents regardless of the shitty things they do to me or their own short comings. But I already tried that. I had been trying to buy them tickets to shows when I wont even spend that money on myself, give them giants tickets, make an effort to get them out of the house and make them happy. But in the end it's never good enough for my Dad. It's only 2 giants tickets instead of 3 so Tristan can go. I'm the disrespectful one when he acts like a 3 year old psychopath in public and I try to calm him down. So what more can I do? I hope this next year shines more light on this...

I think every member of my family reached a milestone of their own this year that have altered the character of our family in one way or another. My mother entered her 60's and that has changed her attitude about life. She has been waiting a long time to do certain things she has wanted to do and is now deciding, "if not now, when?". I'm very proud of her and inspired. My father is fully in retirement and reaching the end of that honeymoon period. He finds himself anxious, bored, and sometimes feeling trapped. It is a hard period for my mom, and also for me while I'm currently living in my parents' house. I just pray that he finds something to fulfill himself in retirement. I know he will. My brother had a rough patch in life the past couple years, but this year he seems to be coming out on the other side. He has a steady job that he seems to enjoy, he is going to school more and with some direction, and all of this makes him feel better about life. the two of us have struggled with similar fears and anxieties as we enter adulthood. It is nice to see him thrive.

My daughter "Sunshine" was born. She is lovely, probably the easiest most problem free child of all our kids. Part of it may be our experience as parents and part is her personality. I feel like she should be our last child. I realize that babies take a lot of attention away from the older kids. I think we are already stretched enough between the rest of the kids. If we are going to have more kids we should wait a few years for our current kids to get older.

Well Eric and I bought a house together in Edmonton and started our own little family! This includes Shade and Eric's two close friends Liam and Nilla. Being the only girl in the house is always interesting. Lol it's been fun. Many challenges for everyone but we have powered through.

Re-connected with my Mom's cousin. Will hopefully see him and his family one day soon.

Mitchell and Alyssa had a little boy Travis and added a new member to our family. It is awesome and crazy and scary how we are all growing up and going to start our own families. It is so much fun to have a new little baby around! Especially because Travis is so darn cute

1 year anniversary of Dad's death and how far apart my family of origin has drifted. I'm thankful to be on the path to forgiveness with my one sister. I'm saddened that we may not be able to reconstitute our family. I pray for God's healing for our family.

Not a milestone per se, but my wife's aunt died this summer, and it was the first time all of my children attended a funeral, at an age where they could comprehend it. Discussing it with them and watching their reactions gave me some insights into how they each cope with the world.

Zayda had a tumor in his brain and our family really came together and thought positive thoughts and showed me the strength of positivity and love

My husband losing his job and getting the diabetes diagnosis were big, and Walt getting into Latin and starting were big. How have they affected me? I think I have had to stay as accepting and grounded as ever and no panicking. It does no good and I can't be there for anyone or myself if I go there. So, that's been a good and big change for me too.

Mike and I both retired. We are both adjusting to this, both new freedom and more time together. I think I haven't behaved as well as I would have hoped. Maybe more short tempered, maybe talking about him in my space too much. I think I've hurt his feelings, and I regret that. Mostly, I love being with him and I adore him. I have to be sure to stay kind.

We bought a house and had our first baby. I was an emotional wreck during pregnancy and home buying experiance. So much change happening at once tested everything in me. I am still working on the emotional part, but the house is feeling like home and the ever changing baby is growing with us and teaching us.

Things have been pretty level on the fam front this year (and for quite a long time, really). I've reflected a number of times on this and really appreciate how consistent, reliable, and stable my immediate family is. There's no conflict to speak of, we're all supportive of and excited about each other's pursuits, and we communicate well. Seeing a number of other families' patterns of functioning has highlighted for me just how fortunate I am, and I'm really grateful to have that as a pillar I almost never have to worry about.

The passing of my grandfather had an immediate effect on our family ranging from sadness to grief to happiness. Not only did the funeral bring our family together, it was a time for us to see people and reminiscence. Although it was a really tough time to let go of one of the most noble men I have come to know. This also indirectly "burdened" us with the core of taking care of our grandmother who need for aid was ever prevailing. Her loving and humble approach to life made it even harder for her to begin living without someone she has been with for years. Her yearning continues, but we hope to move forward as a family to finish loose ends and finds peace in the ultimate grief of death.

My sister is suing her ex-boyfriend for $25,000 for running up her credit card debt. She didn't tell me about her "loans" to her ex until after they broke up. I was really upset that she didn't share that with me earlier because I could have given her advice. Ultimately, I realize she had a lot of shame and thought the situation was under control, but I still wish she had confided in me.

I started speaking to my step mom again after many many years of not speaking. I had to be the bigger person which I hated because I'm supposed to be her "child" and was the reason I never contacted her in the first place. Even though I didn't want to give in on this one and I wanted her to make the first move I did it for peace. I suppose I've lost people in my life and we should always try to hold on to people because it's all about the love isn't it?

My wife's deteriorating health and or chronic poor health disease state. It has affected me in that although I feel empathy for her I find myself feeling empathetic for myself having to bear this burden with her, get angry at her then angry at myself for loosing sight of her suffering and round and round I go in this empathy self pittty self actulizatiin anger than back up to the surface again loop trying to be thankful for all I have and for all that could be , and most importantly is not on my plate , knowing all and all life has been and continues to be very good to me.

My grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Many of her children and grandchildren are spread out over the country these days, but now we're all traveling back to be with her. Although there has been bickering and a lot of raw emotions, we are all communicating more than we have in years. It's actually bringing us closer together, and many of us are considering moving closer to home again. I have been feeling a lot of guilt, and confusion about whether or not to regret leaving home. I met my husband abroad, and I wouldn't change that for a minute. But I miss my family and my hometown terribly and constantly. I feel guilty for not being there for the day-to-day help that is needed.

My aunt went into the hospital in Calgary.she ended up being okay the end, but it really made me think about mortality in a way I haven't before - even when my grandma died.

I can't think of any immediate family milestones. who knows what Oct - December might bring. In my extended family there have been deaths that bring home how short a lifespan can be. It is making me plan more; focus more.

I don't know that there is any one major milestone that has happened with my family within the past year. My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and every day I am reminded what a blessing our union is in my life. It has been 2.5 years since my father passed, and my family is still moving forward as best we can in the wake of his death. My uncle and I have grown closer; he has become more like a father to me. My mother has finally taken steps to overcome her depression. My brother and I still struggle with our relationship, but I will never forget what a support he was to me when my father was in hospice and during our period of mourning. I still find that family is challenging, whether it is my own, my in-laws, or my family of friends. These people will always live in my heart, but family takes work like any other relationship in life.

my son got his drivers license the day before Rosh Hashanah. It started me thinking about the journey to get to that particular day; rolling over, solid food, walking, toilet training, being able to click and un-click the seat belt without my help, doing his own laundry... This summer I was aware of the young man my son is becoming. I am in awe of the journey and that we all have made it as far as we have along our paths. I am so proud of his achievements, embrace the change, the forward movement and not feel sentimental about the past. This helps me understand one aspect of my father that t under-appreciated as a child. He never met my son. They would have loved each other in so many ways.

The death of Helen McEntee. I recognized her mean spiritedness for the insecurity and distrust that it was. I overcame the dislike of Helen before she died and in doing so, learned more about myself. I encouraged Betsey to do the loving thing by visiting H in Highland Falls, NY. Appreciated and respected Helen's talent of painting. I now remember the good things about H, - meals, puns, pets, music and her wide range of interests and knowledge. Appreciation of dining out in Highland Falls.'THE SPY" a lingering and valued momento H created just for me. A form of love. The Wolves, a companion momento. Helen's generous hospitality. Joanne & Dominick. This list makes me realize that there are many, many things I like about people, even people I don't care for. Wake up, Eugene. Learn to overlook other's shortcomings. Thanks 10 Q & Aunt Helen

We've had two major milestones in the immediate family. My daughter graduated from high school and my son had his bar mitzvah. Of course I was a proud mom, in both cases. It has affected me, having both kids move on to new phases in their lives, phases where my direction (read pushing) is needed a lot less. My very direct role in their learning has lessened. I feel a personal sense of accomplishment and great relief.

Noah started preschool this year, just 3 weeks ago. I have mixed feelings about his progression. I am excited to see him grow and experience new things, but I was definitely anxious for him knowing that "Mama" would not be in class with him anymore. I am sure, as with many more things to come, Noah was much less anxious than I was. He told me two days ago that he really likes school...much to my surprise I realized I was still worried about him being scared or missing his mama.

My daughter received top honors in first evaluation in her job as a social worker. I was a lawyer in a situation where I represented the same underserved population and acted more like case worker than attorney much of the time. it was great to have an adult relation where we compared notes. I was impressed with her insight. The review and also a bonus were just icing on the cake

I got married! Twice. Once was at the courthouse during the brief window on March 22. The other was in front of friends and family on May 25. This was a huge milestone. Mary is my wife and I love her a lot. She's taking care of me right now since I'm sick. Speaking of that, we found out I've got a weaker immune system because I suffer from malnutrition from the bypass. Getting FMLA so I can take care of myself is also huge.

We’ve had so many milestones this year. Pierce turned 1, we completed our move from MN to AZ, we bought a house, we took our first real family vacation together to Disneyland, A&M started high school, Randy and I took some nice trips (Nice/Paris, Palm Springs, Disney/LA), we celebrated our 3rd anniversary, and my sister got married. So much change in such a small time frame. How has it all affected me though is a good question. The moves were stressful. We moved from the apartment to a rental house (while moving most of the things from MN to AZ) over the holidays and Pierce’s birthday, then from the rental to the new house. Debbie’s wedding was stressful and a much larger financial drain that I expected it to be. But I am happy that we were able to go as a family to experience it. I’ve never seen Debbie happier than when they said their vows and kissed. It nearly made my heart explode with happiness. A&M came down for 3 weeks and we took our first family vacation to Disneyland. I was so excited about them coming to AZ for a few weeks and about the trip. It was really incredible, and I was sad to see them go. At one point at Disney we were watching the band and Mickey and I just started crying I was so happy. Pierce was excited, the girls were excited, and I’m not sure I could feel any happier than that moment. We hug now. I like that. We’ve had a lot of stress over the past year, but all of it has been good stress. Positive movement forward in our lives. We are so lucky. I am so thankful for what we have and what we are able to do. I am thankful for our health and the health of my extended family. We are blessed.

As a result of his divorce, my Uncle moved from Portland to Southern California, and has started a new job. I get the feeling that I'll be seeing a lot more of him now, which is odd, considering that we only lived 3 hours away from eachother before. Now, partly due to his divorce and partly due to the death of my grandmother, I think we'll be spending more time together as family.

We got a solid financial planner and financial plan. THis has allowed us plan our estate, look at where we're going and set some realistic goals and plans for where we are going to be and when we'll get there. We went from having an "idea" to having a plan based on real data. I no longer look at the numbers so much - I know they are done and based on a solid foundation. That allows me to start focusing on other things like what we do to enjoy our lives...

No major milestones. I'm settling into retirement nicely. My daughter is grown and we have a wonderful relationship. Life is good.

I think a major milestone was the recent death of my favorite aunt. This celebration of her life brought together people who never see each other...and kids who had been adopted by others and were meeting family for the first time. It affected me because I wasn't there...and for the first time I really felt the difference and distance that will only grow between me and the rest of my family.

My Dad got remarried, 6 years after my mom passed away. It was very difficult during the ceremony to hear the preacher refer to H as my dad's true love. But, I can't control his life. I am glad he's found someone to be with instead of being alone.

I cannot really think of any milestone other than Sam's Bar Mitzvah. It only affected my family because we all go to see each other. I didn't like the party because of all of the people. I got really overwhelmed. I still have no clue if my family knows I'm gay or not. Whatever.

Major milestones... My son is a licensed driver, with a car and a job. He is a senior in HS. My daughter has moved to another state to finish college. Proud that my children are good people, definitely feeling the sand running through the hourglass more quickly.

My son Isaac became engaged. Pride in my son and happy for him as well as so delighted with his choice for a mate. Also, so many years praying for him and his future wife have been affirmed. Such an affirmation that God not only answers prayer but also is interested and active in the details of our lives.

A major milestone that happenend with my family this past year is my 3rd nephew left for college. This is affecting me because there is one niece left at home. Everyone is aging quickly and time is moving very fast. I don't like feeling old, saying that I am old, seeing my parents age. It is very scary since David died that I am thinking about death more. With Kyle in college, it just reminds me that Ilana will be finished with college in May and on her own.

my husband has had some health concerns. this is affecting me greatly, as he's in a bit of fear about it. I am trying to be as supportive as possible, and not be intrusive.

My mom turned 70 and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm scared and sad in pure anticipation of her getting older. I'm feeling guilt at not yet having started a family. I'm also more grateful for her in every way and making an effort to really appreciate all the amazing ways that she exists in the world. They are a million-fold.

Reconnecting to my bro Birthdays of Roland's aunt, 80, and his Brother

My niece Peyton was born this year. She's the first grandkid in our family. All of our lives have changed because of this little bug. She's beautiful and amazing. The first time I held her, I was overwhelmed with love for this little person who had only really existed for two days. And I knew she was going to change the goddamn world.

My oldest son started secondary school. In some sense, it has affected me less than I expected. A couple of years ago, I was sure that I would not be ready for my child to commute alone to school, to have his own phone, to organize so much of his life by himself. Surprisingly, I am very comfortable with all that - probably more comfortable than my son is. He is ready; I am ready. On the other hand, with my son starting secondary school, I am realizing that our lives are veering apart. No longer are my friends likely to be the parents of his friends. No longer will large chunks of my time be taken up with activities (reading Halloween stories, making Thanksgiving turkeys, organizing concerts) inside his school. It is unlikely that I will get to know any of his teachers well. I am sure that is all as it should be, but it is a little sad.

Allison moved out of the house. It was a huge well deserved step for her. As worried as she was, she knew she should and is so competent on her own. I am very proud of her. hannah worked ,finished off her junior year at Smith very successfully and met what seems to be a fine young man. Stress got to the best of her and she decided w take her first semester of senior year off. I thought it wasn't the worst of ideas I just hope she goes back in January. She is becoming a woman in front of my eyes. and me..I am engaged to Sheila . We are so good together 97% of the time ..and are learning to soften that other 3%. Questions of when and how we will marry float often.but we know we will. I am in a good place.

This isn't really a milestone but the event that we continue to deal with is my mother-in-laws diagnosis of alzheimers. The decline over the past year has been steady. She is definitely getting worse. When I think about it, the amount of stress that this has put on the family has been incredible. My husband gets fairly regular calls from my father-in-law asking for advice when my mother-in-law leaves the house and he doesn't know where she is or what she is doing. Trying to keep my father-in-law from totally losing it has been a challenge too. One of the things that i would like to focus on in the coming year is handling the stress better.

Father died. Made more more intent on my own community with a vision, accomplishments and belief system.

This fall is the 10-year anniversary of meeting my husband (face-to-face) and our first date. It's made me think a lot about what we were like as a couple then, and also now. A lot has changed, (obvs) and I'm not surprised about that, but a lot has stayed the same, which I am kind of surprised about. I think I'm happier about the stuff staying the same than the stuff that hasn't.

My son lost his job as an attorney in the financial district in San Francisco. It reminded me how vulnerable we all are, and that we have value outside of the money we make or the job we do. He handled it very well, seeming calm, at least on the outside. But, I do think it made him question his manhood. As his mom, it simply made me worry for him. I would do anything for him, but I couldn't fit this one.

Stewart a d I got married which brought all my family members much closer to Stewart and his mother; as well as me even closer to the Hall family and all their friends and relatives. The wedding was a joyous occasion and it renewed our love for each other.

The only major milestone I can think of is my "little" brother moving to the Phillippines INDEFINATELY :-( :-( I miss him terribly & hate that he's not keeping in touch much with any of the family. Also MAJOR was him getting married, wife pregnant, moving to Latvia, & THEN leaving unexpectedly & moving to the Phillippines........

We moved my mother from Florida to Tucson. Barb and I had talked about this and I had dreaded the thought of having her here. But as it turns out, I feel good about our relationship now and have found a deep compassion for her that I never thought I would have. There are frustrations - she is forgetful and at times very anxious. But I am thankful for this time with her. She's 90 - who knows how long she has left. I am comforted to know that I will feel as though I have cared for her with as much love and kindness as possible.

The largest milestone was probably Mom selling the "kids' house" in East Hampton. Aside from the intense days of cleaning it out, the bonding with my brothers, the help Nico gave us, it really signifies the end of an era. The end is going on for a long time as Mom still has her larger house, but that's just an illusion if we want to think for an instant that things aren't changing. I was hit with a big wave of sorrow about it, even though the good times have now been ending for almost 16 years now, at least in terms of my larger family of origin. But for my boys and me it is a definitive ending. They spent significant portions of their childhoods vacationing in that house -- playing games, going to the beach, having dinner with their grandmother, watching movies, doing puzzles -- and of course I did too. It can fall into the "everything's getting worse" bigger picture what with East Hampton being overrun by tourists and rude super wealthy entitled New Yorkers, but even when that happened, we had our little oasis on the family compound and I will always miss it. There have also been some smaller triumphs for my kids -- Jurri deciding to take on Russian and going to St. Petersburg, his lovely girlfriend who probably won't be a girlfriend next year at this time, but it's a real relationship, Nico moving back to NY and moving in with Caroline, my two short stories published... Arch lost his mother, and that has had ripples through our relationship and I think a tightening of his bonds with his children, which has been lovely to see. So even though the milestone is technically about real estate, it's been a year of things changing and I'm not so good with change...

Oh, Milestones? Jeesh. everything blends together. Lyonel became and incredible reader. I mean really incredible. Henry made it to a full-sized violin and sounds terrific. Ariel got a permanent job. I went back to school, much happier than when I left. I think our car is almost paid off?!

My parents have decided to move to the city that I live in. This has affected me greatly, because I always thought I would be moving back to North Carolina around this time in my life. It is my future husband's wish to move back to his home state of NC, but I also want to take the opportunity to live in the same state as my parents. It has made my future more unknown. I could live in either place. And really wish I could have both.

Getting Ezra into a special ed preschool. It's made us sad and relieved

getting suspended from college in the bible belt and moving up to the PNW

I retired from my job as environment justice director. I still want to affect climate change policies, and I grieve over what is happening to creatures on our planet. I am happy not to be working and I have more time to meditate, but I am waiting to see my future path. It is difficult to be patient. I feel a yearning, but not yet a passion to go in a particular direction. Please, God, guide me.

My son started 2nd grade and began forming close friendships with other boys in his class. Before, he was shy and observed other kids while they played, or he chatted with adults on the playground. His social and academic confidence has dramatically increased this year. I'm happy for him that he's reached this developmental milestone, and pleased as a parent that the work we put into boosting his social confidence is paying off for our son.

We moved! Into a house that is all mine, with no memory of my ex in it. A house with enough space for everyone, so we aren't on top of one another. A house that doesn't (usually) smell funny. A house with enough bathrooms, and showers. A house with a gas fireplace that works. A house with space just for music. It is easier to keep clean, now that there is space for everyone. I enjoy having people over, and have space for rehearsals. Everyone is getting along better (usually), and fighting less. Everyone has a place they can retreat to, if they want to be alone. I am proud to be able to provide my family with a comfortable yet ample home that meets our needs.

I completed all of my coursework for a second bachelors degree. Although this wasn't a huge milestone for me, it placed the emphasis on "now what"? I'm currently investigating graduate programs (already have one in another field) including the possibility of obtaining a doctorate. This has required a lot introspection as well as research on my part. Since I'm what's considered a "returning student" this has limited my options to programs who are open to adults who are reinventing themselves and taking on a new career. Not easy to find dispite the fact that so many of us "boomers" are doing the same thing. This has tested my strength and focus and made me a stronger individual

My eldest son turned 13. And he has shown himself to be quite mature and responsible. He's also now taller than me, and has huge feet that continue to grow. We have also moved to a new house around the corner from our old one. Both these events highlight the transition we're in. By physically leaving the house of their infancy behind, I find it easier to deal with my children in their present form, not clinging to ideals of youth and comfortable habits. I find I am more readily accepting changes and encouraging them to envision the adults they will grow into.

The major milestone was my finding a job at which I am earning a living wage after years of unemployment and underemployment. Because of this job, I can now be a fully contributing member of my household. I feel very good about being able to do that! My feelings of self worth have increased and I am more confident.

I turned 70!!! It has me excited and feeling as if this is my opportunity for a "last hurrah" - at least professionally. I have a sense of "burden" falling away and an "if not now- then when" attitude about being - doing and having things in my life that are reflective of my mission: "To be joyous and fulfilled . . . to be a source of love, committed to the well-being of others . . . to be a clearing for knowledge, wisdom and understanding" That mission will continue to inspire me and direct my energy and focus. I am in love with life . . .

We had three significant milestones this year: 1) Kids and grandkids moved away. It's a mixed emotion. Thrilled for them as careers blossom; sorry for ourselves since they lived close by and those little kids brought a lot of joy--there's nothing like the renewal of seeing life through the eyes of a child again! I want them to grow and prosper, so I'm learning to balance my needs against theirs. 2) One of the other kids is talking about a cross country move, and while his work keeps him busy and we don't see as much of him as we'd wish, I'm not ready for him to be so far away again. Selfish of me, I know. I love his company. 3) Frankly, losing my canine companion after fifteen years was nearly more than I can bear. He was the second and final littermate to succumb to old age. It underscored this year of loss. Perhaps because they were my constant companions, I feel this loss most acutely. I'm not sure about having dogs again, but at the same time, I can't imagine life without dogs, so, a dilemma.

My son graduated law school, passed the bar, and is working where he wanted! Very proud of his achievements!

This is not family related, but it is the reply that comes to me now. Last year, I came to a place where I rediscovered my scholarly voice. I have been disappointed about my academic career and the lack of interest in my books, and over time had stopped doing new research. Something just clicked and that changed. I started writing about new topics and that seems to have multiplied. I am even preparing to take up a project that I set aside when I was doing my dissertation. And it is very clearly taking on a different form than I had always expected. This is very exciting for me and counts here as a milestone because of the change. I do not know what motivated it but I am very excited to be planning new work, and even more that I am finally working on this big project I had set aside.

My SO connected with an old friend. Ever since this happened, we have been able to go out to his family lake house a lot. It is the only time we have good days of no arguing... no hatred. There is no internet service, so I'm not worried about him being on his phone all of the time and what he is doing on it. It is the only time we get to get away from all the BS of our home life. But as soon as there is Internet service and we are almost home, the horribleness starts up again. I hate not trusting him. Another thing that has happened... My dad was diagnosed with skin cancer. We do not really talk, and he told me about it through a text message. He gives me updates through text messages. As far as I know they got it all, but who really knows. He says he is fine, but again.... Who really knows. I do not have the time or money to go visit him. I can't just go there for a day. I would have to stay for at least two days and it cost money to get there. I don't know how I feel about him having cancer. I mean it's not good and I wish him well, but we were never close and I never felt like he really liked being a dad to me. I am adopted and some people do not ever connect with their adopted kids. So I am not sure how his cancer has affected me. Maybe that is weird, I'm not sure....

Close friend had a major stroke. Sadness, anger, fear. Linda leading the effort to assist and support. We do what we can. Life is so fragile. an of us could go, be gone, in a moment.

This year we are moving out of State from Alaska to Washington. We are still in the process of moving and will officially leave in a few weeks, however we have already moved out of our house and are staying with family for those couple of weeks. The move brings a whole new sense of adventure and wonder, but in contrast it is scary and so much unknown. My kids are adjusting well, but are nervous about the unknown. It has been a huge change and I imagine the change will continue for the next few months until things get settled down.

My parents retired. So far it hasn't affected me that much, although I am jealous! I'm hoping that in the years ahead this will mean we spend more time together. Since we live on opposite sides of the country, it's hard to get together often. I'm also hoping that retirement, and the associated lack of stress, will help with my dad's memory issues. He insists his lack of short term memory is exacerbated by stress, and I hope that's true and in retirement he's less forgetful.

We are in the process of adopting our great great niece who was born addicted to drugs thanks to her homeless drug addict mother (our great niece). I have always wanted children but have not been granted by God this joyful milestone until 6/19/13. I fill so fulfilled in my life watching this young being learn and grow. I love her so much and watch in awe as she meets her own developmental milestones. As I reflect back on my prayers to God to give me a child when he thought I was ready I am thankful in every way. The timing of her arrival into our lives was perfect. I was going on summer break from teaching and could devote all my time to her needs. I thank God everyday for her.

I think the biggest change has been Ed going to work lines instead of in the hall every day.it has really freed him up to interact with me a lot more and interact with the kids.and someways it's a lot less stressful and other ways it's more stressful having to incorporate him into my busy schedule without being pushy and bossy.as Dr. Megas fond of saying I think so much faster than he does and so much faster than the kids just in order to keep things going and flowing it is sometimes annoying when he doesn't keep up.I think the children have mixed feelings about it as well for believe they will say they don't like it but in actuality I think they do enjoy having dad around because it makes mom less stressed.I think it is an amazing opportunity for Mary to have both parents home the majority of the time with her interacting with her learning with her.she is an amazing child anyway and this having two parents home with her is just an extra bonus enriching experience.

My son went off to college 1000 miles away…his father and I split five years ago and he has been with his Dad…and it's felt rotten sometimes because we have not been as close as we once were. This past summer felt poignant, I kept wanting more moments but then it became clear that it was time for him to go…and that I needed to go with the flow as well. The upside? A month later, I'm hearing from him more often, we have meaningful Sunday afternoon phone chats and he is getting outside himself and learning on his own. I have come to appreciate letting go, going with the flow and being grateful for the opportunities he is experiencing

My youngest child turned 21 - and also returned for his first summer after being away from home for his Junior year. it was a rough summer as he exerted his independence (as he is supposed to do) - and shut me out for trying to maintain some control over our home (the old "my home, my rules), which I don't feel is unreasonable. I HATED it. It is a passage for me, away from a job that I think I did pretty well. I feel I was the major factor in raising 3 wonderful human beings and now that my job is done, I feel a bit discarded and am not sure what I am supposed to do with the rest of my life. I realize that they are SUPPOSED to grow up , leave and become their own persons - but their positive growth is leaving me behind - wondering what my place and role should be.

Buying a home has brought complete peace. Happiness even. I know being happy has nothing to do with location or where you live because it's a mindset but I have to argue with that statement. My heart is happy. My sex life has been sparked. My mind is calm. My kids sleep better than ever. And the 10+ yr old dogs play like puppies again. Yep. This has been a MAJOR milestone for us.

My cousin Nathan turned 15 and got his learner's permit... How terrifying that 1- he's so old, and 2- I'M so old that I remember when he was born, and now he's driving... So weird.

My mother died. My brother and sister stole her savings for her funeral. She got a public cremation. If I could, I would turn my brother/sister in. I do not like to be part of a criminal family.

The breakdown of my sister's marriage immediately springs to mind. One. Her wedding still remains one of the most beautiful days of my life. Two. I worry that my ideas about eternal love are fundamentally flawed Two, Part B: I still don't understand how you can believe you can spend the rest of your life with someone, and that opinion can be turned around within the space of two years Three. It makes me less worried that I don't have a boyfriend while everyone else gets engaged about me. Four. It makes me more worried that I don't have a boyfriend as other people might think there is something fundamentally wrong with our family. Five. It reminds me of the vicissitudes of time, the 'slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune'. To appreciate the beauty of what we have in time, but not to cling to it; similarly, to accept, appreciate and understand the grief, but not to define yourself by the dark cloud.

I got married again at the age of 35, and everything went awesome. We also had a final discussion and timeline was figured out to have a baby. This has made me feel more settled, more sure of who I am. I can finally see my life panning out with my husband as my companion. I no longer feel as though I have to worry about what will be happening next, because I feel so supported with my husband. I also feel excited about having a baby, versus having thoughts that someone I shouldn't have a baby.

My husband and mother-in-law and I traveled to Tennessee for the first time over the Christmas holiday. We all really enjoyed it, what a beautiful area, near Nashville. We went there to spend time with my sister-in-law and nephew, since Eddie passed away and it was nice to all get together again with family. I got to spend time with my husband's family which made me feel more like a part of it. We've been married for 5 years now. My husband and I now talk about retiring around there some day, in the Smoky Mountains. I love the idea.

Again, it would be the passing of Char. That was really hard on us. As I mentioned in question 1, it pushed me to work hard and honor her lessons.

my Aunt has terminal lung cancer & my stepfather is basically living his whole life around taking care of her. He's so selfless but I feel sorry for him.. I also worry that I will end up like my Aunt with no one to take care of me because I'm a spinster & my only sibling isn't so selfless. I'm not sure I am either but I think I would take him in and care for him if I had too

Again...I think the "major milestone" for us has been moving my parents into our home. But I think the process has enhanced an already-close relationship between myself and my brothers. They are tremendously supportive and, while they can't do much about the day-to-day challenges, they are pretty quick to respond when I raise the flag and tell them we need help. In the talking and sharing, I've learned things about the relationship my brothers have with our parents that I never knew before...and not just the funny stories we all know about from childhood.

My older daughter started 6th grade. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but it means going to a different school (middle school with grades 6,7,and 8) and being on a different schedule. The expectations are also different and at times more intense. It also meant being at a different school from her younger sister for the first time since the little one started elementary school. I see the affects on both girls - the older one happy to be on her own and doing great with new experiences and the younger one missing having her big sister around and finding her way on her own. In addition, my husband is taking my older daughter to school in the morning, which is the first time that he's been involved with dropoff/pickup for school. I think it's been good for him to have some more time one-on-one with her. Overall, it's been a good transition. But it's definitely been a change for all of us (including me, who's coming to grips with a daughter on the cusp of entering her teenage years).

My mother turned 70 this year which is a milestone. It made me realize that if I want to move out west that I have about a 5-7 year window to do so (provided everything continues going well with her health). After years of saying that I'd never move west, I now think that I'd really like to.

My son turned 18 two days ago and this means that technically there are no children living here. But he is autistic and his speech is severely impaired. So instead of skipping football practice or the gym to go out on the lash with his mates, he asked for (and got) toys that are meant for little kids. It breaks my heart when people talk about the "empty nest" stuff, ours will never be empty and I worry about the future.

For the past three years we have been renting a home that we purchased this year. It was a major milestone for a number of reasons. I've been a serial renter all my life. I've always had this inner fear that something was going to go wrong at some point (lose my job or worse...not sure what worse is) and that I would be stuck. Then when we were married and had kids the feeling got worse. What if I couldn't support my family? What if something happened to me? What if I failed? All of these worries are nonsense! I've had great job and worked hard my whole life with no more than a few weeks in between them. I have enough savings to pay the mortgage for years. We have put things in place so that the family is taken care of in case of an emergency. Probably need to spend less time worrying and more time living. Fear as a motivator is pretty powerful.

My father and my 3 sisters finally began speaking again. This is after nearly 10 years of animosity. It has made my relationship with my father even better knowing that that is not an issue that plagues his mind. I feel that within the past year, although my parents are divorced, my family Has become a stronger unit.

My son graduated from university with high distinction. My wife and I were very proud. He has started grad school and is applying to medical school. We are looking at early retirement options and it was important for us to feel that he would be okay financially without us being able to help him further and to feel that he had good choices for the directions that his life might take. It seems like this is the case and we are very happy for him.

I wish I could say the biggest milestone of this past year was getting a new dog, but I can't. Earlier this year my sister was diagnosed with a genetic form of breast cancer and it's been tough to say the least. Luckily she's a fighter and has a great team. Sometimes I feel so helpless and like a shitty brother. To make matters worse, it turns out I have the same genetic mutation. While I don't have the same worries as my sister does, any daughters I have will. Some days managing all this is easier than others.

I THINK MY BIGGEST MILESTONE THAT EFFECTED Y FAMILY WAS ME MOVING TO denver that put me into very close quarters of both my kids. It has transformed our relationship and has been so rewarding for me. I think the entire dynamic of how the three of us communicate and look at life has changed. The other milestone would be, that I am now 5 plus years out from metastisied cancer and I dont really think the Drs or my family expected me to make it to this point. Consequently, my attitude toward life has changed and the way my friends look at me. I feel like I am here on earth to live a little longer and that is expressed in the way I interact with the world, my family and friends.

I have been overcoming a major mental illness over the last year or so. I've become so much more of a "happy" person which I have never been before. This has been such a blessing to me, and my marriage.

My second and youngest daughter graduated from college in Mat 2014. It has made me feel adrift in the one job I was sure about- being a mom. I have put so much of myself and my life into being a mom to both my daughters that I feel an intense grief combined with pride about the completion of this roles

Emilia was born!! I was really thinking that the buck was going to stop here. It didn't seem like Dan or Sara were going to have kids. How has this affected me? I've been thinking for a long time about the legacy of our family and of the Weiser name. Of course there is no guarantee that Emilia will keep the Weiser name, however a little piece of our family continues on. It was especially nice having the baby there when we put mom and dads ashes in the niche at the cemetery. She was all smiles and joy. Life goes on.

There hasn't been a major milestone in my family this past year. There have been events, important events, but nothing major. My nephew was born. I've yet to meet him.

Reconnected with my sister after long and problematic relationship It has given me a lot of peace

I'm not sure that we've had anything major happen. My sister graduated college. My brother is studying in Prague this semester. Everyone is well for the most part. I do worry about my gran and pop on my moms side because they are in a similar state as they have been the past few years, but they are in a caring place which is a huge help. I just worry about my mom and my aunts on that side, especially aunt Anne because she seems to have so much to take care of all by herself and she's spent years this way. I actually brought this up to my mom and sister the other day. I am going to pray for her to find peace and even a wonderful man in her life who can help support her and welcome her into passion and love. She deserves it so much. I love her.

25th Anniversary it was no big deal. \I am not into numbers defining people.

My sister had a baby. I acquired my other nephew, Thomas, when he was 4 (when my sister started dating her now husband Heath) so I never experienced Thomas as a baby. I adore him, but it's a different experience to be there on your nephew's second day of life. I spent that first week with my sister, figuring out how to help him nurse, learning how to use the breast pump, watching his tiny body add ounces and then pounds. Now he's 11 months old, delightfully chunky, and is developing quite the personality. It's helped my sister and I grow closer - we are incredibly different people and John has enabled us to find common ground and it's much easier to spend time together, even when we disagree. I'm really loving watching her be a mom, and I can't describe how much I love being Auntie B.

My brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly. Obviously, this affected my wife and myself deeply. I'd like to think that we two grew a little closer in dealing with Bill's passing and its aftermath.

For the first time in my life, I feel like my family finally accepts me for me, or appreciates what I do (maybe even just my existence). I went to my cousin's (1 of 8 on my mom's side) wedding (mom's sister's [of 3] first kid [of 2]) in June, and I expected it to be a complete shit-show.... Considering my past experiences at family events/get-togethers and such. Not to go into great detail about what used to happen, I'm just going to concentrate on the things that happened at the wedding. I was left to my own devices, I had my own room. I was not blamed for Ashwin drinking too much and being stupid, nor for Kiran allowing him to drink in the first place. My actions weren't judged, and it was genuinely pleasant to see all my younger cousins, and even some of the parents (aunts/uncles) I guess. For the first time in my life, I left a family event with the feeling that I would like to see my cousins again sometime soon.

We had twins! I have a new appreciation for families of multiples, but also I am so grateful that I have a husband who is supportive and understanding! We celebrated 10 years married a week before the twins were born!

My grandmother was moved into a nursing facility just a few weeks ago. It has been big with my mother, realizing she will never get the reconciliation or give the forgiveness in the right way, and also in taking care of my grandfather. a steadfast force in her life. She is being forced into being more of an adult. At the same time, so am I.

I turned 40 this year, and we celebrated not with any kind of party, but by going as a family (of five - my nuclear family of three plus my mom and her husband) on an REI adventure trip to the San Juan islands. There are literally not enough words on the internet to explain fully how much this has affected me. We have changed from a couch family of techies to people with an active outdoor weekend lifestyle (Kayaking! Adventure courses! Family bike trips!), and who do things during the week (running, rock climbing) to make us stronger and more ready for our next weekend adventure. It solidified our relationships with each other to an amazing extent. It made us all know for sure that we want experiences and not "things" as gifts. And I fell head over heels in love with my husband yet once more.

Finishing my associates degree and getting accepted to nursing school has validated me as an adult. It's also nowhere near enough to make the kind of salary that I feel like I need to be comfortable and secure, so I have redouble my efforts to be an educated consumer, and to pursue my education. I become much more goal oriented, and I have a strong clarity about what's important to me and how I want to achieve it.

Its hard seeing my mum being unhappy with my father. We all say why don't you get divorced, but after speaking to her I understood what is her fear. Where can she go? He will not be leaving the house, even though he didn't help at all building it and anything around it. She feels traped and chose just to carry on as it is. She goes out when she gets opportunity which is great. And yet when she gets back always has to face this man. I think seeing my mum struggling like this, made all of us (her kids) fearing to make the same mistake marrying bad spouse, that's why me, brother and sister got engaged and failed to marry! Irmantas is on his way with Laima. Going to see them next weekend!

my mother turned 90, my sister turned 60 and my niece turned 30 and they all celebrated together

Well, my grandson was born on thanksgiving, and that made my mom a great-grandmother. so once again there are four generations in our little family. the way it has affected me personally, is the fact that no matter what life throws at me or how many obstacles are put in my path, I feel I am truly lucky and blessed to have this wonderful life. I loved my life before but it's just a different kind of happiness!

My daughter went to college, and my son entered middle school. It made me realize that we would be empty nesters, sooner than I can imagine, and that we needed to have a life beyond kids.....

Rich has decided to go into hospice. I have made a family group on facebook and it has helped make me feel closer to Richs extended family although he has not been close with them. It is strange territory for me, he has suffered so much. We are now learning about the process of enrolling in it. There is so little I can do to help. His body is breaking down and he cannot walk ...his leukemia is active again. He has chronic pneumonia...and on and on....pain is barely under control and he has bowel and urinary incontinence. His mind is present though and I just let him make his own decisions.

My mom turned 60 in December & my brother, step-father, and friends threw her a huge surprise birthday party. It was a wonderful and terrible experience simultaneously. My mother was insanely happy & truly surprised by the amazing party. The look on her face as 100 people she loves yelled surprise is a memory I will always treasure. But in the process my brother destroyed my relationship with him by excluding me from everything including failing to invite me to the party. His selfishness poisoned our relationship to the point that we have not spoken in 9 months.

Within the past year, my oldest child started college. I'm proud, anxious, and happy all at the same time! It's been a financial challenge for me. It's reworked all of our family relationships; parent-child, sibling, etc. It has really brought home that I am not at the beginning of the journey. It's time for my kids to take their place as young adults.

My Mom has a terminal virus that going to take her life one day so we're still over coming this.

our oldest son receive a full time job and was made manager. It increased; his self confidence. has his own place, close to bus line. Son #2 got a secure state job....then transferred to another location and was rehired by previous employer...got his own car on his own. They can fend for themselves...no longer relying on us...we can freely enjoy our maturing marriage, independently.

Deciding to go ahead with an egg donor, rather than trying to conceive on our own. It made things both easier and harder. It made us confront our biases and prejudices within both ourselves and each other.

My son was accepted into a Math Enrichment program at school. I was so impressed. It made me feel that as a hard working single mother, I have succeeded in providing my son with an exception education and support needed to achieve amazing things.

The last of my grandparents died, within days of each other. I have no more grandparents. My parents have no living parents. It's hard not to think about the questions that remain. What if I had traveled to see them more? What if I had asked more questions? What if we had lived closer to them? Why did she spend her life waiting for a man who would never come back? Why did he leave his 6 children with no discussion? How did she make that one dessert and what is it even called? What were their secret triumphs? What does dying feel like? Were they scared? Ready? From this loss I take away the need to Live Life. To never stop learning. To ask questions before it's too late.

I think this was me insisting that my son has to leave home. There was lots of self convincing involved that this is the right move. I prepared myself thoroughly beforehand. The affect on me? Life is worthwhile again.

My house mate left me and returned to Ohio. I have been simply crushed since then. I lost TWO jobs and have been totally alone.

My husband stopped working and thus took at least a 50% paycut in what he was making. On top of that, he got sick, and we had additional medical expenses because of it. It has made me feel additional pressure and stress with having to take care of the family myself. I don't like it. I am not sleeping well, I drink more, I feel like I have to find another job, yet, don't think I should have to be away from my family even more than I am. And, we typically try not to talk finances, because I do make more than he does (and have our entire relationship). But - it is really, really hard. I don't care that I make more, but, I do care that I feel like I am the one who has to work every day 7:30-4:30 while he seems to have had more of a part time job, and gets to spend more time with our girls. I must be resentful and a little jealous. But, I can't work less and get paid less, because he is not showing me that he is going to pick up the slack and support our family.

My brother has his first gallery opening next month and I COULDN'T BE MORE PROUD!

I don't know about a major milestone, but personally I got old! The past year has really hit home that I am no longer, by any definition, young. My body hurts in all the wrong places!

I think my dad turned 60 this year! It was great because it showcased how age is not ever what I think it is. I will be turning 30 next year, and it is yet another year to be grateful for! I'm glad my dad is happy and healthy and so young for 60! I am totally happy about turning 30 - not any more or less than any year - dad turning 60 and it being low key was so helpful for this. We surprised him with cakes at church, and I invited people from Burlington! Then we went to lunch at a NY deli type place that he likes. His secretary coordinated cards - and he got 100s I think! It was nice to see, although we already knew, he was so loved and appreciated by so many. I'm not sure how this impacts him, but I think he likes it. He is actually one of the most zen people I know. In his happiness and his anger, he is pretty even. And he is incredibly reasonable about all things. Wise and intelligent. I hope to be like that when I am 60... and earlier too because he has been that way since I knew him. My mom is so fabulous too! And they are such a great pair. Endlessly great role-models my parents are. I am so grateful for such incredible parents. They both so graciously turned 60... and every other year and day of their lives.

My mother was diagnosed with and treated for cancer. It has actually made our relationship better because I began to see her as a human being rather than this living obstacle to my happiness.

A major milestone with my family has been my father meeting sofia and moving in with her. It was a little strange to me but it seems like things are going fine. My mother has been having an up and down relationship with Marco which I find annoying. Just now they "broke up" and got back together. I can see this blowing up in her/my face in short order.

Had to choose a school for my son. It meant moving from his preschool he enjoyed to a school that would be for the long term. Seems ok thus far. Has meant a lot more time for the Mrs. and me to get him to school and back.

Our oldest daughter got engaged to her longtime boyfriend. Even though we have always assumed they would get married, the official engagement made me feel instantly more responsible for him and more loving. They were mugged on the subway a few months ago, on their way home from eyeing one of their choices for a wedding venue, and his face was smashed. It turned out to be not as bad as we'd feared, but he needed surgery. I was surprised at how upset I was about him having to go under anesthesia, and the pain he would be feeling. It's wonderful how much capacity we have to love and open our hearts and constantly change our families to grow and expand!

A major milestone is my parents separating and selling our family home. I know this is a really great move for them as they are both happier, but it's caused a lot of stress as neither one of them is good at committing to a decision. It feels a little bit like Elizabeth and I need to constantly be coaching them. It's difficult, because we're so fast paced, and probably too quick, but some of these situations are very trying.... Selling the house seemed like it would make me sad, but after having the opportunity to live there again, it was nice to see a new family move in and enjoy the home and yard.

My sister got married. I am very happy for her, but we have not been very close for some time. I wish we were closer.

My son has moved in with his girlfriend. It's the first woman that her has progressed that far with. They occasionally have issues (we all do) and I hope it works out best for him.

My Dad died. He was my sole parent for the last 42 years, at times as a child I was so connected to him that, quite literally, I felt like his breath was what was keeping me alive. As I sat beside him, watching his breath fading from him, feeling that 11 year old inside of me who, once upon a time, after my mom had died, would sit and watch him sleep, and breathe, knowing now that he would stop, that I would go on, that he was leaving me, us, myself, my sisters, my brothers, his beautiful wife. My heart is still trying to comprehend this loss. In those moments, when I suddenly remember that he is gone, I feel myself as if the breath gets sucked out of my lungs, and I try to 'think him back' - to bring him back with the will and force of mind. My children do not have a good relationship with their father. I know that my son, especially, can't understand this loss I feel, can't 'imagine feeling that way' about his dad. And that is so unbelievably sad, I can't really imagine who I would be, what would have anchored my life, had it not been for my Dad. It may be the most complicated question of my life, how has my Dad's leaving affected me. I want to give my children something to miss when I'm gone, I want to be that substantial presence and force in their lives, that connection, that anchor, that sense of security.

My grandmother has been much healthier this year than last. She isn't going into the hospital regularly, which is a huge relief. It was scary to be on the brink of coming to terms with her eventual death, but nobody was ready for it and it just so happened her body wasn't ready either.

The major milestone was the explosion of the fostering/adoption process. It crushed me at the time to disappoint my husband but not following his desires, but I realized that more than having a fourth child, he wanted me to be happy. It has helped us to focus on the amazing family we already have, and the instant, overwhelming relief that came with the final decision to stop the process showed me that I need to follow my instincts more often. I know what is too much for me, and I can't please everyone all the time.

Oldest daughter 25, hiked the Appalachian Trail. It was exciting following her travels on Facebook.

We now have two middle school girls...this milestone has meant a shift in the way we parent as we learn to extend them more freedom and trust the Lord more with their independence. I have been both shaken and inspired as I let go by degrees and see them embrace by degrees their future.

Ainsley moving to London. I have gotten used to only seeing her a few times a year. I'm not sure this really will have an affect on me other than it just seems like she's far away.

My mother died suddenly at the age of 97 on March 31, 2014. On the day of the funeral my 83-year old husband had a major anxiety attack. This resulted in a trip to Mayo Clinic and a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment, a form of senile dementia. Between those two crises and closing up my mother's estate, my world has been tumbled about. The grief over losing my mother, the shock of my husband's diagnosis, the effort to try to figure out what the future holds is, frankly, frightening. What to do. . . What to do. . .

My mom and I decided to go to counseling together. We've only been a few times, and it's had an amazing transformation in our relationship (I didn't think it was possible, frankly). I didn't really want to go, and have mixed feelings about the therapist. But, it's given me a lot of ease and peace of mind/clarity, to be able to be more myself ... and, amazingly, also be closer to her. I hope this keeps up!

My mother-in-law has retired after 26 years at the hospital. She has also had a total knee replacement again. She is always around now and really does not help out around the house, just sits on the porch or living room and plays on her Kindle. I understand she deserves a time of rest, but putting dishes in the dishwasher is not that hard. I am very glad she was able to retire and does not have to be concerned for her financial welfare. I hope she has a long, well deserved and enjoyable retirement.

Our son went on a pair of overnight outings that tested his boundaries in a major way and he not only succeeded, he triumphed. I've never been so proud of him

This only happened a few weeks ago, but my brother is actually communicable now. We we're at Eliza's house last night for the second night of Rosh Hashana and he actually gave me, his sister, a heartfelt hello and tight hug/acknowledgment. This is how siblings should be. Just realizing the opportunities for love and connectedness that are possible if we open the door.

I am in the middle of that milestone. I have just changed my work schedule to 60%, with the intention of retiring by summer of 2015. This is like "jumping off on a zipline"...you know that you've saved and saved, you know that you've checked all the required safety nets, but still.... and that is how I feel. I only hope that a year from now I will feel as relaxed and happy about this transition as I did when I actually did go ziplining.

My dad dying is the answer to a lot of questions right now, certainly all questions that end with THIS PAST YEAR. It's affected me in many ways, I may never process them all. I am trying to be better at completing things, better about treating myself well, better about being an open minded parent and person, because I remember that although he was not always this way, he valued this. I hope it makes me a better person, a better parent. If it does, it will have been worth it to lose him. If it doesn't, there is nothing I can do to bring him back, but I can work harder to make it meaningful.

One more time it comes back to my husband's cancer. Its not what I think of as a milestone but in a way it is one. We know that we will go on, one way or another. We know that we are together in this. We've been married so long and been through so much that this is just one more thing - and not. Our year has revolved around his cancer. It has affected our whole lives even if we expect it to be temporary. It has changed how we eat, move, when we go to bed, how much we go out or have people over, how much money there is available and how we spend it because we might need it later, and how we think about the future, and possibilities and what we would do if.... It doesn't matter what we rationally know or how much we must go on with our lives today, the what ifs live in their box in the corner and threaten to escape all the time. Its changed everything and almost nothing at the same time. We might have tomorrow and we might not.

My husband and I celebrated both our 60th birthdays and our 40th anniversary. It gives one food for thought as to where we have been and where we are going. It has been a good life!

no milestone

We got Isaac! Sweet cuddly happy chubby little baby boy. We love you!

Olivia's Bat Mitzvah made me realize how quickly she is growing up. It made me want to spend more time with her and passing on my 'wisdom' to her while I have the time.

My sister-in-law got pregnant with her first baby. Props for my bro and sis. I'll be meeting my niece/nephew next year come May.

My daughter completed a PhD. program and started her first full-time professional position. I was elated to attend the graduation and to accompany her to her new city. The graduation and employment marked a long-awaited launch and completion of a milestone, both for her and me.

Loosing my sweet, Downs Syndrome sister-in-law and my wife loosing her close, long time colleague, has given me an invaluable perspective that I will cherish forever. Loosing my brother this month only adds to that. I feel both sad at the loss and incredibly fortunate for what I do have. I also feel closer to friends and family, those around me.

I guess the biggest milestone for my family this year was my brother getting a divorce. We babysit for the kids a little more, but, see them less since my brother hasn't taken them to any of the car shows like he has done in previous years. Also, we haven't been invited to his house as often.

The end of July last year my Dad died. It has left me feeling bereft, lost in space and time.

My dad stopped drinking for a bit. He got some bad new back from the doctor on some blood work. So he quit drinking for a few months, and now mom says that he drinks much less. It was nice to be around him when he wasn't drinking at all. I told him that i was proud of him. I wish that he would have given it up altogether, but at least he's slowed down. In a way...well it made things better for a while, but now they've gone back to the way they were and if anything its worse b/c now i know how things /could/ be. It sucks, but there isn't much that i can do about it.

My 14-year-old granddaughter came out as being gay this past year. While already an ally I am now even more attuned to the need of support, encouragement, and allies of the LGBTQ community. As a pastor, God calls me to preach the radical inclusiveness of Jesus Christ - the accepting of all people who desire to follow the ways of Christ.

My husband finally started his church in college campus this year. He has been trying to open a church for a long time. We finally did it. I am very happy for him.

My grandpa turned 90 this year. He is a daily inspiration to me - always lived a life of integrity and selflessness. He has been through more pain than I could imagine, but remained happy, strong, and optimistic throughout. I am so lucky to still have him in my life and will work to appreciate and take advantage of every day remaining.

I don't have a family.

I got married. I am learning that I don't always need to be right, in fact, maybe it's better not to be right.

my aunt died a few months after we saw each other for the first time. i realized that it is very hard for me to get/ stay in contact with family members. if there is an ocean between you, it is sooo easy to give up. and still so sad.

My nephew had his bar mitzvah last fall and I didn't make our two older children attend. The day was not supposed to be a "big deal" and his parents didn't mind but I know I should have made sure that everyone was there to celebrate his day. I missed an important parenting moment about being there for family.

This year my father's daughter gave birth to a baby girl the day after my son's birthday. Also this year, on my mother's birthday, I saw my son for the first time in over a year. This has given me hope and courage, as well as some concern that perhaps since this was made possible, there is a way that I could be focusing my efforts more efficiently to make it possible more consistently. Mostly though, this line of thinking is at odds with my belief that everything will be fine and that faith heals. I find myself desiring both that my son be aware that I miss him and love him and my choice is for us to be together and that he be aware that I am fine and, on some level, all is well. I also desire for his father to be safe and happy. When I think about these things it seems that there is so much work to be done and so much that I don't yet understand about human relationships. And yet, in every moment, there is so much to be grateful for.

My youngest son is engaged to a wonderful girl and they will be married in November. I am delighted by this addition to our family, and excited for this new phase of my son's life. I can clearly remember when I was the engaged person, and my parents were looking forward to my wedding. This experience really makes me conscious of the cyclic nature of life, and the passage of time. It feels sweet.

When my kids turned 4, I had so many feelings. They weren't so little anymore, so it made me... - not feel as if I had to excuse for the weight I've put on, and I started getting serious about losing the weight because... - feel very behind on my plans to have another child and I want to start that process only when I'm at or close to a healthy weight. In some ways, their birthdays made me feel so far from the infant experience that I also began to worry that we won't want to go through the whole experience again because we're so far from it, which scares me because I know I'm not done.

Wow, there were so many, some not so happy and others very happy. So I will focus on the happy milestones this year. Teh most memorable was the high school graduation of my oldest son. I was so very proud of him and I could tell he was proud of himself as well. Reflecting on the impact this has had on our family and on me has been positive. He has grown up from the cute little boy he was only a few short years ago. He has become a responsible, loving, respectful, caring, and compassionate young man. He enrolled in a 4 year college and is currently studying nursing. I am so very proud of him. He was able to stay focused and meet his goal of graduation and college in spite of some family difficulties. I was diagnosed with colon cancer less than 2 weeks into his senior year in High School. This had an impact on him but also in a positive way. He even wrote about this in his college entrance questions. Our entire family can now see the value of perseverance and focus on a goal. He is loved more than he can imagine.

My son Richard graduated from high school, an event that was quite a bit more bitter than sweet, given that we were really at odds. He didn't recognize his graduation as a milestone, rejected the idea of any kind of ceremony, declined to have a party in his honor, big or small, and excluded my husband and I from his choir banquet, baccalaureate, and then refused to attend our church celebration of graduation. This was at the same time that he was moving out of our home in a giant rush. The capstone of my hurt feelings was the commencement ceremony, where he turned in his gown and made to leave before we even had a chance to greet him or take a picture. Up to that point, we had made a significant effort to help Richard have the quintessential "American teenage high school" experience - subsidizing his choir trip to NYC, encouraging him to be in plays and in the honors choir, purchasing his class ring, prom tickets and buying him a tux. It was hurtful to see him reject the final round of ceremonial events, because it felt like he was rejecting us. Because of his cognitive limitations, Richard was not able to complete the academic requirements for a traditional diploma, but was instead earning a certificate of achievement. This may have contributed to his reluctance to take part in the graduation-related events. Nevertheless, it really made me feel sad for what might have been. This brought back feelings of sadness for Richard's early childhood that was also lost to poverty, neglect, and abuse. It makes me wonder if he will lead a rich and full life.

There have been several milestones! Like, the purchase of two houses and a sweet little puppy. All with their particular stressors and a twinge of envy (the houses aren't mine, they are my significant others, and it has always been a dream of mine to own a home). However, my little dog has brought so much joy, fun, and love into our family that it makes all the other things seem small.

I went to a family reunion for the first time, in, wow, I don't know, 13 years. I left Ohio and haven't thought much about going back. But after bouncing around, I live in the Midwest again, Chicago, and its a short flight to reacquaint with the land and people from childhood. Its stirring seeing how everyone has shaped-up. Updates online are curated bullshit compared to standing in someones presence. Briefly hit the highlights of their life, making sure you've connected the dots on the places you've both gone or people you might know, but I found more interest later, after clean up you've lost planned arc of the day, there are fewer people around, but we were back on our own time. That's when I learned the ins and outs of the mechanical bull rental business, the hurry-up-then-wait life working maintenance in a cold storage facility, and where that scar came from, how everyone's life has changed with the progression of Debbie's MS. The unveiled little and big. Summer evenings brought me back too, humid, garage door open, surveying the yard slash neighborhood. How has this affected me? There are people I'm aware of but don't really have to to know, who tell me the love me and think about me, I do the same, its nice to have more family than I thought.

It saddenedme to learn my niece in law is fighting for her life and the fact that an opertion that left me with nerve damage and not as athletic as used to be could be far, far worse and stop whining, cannot change it and at least not in wheel chair.. While no longer able to run or even walk fast. I can walk, do not have cancer attacking me and I am 20 years her senior. I now know I should appreciate the fact, not just mouth it, that there are worse things that i cannot walk as fast as befor due to an error on part of neurosurgeon. Accept it. and try to do better towrds others fairing or adapting to far more challenges than this..

My son broke up with his girlfriend and I have been very glad since she was mean to him. He still sees her so that worries me some but at least he is much more independent of her.

My oldest son got married and moved to New Hampshire with his bride. It was a beautiful wedding and all their brothers and sisters were there. We all miss them, but I am so happy for him and Rachel. I wanted this for them for a very long time. I was not included in the celebration and that was hard.Time heals all wounds and I am hoping for an eventual reconciliation. This was only one day in a lifetime relationship of mother and son.

Buying this house has created a sense of stability in scenery that I feel will allow us to de stress and enjoy more activities. Less time wasted on searching and packing and moving. Time to enjoying trying new projects and learning new things! More room for friends to visit and to be more open for guest. Opening of arms!

My husband and I got married this past year. Our wedding happened on the 5th anniversary of the day we met. In terms of the effects, it is hard to know right now.

Me moving out and going to college has affected my family. My sis and I are closer now but it is always a hard adjustment to come back home.

Mom started feeling better. I feel relieved. I was scared for her and my dad there for a while and I saw how her illness was affecting their relationship. Dad really stepped up to the plate and took care of her in so many different ways. I really respect him for being such a strong person through those difficult months. For me it's a relief to see her come out of it. It was scary because I see so many of her qualities in myself and when I see her fall into a deep depression it makes me worry that i'll end up just like her. I'm so glad she's feeling better!

My husband had to have 5 bypass heart surgery on the 3rd of September. I havent seen any changes yet in the family but i seem to be more grounded and giving even though i have been working on a lot less than desireable sleep

Birth of 3rd grandchild, 2nd granddaughter. Get joy for the child's health and mother's and son's.

My son is in his final year of high school. So we are in SAT and college research land. Can't believe the time went by so quickly. He is a wonderful young man. I can't wait to see what he accomplishes in his life. I am also anticipating the empty nest that lies in my future. AND I finally got the guts to get an MRI. I got diagnosed with BRCA1 over a year ago and it took me far too long to have the MRI. It was a little scary and strange and I thought I was going to freak out and escape from the machine at one point, but I managed to calm myself down by pretending I was in a Sci Fi movie and I got through it. I have to have one annually for the rest of my life SO now I won't be a big baby about it anymore.

This goes back to my grandmother's illness. I know that she will not recover and only has a limited time left. Watching and hearing about her illness has reminded me that I have not had a significant loss since my mother died in 1981.

Eleanor!!! First niece. It was epic.

The questions is what is a milestone? My husband lost his job (ironically on Mother's day). Of course it has affected us in the normal sense of fear of loss of income but it has affected us in other ways as well. Our 8 year old son is angry and frustrated with his dad because he is embarressed that his dad does not work and he is upset that he cannot do a lot of the things his friends do because we just dont have the money right now. Also because my husband is not working he has more time to "pick on" our son and that does not make for a happy household. I as his wife am very resentful that I am carrying the burden. I own a business and it is a scary thing to own a business and I alwasy counted on having his salary as a back up. He does not appear to be looking for a job at all and as a result I am so angry at him. I want to know what it is that he does all day and what is it that is stopping him from looking for a job beside pride. If I were in his shoes, and I did not have a job and something was stopping me from looking for one, i would most certainly be doing something like volunteering for a good cause. It has also affected me in that he does as little as possible around the house. I would feel so much better if he were keeping the house clean and doing all the cooking etc. It is a true mess and I am upset by it and I am so hoping that things have changed for the better when I read this next year

My step-brother got married. I didn't think it would effect me at all, but the experience seems to have genuinely brought us closer together as siblings.

I really have no idea what a major family milestone would be for mine since we never really did anything. We never went anywhere, we didn't do anything, but I guess a lot of this is my fault since I spent most of my time with Elana or on the computer in my room with the door closed. I guess our family milestone is that we got along pretty well with my grandma because typically we fight with her, but I think everything was good this year. If I talk about extended family, normally I would talk about the Peysers, but this year it would have to be the Mayer/Goldenkoff and Smith family. They took me in and loved me just because I dated Elana. I think they really do love me and I'm glad, I love them too. They're all pretty great. I'm glad I got to know them. So maybe my milestone is actually expanding my family.

My brother got a girlfriend. Everyone has focused on him and his relationship so it's taken the heat off a little bit. Still getting the push from Momma Bear, though. The P's just bought a home in Michigan. It's really exciting. I hope we actually use it consistently and not take it for granted when the shimmer wears off.

It was my approval to the Army Officer Course and it contributed to separeted us

Isn't this kinda the same question as #1?

Confronting both my parents and moving out of the child role I have been locked in for too long It had given me a bigger sense of freedom an security in myself and a will to stay true to my adult truth

With my 90 year old mother in long term care, my sister and I had the experience of cleaning out our family home of 61 years. There were many layers of memories, emotions and hefty physical endurance to complete the task. For myself, it was an examining of the past, of my childhood and up until I was 18 years old, when I left the small town I was born and raised in. I was better able to understand the mental issues that affected my mother...her perfectionism that did not allow her to be truly self expressive in her artwork, or life. She made endless lists of what belonged to her, especially books, jewelry, and china. I had been aware of her shyness, depression, and anxiety she lived with and transmitted to my sister and I. But saw it in action through her writing, non-organization, hoarding...the needing to have things out and about that reflected not what she was, but who she wanted to be. But her shyness and fears, kept her from becoming what she wanted to be. Hence the relying on objects and stories to fill in the blanks. I understand that way too well, as I, myself have that same tendency. With these more tangible confirmations of my mother's inner workings, I have, and will continue, to be honest with myself and use my mother as an example to push me past anything in my thinking that would stop me from becoming a more fully participating, self expressive, human being.

My wife and I are both retired and consulting has pretty much stopped. So we have time for travel, for sports and yoga and community service. I have been pretty slack on the service, with exception of the synagogue. I feel a bit slothful, not using my resources to the fullest extent. I don't want to be solely a man of leisure for 20 odd years, but I also don't want to bind myself to a set schedule of work--paid or volunteer. So this is a year of seeking opportunity.

One would be my nephew's divorce, but the biggest is my dad's cancer. Mostly, it has brought my siblings together closer, but it also really made me reflect on my relationship with them and my role in this.

We became parents! It changed our lives forever and made me the person I am today. I have never been happier or full of love in my life!!

My dad and stepmom separated and got back together this past year. I saw the whole thing from a distance, since I'm an adult and no longer in their care. In the past, this kind of thing would've caused me a lot of anxiety and fear. However, this time I think I was able to connect with the situation emotionally as an adult connecting with two other adults. I was able to understand their perspectives in different ways than I would've in the past. The whole thing was very positive for me, because it solidified the fact that relationships are complex things that require work. They're things that can be fixed as long as you're willing to do what's required, and I think I was given a good idea of what that work looks like.

My son announced that I was going to be a grandfather. It made me even more introspective about my place in history and time, more conscious of mortality. One reason was, as I joked with people, your grnadfather is expected to die, your father is not. It's always a tragedy when someone's father dies, even if he is 85. But your grandfather? Then there's the issue of 5000 years of jewish living that I see my son ending. We're going back and forth on circumcision and a brit mllah, and if he does not do it, I'll feel something of a failure, that after 5000 years of jewish men before me, my son broke the link.

My younger son weaned from breastfeeding. I had been anticipating that the moment was coming, so I did not feel as heartbroken as I had when my oldest weaned, but I still grieved that this season of my life, of our lives, was ending. He was not my baby anymore. Our reconnection at the end of the day would no longer be an instant relief. Yet, his reaching this milestone was also positive. His personality began to emerge; we started to learn each other as separate people.

My grandma's skin disease due to stress and lonliness, my grandpa's fainting because of diabetes, my cousin was diagnosed with an incurable disease in her eyes and she is a photographer, my father broke his leg recently, my boyfriend's uncle was diagnosed with leukemia (he's still fighting). Obvoiusly, most of those things have made me very, very sad. though I'm looking forward a trip we are about to make together my mom, my man and I (that should be interesting).

Andrew finished High School. So glad he's out! He's relaxed, happier and not so angry any more.

My oldest daughter started college, across the country from home. It is hard to be without her even as I know it is her time to do what I did at her age. I realize this is a big step in her journey away from home, away from me and her mother. This has made me wonder what will come in our future relationship, and what impressions, knowledge, emotions from my being her father she will take with her. I hope they are mostly positive.

Moving out was a huge step: Initially my mother was against it and thought I was inflicting this unnecessary pressure on myself but when my brother came back, I was determined to leave. Eventually, my mom came around when I moved again with Ben. Recently, she and my brother parted ways and she's been staying at my place while she gets back on her feet which I love. Everything in the house, she bought for us when we moved. Utensils, plates, juicers and rice cooker. I'm glad that her kindness is coming full circle at a time she truly needs it.

My daughter finished elementary school and started middle school. I've already talked about this in question 1, but it was really the only milestone we had. It affected me in several ways: 1) it really hit me hard that the decision to only have 1 child meant that this was the first and last time I was going to have this happen. I have nothing to look back on and no consolation that I still have another going through. 2) it meant that cocoon of the nurturing community we'd been a part of for 6 year was no longer, it was time for both my daughter and me to move to the next phase (easier for her, I believe, than for me) 3) it made me very proud to see how well she's adapted to the new environment, new responsibilities, and new status quo. Someone very dear to me once said that it was self-centered to say we were proud of the accomplishments of our children, that it meant in some way, we were taking credit for it, where it was all their doing. I disagree on a few levels. The feeling of pride doesn't imply taking credit, just that my heart swells to think of her accomplishments. Further, I feel that perhaps I do have a part in the development of who she is, and while I know she's her own person, with her own spirit and personality, I am sure that she has been molded and encouraged by her parents and others around her to strengthen the qualities that make her special. I've struggled a great deal over the past few months with these changes, seeing how different the rules are in middle school - academically and (more frightening) socially. I can only hope that the foundation she has will help her to navigate these new dynamics with minimal scathing. Though I know that hurt and heartache will come. It's just part of growing up, and this mom will have to learn to help to navigate when asked and to stay out of it other times. The fun is just beginning!

My niece was born. I think it's brought us closer together. Even my dad cuddled her to get her to sleep whilst babysitting and he's really not that interested. She is so beautiful. I like to look at photos of her to cheer myself up. I hope she gets to know me and love me. It's been quite difficult with her because she's not a sociable baby. Last month though she sat on my lap, gave me her version of a kiss and a cuddle and laughed with me. I am still so happy about that. When she was first born I used to get upset after each visit because I was struggling with being on my own and not meeting anyone and my brother had this perfect family unit in a proper house with a garden. All the stuff I want. But I'm better at handling it now.

Getting married! Honestly, feels the same as before, just with more appliances.

I think it would be that we grew through adversity. Family now has a different definition for me in that I see my family as me and my two kids. The definition is evolving and will continue to evolve, hopefully in a positive and loving way.

For me, this last year could best be called the “Year of the Funeral”. These are not necessarily a “milestone”, but they have all had a major impact on my life. Instead of focusing on the impact of the loss, I want to discuss how family and friends helped to deflect some of the loss and will, I hope, have a continuing positive impact on my life over the next year. After going well over a decade without the loss of family or friend, I have been to 5 funerals over the last 12 months. What was good about each of them was the opportunity to visit with family and friends, some of whom I may not have seen in many years. I found the hugs given and received, the stories shared and just the presence of so many people that I am, or once was, close too, hugely comforting (and I hope that others found the same comfort). This is the “affect” for which I am so grateful. But more importantly, going forward I want to visit/hear from/share stories with family and friends, especially those in the “not seen in many years” and “once was” categories.

My brother has been living with me for the past year and he has been unable to find work. He is extremely well educated but his presentation is poor and I and the family believe he suffers from Asburger's syndrome. It has affected me many ways. First, I certainly understand how it feels to be unemployed and not be able to find work. I also know that after 17 months of not work, one must take whatever job is out there and not just the jobs you want. This has frustrated me and made me extremely angry because my brother gets a roof over his head, food in his betty, A/C/heating, laundry facilities and company both by me and my two dogs. Up until 3 months ago, he was only asked to give me 50% of the cost of the air conditioning because he is home during the day and normally, I would not be utilizing it. He has learned to help me clean and does feed and walk the dogs once a day. This is a huge change for him because he never had a relationship of any kind and doesn't understand those types of responsibilities. My brother is oblivious to the way he dresses and it drives me nuts. Prior to him working (on a job that lasted only month before they let him go) I made sure he had suitable business casual clothes i.e shirts, slacks, shoes and belt. He never wears these items - even when we go out to a dinner. When I mention that he kind of looks better other shirts and matching stuff, he gets very angry and tells me not to tell him what to do. He has a very small work - few friends and I believe his life is not easy. My sister and brother are purchasing an condo for him in Florida and the plan is for him to move out by Thanksgiving. I will be extremely thankful that I am finally alone in my home. I miss my privacy. I am sure he does too but actually, I leave the house at 7 a.m and don't return until 7 p.m. so he has 12 waking hours of privacy. I have about three! I feel very sorry for him but am beginning to believe that he needs to go on disability because at 58 it is doubtful that he will find the dream job of his choice.

My sister turned a christian and got herself baptised, white dress, half-drowned in a pool, hateful we-are-all-born-sinners-speech by preacher man, the lot. It was very, very hard to process for my parents and me. I cried my eyes out before, after and during the ceremony. It was like losing her. I am trying to deal with this, but don't feel very succesful yet.

My husband had his hip replaced. This made us both think about getting older. He was in a lot of pain for months before the surgery. So, it has also made me appreciate good health and feeling good. It makes me want to be more active (I kind of felt like we were an old couple before the surgery because he was so limited in what activities he could do). He isn't 100% yet, but he is getting there and we are more active than we were 4 months ago and I hope to become more and more active as time goes on.

Death of husband, Dad, grandfather, great-grandfather. Major loss to all - financial fear for me - event is still fresh in my mind/ one year anniversary coming up/ very lonesome/ he is omnipresent in all our lives and we are fine with that.

My brother's ex-wife, who was likely paranoid schizophrenic but so distrustful of "Western medicine" that she refused to have any encounters with it if she could, passed away from cancer, cared for her last few months by my brother, although they'd been divorced for a few years. My brother and I had been incommunicado after a riff some fifteen years ago prompted by her paranoid delusions, but I was moved by the compassion he showed by welcoming her back into his home and care, and reached out in several ways, with notes and emails and money to help him pay his rent. As a result I now have a relationship with him and his two kids, ages 18 and 14, all of whom I'm flying to New York for the wedding and paying for their hotel so that we can get to him them and they us. This has brought all us siblings together during a together of great transitions--my wedding, and our father's likely imminent passing. When I;d asked my father about six months ago if he had any regrets as he looked back on the scope of his life from the perspective of hospice care, he said he was only sorrow that my brother and i had never reconciled, so I am also glad to be helping him rest more easily on that front.

I wouldn't call this a milestone but today the month of September 25th we laid to rest our sister in law Rosie Coyne. She was sick for just about a year and finally her heart & body had enogh of the pain and she finally subcomed to her illness. We are all deeply saddened by this sad event in our lives. She part of our family for many years. My wife knew her the longest time as she was 13 younger than her brother when she first met Rosie. To my son Eric she was like a second mother. She helped my son through a trying period in his teenage years. And years later has Rosie health stRted to fail, Eric starting taking care of Roaie's needs. Losing Rosie at her age of 74, having juT hD her birthday leave a big whole in our lives and heart.

With me, it's my divorce. With my family of origin, my mom's health is failing mostly due to the unhealthy choices she has made her entire life. She has started falling, hitting her head, blacking out. She has gone to the hospital twice with a low pulse (39-45). It affects me in that I worry about her. However, I made the decision to move away from home and across the country to avoid getting sucked into the downward spiral of non-existant boundaries, unhealthy choices, and general chaos and negativity that surrounds my family.

we have cut communication with most of my husband's family. years and years of drama came to a head and the best option, for us, seemed to be to make a conscious decision to not allow that shit in our world. i don't think i know the full gravity of how this has affected me yet. i know that it has made our marriage stronger. and i have so much less anxiety now that i KNOW i don't have to put on a front. gone is the worry every time a text chimes in that it is going to be another attack on my husband or myself. it is sad to watch a family dissolve, but when it is this toxic, i don't know what else to do. we exist on alternate plains of reality.

A rapprochement I felt I'd made with my younger brother that I initiated last year petered out: he was unable to sustain contact and I don't want a relationship with anyone where I am doing all the heavy lifting. For a while, especially over the harsh winter, I felt sad and angry. Then I began feeling better as I explored ways I could make my life richer. And, lo and behold, I have made some new friends, who have greatly enriched my life!

My husband turned 65, but it was a pretty uneventful milestone. I don't think anything in our lives changed because of it.

My nephew turned one. Having a nephew, especially one that lives close to me, has affected my life tremendously. I love him so much, love watching him learn and grow and change. As he's learning to talk and new words come out of his mouth it's just amazing and adorable and perfect. Hearing "I love you Auntie" for the first time brought tears to my eyes. The other thing having a nephew has made me think about (more) is having kids of my own. As I get older and remain single, I still believe that while there are many wonderful single parents out there, if I have kids, I would like to be a parent with someone, and with someone I love. And while part of me will be sad if I never have my own kids, having a child isn't about me and my life, it's about what THEIR life will be like. And while I'm sure I could be a good single parent, I don't think it would be an ideal life for my child - I work a lot, and would have to continue to do so to support us, and without the emotional and financial support of a partner, I probably won't have children. Which can also have its upsides - more freedom to travel, to just do what I want on a daily basis, etc. There's no one right way to do anything, especially something as complex as parenthood. And if I become a parent, I want the reasons to not be about a biological clock but to be about love and family. And being around my nephew and his parents and seeing that up close has definitely made me think a lot about this.

My dad's health has not been good this year and it is getting worse . He has had cardiac issues and some mobility problems, neither of which can be addressed by surgery. His cognition is not impacted - just his physical health - something for which I am grateful. He is who himself - knows us, knows himself etc. Not something that all 80 year old men can lay claim to. He continues to work, to play and to engages in activities that give his life meaning and bring him, and those around him, joy. At the same time, I am frightened that he will continue to decline and this time next year he will no longer be living. I don't know what I will do without him. He has become such a good man - generous, giving, loving, not adjectives that you could have always used to describe him. He is a lynchpin in our family and I worry what will happen to us all if he is no longer here. I pray that we are strong enough to weather his loss but know that we will be forever changed when he does pass. My heart will be broken...

We entered a new phase of family life this year with all of our children out of the house -- we're empty nesters. We have four in college or technical school, one at a boarding high school, and the oldest is out of college and married. It really has been an interesting experience for me because I'm in graduate school at the same time as our children are in college. An interesting juxtaposition of stages of life. I'm still unsure as to the fuller impact because it seems that it hasn't provided any additional time for my wife and me to spend together, partly due to my class schedule and partly due to her getting involved in activities she has wanted to pursue.

My brother and his wife had a baby! He is a wonderful, happy boy who we all love very much. It has been great to see my parents happily take on their new roles as grandparents and everyone seems happier overall. My brother and sister-in-law are terrific parents and I know their little boy will start off his life with a strong, solid, loving foundation.

Starting five years ago we lost my father, uncle, mother and the first of two aunts. This past year we lost the last of my mother's siblings as well as the only remaining cousin of my father that I had contact with. Thus, I no longer have any direct contact with the generation that preceded me or others of my generation in my immediate family. This has made me feel a bit like a ship that has broken out of its mooring. I no longer have a living anchor to the past who can answer questions about our history or share my successes and life events. While I realize that I was very fortunate to have all of these people into the 90s, there is a smoldering sadness associated with their absence. The holidays focus attention on this loss, but it is always on my mind.

We moved! Liz and I had lived in the city for the past 20 years of our lives and decided that it was time to move to the suburbs for Casey. We felt he was missing out on some good kid stuff remaining in the city with its security limitations. At first I thought this would be mostly for him but have since realized that this is great for all of us. We moved north of the city to a lake hugging burb and could not be happier. We did not lose the city we gained a yard and a neighborhood. The city is so close that I feel like we like we have the best of everything now. This was a big deal for my family and for me.

The biggest milestone was obviously my uncle's death less than a year after my nana's. It was a huge part of my life changing experience in Israel but also affected me when I got home. It inspired me to volunteer for hospice. It made me grow up and realize that now I was at an age where I made a difference in my family and I could step up and do everything I could to help. It also brought me and my cousin and sister closer to each other.

Despite the fact that my wife is pregnant with our first child, I think my new job is a bigger milestone, or has at least had a bigger impact on my life. The new job has allowed me (and her) to be more financially secure which has in turn allowed her to quit her job and focus on the baby. This has made both of us much more happy and healthy. I'm sure that after the baby is born, these will flip-flop and the new job will be a distant second in the yearly milestones.

My brother and his wife had their first baby after going through in vitro. After losing both our parents in the last 5 years, this baby felt like a miracle and a reprieve of tremendous joy. This was the first grandchild that was born without my parents here, and it's bittersweet to kiss her little cheeks and watch my brother grow into an amazing father without my Mum and Dad here to see it too.

We moved into an apartment in January. It was a huge step because everything appeared to be out of our price range. I was worried, but everything has worked out great. A few weeks into our new place we got Cooper. He has brought so much love and joy to our family, and we couldn't be happier.

Major milestone? Mmmmm, my sister in law is pregnant. It's a big deal for me since I don't have kids and her children 'are my children' Has affected me in a good way, but also made me a bit envious that I don't have kids. A bit angry at God for not giving me the opportunity to marry or have children, but I try believe that there is a good reason for this and it's way beyond my comprehension. I trust in God and know that he has a reason for everything that happens to me.

The biggest milestones were: divorce, my son moving back in with his mom, and me getting a new job. These things are incredibly powerful and resonate with me every day. I love my job and am thrilled that I chose to go back into program management. I'm saddened by my son's choices, but think that he's safer and happier now than he was a year ago. And, the divorce has generally been a tremendous blessing that has freed me up to be my whole self.

we attended a great many funerals for close friends. Perhaps this is not so strange because my husband is 80 and many of our friends are his age or older. Nonetheless it is obviously always going to come as a shock and in turn we hold our remaining friends closer.

We came to the decision to start the process of seeking a buyer for our business. It hasn't affected me yet, except for the nervous anticipation about what is to come.

Mom finally finally finally broke up with her boyfriend. She deserves someone who can treat her well, someone who is happy and healthy and bright.

Ester's adoption. What a crazy string of events that brought her into our lives. And now, it's so apparent that it was meant to be. She is a perfect, adorable, opinionated toddler with the most lovable, kind and sweet big bro. I long to be closer to them and wish we lived in the same town. It hurts all of us to be so far away. I think her arrival has made me more compassionate and tolerant and patient.

A few. My son Aidan was in a musical "Footloose" and I was floored by his singing and dancing. He was awesome. He is a very talented athelete, but I really think he could act, sing and dance even more so than sports, if he wanted to. It made me very proud. Then my daughter Shea getting in at Purdue and choosing a tough major like Electrical engineering. Just amazing at how talented and smart she is. Again just very proud. Lastly, on a sad note my oldest brother Bill came to visit Indy from Arizona. He is in his 2nd or 3rd year of Alzhiemers. He is doing well but I am saddened by the fact that it has struck him at the age of 72. Bill has alsways been bright, positive, and very engaged. The thought of losing that in my brother is not only sad but frightening,....for him Theresa, the kids and all his grandkids. God bless them all but especially Bill.

My children went to visit their Uncle Michael on their own - flew there/back w/out a parent. Made them more independent/opened up their world. Was very positive!

We moved to our new house. This is both a house and hobby for me. I've already made a lot of changes in the house, and I've really enjoyed working on it. I wonder how much more will change over the next year!

My grandmother turned 80, which is a big deal in Bavarian culture. In terms of how it affected me, I'd say that it helped my grandmother make progress in her ongoing struggle to see me as an adult (even at the ripe old age of 33). I dressed up classy (visible tattoos, but also pearls, so hey) and did a rendition of "What a Wonderful World" with my husband and brother, and she hasn't stopped raving about any of it since. Yay us!

Ana wants to have babies. MOVE TO SEATTLE!

The death of my father was really rough! He was the person I felt closest to and I felt really alone. I was glad to be able to throw EXACTLY the party he would have wanted. He talked about this party for at least 15 years. He told me I had a $20,000 budget and told me where to have it. I will probably never have such an expensive party again. People had such a good time! The belly dancer was PERFECT! Food was great, unlimited drinks, great DJ, it was everything my dad would have wanted!!! I miss him so much. I will never get over his loss but I am doing all I can to live with the same joi de vivre he had! He loved his life!!!

My mom turned 70! I have seen through the years how good eating & exercise help to maintain youth and longevity. She is also not a sungodess (I have failed here as I enjoy my vitamin D -haha). I also have seen how keeping a sharp mind is important to daily routine. I have also learned that it is never to late to make a change in your life if lifelong issues creep up and changes need to be made.

I am becoming an aunt this year! So happy :)

My 18 year old left home to live with his girlfriend's family. We were so sad and angry about it--it felt like a slap in the face that he'd want to leave his nice, middle class family to live with her drinking, smoking, uneducated family. But now I see that he is happy and her family truly does care about him. So I've learned to calm down about it and hope that they find happiness either with each other or with other people.

My youngest son left for college. Now we are adjusting to the "empty nest". The first week was hard, but it is getting easier. I am trying to redefine my role now and figuring out how I want to spend my free time. I want to try to push myself to try a few new things this year.

There weren't any major milestone for us this year . No news is good news??

My mom who is 88 years old found out she has breast cancer. I had a very tumultuous relationship with my mother most of my life- we finally became friends when my father died, 10 years ago- a gift from him I called it. Watching her handle this- driving herself to radiation everyday- she is as tough as nails- not ready to leave this world yet- maybe never. Admiration is something I never thought I would have for her....live long enough and thing will surprise you!

Last Spring was the first anniversary of my mom's death. She passed away before I was 50 and my dad died before I was 40. I started assisting with care taking on and off when I was in my early 20's. I spent the first 1/3 of my life as a child, the second third being a participant in their care and now, this anniversary has forced me to face that the remaining third (or so) is up to me. My husband and I don't have kids and while I care about his parents, that journey of care-taking for them is one he will have to face (and it's coming on fast). So this anniversary helped me put paid to a major chapter in my life and while I have felt somewhat adrift, it is also quite freeing.

A major milestone this year was over coming being laid off this year. But though I over came it, it opened my eyes about what I want to do. As I age with A spinal condition I realize I have to slow down at some point and after the laid off experience I would like it to be sooner than later. So where as I am working again it is back in the rat race of old. Yes take the money while I can but at the same time have my eye on the greater plan and start to find that next thing which will allow me to better live with my limitations now. So this is an unfinished chapter but the door is open to the adventure...

moved from one state to another

104 year old grandma died this year. Can't say we were really surprised. Parents getting AC at the house is probably a bigger deal as is their thinking about finally selling.

I got engaged to the love of my life. We moved from Brooklyn to Boston. We founded a nonprofit together. Currently figuring out when to get married.

Mom nearly crying for joy when I showed up as a surprise while she was in rehab in early May. That was when I knew I was doing the right thing! C turning on me and accusing me of having my priorities wrong for spending my vacation time with them. Bummer.

Second child entered high school. Kind of mixed emotions. On one hand, I'm proud of seeing my boys mature into smart, self-sufficient young men who take more and more responsibility. On the other hand, I realize that we are moving into bigger worries (driving, pregnancies, partying, college and how to pay for it, etc).

The deaths of my sister and father were significant events the past year. I wrote about my sister in my first post. My father was steadfast in his Christian fsith. Only at the end of his life did I return to a Christian life. I think he was always hopeful I would return, but dubious of my return when I mentioned it to him very near the end of his life. I have thought a lot about my father's life -- child of the depression, WI I vet, married - and in love with - to only one woman, and steadfast and unquestioning in his Christian faith. These things do not describe me his eldest son. I think he loved me but never said so.

My grandma (my mom's mom) keeps getting sick. She has been in and out of the hospital a lot. I know that she is getting older and we have to accept that. I hope that she can make it to my high school graduation next year.

My partner and I recently split up after 8 1/2 years together. It's been extremely challenging, terrifying and invigorating all at the same time.

Right now, we're living that major milestone. There's not enough time to look back on it, and the final effect is still up in the air. I have a new job in a new industry, it's fixed, it's reliable, it's hard in ways I don't anticipate. My family is in crisis mode some 1200 miles away, packing, cleaning and preparing the sell the house that my girls have grown up in. My girls are unhappy, my wife is unhappy, we're apart, we're largely living on credit cards waiting for the house to sell. It's scary. The hope is things will get better.

My wife has decided to retire, and she seems very depressed. I don't know how this will affect us.

Mel moved out. woahhhh. cray cray

a very successful family retreat that affected me with the necessity of continuing all i have been doing to create atmosphere for sibling affection.

My family has always argued and fought over the tiniest of things. This past year however became a whole lot worse, when my aunt and I got into a huge disagreement. We're not as close and it feels as though I always have to have my guard up... Walking on egg shells. It's affecting me in so many ways, if family members are the people who you should trust and feel safe with and that's not happening... Who should you turn to, if not yourself?

My boy starting grade 8! Makes me think of him starting grade 9 next year!! Yikes!

Again, my answer is our new baby, Marshal. He has by far brought our family closer, when I didn't think we needed it. The girls all gravitate towards him when he comes in to the room. Mia calls to face time with him, even though his only word is "WHAT". He makes Grandma happy. Bryce plays with him and walks around with him. Everyone seems to want to hold him. How do you make a close knit family closer? Marshal.

My oldest daughter went to high school. My youngest daughter went to middle school. My middle niece and two of my cousins kids went to college. My mom and my aunt Marylin both had very scary hospitalizations. This year I really don't the passage of time. I realize that yes my kids are going to grow up. And yes someday relatively soon I am going to lose these very important women in my life. It was sobering and thinking about the impending loss of my mom & aunt is hard. But it also spurred me to start doing some things, to stop treading water and pretending that everything will stay still if I do.

My husband died. I'm not sure how to describe how it has affected me. I feel that if I were a house, I was burned to the ground. Only know, am I starting to survey the ruins. I am changed in profound ways that I am still discovering. It's changed the way I parent, the way I interact with my friends and family. You aren't supposed to be a widow at 40. There is no guide for it and people don't know what to do with you. The hurt and pain have dulled but they have not gone away. I don't know that it ever will.

I got married. !!!!!!!! It's only been 4 weeks, but I hope this has made me happier, more responsible, more accomplished feeling, more 'strategized for procreation'. I have a lot to give and hopefully I'll feel proud of giving my all to my family. !!

I started a new job that required me to work overtime, almost every day. As a result, I fell behind in so many things - exercising, visiting friends, spending time with my children, eating right, gardening, attending plays, swimming...my mental and physical health really suffered. I was so sad and frustrated.

Hmm, major milestone? Nothing really. The only thing is that I turned 29. It seems like the end of an era is coming... I'm not sure how I feel about it.

My mother's illness and death brought the immediately family closer together while other relatives opted to disengage. In those final days, we were able to say all the things we wanted to say. I am grateful to have been there in her final moments and that we had the opportunity to say good bye. I am forever changed by this experience.

My wife finished her intern year and started her radiology residency and I started dental school. It has changed my wife's schedule to being less busy and changed my schedule to way busier. The stress is not good for my health. I think things will slowly calm down once I get used to the routine.

Again, changing jobs, meant to change what I do. Basically I am no longer a family doctor taking care of underserved communities like I used to do in the past. I am an internal medicine doctor taking care of upper middle class people. In reality I really like the change, because my job is less stressful, but it misses the point to why I choose medicine in the first place. It is very recent, only 2 months into the change, but in have plans to eventually go back to the underserved world. I can't do this forever. This is not my calling.

A very dear friend's health has been declining rapidly. i pay her bills, keep up with her mail, visit a lot, but it certainly is very saddening. it has added pressure to me.

I reached age 62. Decades past this would have meant retirement. No way could I retire today.

We bought a house a little over a year ago. It was a good learning experience, and one of those things that makes you feel officially grown up. I think I'm glad we did it, though I've had a few days when I wasn't sure. Mortgage payments are lower than rent on average where we live, so I thought it was a fiscally sound decision, but we've spent a lot on house-related things, so I don't think it has really lowered our monthly expenses. But we're making an investment that might benefit us in the future, depending on whether my husband's job situation changes. I've had to confront the fact that I'm not good at housekeeping, organizing, or decorating. And it's more a lack of will than a lack of ability. I don't like this about myself. On the plus side, I fixed a leaky bath tub faucet myself, and I've learned to wield a cordless drill with aplomb. We also adopted a dog. This was something my husband really wanted; I would have waited longer, but I knew it was important to him. It was a big source of tension, though, as we disagreed profoundly on how best to train and discipline the dog when behavioral problems arose. I think my husband was disappointed that the skills he learned as a dog handler in the Marine Corps didn't translate smoothly into having a perfectly trained house pet. And I resented the amount of time I had to spend caring for the dog, and how that obligation fell to me by default because of my husband's heavy work schedule. I love the dog to pieces, though, and we've made a lot of improvement in training and behavior since we brought him home.

Robert has recurrent pancreatic cancer after the whipple procedure. THis has made me realize again how precious each day is and how fragile each person can become in a short time. I have opportunity to continue to build our relationship, and for that I am thankful.

Is death a milestone? Let's make it one. There can't be a bigger one when that's happened. How has it affected me? I'm low, so low. I'm not at the lowest point I've ever reached, perhaps, but I'm lowest I've ever been for such a long period of time. There's too much pressure on me, too little room for my own grief, loss, sadness. I can't show anyone in my family how I really feel because I can't take any more of anyone else's feelings. So it's all shut up inside and I'm smothered. I don't know how to get out of the hollow I'm in. I need an outside force, someone to lift me just a little so I can keep my head up for long enough to find some air. But there is no-one. I'm alone and living without love, like I have for many years now, but half the unconditional love I received, the background love that was always there and I took for granted (because I could) is gone. There's not enough left behind for me to generate my own energy. I want my energy back in my body, the light back in my face, the laugh back in my lungs. I'm a hollow in a hollow.

My sister has been cancer free for over a year! Last year, I fully expected her to be dead or dying this year and the fact that her bi-monthly brain scans continue to be free of cancer is a miracle. While I'm still aware of the part of me that is bracing for bad news, it's been amazing to let go of the daily preparedness for dealing with all it will mean if the cancer returns.

My father's gradual transition up from acute rehab and down into a slow assisted living decline has rearranged my relationships with my mother and brother, in occasionally horrible ways. I became the competent one in a crisis again, or at least that is how it felt for most of the past year. If I am in the sandwich generation, the top layer got suddenly very, very heavy, weighing enormously on my psyche and energy levels. That in turn hurt my marriage and my ability to be up and lively for my daughter, who thinks I am "tired all the time."

my brother and sister in law got divorced. In some ways it has been good. My brother seems happier and healthier, and he has made an effort to be closer to all of us. I've really enjoyed talking to him more frequently. I do miss my sister in law-- the family vacation was different without her-- and I feel very protective of my nieces and nephew who, like all of us, probably thought they had a great family till everything unraveled. I'm proud of my brother for working through this with him, and I hope that my sister in law can get herself to a good place.

My wife and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary by having a well attended ceremony. We enjoyed the love and fellowship around our union. It has affected me tremendously as I know I have found my life partner, my beshert.

Almost simultaneously, my youngest turned 30 and got a job in the field for which he had trained. We are all ecstatic for him!

My sister finally started college. This is such a huge milestone for my family because it now means that my sister and I have both validated the sacrifices that my parents have made. It also means that we both have chosen to make decisions that will make our futures brighter. More importantly, my sister's decision is a reflection of how far she has come. As a family unit, we have always had to fight for my sister's wellbeing. She has been sick and has had many more downs than ups. But she has finally taken charge of her life and has become a beacon of light, an inspiration. She refuses to let anything or anyone bring her down and is committed to herself and her happiness. I love that she took her time to get to this point because is strengthened her resolve. I also love that it has helped her become the person she has always wanted to be... herself. There is a newfound glow and shine in her eyes that highlights how far she has come in her personal journey. For me, it is a renewal in the strength of our family and in our resolve to create brighter futures for ourselves. It is a renewal of our love and of our faith. And I find that this simple event has already made me reflect so much on my own journey and on our journey as a family. I am humbled by my family's strength and grateful that we have used all the challenges we have faced as opportunities for growth.

We moved to Paradise and got separated. Sold the only "home" we knew -to the right people. Affected -jury is out, still processing.

A rift between me and my younger sister closed over this last year and our relationship has undergone what feels like healing--part of this healing is no longer making assumptions about my younger sister and allowing distance between us. Our differences are substantial and (paradoxically our similarity as we are biological sisters and close in age); but our worldview, values, interests and philosophy for living require degrees of separation. I have no control over the projections of others and understanding this no longer allow projection to color me. Keeping distance and a certain level of formality in our relationship assures this and over time--about 4 years--she has outreached to me in a way indicating she wants and values having a relationship with me, (something I needed). At first I had to stop having any relationship with her and her husband. There had to be complete separation in order for me to ravel the threads that had become so entangled. In retrospect I realize much of the problem was her husband, who has had both mental and physical health issues, unacknowledged at the time. Shortly after the cut-off he found he had a brain tumor and with two surgeries to remove the tumor, has a completely different, (more open and loving), personality. In this separating I realized I have nothing to be ashamed of and that my intentions are basically good. My place in the family has always been colored emotionally as somewhat of a "black sheep". As long as I accepted this "role" the saga of the black sheep would continue--it required an acceptance of the role on my part. The breaking of ties...allowed me to put an end to this cycle within my immediate family. Interestingly it affected all my relationships. I have no problem setting limits and boundaries when needed. It is easier for me to hear the small visceral voice, so easily over-ruled by my heart and my head. That gut feeling, ignored, would always get me into trouble--projected upon, misunderstood, harmed. Consequently I have lost excess weight I was carrying around with me, am less afraid and more confident. It is easier to see the energy coming at me, to see and feel the projections and side-step--knowing this energy is not about me at all. Oddly, I am less afraid of confrontation--a healthy confronting--where the interest is balancing and justice.

There wasn't such a significant milestone that happened with my family the past year beside that my oldest son got a new job and he's happy with.

Our son got a big-boy bed. Seeing him sleep in it, looking so long, makes me realize how quickly time passes. He is almost 5, and I remember his birth like yesterday. It's sobering.

The biggest thing is the bringing together of the two families and Anders graduating. The first stopped the 100 questions everyone had about how this is all going to play out. We got married. That means x is your step brother, y is your cousin etc. Anders graduating got him out of Cat's hair. He's off living his life and now everyone is trying to treat him like an adult, whether he likes it or not.

My daughter came out as trans and is now identifying as male. My ex-wife and I have been supportive but I also feel like I've lost my daughter in a way.

Our daughter got married. Plus they moved in with us to save money. I don't think I'd get to know my son-in-law as well if they hadn't lived with us.

Due to a divorce, my first marriage ended in 1986, I never gotten to see or talk with to my 2nd daughter name Keena Danelle (Rader) Dearing Krestler.. Keena call me while I was in the hospital (UW Medical Center on 09.10.2014. We talked about how much I loved her, and missed Keena Danielle (RADER) Dearing Kesler. We also talked on 09.10.2015, about what happened with the marriage, between that Nannette L and I. It was great to hear from Keena. Keena lives in Douglasville, Georgia. She has three children. I'd love Keena & Chaqeeta, very much. My daughters, are both married. One day I will talk to both again. My daughter's birthday are: Chaqeeta Hannah (Rader) Dearing Gable - 09.19.1982,

B and I got married! I'm so excited we were finally able to finish everything up with the wedding and although were committed to each other before, taking this legal step made it that much more real. Still crazy about each other!

I married the love of my life on May 10, and we found out we're expecting our first baby on June 9. It has been an incredibly awesome whirlwind and one that has forced me to be more flexible. I've never been particularly good with change -- no matter what that change is. But now, I'm having to adapt and change and watch our family grow... and it's been incredible!

Although I already mentioned this one Day 1, my sister's wedding was definitely a significant milestone with my family this past year. It physically and emotionally expanded our family, showed me once again the depth of love, care, kindness, and strength of my family, and allowed us all to play significant roles in something that changed our lives forever. It was joyous and made me realize that I also want to be married someday and continue growing with and closer to my family.

My partner's son adopted the two little boys he'd been fostering. He's a single dad to two four/five-year-olds now (one had his 5th birthday this week, the other has his next month), and Stan is sooooooooo proud of him! It's fun watching my sweetie have fun being Grandpa, especially since this has been such a rough year in other ways :-) It's also a little scary, because his son is a black man raising two white boys in a smallish town. The boys haven't picked up on the racism yet, but they will I'm pretty sure.

This last year my oldest child became addicted to heroin and meth. It has taught me that I am far stronger than I ever thought possible and that my love for my children runs far deeper than I could have ever imagined. The affect of this has devastated me, has taught me more than I can comprehend yet, and both brought me to my knees and drug me up by my bootstraps.

My father turned 91 years of age. Until December 14, 2013 he has had wonderful health. On that day he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. After 27 radiation treatments, he was rechecked several months later. Biopsy showed he still has some cancer cells. Devistation for my family. He was at an event to honor his thousands of hours of being a docent......someone had their walker laying down and he tripped and fell injuring him. Two pelvic fractures and the skin on his arms are thin as tissue paper, they were badly ripped. After 10 weeks of pain, he started to heal. One thing after another, He fell out of bed....broke his back. My Poor dad.

I am very proud of my 2 sons & granddaughters achievements!j

A major milestone in this past year with my family, was when we went tonEurope together and had a blast!!!! This has affected me, because it made me realize that when I am with my family, I can get through any fear. This is because, at first I was really nervous about going out of the country and going into a really big place with big towns and a ton of people!!!!! When I am with the people I love, and when I know they are beside me, I can get past any fear all of the time!!!!!

Our family income has been cut severely in the past two years. The first cut came when I retired, and the second cut came this year when the company my wife works for reorganized and while she moved to another job, her salary was cut significantly. We have had to learn how to do with less of everything - but mostly the luxuries and discretionary spending. We have learned how to cook more at home instead of going out, which means more time together. We have had to cut back on trips and vacations but have learned how to enjoy time together without outside stimulus. we have also had to consider downsizing our home and moving to smaller quarters. surprisingly, this seems to be a positive and exciting opportunity, not the sad or unhappy event I anticipated.

Mother celebrated her 90th birthday. I am very proud of her longevity even though her memory loss makes me wonder what the years are for if she has no recollection of them.

There were a couple of milestones this year. Firstly, my nephew broke up with his girlfriend. Initially, he was going to look after the children but in the end they went with the mother. They had to sell their flat and he moved back in with my sister. He sees the kids every weekend and very other weekend, the kids stay at my sister's. It doesn't really impact me but I'm glad that my sister is getting to see her grandchildren. Often in breakups the grand parents are the ones who lose out. Also, Uncle Ronnie died. He's my mother's younger brother and my last uncle. So, no more direct relatives. Not sure how I feel about it. I didn't know really know him that well and I'm not sure that I liked him. But he was a relative.

In addition to the birth of our last child a bit more than a year ago, my grandmother passed. She was the original version of me, and all my life I had worried how I would be able to go on when she passed. For better or worse, my life is so full now that that worry was moot. Three small kids don't stop needing care because their great-grandmother died. My job doesn't stop for it, at least not for long. I don't know that I got to mourn, really, but living such a full life may be the way I am honoring her legacy. But I miss her so much it hurts.

With my immediate family, a major milestone pregnancy with baby number two. This is affected me in a different feeling joy excitement and sobriety. I'm so excited for Izzy to have a sibling. So excited to grow family. I love being a dad. Lindy is such phenomenal.. Parenting is so demanding stretching especially discipline. But it is by far one of my absolute nearest joys and find a spot. I love seeing my son grow and learn and experience new things.

I tuned 70. I have a hard time understanding in any meaningful way that I am this old or that I have accrued 70 years of experiences. The living examples are in front of me: my son will turn 50 in December and my daughter turned 44 in July. Our grandchildren are 23, 18, and 18 months. This birthday only means something to me because it coincides with a lessening of my physical capabilities and an increased awareness of illness, dying, and death. I am remembering how my dear friend Lucy wanted to reach 70; she did and she died two days later. On the other hand, turning 70 makes me want to be mindful of every minute of every experience of every day. I am in the classroom with young people most of the time and I find myself being delighted all over again at things they are first finding out about or experiencing. My body feels old/older...my mind and heart feel awakened and much younger. I live amongst it all.

The milestone in my life with my stepfamily is that I can no longer be a part of their alcoholism. This makes me distant from them, unnattached to them. This is sad because I had such great hopes when I married into this family (I have no children myself.). The bottom line is that I grew up with alcoholism, I require that my husband not overindulge, I stopped drinking myself and I won't be around people who see alcohol as their only way of nurturing themselves. I think that I have figured out that I have to create my own family.

I'm not sure if all of this happened within the past year, but my sister broke up with the father of her three children and got together within another man who is now the father-to-be of her fourth. I'm not sure if I've seen her at all this year. I feel a bit estranged. It's partly my fault, of course. I make occasional attempts to Skype but don't follow through with it if she's not available. I also haven't been to visit her in Ireland since (I think) 2010 or maybe 2011. My niece, her eldest, is now at the age (9 years old) I was when I was a proper human being and able to interact with adults on what was starting to feel like a more level playing field (my uncles, my rugby coach). I haven't made that effort to know what's going on in their lives and to be a part of it. It's a pretty big deal: your sister having her fourth child. Why don't I care more? I think I'm a bit jealous of the intimacy my sister and I used to share. She has changed quite a lot and I'm sure I have as well. I guess I want to talk to her about our lives, not about the kids all the time; but the kids are a huge part of her life (but not all of it, of course).

My daughter finally graduated from college. I am very proud of her. We had a wonderful celebration. Her father andI are divorced, he had recently been hospitalized for emotional and mental conditions, and she had been the one to initiate involuntary commitment. This was something that had to be done for everyone's safety. So I was very proud of her for that as well.

Moving out from home. This new indipendence free from the suffocation that parents naturally provide, allowed me to love both my mother and my father more.

We have a new family member. My nephew and his beautiful wife had a baby on my Father's birthday. She was named after her maternal great grandmother who happens to have the same name as her father's great grandmother, Cora. And now to my great joy we have diluted the pasty white skin we all sport. Now we are really American even though we have been here for generations.

My oldest grandchild went of to college. it reinforced the powers of the waves rolling in and out; the cycles of each of our lives; the cycles of the generations ; the cycles of a family. the cycles of beginnings and endings. and my accute sensitivity to endings. my ending. without fear. even with satisfaction that i will have completed my work as a mother, as a grandmother. perhaps as a wife. as a healer of trauma. i have done and continue to do good work.

the major milestone is that I got through the whole year somewhat intact, without Joe. I went through every single of the year's days and every single of the year's nights. I cried. I smiled. I breathed. I walked. I did bills. I travelled. Alone. I functioned more or less all right. The major milestone seems to be that I survived and even at times enjoyed the mundane. In fact I Strove for the mundane. The most ordinary of activities often proved the most pleasurable: The taste of my coffee. The hello from a fellow swimmer at the jcc. The smile from a stranger passing on the Street.

My brother-in-law passed away. Now my sister is alone and has been sad. I need to talk to her regularly to help her know that others still care about her. I am not very good about this.

Paul made a phone and got more patents. Steven made it to store manager and joined the volunteer fire/ems crew. PJ got married in June and I felt guilty for missing out since all of the cousins were together along with Grandma, and as he was the first grandchild to get married. Dad finally got his knee surgery. It took a toll on everyone. Xmas eve was spent in the hospital eating baked clams and playing Cards Against Humanity. I can't think of a major milestone that's affected our immediate family collectively or brought us all closer together. Dad's surgery has only added to the mountain of debt and his overall attitude ant outlook has impacted Mom and Steven and they come to vent to me about him. So it's only brought some of us closer, I guess. But not in a positive way, and not in a way in which we faced adversity together and overcame it.

My Grandma Wilson turned 80. I'm so glad to have had her in my life for such a long time but as she turns 80 I start to realize that that won't always be the case. She's the most brilliant beautiful thoughtful woman I've ever met and no one has ever loved me more. Her birthday affected me because I realize how precious the time is that I have with her. I really can't imagine my life without her… i'm not sure who I am without her. I imagine that without her I won't really have what it feels like a family. I love my parents but there's something missing there… that comradery I share with my grandmother. I can be myself with a member of my family... How often does that ever happened.

At the beginning of the year, my older daughter came out as transgender, and soon after that began hormone treatments, and now I have a daughter and a son. I won't lie: it's been a big adjustment. You think of your child as one thing for, in this case, 21 years, and you call that child by a particular name for the same duration, and the switch of name, pronoun and thinking isn't automatic. It's also been accompanied by some sadness, but not for the reason you'd think: I'm sad to think that my son was so miserable as my daughter, but wasn't able to express it or tell me, and that I was unable to figure out the depression and awkwardness he'd always lived with. It took some work on all of our parts, not to accept the different gender, but to re-establish a balance of relationships, and while my daughter was incredibly supportive of her brother, she had some problems of feeling that there wasn't enough attention to go around. We've all adjusted, more or less, and I can honestly say that I much prefer having a happy son to an unhappy daughter. It's also made me completely intolerant of highly orthodox families who sit shiva when an offspring marries outside of the faith or adopts a more secular lifestyle. Children are a gift to be treasured, not homunculi in the image of their parents.

Well, both children are now out of college and weaving their way into life as adults. This event most certainly prompts reflection on the stages of life and which one(s) Jian and I are currently going through. We start to feel just how short life is for us all and that we must try to enjoy each moment of each day, looking for ways to be truly happy.

I'm not sure that the death of my husband should be considered as a milestone. I can think of a multitude of events that would better qualify. It was relatively obvious to say that Reg's death is a watershed event for me and my son. We have suffered more than I ever thought possible. Yesterday's recitation of the Kaddish was excruciating. I can only pray that as the years pass by it will be easier to think of my husband and observe Shabbat and the Holy Days with less pain.

My time with my children was being threatened by their mother. She was taking me to court to have my parenting time reduced, which would in turn increase the amount of child support that she would receive. In the end, the judge confirmed my time with the children, and lowered my child support obligation because it turned out that I was already overpaying her. It's has affected all of us in different ways. While my stress level has been reduced because the fear of the unknown is now gone, it has increased because I've seen what the added tension over losing this court battle has done to my children. They feel the animosity that my ex-wife has for me, and they are afraid to show affection toward me in front of her. I'd love to have a better relationship with her, but it doesn't seem likely.

The major milestone was my finally getting a tenure-track job back in the United States. It has allowed me to spend more time with the family, live with my two dogs again, and begin to envision a more stable future.

Susan's diabetes, heart problems and multiple hospitalizations... Liz's colorectal cancer diagnosis--but more so the treatment, near death, hospital, her anger, "rehab"... multiple trips to B'ham exhaustion and worry if things would get better & if I'd have to go back to work then Barb passed away...and I missed her so much...jeopardy, pen gifts, notebooks, every mention of space or pugs or Florida! I lived through it and am proud I did.

My 43 year old daughter became pregnant. Woohoo! I thought the time was past for grandchildren. I know we have unofficially adopted the little boys, children of our unofficial foster daughter, but now that she has passed away and their father has remarried and moved on, that connection will grow ever harder to maintain. While that saddens me, the thought of our own grandchild fills me with joy. Strange that a heart can be filled with both joy and sadness at the same time.

My parents are shutting down the business they've owned for 30 years. This is after a number of years of hardship. I feel proud of them that they built this business from the ground up and have made it for so long, feel sad for them that they are being forced to shut it down, and have hope for them that the future is bright and that this will relieve a lot of their stress.

My brothers and I have all left our state of origin. I'm in San diego, my twin is moving to NC, and my younger is still traveling, trying to pick the right place for him and his lady. My parents are missing us, and it's a hallmark example of how growing older makes things change. I hadn't seen either of my brothers in over a year. It's just one of those things.

My parents got divorced. For real. But they are probably better off, as my dad is much happier. And my mom I think is probably relieved, although it has been hard on her. Well, it definitely has had an effect on me. I feel more like an adult now, and can understand where it ce from. But to be honest, it hurts to not have the holidays together anymore, even if they weren't romantic and a little awkward, i miss all of us together. It happened so fast. I'm hoping to reflect more on this, and embrace how things are now and will be.

First year of university. leaving high school is a big change. I'm lazier but I'm happier

My Mother passed away in December and left a huge hole in the family. I observed my siblings and how they dealt with her illness and eventual death. I was intrigued as to how each of us saw the situation differently. Some wanted her to hold on to life even though it was obvious that each day was a struggle and she was tired of fighting. Some knew she needed to go and encouraged her to stop trying to hold on for the others sake. She eventually fell and shattered her hip which was not treatable given her condition. They moved her to hospice and she left the world 3 days later. I am glad she was released from her pain and suffering.

I am not sure if this is a major 'milestone', but my uncle passed away last year. He was the last of my mother's siblings to pass away and so now that entire side of my family tree is gone. I have 2 remaining cousins that I am aware of, but only one of those is someone I keep in contact on a regular basis. This passing definitely made me think about families and my own mortality. My mother and her siblings passed away at an early age, which has potentially convinced me that I won't be living in the world for a long time. This feeling has really pushed me to pursue the things in my life that I want to pursue and not wait for 'retirement' or something else...what if I never get there? My mother didn't. I also find it interesting, because my cousin has started a family of her own for this same reason...which makes me ponder just what my own priorities are. In a way, this question made me ask more questions about what a milestone is? It also made me reflect on family and my own relationship with mine.

Well Zoe's a sophomore at MIT and last year was more of an intense change with her being gone, but this is the first year that I see her as a really independent adult. I also became very aware of the finiteness of money and how I'm going to do some of the stuff I wNt and still get the money to last until I die. It's caused me to have a meeting w financial advisor and actually organize myself. Have to get a tooth pulled and an implant which makes me feel sad and old.

A major milestone would probably have to be the return of my sister from Israel. During a fight in the car she sobbed to me that it'd been 8 years, hadn't that been enough separation. To which I responded: that hadn't been 8 years of no contact. It hadn't even been 8 years of pleasant contact. Wether I fooled myself into thinking otherwise or not, every time I was going to see her I secretly expected to worst. This time was no different. It seems like she's changed in every way but the most important ways. I have no doubt that she's always wanted the best, she still does. I just don't know how much she empathy she possesses for the rest of us. If she wants the best she'll have to have more than she does now. I've realized, for right now, I have no particular desire to be the bigger person. I am happy to wallow in my resentment. This is because for once, I am truly in no way obligated to do what she wants or expects me to do. I have no doubt that eventually time will bring healing. I just have no idea how much time that will be. This recent return has very much cemented the fact it will be anything but immediate.

My sister turned 50. She (and I) are in great shape. But it makes me consider mortality and the inexorable passage of time. I feel I am living a good life. I am happy with where I am in my job, my family and my body. I should be more comfortable with how time is slipping by. I'm gonna work on that.

Clearly, that is Margo's passing. It changed the orientation of our home since she died in February. We have tried to slow down, with mixed results. I've tried to let go of insisting things go my way. I've accepted things needing to change because Mae's grieving needed space. And, most recently as the grieving process has softened, it has started to open up some space to imagine the future differently as a result of no longer caring for Margo, for whom we offered great care since 1999.

My son, Max, decided at age 24 to complete his college degree. It was entirely his decision, after years of academic struggle, starting in 9th grade. I was impressed and a bit surprised - but above all, delighted; not in my head, but in my heart. I don't know what major he'll declare, or what his grades will be. I am impressed with his courage. After so much pain and disappointment, he found the courage to get back up on the "horse" and continue to ride. I know he's still feeling a bit unsteady, but he's getting it done, and doing well. It gives me hope that he - and other young people who struggle with not being classic classroom kids can take charge and charge forward. I love my son; not for going back to school but for his vision and determination. I love my son.

My sister and brother/sister in law have gotten into a major disagreement. My parents are very pissed about the whole matter. There have been no family get togethers for any holidays. I am recently divorced and I am left very much in the middle to saddle each side without offending them. I feel very lost and disconnected

Mother came close to death and thankfully, recovered. This has increased awareness of my health and the future.

I don't think there has been a major milestone this year. No births, no deaths, no marriages, no divorces. There have been a few tentative reconnections but they are not immediate to me. It seems that we are remarkably stable and even-keeled. Go figure.

My grandson was born. My son and the baby's mother were engaged, but the wedding was called off before it even got planned. That's probably a very good thing, to be honest. The baby is delightful, I wish I got more time to spend with him but since my son only gets a few days of visitation each month and he lives a couple of hours' drive from me. I think this really challenged my beliefs about being married before children arrive. While the situation my son & grandson is may not be considered "the ideal", he is proving himself to be an excellent father, and my grandson is a very happy baby. And for people who "disapprove" -- just get over it.

A major milestone that my family has experienced this past year is sending one of my older brothers off to college. My oldest brother is in college, but it is within the state and he applied as a commuting student. My second older brother now goes to school down in Virginia. We as a family were excited for him and he was just as excited to attend such a prestigious university. He worked hard all through high school and excelled in swimming. Now was his chance to finally live as a young adult. Yet, the fourth years at the university were a bunch of assholes. My brother has already gone through shit in swimming, the team he swam for was awful; the coach focused all attention and resource on one swimmer and he ignored what my brother had to offer. Besides the unsaid hazing my brother experienced (he did switch teams at the end of his graduating year, of whom the coaching and teammates could go unmatched in kindness and friendship), it would be a warm up for to what he was about to experience at the university of his choice. The fourth years are real wack jobs and they forcefully change my brother in unforgivable ways. They took what he made of his life to be and shattered it, injuring his mental state of mind. I am schocked, nonetheless, deeply disappointed in those boys who do not deserve to be called young adults. Justice has not been served and never will be for my brother and the other first year swimmers. The coach refused to let my parents become involved, a belief that goes hand in hand with what the university wants from their attending students, a severed connection from any parental involvement. My brother, knowing him since I lived in the same room for nearly 17 years, could not feel anymore alone than he already is. He requested for a release and is now making plans to transfer out to bring his talent somewhere else by the end of the fall semester. Yet, the boys who harmed my brother are practically being sheltered by the university in the hopes that this will all blow over. The board of the university delay the decision that even if they did conclude to, it would be against my family in some way. But those fourth year boys keep walking without a care in the world, where is the justice in that? They ruined my brother, robbed him of what he could contribute to his sport and university, and yet they walk free. Where is my justice? Where is my brother’s justice? Where is the justice for my mother, who cried when she heard what they did to him and made my brother do? Where is the justice that my father wants, who is so angered that it would take no less than 1,000 men to hold him back from these ignorant fools? Where is the alleviation of the pain we have suffered as a family when we have just recovered from the hell he went through on his original team? Where is the justice for me, in knowing that some thugs hurt my brother? I am graduating in less than 120 days, and my grades are not where they should be, nor am I in a good position for college either. I need someone to help my brother in order to help me regain what has been lost. Where is my justice?

My fourth grand child was born after literally years of trying and tragedy for her parents. Brooke never ceases to amaze me: she exists, is so boringly healthy, totally no drama. Just an adorable little girl who likes avocado and moving on her own. When she was born, I let out five years of held breath and marvelled.

No big milestones in 2014

I had to hire a health aide. Essentially I am a very independent person who thought I could "do it all" After finally realizing that I do need help it has made my life easier and calmed my children's fears.

The birth of my son was profound and life changing. It's hard to fully understand the all impacts his birth will have.

This is easy. I got a cochlear implant, which was supposed to improve upon my profound hearing loss. Right now I am hearing lots of environmental sounds that were completely silent to me--rain, the phone ringing & doorbell, birds, babies playing quietly, crunchy leaves underfoot, someone calling me from across the room. Voices & speech still allude me much of the time--in person, on the phone, at parties, in restaurants,you name it. It is supposed too get better with time & practice.

Hmmm...none. My nephew got married. His grandmother, who I knew for years, died. I don't know...I try not to think in "milestone" terms too much. For me, that leads to looking at the past and being sad. I've spent too much of my life being sad. I don't want to do that anymore. 45 years since my Mom died. 33 years since my Dad died. 8 years since my divorce. 13 years since 9/11. 10 years since I went in Greece. 8 years since I've been to Eleuthera. What's the point?

This year the family home that I raised my children in sold. My ex did very well in the sale and has finally moved away from where I live. The sad part is the home we raised our children in is gone. The happy part is we can all now move forward and the past will simply be a memory.

My son got his contracting license and remodeled our home so we have a lovely modern kitchen and great room. We are so proud of him!

My eldest daughter graduated from College. I have been more aware of family and trying to reconnect with them.

Rs- my event in Miami. It made me proud of mysel. I see no reason to run myself. Np - the last child flew the nest, leaving for college. I was surprisingly calm because I felt she knew what she is doing. Jp - the first enjoyable family vacation with all of us together and essentially as adults, getting on. We had not been willing to risk this for many years (maybe 10). And personally i am happy for the first time ever with fatherhood.

The biggest milestone is the death of Joan's dad, but I've written about that for question 1. The next biggest milestone is becoming empty nesters. Max went off to college this year, and we have no kids at home. Joan and I knew this day would come, but for almost 26 years, we've always had responsibilities at home, places to take the kids, homework to help with (that was mostly Joan), and shopping to do. Now, there's no one to blame but each other when my shirt ends up in the backyard because one of the dogs carried it out (I'm sure it was Joan that let Emma out when she had the shirt in her mouth. She's sure it was me.) Joan and I have a lot more time together. We take the dogs to the dog park at least a couple of times per week. I think we talk more. We don't fight as much about the kids, or about other things. That might also be because of her lower stress levels, although she doesn't sleep enough and suffers as a result. I'm even finding myself working a bit less. Trying to get out a little earlier on weeknights and only coming in one day over the weekend. All in all, a great advance for us.

Well, first came Dave's draft to the Reds--turns out that fastball wasn't just alk. So far he's pitched 18 innings with a record that's just short of stellar. Lots of clingers-on, though, looking for that blood meal to keep them alive through the cold dark. Dad's feeling fine after the gene therapy handled his arthritis. Still complains about the knees, but he's always done that and probably will till the end of time. He and Karen seem happy in their particular pursuits and the rest of the family is happy to have them close. Hacienda Baltimore continues to swell nicely with the market--six of nine places are sold, the second largest company in the area wants to buy me out, and my own spread on the waterfront, big enough for the little lady and myself along with plenty of friends, family, or little ones we happen to have. The stand-alone swimming pool has been dug, resin and reclaimed tires are coming next to form the bowl and platform; the last arcade game is due to be shipped on the 23rd and I'm done with the articulating dome for the observation station--good seeing these next few months! The large windows were a bold choice and one that's been appreciated around the block and (again) in the regular offers to buy the place. The garden is built and I'll be planting cold season crops shortly, and the 'interior' garden is doing fabuloso with Trannywreck and some blueberry variants coming due this week or whenever I shag ass down there to cut and trim. The garage is finished and the bikes have been properly located as well as the cars. Piers' idea about the lift was excellent and has already proven it's mettle by (oddly enough) helping get the largest aquarium out of the delivery van (subsequently installed, looks great!), and I'm not quite sure how Mom plans to get that photograph framed but she is wily like a fox and it will most certainly happen come hell or high water. Bought that place in West VA--the slopes are not far and there's good hot springs about eight miles from the house at a place nobody, or hardly anyone, ever goes--we're trucking out there tonight, just me and the lady--ahem--so there's that. Life is pretty good.

A major milestone with my family this past year is Melissa going into high school and Becca going into middle school. It's strange to see them growing up with me away at school, but its also good for them to grow up. I've gotten a lot closer with Melissa now that shes old enough to understand things, and I have also grown much closer with my cousin Liz. I have been staying with her every time I go to NYC.

My grandson was born in January, a very good start to the year. I already had two granddaughters, but this boy was so reminiscent of my having his father forty years ago! I was so grateful that my son's marriage is solid, that he is a wonderful father, that the the boy's sisters accepted him as a blessing and not a rival. Now that the boy is eight months old and very healthy, I am grateful for that. The fact that three children, one an infant, are harder to care for than two makes me grateful that I have the energy to help with childcare two days a week. My father had five daughters. My son changed his name to my maiden name and now, with this boy, the name will go on and I am a bit sad that my father did not live long enough to witness this. I keep seeing "grateful" in this, and that sums up this year so well.

My sixteen year old son died from suicide. I am devastated. I will never be the same. Every day I wake to utter sadness and wonder if I will ever be able to piece my life together again to some semblance of happiness.

Ed turned 94; all birthdays are major when one gets into the 90's. Some obvious signs of slowing down showed up & both of us have had hospitalizations this year. We know we won't be doing any more significant traveling, certainly not for pure pleasure. If we travel at all it will be for a family event & even those trips are uncertain. It's very clear to me that Ed needs someone around a lot more & I'm not comfortable with him being alone all night if I'm out of town or hospitalized. We need our family to be more actively involved with us than ever before. so far they have been able to come through for us.

I guess its a milestone that the first of my generation of cousins (on my mother's side) is pregnant. I don't really know how much to care or be involved...but it's a large family moment, I suppose. In my chosen family, N beginning his EMT class is a more meaningful and exciting moment for our family and our future.

This year my father died, it didn't affect me as much as I wanted it to. Actually left me sad I wasn't that distraught. But it did show me that I can handle a situation as the adult figure I've grown into.

Katie and Jada move to smith college because she got a scholarship. Someone who has need my help almost every day ether with child care or rides or just some one who will listen is now gone. I miss them but it is also an opportunity to change things and do things differently as now I don't have the responsibility for my granddaughter so many days in a week. Now is the time to carve out time for myself and begin to move in new directions if I have the courage to do it.

A nephew got married. My immediate family and I chose not to attend. We were supportive of the union, but the trip itself was not seen by us as "best for us". Such a "selfish" decision is not our "norm" but it felt the best choice this time. Sometimes I have little second thoughts....

My niece, still a child herself had twin boys. It has created a financial burden for many and an emotional burden for all. I was very close to her when she was very young, and I tried to offer advice to her when she became pregnant, but she responded by refusing to speak with and cutting all ties. There is a great deal of resentment on both sides. I still want to help her, but I also feel it is important not to condone or enable her to engage in actions that harm herself and others.

My retirement...positive..enjoying time with my daughter and granddaughter!

My husband turned 50 and my dad turned 80. Glenn it wasn't that heavy but my dad turning 80 and retiring and basically becoming an old man overnight was kind of crazy and sad and I felt very nostalgic for my old dad who was not frail and needs help all the time. But it's life I guess right?

My parents both got ill and injured. It made me aware of the fact that they are getting old and that they won't be around forever, so I should make the most of the time I have with them

A major milestone in my family is that my sister had her fourth child and her first boy. I haven't seen her in three years! So I decided to visit her and see her children this summer. I had actually saved up enough money to go to Switzerland without even having to use a credit card! I was really sad to see how much work she does without help from her husband. He is a traditional northern African. My mother and I don't know how to talk to her about the enormous disparity between what she does daily and what he does. I was amazed to hear her speak up to him for the first time with: I can't do this all by myself, I need help (she said something to that effect). And her oldest children seem so angry. I wish I could fly in and make everything better but I can't.

My mother's death and the cracking open of the beginnings of FREEDOM and LIFE that has resulted! While there certainly was some muck to swim through in the forgiveness and letting go process, this has probably been the most monumental thing that has happened to me since the birth of my child ☮

I retired. It is all new, different, wierd and at times wonderful and sad, since my husband has been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. I am so glad I am home though.

I can think of three milestones. 1.) My sister-in-law got re-married, which made her very, very happy and I think get a lot to repair drama she has with her son; 2.) My nephew graduated from high school (barely); 3.) Emma and I had the chance to go to England with her parents which was a special, special time. To see that side of Emma's life - I felt like I got to finally meet the entire family.

Our 24 year old daughter who sufferers from bipolar disorder moved out of our house and resumed college. It has made me cautiously optimistic about her future and hopeful that she will be successful.

The birth of our second grandson. It made me feel grateful to be alive and able to experience being a grandmother again.

My cousin is a fully fledge police officer, at only aged 20. It's been her dream since I can remember, and she's gone and grabbed her dream by the horns and achieved it. We're all incredibly proud - she's an example of where a dream coupled with hard work, can pay off. However, the past few weeks in Australia have been rather turbulent with violence and police threats high. It's scary. Now, when people talk about anti-police messages and violence, I'm scared. Scared for her, scared for our entire family. We're as tight knit as they come. No one should go to work each day to protect the lives of strangers but feel unsafe.

My husband, after years of work, got his PhD. It's the fulfillment of a dream for him (he calls it his "midlife crisis"), and it means all kinds of new job possibilities open for him. We will be able to buy a house of our own for the first time in our nearly 10 years of marriage.

My brother got married. It was a beautiful wedding, very fitting for the two of them. In many respects, this milestone doesn't change their relationship, but of course it does. It solidifies their relationship. Gives it legality. Means there could be children for them in the near future. It scares me as a single person.

Still figuring it out (only child just started college).

i'm not aware of major milestones this past year but we're preparing for a couple of them this year. DS will turn 65, I'll turn 60, and we'll be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. As a result we're taking a fantastic trip to Iceland. This time next year I'll be able to talk about that trip.

This past year mark has finally escaped the orbit he was trapped in of being a victim and being attached to Cindy. The purchase of the Mariah was the cornerstone, I think, but also dating women, finding he can get really excited about a woman who is not Cindy, even if it turns out to be heavily laden with fantasy. This, for me, is the near-end of the whole Cindy's death episode of our lives, pending the termination of this stupid law suit. Thankfully, Martin is making large strides against it already, with only one charge standing.

(1) My husbands cancer coming back, age 52 - biggest impact on me was Tony pushing me away and being aggressive at the beginning - very hurtful & difficult to accept (2) My son Blake & Genevieve's engagement - overwhelmingly joyful for me (3) 'Sister' Tracey losing 15kg on HCG diet & doing 10k B2B together - very proud of her

Going Kosher. I feel like I've grown closer to Hashem because I have to think about everything I eat in light of his statutes. I've gotten a Torah study partner. I've begun official conversion with my children. I've begun learning Hebrew.

The answer to this is is extremely layered. Both my husband and I experienced the death of a sibling, six months apart. This has dominated and will continue to prevail over the landscape of our hearts and minds and actions for the entire year. We have felt physically sick, anxious, sad, helpless, shocked, bewildered, pained, and I don't know how many other sensations. We are achingly aware that we have become our parents, and we are the generation that will "soon" leave others behind. I also experienced the death of a close colleague at work. I feel the very srong urge to put things in order at work and move on even though I'm 59. That may take two years, or three. In my heart I would just as soon leave tomorrow, estranged from the sometimes arcane and esoteric books on art history and the humanities that we publish. At home I feel the urge to divest myself of the extraneous stuff and go minimal, reductive, to go on a retreat to grieve properly, honor the dead, and to learn how to accept and live in the present. Even though I strangely have the urge to pray to a God that I don't really believe exists , and to hear the melodies that are familiar and comforting, I leave the synagogue feeling disconnected, even from myself. The only thought that I can cling to for comfort and understanding is the ridiculously obvious, that this is a year of upheaval and transition, and that our lives have been irrevocably changed in ways that we understand and haven't yet discovered. Everything else is opaque and foggy. When each of my parents died I felt disoriented, like the rug had been pulled out from under me. Now, I just feel like I'm sinking, in mud, need to lift myself out . . . These are not the only major family milestones, but it is the one that grips us.

Well, maybe, just maybe, my family is growing up. My younger son graduated from college this year, and is this very week heading out to Los Angeles to find fortune and fame (we hope) in the crazy world of movies and TV. My older son, who has up until now suffered from "failure to launch" syndrome, is thinking about heading west himself, to take advantage of an offer from a cousin in Seattle, and become an electrician's apprentice. How has this affected me? I feel proud and excited for my younger son, but also sad that he will be so far away, and we won't get to see one another often. My feelings about my older son are complicated, and it is not yet a "done deal" for him. I will be thrilled if he takes the leap and goes, because he has been very reluctant to enter adulthood and move out of our home. I will be both hopeful and worried, and, of course, he will also be far away if he goes. However, my husband and I are actually looking forward to the time when we will have an empty nest. Life must move on.

Of these, I have several: my daughter graduated college, my son graduated high school and went off to college, and I turned 50 in the spring. As for how these various things have affected me, that's a bit of a mixed bag. Of course I'm incredibly proud of my children and their growth and accomplishments, but the depth of my difficulty in figuring out exactly how and to what extent I remain relevant in their lives is humbling. Coupled with turning 50, navigating my new "grown up' relationship with my kids has been thoroughly disorienting. I know they still need me and I know they always will, but I'm not at all clear on the role I should take in that regard. It's a definite opportunity for growth.

The move. The sale & move. Aaaahhhhhh. Close to walking the LionCubHorse thru the forest trails. Out of the bad house. Into a quality built home. Turned 50. Meh. No big deal. Not moving out of state. Sad, but not sad. Staying is good. I'd miss my BFF.

A major milestone is the career advancement of my husband. In about 6 years of being with the fire department, he has climbed the chain of commands and is now a fire captain. I am extremely proud of him and I feel extreme lucky to be able to call him my husband and most importantly to have him be the father of my 2 children. The Lord has been good to me. I work hard in helping do His work so that I am continuously rewarded with these Blessings

There were several milestones for my family this year. My nice had her second child, my mother-in-law turned 70 and my husband's company was sold. I am sad to say this, but these events have had very little affect on me. I viewed them as an outsider and from a distance.

The biggest milestone was buying a house....we love living here.

A few months ago Rachel's husband died. We never hit it off. In fact we got off on the wrong foot from the beginning. I wish I had a chance to experience the nice things people said about him. He was a very good cook and I guess he really did love my daughter, but I never learned to like him. His death, however, does make me very sad. He was too young to die and he certainly suffered a lot. Knowing that Rachel really loved him, while knowing his idiosyncrasies, keeps me quiet. I think the death was hard on the children, but having David's son move out and stay with his mother has been a good thing. He added an element of difficulty. His death makes me wonder, more than ever before, if I will be around for the next Rosh Hashana. I'm trying to be less judgmental.

My daughter moved to Costa Rica. I miss her and my grandchildren!

For this one, I'll move beyond cancer. One of this year's most significant miles stones is that our children discovered parts of themselves in a national level athletic competition. By different routes, they both found themselves standing shoulder to shoulder next to national champions. And they looked inside themselves and learned something valuable. I'm their father, not their conscience, but here's what I saw: My daughter worked her way up a mind the multiple levels of regional competitions. Every time, she was near the bottom, but qualified. She worked and worked and worked. At national, she performed. Well. She shined and made a small mistake and when she looked inside, she realized the dedication was worth it and more importantly, that she belonged there. (Those are two conclusions that every person deserves in their life somewhere). My son made the cut without a vetting process and was very excited to be there. Also, he applied some dedication and performance well at the event. His introspection was less clear, but I'm sure just as important. I think that he learned that he has a natural talent for running that he has a yearning for this level of success. But he also learned that with more dedication and experience he too will feel like he belongs there and that the effort was worth it. I guess I just see this as an earlier step on the same journey that my daughter is on. In essence, our children had a chance to learn something about themselves in a beautiful way and it has the promise positively impact other parts of their young lives. For me, I'm proud to be able to provide and share these experiences with them and, I'm grateful for the reminders of those important principles in my own life.

The most recent was getting married this August. Finally finding someone who I was willing to open my life to was a huge deal. Remaining open and adjusting to living with someone again is a challenge, but is worth the effort. I don't think I was ready for the work or the rewards when I was younger and married for the first time. I'm grateful to be up to it now.

My husband turned 62, which has made both of us more aware of the passing of time and the brevity of life. It has also encouraged us to focus on what is really important, and to seek quality of life every day.

My ex husband was evicted and is now homeless. When it happened, I felt a mix of relief (it was inevitable. Told you so) disbelief (what happened to the man I was with for 30 years!) and grief for our children. How does it affect them--at their most basic level, in their own identities? I have felt a profound loss too--of memories and moments; the same kind of loss I felt with Marilyn. Whole decades of my life washed away. I now feel a coldness toward Mark. As if my arm were cut off and I disowned it. It feels like the final chapter for him, but of course it isn't. He will go on, just as his father--also homeless--went on for years. And when Mark dies, how will I feel then?

My youngest Israeli grnnddaughter announced her marriage plans.And cme to visit us with her fiance. My grndson had just come with his new bride a month before. It made me very happy thst I could meet th new members and still be here to celebrate with them. It made me aware of time passing too quickly and of getting old. In addition, two dear friends passed away and a third was diagnosed with dementia. I'm feeling the shifting of the guard---my generation is becoming obsolete. I feel saddened and scared of my own mortality.

The biggest milestone for our family has to be V learning to read. She worked at it for months at the end of 2013, sounding things out and learning the weird rules of english that make it inconsistent. And then suddenly in November, the lightbulb went off and she was reading. Full bore, non-stop, the words jump off the page and into her brain. As a lifelong book addict, this is the coolest development so far - now my daughter and I can lay around reading books together. We have read while waiting for the car's oil change. We read on the deck in the sunshine. We cuddle up on the couch to read. It's a great shared activity. It's also something she happily does all by herself, often getting up early in the morning and coming out to the couch to read books or comics. She looks so mature, sitting there with the morning sunshine coming in the window, devouring words. I don't have the words for how happy that sight makes me.

I became an uncle. Both my brothers have their first child which are two daughters a month and a half apart. It has been a blessing to see my mother rejoice in being a grandmother for the first time. It has been a blessing but also some unwanted pressure. For me to get married (become straight), have children. But I'm happy do my brothers and their wives.

Dad died I became an orphan and heartbroken

Just last week, our family celebrated my husband's second year of being cancer free. Two years is a major milestone in the process. The prognosis is good from here.

It has been a tough year ... A move , a job change for husband and two three to four year old boys...net result Punch drunk and I need of a vacation !

When my sister went to Florence, Italy and then my parents went to visit her. It made them so happy and it was an exciting adventure! It made me proud.

It is difficult for me to think of a major family milestone this year. Nothing comes to mind for me. My some started middle school last year but this years 7th grade was not as major a transition. My daughter going into 4th grade likewise is not a major milestone. My wife and I are in a good space. If I was to pick a milestone I might say that Ann and I are more unified in our parenting than we have been in the past. My larger extended family has had little change or major milestones over the year. It may be that Ann and my mother have hit their stride in a relationship. For better or worse, my family has had very little change over the year.

My dad had a kidney transplant. In the beginning of the year, it meant that I had to worry more, and try to get him to be more health conscious, which was incredibly emotionally exhausting and frustrating. I also realized that my relationship with my parents isn't healthy, and that I needed to set more boundaries. So, there's been a lot of change with my immediate family this year. And it's been overwhelming. But I think I've made it over the proverbial hump.

My brother moved back home from mechanical school in Orlando. He isn't being a productive member of society in any way shape or form and after having an unsuccessful intervention with my parents about their enabling, my sister and I have decided to spend Christmas in Spain away from them.

My mom passed away a lil more than a year ago. i have become more sensitive to elderly people

My mom came out of the closet. I love the way she dealt with it. She decided that she didn't need to come out to everyone. Her attitude was that she was too old for any of that and that everyone should just take her as she is, and I think that's really cool. I'm just happy to see her so happy. She really seems to be more completely herself than ever before and I'm incredibly grateful to have been able to witness this development in her journey of self-realization.

My daughter's marriage. My other daughters relationship, and my daughter in laws getting into nursing school. They have all brought me great joy!

Not so great: A major milestone with my family was my parents recognizing how difficult their youngest child is, and how much this child needs help. The challenge is that at 30 years old, you're not exactly a child, and the help you need is not necessarily something you're willing to get, even if you desperately need it. Great: The best milestone of the year was becoming an Aunt for the first time! I adore my niece, and aside from my youngest sibling who has a startling set of challenges, my niece has really brought the family together.

The biggest milestone that happened this year was taking care of our son. This was our first child, so we had and still have no idea what we are doing. We have a better idea now, but its' still all new as he changes so much everyday. It has affected me emotionally, physically, every aspect. He loves to be carried so much I feel physically tired a lot, and loving someone so much has changed me emotionally in ways I never could have imaged, for the better!

Beth started school in January. Pretty amazing to see my baby girl take her first steps learning, and she just took to school like it was perfectly natural. You always think you r kids are smart, but now, I actually hear about it from people whose job it is to teach her. She's not perfect, but for the youngest kid in her class last year, she did great. It was also sad, because it was just another sign that she's already finding her independence.

My daughter turned 18 and started college. It has been a complete paradigm shift. The rules /roles are all messy now. I can make suggestions when she asks but I can't have any expectation that she will follow the suggestions. I have to let her fall down and can only run to bandage it up if she asks me too...which is rare these days. I have to trust her and I need to detach enough to not become insane, yet stay engaged enough to be there when she needs a mother. Which means a hug, a warm meal, a movie and unconditional love with as little dogma as possible.

In my Day 1 post, I talked about the loss of my grandmother. That's not the major milestone that I want to focus on for Day 3. I'd say a major milestone would be me and three of my cousins living in Brooklyn, NY. It's definitely brought us closer, we're able to learn from each other, grow professionally, personally and it's just a lot of damn fun. I'd even go as far to say that it's helped to make the whole family closer! It's such a beautiful thing. That's all I have for today!

My father got married to a wonderful woman and we r all so happy. She is a Christian as is her family I'm glad he found someone that has the same values goals desires and lifestyle. It gives me hope that I will find someone also. She is from a different country so that kind of makes me wonder sometimes if I might meet someone elsewhere. Someone with a culture that thinks more positively about marriage and commitment. Also someone who loves to learn and travel. Try new things. I pray I'm as blessed in the near future.

My Mother turned 95 in March. She wanted a big ole party so my siblings and I organized a good bash -- a bittersweet affair given she wasn't feeling her best but even so managing to put on a brave face. She was genuinely pleased. Her health this year and been declining steadily with a lot of dementia going on. She's a tough cookie and has beaten the odds more times than I can count. Her happy and positive outlook on and love for life, her faith, and apparently incredibly good genes keep her going; she's had a very good run but she's running out of steam. I dread her not being around.

My wife had a miscarriage. Two, actually. The first one happened just before our first ultrasound, so that's how we found out. The second was earlier and just sort of happened. That happens sometimes -- the fetus just isn't viable, and the body decides not to bother anymore. I can't say it made us closer or stronger or anything like that. It just made us sad. We're going to keep trying, though.

My daughter turned three and is demonstrating all new levels of independence in so many ways. She's now completely out of nappies and almost completely toilet independent, can walk most places when we 're out and about, her speech has blossomed and she can be understood most of the time even by strangers, and she is now happy to be dropped off or picked up by one of our friends to have a play without me, is totally fine about separating from me, and interacting with others without my help. She was a baby who really liked to be held by me and who we feel fortunate to have never needed to leave with anyone else except her dad and occasionally her grandma . Some thought we were being too protective and that she would 'never' be able to be left with anyone else, but we truly believe that security breeds security and that is certainly how it has played out for us. Her new level of independence feels vindicating and freeing, like I've done the hard yards and am now reaping the benefits.

We lost my brother-in-law. He was too young to go, 67, and a huge part of our family. I was only 13 when I met him (36 years ago), therefore he watched my grow up and was always a big support for me, even when the rest of the family was not. He was my partner in the kitchen, and the two of us would plan wonderful holiday meals together. I try to pull it together without him, but it just isn't the same. I miss him

Well since I don't really regard myself as part of a family (I have a mother and brother but my father and grandparents are long dead and my cousin is nuts and my uncle has Parkinson's so doesn't know who we are), I have no major milestone to report. No one died recently. If however I am allowed to count my cats and partner as family (they are more so than my relatives, to me) then one of my cats died in January, which was sad, but she was old so whilst I do miss her, it didn't affect me that much.

I left working for my brother. My attitude is much better and my earning potential much brighter.

The most significant event occurred exactly a year ago this month when my elderly mother became ill on a family vacation. She was hospitalized out of state for a week and has had many medical appointments since then. She now has 24/7 caregivers, even though much of the time she feels pretty good. I have been very close to her, especially since my dad died 12 years ago. I guess the biggest personal impact this has had on me is the realization that she is not going to be here forever. Not that I didn't know that, of course, but her imminent passing feels much more tangible now. It makes me want to spend even more time with her, and to make it quality time, as much as possible. I know that losing her will leave a giant hole in my life ...

My oldest son was medically retired from the Marines at 35. It worries me that PTSD has taken over his life. G-d must think I'm a real bad-a--,if he doesn't give you more than you can handle

My husband's cancer has made me more pensive.

I know I'm probably saying this because it literally just happened, but my dad's girlfriend moved into the family house we grew up in and he tried to hide it from my sister and me. It was such a low blow because of how he taught us growing up that living with someone before you're married doesn't sit well with him. When I confronted him about that he literally said, "you're right. I don't know how to respond." Which was almost worse because I feel like he knows it's hypocritical but he doesn't care. He's doing it any way. I think the whole family is just a little stunned. Plus, we haven't quite warmed up to the gf so that stung a little more than usual.

Wow!!! My 3 year old son who has developmental delays has made so much progress this year!!! I take him to 4 therapist and his daycare/preschool has been so helpful!!! It's been inspiring to watch him grow and develop. Facing challenges head on and studying consistently to learn how to communicate with others. It has changed my outlook on learning and parenting. More importantly it has challenged me! I can't quit or walk away from problems because I don't want to set a bad example or have a negative impact on his progress and continued work. Who knew I would have to answer to my son ;)

We fired our Nanny in September 2013 and for the first time in five years, did it on our own. It was a major adjustment and the kids are still learning that I am not the nanny, but we are getting through ok.

My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While he and my mum have been optimistic when talking to me about it, I could hear the stress and fear coming through in their voices. On the plus side, the healthcare here has been great. He was booked in for a biopsy really quickly; was fully informed about his options, and chose surgery; the surgery was successful and he didn't need radiotherapy; and the cancer turned out to be aggressive, so the quick action by the hospital was a smart move. He's now recovering well at home. How has this affected me? Well, I know more about prostate cancer now then I ever thought I would. I'm now even more frustrated that my partner refuses to go to the doctor for a checkup. And it's yet another example of the fact that my parents are now seniors.

My father turned 70 late last year. He's a grumpy old man and has been for years, he didn't want to celebrate it in any way, but I decided we as a family would, with or without him. My sister's and brother pulled together beautifully to make the day special. Few family members were there to celebrate and my Dad really did appreciate the get together. It pull us "kids" a little closer together and I am thankful that we have each other to rely on, even when our relationships are strained.

No major milestones. My mum was diagnosed with benign cancer, which hasn't affected me much beyond the fact that it is an intimation of my parents' mortality.

I moved out of my mother's home. I lived there for about a year after grad school to save money and support my family in various ways. Moving out and getting back to an independent lifestyle has been hugely rewarding and has helped me prioritize my needs and desires in much healthier ways.

Our youngest turned 5! no longer a baby nor toddler, but a big boy (with our other boy turning 7 this summer). I had always wanted more than 2 children, and part of me is sad that that chapter of our lives is over, but the bigger part is excited for this new stage of adventures and exploration.

My brother had a child with someone he barely knew. They basically had an "oops" moment on their first date. He was hoping that the whole family would be supportive about him having a child, but I was extremely disappointed in him. He is still dependent on my dad for money and a place to live. He's one of those "start things but don't follow through" kind of people and when things get tough, he bails out. He's also made very poor decisions with what he does with is money when he has it - buys a new car he can't afford, a new stereo TV system, etc. I knew that the financial burden would fall on my dad, and I knew my brother was counting on that. My dad is one of those people who is always willing to help out. At first, I was very upset with my brother. How could he be so selfish all the time? But then it hit me - my dad is a grown man, and he has set the example for my brother. I can't be completely mad at either one, but I sure wish the situation was different. My brother and his girlfriend are trying to work it out. I wish them the best, and I hope he grows from this experience.

Parents' illnesses/hospitalization/surgery affected me with concern and thoughts of their and my mortality.

Two milestones occurred. Lezlie turned 70, so she has outlived her mother's unexpected brain cancer by 4 years and she seems to have no signs of this anomaly hitting her. Each year is a celebration, then. Also, we chose to leave the current home and the most tight-knit thriving community we have ever known. This was wrenching. One close neighbor will follow us to our new digs. This is the ONLY family home we have owned with no stain nor great sadness upon it, so leaving will be bittersweet. We fear the loss of the forest around us as new developers may raze the place we treasure, and we have been through that torment once already. It is time to split. Actually, this move may be an extended time of reflection, as if Yom Kippur were to last the next several months. We wish to clean up our lives and purge mess and paperwork and simplify the acts of living. That may be a delayed, but valued, blessing of the trauma of relocation and then moving again.

My brother finally moved out of my house into his own home. It was a huge relief to me. I had to insist that her move out, but without damaging our relationship. I was successful and I believe he is happy with the outcome. My daughter also purchased her own home just a 10 minute drive from me.

I spread my wings.

My brother joined the Army National Guard and I couldn't be more prouder of him. He went in as Infantry. 14 weeks of basic training is intense. He received two twelve hour passes for Labor Day weekend and I'm so glad I went to visit him. He has grown up so much. I'm glad he opened up to us about what boot camp was like. I really missed him and didn't know just how much they were putting him through. He went into basic training with eyes wide open. He had been studying the military since he could read. He has always debated between which branch he should go in but I think he chose the right one for the right reasons. He has realized that becoming an Infantryman is not just any ol'decision, it was a life choice. I'm glad he found the branch that will fit him. He seems to be exactly what the Army needs. He sees the bigger picture and is excited to be apart of this service. I cannot wait to stand on the field with him as he receives his cross riffles and turns blue (Infantry rituals). I know he is proud to serve in the Infantry just like his two grandfathers before him.

Two major milestones: the birth of our daughter, and our move to a new (and hopefully permanent) state. The first has been a wonderful if turbulent experience - she was diagnosed failure to thrive for not gaining weight and the emotional stress of everything connected to that has consumed me for most of the last month. Related to that, our move took us much further from our family - we were just a short (15-20 min) drive up until we moved and now it is 3-4 hours (still not as bad as it could be, but not a quick trip either). Not having family close by at such a stressful time, coupled with not yet having made friends close by, has been really difficult for me.

My wife got her doctorate and I am so proud of her. She also expressed how helpful my kibbitzing and proofreading was (in a lovely dedication) and it made me feel so much like we are real partners at so many levels.

A Hispanic inlaw died. Gives mixed feelings about open borders.

Wow, seems like I'll be talking about my divorce nonstop. Nah, tired of that. How about my son's graduation and subsequent employment. Much more interesting! I had the pleasure of his company for part of the summer since he stayed at the house, in that window between school and work. It was simple, normal, and truly joyous. Had the chance to just hang out and talk, and get to know him all over again. He's a wonderful guy, and my heart bursts with love for him. BBQ on the weekends, rides to places, etc. Even went with to see his first apt! In the mission for the bargain price of 1600.

Mother turned 80 (All our parents are over 80 now) 1st grandchild born 2nd child married and bought house 3rd child broke up, survived and bought house 4th child got a career job Increased our freedom and increased our responsibilities as mentors, grandparents, advisors, helpers. Double edged sword.

My taking an early retirement has brought me much joy in that I have been able to spend time with my daughters and grandchildren that previously had eluded me. Attending assemblies to watch grandchildren receive awards, dropping grandchildren off or picking them up from school, lunching with daughters, my aunt and friends, accompanying my husband on his country trips and having more time for voluntary work as well. I can do it all now.

Both my brother and I moved and it has affected the family greatly. I live with my father and our move aged him. He had to give up his pottery studio and it took away meaning. My brother doesn't come by to visit as often and it sealed the responsibility for my father into my hands.

It took me awhile to think of an answer for this question because my first inclination was to try to think of milestone birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births, etc. that took place this past year.  I couldn't think of any that I would consider a major milestone.  But it was the 5th anniversary of my father's death this year, and I relive that milestone each year. My father's death marked a major shift in the lives of my family, especially my father's side of the family.  And while there has been healing, there will never be full recovery. When I moved into my new house, I also moved a box of files that I brought home with me from Mexico, where my father had been living when he unexpectedly passed away.  Since the time of his death, this box has been sitting in closets, or workshops, or man caves.  Since we closed his estate last year, I had started to finally go through the box and decide what could be shredded and what needed to be saved.  After I moved, it was a project that I took on one weekend. I had looked through this box of files many, many times after my dad first died in an effort to find answers about his health and about his finances.  I knew that the box was a duke's mixture of items -- all the information on the house that he was in the process of buying when he died to a list of the #1 songs on the Billboard chart in 1965.  A single file folder could be a lot of nothing, or it could be full of valuable information. I hadn't gone through that box in a couple of years until this year.  And the simple act of cleaning out the box and sorting through his files had a deep impact on me.  I laughed out loud at some of the items that I found, like his application to his 50th high school reunion that took place a couple of months after he died.  On his application, he was asked to answer the question "What have you been doing the last 50 years?"  His response "Living life to the fullest and having a great time."  Yep.  And he answered the question "What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?" by saying "Being the best at living life to the fullest and having a great time."  Double yep. I also felt incredibly sad as I found record of some of the times that he struggled, trying to make ends meet, and sometimes finding it hard to do. Revisiting this box and its items, without the overwhelming grief that accompanied my first forays into its confines immediately after his death, allowed me to feel like I had spent the weekend communing in some small way with my dad.  That is a major happening, whichever way you look at it.

We didn't really have any. It was finally a quiet, stable year for our family. I think it allowed me to focus more on things that I've been putting off for a long time. At the same time, I'm sad that my parents aren't here to see what I'm doing with my life. On the other hand, I wasn't comfortable pursuing these, um, pursuits while they were alive.

My younger son and his wife are pregnant for the first time. I am delighted and also fearful for their future as a family. H-My intended daughter in law became pregnant and now after 13 years I will have another grandchild.

My mom's husband's son died in december, at age 38, from melanoma. Our parents met when I was 18 and he was 26, so we didn't grow up together. In fact, we barely knew each other. I'd probably seen him on 10 occasions or less before he moved in with them when he got sick, and he was always sort of...off. So in a lot of ways it hasnt really affected me at all, which is kind of sad. But it feels like a stranger, or distant acquaintance, passed away. I feel bad for my mom's husband's loss, but a lot of the time you'd have no idea. He's a pretty unexpressive Midwestern guy who doesn't talk much about his feelings. It makes me a little uncomfortable, how little his death has affected anything.

My grandparents celebrated 65 years of marriage this year, and my parents celebrated 36, double chai. I wouldn't say it deeply affected me beyond being immensely proud to be apart of a family that spawned from such strong relationships. It's hard not to feel a bit sad that I'm not on my way to starting my own family, particularly as I grow closer and closer to 30, because I want to have what they have. I desperately want that. But I do feel blessed to be a part of a lineage that has so much love and commitment, and that has spawned so many intelligent, interesting, kind, talented people.

After 30 years of marriage, my parents separated and filed for divorce. This of course was due to that fact that my dad had been having an affair for at least 3 years with a hairdresser. Obviously this shattered everything I have ever thought about my dad and about his role in my life. My brothers and I rarely talk about it; my mom is devastated, angry and broken. My poor aunt is caught in between. It's definitely changed my whole life, my world. It's changed how I've viewed the world. I mean, life is too unpredictable to not have fun. It really solidified my life mottos: 1) I do what I want 2) Because I can 3) Why not It's also made me redefine what ideal qualities I want in my partner. I want someone who is close to his family; someone who is passionate about his/her career. My family is simply just scattered all over the place, and I am not sure we will make it out.

Working together as a team of four on our first ever family vacation last thanksgiving. We had fun altogether and treated Ben as a part of her family instead of simply an impediment to our routine. We had fun together time group and a family. And I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time with my children.

my brother's daughter graduated high school and left home going to Israel for a gap year program. Supporting her emotionally. Made me realize I would like to travel again. My youngest started college - though technically a senior in high school. Confronting total empty nest to be. Has me questioning , where do I want to live, city, suburbs, country. how far off beaten track? where tourists flock or not? What are my values - what kind of relationship do I want to be in? Do I want to own my own home or would I rather rent?

Dad turned 95...after he battled some severe infections and a month of rehab, trying to get his strength back. Shows just what u can do if you combine time, patience, strength... Love u dad!

It's been a little over a year now, but our middle daughter moved out of the family home and in with her boyfriend and his young son. It has been gratifying to watch her grow into this new role and create a home of her own. She is a hard worker and a creative nester. I am very proud to be her mom.

Similar to question one, my family has grown from one to two with addition of my daughter. Subsequently many things have undergone necessary growth. I've moved from my sleek apartment to a small ranch home in a little neighborhood. I anticipate owningt own home very soon. I'm planning for my financial future in an entirely different light. I'm also looking at potential suitors from a different direction. I'm not the only one to consider in day to day life ~ and thinking that way is growth in itself.

C: Finished potty training Ethan - he still has accidents at night, but no more diapers! It's saving us money that can now be used to pay for soccer that so far he hates. But tonight's practice was his best yet, so maybe we're on our way! We had our 8 year anniversary which John said was anticlimactic J: not much has happened. We took our first family vacation and had a great time. We're not intimate anymore - that's a milestone. how as that effected me? How much time do we have... Ethan: He's having fun saying I IIIIIIIIIII. He discovered Blues Clues and Angry Birds, and loves to play on the eieio.

We lacked major milestones but I consider my grand daughter turning 1 year old a milestone. I reflect on the continuity of my family. I see my son in her face. I am blessed that I can set aside some money for her in the future. She is joy and humor and anticipation all rolled into one bundle

Reconnecting with my sister after 12 years...meeting my niece for the first time.

There really haven't been any milestones in my family this year that affected me. Ben started school and Jonah started nursery school, so they are not babies any longer. Ramsey and his wife split, which is sad, but perhaps is for the best in the long run.

The union in the family grew when the newborn came, the baby of my sister.

My brother came back from Vancouver, my mom started to live alone having a hard time to pull herself together. Above all, I now have my own family. A loving husband, a beautiful baby girl and an upcoming new member.

The death of my older sister. Still affecting my family. Am in the throes of its effect.

My nephew was born. He helped bring our family even closer. He brings us so much joy and allows my niece to be a wonderful big sister.

My sister got engaged, and my father got married. These are events that I never thought would happen because, in general, we are not a loving and forgiving family. We carry our pain and past hurts like merit badges. Seeing both of these events unfold has given me hope that I can be happy someday too.

I am turning 50, I had my 20th wedding anniversary, my daughter started 1st grade and my son turned 13. I feel like I am in the best place of my life to handle all of that, and though much of it is a bit scary and things often feel very unsteady and like transformation is happening right under my feet, I have just tried to ride the wave of uncertainty, stay grounded and appreciate myself for all that I have accomplished, all that I do and all that is to come.

A major milestone - two nieces were born. Grace was born in February and Emma was born in May. Our families have become baby crazy this year and it's wonderful. It's made me want to hurry up and get married so we can start our own family.

My daughter's wedding, a month after my father's death,showed me that despite grief, my heart could be open to joy.

I moved out of my home town, Orangeburg, and moved 2 hours away to Rock Hill. How has this affected me? I don't know. Its still surreal to me. I'm still working in Columbia so that part of my life has remained the same.

My mother became an Episcopalian nun. I'm very proud of her for finding her own path. I hope some day to do the same.

Youngest son off to Hawaii and driving. Same year. Oldest son moved into his own studio apt. Seeing the future and feeling proud. Trying to spend good quality time with boys whenever possible. Each moment is precious and I am very mindful in my relationships with my boys

I have had some misunderstandings with my siblings this past year. I could not imagine that two little brothers that I have nurtured could decide to simply talk to me. I have taken good care of them by providing for their health, food, lodging, education etc... I have paid for one's technical training, I have paid the college tuition for another and helped both get jobs. They are what they are today because of me. I have been deeply saddened and tortured by this experience. I have learned that nothing ever remains the same: Family members, colleagues at work, friends, neighbors ... everything changes around us. Nothing will ever remain static. I want to be ready for change. I want to be able in the future to respond to change not simply react to it. Change affects everything around us. The only thing that may not change is the change. Change happened, happens and will always happen. I don't want to be surprised by change anymore.

Within the last year both of my sisters had daughters. In addition, my brother and his girlfriend bought a house they could build together.

I think that this year we have spent more time as a family. My daughter and I have had more meaningful conversations. I think she and her dad have grown closer. I feel that my husband and I are even more comfortable with each other than ever. We talk about everything, well minus spiritual - but I'm believing that's coming. I think my husband is really coming into his own. I'm beginning to change myself.

My grandma passed.. but she moved on to a better place and we know she is happier with my grandfather now. There is something about rough patches in family history.. at least in my experience it always seems to bring family closer together. Should it really take something as painful as a death in the family to bring relatives closer together? No, but I guess that's human nature? Why does it have to be that way?

My daughter started "preschool" twice a week this past January. It was an emotional time for me and yet a liberating one having some much needed time for myself. Now, she has just started "school" full time - every day, all day and I feel incredibly guilty. I think school is so important for her development, but I think at only 2, everyday is too much. But I don't have a choice. I have to go back to work. Which is another question/answer all together.

My husband died. I know I'm being repetitive with this, but it's the biggest and worst thing I have ever experienced. I am lonely. Shyer, more withdrawn, less confident. I am eroded. It will be good when I'm passed the first year.

My sister graduated from graduate school and moved to cross country for an academic position. It was a happy moment for everyone in our family. I felt incredibly proud of her and all that she has accomplished despite her disabilities and her recent breakup.

A major milestone that happened with my family (although he may feel differently about it) is my dad retiring this year. He has dedicated so much time to his job not only at USC, but years prior before I was even born. He was such a dedicated employee with great social skills in a work environment. His colleagues even cried during his last week of employment! He always treated everyone from the janitorial staff to the executives with the utmost respect and I have always admired him for that. My dad finally gets some well deserved time off and relaxation. I feel it has positively affected the entire family. He has dedicated much more time to my mother, (don't know if she's all that happy about it, but too bad), myself and even Charley (who was formerly my dog, but was recently dog napped from me for my dad to have a "buddy" to retire with. Does that count as a "major" milestone: me losing my dog to my parents?). He is much more health conscious with eating better, exercising more, smoking less and I think it's GREAT! He even has time an energy to help me fix/work on some "home improvement" projects at my new house! He has already fixed my broken tattered window blinds and ordered me new wooden ones that perfectly match my new hardwood floors. He's even helping me with painting door frames and replacing my 1970's work-only-periodically garage door for our next couple projects! I'm so grateful we get to spend this time bonding, as all daughters should enjoy doing with their dad! I'm so proud of all his accomplishments and am glad he finally has some time to himself. Love that guy! :)

Well, the major milestone was my mama's death. With the passing of our second parent, my brother and I are now adult orphans before we are 30. Our parents will never see our weddings, never meet the important people who will come into our lives, never know their grandchildren, never see us age... By the same token, our parents gave us a wonderfully supportive community, who have acted as aunts and uncles and sisters and brothers to us, and will be there for those important milestones to come. I read a book this year about losing your second parent as an adult, and what that means. The author said that a person is often not fully an adult until their second parent dies, because now there is nothing standing between them and death. Well, I'm not ready to be an adult at 28/29! In fact, I'm regressing. I feel like because of my family's circumstances, I've been forced to act more maturely than I've felt during my teens and 20s. Now, before I turn 30, I am letting myself have that irresponsible, immature, fun time that so many people experienced while I was being a grownup so that my family could function.

We sent our first baby off to college! I miss her a lot but actually I'm so happy because she is happy and is fitting in.

I finished my Master's degree this past year and began a career instead of having "just a job." I've found it to be fulfilling, though frustrating and exhausting at times. This has truly made me wish I had pursued a career earlier though I know I wouldn't have been able to if not for the support of my husband. I feel that having the support kept me on track and being in this career has made me so appreciative for all that I have.

My mother hit 90 years old. Who would have guessed she would live this long? She is spry and still lives alone. Susan and I took her on an Alaskan cruise, and I think she fared the best of the three of us. She and Susan both got colds, and she got over hers before Susan did. I got a severe chest cold that turned into reactive airway disease. I am still getting over it, 1 1/2 weeks after returning from the cruise. Mother's parents both died around 80 years old. She has an older brother, Don, who is about three years older. Two of her brothers have already died, and one younger brother is in poor health. Mother may make it to 100.

My brother graduated from college and moved to a new city to start his job. Just another reminder that we're both independent adults and that our strong relationship base is wonderful, but still requires maintaining and that our relationship doesn't need to center around our parents.

My daughter got her driver's license on her 16th birthday, which was also the day before her confirmation. Almost overnight it seemed we had a responsible, happy, independent child who was working her first real job. It's hard to look at her and imagine that I had anything to do with creating the young woman she's become. Luckily, she still has moments of wanting her Mommy. I hope that never stops.

My little sister went to London to study, my other sister got a job and will graduate college soon. It makes me happy that they are growing and becoming who they want to be.

In June, my grandmother turned 90. I choose this a major milestone, because it is tough to get much more stereotypical milestone-y than a birthday that ends in a zero. Yet for grandma, it was anything but major. Sadly, for her, nothing is major. Maybe that is the true heartbreak of dementia. Losing the physical strength to step outside is sad; losing your memories one-by-one is tragic; losing the ability to hold a conversation is heartbreaking. But losing the ability for anything to be a major milestone in life is perhaps the most difficult of all. For without that, what is there to look forward to?

Switching jobs so many times, new school for my kids, upheaval in my living stuation....made me feel uneasy and insecure but felt like I got back on the horse many times...

My grandfather passed away this year after a long illness. I thought that the sad parts had already happened before he died, but even though it was the kind of situation where people might think that he was in a better place after passing away, it didn't make his death any less sad. I think his passing made me realize that it's important to do your best to make the most out of life because you will not be young and healthy forever. It definitely made me focus on my health, because my grandfather had several illnesses that were related to being overweight. The end of his life could have been a lot better if he was in better health, so it's important to do your best to live a healthy lifestyle. People had been telling me this for years, and I probably should have realized this when he was ill, but it wasn't until after he died that I was motivated to make an effort to lose weight.

My daughter meghan decided to stay home for one more year. This made vicki( mom ) happy. Happy wife happy home. :)

This is the year of milestones. Wife and i both turned 50 and had our 25th wedding anniversary, took a big vacation and a few small ones.... Mostly its been about this being the watershed year, the one where we reassess everything, get in shape, clear out junk, and recommit to the truth we have spent 25 years straying from. Its been hard to face facts and to let go of what we don't need, but its wonderfully freeing and fulfilling too. At this late date, I'm feeling pretty good about myself....

The major milestones that come to mind are my uncle's dying and my baby being born. I'm surprised that my uncle's dying didn't affect me more. I guess that even though I greatly admired him, he and I weren't particularly "close." My baby has affected me a great deal! I feel overwhelmed with love and worry for this new little being. I also haven't slept well in quite a long time. I wonder when I'll be able to sleep 8 straight hours again . . ..

Milestones usually pass unremarked in our household, and that's a contributing factor to my willingness to bail out.

This has been a very quiet year for my bio-family. My dad turned 90, I think, my mother then 73. Neither my father and his wife, nor my mother, made big deals of the dates. A girlfriend of mine married her long-time same-sex partner because they state they live in finally made that leal; the girlfriend also finally started pushing the VA for benefits and treatment plans for issues stemming from her service time. Other people in my extended family have passed all sorts of milestones this year; some have made me happy, some have made me sad. It's difficult to pin any one affect on any particular milestone, and probably in no small part because work and theatre stresses have kept my focus and engagement fairly small and localized.

My communication has changed greatly with my parents. The way I view my parents has shifted from authority figures to confidantes and my greatest supporters. I'm grateful for this shift and look forward to continued growth.

My 74 year old parents have been living in the same house they rent for the last 32 years. The land lord died (bless him) earlier this summer. The heirs want to sell their parents assets. My parents are having a really hard time with this change. The move out date has been extended twice now. Current move out deadline is in 2 weeks. House rental inventory is bleak. Mom seems to be flounder in deep depression and denial. Dad is trying his best to rally but is flounder too. My siblings and I are at a loss and beginning to fray in how we agree to help. All sorts of family skeletons are rattling around.

I became a grandma to twin granddaughters in June. I thought having one granddaughter was awesome, and now there are three. Fact is that I'm still so connected to granddaughter one, almost 2 years old, who has changed my world. Being with her is the only time that I'm truly focussed on only one thing. Time stands still and there is nothing but me and her and laughter, fun and discovery. I'm sure that will happen when the twins are older. They're becoming little people at 4 months as we celebrate Rosh Hashanah and I feel truly blessed.

My daughter started Kindergarten this year. My daughter is growing up and becoming more independent. I am excited for the change and glad to see her learning new things every day in class. Also, it was suppose to be my wife and I 10 year anniversary but 4 days before the day she told me she wanted a divorce. This was suppose to be a happy moment showing our love over the year but instead she is giving up on us. It makes me sad and very lonely that the woman I have loved for so many years (and still love) does not love me. There is a hole in my heart.

my lil sis is moving to sac. just after her dog died. my big sis and her kids are moving back in with my parents. its all happening at the same time which makes it seem very hectic how has this affected me? glad to see my sister and her kids living with my parents. they practically spend all of their time there anyway. hope they don't feel too crowded. hope they find a way to live in harmony. i know there will be stressful moments. i just hope that they can be mature about it and face these issues and resolve them instead of just tuning into the idiot box like they usually do. nervous for lyssa. she always tends to gravitate toward someone (usually a boyfriend) in a way to help her deal with changes or just to help her have a feeling of importance i guess. anyway, i hope she finds some independence living on her own in the city. finds her sense of self worth and self reliability. I'm very proud of her going to school and working her way up. she can do it. i love that girl

My family was able to go to Disney World for the first time in eight years this past summer. My sister was too young to remember our previous visit, and my parents wanted to do something special for what they believed would be our last family vacation. I don’t necessarily agree with that sentiment, but I wasn’t about to pass on a week-long trip to Disney World. Our former neighbors who moved away from the neighborhood we live in also spent a few days with us while we were there. I would identify my family being fairly close as it is, so I’m not going to say it was a “bonding” experience, but it was nice. My father still hated the push-button to start car as he does most change, and my mother still needed to smoke every fifteen minutes, but it was nice. These kinds of family vacations, just like Disney World itself, have a kind of magic. The kind of magic that is only possible when you have to live in one room with your family for a week.

Acceptance of the years before. No major milestones this year. Thank goodness because we have hit our quota for what we can handle.

This year my family decided to sell our house in Carmel Valley in order to find another house to live in with my Grandparents. This house was the longest I had lived in in my life, where I went through middle school and high school and grew up with my siblings. We had a lot of thanksgivings, channukahs, and passovers in that dining room. My friends considered this their second home, and we had people over for Shabbat and my sister had her bat mitzvah in this house. There are a lot of memories in this house, and so selling it has been a huge change for me and my family. My parents have said that a new house will bring new opportunities, but it's been a difficult change to cope with. Of course I know I have to be strong and find positivity in order to be a role model for my siblings and to support my parents. I'm trying to not let this change overwhelm me, because usually I'm very adaptable, and I know with time I'll find the best in this situation.

The biggest change in my family is the birth of my second daughter and nothing else comes close to it. However I mentioned her in the answer to the first question, so now I feel pressed to give another answer. That would be the passing of Ron, my wife's godfather, of essentially cancer. He was a major figure in her life. He was not jst present in the room, when she was born, but was also my father-in-law's best friend and musical partner. Ron was present at every stage of my wife's life, like a second father. I only met him a couple of dozen times or so and found him a sweet and funny guy. My wife went through a serious mourning after his passing and I supported her as much as I could. She still regularly dreams of/with him. My maternal grandmother's brother-in-law, Jancsi bacsi, also passed away, of old age. When I heard the news my feeling was that she was last of his generation in his family and with him a connection to the past and the stories are lost now for forever. I wasn't that c;lose with him, but throughout my childhood I saw him at almost every Sunday family lunch. That first feeling isn't fully true though. One of my grandmother's cousin is still around, but I rarely saw her, even when I lived in Hungary. And on my father side one of his aunt is also with us. I saw her more often and even visited a few times on my return trips to Hungary. She has three daughters and lots of grandkids and great-grandchildren. A lot of them on facebook, so I keep in touch with them to some extent. On the other hand my maternal grandmother's cousin has no kids, not on facebook and her political and literary interests are very far from mine. So I only know about her through the accounts of my mother's visits. The point is that Ron's passing affected our family too a greater extent than Jancsi bacsi. Neverthless it is a good point to stop for a moment and think of their lives, celebrate what they gave to us and their beloved

One niece entered Kindergarten and the other is preparing to graduate from college. These passages are creating new opportunities and openness to broaden and strengthen communication and relationship.

The most major milestone in our family life this year was the arrest and imprisonment of our son on charges of heroin possession and distribution. This was a catalyst for my husband and me to stretch outside of our judgements about our son's lifestyle and bad choices, to see if we could be supportive of him emotionally, without supporting him financially or bailing him out. I turned the corner on a lifelong pattern of feeling that I need to be in control of the situation and fix the problems in the family. My life journey is my own, separate from my son's life journey, and I am giving my son the gift of loving detachment.

My MIL got sick again this summer. It's her second bout of cancer and it's been emotionally as hard as physically. It's hard to watch my wife go through the concern and anxiety. They are very close and she's very worried.

Lots of moving! My mom left my hometown, and I didn't realize that my last trip home would be my last trip home, so when she moved it was an odd feeling. My sister moved to Albany, my grandparents moved to Illinois, and my dad plans to move to Seattle in a few years. I don't really have a family center anymore.

I turned 68 this year; my mom died when she was 78. Suddenly, I am looking at my own mortality. There's a line in CHICAGO, "I'm older than I ever intended to be." I never thought about growing old before, or dying, for that matter. Will my granddaughters remember me if I die before they reach their teens? I'm a crafter. . .what if I die before I get it all organized. Will I be remembered for the huge mess, or for my creativity? I have to clean up my act - literally!

Our youngest child became engaged to be married. It brings us into the next phase of life fully.

This is a huge question, and I really don't know a single milestone. L graduated High School and began college, doing very well beyond my wildest dreams. My Ex-Wife got married and appears to be happy and able to let our daughters get on with their lives without the rancor. My oldest decided against a major job change/geographic move that had huge risks and opportunities, at least partly to get to be involved again. She even asked my advice and accepted my support without advice. My Younger D was engaged briefly, got jealous and wrecked the relationship. She isn't ready and it is a good decision. My littlest one is a single child for the first time of her life. But I think the biggest thing has been taking piano lessons again. I left music feeling defeated, untalented and crappy. I rarely have touched a keyboard, except for superficial exercises. G stopped practicing and I decided to shame her into getting back into by subbing for her for a month. I loved it. I play Mozart and Bach daily. I struggle with the Viennese Sonatina that left me convinced my future lay in a Math Major (it did). I am approaching some mastery of it. I can play around people without the tremors and apprehension. I wish G would get back into it, but I love bringing music into the family and our lives.

This feels so self centered. But I guess the big milestone would be me starting my senior year. This is a year of so many lasts, last first days of school, last horse shows, last teacher nights, last dances. And it's changing my relationship a lot with my parents. We have become so much more appreciative of our time that we have together. We share our feelings more and fight less, look for things to do together as a family. I'm really grateful for this change, but it is making the shift away from high school and home and towards university and moving away that much harder.

My daughter started college. I'm still sorting out my feelings. It has been a few very difficult years for (and with) her. Quite the roller coaster, and one with a disproportionate percentage of time on the down side. I'm guardedly hopeful, though wary; we've been hopeful, and disappointed, so many times. I really, really want this to work for her. With so many e-mails, texts, and visits from her it doesn't feel like the proverbial empty nest yet. I work hard at focusing on the positives, and there are indeed positives in evidence. It will be interesting to read this in a year, from a very different perspective.

Growing up with a jewish mother and catholic father was extremely difficult on my sister and I. I can say from experience, these two religions don't mix well, which is why they are divorced. We were never allowed to express Judaism so we had limited knowledge on all things Jewish. After two years, my mother is about to marry. We've been introduced into the phenomenal world of Judaism and it surprises me everyday of how much my mother, my sister and I have learned in just these few years. I feel closer to God and closer to my family. I am thankful for this new family, I am thankful everything new in my life, and I am thankful for Jdate.com

I moved into my own apt after a 27 year marriage, I went from a college student,to a working mom, to a stay at home mom. In the process I lost a great deal of myself. I was very scared to leave a horrible marriage because I thought I had lost myself. For me, heaven was moving from a huge home filled with hate to a small apartment filled with love.

So much happened this year- my brother opened his first of hopefully many delicious restaurants. Clara started walking and talking and becoming even more of an interesting, charming and delightful babe. My sister had a perfect son- Jack- you make all of our days brighter! The most important to me is that my family is still so tight. We all live in Denver and love being together. We get closer and nothing could make me happier. P.s. Dave finished the fence, built a picture shelf and hopefully moved the dirt pile for the final time- huge milestones

my brother turned 60 and next week i'll turn 51! my family and I are happy and blessed to be among the living!

My husband was diagnosed with an untreatable progressive terminal disease at the beginning of the year. After the shock wore off, we realized nothing had really changed...we are all going to die, but we don't know when, and this was still true for him. However, the clock was ticking louder, and our moments are more precious, and time together is savored.

My father needed financial - and a sort of physical - rescue. It has been good to be able to help take some of the burden off my mother's shoulders by loaning him some money, and to use that as leverage to encourage (blackmail?) him into making wiser life choices. I'm not sure yet whether the net effect on me will be negative or positive, or whether such a measure is even relevant. It's family: messy, annoying, mandatory, caring.

My sister got engaged! This hasn't really affected me on a major scale. I'm feeling a little stressed the closer it gets to the BIG DAY as I'm maid of honour. I really want everything to be perfect for her. I couldn't be happier for her and Pete.

My son opened his own business. I fulfilled a dream of studying w/ Robert Dilts and doing the Health Care Certification training. I have changed jobs and have found myself changed.

My family ALL gathered for Thanksgiving. This is the first time that the whole family has been in one room in the last 10 or more years. It was the greatest!! The cousins actually had a good time together as grown ups. The grown ups enjoyed having the kids now be grown ups. It was a wonderful gathering and hopefully the beginning of many more,.

My dad turned 90. For someone who didn't want to live past 80 I was thinking how blessed we are to have him around and still enjoy life. Hope he will be around for a long time in good health

House Kindergarten Tia at college

We passed the one year anniversary in March of my father's death. The first year is so difficult, everything we do in a year is the first one without him. I know we all miss him, but in my family people don't talk so much about those kinds of feelings. My nephew also went away to boarding school to repeat his junior year and play soccer. The first of another generation to leave home. I was awarded the Service to Community and Medicine Award presented by the College of Medicine Alumni Association. It has been spurring me on to even more service and activism.

We started building a tiny house on wheels. It has been a source of great hope and direction, but also a great source of stress.

Meeting my grandson's adoptive parents and being reunited with him has affected me deeply. It has strengthened my faith and belief in the power of prayer, the power of love, and visioning a desired outcome. It has given me great courage to envision other great dreams for my life and to know that if I persist and believe, they will surely come about.

No huge milestones for us directly. Just our super stressful summer, which was at least 65% my fault. Mary's (admittedly much-needed) divorce has affected me some. We used to have fairly little contact with them, but now that her children's father is slowly disappearing from their lives, it seems we are expected to fill the gap. On one hand, yes, the children are innocent and they need a father figure in their lives and helping them doesn't really take away from our kids very much. On the other hand, we *are* stretched very thin already - emotionally, mentally, and financially - and if we wanted to raise 5 kids, we wouldn't have stopped at 2 when planning our own family. I hate that the latter even enters my mind. It makes me seem like a horrible person - and maybe I am. That relationship has always had some underlying tension, and I think it's just pure jealousy on my part that makes me want to scream that this situation that it seems just about everyone except the key players could see from a mile away is not our problem to fix. (And yes, I feel like I need a shower just from typing that.)

My youngest son moved out even though he is only 17 and still in high school. It affected me profoundly at first feeling sad and rejected. Then I took it as a compliment that he was read to be successfully launched and ready to individuate.

My cousin's daughter graduated from high school. i have not actually seen my cousin in many years, nor hav eI ever met her daughter. we connect only through Facebook, and that is recent also.This event showed me the incremental power of small choices...the road not taken.

We had our 12 year anniversary. We have been through so much together and after everything that has happened we are closer than ever. We are working at being a family of 2 after years of infertility, miscarriages and total devastation.

coleman started driving. It was a relief to have that responsibility put to him but also a sad reminder of how quickly he is moving away from depending on us in that way.

My son's birth--but that was my last entry. My dad retired. After many years securing our financial present and futures, he retired. Doing this in itself didn't fix his home-life or his parenting relationship with my brother, which has improved with time. It did give him meaning, purpose everyday. He'd nearly perfected his craft, planning people's finances, because he knows people and what motivates them. His milestone led me to predict my own retirement which after a decades study I can't possibly imagine. I think of retirement and I think of decline, for some reason, and I don't want him to retire; I'm afraid his milestone challenges the way I view my dad, and the fantasy he will always be around.

I got married to an amazing man my parents treat me like an equal like an adult They're giving me some amazing responsibilities like taking over their business and being the executor of their estate two things I never really thought about I'm honored to be trusted by them in this way. It's an amazing feeling

I moved to the same town as my brother after not living near family for the last five years. It has been great! I have really loved getting to re-know him and truly appreciate the adult he grew in to. The move has been exponentially easier because of him.

My grandpa (Sherwin) had a respitory arrest and had to place residence at Piney Lawn for a short while. I discovered this last year when I was studying in the glass room in lobby of Amstutz. I was talking to eric via facetime and my mom texted me. It has only affected me by opening my eyes to what my mom really does not say to us. She did not share that gpa had to even undergo bypass surgery. I had to find out thru White Grandma. Just made me feel untrusting or confused why my mom doesnt share this info with me or my sister. We've never been a family to exploit or complain about health problems. But this same thing happened with brown grandma getting cancer. Jaynanne and I were not informed until it was pretty much over with. Andi know my mom doesnt want to worry us, but I would rather be in the loop than not even have that person on my mind at all during the time they are in pain.

My sister has been through quite an ordeal....I hope no one else is ever made to go through such a disaster! The physical affect on me is quite insignificant but the mental strain this has taken n my family is severe. I hope that I see this again, that my sister will have found peace in her journey and a path to serenity.

The biggist milestone was getting back into going to meetings and really working my program. I think having the kids see me working on improving myself can only inspire them. I have begun to sponsor and I have learned to care for myself. I began caring for my weight and my diet and working on improving my tone and strength. Once I have surgery, I will need that head start to keep moving!! Also a venture on improving my spirituality has centered me. So grateful

My granddaughter, Miranda was bat mitzvah but I w wasn't welcome to attend the service or anything to do with it. I was and still am very hurt by it but still have this idea that I had it coming due to not enough contact with David. David did say I might be welcome if I had more to do with the twins. Fine enough but David has to give me some way of making that contact. I still can't just do it as it wouldn't be understood or believed.

Gracie started school. Such a bittersweet day. I miss having her around all the time. I love seeing her learn new things. Poor Drew has his days where he misses her too. We have established a good routine though.

It was not a major milestone for my whole family, but flying to LA was not fun. It brought back a lot of memories from Grandpa Norman's ashes scattering that were not pleasant. During my time in California, I spent a fair amount of time thinking about my family and the relationships I have with each of them. I was listening to lots of people talk about their families which inspired me to think about how I have a really great family, and yet often I feel very disconnected from them and am upset by our relationships. I had a conversation with my parents what was very difficult. I felt like much of what I was saying would hurt them, but it was how I felt and I needed to express it to be able to move forward without being frustrated with them. I think it has worked out for the best, I can see progress already. Things with my sisters have also been getting a little bit better. I think once I realized that I just really didn't trust them it has been easier to not expect myself to do so much work regarding communicating with them, and so, with less pressure and expectations put on the communication we do have it has been much more pleasant and rewarding. Also my sister got engaged - exciting, not surprising - and it's wonderful, so that is a milestone that will hopefully be full of joy and celebration.

The younger of my 2 older brothers turned 65 & he & his wife celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. These milestones have made me even more aware of the passage of time. I often wonder how much time any of us have left & think about what I'd like the rest of my life to look like.

my grandmother died and my father remarried.... okay, that's two. My last living grandmother actually, such a sweet and caring soul. we had a great long time to say goodbye to her but of course that doesn't take away from the significance of the loss. It feels like a new phase of life, the last bit of sun from yesterday setting, and then my dad has remarried, the first light of a new day I wasn't sure would come! I am very proud of my Dad having overcome alcoholism, depression, and many other bits of self-undoing that I feel may run in the blood. It gives me hope for my ridiculous love life, and I am proud of all of us that we have moved past some of our darker moments as a family, I can feel that I have truly forgiven Dad for some things it took me a long time to let go of, and I am so happy that we have a strong foundation for our family again.

I think that me beginning my gap year has been great for my relationships with the rest of family. I feel closer to my mom because she better understands why I do the things I do. My dad and I were less close last year than ever before because I started driving, which means that we didn't get the "driving time" that we'd always had before. Now, we have more time because my schedule is so different and we can talk whenever. It's also been wonderful to have more time with my brothers. I have been very close with them throughout high school and I feel so lucky to have an extra year to spend with them before we possibly all live in different cities when we all go to college in different places.

The visit of my sister. After not seeing each other for more than 5 years and because she and her family don't have too many resources, coming to visit me in the US was a major event. Above all because they brought with them her daughter which is down syndrome and with whom I haven't had the chance to interact in the past. It was a lovely family reunion for me and hope for them too. They had the chance to visit NYC and Delaware where I live and also meet my boyfriend Mark.

My daughter who has worked at Starbucks for two years became a shift supervisor. Everyone thinks she should be in college but I see her learning and gaining confidence doing this work. I'm realizing its good to listen to what is instead of how things are supposed to be. I have become more relaxed and accepting of her progress.

There weren't any major milestones that happened with my family this past year. The relationship I have with my mom has evolved gradually over the years into something awesome. We get along well and I can talk to her about anything. The relationship I have with my dad is something else. I spent five days at his house with my sister and niece, while he was in ICU. Preparing ourselves for the worst, my sister and I discussed his condition and the possible outcomes. Life or death. He made it out of ICU, only to land back in the hospital the same day he came home. Ambien. He took 2 pills too many, fell and hit his head. Within the next 2 weeks, back to the hospital. This time, he had his toe removed. Infection in the bone. Dad stats: 57 y/o, diabetic since early 20's, insulin dependent, one kidney, esrd (dialysis 3x's week), smoker, permanent disability. Pill addict? It took at least one month after returning home from my visit to reenergize from that trip. I have connected with my anger and feelings of abandonment without a spiritual bypass to justify his journey. I still haven't called him at the inpatient care facility. Tomorrow will be a good day to call and see how he is doing.

off-the-cuff, not taking more than afew seconds to respond, the "thing" that crossed my mind was when my eldest son just stopped talkin to me in october 2013 and only talked to me again on may 9, 2014. i have an inkling why he did, but that was just never validated, till this time. but what struck me was my non-panic, not being angry at him at all (never), no resentment. i wa sjust saddened by his behavior towqrds me. but i really, so effortlessly just accepted that situation with him, wished it was different, kept my hope that he will talk to me to tell me face-to-face (or not) why and what we can do to change/improve things...but i generally just respected his position, though it wa shurting me. i trusted that he heas his reasons, that he's not just doing it to hurt me, so i didn't take it personally. i also continued talking/texting him, and letting him know my door is open. i really was largely (if not totally) good at not making the situation any worse than it is (wehich is not really apt to describe as worse, as it wa sjust a quiet situation...not escalating, not festering...more like a viral flue that you're waiting for it to run its course, and knowing that, if complications do not set-in, then there's no way but up). i like that attitude. and i think i is what it has proved to me. that on "bad" things that i have no control of, breathe, treat it like a viral flu, trust that it is there for a purpose even if you don't get it, try to avoid complications, do not make matters worse, and trust that it too shall pass, and when it does, i will come out at the other end better, happier, wiser, more at peace. namaste!

My oldest child graduated from High School and we took her to college. It has made me very aware of how quickly time passes. And thankful for each moment I have with my kids.

mostly, I think of birthdays and how everyone is getting older and just how much that shifts the dynamic. Dad turned 66, mom turned 69 and grandma turned 92. I feel ever increasing responsibility for their wellbeing and find myself making plans for the future revolving around helping my aging parents. It's scary and happening too quickly and makes me feel a little bit sick and anxious in the pit of my stomach.

zac became a senior in high school this year. I have made sure to take time with him, homework, soccer, shopping, t.v., and just talking/hanging out. I feel like he is opening up to me a little more and maybe trusting me. I have not been judgemental or harsh. I've tried being very open. It feels like its working.

I turned 62 this year, and my husband will also turn 62 next month - we are both really considering what retirement will look like - I take care of my Mom, so I can't predict when retirement will be a reality for me, but my husband is seriously contemplating whether to retire early - finances are always a determining factor, but we both know that time is our most precious asset - travel is very appealing - we're even dreaming about a teardrop camper!

I have a new family: the F's. Actually, I have more added to my family: Mr & Mrs F, Mr & Mrs R, J, and R. It has affected me identifying myself with Z more. I'm no longer with my mom, dad, sister, and brother anymore as I used to. They're still family but I also belong to something new, including the good and bad. I have more people to love, to pray for, to be there for. It also makes it easier with conflicts with my blood family, the E's. I also care about them more and want to make sure they're more a part of my life than ever. I think I took my E family for granted and just knew they would always be there. Now I appreciate they're there and I want to make the effort to keep in touch with them. I don't want anyone left out, ultimately. Obviously I can't change people, but in my heart, I don't want to shut people out.

Grieving the loss of my father. It has been a huge adjustment and commitment supporting and taking care of my mother through this time.

My daughter was accepted into University of Cape Town AND offered a place in a fantastic res. Over the moon - a big positive and so proud of her.

My brother didn't have the courage and maturity to break up with his girlfriend... who is a woman became friends with. Eventually, she ended the relationship. Though I love my brother, I have remained friends with his former girlfriend and her family. This is a difficult line to walk at times, but I think it is worth it. This may also put a strain on my relationship with my brother, however, he really does need to grow up (he's in his late forties!), so maybe this will be a catalyst to help him. Only time will tell.

Major milestones was Maya graduating from 8th grade, then winning states in track and Kai ranked sixth in fencing going to Aruba on the US team. So its been milestones with sports for the kids. This has made me feel that the decision to stay in Portland was a good one for the kids since they are thriving. It has also made me accept that we are here and become more of a parent coach. Making sure they are well fed, well rested and well prepared.

Yesterday was my ten year anniversary with Carley. It feels good. I didn't have any doubt we would make it to ten. I've always felt secure in our relationship. I think I've tried to be a better person because I love her. When we had trouble getting pregnant I was worried for us, but, that finally worked out.

My unmarried, oldest daughter announced she wanted to have a baby and was taking steps to pursue it via a program at the med school, my son got engaged to his live-in girlfriend and my youngest moved in with her boyfriend. My son's engagement gave my wife and great joy. Our daughters' pronouncements brought us feelings of sadness, worry and rejection. Each of these events (considering my son and his now fiance were already living together for some time) underscored the change in social norms from what my wife and I grew up with. Both seemed clear rejections of some important religious tenets my wife and I share. Now as those "milestones" begin daily to drift to the past I find myself feeling more reconciled that 'things really may be different than when I was their age" . But more especially to the reality that everyone is or should truly be an agent unto themselves and that however I may struggle to understand or disagree with their decisions or acts I needn't feel responsible for those decisions or acts. And, I am grateful they seek love. My son with a woman we feel is wonderful, my eldest who has so much love to give that she can't bear the thought of living life without bearing and raising a child, and my youngest who seems to seek fulfillment not just in self by with another. For all that I am grateful. That my wife and I have been blessed with 3 wonderful, independent, free children who seem to know that life is better shared rather than wound and held tightly alone. May God bless us all.

The selling of my home, Mike's suicide and my financial battles. Rescuing a third dog.

A milestone in the past year is that my parents retired. My mother was the one who retired first. It had an impact on me as well. Suddenly, she had nothing to do. I think that this has affected her deeply. She is now mire obsessed with what I do, calling more often. On the other hand, with some "pushing" from me, she became a little more open to travel than she has been in the past 10 years or so. My father also retired. However, he is still working on several projects, giving lectures etc. So that really did not affect me. Hope it wont financially as well. As financially, now I sort of feel obliged that I should be earning enough to take care of myself. Thats about it, hope the milestones in the coming year will also be positive.

I am turning 60 in December and that has been on my mind all year. I can no longer deny that I will get old, am getting old.

Milestone? My kids can take care of themselves, can be home for several hours on their own. Seeing them mature is so much fun. I'm proud of the people they are becoming. This affects me by giving me some freedom. My kids don't need the hands-on care in the same way all the time. But I still love it when they want to perch on my knee - they still have moments of needing mommy time.

My cousin moved out of my home and we've barely spoken since. He's changed into someone I don't recognise and I don't even want to know any more. His parents/my aunt and uncle are horrible people who've cut me out of their lives too. Being cut out of someone's life is something I am more than used to unfortunately, but I'm not upset by this on this occasion as they are miserable, bitter people. I don't see myself as someone with a family, I only have a tiny number of friends and my love, my world; David. Family isn't biological, it's who's been there for you during the hardest times.

I know my last three answers were about my baby, but I can't think of anything that is a more major milestone than becoming a mother and starting a family of my own; going from just being a couple to being a family. Also buying a house together was really wonderful. We've put down roots for a bright future.

i started university and Richard started a new job. University meant that mum and richard had to adjust to being home alone. university has been fantastic for me. I met amazing people and have come a long way personally too.

Well I am finishing my PhD in ct right now. Thst means that I live there 4 days a week- it's been really hard living outside the house. I never feel settled in CT and driving back and forth can be pretty stressful. I've been tired a lot and I never feel that I have enough time with Mary Kate. Sometimes I miss little but important things that happen with her everyday.

no major milestones, no big birthdays or anniversaries. Maggie moved to Cali, only difference is we talk even less because of the time difference.

This questions is easy, because it was the worst experience in my life. Finding out in the middle of the night, just as we were lying in bed that my Dad had a stroke. We just packed, took a cab to the airport, and got on the earliest flight we possibly could. Even writing this now, I relive the fear and doubt I experience that whole flight as well as on and off for the next few weeks. I still have not recovered and I constant worry for my Dad, despite his amazing recovery. I hope to God that this is a distant thought by the time I read this next year. On top of how awful the experience would have been anyway, we had to find out when we were an ocean away. It makes me feel guilty and resent living here more than anything else. My one consolation is that Dad and I have a great relationship and we end every conversation with "I love you", so I am likely to have no regrets. But I still hope that I can spend the next year really getting to know my Dad as a person and not just my father. And also, letting him get to know me.

By far, it has been the birth of my son, Jaxon. At 37, I believe I can appreciate the small things in life. The self-awareness and perspective that I've gained over the last 10 years has helped me truly understand the gift of child-birth, the appriciation of the wide eyed wonderment of a child learning things for the first time, and the love I have for my wife in brining him here.

We took a family trip to America and it brought us all closer together...

My major milestone is trying to establish a relation ship with my Mom and Dad. After my sister Deputy Suzanne Waughtel was shot and killed 1-1-2011 while on duty was devastating enough. I was in Indiana at the time and knew I had to get home and buy a burial site as well as locate one. Find a large church that officers from around the nation could go to and I was ready to pay any and all expenses. She had 2 children Emily who my Mom was her legal guardian , and Charlie who Greg her ex live in took care of since Charlie was 2 years old. My sister had married in May 2010 to Matt who was on methadone , history of drug and alcohol abuse. I always thought has was a project she was trying to fix. Anyway every thing was good the first part of the week, then trust funds were opened in banks by Matt supposedly for the children( he also had 2 children but did not have custody). Well I knew I could take care of Emily and I knew Greg was going to take care of Charlie so I did not worry too much. Then the anger of Dad and my sister Marie came out. They started accusing people of being liars and evil. The started fights and just turned on me. Nasty. After my sister was buried I did not interact with them again, I am trying to put things behind me and start some type of relationship even though I know it will never be the same.

No Sylvin syntymä jälleen. Jokainen päivä on uusi ja ihmeellinen kun saa seurata kehitystä. Koko ajan oppii uusia asioita ja se iloisuus ja vilpittömyys on jotain aivan ihanaa.

My daughter was accepted to and began graduate school, in a program where she will earn a Masters degree and PhD. I'm So very proud of her, for her success and all the hard work and experiences that have led her to this point in her life. She has travelled to Asia a number of times, as part of her undergrad studies, then again as a Peace Corp volunteer. She has lived and served in very difficult situations. She has come to love Asia and its people and culture. She has learned to speak Mandarin and Tagalog. Her ability to adapt, learn, and thrive makes me very proud of my daughter. I want to encourage and support her any way I can. She is an inspiration to me every day..

My mother's death. It has left me unanchored. I am closer to my father, I am for the first time, developing a relationship with my brother as an adult.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's healing from the surgery, and the initial tests seem to indicate that the've removed all of it, and it hasn't spread elsewhere. Only time can tell at this point, but I hope it's just a memory when I read this answer next year.

Graduating college and starting graduate school has been a major milestone in that I am a single mother, previously trapped in extremely limited circumstances. At the age of 33, I am now feeling powerful enough to begin shaping a meaningful, fulfilling life for my daughter and myself. Soon, I will be less subject to succumbing to life's ups and downs, and more empowered to make choices about our lives instead of just rolling with the punches. Education gives you options. I am committed to helping other moms achieve this independence.

We moved into our house. For the first five years since we got married, we were in an apartment. We were trying to sell from year one. Finally in March 2013, we found a buyer. Sure enough that buyer wanted us out asap. We moved into another (rented) apartment. Then, I got pregnant and we had to hurry ourselves out of there to have more room for the baby. To break our lease, we had to do the legwork to find the new tenant. And again, in August, sure enough, that guy wanted to move in asap, and the home we were buying wouldn't be available to us until November. So we lived with my in-laws for a while. Needless to say that was tricky. Useful and convenient in the perspective of childcare for our elder daughter, but still tricky due to the personalities involved. So in November, when we got into our house, that was pretty significant. I'm still figuring out all the new obligations and opportunities 10 months later. Like, omg we have a backyard and could make a sukkah if I had any clue how...

My parents turned 89. They are in relatively good health and for that I am both amazed and grateful. My Mom's age is showing, though, and that makes me both sad and a little desperate for time.

I've had chronic fatigue syndrome, provoked, worsened and possibly caused by generalised anxiety since 1997. This is the first year that my mother has accepted in a supportive way that travel to see her is difficult for me. In the past - well, since I was a child - I've been afraid of my mother's wrath when she is disappointed. She's one of those people who lose it entirely when in a temper. For years and years I did all sorts of things that made me sicker in order to be the daughter she wanted. Not that she acknowledged this - perhaps she didn't even realise it needed acknowledging. Then after a huge row the Christmas before last, when I pulled out of a lunch she'd arranged at the last minute, she seems to have changed her attitude. It's made a huge impact for me on our relationship. I feel I can be more honest with her. I feel more fond of her because finally she seems to see me, as I have been obliged over my life to see her. It's also eased my anxiety in some ways, though not in all. I probably could manage to visit her, but I'm still holding it off, simply because it feels so good to have this understanding. I'm slightly concerned that when I do start to visit again, this period of leniency will disappear and never return.

Eliza started college and moved into the dorm in January 2014. It hit me hard. I felt sad and proud but mostly sad. I couldn't believe we were at this milestone, that 18 years had passed since her birth. I feared the emptiness I would experience.

My mother sold her apartment to better her financial situation, and moved in with my grandmother. This necessitated a major renovation in their shared apartment, and I was meant to participate in this. Unfortunately, I could not visit them, as they live 12 time zones away, and I miss them immensely. I am very sad I am not able to fully participate in this significant life change in my family, and I try to support them in any way I can.

this question would require a family....

I was unemployed for several months and had a hard time finding a job--a first for me. It humbled me and put a lot of pressure on my family. It made me more empathetic to all the people struggling to keep it together, feeling that very real fear of losing everything. In the past my empathy was symbolic; this year it became real.

My sister got pregnant. Without a doubt this has been perhaps the most defining moments in my family relationships. It was the wake-up call I needed to realise that she was not, as I was, putting all her energy in trying to figure out a better way of relating. For me it was also the biggest example to date of her making an impulsive and selfish decision for all the wrong reasons and still not being called on it by my family. It has been incredibly painful to be pitted in the 'ruining it for everyone' position and to feel my parents grow further and further distant but it has also enabled me to see how I am given black and white choices by my family in which to define myself and which do not reflect my character at all. Ironically the one decision that I'd hoped would bring us closer has become the evidence I needed to move away from my family . This has been incredibly painful.

In April, I lost the last of my remaining grandparents. My grandfather passed away at the ripe old age of 92, just before his 93rd birthday. He lived a long, happy, wonderful life. The past 5 years or so had been very hard, as early signs of Alzheimers had set in. He was a shadow of of himself, and selfishly, it was very hard for me to deal with. My memories of him were of a big, strong, handsome man. He was so loving and caring and had a great laugh and a warm smile. In my memories of him, he is middle-aged ... the age he was when I was a child. I think of him and the smell of pipe tobacco seems to creep into the room. I remember crossword puzzles and watching baseball and putting butter on cinnamon rolls. I lived with my grandparents for a short time when I was a kid, after my parents were divorced and my Mom and I were trying to find our place in the world. He would always listen, and offer any advice he may have on the matter at hand. My grandmother was a teacher, so she ruled the house. But my grandfather and I would have secret inside jokes that would occur when she wasn't looking. Sometimes it was nothing more than a look and a wink from him to start me giggling; then my grandmother would turn around and wonder what we were up to. A few years ago, my grandfather moved in with my mom so that she could take care of him. I admit that I didn't go over and visit as much as I should have. I couldn't. Seeing him sitting at the kitchen table, just staring out the window broke my heart. Having him give the same responses to almost any question you would ask him was painful to endure. Some days were better than others, but it was all too much for me to deal with. He was healthy as a horse. He wasn't on any medications for blood pressure or cholesterol. His heart simply gave out. It was him time. As much as it was a sorrowful time for our entire family, when he passed, it was also a small sense of relief ... for me anyway. Relief that he no longer would sit and stare blankly out a window, or unknowingly complete the same crossword puzzles over and over. I like to imagine him as I always remember him ... a handsome man, smoking his pipe and smiling back at me from across the table.

my mom and ben's mom both retired this summer. that makes 3 couples of grandparents that are now available for more Eli visitation. Although it hasn't happened yet, I'm excited to see the impact on my own life. Interestingly, they all went on a long vacation immediately post-retirement which was great for them, but meant limited communication. It was surprising to note how much their absence was felt.

Celebrating Dads 70 years with intention

We've had a non-milestone year really... it's been fantastic with no major health issues and happy people.

The major milestones involve aging. Mom is getting old, really old with old woman complaints and illnesses. She is looking at death with trepidation. I try not to think about it at all. Bob & Jean, all the elder members of the family are aging fast. On the other end the kids are growing up. And I am stuck in the middle not sure who I am.

I got a major promotion. I moved from 'the pack' up to 'senior management'. A) the monetary raise is very welcome (and much larger than expected) B) the gratification (the recognition of many years (decades!) of work in my field is also very welcome C) the title alone is and will be an aid in accomplishing my ongoing job (which hasn't changed) D) the added responsibilities - and the staff I now have and am responsible for, are a heavy weight to carry - don't get me wrong - they are good (both the responsibilities and the guys) - but out of all the things I expected and predicted from a promotion, these are the ones that were 'more'.

Wow, we've had a number of milestones. My daughter's father's parents both died this past year--her grandmother after being placed in a nursing home for dementia care. My ex-husband underwent a lot of stress, getting his parents taken care of, and then the loss of both parents. I miss both of them sometimes, and I know that my ex and my daughter do, too; more sharply than I do. It is a profound passage, witnessing the death of the generation before you.

No great milestones come to mind...other than survival.

Wow, it has been a busy year. Just a few weeks after I found out I was pregnant, Brian's grandmother suddenly died. The doctors told us we had a couple years, then it went to 6 months, and then 2 weeks and two days later she was gone. And then on top of that just a few weeks later, my grandmother died. The only saving grace in that, is that I expected it. And that did make it easier, but it still hurt a lot. I was very close with my grandmother. So two things really came from these tragedies. One, we decided to tell our families earlier then the 12 week mark. I had my first ultrasound two days before my grandmothers funeral, on a day I saw my family at the funeral home finalizing plans. Then at dinner, after everything was done, we shared the news. A way to turn the sad into a happy. My mom said it best. "Life really does come full circle". The second thing, is that I vow to do everything in my power to allow my child to have a deep relationship with our parents, and sibilings. I always wanted a close family. And never really had one that was really close. Though that seems to be changing. And I want my child to have the sense of family that I had when I was younger....when I began my relationship with my grandmother. When she became such an important part in my life.

There haven't been any major milestones in my family or origin or family of choice. None that I can think of or was directly affected by. Sometimes the status quo is a good thing. It means no one has died. Or lost their career. Or their home. This year everyone managed to maintain a healthy life span and continued to perform admirably. So far. It's only September. I haven't built a family of my own, so this question is hard to answer. I feel like it was designed for someone to say my little boy/girl turned x years old. Or 'me and my spouse have been together for x number of years now, my how times have changed". But this is the sort of thing that has no bearing on me. Gee, thanks Question for reminding me that I don't fit the status quo. Everyone else in my family or origin does and good for them for keeping it up. I'll just keep on keeping on thank you very much.

Two major milestones happened in the past year, neither of them happy occasions. One close relative suffered a serious accident followed by a devastating health diagnosis. Acting in loco parentis, I had some responsibility for his care while he was hospitalized and undergoing multiple surgeries. Not having children of my own, this new perspective was life-changing for me. Fortunately, all is well now. The other incident is not resolved, and involves my nuclear family which has been blown apart, possibly irreparably. The truth hurts, and I am reminded that we bear our losses daily through time. Losing loved ones, even when they are not physically gone, is hard.

My daughter was accepted into the masters program and it has brought a huge goal into view for her and for us. We have toiled with her through so many things and to see her realize this has been a relief for all of us. The path wasn't easy to get through, but the reward is so sweet. We have reduced our worry, our frustration, our commingled sense of grief at every wrong turn or injustice. And getting out of that cycle has been so freeing for us, as parents and for her, too.

My father passed away this past year. It was difficult, and I made it through honoring my father the best I could. And my mother moved to Los Angeles. Hopefully it will change the dynamics of my family where my brother takes on more responsibility for my mother. And hopefully we will all get together more often since we'll now all on the same coast.

My daughter graduated from college, so it was a big rite of passage. And I will miss going to the east coast where she went to school.

my mother got engaged this year. it doesn't affect me a great deal because it doesn't change much for anyone, except that maybe she then becomes owner of more than she was before. it affects me emotionally because i know that my mother now has more security than she's had in 30 years, and it is kind of a relief. i never planned on doing elder care and i still don't want to (honestly) so it's good to know that she will (probably) have what she needs no matter what.

I have a family but I live alone. For more than a year now I have thought of myself as an orphan. The odd thing is that my parents were loving people and gave me all the opportunities they could. I have two older brothers who love me and I love them. I even have a niece. But I feel disconnected from all of them. When people say that "family" is important to them I feel pang of sadness and anger in me. I suppose the milestone would be the birth of my niece but whenever I see here I feel as if I am pretending to say the things an uncle is supposed to say. I feel the same when talking to my parents or my brother. Is this the alienation that authors and poets talk about?

I shared the 4 day celebration of my daughter's grad school graduation with her dad, his wife, sister-in-law and step son. I found it difficult to be around him, felt he interrupted & cut me off and acted (like he did when we were married) like his was the only answer/correct way. I need to arrive at feeling neutral around him - he is not worth getting as upset as I do.

My second son started college. We are both happy with where he is at. Now with my daughter and myself alone in this house, I have to really begin facing a future alone. When she goes to college, I won't have anything to frame my days beside work. It sucks.

Milestones, whether major or minor, seem to be the norm in this family. My son & daughter-in-law bought a new house and are thinking about having a baby. My eldest daughter tore out a wall in her house leaving an awful mess, she also adopted a 3-legged dog that isn't totally housebroken and has major health issues. My youngest daughter moved in with her boyfriend and is getting totally involved with his live-in grandson and her moods go from fairly normal to screaming angry and stressed. Plus we put the farm on the market. All this makes me an emotional wreck! I care too much about my family. I need to step back and not take everything to heart

The past year brought a lot of changes, some good, some not so much. A big milestone was the selling of my dad's house. I spent several visits per year there over the last several years. Sorting, throwing, donating, clearing, saving (a little) in order to get us there. It was hard, it made me angry & sad, all at the same time. It makes me determined to *not* leave my children needing to do the same for me. Not that I'm there, yet.

This year marked 5 years since my grandmother passed away. I thought about her a lot this year and was constantly reminded of her because I started wearing a necklace that she used to own and every time I wear it, people complement me on it, letting me know that she is always around. This year is particularly special to me because this is the year that I decided to follow my dreams/passion of becoming a baker and honing my skills, skills that were passed onto me by my nanny.

My brother and his wife had a beautiful baby girl in May. I absolutely love kids, and to have one so close to me is indescribable. She's beautiful and perfect. I feel so blessed to be a part of her life, and to know that we are forever connected.

Mom started dating. It's been an awful experience for me and my sisters. I wish she would act like an adult and stop sharing inappropriate stories.

My mom's 80th birthday reminded me about the deep bonds of family, and how important they are.

Actually, this is not anything that I am particularly proud of. But as an older man, most of my immediate family is dead with the exception of my sister, who I love immensely. Nothing eventful has happened in terms of milestones. In terms of my cousins who I love, two male younger cousins who I was fairly close with died from heart issues and ALS. It certainly helped me reflect on my own mortality, Acceptance of my own HIV status that got diagnosed over a year ago, has affected the way I run my life, but I have been secretive about it with my family, but not with friends. I did not want to burden my sister with such a thing as I have a viral load of zero.

My brother applied to vet school. For once we all agreed on something. We also spent winter holiday in Chicago together without killing each other.

There are two - My husband and I both turned 50 and celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. We renewed our vows at our synagogue - our first Jewish wedding. Our first wedding was conducted by a nondenominational person from the Ethical Culture society. On our first anniversary my in-laws threw us a wedding in France that was officiated - not completely officially - by a priest. So, now we have our bases covered. It was meaningful to me to do in the synagogue with my renewed relationship with Judaism. It was also one of those rare moments when I actually knew my husband really did love me. Mostly, I do know this - but he's not very showy and on this day, it was obvious and that was important for me. The second was the passing of my father-in-law. He died this past summer after an illness of about a year and a half. He was such a lively presence and I'll really miss him. I also feel badly for my children who have lost both grandfathers in the past two years. So, I work to keep their memories alive.

Our beloved labrador, Maggie died. Best dog we ever had and truly a bonding member of the family. Grieving naturally, but it also effects the group dynamics when any vital part is taken away.

My parents sold our family home. I didn't think I'd miss it, but now I'm not sure. Not all great memories, but still, there might be more than I initially thought.

A first cousin, just 4 months older than I, got breast cancer. The first in our family to do so. It was stunning b/c there was no history of it in our immediate family. Because I also have cancer, it drew us again closer and ensured a f2f visit which we haven't had in years for any period of time w/o other family around. We were able to talk and talk and eat and cry and talk and laugh and eat and cry and talk. We learned so much about each other that we'd hidden from anyone. We learned how truly screwed up our family is; we formed a new bond in our late 60s that will last til we die. The impact was surprising.

My paternal grandmother passed away. She had been very sick and fragile for awhile, so it wasn't a total shock, but the fact that my mom and I were out of the country when it happened was heartbreaking, especially knowing that my dad only had my brother to comfort him. My grandmother was one of the most kind and caring individuals I've had the pleasure of meeting, let alone related to.

I don't know that I can think of any besides my wedding... (Q1). No births, no deaths. No alarms, no surprises. I will keep thinking on it...

Frank got a new job and doesn't live at home four days per week, so I've gotten an abundance of alone time. Justine moved back in recently, so it is more limited now, but now I know I am really good being alone. I very much enjoy it and use my time well.

My father retired at the end of 2013. This had a positive effect on my life because it meant that he was able to attend my PhD graduation in Arizona.

Leah moved from TX to VA to CO. This has made me wonder about my priorities and where I really want to be. I had to confront whether I want to leave a school where teaching is such a joy and move to a more expensive place where teachers are paid less to accomplish more with inner-city kids.

Our daughter decided to become our son. I cannot say how this has affected me yet, just that it is major and I feel different things on different days. One thing I know is that it has made me more aware of seeing her/his soul/essence and remaining in "love," rather than stuck in the gender binary, but...not every day.

This year we rescued two kittens and have been taking care of a stray. It's definitely rewarding -- my heart melts for them, instantly -- but it's eaten up a LOT of time and money that otherwise would have been spent on other things. I've taken to telling people that rescuing kittens is what I do for a hobby. I would never take it back or do it any differently, but there are times that I wish that my gf & I were more financially secure, so that it wasn't so much of a struggle for us every time it happened.

I attended the wedding of a distant cousin as my family's representative. Suddenly I'm not a kid anymore!

My oldest sister got in a serious relationship, and now they're living together, and they'll probably be engaged in a year or two. It's not a huge milestone for the family as much as it is for my sister, but it was still a big deal. She's the oldest, and she's the first one to take this huge step into full-on adulthood. It has made me more eager for life after college. It reminded me of how young I am, and how much I have ahead of me. It has reminded me that even though I'm away at college, I still have a lot of life as an adult left- I will spend most of my life as an adult, and not a child.

My oldest brother and his wife moved across the country; they're the first of the kids in our very close family to be "gone." Two months later, their son was born. He's the first grandchild and great-grandchild. Both events make me realize how quickly time is passing, and it has made me linger and treasure the present like never before- especially moments with loved ones, good or bad. Even though I went far away for school, It's made me realize the effort it takes to be in someone's life when they're not physically close.

The tragic accidental death of my daughter-in-law and the scare of my wife potentially having lung cancer was an abrupt, visceral reminder of how precious our friends and loving family members are to our emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing and sense of security. It underscores my belief that we need to live every moment of our lives as if it were our last moment of life here on our incredibly precious and beautiful spaceship Earth.

I suppose that could be my dad getting sick because we all had to pull together to work hard for him

My niece became a bat mitzvah June 7th. Her celebration was an occassion for bringing disparate sides of the family together. It was a wonderful event but also a sad one. My Mother and Step-father and Aunt and sister, etc. saw my father for the first time, as an old man. Not old on age but in spirit. It was as if his sould had all but fled his body. He was broken and sad. It was really tragic. It was also at this time, that I was informed through my husband (2nd oarty) about my Dad's relapse. Since he was too ashamed to tell me himself, I don't know if he had been drinking all that past year or even before, as some suspect. All I know, is that I wasn't prepared to see my sober father (who was the one who encouraged me to get sober), drink in front of me and try to be discreet in front of his granduaghter about sneaking a bottle of wine from her father's collection at 11 am.

I have let go of my family this year: my sister, my mother, my son. I continue to mourn the loss of them in my life, and to try with everything I have not to give up on life, but to find a way forward toward something positive.

Purchasing a puppy and a new house. The house purchase is always stressful moving but it was net positive. The puppy was extremely positive in every measurable way.

We have money ie increased disposable income. Life is less tense Mary died - was able to really help the family and also work with Ritz

No major milestones in the family in the last year. Sheesh, am I boring?

Despite the tsouris associated with, the birth of Sophie Rose Behar, born 9/26/14.

This year some of my best friends, David Stronczek and Jill Faro (Stronczek) were married. I was sad that I was unable to attend their wedding. It was held at the port on the south side of Texas. They then had a beautiful wedding on a cruise ship in the Gulf Of Mexico. Upon returning, it was announced the David would be taking over for Jeff Gerhart as Engineering director for Martin Sprocket & Gear.

There isn't one thing or event that happened that I would identify as a milestone. We experienced more intimacy ("in to me you see"), honesty & ownership as a family. More love & vulnerability shown to each other especially when we were open to receiving. I know more now that I don't have to pretend that everything is okay with me when it's not. I know that I may express the truth with more confidence and ownership. I can be more real so less drama, victim behavior and judgment. I know more now that I may make requests for support.

I turned 60 and I still have absolutely no support from my daughter. She's still unkind and selfish even though I'm getting older.

My brother got married. It was controversial. Proved how disjointed we are as a family despite my mothers dream for a brady bunch setup.

My father moved to Florida. I'm not sure yet, since it's new, but I know it will affect our dynamic. We weren't very close to begin with, and now he lives ~1000 miles away.

My youngest sister really started acting like an adult. It made me so happy to see her as a self confident woman. I hope that even when hard times come and she gets depressed, she can still realize that this is a smart, fun human being who has great things going for her, and this will help her push through the bad stuff.

I can't answer this the way it's written so I'll answer it the way my mind has meditated on it for many hours now. I think of a major milestone as something that marks the ending of one time and the beginning of another. Birth is the milestone that marks our entry into the world; Death is the milestone that stands at the finish line of this particular journey. I think almost everything in between those two milestones are pieces of bread we toss down on the trail like Hansel and Gretal, or bits of fabric we tie to branches so we can look back and see the way we came. My mother used to tell me not to be afraid of death, not to be sad when she died, that "death is just another part of living". She believed, as I do, that a new beginning awaits and only those left behind carry the weight of loss when someone dies. It's a heavy weight, for sure. Sometimes, in our lives we step off the path for awhile to mourn and stack up stones in memory of someone who has departed. When we lose someone we love, it's as if a great storm whipped up the wind and felled the trees around us, sometimes they topple right down on top of us, and we think we will never be the same. Sometimes it feels like a permanent ending. It certainly feels like a milestone. But it isn't our milestone. We may change. We may begin to fear the wind or look less kindly on the trees. We may lose our hearing for a time and not hear the song in the water or the whisper of leaves. But eventually we get up and we continue on. Sometimes more slowly than at other times. We may look back now and again focused on those little memorials along the way, but as long as we are still here, as long as we are still on this path that only leads one way, every part of our life is a part of something still in the making. What we think is a milestone one day may look awfully tiny and far away when we have moved farther down that road. I guess what I am saying is that the two great milestones aren't anything that we have to think much about. Milestones are markers that we can't change. They are already standing there waiting. We come into life, and we go out. What we have to think on is the strips of fabric tied to tree branches and the little memorials we leave in small clearings along the way. Those aren't things to find our way back like Hansel and Gretal thought they were. There's no going back. Those are the things we leave for those who come after. Those are pieces of the fabric of the universe and one day, they're all going to be stitched together.

My grandmother had major surgery and took a very long time to come out of anesthesia. We were all afraid she was going to die, but luckily, she pulled through. I also recently found out our cat that we gave to my mother-in-law died in surgery for a urinary tract blockage. Outside my own family, a little girl with cerebral palsy I worked with passed away and one of my best friend's other friends died from brain cancer. A major theme in my life this past year has been death and mortality. I really haven't dealt with much dearth in my life compared to a lot of other people, but I have a feeling it's going to get a lot worse pretty soon because I'm getting older.

I've always though well of my family up until the last couple of years. I guess this recent discovery has a lot to do with personal growth after a devastating divorce. I've been witnessing to a lot of fallout from a distance. I'm not there in person to see the faces and hear the stories, but from what it sounds, it's all too petty with theatrics, hurt, shame, fear. I'm astonished to discover the dysfunctional dynamics within my family. I'm considering addressing my siblings and reminding them of the value of respecting each other, dropping grudges and to agree to disagree. I have nothing to loose. I just want my mom to be happy and secure with her family.

My wife and I were overjoyed to learn in late August that we are expecting our first child. Since then, I've thought every day about what we need to accomplish before the baby arrives, as well as how I can be the best father I can be. I have great role models for how to be a father among my family and friends, and I look forward to using their actions as an example for how to be the best father I can be.

My grandad died this past year, his condition was bad and seen the way some family members acted was hard to see.

My parents sold their house and moved into an apartment. They say the house is too much and they don't need the space. I think this is the first time I noticed they are getting old.

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. It should have felt happy and jubilous. Instead it made me sad and scared. Sad because my marriage had ended, and in my new relationship we have not married yet and will never reach a 50th. (In our 40s now) It scared me because my father has a genetically inherited condition which is a profound movement disorder, and is accompanied by dementia. I know I carry the gene and looking at where he is now and how my mom has to care for him, I fear for my future, and for my partner's future.

Sarah graduated !!!! I am so proud of her !!!!! She did an amazing amount of work on her thesis and I have just been bragging about her to anyone and everyone who did and didn't listen. I am so excited for her and want her also to be happy and at peace with her move across the country. I'm so excited to see what she will do next.

My cousin has terminal cancer. I have nothing to do with her.

Sadly, I can't think of any major milestones that have occurred with my sister and I.

2 really. The birth of Shoshana my granddaughter has changed us all. Truly wonderful to be a Grandpa And turning 60, somehow makes and made me feel very special

La enfermedad de mi abuelo, aunque mas bien es el resultado del inminente paso del tiempo. Él cumplira 95 años en octubre. El doctor dice que todo lo que le esta pasando es parte de los achaques de la edad. Su estado a decaído aunque él se encuentra de buen humor. Verlo así me preocupa aunque se que es un proceso natural. Toda la familia se ha visto afectada y cada quien hace su parte. Aunque creo que no lo suficiente.

We were officially empty nesters after our son left for Florida State in June. This has given us time to be together and take our relationship in a new direction.

A major milestone for this and the last two years has been the birth of my grandchildren .This year JB was born 3 weeks ago a wonderful addition to the other two H now 2 and E now 1. There is such happiness in loving and enjoying these little ones-- a pure happiness that I have not felt in the longest time

My 2nd nephew was born. I was in a really bad place when it happened, so it didn't affect me the way it should have probably. I need to take more time to stop and absorb the things that are happening around me .

My son got his first 'real' promotion on the job, working for a company, doing what he loves. It has changed him. He feels validated and proud of how hard he's been working. As his mother, nothing could make me happier than to see my child flourish and grow doing what he loves. Many of his college friends are working in finance, 80 hours a week, making big bucks but burning out quickly and having no work/life balance. We encouraged our son to follow his passion and advised him that the right choices for a person do not always bring in the most money - at first. (We stressed the 'at first' part.)

This year, we bought our first house together. Even more than getting married, I believe this step cemented our relationship. I enjoy having something that is neither his nor mine, but ours, and I cherish what it symbolizes.

This is the year we have watched Charles come so close to death. we have mourned and let go many expectations. we are still letting go, we watch a love one holding on to life and everyday seeing him suffer is much too much to bear. we pray that the suffering ends and we pray for happiness good health and for Peace.

Mom died in March. We all knew the lung cancer would eventually get the best of her, we just didn't expect her to go so suddenly. One of the hardest things to cope with was dealing with the grief. I wasn't prepared for it to be so intense. But I've learned to hold on to the good things of mom, and let all the annoying stuff become irrelevant. It makes the grieving process a little easier.

Jay, Mark and I traveld to Carolina to reunite with brother bill. The bond between us was strengthened.

Sophie started at Hendrix and I got a new best friend.

The first thing that comes to mind is the diagnosis of cancer for Mom and how that impacts my relationship with her and my relationship with my sister, who lives near my Mom and is taking on the responsibility of getting her to and from appointments -- (not to mention my relationship with my own mortality). I feel okay about death and, even, the process of dying. Mom is scared, very scared -- she would, I think, have preferred "not knowing", but due to circumstances, and not to symptoms, she found it out. Then anxiety arises. My work is always to help calm people it seems, which means I must remain grounded, which is not too difficult. My edge is where I feel I cannot help my sister in transporting Mom to doctors' appts, chemo, radiation, etc. I have told her she can call me at any time and I will come; nevertheless, the reality is that if I drop everything and go, my profession has a big potential of falling off the map. And the money from clients pays my rent and utilities. However, I am willing to allow it to fall off the map and take the risk should the situation occur where I am needed. This also gives rise to my own consideration of mortality and my not completing the very tasks I tell others to complete. What is wrong with me??? Why the resistance??? I would like to do this: get my advanced directive, family trust, all of that in order. Then, perhaps, I can relax. So, I tell myself: get going!

This is the hardest one for me to answer. I feel like for as long as I 10Q it will continue to be. My dad's gofundme campaign was successful. He, his soon to be wife and her son are all under the same roof. He and his all but wife both have jobs and are financially stable. This has meant not having the emotional stress of last year, as well as, loosing contact with my dad now that we are not talking regularly as a result of his situation. This goes back to needing to find ways to be in communication with those not most geographically present in my life.

My wife and I turned 50 six days apart in February. It is interesting to me to compare how I felt to our 40th. Ten years ago we made a hig deal of it - invited friends and family to visit us, reserved a banquet room in our favorite restaurant. Thus year, perhaps because our lives are so full (in a good way) we decided we wanted to party. We reserved an area at a local bar/dance club and invited friends to meet us there for a nigt of drinks and dancing. It became a luttle surreal as our guests melted away around 11, leaving us alone with people half our age. But we had a blast and what I take away is that we are not really thinking about aging or slowing down, but just focused on living our lives with the people who matter most to us.

My sister was in a really bad car accident. She's going to be ok, but it was really scary and I wasn't able to see her until about nine months after it happened.

Mom turned 70 this year. She wishes that for her 80th we have another family celebration. I pray that she stays healthy until then and we can have another party for her 90th.

I don't think this is a milestone, but it is significant for us… Family came to visit from far away. Loads of family. Various visits. We survived. It was really nice to be the family that people make the effort to come see.

My second cousin Holly got married. Nearly all my cousins came to the wedding and I felt connected to them. Nice to be with family on a joyous occasion.

That's the great thing: there has been no "major milestone". They're happy and safe, and that's all that matters.

This year, my mother finished her radiation therapy and officially beat breast cancer. It was a tough road for our whole family. Cancer hit my parents at the worst time financially-both my sister and I were married during the start of her treatment-and it really tested us all. Her illness and recovery, though, have brought us all closer together and made us realize what is really important. That may sound cliche but it's true.

My mother in law died. I have learned that not everyone mourns in a way I understand. For some it is kept inside and it is hard to comfort a soul who has lost someone they loved. We have an old cat and he is doing quite well despite heart attacks and kidney disease and this is very touching because he has been with us almost 19 years. The kitten has also turned 10 and is getting more secure. But losing m-in-law was hard for me because I loved. I know it was hard for my husband but we do not speak of it. Sadly

Already mentioned that this summer my wife and I celebrated our 4oth wedding anniversary. The celebration was a wonderful two-week cruise, which certainly reminded me that this marriage is the best and most important part of my life. Dealing with life as one of two people can be one of the hardest things in the world, as I see around me (and on rare occasions even feel myself). But for me it's made everything else possible on the worst days, and heavenly more often than not.

I spent a lot of time with my eldest brother's family in London this year. It was nice becoming the favourite aunty and spending so much time with my nieces and nephews I comforted my mum at some point reassuring her that Refael would be okay, but tbh, that could have been last yr...not so sure Daniel tried to have a heart-to-heart which was nice I think I'm appreciating the little awkward moments of tlc we take the time for in our family. Even if it can often feel uncomfortable

My dad was diagnosed with ALS/PMA. His health has declined drastically in the past year, more than anyone could have anticipated. I'm writing this now from outside his hospital room while a machine breathes for him and the possibility of this being his last day alive is very real. I'm completely numb.

My moms battle with breast cancer ended with a mastectomy and in June a diagnosis of being cancer free. This has been a large stressor on the family so we are so thrilled that it ended on a positive note.

My grandmother turned 100 this year. While she isn't at mobile as she once was, she's still every bit as delightful as she ever was and such a warm, kind soul. I don't think I've ever seen her upset. And, I'm not exaggerating. She's always content, even though her life style has diminished in recent years, due to her breaking her hip and needing a full time caregiver. But she's every bit as smart and opinionated as ever. She doesn't judge anyone and is really just happy to be alive. All this, after her son died 16 years ago and her husband died 7 years ago. It just makes me consider how much energy we all put into complaining when things aren't going our way and how this affects our health. She's such a role model to me - I hope I can emulate her as much as possible.

One of my oldest nephews got engaged to his long time girlfriend. That's significant enough to be considered a major milestone but what has affected me more is one of my brother experiencing the power of God in a tangible way. I don't know how much it has sustained but I know that he became aware his need for God and the importance of being hungry for God--"seek and you will find" principle became real. It was a significant answer to prayer and God will continue to soften his heart for his family. And I was encouraged to keep praying for good, healthy relationships among family members--total restoration.

This was a pretty low key year for us, there were no major milestones that I can recall just small stepping stones. I am happy that there were no major changes or developments. We needed a rest!

Common theme here for me. Loosing my mom and day is so huge! It was good getting closer with my brother again.

I became a nurse, and I began working as a nurse, with all the responsibility and authority that entailed.

My grandmother had to move out of her home of more than 60 years. Going through her belongings made me really think about objects, beauty, and how life is so temporary. It sucked. She has, she had an extraordinary collection of German expressionist art and just impeccable style. When she moved to the nursing home she wanted none of it. She is 101, it should be expected that she has to make these moves. But it was still sad. And I hate no longer having that home on the Eastside of Providence. It feels like a real loss.

The milestone is not mine but my grandchildren's, all of whom have taken productive, major steps forward in their lives, making good choices and achieving success with their goals

The girls are now nine and eleven years old, and I'm reminded every day how quickly they grow up.

A huge, major milestone in my family this year has been my brother getting married! It was a momentous, joyful, wonderful occasion, and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it all. While I hoped that somehow, it would automatically make me much closer to my sibling and his wife, that hasn't happened, at least not to the degree I might have hoped. However, I do acknowledge that I could put more effort into trying to cultivate my relationship with each of them individually, and with them as a couple. I remember the joy and surprise at being asked to be a bridesmaid, and then the kind-of-surprising revelation, and shock, at my dad telling me that P initially told A she didn't have to include me in the wedding party, that it was no big deal. For the most part, I didn't have any negative emotions, only a few minor hints of "I should have been first" or "It's never going to happen for me." I do wonder, though, if it's affected my own relationship with D, if I'm overlooking red flags because this is the closest I've been to serious commitment and I'm subconsciously afraid that I won't be here again... which then leads me to wonder if the doubts are really a camoflauged attempt to act on my own fear of commitment (that I don't really know if I have or not). I will also admit to having weddings on the brain, thinking about timing and life commitments and wedding ceremonies and potential children. It kind of freaks me out (and then again, this reaction/effect makes me question whether I'm just about the most self-centered person around, turning around this joy and making it all about me and my fears/doubts)...

My sister is pregnant! She is having a little girl and I could not be happier! This is my first niece and my parents first (and probably only) grandchild. I am already so in love with this baby and she isn't even here yet. It's so crazy because last year I was writing about my sister terminating a pregnancy and now she is having a baby. I struggled so much with her abortion last year and our relationship struggled. This year we are in a great place and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby Alexia!! This child has brightened the entire family, she is our little miracle baby!!

This year, my aunt Ronna successfully completed her first major round of treatments to wipe out the cancer that she had had. She is still receiving some treatment as a planned follow-up, but it seems quite clear now0 that she is on a road beyond the recovery stage and into a rebirth of many of the things she had to temporarily set aside, and amazingly, that list was not very long because of how determined she was throughout it all. For me, it was a very Close to home reminder of the importance of putting life in perspective. So many people have problems that are so much more pressing than my own, even if we lead different lives and come from different places, all of which I know are not comparable. But to compare them for the sake of maintaining perspective, that I think is useful, and this certainly has done that for me.

to be honest, I can only think of myself moving into Xavier. sooo...it affected me specifically quite a bit. in a good way.

We sold our condo and moved to a rental apartment across the street. Every time I'd sit down to do the bills and I wrote a $800+ check for the condo association and $1100+ check for the mortgage and the credit card bill and utilities had yet to be paid, I knew we could not afford our housing. We needed to sell it but once we did, it was hard. We could never afford the condo. It feels like we can't afford a lot of things. We're in the midst of unpacking while my mother-in-law recovers from knee replacement and I am newly pregnant and withdrawing from Lexapro (that's a fucking bitch). It's a lot to go through. And I want a dream house one day, one day soon. But for now, it's 2nd floor (8th, really) living without a yard. And I wonder when I'll finally feel like a real competent adult who can fully sustain my family financially.

Son's Bar Mitzvah - Brought me closer to my siblings because I realized how they supported me. Also, the friends of mine who came to the party were really my friends - not obliges. Also - except two, none of Sid's family came = they really were phonies all these years. Also - my mother wasn't that important == big relevation.

We got my oldest son, then a 9th grader tested at school and learned that he does have a very high IQ, and did do very well on all UNTIMED tests, but he has problems with executive functioning (ADHD) and low processing speed, which is why his homework takes so long to do. He ended up with an IEP which gives him extended time on science and math tests. Overall, this was a really good experience. We got a pretty precise sense of where his difficulty lies, which meant we also could relax about whether it was an issue of poor parenting -- were we too lax, did we let him play too much video games, etc. And for him, the testing made it clear that it was not that he was lazy or wasn't trying or didn't care. It was that some aspects o homework are much more difficult for him that for most of his peers. And finally, it meant that we could focus on the real problem and on finding work arounds for him. So he feels better about himself, and we feel better about ourselves as parents. Plus, he gets the help he needs.

We lost a young and beloved family member. It's made my brother more open to forgiving and set an example about how to value each other.

This really sounds mundane, but we actually replaced our cars this year. My wife had a 1996 Izusu Oasis - that she adored but it finally needed to be replaced, and we were very patient in finding a replacement, and found a great car for her at a very reasonable price. We also needed to find another car for me to drive to my work (the Expedition was too costly - fuel wise), and being a 16 year old car - its reliability over the long haul was definitely in question. Again, we were able to find a very satisfactory replacement. My son loves the car, and expects it to be his when we finally agree to let him have his own car (he even named it Sheleg - because of its color).

My son started a few jobs, and for a variety of reasons was fired from them. Most of them were because of things he said, by offering "too much information", others because he believed the jobs were "beneath" him. With regards to impact on me, it continues to cost me money, car payment for him, insurance, gas.... I am disappointed.

My son's birth change my family for the better. It made me brave in ways I would never have imagined. Matt did not plan to stay for the birth out of fear of the blood and guts, but choosing to do so strengthened our bond. I will always cherish the picture of Matt crying as our son was born with the realization we were a family. I love the joy and awe I see in my parents each time they interact with their only grandchild. I love how this baby captivates all of the aunties and uncles.

My parents started travelling together. They bought a holiday trailer, and they've now taken two trips across the province/country every fall once they've finished haying. After so many years of rough roads in their marriage (which most likely should have ended in divorce), they're now doing better than ever and starting to enjoy their time together away from home and reconnecting with old friends and family across the country in doing so. It's lovely to finally see them on the same team, rather than bitterly pitted against each other as they were when we were younger. It's made me so proud to see what it's possible to make it through in the name of love, and how people can learn to make the best of any situation. Eventually we might even convince them to leave the country with us :).

That would be my sister's diagnosis with breast cancer on April 1st , her birthday. It is extremely unfair for someone who has already experienced difficult life challenges, and she is now facing perhaps her most formidable one at age 70. I realize how much I love her and how much I want her to live and, selfishly, to be able to spend time with her, travel, do things with her. It also scared the hell out of me. I learned that after age 60 chances of breast cancer are 1 in 8! Sobering.

The major milestone is probably moving in with Peter. It should be the beginning of a big deal. Moving in has continued to mesh us into each other and I bet we do this for a very long time.

Al's son had a so. And we haven't seen him yet. I can't believe we haven't.

My mom, at age 70, got remarried in May. I am so very happy for her, but it was also hard and confusing. For one thing, the ceremony was private, and even her children were not invited. We all really like mom's new husband, but it is still weird to think that, at age 33, I have a stepdad. Mom met her new husband at the mall in January of 2013, about six months after my dad passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. The two have been inseparable ever since. They make each other very happy, laughing all the time and enjoying life. I have never seen Mom so happy. I want to be that happy someday.

Over the course of the last year my father got divorced again. He has slipped back into depression and withdrawn from contact. I am very worried about his future - who will take care of him, how he will spend the remaining years of his life. We no longer have regular phone conversations, which I miss. My children miss seeing their Bob-bob. It all makes me feel guilty for my own happiness and the happy, healthy state of my marriage. I'm not sure how to fix it, or if it's my problem to fix.

Probably the biggest milestone is our move to the midwest after 14 years in our former home. New house, new neighborhood, new Jewish community. I think it has energized me. I see this as a new beginning with opportunities. I have begun to feel more engaged religiously after a long period of disaffection. I have been able to connect with friends that were more distant. I have started new habits and i LOVE my new office. So I am a bit more peaceful...

Jesus... There have been too many to count. Sadly, Zaydie passed away in January. But, then Max and Sybil were born, hooray!!!!!!! All was great, Reese was born in May. And then Bubbie got sick in July and passed away in August. I never would have guessed that I would have lost both of them in one year, but sadly that is what happened. It has been incredibly hard, but has made me realize even more how important family is, and how lucky I am to have everyone in my life.

My stepchildren's mother slowly dying increased the distance between me and my stepdaughter at a time I longed for us to grow close again.

My father fell and broke his pelvis in two places and he had been in the hospital since March. I have not been able to have a sustained conversation with him and I have only see him twice since the fall. I feel guilty about that. It has affected me in that I no longer am able to have a relationship with him where I can talk about anything with any depth or complexity.

Grandma moving into a "long term care home" or a "nursing home" or I don't even know what you call it, the idea here being that she can't bathe or feed herself properly anymore. I have no prior experience watching a person go through this phase of life. And clearly my parents are reacting, my Dad with more calm, he's done this one before. But my Mom isn't. And I can see through her that watching one's mother grow old can be challenging indeed.

My father going on hospice. Even though he has not passed away, I can feel the loss

Bob's parents, as they approach ninety, are less and less healthy and need more help. They are both remarkable people and have lived lives of great helpfulness. now they need help back and I love that their family provides it. I feel sad and angry that people, especially these people, become less competent with age. I feel afraid of losing competence in time, and also comforted that I have daughters who would take care of me if I needed it. I hope I don't ever need that kind of care and help, but I know that in that I am like everyone else.

The major milestone of my daughter graduating college! This has made me feel like a good mom and very proud that my daughter is doing so well in life. This is a first step for her in becoming an adult, not quite there, but getting there, and a big step in that direction.

Non abbiamo fatto Natale insieme per la prima volta da quando sono nato. La cosa mi ha dato tristezza e me ne dà ancora, anche se ripensandoci a distanza di tempo era una cosa che dentro di me mi aspettavo e alla quale ero pronto.

There haven't been any milestones in our family this year. Moshe and Rachel moved to Boulder Colorado and I would put money on their staying there for a while. This coming year will have many milestones- God willing- George will turn 70, Moshe will receive his Phd, Liba will turn 40, Avram will be ordained, Max will receive his MSW and Nomi will get her BA.

I asserted a new boundary with an unhealthy family member. I was able to chose my own emotional and physical safety over money and manipulation. I was able to hold that boundary over an extended period of time. This is the first time I've been able to hold that boundary. It affected me by showing me that I have the ability to stand my ground and to pick myself first no matter the pain that comes with it.

My only child moved overseas for a year. I've had to step back and let him make mistakes and fend for himself. Knowing that he's not 15 minutes drive away was hard at first, particularly in an emergency, but I've learned that we can make another plan - that there always is a Plan B

My aunt died. My favorite aunt died. I suppose I could have included that in the first answer but I didn't... I miss her. I never got her gumbo recipe and I can only hope she knew that she was my favorite. there was about a week's time where I tried to get together with my cousins and renew my childhood friendships but those friendships are long dead and forgotten.

My sister gave birth to her fourth child, a girl. She's cute and she's snuggly and yummy, but other than helping out more around my sister's house for the first month and change, it hasn't affected my life a lot. Just one more kid to think of presents for when I visit. I guess it makes me a little sad I don't have kids of my own, and I don't know if I ever will.

Both mum and dad had cancer and pia was released from jail. There was a brief period in which all 5 of us were living in the same house for the first time in almost a decade.. I think this situation definitely helped me develop patience and acceptance around mum and Pia. I did grow a lot but as a result I think my level of self righteousness also increased and is definitely something I need to work on.. Also my arrogance. Because I was always the peace maker and the voice of reason and tollerance, everyone sort of looked to me for my ruling... Also as I became more accepting and tollerant of mum and Pia my perception of my Dad changed a lot. It's really hard to see him make decisoins becasue they are normally based on fear ; a need to control the situation (normally with money) or puts down mum .. normally while defending me...It feels wrong but I am yet to learn how to handle it.

My father went back to the Universe. Obviously, this has affected me in many ways. I will never hear my father's voice again. I can't call him to seek medical advice, to talk about art, music, philosophy, gardening or anything. I dreamed about him once. I feel his presence through the ether. That's comforting. I miss him. I now call my mom nearly every day to check on her. My mother will be relocating. I'm planning ahead for my own physical demise now. I want to have everything in order.

My family finally completely abandoned me. Although with all the begging and crying to let me be a part of the family my mother grudgingly agreed to send me money, emotionally and practically I am on my own. The last straw, when my mother with the help of my brother moved without so much as a word to me. This has made me feel alone, truly and deeply alone, and like I am destined to be this way for the rest of my life. As I try to make my way in the world I find that I have such a hard time connecting with people, with feeling acceptable, and I believe it's because I never learned how to make human connections due to my family situation.

Reconnecting on a deeper level with my (half) sister has been one of the most satifying events in my recent life. I feel a DEEP connection with my sister. We seem so sympatico. I feel she is the complement to me. I have so ofen felt misunderstood, left out, marginalized, whatever...but she has provided me with a touchstone that has been missing in mylife. I feel a deep love for her that transcends our 20 year age difference and our very different upbringing. I just love her, purely and without any judgement. This is a profound connection that I have been waiting for and wanting for 60 years...

My generation grows old. We are the ages of grandparents and getting close to the ages of being great-grandparents. It is frightening for me to realize so clearly that we all have our ends closer to us than our beginnings. It is frightening for me to see our health declining, our increased needs for medical interventions, our changed appearances that include thinning and greying of hair and wrinkling and coloring of skin and change of posture and altered abilities. But I see our children and their children thriving, exploring, learning, growing. I am acutely aware of Life's cycles and rejoice in the continuation of what has been. I hope that what has been good goes on for generations to come and what has been terrible goes by the wayside forever.

The major family milestone was the birth of my son Escher. My cousin is also now expecting a baby to be born this winter. This is a major event for my family because these two babies are the first of their generation. The last new baby was my cousin Jeff who is nearly 30. This has affected me because before, at family gatherings, we were still "the children" even though we were well into adulthood. Now there are real children to join the crowd.

My mum was made redundant from the small business she had worked in for over 20 years, she has low self confidence and so was scared and worried about not getting another job or not being able to do it as the business she had experience in was very small - she was basically the only staff member. But her customers knew how good at her job she was and really loved her and so when she applied for another job one of the people knew her and I think that helped her to get the new job, where she is flourishing, is now in charge of her own department specialising in gardens which is her skill, and has recently become an Ambassador for her section to go round and help other stores improve their sales. It has really boosted her confidence but she does get stressed at times because she still worries sometimes she is not good enough. I am extremely proud of her.

getting divorced. changes everything. changes life for the kids. changes life for who i thought would be my partner for life. changes life for me. its a positive thing though. while going through it is sad......someone told me their parents divorced and remarried people that brought out better things in them...and they ended up having a whole different life...a better life..than they ever would staying in an unhealthly marriage. so i'm hopeful. but still sad.

Growing up I was always the tricky one, the one in trouble. I like to think (and kind of genuinely do think) that it's because I was never prepared to take things that were pure WRONG lying down, and stand by and watch people get hurt. For instance I would get in fights with my dad to defend my sisters who basically never did the same for me. But there's a strong argument to say my stubbornness was plain silly :p Anyway, things have changed. Weirdly, somehow, after years of battling it out with my parents, I'm the one that gets on best with them now. I've got to a stage where they talk to my like an adult and see me as a bridging point between 'the sisterhood' and them. It has taught me an unbelievable amount about...I don't know... the family. My parents really have tried their best and had the best intentions from the outset and I really do realise how much they still are parenting us even though we've all moved out now. One thing that worries me is that now Camilla and Christina have moved to America their combination of resentment and sadness will manifest itself as pushing them further away, which it has already started to do with Camilla. Last Christmas was honestly awful and I can't even put my finger on why - daddy was pretty awful, but weirdly I sort of know it was partly him putting pressure on our limited family time being perfect that made him like that. So we have some difficult situations and big challenges coming up, and I'm somehow the person best placed to be the 'mayonnaise' that sticks the family together. I feel empowered and a bit scared but overcome with love for every single one of them.

My daughter became pregnant again after having lost a child in the womb. Her resilience, and willingness to share it, is simply awe inspiring.

My mom finally quit smoking, and I am very proud and relieved.

The biggest milestone in my family's life this past year was moving my mother-in-law to a group care facility due to her struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. She was in steady decline over the past three years. When her husband, Norman, passed away about a year and a half ago she was completely unaware. Watching Jackie's parents age has led me to brood over our own aging. We are in our early sixties and childless. There will be no one to care for us, or when the time comes, to mourn our passing. We are people of our time--secular, rootless and devoid of anchors for safe mooring. Our younger selves relished this freedom. While we have a degree of financial security to live comfortably up until infirmity, what happens then? How strong is our connection to each other? We've weathered a number of storms, but do we have Norman's incredible strength of character and devotion?

My grandson Hudson was born to my daughter. It is great to see a boy born into the family although our family name will not be carried on as my grandson will have my son in law's family name. It is still a great feeling to see what a wonderful mother my daughter has become.

Jenn and I got married! On our 3rd Anniversary, I gave her a ring and invited her to "concreate some way of formalizing our commitment to each other". I was calling it my "angry lesbians against the state but basically the same thing as a wedding ring" ring. I was open to the possibilities of a wedding, of legal marriage, but wasn't wed to those and wanted something unique and self-directed. At the same time, we had just found out the day before that her employer would no longer cover the tax penalty of my being on her insurance as domestic partners (she works for the ACLU which won the case overturning DOMA.) so we decided to get legally married, which we did with our moms as our witnesses. And, we agreed to plan something as a celebration and wedding/instead of a wedding. We have one more piece to do, a private moment of ring exchange, which I am preparing for now.

Well there were lots of milestones - I got married, my son and daughter in law had a beautiful new baby girl and now my youngest child is getting married. These have all given me such great joy - and reaffirmed life and love and family. I have such a wonderful life!

Going to therapy...brought out emotions that had been hidden most of my life; grieving process for the suicide of my oldest child, 8 years ago, just like it's today.

Having a whole year where most things are normal. I happen to think normal is a gift!

Arle and I purchased a house, and my mother as an alternate sold hers, and helped all three children with their houses. As a result, I believe my mother is more dependent on the children than they are on her.

I'm not as close to my family as I would like to be. I don't get the emotional support from my parents that I would like, but I also don't open up to them as much as I could. I also don't make an effort to connect with my brothers because we never had much of a bond when we were younger. I'd like to change that, and I know it will require a lot of effort. As for milestones, I turned 21 this year, which hasn't changed my minimal drinking patterns much. Alex wrecked my car and cost my parents thousands of dollars, but luckily I wasn't in the country so I didn't need my car. Alex and Devin are both applying to college. I visited my grandparents in NY in their new house, I'm really going to miss their old one. I feel like I grew up spending Christmas and summers in that house.

I realized that my dad may be in his last year of life. Probably he's got a few more, but his mental decline is clearly on its way, and I don't know whether he'll be able to do what he most loves, which is intellectual work, for much longer. It's made me focus on making every opportunity I have to be with him count. It's had me realize that my own life is also limited. Lots of deep thoughts...

Tyler passed away. Erin and I are talking and I decided to go back on plan! TSFL!!

My father died and the relationship between my sisters has been difficult. I have had to tread the middle ground carefully in order to keep the family together. He was the last of his generation and now we feel like the next in line. Time to make the absolute most of the time. I have been focussed on my health and on my family this year.

Marriages that are a sign of optimism for the future of the family which I had not anticipated. Joyous in that each couple took their time and made the commitment.

My daughter got married and had a wedding full of joy and love, friendship and family. I am full of hope and happiness for her.

My husband choosing to leave the Navy and embark on a job search is the big milestone. It's been quite stressful to think about where we WANT to live rather than where we have to live.

Most of the family is gone. They've turned to cannibals this year. Even the cats now. We have only 2 cats left from NY, one cat left from Maine. No one is left from Florida. Such cruelty, such meanness; so barbaric. I was naive to believe that Pooka could be my one regret. My greatest regrets to date are Pepsi, Paradise, and Monty. So not really any milestone; my family life has been in shambles, especially hanging by a single tattered thread with my mother, since we left Florida. Nothing is good within my family. I barely have a family.

We have begun the perhaps long and very sad experience of walking the death journey with my father. As he says with good humor, courage, and a certain bitter resentment too, "Old age is not for sissies," and if my grown brothers and sister and I don't finally grow up through this process of our dad's suffering, humiliation, and humanity, there's really no hope that we ever will.

Our daughter entered public school. She had a terrific year in Kindergarten, after a fearful beginning, and all and all the year was a success. However, our experience as parents in a school system, not teachers, was one that brought up feelings and concerns I had not anticipated. I have often railed against the system -- it's crowded classrooms and focus on seatwork. I have sympathy for her teachers, even as I am frustrated that the classroom is not conducive to keeping her excitement about learning. David plans, during her conference, to speak to the teacher about her boredom during math -- "we have to do almost all of the problems WITH the teacher and only two on our own" -- because he can best sympathize with the teacher's plight and see what can be done to keep VA's interest alive.

My daughter graduated from college at age 21. She is very mature for her age and make me proud to be her mother.

My relationship with Rene . And Bernis relationship with his girl. He is living with her now. The boys spent one month with them over vacation .. They had a great time and get along very well with her and her kids. My boys have seen me very serious with Rene... In a healthy relationship , with a lot of respect and love.. We have spent some time with Renes girls and the boys together. Everyone really gets along .. It has been a positive experience ... At moments difficult , but I see us becoming one united family. I really love Rene and see him with me in the long future .

This year, I've been married to Becky for ten years. Six of our friends took turns in pairs so that we could go away for 24 hours. When you are on the outside of it, 10 years seems like it would be a long time, but really it's just living your life. I don't see the next ten years as a big deal because it's only a big deal if you think you're married instead of being single. I'm married instead of being dead. As long as I am alive, and Becky is alive, I'll be married. So I am hoping to hit 50 years. I'd better hit 40.

My dad turned 70...he is still so healthy and I have great faith that he will be around for a while but I have really started to be sad about the thought of losing my parents..

Moving. Going back to work permanently. It has affected me knowing that I can do this on my own. The last six years since Sydney and I have been on our own have been painful. I have learned much about strength, perseverance, trust and Jesus' mercy and grace. I have learned that to be in community, you have to try, to make the effort. You can't just sit and wish for stuff to happen. You also can't force it. You can't make someone love you if it isn't in their heart. All we can do is love them, pray for them, and be the person God wants us to be. Live in love, empathy, use your gifts, talents and kindness. Dont live in fear..... I will not live in FEAR. I am worthy, I am beautiful, and I am a woman of a great and mighty God.

My mom built a house and got married in Nashville. So I don't think she's coming back anytime soon. So 1) I need to get used to her being so many states away, and 2) it's a little haunting thinking that it took her this long to find love and contentment. A guy she knew for decades is who she was supposed to be with. Good luck for me then.

My nephew got married, the first one of the next generation. Meanwhile, I am the only one of my siblings still not married. So that weighs on me daily.

Easy. Taane. Acknowledging that I want to share as much of his experience as I can was a surprise and is amazing. Feeling a connection to this little person, which is stronger than I have ever felt, even to my besties children was such a warm discovery.

This past year, my brother moved to Singapore. With both of my brothers out of the house, my parents and I needed to learn to adjust to life without them. For me, this transition has been especially hard. I'm not used to being home without my brothers and I'm unaccustomed to needing help but not having someone there to help me. I've always relied a lot on my brothers and on my parents, but this past year I've been learning to rely on myself.

Last year my baby brother turned 60 and my husband turned 70. These birthdays keep reminding me that I am on my final turn at bat too at 67 years old. Also, my sister-in-law passed away last spring. She was only 76 and we found out that she has had many surgeries for cancer during the past 20 years. She kept this a secret from her children and all of her family. It really makes me wonder - where is my life going? - what will I be like in five years? - 10? or even 20? Also, I think of the years past and think of the person I was then and she seems to be some friend I used to know.

I think a major milestone was me finally gaining the courage to leave. I was being suffocated in misery and I needed to get out. I definitely am happier and feel healthier. I've noticed so many changes in my life that happiness has brought forth. My habits are changing for the better, my health is improving. Previously I had struggled to lose the baby weight and now it's effortless. Other than my leaving I can't think of any other major changes that have happened within my family. My sister is currently in labor with her second child, a boy, and I couldn't be happier for her. I wish I could do it for her to spare her the pain haha but we're all very excited for this new life.

This answer is much like the rest - our big changes of moving out of state (more challenging for Dani as she has never lived away from home expect the year in NZ). We will have been married almost two fantastic years, we bought a house and got our first family pet - a cute-as-can-be blue great dane puppy named Banksy - 14 weeks old now and, while a handful, so goofy and sweet. Of course all of this is overshadowed by our impending baby's arrival - the creation of a human life - like Uncle Ben said in "Spiderman" - with great power comes great responsibility. I"m both humbled and terrified with the proposition of hanging kids and the responsibility that comes with them.

Me finishing college. That made me feel more relaxed and more like an adult. It also affected my fmaily because they felt more relaxed, too and relieved. So, that was a good thing.

My daughter transitioned from dependent child to fully independent young adult. She is amazing and I am so, so proud.

My aunt became much sicker with cancer and has gotten better, but our family really came more together because of it.

My son turned 8 years old. There are so many ways in which he is growing up and doesn't need the same kind of attention- getting too big for kisses goodbye and bashful when his friends are around. At the same time watching him run onto the playground at school, backpack flapping, and he still looks like a three or four year old. Growing up.

I don't know if my family has had any particularly huge milestones. Sadly, my grandmother continues to decline and that's put a lot of strain on my family. Additionally, my brother continues to struggle and that has been very difficult especially for my mother. I really hope that this coming year he can work to come through the other side of this but I'm sad to say I don't have a lot of confidence in him.

Last year, I said that I'd become an uncle. Enjoying seeing my niece and nephew growing up, but sad that I can't see them more often. Nothing has really happened in the past year - except that my parents are gradually and very obviously getting older, and I'm having to think more and more that they aren't always going to be around.

The Thomases had a family reunion that coincided with my granma's 80th birthday. Granma gave a short speech during which she said that her wish for us, her grandchildren, was that we be "good citizens," not good people or particularly invested in the family, but good citizens. That emphasis was shocking to me. Not so much that it wasn't a call to be something else, but that I don't recall there ever being a request for us to do anything civically minded. Clearly I've engaged with these tasks but never because I thought that was what my family desired or requested of me. Actually, it's quite fortunate. Knowing full well I can never pay back my grandparents for their sacrifices and their gifts I have lived my life so as to 'pay it forward' sending general good will into the world. If the request is to be a "good citizen," well, damn it, I'll be the best.

We went on our first real family vacation to Chicago. It was sometimes stressful but it was worth it to visit so many museums and landmarks and broaden the kids' horizons.

Besides my craziness, nothing too major has happened in my family this year. I think the biggest thing would be that my parents and grandma moved to North Carolina. It's so nice to have my grandma here - I see her several times a week now instead of once a year. Rob is able to see her more often now too. Even Bry will see her more being that he will come back to the East Coast to see us more than once a year and thereby will see her then too. I know it's taken my parents and grandma some getting used to - living together, but I think it was a good thing for everyone.

Cole, the younger of our two grandsons, turned 1 year old. His parents, our son and daughter-in-law, announced they were expecting an addition to the family about the time Cole turns 18 months. Cole went from a mere infant to a rambunctious toddler, and I don't feel as though I experienced even a fraction of it. Soon, he'll have a little brother and that child, too, will grow up at a distance. It's hard to feel involved.

I went from being able to have mastery over the craziness and violence of my family to feeling completely vulnerable, and having to pull away - again. It has left me feeling helpless and alone. Is there anything good I can take from this? At this point, the lesson seems lost on me. But I think it's something to do with how I meet myself here...

My sister had surgery and my baby cousin was born. I quit my job so I could help with my sister but that ended up being in vain and had I been thinking more rationally about the whole thing I wouldn't have done it. She's fine now. My baby cousin has further revealed to me how unimportant I am to my family. But I love her and she's so precious. I can only hope that she grows up without the struggles I faced because of my family dynamic.

Seems like a lot of this line of questioning is going ot end up centering around me getting fired from my job....that's a huge milestone for my family. I went from a well paying job....to nothing....to living on unemployment for the last 3 months. I'm now dealing with depression....so bad that I don't have any energy or desire to do anything else. Unemployment sucks, depression sucks, jobs suck, money sucks.

My daughter began middle school this year, on reaching sixth grade (a year earlier than I'm used to thinking of it. It changes a lot of scheduling expectations (no more afterschool care, but later school times, and possible after school activities). It also makes me more aware than ever that my tiny baby is really growing up.

This past year I reached the 10 years in Boston mark. Now, I've lived in the UK for 12 years, Georgia for 10 years, and Boston for 10 years. My life has almost been lived in thirds. This past 10 years has affected me in my definition of family. I have more non-blood individuals in my life whom I count as family (Korrie, Carlye, Toni, Deb, Kerr). And, yet, since my divorce from Heather in January 2013, I realize that I have less people "tying" me to Boston than I once thought I had. This has led me to realize that there is little but the city itself keeping me here. Korrie and my wedding this year (07/04/14) has brought up questions of moving. He does not want to live in Boston nor in the Northeast as he is tired of the cold. I, being Taurean and a little scared of change, have been reticent to move. I know this city and I love this city. And yet, I think of the financial stressors of living in this city ($2100 rent/month and only increasing...) as well as my minimal "family" here and there's little tying me to Boston. I believe that my 11th year may mark the end of my life in Boston. I will have to grieve that in 2015 and 5775. I am sad. Come the next Rosh Hashanah, I expect that I'll be living closer to my blood kin and to Carlye in the Southeast. I do not know whether I'll be working or in school, but I know I'll be starting again in community. And that will have a new affect upon who I am becoming as an adult in my thirties.

Our oldest grandchild earned her driver's license this summer. A reason for rejoicing, of course, on her part. The new freedom for this very responsible girl can be exhilarating. For the grown-ups in her life, however, it is a time of anxiety and concern. We all want her to be safe and use her freedom wisely. For me, her grandma, it signifies that as the children get older, they begin to need me less and less. I have loved all the years of being called on to care for a sick child while the parents work; to play chauffeur to doctor appointments and after school activities. Our Sarah is now able to drive herself and her sister to and from school each day; she goes for her allergy shorts on her own and drivers herself to volleyball practice. Luckily, our grandchildren still feel the need for our company. We have fun together, playing board games and WII sports, getting mani/pedis and "doing lunch" together. I feel both sad at the passage of time, yet also very proud of our kids' independence.

My grandparents moved in with my parents permanently last winter. My grandmother has advancing Alzheimer's disease and they needed more help in her care. I miss having my grandfather so close. He and I were very close and I got very used to seeing him whenever I wanted. I didn't realize it would be so difficult to have him across the country. Phone, facetime, email just isn't the same as having your partner in crime close by. I am also more stressed out for my dad's health and sanity as a result. My house has become a very stressful and toxic place for me to go home to and it makes me high strung the entire time I'm there.

The question is about a major milestone that happened with my family this year, and how it affected me. Well, there haven't been very major milestones in the past year - no births or deaths, no major illnesses, no big moves, no jobs lost or gained. The water has run rather tranquilly in our stream over the past year, I suppose, and that's a good thing. But our grandson did celebrate his first birthday about six months ago, and that's a pretty big milestone - his first revolution around the sun! It's just a shame that we are geographically so far away from them. But we visit when we can. His paternal grandmother babysits him every day while the parents are at work, so of course their relationship wit him is quite different from ours. Recently when we visited, we babysat for the first time while his parents went to a concert. We were nervous at how he would react to being left alone with us. But we had been there the evening before and had spent the night, so he was getting used to us again. I was impressed at how his dad spoke to him before they left, rather seriously explaining to him, "We're going out, but we WILL be back later. Okay?" Of course he didn't answer - his vocabulary is limited to only a few key words like "Mama" and "Dada." But he did seem to understand the concept and he was fine when they left. We played and even took a walk around the block together. That was my favorite part of the afternoon, because he held my hand the entire way. His little fingers felt so good in mine. He's so small that I had to walk a little lopsided to make contact, but that was fine. As the evening went on, we followed all the instructions left by mom - we fed him, gave him his evening bottle, even bathed him. We put on a TV show made for babies with calming lullabies and graphics and he fell asleep earlier than expected. We texted with his parents who undoubtedly were relieved that it was going so well. That is, UNTIL he awoke 3 hours later at 11:30pm and Mama was not there. He screamed and cried for a solid hour, pointing at the front door, inconsolable at his mother's absence. We sang, we rocked, we walked, we tried another bottle, we put the TV show back on, but nothing worked. He was so tired and would collapse against me, only to stir and start up again with more fervor than before. Finally after at least an hour, or maybe an hour and a half, he fell out. When his parents walked in the door at 1am, they asked, "Has he been asleep this whole time?" Well, no. But we DID have the full-on babysitting experience... and it only bonded him to us all the more. I never had a child of my own, but now I have a grandson. How does that affecct me? Much more deeply than I might have imagined. He has definitely become a major player in our world!

My Father in law's passing is still raw, and I'm not sure I've really ever dealt with losing my sister, Father, and Mother all in 2012. Even number years seem to suck... I think I may be less tolerant of waiting for "someday". I'm hoping to take more action, and wait less.

Jenny's wedding was question 1. Experiencing the continued growth of Addie's family and I think, Addie herself, has been great to see. My hip surgery and PE has given me a greater sense of urgency to enjoy the time of health still available to us. I read that people of 65 have an average of 5 health issues...I don't think I had one before the PE. Sue's MS has been found to have not gotten any worse. So attention to the future and a focus on the family makes sense. I look forward to being with Nathan and his friend Lukas this November. Now, something more to do with Ella. And, eventually Ollie. More trips in 2015 to plan with the 9 of us. By the way, scuba diving with Ella in Hawaii, that was special.

My grandmother, who is 100 years old, has finally started failing in her health. I've traveled out to Las Vegas to visit her and my grandfather, and have encouraged him to make several medical decisions about her and her health. I've also recently become involved in the decision to move them back to Texas, and to what type of assisted living/skilled nursing facility they should go. It's made me realize I'm in a middle position in my family; I definitely have medical knowledge which my family needs, but am still seen as a child within the family structure. It's been an interesting way for me to see how little I assert my own authority within my family...

My nephew finally married his beloved Jessica. They got married the way the wanted to do it and it was a beautiful weekend. Missed my sons and sister who weren't there!

Not much really happened with my family this year. Last year was full of events: my grandfather's death, the Boston Marathon bombing, my couin Andrea's death, visiting my brother in Alaska, the weddings of two cousins and my mother. That was a big year in terms of significant events on my mom's side of the family. This year, in February, I spent less overall time with my mom's side of the family but a little more time with my dad. I visited him in Florida in February with Shira, spending time with him for the first time in over 3 years. It felt like the culmination of all my RC work on him, working on healing from the pain and disappointment of his role in my life, so that I could have a peaceful relationship with him in the present. It was okay. He had some interesting stories and he was, on the whole, really pleasant, patient, and relaxed company. He disappointed me on his ability to have perspective on the past. I remember I asked him if there was anything he regretted, and he said he regretted not fighting harder after the divorce for custody of me and Michael. I think he was essentially "bought out" by my mom with alimony. Of course, he has lost us years before. He said he blamed me for pushing him away when I was 9, which is an absurd thing for an adult to claim about a child. In the months since, I've stopped being as responsive to contact with him. I don't believe it's a relationship I want to continue to invest in. This summer, after I had dinner with his sister Mary (which was controvertial in itself), he sent me a barrage of emails and texts in an effort to get me to be more responsive. Eventually, I blocked him from my phone. I have still not unblocked him. It's painful to think that this is what I have to do with my father, who I relate to and (in some small ways) admire, in order to protect myself. Elissa told me something really helpful, which is that I can feel bad for him and also not feel responsible for him. I'm trying to take that to heart - to grieve the absence of a supportive father and all the life lessons that could have come with that, while also recognizing that many people did not get the love and support they needed and can be strong and thrive anyways. One way this has affected me is that I am realizing that one of the benefits of being an adult is that I can choose the kind of love that I want to accept and reciprocate. Being with Elissa has taught me that when people love each other in a healthy way the support and acceptance goes in two directions. Right now I'm not getting support from my family. One move I'm going to make is to feel less obligated to be positive all the time, and see if other people are there to support me when I'm struggling. We'll see!

This is not a milestone I am feeling good about at all. And that is that there is so much more emotional distance between myself and my step-grandchildren who live 3000 miles away. It hurts and I don't know what turned things in this direction nor do I know how to change it.

I feel like a broken record, but the major milestone for our family is definitely having me go back to work this year. The transition has gone much smoother than I expected. It has affected me by giving me the confidence to pursue my career further and consider some day going out on my own.

May 10, 2014 was 1st anniversary of Foster's death. Still miss him lots and lots. There's still an irreplaceable empty spot in our hearts and home, but life does go on...

Nothing major happened with my family. My mom and sister are well. One nephew got a job at a packaging warehouse, the other is a now a magician on a popular web series. When I started dating my college sweetheart, I also got to reconnect with her kids whom I've known since they were little, and who'd turned into fine adults. It's nice to feel your family exponentially grow, and to not be at odds with any of them.

This summer A went to Israel for 5 weeks with campus JRF - wonderful, I think, he has not said much - at 16 A is clearly an individual that I like as well as love, and trust and value - sometimes wise beyond his years! A loves family, calling us twice a day, most days, to share his experiences and joy and excitement was a wonderful testament to this! Also, without prompting, mostly, A called Aunts and grandparents. On a sad note, Dad fell in the kitchen and ended up in hospital and rehab leaving Mom on her own, reliant on sister, and saddened deeply; frightened as well. This taught me a lot about mortality and my desire to be of service to my parents, almost at any cost.

My Grandmother died this year. At one point, before she moved into her senior living apartment, she lived with me and my husband, so I was quite close to her. It was interesting to negotiate my relationship with her once her daughters began flying in from other states. They took over, pushed me aside, and only my mother clued me in to what was going on in the process. I was there the day she passed away, though. She had four daughters and two of them had gone home, leaving my mother and the one daughter who lives here in town, my husband and me. Soon after, the family descended again. They cleaned out her home and removed all her memories in one fell swoop, taking it all to Goodwill without asking anyone in the family if they wanted a thing. Grandma had a large collection of art created by family members and even these things were dumped, rather than returned to their makers. At her memorial service, the leader of the daughters stood up and talked about what great daughters they were, how wonderful they were to their mother and each other, a testament to family. She thanked several people ( including a woman who visited my grandmother an hour a week) but my husband and I got no acknowledgement at all. At first, I was incredibly angry and resentful, but then I began to work with compassion. These women hadn’t seen my grandmother the way I had when it really mattered. They hadn’t noticed her falling and failing. They hadn’t worried that she wasn’t managing well at the stove anymore, or that she was having difficulty keeping up with her house. They weren’t aware that she was terrified to live all by herself in a neighborhood that had turned very rough in the past few years. When I made the suggestion that she come live with us, they hadn’t wanted her to live with them; they didn’t want their lives to change. They resented me and my husband for providing what they thought they should provide, and they would not forgive me for it. The truth is that my grandmother was a really hard woman to live with, and I know it would have been a hard decision for one of her daughters to take her in. She had been an abusive mother (having been abused – oh, that cycle) and they would have had a lot to process if they had made such a decision. My mother and I have discussed this in depth, as she is the only one of her sisters who did ask my grandmother to live with her. I’ve been using this as an opportunity to hold the space of peace and nonattachment, just breathing in and out with the best of my grandmother, apple pie and picnics, and sending it their way. They blundered and I have the choice to hold resentment about it such that a giant karmic knot will form around it, or I can work on letting it dissolve, letting it go. It’s work to let it dissolve, but that is what I’m doing.

My older son now has 2 daughters, and my younger son graduated from college and is living abroad. I'm so proud of both of them. I would love to spend even more time with them than I have. And I sometimes miss the people they were as teenagers.

My relationship with my mother changed after her knee surgery this year. She was so hard on my dad and I. I've become less patient with her behavior and less willing to be manipulated. Though it's sad that we aren't as close, I know that it will be healthier for us both in the long run. I feel like she is starting to be more realistic about our relationship.

I just had a bar-mitzvah, and now I am treated more like an adult.

Dad tax issues. It's been a burden. But jostle, it's been a burden on dad. I just want to see him happy and worry free. Without having to constantly sorry if he's going to be in debt until he's 70. He's worked too hard I deserve this. I fantasize about what it would be like if they took all his money and all my money. And how despite things being quite rough I'd maybe move with him, help take care of him and support him. I'd show my gratitude to him in any and every way possible because he does not deserve to be the bait of the IRS. He's not some asshole wall steet fat cat cheating millions of dollars into his pocket. He's a humble, man who makes peoples lives better for a living. I genuinely hope that in a year from now when I read this all that bullshit is tucked away and over with: whatever the outcome.

I persuaded my father to move from FL to MA. I knew the timing was right as he is aging and has health concern. I was worried about managing from afar. He is settled in now, but I am adjusting to the proximit now and greater involvement in my life I hadnt' thought that part through. Much of this was instigated by Robyn's death last November (2013) and Frank's the previous April (2013). It seemed prudent to "circle the wagons" and keep everyone close. It is mostly good, so I need to make some small personal attitude adjustments.

My brother had a child this year, the first among my siblings. I am really happy for him. Also a little scared, because I know that he and his wife weren't ready for this. Also a little jealous, knowing that I can never have (genetic) children of my own.

The passing away of my mother after her strong fight with cancer. It has reinforced my love for family, and my belief that investing into the next generation is the best way to leave a legacy in this world.

My parents got divorced: not really a milestone, more of a significant event, without the positive associations of "milestone." It's made me that much more cynical about relationships. I used to think I'd meet someone amazing and we'd get married and then it'd be happy ever after, but I'm coming to realize that that's just a naive pipe dream.

My grandparents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Every major milestone for them is impressive, and it makes me contemplate my own future and when I will start my own family.

My youngest son entered his Senior year of High School. It is making me realize how short a time we have with our children, and am sad that he won't be living with me next year, but happy for him, as he begins the exploration and decision making process of where to go to college. A very scary and overwhelming and exciting time! Also for me. I will be a single empty nester next year. How will I make use of this time in my life?

Our son, after taking a literal gap year after high school, just came back from over a year volunteering, traveling, and becoming a Spanish speaker in Bolivia and South America. He is growing socially and becoming more independent every day. I am just trying to listen, be open, talk, and try to keep up.

My son & his partner decided to live together. I am absolutley fine with this from a concept point of view but the closer they become the more anxious & afraid of abandonment he becomes. I hear from him alot, he is in therapy now & Sharon has changed his medication to a more OCD specific treatment which I think will help but the origins of all this is linked to me staying in the realtionship with his father who constantly threatenned to leave for the entire 5 years of his life until I finally said enough, yes, you are leaving. I blame myself for his fear of losing people close to him. I was so busy being a single mom, working, keeping the house & property going that I never allowed a man into my life who might have loved me & him & showed him that love & relationships don't mean people leave. So...Zach & Eric living together & Zach's resultant struggles has affected my reflection on how much I contributed to so much of his struggles.

There really has not been any major milestones. My stepmom (Ms peaches) broke up with my dad. So of course i feel bad that he does not have anyone. But there has not been any major stuff. I came back home from fema corps and I stayed with my grandpa and we have good relationship and he knows i'm gay now. So I guess you can say that is good. But not much has affected me.

My parents moved to Vancouver, and suddenly I feel like I have no home base. I am so happy they are happy, but it makes me feel lonely.

my mom died. also grandpa died. I had essentially no relationship with my mom, so it's almost like nothing has changed. I did have a weird thought/random realization about it the other day. it was just like....woah, your mother is dead. I don't see my family as much as I used to, so I don't know how much of an impact these changes have made.

The birth of my cousins baby boy Jayce. It has brought my family so much closer and we just love spending time together especially with him.

My youngest started high school. Time is passing so quickly and I know that isn't going to change.

My dad had yet another health scare. I'm worried about him.

My "now" husband proposed to me in January. That was such a wonderful thing, and because we had been together for some time, we planned a wedding this September. It was beautiful and magical and true to us. Keeping this marriage in mind, and keeping the truth of it, the vows, the togetherness, our collective family and so on, was grounding for me. I needed that. And I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with this wonderful, supportive, playful person. My cheerleader, my playmate, my porch swing partner. I love you.

My only sister got married this past christmas, which was a big celebration in the family. It was a joyous occasion, but also made me more aware of my loneliness. While my family doesn't pressure me into getting married, I do feel like I am more alone in this world than ever before.

I became a stay-at-home parent. It has not been without it's stresses but overall, I have become more relaxed and able to be more present with my family. That has been a welcome and wonderful change.

I feel like a major shift that has happened within my family at large is that finally the cousins are starting to take on responsibility for being adults. This includes everything from owning houses and having babies to organizing family functions. It's finally happening and I'm loving it. I hope we can relieve planning pressure off of our parents' generation.

One of our Daughters turned 21. We were able to get all of our kids together and that was special as it does not happen too often.

Wife, son and I went on vacation to Costa Rica. It was our first family vacation in many years that wasn't linked in any way to a professional conference or other business. Moreover it was our first trip as a family to a place to which I had never been. It was wonderful being able to focus on family time. Now that our son is a young adult, I realize how precious our time together is more viscerally when it was a matter of course that our son wold travel with us. Perhaps linked to my answer to #2, it was amazing listening to our son converse in Spanish with near native-tongue fluency.

Okay, so Q#1 tells me that a milestone is that the same as an unexpected event. Heart attack, not a milestone. Hitting year number 6 with S^1, that is a milestone. We have been married now for over six years. For her it a a bigger milestone since she has never been done this road this far. For me it is a big milestone as I was not sure we would have it this long or better said that this would be year number six.

Both my brother and I graduated from college. This is a big event for everyone. It has allowed me to reflect back on how great our support system is and how thankful we both are to have involved parents motivating us and supporting us forward in our chosen career paths. Not only did we both graduate but we are both lucky enough to have jobs in our selected fields.

The biggest milestone was the death of my father which occurred two days after Rosh Hashanah. My father's death has had a big impact on me. Most fundamentally, it left me wondering what was next for me, and it led to my sabbatical this summer. It also changed our family dynamics in ways that are still unfolding. My father was a gentle loving presence which we all miss. He also helped my Mom manage her anxiety, and his health was a family focal point the last few years. We are still a family that cares about each other, and we are steadily working to figure out how to interact with each other without my Dad's presence.

Mon son turned age ten. He is a great young man!

I spent the past year living with my parents, and none of us has murdered any of the others. This feels like some sort of accomplishment. It was a little over a year ago, but my brother moved out to live on his own for the first time. I came face to face with my own pride and moved home a little over one year ago. I don't think it counts as a milestone, but my mom had a few health problems this year, between multiple ER visits for her misdiagnosed pneumonia and her cataracts surgery. There were times when it was helpful for me to be here, when I felt like an essential member of the family. In the years since I moved out, I relied on myself, and I didn't expect anyone to rely on me for anything. It was uncomfortable but overall a growing experience to be reminded that I'm a member of this family, not just a tenant renting a bedroom and bathroom who makes an occasional mess of the kitchen.

My beloved got a new job in September of 2013. A year later I look back and recognize the stress it has put in our relationship because he is unhappy but I also recognize his feeling of obligation to keep us financially sound and comfortable!

There are two--my mother's boyfriend turning 100 was the joyful one, and the loss of my 104-year-old cousin was the sad one. It has given the reality of our mortality more immediacy.

Getting a job to support myself and family.

No milestones that I can think of.

My grandmother turned 90! We celebrated with a party of family and friends as well as a trip to Hawaii. As much as I know she's getting older, her vibrancy is amazing.

The celebration of my parents' 40th wedding anniversary was a wonderful time for our family. All of the months of planning paid off, and it was truly fantastic to see so many of our friends and extended family gathered together, re-connecting with us and one another.

I got married! It has been an adventure :)

My sister, a single mom, completed her Master's degree this year. I am thrilled for her, and immensely proud of her ability to achieve such a thing while working full time and raising her son. Her accomplishment is all the more remarkable because we come from a family that actively scorns secular education and achievement, so she has had no support or encouragement from parents, aunts, uncles, or cousins. I am the only other college graduate in our family, and that was probably a source of encouragement to her. So I should feel some solace in the idea that I was a role model to her, and that I showed her by action that she could do this, too. But I feel disappointed in myself, as I only have a baccalaureate, and I regret that I did not go further when it would have been easier to do so. Privately, I am afraid for her choice of profession: she wants to be a teacher in a time of declining respect and compensation for teachers everywhere. Nevertheless, I am elated to see her passion for this, to see her pursue her dream, and I dearly hope that it is everything she expects it to be, and more. My conflicting and contradictory feelings are similar to those of a parent watching their child step into the world: I am elated and proud and happy for her accomplishments and ambitions, and I am afraid for pain and disappointment that may come to her as a result.

A major milestone?....... Taking a family picture.

Dom graduated from University. A shocking and savage indictment of low standards considering how little he did for the majority of his course, but when push came to shove, he knuckled down and made sure he did enough... Just! I felt relieved and pleased. I like that his story is one of success.

Maggie's first year was a major source of joy. It, combined with other changes common to my current stage of life, brings satisfaction, hope, reflection, pride, and love of my family

Since I already spoke about the birth of our first child, the other biggest "milestone" is that my Aunt Sara got diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's and was brought to Baltimore from her home in CA to live with my parents and be cared for by my parents and my other aunt. This has affected me less than it ought to. I have never been in regular touch with Sarah (it's both of our faults), and somehow I am repressing or deferring the sadness I feel inside for a life robbed. And it has turned my parents' lives upside down. It has certainly meant they are less free to be with us, and I have to do better in calling them and in Skype Video chatting so they can see our son.

My daughter reconnected with her father after 24 years. I think it was the right thing for her to do but it has unsettled the family. Because he's in Toronto and my son is in Toronto they are all together on occasions. I can't make that happen here where I live and it makes me sad. I see my children and their families separately but rarely altogether - maybe that's just a Norman Rockwell phantasy

Mum ad a big year this year. First she cycled through France and Germany with her friend Britt, and then she moved to Newcastle to do her DELTA. I'm proud and impressed. There were a number of times I went into a tailspin while she was away (Ashely, Dan, Malcolm, work) and I felt the gap of her not being there. It was a poignant reminder that the time when I have no one left alive is coming closer and more real than before. People say I'll never be alone but those people don't face the same and cannot possibly know how utterly real it is to one day not have anyone left to love you.

Two new grandchildren! and my prediction about an engagement came true, too. My spare time is filled with grandkids, especially on weekends. What joy they bring -- even the anticipation of seeing them fills my heart.

My older daughter turned eight. Made me think about how quickly time passes and the need to make it count.

Mia graduated from high school and has now started college at Binghamton. That was a little weird. I kind of liked being the only one who was in college and it's weird to think she's having a lot of the same experiences as I am having. It was interesting to see her trying to make the same transition that I struggled to make. She was intent on leaving and always said she couldn't wait to get away from home. It was the complete opposite from how I felt. It definitely added some stress to the entire family though. As Mia always does.... Abby also had her Bat Mitzvah in May which was beautiful. We were all so happy. Even though it was during my finals week and Mia's senior Prom. Abby worked really hard and we were so proud of her. I wonder what it will mean about her future Jewish involvement. I still can't tell. Right now her biggest issues are deciding between BBYO and USY.

It has made me acutely aware of my habits both good and bad

Marrying my long-term love, was, of course, the most important event of the year. Somehow, things are exactly as they have been, but still different. I feel like the commitment of marriage has really meant something to me, and to Michelle as well. The other thing that may be even more important in the long run is getting our daughter approved for disability payments. It is a relief to have one less thing to worry about after we're gone.

Our daughter a dream position with the State of Delaware in her field. She loves what she is doing! She has a long commute and her hours have been reduced. They are in process of justifying her hours be restored. I am thrilled to see her and our son doing well in their careers. Who knows what the future will hold, but they are building themselves an excellent foundation.

My daughters are entering their senior year in High School. This is the last year I will have them under my roof, under my care. I am acutely aware of every moment that I have left with them. They are my friends, they are my life, they are my babies! I will miss them more than I will be able to stand. Next year at this time they will be off on their own. Making their own way in life. I am so proud of them!

My younger daughter met a guy, who is great in every sense, but non-Jewish. How do I react to this? I am happy for her, and sad at the same time. Coming from a non-Jewish mother and having formally converted to orthodoxy, this is a huge question for me. Did I go wrong in bringing my children up? Trying to make Jews out of them, did this make their lives harder, not easier?

My mother has changed her relationship with my step-father, who has entered treatment for alcoholism. It has been inspirational and encouraging to see my mom standing up for herself and making meaningful changes in her life. It's also been difficult to watch them both struggle. Hopefully in the end, it will have been worth it and they can both be happy. But it's affected me to realize how much a person can truly damage someone else and how that person can allow it or not. It's changed how I look at my parents and how I think about my own relationship in that I see that change is hard, if not impossible in some cases, and that you can only work on changing yourself; not anyone else.

My wife left her job to stay home and take care of our newest child. It's been really stressful for me because she hasn't started taking a larger portion of the work around the house. I think I need to sit down with her and talk about it but I always feel like I would be making unreasonable demands.

The move to San Jose and adopting Boomer the beagle puppy have been the two major milestones. We are now ready to open our family to a new baby, and this is very exciting. I feel myself growing and evolving into fatherhood with patience and compassion as a result.

We moved! We now have a 2 bedroom and are ready for a baby! Eek! Exciting, but scary. It's affected me making me have a new routine and start thinking about when we have a baby and planning ahead to have enough time to do everything. Since me commute is longer now, I have to prepare ahead for the next day.

My mother's cancer returning. I'm not sure that's really what you would call a milestone, but I feel the way it affected my family is within the spirit of the question. During the months before she passed, my mother was very concerned with making sure everything, from finances to dishes in the kitchen, was arranged and in place. With my father's brain cancer effectively making him incapable of dealing with both day to day logistics and more general affairs, I've been trying to step up and take over as the head of household. I'm pretty sure I'm failing. Objectively I can see how I could be doing worse, but subjectively it certainly doesn't feel that way.

My son became a teenager this year. This was a much bigger deal to him than to me, but it did seem like someone flipped a switch and changed him. While I miss the adorable baby and little boy, I am loving his humor and his ability to talk about more adult things. The hormones - not so much. His are revving up and mine are going nuts. Good times!

Not really anything super major, but my youngest brother came to visit for a few days, before he went to uni. It was the most family interaction I've had for quite some time. That, and going to Spain Everyone has left the house now and my mum is STOKED!

My parents divorced, which for me was a good healthy event, but I only learned later it was very very difficult for my younger sister. I wish I'd done more to check in with her and see if she was okay. I think she probably felt abandoned since I moved out right around the same time. Now I worry that it will affect her relationship with her husband.

My father turned 80. I feel graced that he is still around to love and hopeful that he will learn to feel that he is worthy.

There really hasn't been any milestones.

my brother got sick I reconnect with him and forgave him

My parent's move to Venezuela. I try not to think about their location but it's scary. The stress overflows from the phone and spills into me. I try and buffer it as best as I can. Mainly with other people. Boys. Not a good move. I need to keep my mouth shut and just focus on me. Plus I need to workout more. Mom is chronically stressed and in her 54 years still doesn't know how to deal with it. It's frustrating for her and everyone else around her. How do you make her happy? Sometimes I feel guilty that I love living by myself so much. But I feel so good about it. I just want to be left alone. But not too alone. The month long visits from the mother don't do me any good. I will try and set more limits. Right, like that's going to work....ever...

Two major or well few major milestones: 1. Getting engaged and it turning into crap alot. This brough my family closer. we started to understand each other better as time passed by. Without my mom I dont think I would have made it this far. I love her more than my life. 2. My cousins coming from Pakistan. Made me realize how much more I dont want to live with my extended family but because of them we entered a new business. Its an amazing feeling to keep learning outside of the corporate world. 3. Successfully running my business which I thought I would do bad at. Many problems came but my dad helped me though each one of them.

My mom and I had the major fight and it really really impacted me. Since, i've really been trying to distance myself and be more independent from her. I need to be more emotionally independent.

Yes. New job. More timeto investin my family and i should invest more time in myself.

My oldest son got his driver's license. Now I drive less. We spent a lot of time together in the process of teaching him to drive. It turns out that it was really hard for my husband to do it, so it was a bonding thing for me and my oldest son.

My youngest child graduated from high school moved away the next day to something really great. It makes me sad for myself and happy for her and unsure of our future together.

We decided to have Dad evaluated for hospice care. He was immediately accepted and then a month later we switched hospice companies. While I knew this was coming and it takes a huge financial burden off of my mom, it still was difficult to face. Hospice has such a negative connotation that it is end of life care. Dad's disease is terminal, dementia diagnosis is always terminal. This was just another reminder of that. We don't have a time frame of when he will go, but at least in his final stages, he will hopefully be as comfortable as possible.

Isaac got married. And he married a fantastic girl. And I"m so happy for him. And I know that I will have that too - and I'm just happy for our family and that it's growing. I think instead of being depressed about it- that I didnt' beat him to the altar - I just feel great about fantastic people entering the family.

Unless I'm forgetting something, which is entirely possible, the only major milestones that happened this year were my buying a house and turning 30. All big anniversaries/birthdays were last year. These were both exciting and scary at the same time. I'm not where I thought I would be at 30. I don't have a family of my own, I'm not in a relationship, and I don't have a close group of friends that I spend lots of time with. However, I do have a job a love, a dog I love, and some pretty great friends, along with a very supportive family.

Dad and Lanethea got married in December. I'm really thankful that they came into my life. My mother has gone into a downward spiral, I believe, and that has impacted me in many ways, mostly negative.

My youngest son moved out. I miss him, but it's my time now. I'm looking forward to being me. Not someone's wife or mother or girl friend. woot woot. I can't wait

Other than turning 60, which really didn't affect me or my family significantly, the only other milestone was my repeated attempts to re-engage with my younger sister who was estranged from our entire family by her choice. These attempts have changed in tone from "full frontal attacks" that in hindsight were not working, to more loving messages. These attempts have had somewhat better results, although certainly far from perfect. They have had some rub-off on my other siblings, as they have started to include my younger sister on email communications, which had totally stopped before this. Small steps, but all in the right direction.

First wedding anniversary! It's exciting, and reaffirms my love for B, makes me excited about the years to come. And, we've had some intense conversations about our relationship - I don't know if that's a milestone, but it's a way things are changing, in a good way I think.

My dad turned 80 and my mom will be turning 80. Both are showing signs of aging, and though I think they will be around for quite a few more years, it has become more real that they will not always be around.

The first thing to come to mind is, of course, Nana. She's been up, down and in-between with her treatments, and it's hard to watch. She has to have the chemo to stay alive, but the complications that come with the chemo are extreme. Some weeks she's too sick to get treatment; her white-blood cell count is too low or her platelets are not numerous enough. And if that trend keeps up, and she continues to miss treatments, then the caners in her liver and pancreas will indeed kill her. But there's no other way to live with it than to live with hope. It's the only option. Her wigs are my favorite part, not only for their face-value, but for the metaphor. They give her a sense of normalcy, an identity she's known her entire life. Not a soul believes it's real hair, and she doesn't wear it to fool anyone. It's just to feel like the person she still feels like in her soul. In saying all of that, I believe the milestone is that she's still here. Still able to enjoy her house, still able to see her family, and friends, and Jeopardy. She tells me all the time that her house, the life she's built, it's her paradise. And for now at least, she gets to live in it. That itself, is milestone worthy.

our family purchased our first house, we became property owners, which is a big financial milestone. Now we are landlords and own an "income property", finding our way as grown ups has been messy.

The starrt of pre-school for the youngest granddaughter. Not only has it changed family schedules for a better morning commute, but the personality development has seemingly accelerated whether for the good, better communication of things desired, or for worse, again better communication of things desired (she is going to become a handful).

My mother's health took a turn for the worse. We thought we were going to loose here in August, and again at the beginning of september. This has had an effect on every part of my life, it encouraged some major life decisions like a cross country move, and the decision to marry my partner. It also has affected the way I am facing the world, and how I handle small and large challenges.

I officially became an 'old age pensioner'. To begin with, it was actually very exciting. Like I had fooled the universe. Here I was getting 'free' money each week yet still feeling young and with a great youthful spirit. Suddenly everything started to hurt and the reality became that I was getting the old age pension because I was now in old age. I think the use of the word reality brings me to check its meaning. There is no reality. I am both old and young. Both in soul and mind - although this time round the container is getting a little used. Have to stop classifying old/young, good/bad, right/wrong. Get used to the grey and away from the black and white.

Parents 50th anni. Made me sad that I can never have that in my life. Sad because it means my parents are getting older. Joyous that they made it that far.

Korey was accepted to Harvard Law school this year, and it has made me proud of his accomplishments. It also has made me jealous because my parents brag about him. While I am extremely happy about this milestone, I am also competitive due to sibling rivalry. I look forward to visiting him soon in Cambridge, MA.

My father died this year. My mother died three years ago so now it's just us three kids. We were able to bring all of the grandchildren together for the funeral, and we all went through the house so everyone could choose some things to remind them of Mom and Dad. This was a big emotional transition. It also exposed some fault lines in the family, but I am hopeful that we can overcome those problems and honor our parents' memories and their values by remaining a close family.

I became a great-aunt. It is wonderful to see our family expanding into another generation.

Realizing that as much as I want to add to our family, we're not financially able to have more children. It makes me sad to know I'll never have a little boy that has my husband's beautiful curls and eyes. It also made me stop and really appreciate that I have two wonderful girls. I need to continue to focus on them and my husband and not a potential 3rd child. Two is just fine to love and take care of, there was a time when I didn't know if even one was possible. Two is enough, I can be full with two. I'm finding happiness with this truth.

(I would have to say that the biggest family milestone this year was our eldest son's Bar Mitzvah, but I already talked about that so I'll pick something else for this question.) This year my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, which was a pretty major milestone. One of the things I realized afterwards is that even though their marriage was certainly tumultuous at times, their love and commitment to/for each other and to/for our whole family has served as a model to me of what love and long term relationships are really like. They take work, and they aren't always delicious and satisfying, but when they're good, they're really, really good. I am staring down the barrel of 20 years of marriage to my husband (next summer) and I have learned a lot along the way...I can only imagine what another 30 years together will bring us in both war stories and deep connection. I'm looking forward to looking back on it with more satisfaction than disappointment, and willing to work on it as much as it takes in order to tip the scales towards the positive over time.

The introduction and integration of my and my boyfriend's families has been a blessing. I think my mom was a bit skeptical at first. But I think that is because my past conversations with her about past relationships, and her own experiences with her own past relationships, all left her in a pretty cautious place. She is supportive now that she's gotten to know Steve and his family better. Steve's family seems totally on board, and they are wonderful. My kids all think highly of him. Max adores him. And I feel that I have very good relationships with all of his kids and that they like me. It was scary at first to let myself grow attached to them. This has all helped me work through my fears that were relics of past relationships. The fact that our families all know and like one another is very reassuring.

The major milestone for me this year was coming back to my family after spending way too much time with Mr. Wrong and his stupid family. I saw first hand that my family truly loves me no matter what and that I should never take for granted that love, especially when I get caught up in thinking that romantic love is the only love I need.

Nelson retired a year and a half ago, and he began substitute teaching last December. I'm happier than I thought I would be with this transition. Nels has always worked hard to make life comfortable, and he has taken on quite a few home projects now that he has more time. I started counting the time till I can retire too, and many days I feel exhausted by the horizon of 2+ years more!, but I also feel that it keeps me focused on what I want to accomplish before I leave CSI.

My last child, my elder son, moved away from the Bay Area, and moved to Colorado to be with his brother. I now have no more children living locally. I really feel like the parenting part of my life is over. It's been sad to feel that, but nice to see that they are all independent, and support each other.

We experienced the tragic loss of my beloved uncle. He died of acute leukemia at too young an age, and his decline was so rapid it was painful to watch. I think everyone, especially my aunt, was shocked at how quickly he left our lives. For my mother, who was visiting him nearly every week for the past several months, it was particularly painful, as she is the older sister, and now there is no one from her immediate family left alive. As the months pass, it is easier for me to deal with his death, but his absence at our first family gathering was quite noticeable. May his memory be for a blessing.

my little family has been a part of a lot of changes over the last year, so many things to consider. as i think about this i imagine what a world of little to no change looks like. i wonder if that is even in the realm of possibility. consider what a milestone really is (a mile marker - so to speak) i think this is where the littlest boy gets his time in the spotlight. the more i reflect on it the more it seems fitting. he is the final member of our family. originally, i thought of the oldest as needing a sibling and how that would help him understand what i means to live with someone else your own age (approximately) and then the littlest boy got here and i thought "oh, shit! you are going to be your own man. i see that about you already. why did i not even consider this?" he has already taught me so many things. he has been so forgiving with me. when you are juggling two young children there are times when one wins out over the other one - it just happens that way. there were times i could see he was really upset with me and when i saw that happening i knew i was doing too much. he is teaching me to slow down. he will be four months on sunday and so he is kind of in between phases right now. not quite able to sit up but a blob either. last night we were dancing to a song and i started to get all teary because he was smiling and close and i thought i am not going to make it at your wedding. can we say "over thinker"? i don't want to miss the full point of this question - how has this affected you? he has stretched me as a person. he has helped me grow. he has taught me that no matter how much planning one might do life will and can make the decision for you, that and i should never underestimate a person's potential. i saw a glimpse of this with my first child but now i really get it. he is teaching me to savor every moment with him because this one is going to go even faster than the first. he makes me want to be an even better person. he makes me strive for the best for both of my boys. it's hard. i don't always like it but i am willing to give every ounce of who i am to it.

My daughter got married and my first biological grandchild is on the way. It deepens my desire to be a better parent, family member and grandfather.

Losing my uncle Steve was absolutely the biggest things to happen to my family this year. It was odd because while I was terribly sad over the loss, I don't feel as though i truly knew my uncle that well. We just never connected like that. I feel like majority of my sadness came from watching my cousins and my mother experience such a detrimental loss. My mother has now lost her father and her brother in the past two years and I think that has taken a huge toll on her because they had forever been her two biggest Male influences for a good portion of her life. Losses of the magnitude cause people to look internally and really appreciate all that is in their present and I definitely feel as though that is what has happened for my mother and my cousins, but it also has had an effect on the rest of my family as we see how quickly something can be stripped from you.

my beloved left me. i don't have the words to describe the devastation. i am so deeply hurt. so sad. so unsure of how my life will unfold. everything is recalibrated. everything is drastically different.

Our youngest daughter turned 13. As parents, it's been a time of letting go of, but remembering, her childhood and reflecting on how she's evolved from a baby into a toddler , young girl and into a young lady. And thinking of her next stages of life growing into adulthood.

All three of my children began the developmental separation process from myself and their father at the same time. The 23 and 21 year olds - late bloomers. The 16 year old, right on time. Since they are not heavy into rebellion, it's been ok, but definitely interesting. I have mixed emotions about it. I feel a sense of relief for the two older ones. I feel a bit sad about the youngest - as he is going through it at the normal age, it's hit me differently - I wasn't as ready, eager, for him to separate, I had never had a child separate at that age before, etc. I'm also excited about this next phase of my life with adult children who need me less, freeing me up for more creative pursuits, perhaps.

I found out this year that I have Autism Spectrum Disorder. It's an odd thing to find out at 44 years old. It started as a bit of a tongue in cheek joke by my wife suggesting that I might be autistic. Then 2 NPR related events happened: We saw a live version of This American Life and Ira Glass mentioned that his therapist said every woman thinks her husband has Asperger's Syndrome; and there was a story on NPR about a husband and wife that found out the husband had Asperger's. After hearing their story, I took an informal quiz that suggested I am definitely in the spectrum. So I made appointments with my therapist who confirmed and gave me a diagnosis. The milestone occurred when suddenly my family doesn't just look at me like I'm nuts, but there are reasons for all these little quirks that I've just assumed were my normal (& they are) but there's a greater understanding happening and we're all able to communicate better knowing that I'm not just being an asshole, but certain things affect me in ways I can't control. So we're learning how to better navigate life.

My Dad had back surgery about two years ago. Since moving to Israel my Mom has been the only one to visit - my Dad hasn't because he doesn't want to throw off his back, understandable. I'm slowly coming to terms with his humanity. It's made me a bit sad, but it's a reality. In therapy, I finally addressed this looming fear that I have that my Dad will get sick and no one will tell me and I'll be stuck finding out when he's already very very ill that he's sick when everyone else knew all along. I told my Mom my fears. She addressed my fears but assured me if Gd forbid something were to happen, I would immediately be in the loop. It has made me happier and more assured.

My grandmother died. As my last surviving grandmother, I am saddened by her loss and will remember her fondly, but I think the most significant change it brought about was how my mother and I relate to one another. Since my grandmother's death I've found my mom to be much more engaged with my life and I think that it's a significant positive impact. I hope to continue to build and strengthen my relationship with my mother the next year.

Well, just a few days ago, we found out that Angel is capable of being pregnant and having a baby. That's huge. I've always wanted kids, but she's always tried to convince herself she didn't because some idiot doctor told her she wouldn't be able to. Since finding out that it's a possibility, it's all she thinks about and the change in our dynamic has been stellar. It's pretty amazing to think that we can actually have our own family one day.

My mom had cancer, it was hard but I had faith and I was gratified to see my family come together to help her take care of sal. My moms got married, finally they are legally married it makes me happy to see how far we have come and to see how strong they are being together this long. We are preparing for Rob's wedding! It has caused craziness and much running around but it will be super awesome!

My uncle's unexpected passing. It was devastation news for my family and myself. It made me think about my life in general... what really matters in life. Life is unexpected, you have to always remember to live in the moment, embrace the good and bad moments in your life. Spend more time with your family or the people that matter most to you because you never know when you will see them again. I, unfortunately had not seen my uncle for about 3 months before his passing and I wish I would of. I did get a chance to send him a text message on his birthday and I'm forever grateful he at least got to read it and replied back with just a simple "thankyou" :)

A major milestone that happened to my family was probably me leaving for college. My parents only have one kid left at home. My sister has one year left here and then she's off to work. I guess what was really weird was going on vacation without her. Another milestone was that my great Aunt was officially diagnosed with Alzheimers. It really sucks because my grandfather passed away a few years ago from it, and now my Aunt is going to have to suffer too.

My sister turned 50, I guess that is the most major milestone. It hasn't affected me that much although I think began to think a lot more about my impending 50th birthday next year. The only other pseudo-milestone is our family vacation which may have been the last one.

Both my brother and I graduated from high school and headed off to college. As the two older siblings in my family, this has definitely been a major milestone and transition for all five of us -- for my parents, for the two of us of course, and for my little brother as well, who must not adjust to being the only one at home and to the start of his high school career. For me, I think it's helped build a more mature and grown-up self-perception: like it or not, I'm pretty much an adult, and for the past two weeks, I've more or less been living on my own for the first time. It's not always been easy, but it's certainly been incredibly exciting, and I think I've already done a lot of maturing in the process.

My grandmother died this January. It was time....but that doesn't mean we were ready.

The major milestone of our family is being on the Bat Mitzvah journey. We are truly beginning this journey starting this Fall and ending in Fall 2015. It's exciting and a test of our family bond.

My aunt died. We were very close and it is hard on my mom and other aunt, but it has seriously affected my cousin, to whom we are very close. It has been especially difficult for them,and I wish we could have done more to ease their pain.

My daughter turned twenty. I am not entirely sure how that happened but it did. She is no longer a child but a young woman and our relationship is going through the expected, albeit challenging, changes. She is a lovely, intelligent, generous, kind, and funny person. Although I do miss "my little girl," I look forward to developing a more adult relationship with my daughter. Knowing she will always be my daughter and I her mom.

My mother turned 91 - We had celebrated her 90th birthday in high style but the 91st went by with a whisper. She is in good health and her mind is crystal clear but every visit with her becomes increasingly precious . . .

My step father past away earlier this year. It has been difficult. I was not able to be there for my family for the funeral because of cost and living further away. It hurts me a lot that I know me not being there hurt them. It hurts me that my mother is going through so much pain from loosing such a wonderful man. I simply cannot imagine it. I see death differently than a lot of people. I don't see it as an ending just a continuation. It hurts that I will not be able to see him again and that I was not able to be home the last ten years to spend time with him. He was/is the best dad I ever had. Now he is star dust.

The last kid went off the payroll! This is liberating and also a bit scary. Officially, I am over the hill. Nice to get the "raise" though. Still amazes me hoe much we miss them after they are gone.

My husband took 3 weeks off of work this summer. We travelled to Ireland and Spain and had a terrific time together. He found out that he could take the time away. I found out he could do it with minimal interruption to our vacation. It was glorious!

So many. First are the 2 passings in August. Mimi and Uncle Randy died within 1 week of one another. It was a very difficult time (still is) and is definitely the greatest amount of grief I have ever endured. Second, mom got married! It just happened, so I'm still very much in the honeymoon phase. The wedding and pre-wedding prep was wonderful. I'm curious to see if things change at all.

My grandson moving back to Los Altos. The affect has been both positive and disasterous. I feel hopeless, angry, abandoned yet awed by his changes, and awash with love.

My wife survived cancer. I am certainly glad about that. It has changed our relationship, however. She is no longer as fond of her body as she was - perhaps because it betrayed her, and her treatment was so damaging.

I might think of this as a milestone in a loose sense of the word. I bought a new (to me) car. It was a year old and a great deal. My old car was 14 years old with 217,000 miles, I felt that I just could not put any more money into it to fix anything. It was a great car and I cannot complain. My life is better for it. I feel safer, happier and so excited about my car. I love it and it's so me!

My sister had a baby. She's bloody beautiful and has softened everyone in the family. Me included.

Dono's death has had a huge impact, and has made us all pull even closer together as a family, across generations. For me, it's made even more precious the relationships I have with my nieces and nephews, and makes me want to spend time with folks I love, who love me and make me happy. Time is so short and we should share and inspire the laughter. I want to reach out to all my friends and let them know how important they are to me, and how much they bring joy to my life.

Both my sons are now in their own places..albeit with roommates, and one son keeps place-hopping. But...they are no longer with me, and don't seem destined to be back with me anytime soon. I feel as though they are both successfully starting to become adults and it makes me proud.

My grandfather has come down with Cystic Fibrosis in his lungs. This has caused my family stress watching him grow sicker and sicker each day, not knowing which day will be last or if he will be lucky enough to get a lung transplant.

Because of all the trials my husband and I have faced this year, I feel like I am not myself anymore: I'm jaded and cynical and mean. I wish I could find my way back to my goofy, happy-go-lucky self, but I don't even know if she exists anymore.

The only "milestone" is that my step-sister has cut me out of her life and it's made me feel terrible. My dad fainted this summer, out of nowhere, and that made me scared.

My niece has just turned 3. This is fantastic, because I'm not much of a baby person, and she is now able to talk to me in complete sentences and hold conversations with me. She's fun to play with, and we are developing more of a relationship. I'm beginning to enjoy her company, and vice versa….

My sister going off to college and my graduation has affected us. My coming home has raised tensions at times but has made me appreciate my family, and seeing my sister attempt to transition has been hard on everyone.

made me stronger

Well, my son graduated high school in May and started college in August. It's really affected me because I think I always gave myself permission to become house-less and start traveling all over the country/world once he "became a man." I am now in a serious and committed relationship with a man who has a 4-year old. So, I have struggled with the conflict of wanting to travel all the time without being settled in one place and wanting to be settled in a committed relationship with a family. So, I'm learning how to have both right now.

Nothing super major happened with my family this year. I just remember the crying conversation I had with my brother over his girlfriend. I was immediately confronted with how closed off I am towards them and how difficult it is for me to express deep emotions in general--with my family or others.

father, mother and brother all died...

My father turned seventy. I am terrified that my mother, father, and sister won't all die together. I want freedom from them all.

My maternal grandmother passed earlier this year. It hasn't really affected me as far as our relationship went. We weren't really that close and my mother doesn't carry very good memories for her parents. What I will say has "affected me" is that my mother and her remaining siblings are getting along in not just a surface way. They seem to have more compassion for each other and are making an effort to spend time together where this has not occurred in the past.

Han sido 20 años desde que se murió Coe. Mi madre ya está liberada del dolor de pensar en ella, porque ya no piensa en casi nada que no sea su vida inmediata. Que dice nada para marcar la fecha. Puse un recuerdo en Facebook, más nada. Algunos se dieron cuenta. Por supuesto, todavía increíblemente que estemos sin ella. Hemos estado limpiándo la casa de mamá, así que hemos encontrado muchos papeles de todos. De ella, cartas que había escrito yo, trabajos de sus años en la escuela, un poco de todo. Hoy le leí a Juanchi un poema que le había escrito mi papá a ella. Siempre nos escribía en nuestros cumpleaños. Que ahora ninguno de los dos existe. Los poemas, sí, ellos, no.

My parents split up, and now Dad is in jail for ten days. I am so proud of my mom for finally standing up for herself. I am so happy to see her standing on her own two feet. But it has caused a lot of surprising emotions for me, as well as a feeling of disconnect to the paternal side of my family. I feel like this validates a lot of my actions, but it also makes me really sad. I didn't want my dad to be like this. I didn't want to be right. I didn't need everybody to see this. It is sad.

My last aunt died. I have lost so many, that it wasn't really that traumatic, just the realization that that generation is now gone, and I am the current "last" generation.

Moving from a family of two to a family of three was obviously the biggest shift and milestone. But in addition to the immediate impact on our day to day life, it's also transforming our relationships with our parents. I have felt more connected to the concept of lineage and I have felt myself open up much more to the role of family.

I haven't seen them as often as in past times. I'm OK with it - everybody's busy... and Mom's gone...

stacy got married, changed her name to norio, and expressed that she wants to be a boy. i have not been able to accept that she wants to change her gender. im happy for her that she got married. she seems very happy now. :)

Although only half the family knows, my brother is now a stoner. I don't think I've ever lost some much respect for someone so quickly. It actually made me feel like a better person and I wish I could do something but I don't think he even knows that I know. I feel so cut off from my immediate family and it hurts. A lot. I just want us to be close.

We had an intervention with my brother regarding his dangerous, risk seeking relationship with alcohol. This is a low level stressor constantly. he lives in Tokyo, alone. But it also prompted us to talk more regularly, which I need. I love him so much. My mother admitted that she blamed me for her financial ruin since I was 12, and made real efforts to make amends. This is incredible. I wasn't crazy for thinking that she had a favorite. She also seems to understand the reasoning behind the custody request, logic/logistics. That's been healing for us both. She's still cray, though. My dad went on a cycling trip in France, following spinal surgery for cervical stenosis last summer. He's 74. I'm so proud of him. I got a therapist. Kelly and I chatted this evening, in fact. I've realized I'm rather neurotic (real def) and it's been really helpful to talk at someone guilt free, who has the tools I can use to better myself and be happier. She helped with the mom thing. and the job thing. now we're onto the relationship. :)

Charlie started school. While this was something that made me very happy (I'm sure it will help his confidence and bring him out of himself) I also realised that my children are getting older and I should make even more effort to spend time with them.

Not sure if it's a milestone, but an ongoing issue with my stepfather's grandchildren was finally resolved and they are in the protective custody of grandparents after a very stressful few months involving issues with their parents. It made me realise how fragile everything is, and how important safety and love is for children. It made me revisit my thoughts on whether or not to try for a child of my own.

My granddaughter turned 4. I realized how little she knows me--us--and I'm determined to find a way to be in their city more. Or live there.

Melanie turned one, grandpa turned 89, we had our first wedding anniversary… All very good and exciting things, nothing of a major impact other than having been grateful for grandpas good stretch and stressed out during his recent dip, healthwise.

My brother Bob finally got married to Sheila and has adopted her two daughters! I am so happy for him and so proud of him! He has overcome so much and has blossomed!

My youngest brother had his bar-mitzvah. As I still see him as a little kid, it made me realize how fast time has passing and how I, as well as my brother am nearing a new chapter in my life.

My daughter entered High School, and really began to come into her own. I could not be prouder!

No major milestones. Maybe we need to create some.

Both our children have graduated college and are in position to move on with their lives. I have doubts and uncertainties about what they will eventually do, though.

Getting divorced was a huge milestone in my life. I finally emerged on my own and became an individual. I learned so much about myself and learned how important my support network is in times of crisis and instability.

Family is complicated. When interacting with them you must rely on your inner-compass and look to it to help your reactions and behaviors to things. If you don't have an inner-compass you're in big trouble.

We moved on with live after my fathers death. It was quit tough the first six months. Afterwards I gradually felt better. I did have many physical complaints (eg dizzyness BPDD). Hope that will stay away for now. We moved houses. Our new house is wonderful. We have redone the garden, which is great. We especially enjoy the artificial sportsfield for the kids. The one thing I realize is that, although the new house brings much joy, it doesn't really make me a much happier person. Happiness is more about basic goods (health, family, friends, job, good food, hobbies etc than about more expensive and bigger stuff!)

There is no doubt in my mind that our family was changed by the birth of our 3rd son in December. He has both thrown us off balance and completed us at the same time. He has forced me to continue to acknowledge that despite my deepest desire to control things, I can not. My house is messier than I want. My bed is filled with little people when I want to have sex with my husband. Many nights of little sleep have rendered me a shell of my old, efficient self. My choice to leave work has been largely influenced by this little man who forced me to recognize that my time with these little souls is limited.

No major milestones this year. Weird.

This year, my nephew had his feeding tube removed for the first time in his six-year-old life. He has only recently learned how to swallow well enough to rely on regular food rather than formula for his regular nutrition, and it is really a wonderful and joyous thing to watch him eat and enjoy and be nourished by food. Baruch Hashem; not only have I watched him grow and flourish, but I have come to better appreciate the simple but necessary act of eating.

I finished my cancer treatment. Thank God! The entire experience affected me and my family...hopefully for the better. I appreciate my life, my situation, my family all that much more. I try to count each blessing and not get all worked up about little things--or big things--that don't really matter in the long run. If you have your health, you have everything. I've given up the "achievement" rat race and tried to embrace things that have more meaning to me.

My husband lost his job and felt compelled to take one out of state. I am not sure if this will end our already rocky marriage and I am not sure if leaving me as a single parent will damage my ability to finish graduate school or advance in a career that requires travel. I feel like my personal and professional futures are very uncertain.

We came to a consensus that I will not live forever, and handled legal documents to prepare for that event. No one likes the subject, but it is a necessary conversation with your adult children.

This has been a year remarkably free of milestones, with the exception of the completion of my oral reconstruction, we are pretty much exactly where we were a year ago. But the oral reconstruction was big, and because of needing tweaks, still not 100% complete. The coming year will be big, with my daughter entering middle school, and the whole process to find the best placement.

First of all, moving in together with my boyfriend has made me extremely happy and I feel grateful for it. Other milestones have probably been a consequence of us moving; my parents have let us have our peace.

The major milestone that happened this year was going to Texas to help begin the closing of Joan and Bill's house. Gathered with Gary's family I felt a real sense of family and began to look back on my own family relationship and my anger. I was prompted by that experience to seek to heal my own family relationship.

Within the past year (more or less), my sister had her first child (the first in his generation), and I got married. Having these two positive events helped bring my family out of some tense times, and now people comment on what a happy and loving family we are. The whole family traveled to my area for my recent wedding, and I was reminded of that love and of my continued commitment to all of them.

My mother turned 80. I see her struggling to "live" her life fully taking big risks. But I can't seem to get her to manage her limitations in a more healthful way. She phases in and out. I'm her main caretaker without much support from family though they feel free to critique my work with her. It's a struggle. The level of hostility toward me is overwhelming at times. But I don't seem picking up the and taking her to the doctors or from overdrawing her bank account. I'm working with a counselor for my own sake.

My parents renewed their contract with Alfredos, which I know made them very very happy. Another 5 years of stability is always great.

My wife's pending retirement has forced me to view my life differently. The "end game" has been merely a theory but now I have had to begin looking at what will be the next, and perhaps (one of the) last stages of my life.

Our daughter started first grade and joined her first team sport. She's a wondrous student and my concerns about her catching onto new concepts have been utterly erased. On the other hand, her interactions on the soccer team showed me objectively how she sometimes acts better than her skills can back up. She'll get this ego in check in time, but it's hard to watch.

I cannot even think of one. This past year has been traumatic on so many levels that I cannot even think of a major milestone.

My son turned 1 years old in July. The difference between an infant and a toddler is night and day. He sleeps through the night, walks, laughs, eats well. I can't complain. Now I just need to work on teaching him how to speak. There's a few education competencies that I believe will give him a good shot at life. 1. Reading 2. Math 3. Verbal communication 4. emotional intelligence. I hope to be a good teacher for my son.

There has not been any major milestones that have greatly affected me. In general and over the past year or two, my brother and I have entered different times in our lives (graduating and entering college) and this has changed our parent's role in our lives and in our own.

Apart from selling our company there was no major milestone. Family is good, grandchildren, travel. Life is good. And apart from family, I fulfilled my promise to go to Israel and i am so very glad i did!

I do not know of any milestones. I am over 350 miles from the nearest family member.

My dad was diagnosed with Cancer. I'm not sure if that constitutes a milestone, but it definitely had an impact on my family. It kept my parents together longer, for better or worse again. It was able to smooth relations between my mother and I. My father contemplated his own demise and revealed his thoughts to me. I'm not sure if I'm better off knowing him in that state, but it was a turning point in my life for sure.

Nothing bug really, Oh Yeah! My mom had a baby girl, I was whining when I found out though.

Im gonna have a Bar Mitzva this year

My dad bought the Las Vegas base ball team and is trying to make a new stadium.

Realizing how totally insane my husband's family is has made me appreciate the relative health of my family. Who knew? Their absurd cycles of fights and cutting each other off and then coming back into favor without ever discussing what went on before, the assumption that is someone is acting really unhealthily (mentally), that it must be a problem with their thyroid medication. Their total inability to just listen and empathize and give love (which would go a long way to reducing the crazy) and their insistence on telling everyone else what they think is right and all the woe is me...I do so much and no one else gives a shit complaining and all the complex crap behind it that is so clear to me and that none of them actually want to address. The death of my husband's father that no one ever dealt with, the resentment between siblings that is exacerbated by their mom playing them against each other. But they don't care to even try to get to the bottom of it. Except I think my husband would like to if he only had anyone to do that with him. It's like they'd prefer to argue and think that they're right. It's affected me because I can see the root of it all and when I share that with them, they even all agree heartily with my analysis, but they don't change their behavior AT ALL. Even when I try to gently and respectfully suggest specific ways they create paths for opening up better communication. Makes me want to shake them all. So if I was ever in doubt, now I'm sure I should never be a therapist...

Our first dog passed away

My significant other and I marked 5 years as a couple.

Both kids are finally out of diapers / pull-ups. That and other big kid strides have made the kids a lot easier to take care of, and given me more time to stay sane.

Thankfully just getting to celebrate another year with all my family intact and I actually got to go home for thanksgiving for the first time in forever and that was awesome and just getting to make 2 trips home in the same year is pretty great. Also my niece turned 21 and she took care of me cause i had no money and it was sweet to see her grow into such a capable and fun young lady.

About 5 months ago, my mom quit smoking. I think she is better off because of it, and I think as a result the rest of our family is too.

My siblings restored their relationship with our father after over a decade of silences and avoidance. I've been struck by the way this has created tension in my life, from the gossip and control that has re-entered my life, and I'm really sad about it.

Both of my parents got new jobs and so I would't see them as much anymore but we make more money now because my mom actually got a job.

There have been many milestones, from adoptions to moves to jobs to deciding jobs are over...it has pushed me to focus more on my own pace and path, less on others. Everyone is on their own journey, and they don't need me to drive.

My 20 year old daughter went to India for a month. She flew out there on her own. This is the same girl who used to cling shyly to my side whenever we went anywhere. So proud of her and so pleased to see how it has boosted her confidence and given her a new lease of life. I am happy to see her grow and a little bit heartbroken that she doesn't need me anymore in the way she used to.

My grandpa died recently and it impacted my mom a lot because she loved him so much. It affected me because I was his only niece and I loved so much and he did whatever it took to give me what I wanted so he was an over achiever. He was also was also missed by his city because he was the treasurer. I miss him to this day.

A milestone would probably be that we actually help each other and support each other instead of insulting each other and beating each other up and breaking each others face. It has affected me because i can agree and relate to them a little more and we can have connections and come up to an agreement.

My brother thinks he's harry potter. He asked me to draw a scar on his head but I was like dude someone's getting skin cancer, but then I said (g-d for bid). I was affected because I'm related to him. My grandpa died but I really miss him.

I got married. That is the only major milestone that my family had last year and it's a big one. the affect on me is obvious.

Two milestones that make me so happy: Ari and Liz got engaged, and Emily started graduate school and is living with us. Both of these things are wonderful!

I've been spending less time with my kids due to changes in the custody arrangements. It has made me more able to appreciate my time with them, and it has made me want more in the significant adult relationship department.

I think that I am more sad. Some days my joy just can't find its way to the surface. I think we are all more sad. The bubble of childhood and believing your parents may live forever has burst and nothing will ever be the same.

Oh jeez. Every question and every answer...he died. Gosh, I'm tired of talking about it.

My son got engaged to his long time girlfriend and I could not be happier. She is not Jewish but she makes him happy and that's all I am concerned about at this moment. The rest will fall in to place when it needs to.

My family moved. It has destroyed my marriage and negatively affected the relationships I have with my children.

My home life changed drastically when Or moved in. A kindred soul and good friend. My home is calm, fun and a supportive place to be.

Mila was born! Again, it's interesting how different it is, and isn't, the second time around. But one major difference is that now we're a real family. Everyone has to make compromises. Before, Eugene and I had to bend over backwards to accommodate Adrian, and he was the prince. Now even he needs to make compromises for Mila -- we have to take her along, wait for her to finish eating, be quiet while she's napping, etc. And Mila has to compromise too, though she doesn't know it -- for example, her naps are not a priority the way Adrian's were, and most of her equipment is grungy hand-me-downs rather than shiny new things like we had for Adrian. One of my favorite things is to see Adrian interacting with Mila. He likes to sing Rock-a-bye Baby to her when she's upset, and he prefers to have her with him -- he actually likes when she's sleeping in his/their room. And Mila just can't stop looking at him -- she's going to want to be just like him. Hopefully they will be a good influence on each other, and they will play nicely and enjoy each other's company more often than not. As for me, having two kids is definitely more work! There's never down time, never handing one kid off and then being off duty, because there are two. And of course, another baby means breastfeeding, night wakings (she doesn't sleep through the night yet, at 4 months). But mainly, there's the fear that this time I really won't get my life back -- that Natasha won't be able to handle two, that I'll be stuck at home being only a mom/housewife forever. But I got through it last time, and even though jobs haven't come back yet, 4 months in, they will. And both kids will get more and more interesting and fun (though also more challenging).

Well, I can think of three. One, I stood up to my dad, and because of that I just recently got 2 more guinea pigs and a nice cage. Two, my step-dads' grandsons joined our household. This causes me a bunch of stress due to the fact that we now have a household of 6. Also, I no longer get alone time. Finally, because of the second milestone, we are moving. I am moving away from where my best friend lives, and if we aren't careful, I will have to move schools as well. Kind of scary, but I am looking forward to having privacy again.

Getting married is the biggest milestone I can imagine. It’s affected both of our families in huge ways. Beautiful, tremendous ways. The pride I have for everyone who has been involved and supported is unbelievable. The gratitude is endless. It’s true and real and it reminds me every day in so many ways that I live in abundance.

My father had heart surgery at 92. It made me know how important my father is in my life and how much I will miss him when he dies and that my own death is that much closer.

My older sister and older brother both had babies. It made me have less trust in my family bc babies consume a LOT of energy and resource, energy & resource perhaps beyond what our family's got. So I'm weary of what they will ask of me and hog from my parents. On the flip side, I'm also very proud and happy for them and I wish them the very very best. My nephew and neice are BEAUTIFUL!

My in-laws moved in with us in August this year. This has certainly been something both Pat and I struggle to manage. It's not a bad thing...a very different change and something we could consider, but never understand until it happened...experiential.

can't really think of any milestones with the family this past year

Both of our children had major life changes. My daughter got engaged and my son got married and then his wife got pregnant. It has brought us great joy but also has required us to think differently about our futures-which is good but unexpected.

The obvious answer to this question would be the birth of my first child in December, but another sort of milestone is what I'd like to reflect upon here. This year I pushed to have my father evaluated for Alzheimer's and dementia, and while the news is good, we are still far from out of the woods. I spent a good chunk of my three-month maternity leave fighting to find the man I've loved all my life who has become a complete stranger in recent years. My family had known for quite a while that something wasn't right, but we were either all in denial or hoping someone else would take the initiative to address the issue. For me I reached a point where enough was enough. I'm still not a huge fan of the medical community, but I have some hope that I may get my dad back before it's too late.

I became a mother. It totally changed my life and my priorities, and gave me more of a sense of purpose than I can remember ever having.

My brother got his first job. It hasn't really affected me much, but I know it gives my parents some hope that he'll eventually become a full fledged "mensch" and move out. It's good for him, and it's good for them too.

Nothing, really. I don't like to think about family. I often wish this question would disappear.

My Brother met his biological family. At first it was great as it has helped him a long way to work things out with our parents. But now we are still not getting along and It is very frustrating.

Both me and my younger brother have left to study overseas. This is the first time that the older two siblings have been away from home for so long, and it struck me that as one goes through the different phases of life, eventually one must leave their family to begin their own life apart. This realisation has made me cherish all that I have back home, even as I explore new horizons. I know that home is where the heart is, clichéd as it may sound, I know it to be true.

My granddaughter gave birth to a healthy baby girl after having lost her first child to a lethal birth defect. When she announced her pregnancy, I was pretty upset that she would take such a huge risk so quickly. She has a 25% chance of the same birth defect occurring with every pregnancy. However, as she progressed, she assured everyone that the baby was doing fine and that this time would be different. The family feted her with a baby shower and we waited for our little girl to be born. Imagine my relief when the baby came into the world healthy and beautiful. I went through a lot of ups and downs emotionally about this pregnancy but, thank God, the end result was a happy one for me and the whole family

My dad lost his job. It stresses me out and disappoints me. It makes me worry about his alcoholism. It makes me worry I'll turn into him. I avoid being home because he is home. I avoid contact with my parents so I don't have to talk about these things. "Avoidance" is the key word here.

I consider my school community as my family. Well, the administration of my school has decided to lay off thirty professors without any decent explanation and without due process. And they had the gall to announce this after exploiting them just a few weeks before. You shameless beings! May you forever rot in hell -- if it exists ...

Michael and Denise got married- just last week. At first I wasn't sure if their marriage was such a good idea, but now I do. The both of them love each other and both fit well with their new families.

I turned 40. In the weeks leading up to it I became depressive, consumed with how little I had accomplished. I lightened a little bit afterwards, but most of the heaviness is still hanging around.

Cleaning the house up, purging and working toward keeping items that have meaning, not just stuff has been incrediably freeing. My life and my mind feel lighter and more peaceful. Being in a loving and nurturing relationship has brought a since of calm to my life that I did not know I was missing until it happened.

Both my daughter and my mother are moving into new stages of life, changing everything they've known and built. I stand in the middle, having experienced one and looking ahead to the other, helping each of them with the chores and tasks, and hearing them when they struggle with the pain and excitement of big changes. While feeling strong and supportive for them, I feel all at sea, with my husband in a small boat once again.

My daughter started pre-kindergarten. Although I tell myself that I'm as prepared as I can be for her to "grow up", I feel that she's grown up too fast and I'm missing out on her life.

My uncle dies. I felt quite sad even though we were not emotionally close. It signalled the end of an era.

Hmmm...nope, this year has been uni but apart from that nothing has changed. I guess that mum, Julia and I are all out a lot more. Mum is seeing John and Julia is going out with Chris. We are all seeing our friends more often so there have been a few nights home alone. It's all growth and none of it bothers me.

My son turning 30 and leaving the Australian army and my step daughter's youngest son going to school. All of our children live outside of South Africa. The realization of the geographical separation from our children and not really being a part of these milestones. This raises the question of how we can take more active and meaningful influences on their lives.

I think that would have to be Aliyah. and i'm still processing. We were here for a month with no furniture (and no place to live for the first couple of weeks). It was kinda nice to not have all the 'baggage' but it got tiring after a bit. We returned to the states for almost a month. Our lift came erev Shabbos before we left on Sunday ... in all, we lived for almost three months out of suitcases. Again, tiring. but now we are trying to settle in. Brina was here for about 3 weeks recuperating from tonsillectomy..... with Dora. now they are both gone and we are still not settled. i'm feeling completely unsettled.

Major milestone. We held family vacation once again, this time in Michigan for a week, at a house on a lake. It was cold, fun, challenging and wonderful to be together as always. Friends who visited us there: Kathleen Chaney, Franklin Williams, John & Loretta Davidson. Geoff Clark did not make it. My family is my greatest joy in life. Memories: the fish Caspian caught; games of Pictionary around the big table; games of chess on the front porch; Jamal & Shelly kayaking with Mateo not quite age 1; my husband's unfortunate fall into a kayak which has carried over to today with significant damage to his back and possibly ruptured disc...

We had a new nephew added to the family and my oldest brother's heart got the all clear; he's healthy again! I was constantly worrying about my brother (and still do as he has other health issues) and really miss my other brother and want to meet my nephew! It's been really frustrating and depressing not knowing him.

Angela's drinking? All the pot smoking they are all doing? Seeing Patsy and Terry's new place? Dalton's wedding? Honestly, it's all confusing and exhausting, frustrating and sad. It makes me pull in to my tiny little family, let go a little more of the rest.

getting through my dad's 1 year memorial. going through the death of nanny and auntie debbie. It has brought so much suffering on me and mom. On the flip side, meeting Russ is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Why did the worst thing(s) and the best thing ever have to happen in the same year? Is one causal for the other? Do I have to experience tragedy to experience pure good?

Yes, we are all getting older, and I worry about the future. No major milestone, but all my children are struggling to find their places in life. I am working hard on myself to just trust and let them find their way. The effect is to make me face myself, and work through my unhealed places around my relationship with my parents, and also to embrace opening up to my life as an elder, manifesting teaching, being a foster grandparent, working to develop my plein air painting, leading meditation groups, enjoying my relationship with John, being able to receive his love.

Granny moved. I've never lived so far from her that I couldn't just drop by. Now it's a >2-hour drive one-way. In a way, it's weaned me from her. I've stayed and planned to stay in NC until she dies. Now I feel more comfortable with moving, even to Palm Springs.

Downsizing and moving closer in to the city. It involved a lot of conversation. And taking our daughter's suggestion on areas within the city. She felt included. My husband and I have been doing a lot of talking and touching base to make sure we're on the same page. It has brought us closer as a family and as a couple

The milestones for this past year: 1. Kids started 1st grade and a new school. There was the anticipation. The prep for the very anxious child. And the new commute and new school rules and routine. So far everyone is adjusting pretty well. 2. The biggest milestone would be my wife's mid life crisis. As part of this she's not sure she wants to be married to me. In her self reflection, something is missing in our relationship. Something that's been apparently missing for her for the entire 14 years that we've been together. And now she's having to figure out how important this missing piece is for her. So this major milestone has thrown my life into complete chaos. It's rocked my core and called into question everything I have held as absolute truth and what was my foundation for life. I'm in a tailspin right now. I'm in a constant state of anxiety and feeling horrible. Trying to continue with life despite this horrible uncertainty.

My family hasn't had any major milestones as a singular unit. Individually, of course we have, but this is a stupid question. It's probably geared toward families that like go on cruises and shit. Or like had babies. Not us, sorry to disappoint.

We had our second child this year. It feels like a whole new game now. We just got used to the rules and all the players with our 2 year old and now that's all up for grabs. I also started a new job when I returned to work that has my brain firing on all cylinders. I'm much more tired than I was the first time around and I feel that I don’t' have any energy left for my husband at the end of the day. Hell, I don't have any energy left for myself. I'm feeling less connected to him which feels horrible and lonely. I know we need to make time, but right now there doesn't seem to be time.

My daughter started kindergarten, and it was pretty seamless, but it gave me a chance to be supportive and kind.

On the one hand, a family I invested in building a future with is no longer truly going to be future family. On the other hand, I am much closer with my parents than I was a year ago, and have learned to rely on them in ways I never thought possible in 30 years. I am grateful to have both sides of this, as lonely as I sometimes feel.

My child gathered with his half siblings, all 5 of them, from a total of three mothers which includes me. Some siblings had never met. They enjoyed the connection. They hoped they could do this again. My sibling and I have met at least yearly for 55 years. We traveled from all parts of the country and some foreign residences. Our children, their cousins, have grown close. I have always wanted that for my children.

All questions seem to point to the same thing. I see my father falling ill and the process of simultaneously caring for him and my daughter as a major milestone. He is aging. I am aging and I feel my age more acutely. I also don't feel ready to be entering this stage. Inside I feel so much younger than the mirror reflects. I am more aware of the limits of our lives. That our time here is finite.

Katherine got pregnant in February, and our five year anniversary was in July. The pregnancy has meant a lot of changes - moving, preparing a nursery, thinking about finances. It's been taxing and bonding. We're both looking forward to being parents.

My grandfather passed away this year. This has had a major impact on my family in both positive and negative ways. Negatively we are an extremely close family and the last few months of his life were extremely taxing on all of us, also my granny has struggled to cope and deal with the loss of her partner of 60 years and has become a very different person which has affected the way our family operates and functions. On a positive note we were relieved to let him go because he suffered immensely and did not have much quality of life in the end. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, love and care of the community and were able to properly mourn his loss and celebrate his life.

I'm very lucky to have a family with whom I can talk openly about pretty much anything. But I don't think we've had what would be considered a 'major milestone' in the last year. Which isn't to say there haven't been good times :)

In my own mini family of me and pets I have lost Bones so that was overall very major. I lost a large part of my purpose for all of my adult years. There was a period of loss and still is. There were adjustments of time that I had available but within a few months I went from planning possible vacations and such to getting a horse and additional responsibilities. It was all quite a change. Kenn and I moved in together. I am having some doubts but I am not sure if they are valid or if I am just that into self sabotage so I am moving forward with things with him and considering moving to NC.

The biggest thing in my life this year was getting pregnant. A lot of the impact of that we've yet to see, but it's made me really think a lot about all that we need to change in terms of our lifestyles, the state of the house, etc. It's a bit overwhelming thinking about all we'll have to do that we aren't right now. On the other hand, it's also very exciting to think about the family we're creating and all that we'll get to teach to and experience with our child in the coming years. My brother also moved to Armenia, around the same time. I haven't gotten to talk to him too much since, which is sad because I do really appreciate the closeness we have when we're together and I want him to be active in our changing lives. Still, he's extremely busy now and has a lot on his plate. Hopefullly that will improve in the coming months and of course we'll make efforts to see each other when he's in the country.

We bought a house, moved, and had a child. Our lives are no longer the way they used to be. Our routines are different, our coping mechanisms have changed. I, at least, am feeling a little frayed at the edges. We are slowing getting the hang of things, but I still have trouble maintaining the house.

My mom celebrated one year of being cancer-free! It's so hard to think that just a year ago, my focus was completely shifted. It allows me to live my life a little more fully and makes me aware of my health.

My family has experienced several losses over the past year. While the deaths were not "bad," seeing my family more often made me realize how much I missed them. While I desire to spend more time with my family, school is limiting. I hope in the future I will have more family time.

Ella walking hasn't changed our family but it has really helped me appreciate how amazing the whole process is.

Hadley's turning 13 is a milestone for our family as the years between now and adulthood are shrinking. I love my relationship with her, trying to stay knowledgeable about what is important in her world, keeping communication open, holding my tongue and sharing my opinion that differs from hers only when it is really important. The other "milestone" is that the grandchildren are not having dinner with us so frequently this school year, which reflects their need to carve out an after school life at home. I miss them and yet, also love their enthusiasm for home and friends and the freedom from responsibilities this provides John and me.

My parents sold their house. I'm so glad. They have been preparing that house for the market for years, so when the polar vortex froze the pipes and flooded the entire newly-refinished downstairs, it felt like a huge defeat. I'm so glad they were able to get the insurance money to rebuild it all, and I hope that the family who bought it enjoys it as much as I did growing up. On the other hand, it's weird to think that I am no longer a resident of the state where I lived for 14 years.

We lost one of our dogs, Gryphon. It hurt, but not as bad as some of the others I've lost. I guess because I didn't have him as long. We celebrated my mom's 75th and almost all of the family was together. That was nice. Neither of these things really affected me that strongly. I can't think of anything that did.

The only major milestone I could think of was me and my family's cooperation in agreeing to my bone marrow transplant because it will make life easier for all of us because we will no longer goto the hospital so often.

My youngest started high school and my oldest started planning for university next year. Not sure how we got to this point so quickly!

It's not a milestone per se but we learned in May that my half brother and first cousin (who is also his first cousin) had a consensual sexual relationship that lasted several years and ended around Thanksgiving of 2013, shortly after they got married in Las Vegas. (They later had the marriage annulled.) My cousin has alleged that my brother coerced her into marriage by plying her with alcohol and pills. There is A LOT more to this story. Anyway, my brother and I aren't currently on speaking terms - not because I decided to stop talking to him, but rather because he became upset after I apparently took too long to reach out to him and ask his side of the story. Our sister (who is also no longer on speaking terms with him) brought to his attention that I had just had a child, to which he responded that "that's just an excuse." This story has made me realize the severity of my brother's demons and the extent of his narcissism.

My youngest daughter started High School, which meant an enormous change for her and, apparently for us. IT also means the last few years of raising a family before becoming "empty nesters", whatever that means. Time is precious.

We moved from day school to public. It was scary as I was losing my community - but amazing for the kids. It has left me confused about my judaism. I think public would be the better option always, what does it mean to know your culture, is it better when we all mix? I am confused about holding on to something - is it simply tribalism in another jacket?

We got two dogs and I feel like it has made james and I closer and ready to have kids together.

Jacob graduating Middle School and starting High School. Made me realize how fast their childhood is going and the need to hold each moment to the best of my ability.

My husband has been working to gain seniority at work and his hard work has finally paid off. This doesnt make his work any easier, or give him more time at home- quite the opposite. But its good to see him acknowledged for his years of persistent hard work. Its hard not having him home, and being so busy when he is home, but it makes a morning coffee with him that much sweeter.

My children visited their dad, his wife and two new brothers. They are young. As is his wife. My children now despise their father and that makes me sad. It makes me even more resentful of him than I already was. :( I have a hard time defending him and staying neutral when they tell me about the things that happened on that visit. I also started a new job with regular hours and the boys have had to learn to be more independent and resilient. It is hard for them. And for me. Owen is having trouble with the change but Jake seems to like it.

My mother's health has deteriorated. It's caused me great worry and also helped me adjust my priorities so that I'm of more service to her.

Well, it was a little more than a year ago. My FIL passed away on 7/7/13. I miss him so much. He was truly a dad to me, especially after my own father died 9+years ago. Caring for my MIL (not in her home, but just looking out for her) has become much more important. She's doing a lot better, much more independent. I feel a lot older. I really feel that I physically aged in this last year. Joints got stiffer and more painful, put on weight. Sad and old...

I had to adjust to not seeing my family every day in college. Up until the moment I left, I kept talking about how I was grateful to finally move out of the house, but I ended up wanting to call and spend more time with my family because of the distance. I was so used to telling them everything too, but college has issued a ton of changes, and some things are better left unshared.

Life and death.

My niece just went off to university. I think my mother is going to feel bereft now she can't see her as regularly.

Last year my little brother had his bar mitzvah and it was hype. My whole family had a great time and it was a good/fun day!

Many of my older cousins have recently been married and/or are having kids. Obviously, it affects me by bringing me new cousins, both babies and elders who are married in, but it has also given me new opportunities to care for them, as well as bring my family closer together.

Dan moved away. He was such a presence in our lives. I loved seeing him as a young man in his work and relationships, and having his honesty and intimacy and joy in my life. His physical leaving was a jolt that he was indeed a man with a grown up (or growing up) life separate from me/us. We all have separate, private lives, and I in fact am becoming more separate from Lea and Dan as I age and they move on, move forward.

I lost a good family friend. It makes me feel like life is precious and we should have more fun and experience more.

Katherine and I are living independently and we are "living the dream." It is amazing how both of us have this sigh of relief at being able to not answer to anyone but ourselves.

I haven't had any major mile stones with my family, however my brother was bar mitzvahed, and right now we're redoing our whole house so our kitchen and my parents bed room is in the basement. This has changed our life at home completely, but in the end, it will be worth it.

I suppose leaving my husband was over a year ago, but it still feels like dealing with this has been the biggest thing that has affected me this year. I think I'm (hopefully) starting to let go of some of the intense guilt & grief I've been feeling for so long now.

They Accepted My Husband. He is the love of my life, and the fact that they are okay with him is a GREAT milestone. My family doesn't usually agree in half of the decisions i have made in the past.

My wonderful wife Arlene turned 70. Now we are both in that decade. Have become more aware of moving on and ahead.

Sam got born! The whole experience of learning my sister was pregnant (which hadn't even happened by this time last year) was like stepping into a different dimension, or learning there was a new color in the rainbow. I never knew those types of feelings were possible. And that experience just kept getting deeper and richer as the process continued. Talking about everything she was going through made me feel bonded to my sister in a different way, not better than before, just different . . . it was as though we learned a new dialect and the words for appreciating each other were slightly more precise. And then holy mackerel! The birth! It's hard to think of an emotional roller coaster that compares. But meeting him, when I finally got to fly out there, was probably the most surreal part. Here were the legs that kicked my sister's computer off her of her belly from the inside! Here is a human being for whom nearly every discovery of joy is ahead of him. Here is a person who seems to instinctively know me -- is it because my sister and I smell similarly? I miss him with an ache I could never have predicted for a child not my own.

I got engaged in March (as I predicted at the end of the last 10Q). We broke up on Maundy Thursday and began our reconciliation process on Holy Saturday. Now we are engaged again and living together as happy as we can be. This has affected me because I never really thought that I would get married again. The whole process of giving myself wholly to my fiancé has been a bit draining. It has also been liberating. Unlike my first marriage, I have the comfort of really and truly feeling like this relationship is worth my energy; so, we worked through things. Also, in moving in with my future husband, I finally moved out of my mom's house (for the second time). I get the feeling I won't ever be back. I am HAPPY about that!

My dad turned 83 this year and he's really slowing down physically. It makes me think about where I'll be in the next 50 years and how I want my life to be different from his.

After months of second guessing and ill-fated promises, my parents finally sold my childhood home of 22 years. It was certainly a moment in my life that allowed me to reflect on the passing of youth, but also focus on moving forward with the next stage of young adulthood. It felt like finishing the first section of a long book.

I cancelled all of my remaining Hot Toys to help my parents. It felt like I was being stabbed in the heart but I'm slowly getting over it.

For me? First time in 16 years that I'm not a student. It feels weird. For my family? One kid bought a house. The other moved in with her long-term boyfriend. My sister got married. Big stuff. Good stuff. It's been a good year for the family.

Andres and I decided to move to Auburn; and its a reflection of how strong the community and family ties are. Its such a joy to me to see Andres actively looking for opportunities to spend time with my family, and to see how much they all enjoy one another's company. We are currently looking for homes in Auburn, and its so rewarding to talk about how we want to spend our lives - it feels good! I specifically remember the weekend we looked at our first house in Auburn (105 Hidden Creek - great neighborhood; horrific downstairs part of the house, complete with grow room); we went to Auburn rather last-minute with Paul and Dulcey and stayed up late with my family talking....I also vividly remember being in Gloucester for Nate and Kate's wedding and walking along Good Harbor beach on the way to Cat's pizza party. Andres and dad walked side by side, deep in conversation the whole way - while mom and I chatted and took pictures. It was a moment of love, and gratitude, and ease - I am so excited about all the moments to come.

I have a nephew! My heart loves him 100% in a completely pure way and it feels so good. He's so perfect and amazing and makes me miss my dad. I wish I could see him more, though. That part breaks my heart.

Aunt Sandi getting diagnosed with lung cancer has been a jolt to the family. Makes me value family more and motivates me go out to see her more. I want to see her as much as I can in the year ahead.

My grandmother died in January. She was almost 94 but it is still so hard to say goodbye. Especially I feel my mothers grief at losing her mother and it makes me hold her closer in my heart. Also, my cousin was killed in July. He was young and happy and it was not his time to go. It is horrible. Absolutely the worst.

Probably the biggest milestone we've hit this year is the fact that we moved into our own apartment. Yay! Finally! It's still surreal to me, because it's such a new thing, though we've been here since... mid July, I guess? So we've been here maybe two and a half months. And we just paid off our October rent, so we're doing pretty well on paying rent and all. I'm really grateful for that. For the first time in a few years, all our basic needs are met, which is very strange. We have food, wifi, our own home, transportation, and utilities. So now the next task is focusing on the mental blocks, I guess, wince we're taken care of physically, it's time to take care of ourselves mentally. It's hard, but hopefully we get through it well, and we can start living a much better life than we've known for a while.

Father disowning me, don't feel any different, he hasnt been a part of life for a long time, It feels a bit strange that he doesnt care enough to want to keep in touch, but his loss at the end of the day.

I had a baby. He is now 11 months. This has profoundly altered my daily life and my priorities. It has given an urgency to finances, education, my living situation and my relationship. He has also brought me tremendous joy and purpose.

Son's off to college. We stay in touch daily, but it's amazing all the little things that you notice when someone is gone. We only go through ONE gallon of milk a week, not three. The dishwasher only runs twice a week, not daily. My daughter ponces about the house singing show tunes. (She couldn't sing while he was doing his homework. His noise never bothered her.) The cats...don't care who feeds them.

Again, my daughter's wedding that brought the family together as we each contributed what we had. It both brought the family together into a more solid unit while it simultaneously expanded to become part of another family.

My only child became a teenager. She's been so mature for so long that it kind of snuck up on me. I woke up one day in the Spring and realized....I probably don't have her in my house that many more years. Wow! Time for more roadtrips, more game playing, more exploring.

My daughter/ youngest of 5 graduated from high school. It was amazing, scary, I am so full of pride, its freeing, did I day scary!!! For the first time in forever I had no packets to fill out the first day, no sport schedules to coordinate with work and clients, no back to school night to find out about last minute and as great as that is it is sad too So proud of my kids. I am also a little sad of the end of an era. I had children in school for a very long time. My oldest is going to be 30 in the beginning of January. I still have some in college but it is easy different. And way more expensive!!! But at the end of the day I am so proud and happy for her. She is an LNA and working and in college for her LPN and had plans to get her masters in nursing and to be a forensic nurse.

My son has reached the age of 19 and is becoming much more independent of me. I've had to learn to worry less about him and appreciate my time with him more.

The most significant family milestone of the past year has been my Mom, Dad, and Brother’s “leveling up” and return to life since our sister (their daughter) passed away from leukemia. The first year after Cara died, everyone was a mess. My Dad was depressed, my Mom was an emotional wreck, and Jake was trying to come to terms with how life could allow something so tragic and unfair to occur. It’s only in this past year that we were each able to break the inertia and take steps into a positive direction. My Dad stopped blaming himself and playing a victim of the universe. He accepted life for what it is and decided to do the things that make him happy. My Mom found a new passion in jewelry, entrepreneurship, and promoting a worthy cause. She has been kicking ass and taking names, selling tons of beautiful cuffs, raising money for k4c, and making special connections with other women who have experienced loss. My brother has become so much more comfortable being himself. He has developed his own moral compass and is growing past needing the approval of others. He’s finally getting it, and has the potential* to be cooler than me ;) As for me. I’ve been learning that it’s okay to be sad, and that there is only so much you can give to other people. You need to save some of yourself for you.

Me going to counseling. Me changing my attitude. Me realizing just how much I can't do to change theirs. I've now tried to seek happiness and and validation from within. this is a hard battle, though, and sometimes being with my family makes me sad, because I see our limitations and sometimes feel at a loss as to what I should do...but I also know now that they have to meet me halfway if they want to change.

My daughter graduated from high school and my son made it to nationals in debate. I was so very proud of them and how hard they worked and what good friends they had become. I thought of a family member who was always critical of them and me as a parent but those in my community who really knew us were positive and encouraging. I realized that while no one is perfect, it's always important to try and know and understand people and support them. There will always be those who will offer put downs but like my kids, we should always keep working and living for the truth and loving all along the way. They will make great parents one day.

My grandparents moving into an assisted living facility in Sept. 2013 was a big deal. It was hard to process never being at their house again for holidays and family get togethers. Sorting through their belongings on Thanksgiving Day in a house with no heat was the hardest thing we could have done as a family. Having my grandma eventually move to the Alzheimer's unit in the facility was rather hard, but a necessary and safer step. My grandpa's grief at times has been hard to take, especially for my mom, but he is so much better now. He values the family and is willing to accept help without demanding it. He was able to be in the assisted living facility during the Polar Vortex with the family being so far away and was able to move home in March. Almost losing the home and then having him back there makes me more grateful for it and is a reminder that things are not going to always be this way.

My brother and his girlfriend are expecting a baby this month. They are a mess and we are infertile. But, we are a mess also. At least we didn't miss out on that! Actually, coming to terms with it. It might be nice to only take care of myself for a change.

We purchased a house. It has been wonderful to downsize a little bit. All of us love the house, it feels like us and we are excited about working on it. Th e split level floorplan puts everyone's bedroom on the same floor as the main living space, while having the bedrooms be elevated off the ground floor. I love that the house gives us enough space, but we are still all really close together. The neighborhood is nice and quiet and we aren't surrounded by hideous traffic. We are looking forward to never moving again and really building a life here.

My youngest grandchild started kindergarten. Praise GOD - less day care costs. Sad, huh? The US needs to investigate other countries.....

The major milestone for my family this past year was me moving to Vietnam for an indefinite amount of time for a job, and my sister going "away" to college within 3 days of each other. I think it has done nothing but actually strengthen our family bonds, and it also has made me realize that I really am a family guy, and wouldn't mind living a lot closer to my family than I thought I originally wanted.

Este año mi familia tomo un pasó más hacia el futuro. El nuevo trabajo de mi padre ha ayuda a la familia y á echo un cambio monumental en casa porque podemos tener más cosas.

I am 50 a daughter in high school and have a young daughter and a son on the way... I spent the first half of my adulthood trying not to grow up. Now I have to and its good.

My brother went to college. That actually wasn't that weird. Its not like he was really home in the months before. It has put even more money stress on us but he's having a good time. And I love his room.

Liam graduated high school. Alec turned 30. I retired from teaching. It was a huge year for milestones! I am optimistic about Liam doing better in college. I have observed an increasing maturity over the summer. It is a relief to not ever again have to be a nag about school. He is on his own now, sink or swim. I am proud of the man Alec has become, he is kind, loving, liberal and very, very funny. I look forward to each time I see him. I worry about the amount he drinks and his belligerence when he is drunk.

Finalmente ahorramos suficiente plata para remodelar toda la casa que quedo fenomenal

Continuing along the theme of Q1 and Q2 my family published our story of our childhood. Equally co-authored by all nine siblings. This is a huge group accomplishment that has only brought us closest together. You just can't beat it! If anyone reading this is interested look for 9 Voices -The Childhood of a Family; by the Wilson Family

Our daughter was accepted to the Gunnery, the school founded by the great Northern abolitionist, women's suffrage supporter, and early civil rights activist, Frederick Gunn. We believe this to be an extraordinary and positive turning point in the trajectory of her life, one that will reverberate for the good through all the lives her life touches....

WE GOT A PUPPY!!! My little Pozzie boy! Love that little fella. He's a manchester terrior mix and it changed my family diamic completely. At first, it almost made my parents get a divorce... but we stuck through it and now Pozz is literally a PERFECT dog. It shows how hard the family works and how dedicated we are as the little weisfamily.

My husband is in air traffic control, and in late January, he received his location and start date from the FAA. We had about a month to pack up everything and say goodbye to family and friends in Texas. We spent three months in Oklahoma City for his training, then moved across the country to Washington. Months later, I'm still not sure quite how it's affected me. I was depressed for several months, but that's something I go through from time to time. It may have been triggered by the move, but it's not always about outside circumstances. One thing that's come from the move, and from everything else that happened this year, is that I've become a more understanding person. I don't think I'm quite as caustic as I used to be.

I've come forward ( and continue to) for opening more communication and connection in my marriage, les hiding, we returned to counseling as well trust vulnerability connection

Grammy died in August. She was the matriarch of the family. It made me feel closer to my family, and also reminded me of how limited our time is together. Spending that time with my family while she declined, and at the funeral, made me want more.

Our financial situation changed drastically but we have altered out lives and have come out better and together. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

The biggest mile stone was having my brother for a month here at NYC. A gift.

Visiting my family was great. I can't wait to see the rest of my family again soon.

I got engaged. My family has been very excited but I'm feeling the pressure because I'm questioning my sexuality,

My Mom died. Makes me sad to my core, makes me angry at my husband at times for not being more able to be on someone else's time line, not his. But really showed me how great my Brother is.

My brother graduated! And I couldn't be any prouder, any more glad that he is becoming a "real person." I'm so excited to see him grow and I hope that this life is good one, full of new experiences and learning. But this time in his life makes me so anxious; I am so scared that being an adult will kill his spirit. Maybe because this last few years has done something to me and i'm just trying to get back--or rather get to a new, better place.

My mother turned 90. She's in great shape mentally, not so much physically but nothing serious. My brother just turned 60 (today in fact). A cousin my age died this year. I always think about mortality but more than ever this year does it seem to apply to me & not just the people around me. However, for the first time I sort of feel like I've had my fun, I've had my time, & it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if I wasn't around forever.

My youngest son has graduated from college and gotten his first job in a city far from me. In some ways this has made me feel outstanding and in other ways it made me feel very alone. It is a big adjustment to accept that I am really in the third chapter of my life! When he "uninvited" my family from the graduation - he showed me that one can choose their path! I am so very proud of his independent and determined spirit.

My dad is getting married. This is a huge blessing for my family. Kim is amazing and my dad is happy. Although it feels a little strange for him to be moving on from my mom, the fact is that, after six years of grieving her death, he deserves to be happy, and I am nothing but happy for him.

Not a milestone, but major happening...my oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD. This was a relief and a trigger. The relief was that it wasn't my horrific parenting that caused our son's anger and outbursts, but the trigger for me was the fear of what it would take to help him through it. We've since lost two au pairs from not treating it and are going headlong into what we need, including hiring caregivers with backgrounds in ADHD. In all, we'll be better off, but in the short term, it is scary, and I have to understand why I have procrastinated. While I'm writing this I am calling the doctor's office right now.

Zach has graduated from UCCS! He has had a very difficult teenage and early twenties period so I am very proud of him and happy for his success. He is really maturing and making progress. He loves his new job and is in a good place in life right now.

I don't know that there are any major milestones with my family this year, other than that I feel more patient and loving towards them.

My mom recovered from her cancer. It has made me thankful but scared. I am thankful she is ok, but scared the cancer will come back in a more lethal way. I'm also scared that I could have the cancer as well. I know that hers wasn't linked to the BRCA gene, but I still worry about it being linked in some other way. As our relationship grows closer and more adult, I want her to be there for any and all upcoming milestones.

My youngest brother graduated, and it felt like a nice closure. He struggled quite a bit in his studies, so I am very proud that he has made it! I also got to see my siblings in their workstations, doing what they love and what they are good at. It was quite enlightening. I realized that despite our personality differences, our approach to work were quite similar, we are very stubborn about our ideals, and it's all or nothing for us. We don't do things halfway. And we care about quality. Our parents raised us to care more about quality than flash, to care more about the gold than the glitter, and I can see how that really affected us in how we approach our work. Also we have a bit of a rebellious streak in us, but we don't rebel for the sake of rebelling, it's always for a cause. I am quite proud of that.

This past year I had three family members in the same hospital. My cousin Julia, for breast reduction surgery, her father/my uncle Vic for seriously high blood pressure, and finally my grandmother Sabta, for a colonoscopy mishap. Everyone is okay. Thank God.

My family of origin: My parents, at 76, completed building their home. I went home in July to visit with them and we all slept in the new home for the first time. My parents are an inspiration to me…of hard work, tenacity and commitment. This is huge! It is a reminder to me to strive to be the best that I can be and to not give up and that I can do more than I think I can. I doubt I'll ever live up to who they are…but I'm proud of them and proud to have them as my parents. Good role models. Inspiration!

My kids turned 13. Biggest differences is I feel more comfortable leaving them home alone now. They are maturing in some ways, struggling in others

Within the last hour I received emails from my parents about my grandma. My mum has been living with her for the last 18 months, and it's a miracle she's still alive. Looks like the miracle's nearly up. I'm surprised by how sad this makes me. I'm very blasé when it comes to talking about death, especially the death of old people who have had good lives. I'm ready for my grandma to die. Today's update hit me though, because she's not dead, but she seems to be in the process of dying. It's not quick, and it's not easy. It's horrible for me to hear about, and it's even worse for my mum to have to see it every day. My grandma's death is my mother's day to day life. I think I've glamorised death in my head, and the reality sucks.

We had the unveiling for my mother and my aunt (my second mother) on the same day, since they passed away 10 days apart. They were the last two siblings out of 8 so the last of that side of my family. It brought all my cousins except for a few, from 5 different states together for what scares me, may be the last time. I looked at them all differently during this time and I am very sad that the family is fading. I'm the youngest and I'm afraid I will one day be alone! It was a few days filled with love and laughter and much saddness.

We had a child. The game has forever changed. :D

No milestones exactly. My stepmother has recovered from her mini-stroke from last year and her meds have been finally sorted so that she is 'like new'. Everyone can breathe now.

Losing my grandfather was a major milestone for my family. At the end of March, he was diagnosed with cancer. In April, my sister and I flew down to see him. For me, this was the first time seeing him or my grandmother in 5 years. Our cousins, who were there as well, we hadn't seen in 13 years (since we were children). It hit me full in the face that I am a part of a family and that I want to be connected. We told him that he brought his grandchildren back together and he said that it was the best thing he'd ever done. I want to live up to that. I am also struggling with the fact that it had been so long in between visits and calls. I feel so guilty for not being in my grandfather's life before he died. And I remind myself every day that I will "make it up" to my grandmother now. By calling and visiting and being in her life now.

Zuri graduated college. That has felt more significant to me than my Grandmother's slow decline in health (she's still alive, but everybody's waiting for her passing) and uncle Anil's struggle with cancer (he's recovering). I'm just sad that I never got to spend any time with Zuri in the past two years. She was like the little sister I never had, and I didn't try hard enough to see her before she left. Now I think she's back in India and I don't know when I'll see her again. Before too long I hope, but it's already been too long...

It feels like the family has been all milestones this year. Deaths, births, and more. For better and for worse, things have changed. I think one of the moments that affected me the most, though, was mom's bat mitzvah, and in a number of different ways. On her end, I'm so proud of and impressed by the effort that she put in. Her willingness to pursue that goal after so many years and for as long as she did was really encouraging. On top of that, it helped me understand how important it it to show up. When my instincts tell me to be there, I need to put money and convenience aside.

Major milestone: hubby has a spinal affliction that, even with surgery, is a harbinger of life changes to come. My role of caregiver for mom will start to expand to include husband as he faces issues of aging. The effects are huge. I "get" to reevaluate whether or not I can continue with rural living, whether I can keep my rescue animals, and sufficiently downsize enough to facilitate a whole new way of life. Frankly , right now I'm overwhelmed, and feel like I'm barely hanging onto a tree trunk as the tsunami washes over me. I know that I am strong, and have weathered other storms. It would just be nice to NOT have these issues for awhile.

This one is tough. I get to watch my beautiful children grow up - and Aimee lost her first teeth this year. That was cool.

Teaching at Hamilton has affected my family in many ways. Having money has enabled us to keep our house and pay our exorbitant mortgage… have more wiggle room in buying stuff (me), pay for unexpected repairs like air conditioning, new tires, etc. Victor, kindly at first, more begrudgingly later, saw my struggles and totally stepped up, taking over the meals, driving of Mia to SL, wash, etc. It has affected Mark the most I believe. His academic skills are 100% improved! He writes neatly in a cool font he made up, I guess that’s called handwriting. No more 2nd grade scrawl with indiscriminate capital letters… He has become compassionate to his teachers. He has had male teachers who he can relate to over their video games from their childhood… which of course he can converse freely about. He actually made a couple of friends—a girl, Marissa from my jewelry making class, and a boy Sebastian, who he is spending the night with as I write this. Of course anime and Mario are their bonding points. Mark has friends at school! He has picked up the terrible habit of cursing…sigh. Mia almost died! The Lord warned me that Satan wanted to take her life. I didn’t understand until afterwards how close he was to getting her. She had a kidney infection that she hid from us for a few days trying to “deal with it” herself, by taking pain meds. She woke me up and begged me to help her 4 days later. I got her into the doc who gave antibiotics. She couldn’t keep them or anything else down tho’. Texting Janet Pate, she told me to take her into the hospital. I had to choose between the one where Granddaddy died and the one where Victor went. I had to fight the surge of fear when we entered the doors, but ended up in the pedi ward next door which helped me cope better. I still didn’t realize the danger Mia was in. Janet said she was worried about sepsis—organ shut down, like in Heaven is for Real. After 2 bags of fluid, antibiotic drip and morphine, she was good to go. Only then did I realize that the Lord had prepared me for the attack. I worked extremely hard over this past summer to get Vanguard certified. God blessed me with 4 classes! I feel so blessed everyday! I feel like I’ve won the teaching lottery. Kids who want to learn, who want to help, who want to write! It’s amazing. THANK YOU JESUS FOR YOUR MERCY.

Major milestone was getting everyone together for family photos. Turns out I have put on quite a bit of weight and I am starting to look like my family and my internal picture of myself hasn't kept up. Time to get back into shape

Leonard moved out to London, Matthew will soon be transferred and Daddy is getting older. I'm nervous but I've stepped up to start talking finances and long term planning with my parents. I'm one of the adults now - and while it scares the shit out of me it's empowering. I am smart. And I can help take of others. And my insights have value. It's just, it's not that my parents don't trust me, it's that I don't always trust me. I constantly talk to my peers about their communication style and confidence, especially in front of supervisors and clients --> and now I'm trying to channel that with my parents. For the first time I think I'm tasting the scary reality of parenthood - I don't have all the answers, but I'm who they've got.

Probably the biggest milestone was getting married, which was a wonderful weekend but hasn't dramatically changed my life yet, but at the same time will probably be when I look back on my life one of the biggest milestones along the road.

Grandma dying was a major milestone for my family because it was really the first time my sisters and I had a close family member die. It didn't affect me very much since I'm not very affected by death but my sisters were very, very sad.

It really wasn't a year of "major milestones." I can't even think of some minor ones. Ultimately, I think this is just fine.

My now blended family blended this past year. Five of us went from occasional get togethers, living in two homes to establishing a new home together in a new house. For me I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to be with my partner who is the love of my life and I can't imagine not having our life together now. I also feel blessed to have two new boys in my life, who I increasingly know and love more with each passing day. I'm proud of all three of our kids for navigating many challenging transitions with grace and open hearts. This year, as with the last, I am awed by the peace, love, and sense of right-ness that has come from making thoughtful but scary decisions, stepping into the unknown toward pursuing what feels right and best. It's incredibly powerful to see things shaping up so well.

My mother died. It was the end of a long journey. In some ways it was a great relief. And in some ways it brought the family closer together. There's a lot I can let go that was more difficult when she was alive, like concern with my appearance. And I have more free time that had been spent visiting and caring for her.

I got married. It's been great... it's brought my family together more and more! I'm very happy that they are very happy for me :)

This is a tough one ...I guess the main occasion that springs to mind is that my little niece turned one this year. My sister lives in Ireland so the times I have seen her in person have been really special. When my sister was over visiting this summer I hosted our first ever family barbecue - it was a gorgeous day and we all had a right laugh - I think I finally converted my parents to the whole barbecue thing.

milestones are usually life events. the major one in this house was the baby. he's not my grandson, he's hers. and i'm .... attached at a corner, or something. and i did pretty well with him, at least until we stopped babysitting him for no reason that i'm aware of. [ summer, but why NO visits since then? but a lot of that was me being right, which 1) isn't new 2) isn't supposed to be a big deal. still not connected, but then again i manage not to go to family night most of the time, so it's definitely my fault as well. he's sick, again, still. he hasn't been well most of his first year of life. i offer information, advice, etc. but i'm mostly just on the edge. if it were a healthier, happier family, i might be more involved. but duck's legacy continues, and i do not want to get closer. i want to leave with less regrets. so i'm not in, because i wish more to be out.

My partner and I got married after 23 years as domestic partners. I have noticed that people around me are more supportive of our relationship, as the official marriage adds legitimacy in their eyes.

My parents sold their house, the one that I grew up in. The house was a part of the family, not just a building - every surface of that house was repaired and improved by my parents, especially my dad. I was so glad I got to say goodbye to the house and yard this summer, and to take my son with me to do so - he got to experience some of the things I loved best about living there as a kid, and frolicking with him in the yard on the warm summer evenings was the best sendoff I could have given my childhood there. Going through all of my childhood memorabilia, sorting it, scanning it, shredding it or saving it was also very cathartic for me. For the first time I feel like I can leave a lot of my childhood behind, which is really beneficial; some of my childhood was great, but there was also pain and a lot of abuse.

Over 30 years after leaving school to have my sister, my mother was able to get her AA. I always knew that I was resilient and could push through anything, but I know that I will never quit until I achieve my goals. She put me back in touch with my drive and confidence in my abilities to be successful. I want to fight because if she never gave up, nor should I.

My family is finally a unit. It's taken a while for us to all to be on the same page and enjoy each other's company fully, but now that my younger sister is a bit older and my parents have calmed down about a lot, I really look forward to family events and vacations. I love us!

The death of my Great Uncle really just pulled so many of us together and also showed some folks out. He was a classy guy, through and through and we were all blessed to share a few trips around the sun with him. His death gave us time and space to celebrate his life and his legacy and to remind us again, just how important and special our family is.

This is an interesting question because it begs the question of "what is family". For me these days my family is my chosen family, and my family is Vernetta and the life we are creating together. So in that framework I would say a major milestone is that Vernetta and I decided to be together and to exclusive. It feels like it has unfurled an opportunity for a life I always dreamed of and am now, with her, realizing is possible and can be full of happiness and joy. That's a real milestone.

A major milestone in my family was having our oldest grandson choose to visit us this summer. He flew from Pennsylvania to Chicago for a weekend. My husband and I were thrilled and felt like this was an opportunity to deepen our relationship and also celebrate a rite of passage for him at age 14 and for us as the far away family. What I didn't expect or realize was that with his new iPhone he would never truly be far away from his home life. I noticed that so many of his present moments were spent sending photos and texts and in conversations with his home life that I wondered if he ever truly landed in Chicago. The irony is, I made a bigger shift in consciousness than he did. I was actually the one being gifted a rite of passage. My journey involved letting go of my wanting something for another and allowing for his experience to be his creation and trust in his own time his own life continually invites and offers him his journey in a way that is most meaningful and supportive of him. I came to understand that his journey is none of my business, my role as a grandmother is to love him and keep my heart open. Before he arrived, I imagined that he would gain a sense of adventure and confidence getting himself to his gate in Harrisburg to baggage claim at O'Hare. Instead, his father escorted him to the gate. Upon his arrival to O’Hare, he opened the text his stepmother sent telling him how to get to baggage claim so he didn't even have to notice his surrounding. Someone held his hand across all those miles and a single time zone making it possible for him to get from Point A to Point B There without making a real-time connection to his environment. In my highest dream of the event, I imagined him experiencing his own capabilities and developing a sense of adventure knowing that all the adults involved trusted him and felt he was capable of getting from there to here. Instead, I was the one who had my eyes opened and gained new self-awareness. I learned where and how I held judgments. I saw that I believe we are cultivating a generation of individuals who are not being asked to become self-reliant and I worry that they are not learning to trust themselves or their instincts. I saw that I feel sad that children today do not know what it’s like to not be connected by telephone lines or wireless waves and so I judge that as impeding their imaginations and creativity and capacity to be alone or even cultivate a sense of privacy. I recognized that I had dreams for his parents that were not realized and so I transferred that wanting to him. So the beautiful milestone of our oldest grandson choosing to come to visit made an indelible impression on me. I thought we were gifting him with a rite of passage as a young man when in truth, he gifted me with a rite of passage by expanding my vision and version of myself as a Grand Mother.

I graduated school. This is the greatest milestone, I think, that has happened in my immediate family this year. We have had no deaths and no births, no weddings and no round birthdays (except my own). Graduation was long-awaited and something I worked incredibly hard to get to with the result I ended up getting. It was something I wore with pride (and still do).

September 28th was my Father's 7 year anniversary of his passing. I felt free of the burdens I carried around for so many years about him and our relationship. About how he didn't really make sure that I was taken care of , that he left everything to his wife. I forgive him now and am beginning to understand why everything he did was perfect. He said he was tough on me to make me strong. I feel strong now. I know that I flourish with positive reinforcement, but that our relationship was perfect for my growth. I know in my heart that he is really proud of me. His passing made me grow in so many ways. 7 yrs.... is a long time and I'm ready to move forward in my life like never before. I am the beautiful , strong, empowered feminine, talented woman that I always wished that I would become and 7 yrs marks a very long and painful journey to get here. I give thanks for my beautiful father for all the joy and the pain he has given my life.

our daughter has moved on to being independent and creating herself a new life. she has not so much affected me though made me extremely happy and confident. also, the dynamics in the home changed quite a bit b/c we are now less the person who was ever so much our communicator. it's very quiet. so there is the affect. so, i've been reading more, and taking on new crafts. drawing and painting. and ive been searching for an additional job. i'm still attentive to my son, the house, and the kids at the temple, and of course my husband. although my husband never needs much or anyone, he's happy with his job. my crafts and reading have helped me with this blissful milestone in my family. i am blessed and so thankful for the happiness of my daughter. this is fun!!

A marriage, a high school graduation, a start of college, some deaths of elder relatives, the reaching of 100 years of one relative. Life goes on, and gives us a chance to create a shared memory.

We celebrated our first anniversary with my husband's surgery taking all our time and focus, and postponing our plans to start a family and move. But his health is everything and we are happy.

We are more sort of preparing for a major milestone. Almost all my husband's energy and a good bit of mine has been in his schooling for the past seven years, and now that time is coming to an end. My life this time next year will look completely different, and I have a lot of hopefulness for the first time in a long time.

First baby in the family and in my group of best friends. Amazing to automatically love some tone instantly when you meet them. Scared but excited for that one day.

My mother-in-law had her second knee replacement and while that did not effect me physically, it certainly effected me emotionally. My mother-in-law while somewhat independent, is very dependent on my husband, her son. She calls on him for anything that she needs that she can't do herself, even though she has another son, my husband's younger brother, but she never asks the younger son to do anything for her unless it's something my husband cannot do. My husband and his brother and his brother's wife have never had a good relationship - there is a lot of jealousy and . . . well, let's just say, without going on and on about this, that our family relationship is not good. While my mother-in-law was rehabilitating, we were able to spend more quality family time together without the added stress and tension that we normally experienced. It made us realize how precious that time is for us and how much we value it. It also made it difficult for us to go back to a stressful, tension filled life. We are still trying to figure out how to best deal with this situation.

My husband losing his second job in two years. It was devastating and rocked our marriage to the core again. It meant struggling and scrambling to stay alive again. But in the end, I remembered when he had so many times picked up the pieces of my broken heart...I could only do the same in return.

My grandmother turned 100. I think it made me reflect on the passing of time. And I turned 40. So it made me feel like time is moving swiftly, that I need to reflect more and make more space for those I love and care about. That meditation and reflection, closeness, communication, true connectedness are at the heart of a full life. Not just chasing after things. I found it emotional to look at the photos of my grandmother's life at her 100th celebration. Such a full, rich, extraordinary life. And so simple in many ways. She has lived in a very direct way. She is an inspiring human being.

I want to say it was buying the house, but really, it was my dad having surgery for his shoulder. And the last few times he's had his heart murmurs. I know we all aren't going to live forever, but he's closer to the end of that than I am, and gets closer all the time. It wasn't something huge in a way -- getting rusty, as my step-grandpa would say -- a rotator cuff injury that turned into arthritis that finally called for surgery to try and help it. But he isn't bouncing back as fast. He's working harder at his latest hustle. And he sounds more tired more often than he used to. He doesn't blow things off as quickly. He admits to feeling tired, to hurting. The brave face is slipping. I'm 2 years from 40. I remember when my dad was 40, and I thought that was as old as a person could be. His parents were older, but they were something else, unearthly, a vision of the far future that I'd never be. But now he's their age. He doesn't have the crooked fingers or the four strokes and four heart attacks. He doesn't have 40 years of smoking or 3 heart surgeries behind him (well, not major ones anyway). But he's old. Well, older. And now I worry that this year may be the last year I get with either of my parents. And I still don't see them very much. Because I keep trying, striving, reading, writing, molding, shaping. And they just keep moving slower and trying less. Or with less imagination. I don't know how to lift them back up. And I can't stand watching them slide down that gradient into age. I miss the vital them. I hope, I pray that they find it within themselves again, somehow.

Grandfather died. Less respect for my family

My family have had the shadow of cancer over us this year. My Dad has metastatic melanoma with multiple lesions around his body. Much to our amazement Dad has been strong both physically and mentally and has surpassed what the statistics tell us. This has not happened without very challenging times. Dad's strength has been a great inspiration and has allowed me to put things in perspective. When I feel things are getting too difficult, too painful, or even if I'm feeling sorry for myself I think of Dad and it gives me strength to accomplish anything.

See question 1. Mom moving near to me has profoundly changed my life. I am both resentful and grateful.

My son is at university for the second year. I'm so happy that he has started that journey to self discovery. As a black man, I hope he lives long enough to enjoy his journey.

My little sister moved to Bogotá in February which has been amazing to see her build a life all on her own in a huge city in another continent. I'm so proud of her for following her dreams and for going out on her own and making things happen. Her stress at her first job stressed me out too and keeping in touch with her can be a challenge. The overall impact has been simply incredible to see her grow though it all and take those chances for herself ... and my trip to visit her in Colombia wasn't so bad itself.

We all went to LA as a family for the first time in 4 years. It's just nice.

Well, I graduated. So that's cool. I feel like the experience brought me a bit closer with my parents, because this time around (as compared to my high school graduation) I was much better able to see how their love, support, and genes had allowed me to reach this milestone. And I think they understood my state of mind, as well. It's also brought a new sense of equality between us, since I'm now a "real person" that can have professional conversations with their friends, which puts me on a more comfortable level than the awkward not-really-respected-yet teen or college kid.

Las enfermedades de mis abuelos, el Alzheimer y la operación de mi abuelita son una carga emocional tanto para mi mamá como para toda la familia.

I have a lovely sister in law

One of my closest cousins got married in Israel, the whole family got together to celebrate. Seeing this cousin in particular get married to a wonderful man gave me hope. It was also another opportunity to understand the dynamics of my huuuuge crazy family.

We're all out of the house now leaving my parents to live alone. This has affected me as I feel a bit more distant, I don't speak to them anywhere near enough. Particularly my dad.

My mother in law has started making plans to move out of our home. We always knew she wouldn't be here forever but we will be sad not to see her everyday. I'm sure the kids will really miss hanging out with her so much.

My husband retired. It's made me question the meaning and importance of my own work and the time line for my own retirement. It's challenging to have my husband struggle with adjusting to retirement. I'm looking forward to him finding the new purpose in his life.

99 pct of my family getting together; reason was to celebrate Denise's 5yrs of being cancer free, but the real blessing was almost all of us getting together in one place at one time to eat. And the icing on the cake wa Jan's "welcoming statement" to Marie; that wa a milestone for HER as well. It gave me a feeling on "inclusion" [because of the divirce I've been mostly EXCLUDED], and so I've been rejoicing over this event

There has not really been anything big happen in my family this past year. My mother died 3 1/2 years ago and that is the last major milestone that has happened. I miss both my mother and my daddy, who has been gone 17 years. So many deaths in the past several years has changed things for my brother and me in the way that we hardly have any family left. My youngest grandson just turned 16 and got his driver's license but he lives way in west Texas so that shouldn't really affect me. I am proud of him and love him very much.

My parents moved to Florida around this time last year to take care of my Abuelos. At first, it was kind of a weird concept. My childhood home is still there, but my parents boxed up a lot of things and for a while no one was living there (my brother is there now). On the one hand, I feel a lot less pressure to go home every time there's a holiday or I'm on vacation. I used to go home a lot. This has allowed me to have some more independence from my family. On the other hand, I feel much more distant from my parents and my friends who still live in my hometown. I see and talk to my parents with much less frequency, and they're pretty unhappy with their lives now, so this whole transition has changed how we relate to one another. I wish that they weren't so disappointed with their lives, and I wish I knew how to support them better without feeling sucked in to their negativity. I also feel a disconnect from home, but in some ways it allows me to think more openly about what and where home is for me.

Two things come to my mind: my brother graduating and having a calm talk with my mom. I got relieved when my brother graduated because I knew that would make my parents happy at least for him, since they are unsatisfied with me never finished university. The calm talk I had with my mom gave me a glimpse of hope that it is indeed possible to stay calm amidst the anxiety and stress my mom pulls out on us every so often, and it is possible if only I am able to keep myself beyond the situation. Stay on top if it. That was probably one of the rare times I actually succeeded in doing it.

Becoming a mother has brightened my life. I hope to be more steadfast in my resolve to finally get my life together.

I found out by accident, from somebody else, that my brother had gotten married. It crushed me that he wouldn't at least tell me himself. I realize now that I deserve MUCH better treatment, and must move forward with my OWN life.

My younger brother turned 60. I went to his bday party but somewhat regretted it. For one thing, I didn't really have the money to go (put the flight and the hostel room on credit card) and secondly, it wasn't really a fun time. Also, my brother never acted like he appreciated my attending. Another major milestone, though, was that on the same trip, I got to have breakfast together with my two brothers, who hadn't talked to each other in over three years. We had a pleasant time in the restaurant and also walking around the old neighborhood in which we grew up.

My brother and I are getting married this year, we are the last two out of the siblings to get married, our family is so excited for both of us. We suffered a great loss last December when our father passed and it's nice to see people smile again and have two weddings to look forward too. I thought it would put more stress on people but I think it has helped us realize there is still goodness out there and pain is part of life.

My daughter quit her job and moved home. This has added drama and energy to our household that I only realize now had been missing. It exhausts me and stimulates me at the same time. It has made me wonder how I can add that back into my life by myself.

The major milestones were the births of three new tiny children into our families- one each for each of the sisters. Then, the death of my mom. Top of the world, then bottom of the barrel. Just so wonderful to have Susanna and start to get to know her, but SO SO horrible to have lost my mom. I still can't even write that she's gone.

I've come so far in how I respond to my mother. I'm more patient and less reactive. I feel I have let go of my anger toward her.

My parents opened up about their financial situation and asked my brother and I to help pay for his last two years of college tuition. He and I are both earning much more regularly than they are and degrees are *expensive*. At first I was hesitant because I really like all the money I have but I quickly realized that was dumb. My parents have given me everything I have (except for this money) and the least I can do is contribute back in a hearty way. Now I don't even remember the exact amount I sent mom, but I think it was close to $15k. An absolute no brainer. This was a quick event, the entire conversation with mom took one loop around the hill, but it meant a lot to both of us. They're nearing retirement and close to struggling financially in the Valley. My brother and I are beginning lucrative careers in software. It became clear that I'll need to think about supporting them in the long-term.

Completed my degree and made my family proud

I feel a deeper connection with my sister, with whom there have been many difficulties in earlier years. Part of it is our maturing. It is with gratitude, however, I now recognize my role in this through being first to extend the "olive branch" over the years.

A sense of accomplishment regarding question Day 2

Almost a year ago my family lost my uncle John to leukemia. I think about him often and his passing has made me realize that illness can change the course of a life overnight. If there is something I want to do in life, I need to go ahead and do it and not wait till the timing is perfect.

My brother retired. My youngest sister started laying out a plan to retire in 5 years. My Mom turned 88 years old. It makes me realize how time is moving on. The family still revolves around my Mom. She's still the matriarch but we're all getting older. What will the center of the family be like when she's gone?

I started teaching again just before Rosh Hashanna last year. It has been a year of being back in the classroom after a year of being away from teaching. Such an amazing feeling to be back doing what is my true calling. Every time I have been away from teaching it has been much harder to fight off my innate depression. When I teach, I can walk into the classroom feeling very down, and usually I leave in a much better mood. The other major milestone was reconnecting with my best friend/first love from my pre-teen/early-teens. Seeing her again awakened my heart again. Finding out that the love I believed was there was not something that was just in my mind. She felt it too, and had photos from then, and had artwork that she had done that had been inspired from that time together. Here we are, almost 30 years later and even though our lives have moved on, that spark is still there. Maybe we will end up two old ladies in two rocking chairs laughing at the world.

My son going to college was THE major milestone. He was so ready to leave high school and now seems to be doing well at building his own life. I am doing the same. i miss him and I'm learning to let that be okay. It's now time for me to enjoy a new relationship with him and to figure out the next/last third of my own life.

They accepted both my engagement and my marriage very happily and welcomed my wife into our family.

We moved to a new duty station. We have left behind some great friends and of course our family in Colorado. I have had to get a new job, I had to take a break from school, and I have had to uproot my children from a place they were just starting to get used to. Fortunately, we are all resilient and have taken the changes well for the most part. It is just a new adventure that we will add to the memory banks.

We bought a house! Honestly, it made me feel rather grown up. We just took the step and did it. Having done it now I don't know why we didn't sooner. I was so scared to commit and go out on the limb to do it, but once we did, it really wasn't as scary as I thought. It makes me think of other things I spend days/months/years worrying over (vacations, career moves, my artwork, my family) and how maybe they are not worth as much worry either? I hope I can remember this example throughout 2015.

I suppose I can count our marriage as in this year!!! LOL 10/12/13 - we were wed here in Cali, and on 10/27/13 in Florida, and of course our wedding in Teddington in May. I got thru year 3 of USM, and I spent a great year in service at USM in the reader room The big thing was easing into a peaceful and graceful year of marriage

This past year we actually had a very happy milestone in our family despite the fact that my husband and I are separated we got two new puppies in December. We nest each of us taking turns in the family house where the children live full-time. early on the stress of new puppy is an unfamiliar experience for me recapitulated our differences over the raising of most son as a newborn. On balance however experience has been fantastic. I am delighted to see the children love their dogs and I delight in caring for them as well. They are a wonderful addition to our whole and imperfect family.

My grandfather has been very unwell on and off through out the year and has recently been in hospital for 6 weeks. It's extremly difficult to see a family member, especially your grandfather suffer with ill Heath but we all have to remain strong and get him home

Jordan and I are trying to learn how to co-parent Ellie, and she is trying to understand this new transition in her family. It is a tough time. There are more hurdles than expected. But we will survive.

Dad just sold his boat. He's 84, and has pretty much sailed constantly since he was tiny. It remains to be seen how this will affect him, and us. I am hopeful but concerned.

my mom hit the bottom of her life, as you could say.. it has affected me, because i constantly think of my mom and how i can help her. also I'm not sure what to do for her i fell that she needs to work at herself slowly but surely.

No major milestones. My mother is 94 and I hope we are all valuing and expressing our love and admiration for her in increasing amounts so that she can leave this world with full satisfaction that she lived a wonderful life and will live on through her children and community.

The biggest milestone this year was my son being diagnosed with epilepsy. The biggest affect for me is making sure he takes his medication and also dealing with his anxiety. I enrolled him in an anxiety workshop and reinstated therapy. I am more patient with him and did not push him to do anything, including go to school, which is rare for me. My son has a history of having allergies and not feeling well enough to go to school, but he usually feels better within an hour so I historically have pushed him to go to school since he misses a lot and doesn't do as well as he should because of it. So with the anxiety caused by the epilepsy drug, clear that you cannot strong arm anybody with anxiety, so I let him stay home most of the time, but as he weened off the drug, his attendance went up. Now that he's completely off the drug he's back to normal anxiety-wise (just very mild) and he doesn't even try to stay home from school.

Family milestones: Adam out of the Army at last and making plans to move north to Portland, where Sophie already is. Knowing this was going to happen gave us the first inklings that we might move up there too, to be close to both of our families. I think being too far away from your family weakens you. This is a new belief on my part, as I have a history of putting as much distance between myself and my family as possible. Although with your children it's different. I still want to be able to see them, help them, give them support, and I hate the telephone. Also Sophie became a waitress, an interesting milestone in that she is the same age I was when I started waiting tables. It gave me the idea that the book would be written, focused towards her, and what she might need to know in order to be good at it. That's my audience. I think a writer needs a specific successor in mind when he or she writes, someone to pass the keys to. It gives my voice strength to know what it's meant to bounce across. If you write into a cavernous void you can't even hear yourself.

The major milestone that happened with my family this past year was my husband had his 70th birthday. I have 3 1/2 years to go before I experience that but after 43 years of marriage his reaction and response to this affected me as well. I joined him in wondering about present minor health issues and how they may affect our life in the future as the aging process becomes more noticeable and may mean making some adjustments. I tried to help him find something positive and a humorous outlook on "getting old". I reminded him it was how old he felt that was more important then the number. I also thought about how much I wanted him to remain by my side for many more years. Doing things to stay healthy has been a focus but is something that is even more important for both of us now. It made him think about what was important to him and what he would like to do with his time in the coming years. He chose to make his birthday an opportunity to spend a long weekend with his family and planned everything to make it very special. He rented a house in Stowe, Vermont. It was an in risibly beautiful and peaceful setting. Both his brothers and their wives came as well as my sister and her husband and our son and his fiancé. He and his two brothers, one from Florida and one from New York, hadn't been together at the same time for quite a few years. His oldest brother is 80 and his other one 76 so it was important to take the opportunity to spend time together. It was an amazing time and on his actual birthday he got very teary as we celebrated and reminisced and expressed our love for him and all the wonderful traits and strengths that makes him unique and all he gives to us. Now I am looking forward to my 70th and wondering how I will chose to celebrate this milestone.

It was a big deal for my dad's family to come visit. They never go anywhere, and to drive two days to see us means a lot. My relationship with my dad is so complicated. I honestly don't understand it. I still have a lot of thinking to do about it.

My sister had a baby. Affected me? Not much, to be honest. My grandma passed away. It made me sad and I miss her.

A major Milestone was that my brother joined USANA and we shared a great weekend at the Usana International Convention in August. I can't wait to go again with him again next year. It's great working with my brother; we've always been close and this certainly brought us closer together!

Loosing my job has forced me to take stock of where I am in my life at 40 as opposed to my siblings and with the exception of the men I have worked to most and the longest however I don't have a lot to show for that. The next job I take will either be self emolument or meaningful in someway not just a j.o.b.

My daughter started middle school and is developing into an independent student and critical thinker learning to manage her time through each week. She still loves to cuddle and melts in my arms when we hug, but only in the privacy of our car before she steps out and faces her new world. My son is in the fourth grade. We drop him off first in car circle. Before we turn onto the school grounds, he will beseech me to turn off whatever music we've been listening to. I'll reach my hand towards the backseat and say, "Hand." He'll grumble, then grab my hand for a quick squeeze before he steps out of the car laden with backpack, lunchbox, water bottle and trumpet case. He never says, "Good-bye," but occasionally I will see him look back and catch my eyes.

It's angered, saddened and confused me. I don't know what I'm supposed to do, reluctantly agree to be rejected by a dying man or be insensitive and insist on being a part of this time in his life.

My 18 year old son was arrested for shoplifting. He told the police that he did it so that the money I had been giving him for groceries could be used to buy marijuana. We hired a lawyer to represent him. The DA ordered him to go to drug counseling once a week, do 40 hours of community service, and get a clean drug test. All of this has cost us a few thousand dollars in legal fees, repaying the grocery store, cost of tests, counseling, gas money, etc... It made me realize how lucky we have been with our other five kids over the years. Even though they gave us grief at various times, we never had one get in trouble with the law. It also changed my relationship with my son. I no longer trust him implicitly. However, since he stopped getting high, our relationship is better than it's been in years.

My one grandson had difficulty making smart choices and the result was some very stressful and unhappy times for my son and daughter in law. While I shared my son's worry, I felt confident that this kid was destined for something great and they just had to survive the trauma and drama. I felt needed by my son as he called frequently seeking advice. We continue to grow in respect for one another thru his own child rearing experiences.

Kendall graduated from college and kind of became a real person in my eyes. She too struggles with jobs, dating, friends and life.. and it's kind of cool that we can do it together. I think once I live in Boston, our paths will cross more often and I hope we each learn how to conquer the world.

Two major milestones: trying to have a 2nd child, and also going through 2 major unemployment stints with me & husband, thankfully not at the same time. I have learned (again) that I can only change myself but I can assert myself more. And also that there are so many things that I cannot control. It sucks, but we've gotten through it by working with each other.

My grandfather turned 90 this year! This milestone has made me appreciate the time I get to spend with him and the rest of my family, and made me make more of an effort to see them as much as possible.

My mother is coming to meet me and my husband at my brother's house for Thanksgiving. We haven't all been together as a family in at least five years. I am super excited.

I went back to work (and we now have two kids in childcare). I feel so much more confident as a person. The difference is really incredible. I'm back on my ADD meds (coincided with starting the job) which makes an enormous difference in my thinking. It's nice to talk to other grownups about topics other than our kids. It's good to use my skills to help. But the big impact on my confidence is mostly simply because I have a professional identity again to claim in social settings. I missed that so much!

Life without their father has been a major adjustment for my children who went from being concerned,to disappointed to being angry and finally to a place where they don't even talk about him anymore. This is so sad for me because I know that they love him but they are so mad at him.

The only major milestone in our family this year was the death of my sister and it wasn't a happy one. At my sister's memorial, I began to feel the separation of my brother-in-law from our family. He seems to have taken her death as if they have broken up their relationship. So not only did we lose Beth, we seem to be losing Larry as well. I chalked it up to how he is dealing with his grief. Three months later he is even further away from us. He tells us he is “deBethifying” the house. What does that mean? He also tells me that he is now dating a woman who he really likes, stating that they are just dipping their toes in the water to see how they feel. He's moving on. I guess men just cannot be alone. In the meantime, I am missing my sister, my best friend. And I suppose I am glad I don't have to worry about Larry right now. I am more worried about my Mom dealing with losing three of her children. I am glad we have each other. I hope I outlive her. Please God. Let me outlive her. I don't want to leave her alone in the world. She would have to rely on strangers to take care of her. I don't want that. I am tired of these kinds of milestones.

See Q1 & 2. Got disappointed again with bro and maybe dad too. They were both so interested when I started doing our family tree, promised to pay and more than 6 months down the line I've heard or received nothing. Not a word, not a penny. I'm done being the one who keeps in contact. I will force myself to stop caring. Why should I bother? "Family" who needs it? Just more disappointments on tap.

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

My dad had total knee replacement surgery this summer. His first night in the hospital after his surgery, I stayed there with my dad and slept there so my mom could go home and sleep. It was pretty intense. It was weird seeing my dad lying in the hospital bed and not appearing lively. I felt like I was able to be there for my mom and dad when they needed me, and it made me feel good to do that.

Obviously becoming a family of 3 is a huge milestone. Another thing that happened that was especially grand - was that my sister’s visit to help us after Alex was born was amazing. We got along so well. She helped immensely. She taught me things as a momma. It was so neat to have shared those 2 weeks with her. I will cherish them forever - definitely a milestone for us as sisters.

My mother has discovered that her husband and companion for over 30 years is experiencing some kind of cognitive decline. It makes me scared for her future. My mom is getting old, and if I had to take care of her financially now, I would not be able to.

Both of my grandparents died. This was very sad, most of all for my mother who surprisingly seemed more relived than anything else. But I understand since they were sick for so long. Strange how that whole generation is gone now. My brother Adam and I had a lot of dreams after their deaths with our grandparents in them which was strange. With their passings, at first it seemed like it was driving my family apart but now that it seems sort of behind us we are all moving on, remembering still, but getting on with our lives. It also reminds me that my parents are next which is scary and we are all getting older quickly.

Marc became Board Certified. I am very proud of him, and maybe he's starting to feel proud of himself as well. He is disappointed that the finances have not worked out well, but we're not done yet.

My Daughter's Bat Mitzvah. The ritual is about acknowledging your child as an adult, invested with the power to do the 'right' thing. It's about becoming a member of the Tribe. It's about publicaly appreciating those who have helped you all reach this momentous occasion. It's about deciding who you want to share this with, and who, sadly, you can't have in your space at all. It's about making plans, making the B'Nai Mitzvah do their work, making more plans, sending out invites, making tallitot, deciding who will get which honors, making plans, realizing that even if you had the money to spend you wouldn't lay it out for a big, FANCY, party, making plans, enlisting aid, making plans, making the B'nai Mitzvah do their work.....listening to practice-sessions, reminding, reminding, reminding, arguing, reminding, pushing, nagging, planning. But, perhaps most of all - for me anyway - Maude's Bat Mitzvah was about showing the world what a wonderful Parent/Woman I am. Because everything my Gal does is a reflection on me, right? And everyone is watching and judging, right? And every other kid appears flawless on the Bimah, with a well-conceptualized, brilliantly-executed and grammatically-correct Drash with which to kvel the audience. The milestone wasn't the Bat Mitzvah itself, but rather the moment - occurring about a week before - when it was confirmed for me, by someone vastly in the know, that parents write their kids' Drash for them 'more than I want to know". So, going back to acknowledging my Gal as an adult, I stepped back from all the pushing, nagging and reminding, and let her do what she does. It all worked out...and I am feeling much more relaxed about letting my daughter grow into herself.

Major milestone: My son's wedding. It helped bring us close together, especially my wife and son (her stepson). I feel better about my son, would still like to see him more and hope he settles down as a married man.

Hm. A major milestone that happened with me is that I graduated. Which means I am looking for a job. Which means my kids are at home with me. I have already written about the challenges of not having a job, but being with the kids is nice. I get to see their brains at work and their intellectual growth. They are really funny. My husband has been doing more of the same. Working. I have been trying to get him to do his GED. Again. We'll see how much success it has this time. :) He's been thinking of going to Chovevei Torah for smicha. That could work out, especially if it doesn't involve too much bureaucracy.

When my husband finally, but hesitantly, felt ready to share with his mother a painful memory that involved her. It didn't go well & resulted in my husband's requesting time/space from her to deal with (now) two issues: the painful memory & her denial of it. Although I was upset with my mother-in-law's reaction, I was now the middleman. I recognized this was still my husband's mother, she's not going to change or even recognize her part in her son's pain. Yet over time, I tried to gently coax my husband to send an e-mail now and then, maybe a card, etc. We've seen her since but the situation hasn't & probably never will be brought up . Unfortunately, it has made me see why and how my beloved has trouble dealing with feelings.

My father has Parkinson's disease and dementia. This has been gradually progressing over the last few years. At first I was devastated. As his daughter, he was always my hero, my strength, my protector. I felt a profound loss. As time has gone on, I am now his helper and have become more comfortable with that role. We say I love you to each other more than we ever did and I so appreciate his warmth and being able to give back to him.

Well I have an entire new family to be a part of! I spent Christmas with the Merlis kids again, and this time Dan & Deany were really all-out with the gifts (for everyone). Christmas evening, we went to the Sarantis's. On the day we got engaged, Janie & Carol stopped by the house to congratulate us! Meanwhile, British cousins mailed us a card. The Ries's welcomed Jon at Thanksgiving. It all definitely expands the circle of love. I also feel like it gives me more opportunities to flub (see Q2).

At first I was thinking it was Sadie and Sean getting their own place together recently, but I think it was when Sadie decided to move back to Oregon. As long as she was down here, too, it was as if we were still together, even if we weren't in our home. When she decided to go back to Oregon and leave me here, I realized then, she was no longer and wasn't going to be the little one in the papoose I would carry forever. That I would not have this little traveling buddy to walk with me on this earth. That our time together was only temporary. That I would once again be traveling alone. It has been difficult to build a life with others being at school so the process is slow. Someday I hope to feel more at home in the world and not just a wanderer.

Within several months, my wife's uncle was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and her 30 year old cousin attempted suicide. Amidst these tragic events we attended her family reunion. I come from a very small family, bereft of living relatives because of WWII. We don't have reunions. But attending this reunion showed me the strength of family in supporting each other and finding much joy, despite painful events. I was: wistful that I didn't have the same on my side of the family, grateful that I had been welcomed into this part of my family so totally, and I resolved to try to be better about staying in contact with my family members, perhaps even reaching out to remaining members in Germany.

My dad lost his job…and house. I experienced unemployment…and lost my house. While painfully humiliating and difficult, this experience helped me to become humble and feel the gifts of people's kindness… and allow myself to both receive and accept the incredible kindness I was granted. After almost a year and a half of bouncing from place to place, living out of my car and bags… I finally left my mom's house for good, and accept the offer to move in fully with Tony's family. This is giving me freedom. It's giving me safety. Stability and a safe haven to come home to. It's giving me the opportunity to begin a new job in a peaceful environment, with loving, supportive people who are there for me in a positive way. It's helped me understand that hardships serve a purpose and readjusting the plan is all part of the journey.

My nephew, Jeremy graduated from Texas Tech. I find this a great accomplishment. He went back to school after years of being out of high school and having a family, a tour in Iraq. I am very proud of him, he continued on even though, he was struck with a pulmonary disease, they thought cancer, they thought pulmonary fibrosis. He is receiving treatment now. It made me want to complete what I have started. I made me realize how difficult it is to get a higher education, if he had not been a soldier he would not have been able to afford the education. There are somethings in this life still remain unjust, receiving a higher education is for the few privileged who can afford to pay for it and not remain in debt forever.

Ruth's death has made me even more aware of my own mortality. Anne is now the oldest member of her family still alive and my father is 92 going on 93-soon I'll be the oldest member of my family still alive. More of our friends are getting older and I am reminded that, although I'm still working and I feel terrific, I, too, will soon be older and facing death.

My parents moved out of the house I grew up in. It was a big move for them, and they have a guest bedroom there where I can stay. Also my dog moved to my parents place. In a way them being in a new apartment is almost a symbol of how I have to take care of my own life, and that I cant dump everything on them.

A major milestone is that we joined our local synagogue. We never felt like we could afford to be members. I had to over come some obstacles to figure out that it was possible. When I was younger and just old enough to start Hebrew school, my dad lost his job, which ended up being a recurring theme of my childhood. We couldn't afford the Hebrew school and the membership fee of the synagogue. When my mom went to talk to the synagogue about some kind of arrangement they said, "sorry we don't do that". When she went to talk to the rabbi about it he said, "That's not my department". We switched to my grandparents synagogue, which had no Hebrew school and an average age of 65. My sister and I were the only children. I never went to Hebrew school and never learned Hebrew. It was a big deal for me to bring myself to talk to the director of our local synagogue about our desire to be members and our financial situation which would allow us to pay the full fee. It's been 9 months since we have been members and we dove right in to such a warm welcoming community. It's been wonderful.

I had adopted a six year old Maine Coon cat, Chlo, to keep my 17 year old Maine Coon cat company. Chlo turned out to be very jealous of my cat and after six months I had to give him up. I humane society where I adopted Chlo from would only take him back if I paid money to have him "put down". I resfused. There was nothing wrong with Chlo, he is/was a wonderful cat, he just did not fit in with my 17 year old cat. I found an "only cat" shelter, Look What the Cat Brought In (LWTCBI) that accepted Chlo and soon adopted him to a new family. LWTCBI did not require payment to take Chlo. The day I surrendered Chlo, I gave them a $20 donation, the only money I had, period. The next month I used my grocery money to give the shelter another cash donation. This experience was painful, yet a crucial part the transformation I am seeing in my life. I am grateful to LWTCBI and now volunteer for them. Chlo found a new home where he did not have to compete with another cat. This experience has affected the way I look at how I renew and re-energize myself, and what I prioritize as important in my life.

In 2014 my brother moved away from San Francisco, where I live, to Portland OR. I desperately miss his influence on my life. When he planned to leave I suffered separation anxiety. Since the death of our mother in 2003, we have been living in the same town and I realized how much of a security it was to have him nearby.

This is a negative milestone that positively affected my family. My grandmother's worsening Alzheimer's condition has forced my mom to reconcile with my grandma and mend their rocky relationship, especially after the passing of my grandpa a year to this day on October 6th. While it is painful watching my grandma's personality and memory slip away, I am also glad that my mom will not feel any regret in the end.

Last spring I found out my "little" sister was anorexic. She is 22, but I never saw this coming. I was the first person (beside her boyfriend and bff) she told and she begged me to help her. I helped her out, I gave her advice, but always with telling her that she needed to do it herself. It is her body, not mine and I can't force her. Luckily she did it, she sought help, she went to a clinic. And now months later she is recovering very well. This all reminded me how quick things can go wrong with people even though you think you know them so well. I am however gratefull that she reached out to me when she knew it was wrong what she was doing. And am terrible gratefull that she decided to get help before she lost too much weight. (46 kg) Also this year my grandma suddenly died. It was my fathers mother and I hadn't seen her for a few years. Ever since I was 16 we haven't spoken a lot and our bond dissappeared. Why you ask me? I don't know. There have been many troubles in our family. Fights, uncles dissappearing for years, more fight, reunions at funerals. I have a messed up family. So there's that. So when I was 18 I started moving out gradually. And on my 19thI moved out permantly. I didn't get a moving card, had to pick up my birthday cards at my parents. Never the question if they could see my house. I only saw her at birthdays of my little brothers. I thought she didn't care about me and my sister anymore. Turns out she did. At the funeral my grandpa told me, she would have loved to see me and my sisters before she died. But that no matter if we hadn't seen her and hadn't such a strong bond as we did, she had always a space for us in her heart. It hit me. It hit me hard. It made me cry my heart out at the service. I still get tears in my eyes when I think of it. Also I found out my mother had been hiding phonecalls, had been pulling out the plug of the phone whenever they called. And that it would have ben possible my grandma had asked for us, but she just didn't tell us. I never had the time or the right moment to ask my mom, and I'm not sure if I ever will because I know how my mom works. I want to keep her on the friendly side. But I am curious. I wish I could ask my nana. I wish I had seen her. I wish I didn't neglect our relationship. I wish she didn't die.

Who's my new family? Is it the husband, his family, my family? Or is it all the same, now? Without sounding to conceited, because there were other monumental moments in my mother, father and sister's lives, but getting married changed my family the most. We brought two families together. My sister has a brother again. He has two brothers, and they've given me the "brothership" I've so dearly missed. Not to be redundant, but creating a family (he and I, and then all of us) is monumental. I only have an inkling of how much it will change me.

I think of milestones as anticipated or planned events. For us, it was making the move with the next 10-15 years in mind. Five years ago we had said...decision in five years while we can do some of it ourselves. The decision was complicated by other factors. The possibility of buying my grandparents' lovely old home and restoring it and all those rich memories. Agonizing decision and so much grief when I had to let go of that dream for practical reasons. I had experienced a second cancer from which I had not fully recovered so my energy and stamina weren't quite up to the size of the task of gleaning through 16 years and heading off to who knows what. Much of my energy needed to go toward supporting my daughter through an agonizing transition from dreams to disability. And my husband's strong need for "moving" closure...no more looking. His despair made my decision just to go and hope to adapt. So, we did it, bought a townhouse, remodeled to better suit us. But I have grieved through it all and wondered why I focused on the losses instead of the adventure it could have been. As I think of it, it was one loss among many others with which I was coping. Bundled, it all felt overwhelming. I was not well and now unmoored and out of dreams. It's a response on which I have reflected for nearly a year. My barn has burned down. When will I look for the moon rise I might now be able to see? I wonder, too, if it is this time in my life...pushing 70. A time of generally feeling unmoored...the "now-what?" stage when you are no longer defined by what you do and the time left feels more finite. I wonder, I reflect, I search for new bearings, for more gladness of heart.

My dad being in the ICU for 16 days. It was shocking and upsetting. He came through, we all came together, but it was a terrible shock. It was the first time that we all really realized how much we normally "fear bad things" but here we were facing an actual bad thing. We all survived, but there was a lot of post traumatic stress about all the illness we endured in the last two years.

My dad and Marcie are talking about buying a house together. This means that the house I grew up in may be sold and no longer in the family! Sad about that but glad for them to have a new start.

Ilana getting an agent makes me very proud and hopeful for her!

The cancer scare my mom had was a major milestone that happened with my family this year. Anyone, including family members, that have to endure painful procedures and waiting periods, knows how traumatic this time can be. I am so thankful that all the results came back negative. It's difficult to think that my mom - the woman that lives for me and that I live for - would be taken from me. It was emotional for me since I am so far now. I contemplated moving back if the results didn't come back the way we hoped for. It just made me realize how precious the time (even if it's just on the phone) is with my mom. I pray to have her with me as long as God is willing to let me have her. God knows how much I love her (heck, I was the little girl that would cry and shove my hand under the door when she would try to get privacy to use the bathroom) and just pray she will be able to see all the milestones in my life since I try to live my life to make her proud and make her scarifies worth a lot.

My family is officially "growing up". My brother is moving away in the next year to finish his BA and I will be officially moving away from home come this weekend. To my future self: Did you stay in Seattle or did you move yourself to New York/LA? Where did Mike end up? Did he choose USC?

Shifting old family patterns: Parents moved to a new town away from where we all grew up, and i moved away to a new country again.. Sense of lightness and possibility for creating in new ways.. Experiencing so much more love, fun, and laughter with them.

I guess my "family" includes J.R.'s family more than ever. So the biggest thing was losing J.R.'s dad. It was obviously heartbreaking and really hard on him. Especially to lose such an important person during our engagement. There are moments, like when we planned the processional, that I feel reminded J.R. that a huge piece was going to be missing. So many people have their parents stand beside them on their wedding day. Why isn't J.R. so lucky? Why do we have to have wedding photos without his dad in them? I guess its just another chapter. I can imagine his sister Mandy feels the same way. J.R. will be walking her down the aisle in just about a month, in what I imagine will be a bittersweet moment. We also lost my uncle, Rafin, this year. It's heartbreaking to think of it from my dad's perspective. Obviously he's had decades to build his own family unit, but his first family was his parents, his brother and him. And now he's the only one left.

The only major milestone that happened with my family is that my youngest niece started college at Franklin and Marshall, in Lancaster, PA, studying animal behavior. I am very, very proud of this remarkable young woman who is passionate about pursuing her dreams. This has deeply affected me. Although she is adopted, I see a lot of myself in her and I am inspired by her persistence and passion to achieve her goals to work harder on achieving my own.

I can't think of a major milestone with my family, but my partner's father turned 90 this year. Going back there to celebrate with the whole family was wonderful. I think it helped bond me with the family more, and maybe helped the folks consider me more a part of the family. Also, opening a dialogue with Barbara is pretty cool.

Our older family members are showing their age more, made us reassess some of our priorities.

Although it isn't technically a milestone as much as it is a major transformation over time, my mom and I have become very close. When I was younger we fought constantly, even to the point that she kicked me out of the house when I was 17. Over the years we both changed tremendously, but it wasn't until I graduated college and began to understand what living an adult life was like that we started to get closer. Now I would consider her as one of my best friends, and I can't imagine life without my mother. It has proven to me that family is more important than anything, and to cherish my time with them while I still can. I wish I had known this and heeded to it when I was younger rather than wasting all those years caught up in my anger and grudges.

My daughter graduated from law school, and did quite well academically; she also had a good job awaiting her. It was a long and difficult journey for her, much of which I shared vicariously, but she came through with flying colors. Her tenacity and strong will, despite her fears, made me so proud of her and gave me inspiration myself.

I wish I'd made more of an effort to stay in contact with my grandmother before she passed.

25 years married & 30 years together, it's not been the easiest, far from that, however, all the bad that I've been through has shaped me to woman I am today. Not sure if I'd be the same if all that hadn't happened to me.

The loss of my sister has brought me closer to my brother and his family, and to my brother in law.

My brother got engaged!! He finally found a nice Jewish girl to be with! This is very exciting, but unfortunately I haven't been able to take part in the celebrations. I recently missed their engagement party. This has really affected me in making me realize that I am missing out on important milestones with my family because I'm living so far away. It has made me question my desire to live in Israel, so far away from everyone else, long-term.

- Henny W. got married and Rivka W. got married and had a baby- reality check that I better wake up and start a family soon too. - My elementary school principal passed away from cancer. I was privileged to visit him in person in Israel and see him one more time a few months before he died. - We bought a newer, used car! I already put it to good use this year- I was able to drive two friends to their weddings and have been on two road trips (Boston, Adirondacks).

I moved back in with my wife and son after working out of state for several years. This has brought us closer but also created some conflicts we have to work through.

I got engaged - my brother is going to have a baby girl - my parents retired. All of this equals more family and more family time!

I spent a significant amount of time with my mother, and plan to spend even more with her over the holidays. I can't say that it's been blissful or even comforting or soothing, but it's been a worthwhile challenge. I've definitely learned a lot more of where I come from which is, in turn, helping me realize where I need to go.

I am going to use milestone in the negative concept. My sister was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts. She never tried to take her life she just wrote "goodbye" letters to us. After she refused aftercare therapy. This forever changed my our relationship. She is a very mean person and it's hard to feel bad for someone who does such cruel things to our family. She really hurt my experience as a bride. She wasn't there for me when i needed her the most. We can't go back to the way it was before. In the past I always bailed her out. I always defended her but now I have a husband and we are trying to start a family. My life can't revolve around her any more. I am not the parent!

My sister had a baby. Lots of joy but also sadness in terms of seeing this opportunity pass me by (the chance to have children). Also she changed her name, and so facing the possibility that our family name will die with me, as I have no cousins or other relatives with my last name.

My Owa and Owo moved from their house into an apartment. The new place isn't bad. Kinda nice in its own way. But it's smaller. And not near a park. And I don't know if I have a bed anymore but that doesn't really matter because napping is stupid. But, I'm going to miss that park. And that house. I have a lot of good memories of that house. Like when I came home from the hospital for the very first time and my mom and dad brought me in from the terrible heat and into the cool air within its air conditioned walls. All those early days when my mom didn't work and it was just the two of us, no dad to get in the way. The time I pooped on my dad's hand when he was changing me in the middle of the night. I'll miss the place but I'm sure that some day, when I'm at my Owa and Owo's new place, I'll find a way to poop on my dad again.

Well, my kiddo certainly gets the milestones of the year award. She turned 18, graduated high school and began college. I am old, officially. The eldest nephew broke another bone, the younger ones got a little bigger. Otherwise, not much different. Mom turned 75 a few days back, still spry, still overworking herself.

This is the hardest to write about, and maybe that's because I've written about it so much. My father's diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia, "no treatment." There aren't many moments in life where you actually think the words, "Nothing will ever be the same again." After we left Hopkins that day, I thought those words, and didn't even realize it was just the beginning. And to my great shame I've become slightly afraid of interacting with him. Which is what he needs most. It's hard to see what's happening to him, hard to know how to engage. I need to get the hell over it, and fast. I'm just going to copy and paste an email from a couple months ago, because it says everything I feel - I would only be paraphrasing if I wrote again here. Written Sept 4: My father and I. Our relationship was the most fraught of my life. As a child, I saw him as a large, vague shadow, quick to anger against reason and escalate to violence. I slipped behind bookshelves and under tables when I heard his footsteps. The three of us slept in my mother's room, and he often threatened to break the door in; occasionally, he did. He was a presence whose absence we celebrated - my mother and brother and I could relax, could go on trips, could sleep soundly. After we left when I was 13, because I had had enough and forced us out of there, things changed. My father changed slowly, but he did change over the years. And I am truly so thankful that he did. I never imagined that I would have a relationship with my father, and I ended up having one of true support and appreciation and love. He has had his eccentricities and secrets, but he has been at my side in a flash when I'm in trouble. He is one of the people that makes me laugh the hardest. I understand him more, and so much of him is in me, though I fear our dispositions would be best covered in melancholy Russian literature. -------------- You know my father's diagnosis (although his PET scan suggests it may perhaps be vascular dementia instead, which would increase the likelihood of death by stroke; we're following up), and you know approximately how I feel about it, I think. But the thing is that I didn't entirely realize until last week how my dad feels about it. He's taken a very stoic, impassive stance toward everything, but after that final blow of the sword at Hopkins, the cracks into the chasm are starting to show. And I'm both glad and full of wild sorrow, because his emotional state hadn't been totally clear. It is now. One of his best friends was killed while riding his bicycle last week - Peter was a dynamic, hilarious, insanely talented man, and it was a horrifying loss even to me. He was one of those people whose remarks, even fleeting, will stick in your mind.. And then I heard my dad on the phone with one of their other friends - they had all been in a college band together, "Tammany," and they still play - and he said, "I wish it had been me. I wish it had been me, because I'm such a mess." He repeated the same thing to my mom in a rare moment of confidence. He meant it. He's said other things since. And I don't think it's just grief for Peter; I think that that grief has catalyzed something, and it opened him up to showing the despair he'd kept hidden. Two days ago my mom had to go to the store to get him medicine, and she asked him, "What do you want?" - "I want to die." I make jokes like that (as does your mother, I was reminded recently), but my dad never has. There was no wryness, no hyperbole. To know how much pain he's in is intolerable. And the thing is, the pain is completely appropriate and proportionate. Things will only get worse. He has been cursed. It is a curse, to know the manner in which you're going to slowly die. And that before you die, your life will become a living hell. You will be trapped inside your mind without the power of speech. Your mind will turn against you. And you see it all coming. He's in agony and I feel it constantly. There are of course things we plan to do, all of which will take great effort and time: we will need to sell the house (or give it away, since it's a trash heap) and move him to an apartment in walking distance of society and public transportation. He needs a change of scenery, as well as a living situation that he can keep more under control and feel some sense of autonomy. He also clearly needs a therapist that specializes in things like this, someone he can trust and respect. He needs to be social, to return to church, to be with family and friends. Speech therapy would also be wonderful, if it can be afforded. His insurance won't cover many things. It won't cover neurocognitive testing (again, he worked for Cigna for decades and they're giving him bullshit in return). It is also possible that he may be very close to running out of money, a fact he realized recently. He forgets or doesn't know how to pay bills. I signed him up for an online profile for his auto insurance the other day, because he couldn't figure out which fields to type in. He couldn't find the right letters on the keyboard. And he's still in there. He's still himself and he sees his fingers not working and he feels his mind slipping and he hears his speech not cooperating. -------------- When we were last in SF, before the visit to Hopkins, I lay on a bed with Thai as he napped, looking at and out the window, in love with the blue that cast the white window frames into absurd radiance. I was full of love and hope. My fingers were grazing happiness. We're here again. But the world has lost its color. This time, I'm hoping that our jobs and an apartment will provide a sense of stability, one that I can rely upon when I need to chip in for the changes for my father. That's all. It's grey. I walk every day with my father's agony and my own. My heart is engorged with it. ----ETA: I no longer feel the world is grey. Our life out here is developing nicely, and I'm not quite as affected as I was the day I wrote this. But little things break my heart - seeing my father's broken handwriting on a card he thought to send my boyfriend. The thing is, it'll never be ok. Not ever. It will never get better. There aren't many things in life you have to say that about - thank God. God, please help us. Please help my father. Please ease his heart. Please help us to make his life better. Please ease our hearts. In God's name I ask these things.

Little Bobo is learning to read and write. It's so thrilling to see him begin to embrace these important skills!

Two huge milestones. Mum's breast cancer- her surgery, chemo and radiation…..it's the last thing I would have expected her to be faced with but she did it with strength, courage, humor, and a fight like I've never seen in her before. I fear the future screening appointments, I am so scared it might come back, I just want this to be over for her and that she and Dad enjoy their retired years. I think Mum's cancer brought us closer in a way but brought out our judgmental side in terms of who was there to help and not and resent over that. I feel a lot of guilt for not being there, Lindsay took the brunt of everything and I will feel that guilt for a long time. I just pray to God that she is free of this and can live her life to the fullest as they both deserve. Another amazing milestone has been the birth of Peter Kalvik…a little guy who does not even know what he did for at least two people. He was the one Mum thought about when she couldn't sleep for hours at night, he kept her going through some shitty times. Also, for me, he was a big reason why I went to treatment in July. I wanted to be present and involved and engaged when he got here, not a shell of a person, someone who could really take in every minute of it.

The biggest milestone has been from my aging parents, who have recognized that they 1) need to make sure that we, the children, know what and where their personal records are; and 2) my mother recognizing that she can't take care of my father without help. She has been more communicative and asking for help when needed. It is hard to see my father transition from a healthy, wise man to someone with diminished capacity to understand the world around him. I think he knows who I am, but not always knows my name. He often does not know who he is. It is adjusting and getting used to the new reality with humor and family relations. Still grateful for the ability to spend time with my folks and enjoy their company.

In 5774 my youngest turned 10yo, and my husband and I celebrated our 15th anniversary; in 5775 I will turn 40, my parents will turn 70, and we'll mark the 15th anniversary of my father-in-law's death. I think about all these life-cycle events - and the fact that my oldest will be Bar Mitzvah in the very beginning of 5776 - and I just feel so grateful for everything we have. So. Grateful.

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

We've experienced a lot in terms of milestones. We had a baby, everything we owned was lost in a fire, we moved to a new apartment, my partner got a new job, and now my daughter is walking and almost one! it's been a roller coasters of joy and sadness. It's made me evaluate myself more closely than ever. I worry too much about keeping my child safe, not being the parent my mother was and is, keeping my relationship with my partner strong, and being financially more stable in case disaster strikes. I think above all I want to be a better person so that I can lead by example. I want to be a role model to my daughter. Having a baby has affected me in every single part of my life in a multitude of ways some more positive than others. It' changes you on a core level. What you do directly affects your child and partner. It's not about me anymore.

My youngest children began high school. The process of watching my kids grow into young adulthood has made me keenly aware of how short my time is here with them. This has led to more anxiety than I desire and now I am working to come to terms with the finite instead of walking around avoiding this part of my life. My spiritual self has naturally begun to develop and seek answers, relief, restoration and faith. I don't know where we go to from here (I hope I know), but I am working hard to reclaim my ability to enjoy the moments I have here, instead of worrying about the ones I don't.

My brother finished his first year of college. Nothing really to say there, I guess. He finished his first year of college. It went fine. Yay. End of story. Again, this year hasn't exactly been one of momentous, Earth-shattering memories.

As I explained in question 1, my family has become more separate this year. My mom is currently living in her own apartment and has been officially separated from my father since last fall. I barely talk to either of my parents. My dad communicates mostly through email, my mom and I chat maybe once a week. My mom actually texts me to pay a credit card bill once a month for her. My brother has taken my parents' separation pretty hard. He has yet to come out of the closet with his sexual preferences, and I worry about his mind alot. All of this has affected me in a good way honestly. I feel free to finally live as an adult. I have shed a total of 70 pounds in the past two years. I think that along with that weight and skin, I have also shed a coat of sorts. I am no longer afraid to live my story and tell my story. The struggles in my family have always been dysfunctional and hypocritical. That ends with me. I am choosing to live outloud and hope to continue being even more colorful in the upcoming year.

The Engling Hoard has dwindled to a mere six individuals who have been driven west to the far border of modernized civilization. The digital presence of this family, however, has become bolder than ever with threads of shared conversation multiple times per day. I believe the effect this has had on me is one of further-reaching origins than this last year alone. Over the past several years I have come to very strongly associate with my family identity. I have found it quite satisfying to discover that distance and relative contact time means very little to familial cohesion. For me, the icing on this cake is the fact that I get to add an Engling to the world by marrying my lovely fiancé. I am looking forward to seeing her assume this new identity and share with me in family ties and history.

Poppa died. Time doesn't let up. We're all getting old. And there's no guarantees what day will be our last. You don't have forever to cherish and connect with family.

I think the major milestone affecting my family this year was me going off to college. While it clearly affected me in terms of maturity and growth, it changed the dynamic in my family. We started eating more meals together and spending more time together, trying to take advantage of the little time we did have. Now that I'm at college, I do really miss them but I'm grateful for all they've given me.

I met my birth father and my half-sisters. I was not allowed to contact them when I was younger, and when I became an adult, I refrained from contacting them, fearing rejection. My youngest half-sister took the initiative, thankfully. I'm still trying to process all of these new family members. I like having them, but it has been quite a surprise!

My daughter marked the end of her first year living in South Korea! How'd it affect me? It prompted me to get on a plane and go see her. I am now officially up for sainthood, because I brought my 80-year-old mom too.

Alex and I got married! The motivation was first and foremost to move along to get his green card. As we were planning it, we talked about this being a "quiet wedding", and we would have a "party wedding" in a few years. I have no idea when we will do that (and maybe we won't even!) but it was good to get it done, it's strange and good to think of him - call him - my husband. We wrote our own vows, we had Griselda be our officiant, we held the ceremony on his favorite dock on the Charles River, just two other friends beside Griselda. It was a beautiful, low key, ceremony. I surprised him with mini-honeymoon to Ptown, which was a lovely three days filled with doing just what we wanted. As parting words, I feel every day more and more secure in our relationship, that it's a good thing, that it's a thing that will last. I am very happy, very blessed to have him.

Margie's death has made me so conscious of wanting to spend more time with the people that I love. That's why I'm taking time to go to NYC tomorrow night even though I'm so tired with this cold. And why I'm going to bring my BFF out in February for a weekend in NYC. Helen Mirren in "The Audience" and Alan Cumming in "Cabaret". And reconnecting with another old friend to do theater dates. These things are so enriching my life and nourishing me.

My parents were forced to move out (rather quickly) from my grandfather's house less thas a year after my grandmother died. It has strained all relationships and it feels like my parents' generation is forcing the lack of communication on mine.

My sister came out to me this year. I'm honored she trusted me and shared her true self with me first. I've kept it from my parents and other family and continue to support her as she plans to make it known on her own terms and time. She beautiful and amazing and strong and inspiring. Even though she's 12 years younger, I can still look up to her.

My dad got ill & i worried a lot. He's alot better now & I appreciate life even more now x It's so precious & can be taken from us at any moment x Also my mother in law alas get's older & needs more love & TLC x :)

My engagement to Aden was a big family event. Aden and my family came together for a party and new connections were made which was great to see. It was also great to see how warm and welcoming everyone at the party was of the 2 of us into our new extended families.

My parents came to Boston for a week for my graduation from Harvard. This meant a whole lot to me. They have never visited me before, and I've been here 7 years. It was such a departure from their everyday lives, and I got to be the Boston-area expert, and I got to show them around, AND show them generosity even when they couldn't be generous with themselves or one another. That was a huge deal. It just felt like a lot to be able to give them that gift. And it felt like a gift to have them with me. I think it made me more of an adult for them, although I'm already in my mid-thirties. I wonder if that was what they were avoiding in some way, not coming for all these years. But anyway, post-visit I feel much more grounded and charitable toward them, but also I feel like I know them a bit better. I feel like I can see them more clearly, too. That's cool. I feel like the pieces of my life are slowly but surely knitting themselves together. My sister's having this baby, Lorenzo. I'm supposed to paint him something :) I look forward to that a lot.

My brother is about to get excited and I'm pumped!

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

Bunny, who was as much like a mother to me as my own, passed away in May. I was very fortunate to be able to spend several weeks by her side before she died, & although it may not have been the best business decision, they are moments that I wouldn't trade for the world. I miss her every minute of every day, & still can't believe that she's really gone. One silver lining to her being ill & passing away, was bringing family members together, who previously haven't been in contact in many years. I was able to spend my 31st birthday with my kids, at the hospital in Arizona. Since then, although my contact with the boys has been limited, I've been so fortunate to communicate with Emma on an almost daily basis. This is something that I've waited every day for the past 5 years to happen.

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

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

I am sad, and tired and weary. I have also seen love and found support in strange places. I have learned that family and friends are precious and they are what counts in the long run - not working longer hours or publishing a paper or creating an event. It is about the quality of your relationships that counts most.