Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?
We survived a another year (2021) together. It means a lot for us to still be alive together. It would tear me up inside if my mom or grandma died. It's been 2 years since my uncle died and my family can't deal with any more heartbreak.
My 'parents' got married. My mom and my step dad began dating in '88. Moved in together 2 or 3 years alter. They've been together more than half their lives. But having both been married before neither of them particularly wanted to marry again. it seemed a bit absurd to do it now, but also like we'll duh. of course. It was a sweet moment, and certainly a bright spot in a dark times
I think the biggest milestone that happened with me regarding my family this year is that it changed. I became the spiritual child of both Abraham and Sarah. By choice I became a member of the Jewish family and community.
My oldest daughter hit jr high and it really made me aware of her growing up- she’s not a baby anymore.
I can think of four major milestones within my family this year. 1. My brother is dating and his wife died 7 months after mine. Two thoughts: I like her! Why am I not dating? 2. I spent 10 days with my wife's sister this summer after not seeing my wife's family since 2019. One thought: I want to keep in touch better and I need to visit. 3. I spent that same time with her daughter/my niece and her three children. In my eyes, my niece totally fell off the pedestal I have put her on for years. I truly believe she is not acting in the best interest of her children. I realize there is nothing I can do about this and am very sad for the children. I will do wan I can for them. 4. My brother suggested I spend my retirement years near him. He, his children, and his grandchildren as well as my other brother and his family live in a city I hate. This brother lives a lifestyle I cannot afford and am uncomfortable with. I have time and am considering family over my discomfort.
My personal major milestone is my decision to home educate my son. It has both transformed him and revived his self-confidence and sense of autonomy. That has taught me more than anything about how important it is to tailor education to the child, rather then offer offer a set syllabus and expect the child to adapt to it. School is not a one size fits all.
Abused by a family member, I was hurt but moved on, she has problems as we all do.
We found a surrogate!! And we are almost ready to begin - we're blocked on waiting for her to get through Coeliac's, which we all totally agree is important. She is incredible and amazing and selfless. With her support, we are slowly getting closer to having our first child.
I think this year's milestone is a messy, nebulous "we have weathered the financial stress of my hours being cut followed by a 2 month wait for new job's pay, overlapped by a rent increase and medical expenses" kind of thing.
We got a kitten! Goose-fat Roast Potatoes has made it feel like my family is complete. I made a couple of really good new friends. They've helped me feel better about myself, my life, my abilities, by disabilities, and ask myself some really important questions. And that's sometimes hard, but good
My father died. I knew it would happen one day, that it would be difficult to reconcile not having spoken with him in nearly two decades. I felt guilt at first, that I might have spared him from whatever loneliness or despair he must have felt. I wondered what if I had made an attempt to reconnect. I struggled with these thoughts but ultimately know we never could have reconciled. I wouldn't have been able to tolerate the hate he harboured within himself.
My brothers and I became orphans. Our Dad died. My Dad died. May 8. Due to hypovolemic shock which resulted from dehydration because of neglect and a diuretic to reduce fluid retention in his legs. It didn't have to happen. Someone at the rehab needed to be more aware of his care needs. He didn't have to feel the fear of dying. In a way, he was spared the struggle that would have followed to treat Stage 2 pancreatic cancer. Realizing that has brought me some settling. Otherwise, I'd want to make someone feel wrong. But my peace is too important to throw my life in that direction. A month after my Dad's death, my bout with my gall stones and hospitalization was a come to Jesus Buddha & Mohammed moment. I realized I am mortal. I don't know how much time I have left. I'm not ready. And I'm not done. So what do I want done? I think my Dad was satisfied he was done. His kids were in a good place. Amy would have to deal. There was a lot of suffering ahead in this world and he had suffered enough. He wasn't giving up. He was just choosing. The Art of Impossible: I understand that struggle is part of getting into flow. I understand that depression is part of dropping out of flow. I understand that I can prime for flow with planning. Sleep. Water. Nutrition. Meditation. Exercise. Visualization. A big milestone was learning that Drew's vertebrae are eroding. That is scary. But it woke us up to what we need to do intensively to rebuild him. Eat more and better. Move differently. Pay attention to fascia. Ask for help from Melissa Stockton. Find another doctor. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat And remember to take care of myself. Almost forgot to finish the gall bladder story. Doc wanted to take out my gall bladder. But all my pain is on my left. Well almost always it was. At least it would start on the left. There were two stones in my distal duct. After the endoscopic cholinergenic retrogade procedure (ecrp), I went home. I've had attacks after eating certain foods in certain quantities. I've learned to treat the pain. I'm learning to avoid the pain. I've been avoiding the pain by eating less of the foods that trigger the attacks. More so, I am beginning to understand eating for my organs. Eating for my body. I'm beginning to see that feeding me like a new baby is a love I can give myself.
My cousin and also my aunt both died unexpectedly and we're all still reeling from the shock. My cousin was way too young, it was a fentanyl related overdose, and my aunt died during a freak accident while home alone. It's still not real to me.
my last two uncles passed within months of each other, both married over 60 years... leaving behind widows and many other grieving family members, and a virtual hole where there are only a couple more elders. then, i will be the oldest of my surviving cousins. life's fragility gets a little more real every day.
After a weekend spent with the Wolffs in Westerwald, our resolve to have children was even stronger. You can't help but fall in love with their curiosity, tiny bodies and funny ideas. We talked about our plans and how excited we are to start trying. The ever looming question - is it the right time? Max himself said they wanted to start trying next year when Nidhi is done school. The Wolff pack is growing! Little did I know, a few months later I would receive a picture of a cake. On said cake was an image of a cat? A dog? I assumed Nidhi had succeeded in convincing Max to get a puppy as she had alluded to wanting to do as we saw her in the summer. Susi assumed the same. It turns out they are pregnant and were announcing it to the families in a restaurant. The creature was meant to be a Wolff cub. I initially thought they had made it themselves but they had paid someone and it ended up looking like a cat. To add insult to injury, when the restaurant brought it out, they assumed it was for a birthday and sang happy birthday. All-in-all, a fabulous announcement story. Susi and I have recently started on our own conception/family planning journey. We are grateful Max will be working out some of the kinks with the family first and look forward to our experience.
The last time we saw them was October 2019, during our visit to California. Our son, DIL, and two grandchildren (ages 7 and almost 10 years) had airline tickets to join us in Boston for the mid-April school vacation week. But our grandson’s teachers got Covid, so our grandson came down with it first, two days later, his sister caught it. Then their parents caught it. Fast forward to June 30th this year. Their visit in late June 2022 has given me such joy, many memories, and a photo of our dining together at a local restaurant. I hope that we can see each other more often in the future.
We grew by two. And moved across the country because we’re an active military family; we did this when the twins were three months old. Everything that has happened has caused me to feel…older. And worn out. I don’t really feel acquainted with myself anymore.
Our niece married and this brought our family together. It was z great reminder of what is important to me!
We moved house. It was so stressful. We’ve been living with my parents. It’s a lot. I can’t really put it into words in a box, it’s taken about 4 therapy sessions to even begin to unpack.
We lost Bruce. It was so devastating. Inasmuch as we all knew he wouldn't be with us forever, it was still such a huge avalanche of emotion and loss. We're all still sort of coping and finding our way during this Year of Firsts without him... In an odd symmetry, my mom pointed out to me that I had Bruce in my life for the same amount of time I'd had my own dad.
I turned 40 last October. It’s been weird to think of myself as middle aged. I don’t feel middle aged! (At least, not most days!) but it does make me sad over 2 lost years.
My dad has started to realize that there is no one else in control of his life but himself. He found a job that allows him to start making money but, the poor habits that he had with him when we were still a family still affects him to this day. His mistakes and problems that have been created helped me know just how much his judgements and decisions affected our family and inspired me to not make those same mistakes.
I started the conversation with my sister. Of the years of resentment, of the years of I feel I had been treated less than. Opening the door shifted something and I think it may lead to some good things. I'm hopeful :) My little family, we have been trying for a second kid. It's been hard and emotionally taxing....im debating if I should just shift my expectations and be ok with having just one kid. Working on setting firm boundaries with in laws :) a constant fucking struggle.
We have a two year old and a three year old now. Celebrating those birthdays with them helped to make the passage of time and to remind me that neither of them are babies anymore. It also flagged for my wife and me that we aren’t sure if we want/are ready to try for another child.
Not sure of a milestone but my dad had major heart surgery last December and it did bring home the reality of aging and the wish to remain healthy and active.
Over the last year my grandmother passed away. I was and still am very sad and we're all still mourning. Its been a couple of months, but now you really see how grandma was part of your daily routine, with calling her or stopping by. These moments are gone now. while I know the sadness is now still very fresh and it will take time for to heal, I know that the love and wisdoms my grandma taught me will always be with me. As she said: What you keep safe in your heart, will never leave you.
Both of my children have special love, relationships in their lives, which has been a huge milestone for them, as well as Ed and I. Seeing them both blossom while in love has been amazing, although it has also strangely put a microscope to my marriage, and it cracks. Not that I am comparing first love and marriage, but it does remind me of what that feels like to be smitten.
Nothing much happened
How that he has cancer?!? That I'm a sucker for slaving to care for keeping him alive with cancer even though I say I hate you more than any other phrase regularly. But he is alive cuz I slave cook clean cook clean arrange DR appts ensure meds are taken - and f*cking repeat weekly. Affecting me cuz its' killing me lit + fig and his spawn aren't actually helping. AND this is the 2nd parent and after that 18 months think it took 4 years to recover... never mind the heartbreak. I CAN'T LIVE is affecting me My Life Not Mine, just obligations...
Sadly, two weeks ago Grandma passed away. It was quite expected, the phone call on a dozy morning as I'd travelled home to see her - Mum softly opening the door to tell me. I had caught a glimpse of Dad in bed, quiet. Processing. Her loss was felt immediately; the tiny 5ft stature shrinking away before our eyes, but hers still glistening. I think of being able to call her house phone, saved in 'Favourites', knowing the line is possibly now disconnected. No little "Oh hello, love!" chirping to answer. Grief will sweep through my father whether he on the surface shows it or not; it will come. Her funeral is in ten days. I dreamt of her last night, a snapshot by a garden of flowers, and I'm sad she will not be around to see whatever changes in my life occur.
I guess it was cool that both my sister and I bought houses. It's changed the dynamic - my mom wants to come visit me all the time now even though I'm not that far from where I used to live, haha. Her visiting is... generally ok but was annoying during the time I was trying to hide that I was jobless.
Going to be a dad wants me to value family more and daily
My sister graduated from high school! I am excited to watch my brother and sister grow in maturity and independence as they get older, and I hope they take initiative to come and visit me.
My sister orchestrated a plan to set my daughter on a path to independence and to improve her well being and life. Unfortunately, this was due to her fiancé really pulling the rug out from under her. Needless to say, our whole family jumped in and supported her and got her and my grandson off to better things. It has definitely been such an improvement and turning point for her. I believe she has also finally come to see my grandson's father for the person he really is and has moved on with her life. I am happy my little baby is with my family and he thriving as well. I do take him and my nephew for a weekend about once a month. I am very proud of how my daughter has handled this complete upheaval of her life and excelled. Now if only she would get her damn drievr's license at nearly 24!!!
Grandma died. Mama and I spent a week there during the hottest part of the summer, staying with her, watching her die slowly, day by day. It was sweet and wild and eye-opening and horrifying. it was another chapter of the continuing disco-ball reality, of Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Both boys quit their jobs. All three of us moved in with Penny. She bought a house. I am dependent on her and must accept her immaturity.
A major milestone that happened with my closest chosen family this year is that we all started/ continued exploring Judaism. We've all been drawn towards Judaism independently for years, but have assorted barriers to access. Exploring Judaism in community has been so lifegiving, and I'm so grateful for our becoming-Jewish family, as one of my partners put it. It's also scary, and I sometimes feel... shame(?) for the ways Judaism is more accessible to me than for some of my loved ones. Which. I want to (continue to) advocate for and act in ways that facilitate broader access to Judaism for marginalised folks. But is mixed emotions in the Hard. Another milestone is that my nesting partner became housebound. So that's not a Fun milestone, but it was a significant event, tied up with me becoming bedbound and them overextending themselves as we fought to keep ourselves from completely drowning. My other partner got the Beginnings of answers in their own progressively-worsening health. Which is Big and somewhat scary, but also hopeful, because, as a chronically ill person, one of the worst things is not having answers.
My younger son changed jobs and my daughter-in-law lost her job. Both events were upsetting, although my son changed jobs due to perceived physical danger. I tried to be encouraging and supportive to both of them, but it was a challenge.
A major milestone with my family was getting a chance to see and spend time with my father twice in one year. I cried incredibly hard when he left and have come to the realization that my pains growing up haven't fully healed despite the passage of time.
Julia took time off from work. Em is dealing with a sick dog.
Buying my daughter a car was a major milestone for the family, and for me represents a surrender to reality. Logic would say that her "stay-at-home-dad" could take her to and from school, and that there are bus-lines, and other more financially responsible ways to handle this. Especially when one factors in the inflated price of used cars, and the $5K premium we spent on her 10-year old hatchback. But my husband doesn't operate on logic. He wants to not have to work, or to be a father, and my resentment at him for MY not having been the mother I had wanted to be, is MINE to heal from. Maybe the best thing I can do for my girl is to give her the freedom to separate from her father, while I work out whether I will, too.
I want to think more broadly than my biological family with this answer. Because though I do love them, that is not always where I feel welcomed or seen. I think that I would like to claim my chosen family in a serious way in this question. I think that somehow I thought that I didn’t deserve the people i meet in my thirties who I love and respect. I thought that I wasn’t living up to my chosen family these past two years, because I was depressed and we lost all our savings and couldn’t travel or send presents the way we used to. And because I am not saving the world. But the fact is that my Boston people really mean a lot to me. Even though I don’t live there right now, that is where I started to learn who I really am. That is where I learned how to show up with just me, and be held. And how to contribute to a community. My Boston Jewish community. So I will say that the milestone is that I am committed to reclaiming the people that I lost touch with during Covid. “Return again to the home of your soul.” They were not a frivolity. They were not a blip or a fake story. And just because I am not doing full-time justice work right now does not mean that I am not part of the justice community, it doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to keep those connections and maintain my sense of dignity. I’ll say it in the affirmative – I have the right and responsibility to keep those friendships And the right and responsibility to remind myself of my dignity, regardless of how I might be judging my own work at this time.
It was my first year living alone! It was a lot of changes actually...from decorating a house from scratch to learning different routines. That also means seeing less of my siblings, my mom... so when we're together we appreciate those moments even more.
My mom started to fail. It was scary and upsetting as we thought she was falling down the dementia hole. My wife stepped in and said she thought it was too fast for an onset of dementia and rather possibly medicine toxicity. Turns out she was right. Duplicate medications had been prescribed and an SSRI that should have been stopped years ago was likely a culprit to her regular falls. My brother and I teamed up to pay for an assistant and get her medical issues solved. She got a hearing aid. It really helped to re-strengthen my relationship with my brother which was hurt badly in the 2016 election. It also opened a place in my wife's heart for my mom and vice versa. To say this was transformative would be an understatement.
I think, for me, it has been my youngest son moving to Florida, just around the corner from us. It has eliminated some of my worry for him. I didn’t like the emotional path he was on and having him close has helped both he and I.
Two of my friends are having babies right now, Jade then Greta. I'm afraid that I'll meet someone, feel a connection, but it will fade and I'll have a child and marriage that feel pointless to me. And I'll leave them and then my friends will leave me. And then the depression will overtake me. This is the fear.
There haven't been any major milestones in my family this year. A smaller one is Arielle learning to walk and Trish learning to bake bread from grinding the wheat on up to eating magnificent cinnaroses. But wait...Our 4 year-old apple tree gave us apples this year - 11!!!
My father's cancer has returned but appears to be more treatable than the last bout a few years ago. It has certainly brought my original nuclear family closer together again. My brother visited, then my daughter and I visited. We all actively participate in doctor visits to help my parents understand what is going on. It has made for a strong feeling of connection between us again, like the connection we shared when my brother and I were growing up as kids.
My last aunt passed away - the last of my parents' generation relatives. I hadn't seen her for decades, or been in touch with her for many years, but that sense of a book being closed forever - a whole library of books - leaves me sad. It also leaves me feeling older.
The divorce also really affected my family. First, it brought us closer together. Seeing everyone's outpouring of love in the extended family was so incredible, and the way my nuclear family showed up was nothing short of amazing. I feel so supported by those that love me, and I don't ever want to take that for granted.
My husband and I have reached more solid footing through better communication and understanding, seeing each other's side of things. How this has affected me is that I feel more love and affection for him.
No family milestone
Over the summer, Gabriel and I left Isa and Lucia with my parents for a week for the first time, and we went to Greece! Leading up to the trip, I was worried that it would be too much - that the kids would miss us, that my parents would feel overwhelmed. Instead, it was incredible for everyone. I was so moved by the strong bond that Isa and Lucia formed with my parents - and how much love my parents showed our children. It was a reminder to me of how loved I am. It was such a gift, a memory I will cherish forever, and I can't wait to do it again!
Our oldest daughter and her husband have separated after 14 years of marriage. I’m getting used to this new reality, seeing Sarah find her way through this transition. I appreciate the opportunities to spend time with her when her husband has his days with the children. I hold on to my love and appreciation of his devotion to their kids, his kindness, and vulnerability. Also, I value my friendship with his parents. My husband and I are working as a team to find ways to offer needed financial support—and also accepting that our daughter will need to navigate this separation mostly on her own.
We adopted another rescue dog! After years of having shelties (which we have always loved, but they're very barky) we chose to bring home a larger mutt. I was reluctant for many, many months because bringing another dog into the family could have been problematic, but JoJo has turned out to be one of the loveliest blessings in our lives! She is intelligent, watchful, well-behaved (although she is stubborn!), and obviously trusts and loves us. Henry simply adores her and she seems to really enjoy playing with him. Sometimes all it takes is looking at her to make me smile.
We did not have any major milestones this year. But I think we did enjoy ourselves more now that Covid is not such a threat. It was a thrill to meet grand nieces and nephews who were born during covid. And spending more time with our immediate family was fun too.
My youngest grand child graduated from high school and I was able to contribute to her first year of college. So happy that I was here to share benefits from her father who passed away in 2006. I pray she will be successful in her endeavor!
My sister moved to Chicago, after my parents moved to northern VA to be closer to her. This has only really affected me because I can't visit my whole nuclear family all at once... the rest is to be seen.
I am a mom. I am trying to figure out how I am able to still be me as an individual and being a mom. I really do not want to totally lose myself - which I feel has happened since moving and getting married. It feels like nothing that I was doing or known for in the past is true anymore - even stuff that I liked, and I am not sure who I am.
My mom and dad are both working, so it's made getting together for holidays or anything of the sort really difficult due to coordinating so many schedules and time off. I miss them but I'm happy to know that I've got a good man in my life who I will be spending the holidays with from now on.
Ashley graduating from UT was a major milestone. I am so proud of her. I am so happy for her to be starting the next phase of her life.
Mom's aging & moving out of Toronto to BC near us and my brother has allowed me to practice mindfully moving through very stressful situations and compassionately (or at least peacefully) coordinating with others who are also under a lot of stress. No way I'm saying I've been completely successful in this. Not sure I'd say I was mostly successful. Grade a solid C? But I have certainly had the opportunity to practice! And that has to have helped me to improve.
I feel that my mom is slowing down little by little. I aim to make every minute she has left count .
Other than having a baby. We have had a major split with Jeff’s family. Juliet repeatedly did things to shame jeff and me this year and offered us no support throughout my whole pregnancy and has shown no interest in Archie. Her actions have been incredibly hurtful and we have struggled to decide how to handle this damaged relationship.
This year was a pretty steady year for my family without any major milestones that I can think of. No deaths, births, marriages, major illnesses, life changes come to mind. I guess I'm thankful that we've had a pretty steady year as a family. We've gotten to see Eloise really grow up a lot from a two to three year old, both Dad and I survived COVID-19 without much fanfare, Dad visited me in San Francisco, Mom went back in-person full-time at work, and had many other joyous yet not monumental moments, which I'm okay with. Sometimes it's nice to just be and enjoy each other without major milestones happening.
I retired at age 60 after 42 years of working in IT. I am loving my retirement and don’t miss my working life at all. After a few months of relaxing I am now volunteering for my local library, working in a community garden and taking botanic art classes. I couldn’t be happier.
I learned about being a scapegoat and how I've been in that role with my mother my whole life and worked within that structure. It allowed me to be angry about things I beat myself up over in the past, relatives telling me I was bad because of reports from my mom, etc. Now I'm still hurt but I realize not everything I was blamed for were things I needed to wear the blame for
Marc and I celebrated our 25th anniversary. We have become even more committed to one another and to our marriage than before, and making it official with a small outdoor party was a little like a second wedding in its public presentation of a private emotion.
I don’t think there have been any major milestones. My sister moved out which is great but hasn’t really affected me but I’m happy for my parents. My nana’s vision is really bad and she barely leaves the house anymore. She used to walk around outside more but I don’t think she does. She now has a caretaker person which is great but also it is a bit sad that she has lost so much of her independence and I know that has always been very important to her. She doesn’t message or email as much as she used to which is a bit sad but I guess shows that I should be the one to reach out more. I just texted her now.
My daughter got a job, and my younger grandson started daycare. It’s been so exciting to see his growth when exposed to other children.
My daughter starting preschool has been a wake up call about how fast she and her brother are growing up. I’m realizing that I need to focus on being present and not give in to a culture of “busy-ness,” putting things off until “next year.” It’s also made me realize how terrifyingly illogical it is to allow assault weapons in this country. Every single day I am afraid of what might happen to her at school. I should not have to live in daily fear of a school shooting, but this is the world we live in.
The Boston trip. As we all get older and get more into our careers and families, taking time to be together gets limited to holidays and even then just a few hours. It’s never enough time. I didn’t realize that until I had uninterrupted time with all of them in Boston. We were always together and laughing. You don’t get that time back. You either take advantage of it while it’s there or you lose it forever. I’m tired of losing that time.
I turned 65 in March, which triggered a growing awareness of my mortality and a desire to accomplish things in my life that I have been deferring for decades. That said, I will pace myself and still allow myself to enjoy the wonderful, fulfilling life I have with Vickie.
John developed a pain in his neck...in a few days this deteriorated and he was bed bound for 2 weeks. It's been such a hard summer, to see him debilitated. Signed off work for 6 weeks, unable to do anything...4 months later he's functional, but still experiencing pain and can't get on a bike. This is not him, his identity...and his future? The prognosis is uncertain, it seems likely that the debilitating pain will come back at some point, we may need to live through this all over again, multiple times. And it may be worse. I have been strong - saw it as a test to pass, to keep calm and carry on - get on with life, be busy and get things done. Be supportive to John and try hard not to catastrophise, while not burying my head in the sand either. We got through the worst of it. But I'm so scared of what's to come and what it means for our future as a family, which we had both envisioned as a life of active adventure.
This year, Mike & I decided to start the adoption process. In January, I had a breakdown where I confessed to him that I had been contemplating suicide almost solely driven by my loathing of my body & my disappointment that wouldn’t do what it’s “supposed” to, namely have a child. Mike was so upset, so stunned, that he almost immediately pivoted with me to believing that adoption was our best choice — and I was so grateful & relieved for it. It hasn’t miraculously solved all my body issues & insecurities, but it has set me on a personal path to healing & acceptance while also bringing back some of the hope & excitement we’d initially felt at the prospect of having a child. It’s been going slowly, but we’re moving forward, & I believe that we’re going to get there. Sometime in the next couple of years, we’re going to become parents, finally — and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
I don't know if we had a major milestone this year. We got through COVID (but who didn't?) and we kept our jobs (many didn't). It feels like we are doing more than keeping our heads above water but not much more.
I think we were getting closer, as our family circle is getting smaller. I would say that I'm more familiar with my parents than before, even if it is not what I actually say at the optimum. But this comes from my self doubt about my future and the belief that my parents can't be proud of where I am at life, right now.
Fearghal dying was huge . I finally understand the way of the cross, the most painful, - seemingly senseless thing brings to an end your fear of suffering. I listened to Anthony de Mello “the happiness podcast” to use suffering to end suffering. Now I know never to waste a painful experience because I can use it to find the peace that is beyond understanding. I felt a deep peace in the middle of my grief , it was unexpected and beautiful. I went to mass one day the reading was Jesus asking Peter to walk on the water and he did , until he looked down and then he fell into the water. I felt like as long as I kept close to Jesus I wouldn’t be completely swallowed up by my tears . Mum’s dementia can be painful and frightening. And Dad’s long Covid is very sad to watch. There are lots of painful things and so many joyous things too. When Fearghal died the most unexpected thing was that the neighbours supported me and carried me through it . From the beautiful hand made cards by Sebastian, Arlo, Joel, Ross and Lachlan. Ramy, Emer, Ally, Lisa all being so kind - I felt held in friendship through it all- I am so blessed to have known that out reach of love from virtual strangers .
Dad dying was big. Mom living through that was also big. I feel both hollow and a bit touched by it all. I am thinking about my brothers differently, and have been working on my relationship with my older brother David. That is another milestone from this past year.
Our parents' age has hit us hard this year- we need to start planning for their later stages in life and beyond.
My daughter has launched herself in her career. It has eased my concern about her finding her path and being self sufficient.
Michael, my nephew, moved in with his girlfriend and that has been a major milestone. It affected me emotionally in a strange way actually - bringing up jealousy and other emotions.
Divorce. Two homes, split time with the kids. I don’t know if I can really say how it has affected me because it is still affecting me.
Not much. Finished my will - relief. Helped mediate the cousins’ falling-out. Worried a little less about L’s isolation.
My grand niece was born, buy I've only been able to see her twice (cuz of motherfuckin' COVID). Thrilled and frustrated.
I got married and it feels like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders, like no matter what my natural brain chemistry and cynical outlook does to my general happiness level, my minimum happiness level will always be a little bit higher than what it used to be, because I am part of a wonderful marriage. I have never felt this way. I've also felt more connected to family: we see eachother more often and make calls.
I moved far from my home city so I am learning to redefine the meaning of family and friends. I am living in a remote area no sidewalks or buses….So I’m learning to live with myself.
I"m able to afford to take more expensive vacations than before and even take the dog with me to a rented house. I left my wife's shoulder bag in a parking lot at Tahoe and found out later it was a getaway bag containing over $20K of valuables, which we never saw again. Nearly led to a divorce. Can't believe she carries that sort of $ without telling me. Has led to a loss in trust between us.
My Aunt Rosie is the last sibling still living. There were nine and now there is one. I am so glad to be close to her. I am also glad my mother ( her sister-in law) is very close and is doing some of the caretaking. My mother is 80 my aunt is 94. My mother helped my aunt when she was making the difficult decisions that come with later years. When to push for medical professionals to listen, when to move into a care home, and how to deal with the fears of loosing everything you hold dear, loosing relationships, loved ones, and ultimately loosing your life. They could talk about all the hard scary things that she cant talk to her kids, or anyone much younger, about. She is now in the assisted living home and is adjusting well. But it was a long journey. Be patient with your older loved ones this is a terrifying process. They need love and comfort. I am glad our family has been able to be there for my aunt. I hope someone is there to comfort me when I am that old and that scared.
I moved back to the NY area after 15 years so my partner could start his career here. I am happy for him and I started my career here too, but it is hard to be back in many many other ways.
Not necessarily milestones but being able to spend more time with my dad, having lunch with him just about every weekend. Only heaven knows how much longer I'll be blessed with his presence as he's getting on in years and slowing down. So I'm cherishing the time I do have with him, and taking his stories to heart so I don't forget his life.
A little more than a year ago, I got divorced. We moved to Maryland from Texas, escaping my ex's control of me through the kids. I'm definitely approaching 50. My head hurts from the traumatic brain injury that I got from fainting, so that has affected me in the last two days. Also, I was sexually assaulted so I feel nasty and tired and I have a lot of processing to do. I am filing a protective order right now and it occupies my brain space when I'm supposed to be taking care of my brain. I see these events as life telling me to slow down. I wanted to do everything, I felt physically capable, I felt I could stay up all night and do whatever I wanted as I approached 50. I'm meant to turn 50 in two weeks. The brain injury is definitely slowing me down. So if I slow down, does this mean: spending more time with the kids? Slow down with them. Try to make the home a predictable place for them. Keep my mom out of the picture because it's obvious how she affects the kids. If/when I slow down, I might have to ramp it up at first, but I would really love to slow it down super quickly. These events have made me more conscious of my mortality. It means I should get the will done, get it all done.
The milestone would be Heather blocking me on all social media and my number because I was a dick to her or my parents one too many times. It has unveiled the huge rift that has always existed on my end between the other members of my family, and it continues to make me feel debased and crazy since they all generally get along. I have been trying to navigate through and improve my relationship with my parents (since my relationship with my sisters seems unsalvagable at this point) but it is not going well. If all is clear, things go fine, but the fact that my parents will not furnish their house and constantly give my bed away since I am the only one who left a bed there is ridiculous. I only stay there because my mom is worried about how people would judge her if I didn't stay there when I visit the Pittsburgh area.
We are now two years into our sojourn in NH. We are, i believe, getting comfortable here. Rose is, of couirse, fully involved in a number of activities, while I am involved in...a little. We have "friends" that we get totgether with. By all appearances all is fine. And yet... It still feels like, in one sense, we are settling. I was just thinking of the kinds of conversations I can have with folks here and the content is limited and the direction of the discussion is circumspect. We, of course, can't let on, or so it seems, how we really feel about some things. This is, after all, a VERY conservative and "old fashioned" state relative to where we used to live which was the antithesis of NH. Additionally, we have not been successful in finding a Jewish community to settle into locally. The synagogues here reflect NH...dull n boring. But we continue to try.
I feel a bit detached now. I am sort of waiting for the inevitable to happen like I were just a paying viewer and not on stage. Not happy about this feeling.
The most major milestone in year of great blessings just happened the week. Month’s of planning awaiting the wedding of Jackie and Nick lived up to expectations and beyond beautiful. My heart is still aglow with just how wonderful Jackie looked and how beautiful from start to finish everything went.
It was an uneventful year in some ways with no particular milestones. All five of us were pretty busy socially, making up for the COVID restrictions we lived through for two years.
The losses were the biggest milestone, along with the empty nesting. Both made me step up in a bigger way. Both made me have to look deeper into myself and what I wanted in life for myself. The "life is too short" mantra is strong. Now I need to actually act on the things that make me complacent and make some changes toward the things that will make my life complete.
Getting vaccines Getting sick Getting promoted Returning to work / life/ normal ?
My dad finally won the case against the pension fund and he will get his pension at some point in the next few months This has been a long road. I’ve been helping him financially for the last three years. But now, with his pension it is not help anymore. And that is the important part! He will get his “independence” again. To depend on your children at that age, after working all your life, because the corrupt government and greedy companies… The lack of agency, of independence to make any decision, or to pay for what he wants… that is the one thing that will go away!
My Mother is feeling She is losing her mental capacities. Me and her, we are seriously worried because her father and grandmother had Alzheimer. I convinced her to go to a neurologist and psychologist, it was difficult because She didnt want to go, She told me She was not crazy enough to go. My father is always complaining because She dont remember nothing and my brother is in denial, and doesnt visit her (everything is more important than her). I am very tired with This overall management and i think it Will get worse in the near future.
My daughter got married. My baby is a grown woman. It doesn't make me feel older. It makes me feel satisfied. She is such a strong, competent, intelligent, beautiful person. Gannett is thoughtful, kind, and funny. I feel fulfilled. It is what I had hoped for when I carried her, and it came true. And getting the wedding done has freed up our time. We've been able to do the various chores and household jobs that we put off while planning. Also, before the wedding we didn't go out much at all--afraid of catching Covid and screwing up our trip. Now, we are able to go out and do things without anxiety. Yay. I'm so glad we were able to be a part of it all.
All of us contracted COVID at the end of May, beginning of June 2022. It spread throughout the house to varying degrees and we had to isolate from each other. This affected me as I had to stay away from my worksite for five days in quarantine and it made me realize that one can't control everything.
Lucie & Jacob welcomed Naomi Margaret Cowan to this world, just 3 days ago! It has been sweet to walk the pregnancy road with them, and now these early confusing days as new parents. Giving space but also lots of presence and loving support. I am aware my individual relationship with Lucie, just her and me, will be forever changed by the arrival of this new person. I don't yet know the shape of this new dynamic but so far it is adding another layer of love and connection.
My nephew took a weeklong vacation with my parents (his grandparents). This came about because last year nephew told them he would like to spend more time with them before they died. My parents, thank G-d, are in their 70s and are healthy and active. Everyone survived the vacation
Absolutely, my sister's emergency facial reconstruction surgery. I learned so much from her about how to discern what kind of prayer is needed at different times, and how to communicate that to others. I learned about life-and-death decisions. I learned about how a community of radically different people from so many different places can come together energetically in support of someone's healing. I learned the wonder of how the body can heal itself.
Milestones I guess were the passing of my Uncle Rick and my dad’s aunt Sandra now making him the oldest living Botello
Besides my father going into rehab and my mother going into assisted living, we have had a few other milestones. Our oldest son is engaged, and our youngest daughter is engaged. Their engagements made me realize how much time has passed since I was their age. The oldest is 32 and the youngest will be 28 in a few weeks. When I was 32, I had been married for 11 years and had six kids; when I was 28, I had been married for 7 years and had three kids. One other thing of note: our daughter is marrying a woman, which will be a first in both my wife's and my families. I hope it works out for them, especially in this current political climate.
My cousin Emily got married! So did her older sister, Mary. Emily got married in December, and Mary in June. They both got courthouse marriages with just a few of their friends present-- just one witness in Mary's case. It really had...very little impact, actually. In our family marriage isn't a huge deal unless you want it to be. This does mean, though, that I'm the last of the older grouping of the cousins to want to be married, and the only one who wants a "traditional" wedding. I say this, fully wanting two weddings, and fully wanting one of them to be pagan. The other will be sort-of Catholic. The Church won't officially marry us queers yet, but maybe we can get a blessing. Preferably not the current head priest at my joyfriend's church. Only because I don't like him much.
This past year, my brother and I found our way back in touch, made our relationship right, and told each other we love each other. What an experience of hope and gratitude: to know that a way back is possible. We contain that potential.
Eh, I guess a lot of people died of COVID-19...? I'm estranged from many of them, so it's sad, but they're among the millions of others who have died. I don't have enough family that's safe enough to care about to have an honest opinion about its effect on me. The impact is part of the tidal wave of death that's hit all of us over theast year.
A major milestone that happened to my family this year is news my brother is expecting a child with a non-Jewish woman. It made me feel more pressure than ever to find a Jewish woman and have Jewish children, to average out the news. At least my family can breakeven on that front. I contacted my acquaintances if they know anyone. I downloaded JSwipe.
I spoke about this in question 1 - our youngest child's mental health struggles. The other major milestone is the deteriorating health of my aging parents. In caring for them, I am aware of the fragility of life and my own mortality. I am concerned about what will happen to our youngest child once we are gone. I realize that time is running short. If we're lucky, my husband and I have another twenty years or so of health and mobility. I'm resolved to strive for a life of meaning, connection and peace in the coming years.
Just getting to go back to the UK after COVD really. To Perth too (twice) but Dean's fam never quite felt so far away and always in less danger. It had been 3+ years since back in the the UK which was very hard. Just being back and spending time with everyone, especially Mum, was very special and important.
My dad just turned 95. As I write this, I can barely believe it! It's not just that he's made it this far that's remarkable, it's that he has zero assistance. He takes care of my mom who has a cognitive disorder, along with everything else (shopping, cooking, driving, cleaning) with zero help, which is his choice. I am deeply grateful for this wonderful time that we have.
I spent this year separating myself from my parents as much as I could, and instead connecting with people who truly nurture me. I celebrated holidays differently, and stopped trying to build something on a foundation of smoke. Even when I had to connect myself more by asking for money, I set boundaries in a much healthier way than I ever had before. I'm very proud of how I've worked to redefine family - and I know there's still so much to do.
Nathan and I decided to elope and then we went on an actual vacation, an incredible honeymoon… it started with my car getting rearended! But the entire trip was just pure joy. We went to Disney and experienced pure joy with each other. We weren’t beholden to anyone. We didn’t have anywhere we NEEDED to be. We got silly, we got drunk, we played games and had an incredible time together. One of the highlights of my entire life.
Frank and I are getting married in 10 days and moving to Vermont in March. This generates a great deal of hope as well as many to-do lists and challenges.
My 'family.' I'm never sure what that means. My genetic family is fraught with issues. My husband is fraught with issues. I have two women in my life who are like a sister and a mother to me. So, milestones? I don't know.
"Jason" caught Covid but me and the kids didn't get sick. It's colored how I feel about him. I find myself having to love him through the possibility that he's just out here raw dogging air rather than being vigilant about not catching Covid. I got the new booster as soon as it was available and didn't tell him until a day later. I think if I had got it and didn't have any side effects, I might not have said anything at all. I've spent these last 3 years trying to keep us safe. I wiped off groceries. I created a space to clean himself after work. I've tried to stay up to date about what was going on and when I asked him to wear a mask at work it turned into an argument. He relented after I said that I was refraining from telling anyone about it because they'd tell me to leave. I think if I had my own money I might've. I might've just taken the kids to a hotel just so he could see what that was like but I'm glad I didn't. If I ever do have to leave, I don't want it to be a stunt or something to teach him a lesson. And I don't want to add unnecessary trauma to the kids. But the whole ordeal has made me sad. After putting in so much effort to care for him I had to threaten leaving to get him to entertain wearing a mask. And there's no guarantee he's wearing it regularly.
My son has become more independent - and that is releasing my wife and I from concerning ourselves with his day to day life - and has allowed him to be more responsible for his actions.
Well, most of my answers last year were about covid and most this year will be about cancer. Cancer is just hard, difficult, and so exhausting.
My parents divorce being finalized after over 10 years of just being separated has really dug up some old wounds from that time. I have the urge to revert back to how I handled and perceived this situation when I was younger. I want to be protective of my mom and also not make my dad mad but also not let him be mean to my mom. Basically I am just completley in the middle of it, and I'm not doing that anymore. I've come to realize that it's their responsibility and their baggage to take care of this. They are their own people and don't need me to mediate the two of them, and it's unfair to myself to do that. I am letting whatever happens happen, and I am being empathetic to both of them as it continues, but I am not trying to fix anything or really offer any advice at all. They got themselves into this marriage and they can get themselves out.
We became parents. This has been exhausting and stressful. I mean, also beautiful and happy and joy-bringing and our son is an amazing and impossible little person whom we love. But we never get any sleep, time to spend together, or have sex or be intimate. 95% of our time and energy is with the baby. I look at photos of us from a year or two ago and think, "Wow, we look so young, thin, well-rested, and HAPPY." Sometimes, I wish we still were.
Our matriarch and mama is aging - she is 86 and still very active and loving life - my sister and I don't see eye to eye about how she can and should be living said life - I want her to live her best life for as long as she can with her partner that takes such sweet care and is younger - so we watch we come together as a family we ask hard questions and make hard decisions when the time comes. She is losing so many of her friends to old age and it makes her sad but I know she will be late to her own funeral and I am alright with that!
Hmm...again - I'm at a loss for milestones. 33 years sobriety is a milestone I should probably be careful not to take for granted - yet I don't struggle with that so much anymore, so it doesn't feel momentous. For the family? Maybe I'm not looking for milestones any more - it gives me a sense that I'm always reaching to achieve "goals" rather just being in the here and now. Oh, I did finally become an official State Park Volunteer this last year. I also got a perfect score on the NYT news quiz once.
My father passed away suddenly in September; it wasn't entirely unexpected as he had cancer, but it came about quickly. I'm still not processing what happened and am not sure what's next. In general, I think we're all in the same boat. It has taken something out of my spirit that I really can't explain.
My wife has had 2 heart attacks this year, it makes me want to scream.We prepared so carefully for our retirement and now it’s sidelined because of health issues. My wife is unable to continue with activities of daily living, so I carry on with the housekeeping chores.
Lucia in fact has got undiagnosed severe mood changes. I have realized there is nothing i can do to help the decree except stay out of her way to avoid the daily explosions!
The bar mitzvah of my son was, to my mind, THE major milestone of the past 6 years, since our youngest was born! We are so so lucky that we were able to come to this time and place and season. I think one way this affected me was to know that everyone planning such an event - like my sister-in-law planning her wedding to my brother - is doing their best, and should just be supported. It is all perfect! A sadder milestone was my younger son getting diagnosed with learning disabilities -- but we are glad that we are able to help him be his best self, and succeed.
My daughter got bigger I can't believe how quickly time is going
Eli and Jamie got married. Honestly this was difficult for me. It brought up a lot of insecurities I have about my station in the family. I think some of those insecurities are warranted. But it's also my own work to navigate them and figure out the right way to externalize them. In the end, it was a really sweet ceremony, and I'm glad they had the wedding they had.
My brother in law died after a battle with leukemia. He was the least religious member of the family, but probably the most accidentally righteous. Not in the superficial way that religious people tend to be. This man had no artifice, and boatloads of integrity. He was smart, hysterically funny, honest, and kind. Losing him, and contemplating the idea of life after death and the assumptions about it that have been ingrained in me since birth have set my mind reeling. I struggle to accept Hashem's judgement like I do Hashem's mercy. Shitty things happen to really good people.
aside from having covid? (i really don't want all of these to be about covid, but it's very fresh in my mind, as it just happened.) i don't know that i have one in my biological family. one of my friends moved into their first apartment, and they've been like my family for over ten years. i haven't been able to remember their address since they moved out of our neighborhood at the end of high school. i don't know why i feel bad about that.
New House! It has been amazing. The process was long and slow but we are so happy. Also, rose starting school was a great one.
Grandma got quite ill to a scary point in April. I've never been terribly close with Gma and there are some divides between us that feel impossible to cross, and yet the thought of her nearly leaving us just shook me. Death is miserable and inevitable and that's an icky combination. Seeing her this summer for the first time in years with family around and cute artsy discussions reminds me that family is a special thing and we're lucky to have eachother in whatever way we do.
I think a milestone was when I went on a solo trip for 16 days without my family. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it was a milestone for me to feel comfortable that the world would not fall apart without me in 2 weeks. The kids are 7 and 4, and I'd never been away from all of them for longer than a weekend. I'm so involved with all the details of their daily lives that it was difficult to imagine not being involved for over 2 weeks. It was a milestone for them too. They learned they could feel secure and cared for by their dad, and that separation is good sometimes. I think it made everyone feel stronger and more independent.
My daughter has been able to stay in college, achieve a Dean's List semester, begin a senior year thesis, has been able to overcome some of her moments of anxiety and panic to attend class in person and participate verbally. Such triumphs were unimaginable during the past two years.... I feel a sort of hopeful for her that I have not felt in a very long time.
Jesse stopped using drugs and alcohol. He had an extremely difficult year. I am most grateful that he stayed in communication with me and called me at times when he was in crisis, but it was really scary and difficult watching him. I'm very calm in crisis, but I really didn't know what was going to become of him. thank God, he recognized the danger he was in and went completely clean. Since then he has been an amazing, consistent part of the family. totally himself, the person he should have always been. We are all praying that he has really found his way home. It is really important to me to know that I can depend on him, because he so gets me...
My brother moved to Las Vegas and I miss him more than humanly possible. My Mom opened a store after my Uncle Mikey, and its doing wonderfully. I got my first job, and I'm thriving, Taylor and I moved into our own apartment and it has been incredible every second. I am almost SBC certified. Danny got Julie. Milestone after milestone, my family is amazing.
It made me feel good because the family balance has been achieved once again. We talked and shared thoughts over some decisions that had been made. It was a difficult conversation but in the end all got solved.
My mom and I got to take some trips. To Baltimore, St. Augustine, and Savannah. She also rented here for a bit. It was nice to create memories.
my mother's death took me back into therapy
My father died during Heshvan. He lived far longer than was predicted. He lived to see all of his grandchildren’s b’nai mitzvot. He lived to see a grandchild graduate from college and another four begin. He go to hear about how I was advancing at work. He knew that we were on the road to making a cross-country move. These were all positive things. The funeral and shiva were not what I expected, needed, or could have planned. And a year later I’m not sure I properly mourned. My eyes are still dry. Between Covid precautions, that I was far from my support network, and some family members’ feelings about the traditional elements, I didn’t get what I hoped from this part of the process, namely the koach to begin saying kaddish. Saying kaddish turned out not to be the thing that brought closure. It felt like an obligation and a slog. Sure, halachically, I didn’t need to say it, and yes I missed a few mornings and did not attend mincha/ma’ariv, but I took on the mitzvah to show kavod. I was, and am, thankful that my father had length of years, died peacefully, experienced much success and fulfillment. He made and lived his life as he wished and had a good death. Where it falls off the rails is that I never had the relationship with him that I would have wished. I wasn’t the child he expected. My career path wasn’t as successful as my siblings. I didn’t marry someone he would have chosen. My children were not close (geographically yes). My parenting style did not meet with his approval. Although I am the eldest, I was the only child not included as part of the decision-making process for my parents. And I never let him know that I saw a document listing financial gifts to two children and one by marriage but that excluded me and my spouse. I know it’s in my best interest - especially for my mental health - to let this all go. After all, he’s dead and there’s nothing I can do to change anything. Thinking about how this has affected me depends on how I’m feeling at the moment. Mostly I try not to think about it so it won’t affect me.
I stopped calling my sister just to chat. I just text her. The last time she was here in NYC, we had a fight, and I could see it was her undiagnosed ADD or something. She admitted that she doesn't really listen or pay attention when she's not interested in the conversation, or when she's told just to listen and not help. That was the end for me.
Perhaps turning eighty is a milestone. At 79 I was not so besieged with thoughts of how much less time I have ahead of me than ever before. As before, our children and grandchildren are all thriving…happy, secure, thoughtful, generous, caring, kind, funny and oh so smart. All of them, including the granddaughters, are involved in dialogue with others and important activities. They are passionate, insistent on living out their ideals. I am proud beyond measure for all they accomplish—even in little everyday ways.
I bring my sociology hat to my work on city council every day. This year, I had the opportunity to bring city council real life execution to the sociology conference. While I would have liked a better response from the ASA--as in recognition that application matters--the presentation itself was great and has generated thinking about the book in process. (Not a milestone yet--but it will be.)
Mum is excited about the wedding. She still says hurtful things sometimes - about how hard it was for me to come out, etc - but it feels like a turning point. She accepts me for who I am, and is proud of who I am. Mostly.
I can't think of one.
My divorce was finalized. Custody of my children was adjudicated. We sold the house. I'm homeschooling. My birth mother and sister are in my life. It's a lot to deal with.
My sister gave birth to a lovely baby boy, I am so full of joy and love for this cute little new member of the family.
The theme for this is year is me getting sober. The milestone is being honest with my wife, reconnecting with her and getting remarried in a few days.
Granddaughter is a healthy six years. Started first grade! I am blessed to enjoy time with her.
My parents both got sick at the same time in November, and I flew out with only a few days' notice to help them out with stuff. It marked a change in my relationship with them - they have never needed my help like that before. It cemented my role as *adult* daughter and potential helper. It was really sobering, and sad, and yet the silver lining was that I was able to actively *demonstrate* that I love them very much, and that I'm capable of helping when needed. This has improved our relationship and I think we are closer than we've been in years.
The transition of my parents getting older. And for me it has been a milestone because it has pushed me to think about how taking care of my parents will look like as an adult . I of course want to set myself up currently to be able to offer all the necessary resources my family will need in the future , but I also realize I need to also do my due diligence right now. This reality has been an awakening for sure
Recently I was able to cautiously travel to another city to attend the wedding of a cousin's child. I was able to spend time with my only remaining aunt/uncle as well as a number of cousins. I am at an age where I treasure anytime I can do this.
I say with deep gratitude - it's been an amazingly uneventful year. We've all stayed healthy, safe and reasonably sane.
My little brother ODed and died. It's not a happy milestone, but it's a big one. It sucks. Addiction sucks; it's a horrible disease. This "War on Drugs" sucks because it encourages the dealers to manipulate the drugs and that's what killed him. Grief sucks. A happier milestone? Our second child was born. Wow, it takes a lot more energy taking care of two in very different developmental stages. It's fun getting to watch the development again, though.
This past year, the COVID situation was getting better. The case number was going down significantly, so many activities return to the almost normal level. Like school, community gatherings, and so forth. My little sister went back to her campus. And she started her internship. I feel a bit lonely now she's far away. But I'm happy for her that she has a little more time to enjoy her uni days with her friends at the campus. My little brother was invited by his friend to learn about selling spare parts. Since he had a shop and now that his father's gone, he manages it. Thus he can teach my brother to do it. I hope it goes well with him. And he could find work that not only fulfil his financial needs but where he could enjoy and be proud of it, too. Last year, our new house at Semarang got built. Still in progress when I'm writing this down, but I hope it'll be a comfy home that my parents enjoy having. I mean, I think it's a long long time ago since my dad wishes to have a house there. And now it's in progress, I hope it's suiting his taste.
with my current family of choice: I taught the HSS students at LV and i was in my joy and calling... and consistently positively impacted them... even after one class! they got stuff they used that made a positive difference in their lives and relationships. wow!
My son got married. We love his new husband.
My spouse started taking T which really surprised me that they decided to do it. It's been a really positive change for them. Between the not drinking and the T, they feel so much more like themselves. For me, it's been an adjustment. It didn't bother me too much for the first 6ish months. Then when the changes became more significant, like the voice shift, it was very disorienting. I'm having trouble sorting out for myself how it feels for me while still seeing how much joy and freedom it brings them. There is also a little more fear involved since now they need to use a different bathroom, all of that. I want them safe.
A major milestone and the end of an era, is my brother and his family moving from Long Island to Orlando. I really enjoyed the roadtrips through New York to visit him driving up and down the luscious green mountains and exploring here and there. This Christmas I will most likely be visiting them in a state I've never been to before. I'm looking forward to the adventure.
My parents putting their deposit down on the retirement community has felt huge. Like, there's elder care on the horizon? I am scared to face their aging alone.
Mom finishing grad school was huge-- the end was a crazy time & trying to support her but also going through everything that I was going through with New York and my anxiety and Ben and Istanbul and everything. But she finished in August! I have found it very inspiring- and much of my knowing of this feeling has been because this is how I talk to other people about it- and very influential to my own life. I feel like the world has so many possibilities; fuck having to decide what I want to do with my life right now Additionally, I think it made her prioritize the things that matter with my brother and made her put up with less. I still think she puts up with too much, but I know it would have been a lot worse if the circumstances were different. I'm very proud of her and can't wait to see what she ends up doing and for her to start the next chapter!!
Tallulah's Bat Mitzvah was something we planned for for a very long time. It was great to have the family out and together for a special event. I was proud to see Tallulah work through her fears of getting up in front of a large group and recite from the Torah and give her speeches. I am so proud of her and that makes me a very happy parent.
The first year of my brother's putative sobriety has seen a plateau, unfortunately. There has been a bit of drinking. The complete neglect and ambivalence about his gas bill over the winter was pathetic. His attitude about harboring his father and me during Hurricane Ian was shameful. Still no job, although he did apply to one. He is stuck, risks backsliding into a more severe stage of active alcoholism, and it has all been a burden to me. I appreciate it is a struggle, and that I want to do what is best for him. I will commit to continuing to do the right thing while maintaining my equilibrium and personal boundaries.
46 years of running our restaurant. Many good memories, many lost opportunities because of the work. Sometimes I wish I'd gotten a 9-5 job!
My 3rd grandchild was born. Makes me hopeful for the future but at the same time worried for what their lives will be like.
I finally got to see my family for the first time since the summer before the pandemic! My older brother gained another son in that time, who is now 2, and the others are 4 & 6, they are so big since I was last saw them 3 years ago. We haven't been in a lot of contact this year, but it was really good to see them, my brother was more open with me than he has ever been about his mental health, which was a shock, but also a joy. Progress! My sister is very happy with her new job, and her long term boyfriend (who I still think isn't good enough for her), and they are trying for a baby, due to a reproductive condition she has, and she seems a lot more sturdy and settled than 3 years ago, which is, again, a joy to see! My dad has started a new career, driving lorries, and I am so happy that he will be sitting, warm and dry, more than he ever has in his entire life, now. I hope it will help him gain weight, and improve his health! It eases my stress about his hard labour harming his body and health, and I am grateful for this :)
This is not a milestone exactly, but my dad had a number of heart procedures in the past year. He was so careful about what he shared and would sometimes not tell me the full seriousness of things until after they happened because he said he didn't want to worry me. It made me realize we needed to work on our communication. I'd known this re: my own trauma, which has been really hard to talk w/my dad about, but this made the urgency of the issue clear. So, I asked him to do family therapy with me. Even though we were both resistant at first, we've found it's worth the discomfort and we're learning a lot. Being a daughter from a culture that "doesn't do therapy," I'm also realizing that asking for this was very brave on my part (definitely braver than I think I am), and that saying yes was a deeply loving act on my dad's part (as is very much his nature when it comes to his kids). The biggest affect it's had on me is that it's made me realize that even good relationships can become so much better--that the journey of any relationship is beyond what we can imagine in the moment.
Mum turned 91. I don’t think of her as old but I’m having to face the fact that however sprightly she is for her age, she’s not going to live to 120 - or maybe she will and become a record breaker!!!
Not my family, me. I turned 65. Ugh. All year i received mail about medicare! I dont feel 65. Most people say i dont look 65. And yet i am. And i have to think about time. Finding life after i do retire. Facing life without my husband who is in memory care. Focusing on ensuring my adult son with Autism Spectrum Disorder has the tools, skills, and people in his life in order to continue to succeed. I have bounced back from life's adversities more times that i would like to admit. I have been called strong, tough, resilient. But aging isnt someting that can be managed or resolved. It just is.
Mom’s strokes, and a wake up call for all of us. It’s been enlightening to see how we all respond, fall into old patterns, and resist change as we struggle to come together to support mom
My cousins cheated me out of my inheritance. They are Temple going Jews. They cheated me on Rosh Hashanah last year and have continued for the last 14 years. They are so incredibly greedy. I have a hard time excepting the betrayal. I am taking them to court. It has made me review all of the discussions we ever had and understand that I just wasn’t paying attention. They were always the same greedy fuckers. I guess I need to be more wary.
Martin's retirement after 35 years at his own business was a major milestone for him and for me. The hard part was getting used to sharing my solitude and privacy with him every day. The best part was seeing how he gradually created a new structure for himself, and how he began to fill his various needs--separate and apart from what we do together. Even more significant, he started sharing with me some of his feelings about his new life. That was a long time coming. Things are slowly but surely falling into place.
I guess we're looking at the older kids legit turning into a teenager. He seems to be becoming a cool dude which is nice, but I kind of miss him sometimes
A major milestone for me is getting closer with my two brothers, Gab and Luis. The year started out so horrible for me, but I've been going home more often than before, and Gab and Luis have always been my drinking buddies. We're in Manila right now and we live together, we've also been hanging out together, and I'm sure they know all the dirt about me, but they're always ready to back me up when I need it. We went to Boracay together earlier this year, and we had the time of our lives there. Another favorite moment with my siblings was our roadtrip to Iloilo. We were all there except for Juancho, who of course just stayed at home. We took mirror selfies at the apartment before picking up Jo and Manong at the airport. With Juancho, I was also able to open up about my anxiety, and he really gave a lot of wisdom. It makes me emotional to think that someone like him cares about me enough to keep me company while I was having a breakdown. I know he has his own personal troubles, but him showing up for me at that moment really moved me. I love my siblings.
I am legally divorced. thank goddess g!d I supported my beautiful kiddo in seeing their dad for the first time in 2 plus years. it was hard + good.
My brother and sister-in-law had their second child, which reinforced my desire to have kids. Also, my family has pretty much all moved away at this point, with the last remaining few going to other countries or states, and now my folks are mostly living across the state from me. It's definitely forced me to create community bonds more intentionally since I don't have family around the corner.
I finally told my son that I am not his biological father - even though I will always be his dad. Have carried this secret for so long and always feared how he would react. It couldn't have gone better. It took a lot of courage and a lot of thinking through to be sure I wasn't doing it just to unburden myself - but rather because he deserves to know the truth. It has brought us closer together, rather than causing the rift I feared.
This past year was pretty mellow for my family. My Uncle Dave's aggressive stomach cancer returned. He has undergone the chemo now and is waiting for his surgery. This scares me and makes me feel appreciative of life. I think of him often and hope that the cancer will be gone now. My grandma is still doing well although there is talk that she will stop driving next year. This makes me feel sad - it is a big change.
How can it be anything other than the death of our last parent? My in-laws are long gone, my step-father gone about as long, Dad now gone eleven years and finally, Mom in March this year. I am now the eldest generation. It’s too soon, I think, to know how this has affected me. In some ways, it will be a relief: the other shoe has finally dropped. In others, the losses pile higher, not just the loss of loved ones, but the loss of place. I picked muscadines from my step-father’s vines this week and felt compelled to say goodbye to them, too.
A milestone with my family... nothing really comes to mind, not for the family as a whole. My daughter completed her business degree, and I am insanely proud of her, because she completed it while working full-time, during a pandemic. I mean, it would've been a tough thing anyhow, but that she did it dealing with all kinds of restrictions (and all kinds of stressed humans at her place of employment) is just amazing. It hasn't really affected me, except to give me more opportunity to tell her how proud I am of her, and to acknowledge her courage and strength. She's pretty much a rock star.
Really it started with my stepdad having a heart attack/stroke on thanksgiving then ending up in rehab and eventually assisted living. Since my mom has dementia we realized she couldn’t live in the house alone so three of us took turns staying with her until we got her into respite care. Now we are managing her healthcare and finances. And i am visiting her more which is both wonderful and stressful at the same time.
My sister decided to up and leave the US to travel around eastern Europe and work remotely. She is following the example of my brother, who is taking advantage of the cheaper cost of living. My sister has never been outside of the US before, and she is a bit sheltered... that is to say closed-minded. So I worry about her being able to get along in these random countries for an extended period of time. I wish she would take a stab at learning a new language at least.
I co-chaired the Name committee for our newly merged shul. We are Am Tikvah, People of Hope, in San Francisco. I am very active. Coleman became a chief mate and is currently on his first voyage in this senior position.
This year I realized that all is not well with my psyche, especially in relation to my family. That moved me to engage in psychological counseling, after many, many years. So I’ve been working on my marriage and intend to continue to do so with Holly. It also lends support to challenges that I experience with my children, with Martha and my mother - all whom rely upon Holly and myself for support, so although I may not directly address these challenges with my therapist, I feel supported and empowered to get through these challenges in a healthy and supportive way.
We all decided to move to Texas. I’m energized, afraid it won’t happen, restless, nostalgic for this home.
The death of my father Nezar. Now both of my parents have passed away. I am an orphan. I'm not sure if my brothers will stay connected to me once we have no ties and the house is sold. I haven't been able to do much at all because I live here and they live there. I feel so conflicted when it comes to my Dad. A part of me is so very sad and the other part is so relieved. I'm happy he didn't have to suffer and that death was quick- but also sad that I wasn't with him when he passed away on the driveway of my childhood home. The relationship was complicated. He was one of my abusers but always bought me things and said nice things to me sometimes but also he said some horrendous things and often beat me up. I became his caregiver when he had his heart attack, and then as he got better, he would sneak me out to the movies and buy me candy and treats which would make my mother angry. It was almost like he was taking me out on a date- then he would act super angry the next day..it was like hot/cold. I was really obsessed with whether or not he was mad at me and I stayed longer than I should have. just talking about this makes me see the ripple effect in my life. His death is so hard- but I haven't been able to touch it because its just too hard.
Aldwyn coming out as transgender in early November was certainly the defining moment of the past year. It has made me confront biases about gender which I didn't even realise I had. I'm much better now with pronouns and understanding their importance to the people who use them.
My grandma turned 100 this year, but I wasn’t there… I felt bad about that, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have been much different idk it would have been, but my parents didn’t want me driving the whole way. Probably a more major milestone was that my mom was forced to retire early. That was a whole piece of drama which all unfolded right when I came back home before school started. She really struggled with it because her work was really important to her and she did a great job for so many years and then they fucked her over some silly shit. I was glad that I could help my mom process it some and be there to cheer her up.
My daughter is about to become Bat Mitzvah in just two weeks. This is a huge milestone for our family. I am so incredibly proud of the person she is becoming. She is empathetic, smart, curious, and confident. But the Bat Mitzvah is about what kind of Jew she is becoming, and I am extremely proud of that too. She is extremely talented with Hebrew and song and davenning and the Bat Mitzvah preparations have come easily to her. She loves studying Torah with the Rabbi. Preparing her has been a breeze. I really feel like she is an asset to the Jewish people and that she has the capability to be a true leader in davenning and leyning long-term.
A major milestone that happened this year is that my three younger brothers are all achieving huge milestones. The oldest is highly successful in his new finance job. The middle just completed his Masters degree (now he has TWO more degrees than I do), and is on his way to starting a bright military career. The youngest was just yesterday accepted to his top choice Medical School. Having dropped out of college several years ago, I struggled with feelings of inadequacy compared to the rest of my family’s achievements. Especially because they are all younger than me, as my brothers succeeded and “surpassed” me in each milestone, for a long time it triggered feelings of anxiety, shame, jealousy, and unworthiness. I know my family is disappointed with my decision, they project the idea that a degree is necessary to be stable and successful in life, and often try to coax me to go back to school and finish a degree, (I did try this once, with little success), but I no longer give in to their suggestions. I know it comes from a place of love - they just want what is best for me, and want to make sure I am secure. But their insecurity and projections are not my own. Lately, I feel genuinely happy for my brothers, and I do not feel any shame, because I am happy with where I am in life. I truly believe that leaving college was the best decision for my mental health, and I do not regret it. I spent a long time in therapy working through my feelings of unworthiness due to my lack of a degree, and building up my confidence in my talents, skills, and ability to succeed, regardless of graduate status. I am not making millions, but I am making a decent living and able to support myself independently. I rose to the top in my last job, which I recently left, and am excited that I am about to start a new job with even better earning potential. I am looking forward to seeing what my brothers (and I myself) continue to achieve in the years to come, and to do so from a place of genuine joy for them and inner contentment.
This year, I made up with Papa. I think this was a great development, and that it kind of was bound to happen. As I got older, I was set to eventually have enough autonomy to not have to go to Martha's Vineyard anymore, where most of the contention in our relationship came from. So, after taking the summer away from seeing him, I feel much better, and I'm ready to go to MV once or twice a year, and meet him somewhere else if he wants more time together. It's great; I've always loved Papa, and now my lack of autonomy isn't getting in the way of our relationship by making me despise him.
There was a major milestone that did not occur: my son did not graduate from high school, but instead is in a treatment center halfway across the country. This sums up my experience of parenting: things have not turned out as I expected. Experiences that I anticipated would be happy or joyous have been fraught with pain, conflict, or have been hidden or have not happened. I am not a parent who posts on Facebook. For many years I experienced the difficulties of my family life as bitter and shameful. But in the last year I have come to appreciate them as prods towards enlightenment -- as forcing me to take the stance we are all told to take but so few of us do: don't care about what other people think, don't sweat the small stuff (heck, I barely sweat the big stuff these days), appreciate every moment of every day, be grateful for what you have. The inward focus of despair and shame has turned to an inward focus of noticing where I am and where my children are, of what we have to celebrate, even if what we have might look paltry to others. The intense pangs of shame I used to feel when people asked me about my son are no longer there; I avoid the question and feel perfectly fine about avoiding it, and with a select few I answer and relish their acceptance and the dark humor we can share. I relish my daughter's insight and kindness, even though she may appear awkward, withdrawn, and rude to others. I know what she has been through and I appreciate her strength and all she has -- that is what matters. What I am awkwardly trying to get at here is my odd appreciation for what my undeniably difficult family life has taught me. I worry so much less about what the world thinks. I am less of a show off. I am struck with wonder by the sunset, a stranger's kindness, the taste of a fresh peach, the feel of my husband's hand in mine. And I am struck with wonder by these things precisely because I don't have others, and because I have passed through a sea of bitterness about not having those things, and am now on dry land in a world that is sweeter and kinder than the one I left.
Yeah, I mean. It's all about separating from Justin this year. All about this last month. It's been really difficult coming to terms with the idea that we need, at bare minimum, a hard restart. And I really just think it's not going to work. I really thought I had found the perfect situation, and it's crazy to think that even that was problematic in the end. I guess growth happens. Or doesn't happen. I don't know, I really had high hopes that we would be able to support each other. That's what I thought marriage was. Not about being happy or sad, about being there and supporting the other person. It's really frustrating to feel like the only person who needed or requested support was me. It made me feel like shit, to be honest. It made me feel broken. And I don't think I am. I think it's very basely human to struggle and need supports. And I don't know how he lives without it. I don't understand how his internal world operates. It's sad and frustrating, but also being apart doesn't feel wrong. And that's kind of fucked up too, but makes me feel more secure in my decisions. It just leaves me with a lot of questions. I don't understand how I'm the one who got to the end of my rope when he was the one fielding all my troubles. Maybe I just like to be miserable? Or maybe I like to think more deeply? I don't know. It's been weird. Difficult. Wonderful.
Our oldest daughter is a foreign exchange student for one year. Now she has been gone for 2 months. I feel very content with her being gone and am very happy for her. I do not miss her so far. My husband has had difficulty letting her go and trusting that everything will be allright. Her younger sister misses her, too. But I also believe, that she is happy to get full attention now. I wonder how we all will have changed when we meet again next Year in June.
In March my brother was given about 6 mos to live. Flew out to the east coast and we hung out for a little bit. He died early August. He never found his way in life.
For the first time in three years I was finally able to see them. It is amazing how much people change in 3 years and I am sad that I have made the choice to not live in the same continent.
A major milestone that happened with our family this past year was getting Archie!! Last November, the day before Thanksgiving, we picked up our adorable little white fluffy bundle of cuteness and he has been an amazing addition to our family. As a result of having Archie, we have met SO MANY neighbors that we had never met before, and even led to organizing a neighborhood block party! It's wonderful to feel a sense of community and we honestly owe it all to our cute little friendly fluffball because all our neighbors LOVE HIM.
Mom may have finally broken our relationship forever. The whole "refusing to wear a mask after I'd specifically explained that it was my boundary and she'd agreed to it" thing just about destroyed me. Especially because now it means I've lost my dad, who I was so enjoying doing DIY around the new house with. I'm still so angry with them and so hurt by them. But I also think I'm finaly tackling whatever block I've had about letting go of my extremely toxic and abusive family. We might finally be moving forward towards freedom.
I have a nephew! Shuba had her baby yesterday and I'm super excited to be an aunt. I also feel a little bit of schadenfreude about her having issues with our family as well instead of me bearing the brunt of it. Since Joshua is smaller and more delicate than Gabby, the pressure on me and Craig will (hopefully) be reduced.
Nous sommes passés de 1 enfant à 3!!! Ça m'a troublé, inquiété, ensuite réjouie et évidemment à leur naissance 15 semaines trop tôt ça m'a traumatisé. Mais maintenant je suis telllllement heureuse de ces beaux enfants qui m'entourent, de la perspective de cette vie à 5 devant nous! De voir mon grand garçon en amour avec ses petits frères, mon chum complètement gaga aussi! Mes 2 petits bonshommes qui sourient et aiment la vie et qui vont nous attendrir encore pour plusieurs années! Merci la vie!
The twins graduated from elementary school and began middle school! Crazy! I cannot believe I have teenagers. I don't even know if I've processed this fact completely yet. It is scary, sad, exciting, all at once. They are becoming more and more independent, which makes me sad, but they are also becoming more interesting and adult-like. Zoe still wants to hold my hand a lot and both still like hugs and kisses and tucking them in at night. I'm sure these moments will become fewer throughout the years, but I'm loving it right now. I'm sure next year I'll have a different opinion :)
YM started walking, talking, climbing, running. It's just amazing to see him developing all these skills. And it's certainly made for some interesting challenges - climbing out a crib anyone? ;)
Cancer! Laura had her final surgery and my father had an extra treatment that effectively killed his cancer (thank you Brigham Women's). I feel a... lot for my father. Here he is, a new lease on life, and Mom is... struggling. I won't go into the bullshit surrounding her poor surgery recovery, but suffice to say she's not leaving the house, and it may be on her. And Dad is lonely at a moment when he's been freed from a looming diagnosis that cancer would kill him soon. I'm trying to figure out how to socialize with him more, or involve him in things, now that mom can't do anything. I feel sad for him; I feel like mom broke a bond with him, promising a version of herself and then not delivering on trying to maintain it. I try to remember it, in my relationship with James. Keep my bond. Keep my body. Keep my heart and my sense of adventure, my sense of joy of learning. And I feel lucky to be here, now, to help my dad, who-- duty aside-- I like very much! As for Laura. Her first breast cancer surgery was March of 2021, and her last was August of 2022. This final one was replacing her expanders with implants, so her boobs are no longer rock-hard, LOL, and now are more natural feeling. Recently, my aunt said how nice it was that I went there for three weeks after her mastectomy. I blew it off: "It was fun, aside from the trauma!" Laura laughed and brought up everything that I'd forgotten: the smell of emptying her drains, pulling on her underwear or special bras, helping her with "wipe baths". The horrible feeling when I emptied her right drain and that huge chunk came out at last. I love her, she's my sister. It's what you do, if you can. All things that my brain had eliminated from memory, intentionally, I think. What I remember is making that ridiculous layered Milk Bar cake for Tori's birthday. Making those tiny gummy foods that Connie gifted us. Playing Evolution that Mike sent. Driving the kids everywhere, and waiting in the minivan for everything. Lottie practicing tuba, cripes! can't work while THAT'S happening. The brain suppresses trauma, or sanitizes it. But I can't stop thinking about the link between drinking and breast cancer. Laura is... a lot. James and I drink... a lot. But... If I owe James not-becoming-my-mom, then I owe all of us a long think about my drinking. Every doctor's appointment reminds me how... elevated my drinking is. Cancer, this year: some have renewed their life after it. Some are trying to figure out how to renew life, after being freed from it. For me... I'm trying to think of how to avoid it.
We did not have any major milestones that I come to mind. Just coming through the year with slow general improvements in our lives. We are looking forward to more.
My mother wrote a libretto for an opera some years ago, then she found a composer, and this Spring she and I went to LA to see the opera produced live. This was a huge milestone for her in her writing and creative life. In addition it was very timely, as the opera was about Chernobyl in the Ukraine. Some of the songs, written prior to the war in the Ukraine, sent chills down my spine. I felt honored to be able to attend the opera with her, grateful that I had saved enough for the trip, and I had fun meeting all the different people that go into putting together a live production of an opera.
Deaths in the family are more frequent now. My cousin's death, following so quickly on the death of his father the previous spring. Watching my partner's uncle die, an assisted death that was merciful and peaceful, not without laughter and bright moments.
A trip to Iowa to ride bicycles across the State. Myles (9) got lost for a few hours in a crowd of 30,000 moving people. It reinforced the value of a family coming together to find him. We all worked together to make it work. It reinforced the importance of being truly close to everyone in the family.
I don't think we passed any true milestones. Nathan made 5 years with his current employer. Rachel will soon be home for two years. Sally tried to retire and immediately regretted it and is now trying to get her old job back. This new job in Bristol for me is a stretch and a change. It has been a year of progression of things but no fundamental changes, except for my job. My job has been a great experience, such a challenge but I feel prepared for it.
I don't think we have had any major milestones, but we are all getting older and Morgan and I find ourselves fully in the sandwich years. We have spent a lot of time and mental energy over the past few years taking care of all off our parents, in addition to taking care of J. It is taxing, but I am happy that we are able to support each other in this work and that we ourselves are healthy and financially stable enough to be of help to them.
My grandfather dieng. It made me really sad when there is a sad song.
Over the past two years we have been blessed by three grandchildren, one in the past few months. I also lost my long time friend and business partner. Joy and sorrow, and some loneliness -- stemming from friends and family I've become estranged from.
There's a lot, again. (sidebar: why is my life in constant upheaval for the past three years?) One-year anniversary of my father-in-law's passing. One-year anniversary of my sister being cancer-free. One-year anniversary of little Wolfgang joining our furry family. I think this year I officially live in Los Angeles for longer than I ever lived in my hometown, where I was born and raised. It's all a lot. Honestly, we don't have much time to recognize milestones when there is so much new drama popping up all the time.
At 3 1/2 years old, grandson E was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. It affects me bc I have some eating issues and choices and I think I am getting more understanding from E's parents. Also adult son S went back to work. We weren't worried about the not working but he was becoming rather a hermit and that was of concern. We were relieved that he noticed this too and that he acted on it.
I discussed bringing my parents and brother and sister-in-law to visit me and my partner where we live (about a three-hour drive from where they live), and developed an itinerary based on what we discussed, even offering to pay for a hotel or AirBnB if they wanted to stay the night. When I finally invited them, my brother and sister-in-law declined; my parents pulled out a week before the event itself. I've always felt like I don't pull enough weight with this family. In the last 10 years, I've experienced a great deal of guilt, and I've tried to be diligent in calling my parents weekly and visiting anywhere between four and 10 times per year. I no longer feel that old guilt. This is the fourth time I've tried to mount some kind of special family event, and the fourth time they've either backed out or dropped the thread when they needed to take the next step. I can see from my answer to this question last year that I was already questioning whether it was right for me to blame myself, and already exhausted by the efforts of remaining "in good standing" with my family. This year was the year I finally released the guilt and learned how to keep the thought of "I'm not doing enough" from rattling around in the back of my head and distracting me from my own life. By shifting more focus to my friends, and expressing what they mean to me, and showing up for them, and thanking them for showing up for me, I've felt this huge wave of love and acceptance come in and fill the space that I had been holding for the eventual love and acceptance of my family.
Mom and Dad went to Scotland for a month! In prioritizing that, Mom said not to my request for her to pay for some gardening at my place, which felt freeing to receive. I'm so happy they're prioritizing doing things they want to do now. It feels like high time for me that I figure my shit out! I have the resources to pay my way, and I want them to do more of what they love. They're happiness makes me so happy!
Major Milestone I finally kicked out my abuser And I happy to say my kids abs I finally feel safe again although she continues to torment me and my friends and she is playing the kids and putting them in the middle she is horrible. My soon to be ex has abused me for 20 years she is soul less and a horrible human being
My younger brother started a new relationship with an old flame. They are great together and it's changed his life! I was so happy for him. After being divorced, selling their home and starting over, he deserved such happiness!
My 77 year old mom finally caught Covid, and a month later had a mini stroke. She seems more unwieldy now, but I sense some of it is performance. Regardless, we’ve had necessary some conversations about mortality, and she seems at peace with it. A lot of family, and extended family through my partner, are getting older and their health is declining. Most of us get orphaned at some point. Best to make preparations in the physical and emotional worlds we live in.
Just some good news and some bad news. One of my nephews moved to his own house, which is awesome. The other's son got really sick. Both of those things have been very important to the entire family this year.
My 65 yr-old aunt collapsed while she was out with her friends at a casino. She and my mother have been estranged for the past several years, which put a strain on the rest of the family. A few years ago this created a rift between my aunt and my sister when my nephew celebrated his 21st birthday. My sister tried to include both my mother and my aunt and asked that my aunt attend at a certain time so they wouldn't have to see each other. My sister and I both felt that it was important that my mom get more time with my nephew, since she was the one regularly in his life from the time he was born into the present. My aunt only ever saw him at occasional family functions. My aunt took offense at not having more of a say about her presence at the party and stopped talking to my sister. This might not have been a big deal, but they used to do things together from time to time, and my aunt continued to talk to my sister's friends. I was also cut out of my aunt's life, but I wasn't so bothered by it, feeling that my mother had more of a right to my nephew's time than my aunt. So, we have all been out of touch with her, and then we found out that she was in the emergency room for an apparent heart attack. My mother dropped everything and spent every day at the hospital with my aunt. My aunt was unconscious for most of it, and we initially thought she would not make it. After a week of being in the hospital, she started to wake up. My mom said that she felt that she and her sister were connecting for a couple of days. Unfortunately, once my aunt fully regained consciousness she literally yelled at my mother to F*** off and leave. I was so worried that my mom would be devastated by that, knowing that she was feeling a sense of connection with her sister again. She says that instead she is taking it as a sign to let go and be more concerned about herself and healing herself. For me, this has opened a door with my mother's side of the family, particularly my cousin who has always been like a second sister to me. We were so close until 2016, because her family embraced Tr*** and his whole circus. I spoke to her on the phone a couple of times through my aunt's hospital stay, and though neither of us came out and said why we have kept our distance, we both agreed that we need to see each other soon. I consider that a positive outcome.
My brother died due to Covid19, and within months my mom developed colon cancer .... I have felt devasted, and angry. I have also managed to get strength from my weakest point.
My kid started preschool and then started school; it’s nice to have a more autonomous child, and to get some time back with my partner, friends, and myself.
Kaitlin got a new job and moved to NC, so my daughters are both in the south now. That might be a good area to retire to, but my friends are here. Tough thinking about it.
The trip to see my mother after 2 1/2 years. My daughter spent almost every waking moment with her grandma and unlocked memories and assumptions that dissolved years of tension between my mother and I. I have watched how, over the months since, I have shed expectations and assumptions. Understanding and forgiveness take their place, and there is more space for love.
This spring our two oldest grandchildren got married and a third one got engaged. My husband and I are ecstatic about this! It’s also made me really think about what’s most important to me and making time for those things, especially staying closely in touch with our six grandchildren and others we love.
The major milestone was the separation of my husband and I. We've been together for 19 years (on the Queen's funeral day, natch). Our families are shocked, and sad, and being pretty supportive. When you have had a relationship for that long, when it stops working, it doesn't just affect the two of you but the people around you too. It's slightly irritating that there seems to be an implicit shrug that we don't have kids so it can't be *that* bad. Yeah, it still feels like my heart has been shattered into a million tiny pieces, thanks very much. My family are quite optimistic that we'll get back together. I'm pretty sure we won't, although I'm hopeful that we can remain friends. I feel a bit like a butterfly coming out of a chrysalis - not sure what it'll be in the end but I think it'll be better. I'm less stressed, and yes, more lonely, but I'm lucky enough to be able to support myself in the house that we own, and soon I will own. I'd rather be alone than in a relationship with someone who doesn't value me and my feelings, and that's a powerful thing to come to understand and sit in.
First grandchild born to my generation. Reminds me of what I’m striving to make a good life and be an example for.
I officially became Jewish. Which has strengthened my relationship with my Jewish partner a lot, however it was not always easy for my non-Jewish wife who didn’t grow up with any religious affiliation and has a hard time wrapping her head around it. But for the most part she is a understanding as possible. How has it affected me? I finally have a place in a religious community where I am accepted and can develop my own spirituality while not having to check my brain at the door. I love studying Torah, questioning translations and interpretations, looking at things from different points of view. I love that as a Jew I will never stop learning.
Lee is now a senior! I can’t believe it. It’s terrifying! He has no plans and I’m really no help. I’m so proud of him for getting to this point. And he went to prom!
I am learning all the pain that goes with the death of a parent. I have anxiety about the family relations because she was the glue connecting me to my surviving siblings. I feel obligated to maintain a relationship but no longer obligated to endure the anxiety.
I don’t mean to skirt the question, but I feel like the thing that has most affected my family is the LACK of a major mile stone in that I haven’t gotten pregnant or had a baby yet. We’ve been waiting for that thrilling positive test every month for almost a year and still nothing.
I stopped emotionally carrying and hoping for a form of love & appreciation from my mom and brother…. Its the opposite of what everyone expects of me. But I started focusing on me more and I feel like its helped me see what I can be and deserve in my other relationships, however it is really lonely and hard when you realise humans are not perfect and neither am I, and equally deserving of a love that can hold me you know?
My husband retired from work. Still trying to figure out our new dynamic with both of us retired. It has been lovely so far.
divorce finalized chloe wedding yoni getting a dog thanksgiving as adults w yoni carolyn and tim engaged - family! sam and i and the dogs moving in together I think my concept of family has expanded. My family is Sam and the dogs and the fish and the plants now. We all live together as an ecosystem and its MY family, the next generation of it. Maybe kids will be added to it. But either way it feels like a commitment to this next thing (god this is gonna feel bad if we break up!)
Both my parents are gone. Dad June 2020 and Mom 2021. They left a sizeable inheritance for us 5 kids and their 20 grandchildren and great grandchildren. This enabled me to buy a house and pay cash. If I didn't have this money, I don't know what I'd do.
My brother getting married! We love his partner and she has felt like family for at least three years, ever since our family trip. It definitely brought up some grief for me to realize how close he is with her family, much closer than it seems like he is with our family. But also I'm really happy for him that he has people he loves around him.
My wife and I are buying a home. We have never owned our own home before. We move on the Friday coming up and it is so stressful. Interestingly, I feel like my wife has come to trust me more. She has had to-she can’t do it all by herself and I can’t let her. There have been ups and downs, but I’m really grateful to be her partner in all that means.
We moved. Broke up our family, and not necessarily in a good way. I think it was good for our last 2 kids, but I also feel like we pushed them out of the nest a little early. They are doing OK, I'm not handling it overly well. We've lost our people, and haven't re-established any connections in our new place. Hoping this changes soon.
Going through Grandma's hospice with the whole rest of my family was tricky. I'm proud of how we handled it in the end, but it felt overwhelming. We changed her, wiped her, and still I'm not sure if we did enough. After 4 weeks of hospice, she died alone.. after we prayed together the day before. We did come together as a family, and she got to see us all together doing the Shabbat blessings, which she gave us, so, that's something to hang onto.
My sibling (age 70) had trans surgery. Major changes for her and all who know her. Challenging to go from having grown up with a brother and now having a sister.
Obviously the birth of my little Bobby, who made me a mother. My emotions were all over the place at first. Mostly proud for having birthed this perfect baby. The birth was excruciating and the first month was the toughest of my life. I’m pretty sure I had postpartum depression, between the lack of latching, the constant feedings, cleaning pump parts and pacifiers, the pain from birth, and the crying from us both… it was so exhausting, and what was worse is that I didn’t know when it would end. Is it a few weeks, a month, a year? More? Even my therapist told me to see a psychiatrist. But I was too exhausted and depressed to look into it. Turns out, things get much better during month 3, and by month four, the fog had lifted. Also, I didn’t feel love at first sight. I could objectively tell he was a cute baby. In fact, that he’s beautiful AND calm AND joyful! But I didn’t love him yet. He was a tiny stranger that was sucking the life out of me. The depression started to lift after that first month when we were staying in North Carolina, and Bobby offered to take the first feed. That allowed me to sleep in in the morning, and I would get about a solid four hours of sleep since the last feed and when I woke up in the morning. I also had time to shower and pull myself together before assuming my parental duties again. That was a GAME CHANGER. This was also about the time that my body was not hurting anymore, which also made a difference in my mental state. Anyway, by the fourth month, my body was healed (except for that pelvic floor), Bobby was latching, I was doing maybe just one feed during my sleep at night, and he was smiling whenever he saw us, which is adorable. That’s when I started to feel the love.
We finally own our home again. This is huge considering how long we have leased and our location. This has changed the feel of our family since we are more secure and we can make changes that we have always wanted to make. The positive mental health from owning a home should not be underestimated.
Did we have any major milestones? Lots of little milestones, like our family reunion week on the Jersey Shore, which reminded me how lucky we are to have found ourselves amidst such a joyful and positive collection of "family" members and their partners. Other milestones? I guess at this point each birthday is a milestone...and Jim and I are gratefully still thriving, healthy, and active even as our ages increase. Aaron and Abby have been together another year -- that's a wonderful milestone -- and he's nearly done with his MBA, and she finished her MBA and started her new job with TIAA Bank. And they are still together [knock on wood and thank you, G-d] and, with their little Derby dog "practice kid", thriving in Philadelphia and staying safe and happy there. So those are milestones. I did conquer my fear and hesitation about my 50th RHS reunion, which turned out to be really nice and hardly intimidating at all. Not sure that's a milestone, but it's a reassuring little accomplishment. Not sure I need major milestones in my life -- perhaps at this point just drifting along enjoying and appreciating each and every day is good enough? I believe it is.
Nothing? Hm. My great-aunt died. I guess that's a milestone; her generation (well, her and my grandmother) have died out now, and as my mother said, "it's the end of an era". I have never been one for the deification of elders or the dead. It's nice to be able to speak accurately about the people who are gone, as opposed to buffing their reputations and excising distasteful details from their memory. My parents are still in good health. None of us are sure how much longer we have. It feels like everyone's parents are suffering now. Itai lost his mother. Matt's aunt has terminal cancer (and she wants to keep it a secret from everyone so that she can live a normal life for the remainder). Sarah's mother has lost her sense of direction in a striking manner. I guess I went through my parents' wills with them, which was an important step. My father revealed an unusual side of himself in the matter, where he was strangely protective, to the point where we were all yelling at each other over it. He relented, and I was allowed to see the will, but it was an odd thing to experience: I had a pen in my hand and was going to thoroughly read the will, line by line. He didn't want me to do that. He didn't want to know of any errors; he said they wouldn't get fixed. As I face my own insecurities and bad habits, I see that I am just like my father in many ways. To have a 30-year-old son -- what a fucking nightmare.
There are several: My younger widowed sister has been dating a male friend from her distant past. She is always busy and very happy. My brother-in-law has moved into a large seniors complex with gorgeous landscaping, facility, and activities. He, too, is always busy and happy. Our nephew and his wife are expecting their 2nd child. They have a 7-year old daughter who is very excited that she will be a big sister. She now knows that she is going to have a brother. All of these family milestones in one year make me very happy. I have engaged in projects yo celebrate the new family additions. It gave me pleasant things to focus on, instead of all the things I could not do.
Our son turned one year old on October 7th, 2021! Ours is a household where both parents work full-time. My husband and I both jumped into new jobs that have steep learning curves. My job in particular came with a huge raise, and this feels incredibly gratifying. This decision for both of us to keep working full-time has helped support our professional and financial goals, but it has felt unwieldy at times as we try to keep up with all the personal and professional demands on our time and energy and love, etc. In spite of the challenges I'm proud of how well our parenting journey is going so far. We have a freaking amazing son who just is the joy of our world and lights up the faces of everyone he meets. He is a wonderful kid and seems to be having a well-rounded, joyful and fulfilling childhood so far.
Last year (more than a year ago), my father had a heart attack and luckily survived. Since then, I savor family time more and make a bigger effort to spend more time with my parents. Every time I say goodbye, I get anxious that this is the last time, which is a new feeling for me.
After 9 years of renting, scraping together money, striving, stressing and dreaming, we bought a home in California. It's been a hugely positive experience for my family and has affected us deeply by providing the stability, roots, and control of our future that we've been seeking for nearly 10 years.
My 5 year old started Kindergarten. I thought I would be an emotional wreck as a result of the transition, but really all I feel is relief that he is in full time in person school and that I don't have to constantly be looking over my shoulder waiting for Covid quarantines to hit us left and right. Last year he missed at least 20 days of preschool because of Covid quarantines and he spent much of that time watching his tablet. It was so hard. He has handled the transition very well overall and is loving school.
This past year, really just in this last month, we lost our beloved Uncle Frank at age 85. Frank Fraijo was an institution in our family, always ready with a smile, a joke, and a cold can of beer. He was a touchpoint for us whenever we visited LA and was there for me (along with Rosie, Charlie, Aunt Carol, and Aunt Betty) when I lived there as a young adult. His home with Aunt Annie was the backdrop for so many family memories growing up, for both me and my mom. We even had my grandpa's funeral reception in his home. Losing him reminded me of losing Aunt Betty earlier in the pandemic and took me right back to that same grief, which is also connected to my grief over losing my grandparents. Their deaths mark the passing of time and turning over an entire generation of our family. It means that my mom's generation is becoming the elders and the memory keepers, and my generation is moving into middle life of marriage, child rearing, and settling further into our careers. Being aware of this passing of the baton within our family structure as it happens is so surreal.
No real milestones.
My step-kid came out as non-binary. While my relationship with them has lessened over the past few years since I got divorced from their mother, it was wonderful to watch them explore and grow into their gender identity. And it's a testament to how much society has changed that they have so much more access to gender exploration both in their IRL community and online.
No major mile stones this year. I managed to hold the same job and same apartment for more than a year so I guess I can celebrate that.
Daniel got a bone marrow transplant to treat his Hodgkin's lymphoma relapse. This made me spend more time and energy valuing and maintaining positive relationships with my family.
This may seem trivial, but my/our major milestone was seeing Son three (count ‘em - 3!) times this year. It was wonderful. After not seeing him for about 2-1/2 years, due to COVID restrictions and visa issues, we were finally able to hug and kiss and hang out with our boy. The first time, he was here for a solid month, and we went to Sedona, went skiing at Pomerelle, ate in, ate out, hung with friends, you name it. It was delicious and delightful to just have him around. Then he was back for a wedding in early June and again for another wedding in early September. We went places and did fun stuff. So now, although it might be many months before we see him again (outside of video chats), I feel more centered, less anxious, more resilient, ready to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And grateful that this man whom I birthed 31 years ago wants to visit us and likes our company.
Our daughter completed her masters degree, moved to DC for a job with an important non profit organization. We've been "empty next" for a few years now, but this time, it really felt real and heady, as we've started exploring what "Next" really will look like for us.
Joshua got laid off again. His company cut 60% of its workforce and it was his bad luck to get caught up it it. He was loving his work and team so much and it really hurt his confidence level even though it really had nothing to do with him personally. Things like this are always stressful and emotional, but we’ve prepared for hard times. Overall I think we come together and I supported his search goals. It was good he had others to commiserate with though so he’s not just relying on one person for advice and comfort. That piece can be a heavy load to carry in addition to your own things after a while. Luckily, he found a job that I believe is a great opportunity. He’s only just started two weeks ago so it’s still hard to tell how it’ll pan out in the long run but I’m optimistic and really hope this does great things for him.
I had a baby in February, it’s been amazing. I love my son like I’ve never loved anyone before. I knew becoming a mom would be life changing. I didn’t expect to have such an amazing little human. Sure you’re tired when your a mom but honestly taking care of him has been easier than dealing with disrespectful family/friends that don’t appreciate I now have a son. I didn’t think I would become a mom. I became a stepmom in 2020 and having a baby has presented challenges on the stepmom front. It’s hard seeing your partner parent in a way you don’t agree with and it’s a bit worrisome because we have a child together. It’s hard not to interject but my stepson is not mine and my partner and his ex are going to raise him the way they want to and really doesn’t matter what I say. I can only do what I think is best for my son.
Our son got married and we now have a bigger family.
Great being onstage again, but getting the lead in "Piece of Heaven" was especially rewarding because it went so well. Spring in NYC was also great as a return to live theater, as well as a Spring trip to Maui with Sean, Caress & the boys!
My stepfather was very sick and could've easily died. I was so worried we'd lose him, very suddenly and unexpectedly. It reminded me that he is now an old man and it would not be entirely unthinkable that he might fall ill and not live for much longer. It also made me wonder and imagine how my life would change without him in it and how his presence has affected me so far since he appeared in my life. And it made me think about my own mortality and that I am not that young anymore. I should enjoy life more, do more of what serves me, spend more quality time with the people I love - it could be over sooner than I think.
My mother has pretty much stopped leaving her house. This makes me sad, though I'm glad we're close by if she needs anything.
Brian’s father was diagnosed with Stage 3 bladder cancer at age 87. While he is currently significantly better, to see him go from self sufficient and independent to so weak he couldn’t get out of a chair was horrible. Not only for him but for Brian and his Mom.We know it isn’t curable but hope for quality of life given his age. A recent Skype showed a man who looked and acted a lot like he used to, so we are hopeful that a few more years of health are on the horizon.
Major milestones: Jody is cancer free!! An exhale all around! And Jake is actively looking to move from California (where he is unable to move ahead financially) and will explore Tacoma where he has discovered there are welding jobs (and other jobs he might be qualified for) and homes he will be able to purchase. I am very happy for him and excited that he is "ready". I have told him I am here to support his dream in whatever way might be necessary for him at this time. He is a trooper and prefers to be totally "independent" in his finances (I neglected to mention to him I am paying the rent and all the utilities at the house where he lives--and that's a different issue) and his lifestyle. So, great. He's definitely ready to fly out of the nest!
My dad has been quite ill recently. It started about 6 weeks ago when he had 'a funny turn' at my sister's house, and he didn't really pick up from it. He was admitted to hospital a couple of weeks ago, and they found that he has a T4 tumour, consistent with having stage 4 cancer. There are lots of tests still to come, but from a lay person's perspective, it seems pretty bad. I'd say I'm very much in the denial phase of dealing with this - I guess because we don't have a firm diagnosis it doesn't really seem real, and as time goes on I keep having to remind myself that it's quite likely he has terminal cancer. It's kind of affecting the way I think of him - I feel a bit apprehensive and like I don't really know how to behave. I've been feeling a bit resentful that I'm always the second (at least!) person to know everything - it all seems to get filtered through at least my sister and sometimes my aunt before it gets to me, so I feel weirdly peripheral to the whole situation. It's also taking up a LOT of emotional energy. I feel exhausted all the time and I'm intermittently struggling with keeping on top of correspondence, which is very unlike me. As is probably quite clear, I'm still working my way through my feelings on this so no neat conclusion to this section I'm afraid! Maybe next year I'll know how to respond.
I turned 50 last year. I'm still not sure how it's affecting me, other than my general health. I'm going through menopause, and it's wild to have your body behaving as erratically as when you were going through puberty. Everyone thinks menopause is just a "winding down", but I assure you, it is not. It's a nightmare. I should have been nicer to my own mother when she was going through it, but there's so little information about it that things like hot flashes are treated as a joke. I'm determined to share as much of my story as I can, so hopefully the stigma will be reduced.
My grandson graduated from high school this year and is now at a University 3,000 mies away. I helped care for and raise this wonderful person from the day he was born. We have always been very close.My heart goes out to him as he weathers all the ups and downs that come with a new life.
The most major milestone for me was (and continues to be) Medicare. I will spare my keyboard the rant about how awful the medical insurance system is -- inhumane, petty, and morally wrong -- but I am out of it now, and I, personally, never suffered to the extent that my outrage would indicate. I was happy with a minimal celebration of my birthday because the biggest gift I got was medical coverage -- not super cheap, but at least half of what I was paying.
I celebrated my 70th birthday (and am just a couple weeks away from my 71st). It's sobering and can lead to bouts of pessimism, but I'm trying to flip the script to emphasize how wonderful it is to have the freedom to do what I enjoy.
The major milestone(s) would be the kids starting to go to their respective daycare situations. Luka started going to Special Education pre-school. He loves it and loves to ride the bus to and from school, and he does so without complaint. Starting school has mostly been a positive for Luka, as it adds much needed structure to his day. But on the con side, we don’t get to see what he does with his therapists like we used to when they came to us for Early Intervention. He still needs a lot of help to meet his IEP goals. Mila started doing half days at daycare sometime last winter, and this has absolutely accelerated her talking. She is now a complete chatterbox, and I can tell that she is really smart. She is also getting more headstrong as she heads full speed into her terrible two’s, but it has been nice to start having “conversations” with my kid, which is still not really a thing with Luka. I’m also proud of her because she makes great effort to include her big brother in everything she wants to do (to the point of bossiness). This has affected me by inspiring pride for my children, but also I am very exhausted pretty much all the time.
My hubby resigned from his position and took a new job. His income increased by about 50%. But not only did his income increase, his self respect and pride did. Our finances loosened up enough that we don’t feel the stress of watching every dime. There’s freedom in being able to go out to eat and give to charities or boost each of our daughters start in life through help with college finances, car purchases etc. Life is a little easier and I appreciate the ability to more freely give back
A few things spring to mind. Fran's dad, Tom, was in hospital for 10 days earlier this month. He hadn't been feeling well for a few weeks. I'd noticed he wasn't on good form when trying to talk him through how to get BritBox on his TV. He didn't seem as sharp as he normally is and was struggling to follow basic technical instructions. He was also in pain when kneeling on the floor in front of the TV. Eventually, after a few visits to his GP, Ros (Fran's mum), took him to A&E in Salisbury. They kept him in a ward for a few days, waiting for a specialist to drain some fluid from his abdomen. It's all a bit of blur, but on a Thursday things escalated. He seems to have a tumour in his bowel: a T4 tumour, which means it has penetrated through the outer wall. For a few days we thought this might be stage 4 cancer (the most advanced stage, when the cancer has spread to other organs, such as the lungs and liver); but then that was retracted. Perhaps a misunderstanding of T4 vs stage 4. Anyway, it's pretty serious. But Tom's health improved as the drain did its work. We went to see him on a Sunday afternoon and took Aunty Flop with us (his sister). It was quite a jolly gathering, at times. We took him outside in a wheelchair to get some fresh air and sunshine. He was quite distressed by one of the other men on his ward. He kept his voice to a whisper because he didn't want to give him ammunition or attract attention. Fran was quite upset when we were first told about the cancer. But she seems to be coping with it. I'm also saddened by it. Maybe it's a contributor to my general malaise at the moment. But the good news is that Tom's back home, where he so desperately wanted to be: away from the hospital. It's not a very restful place on the ward. He wasn't sleeping well and desperately wanted some headphones to listen to music to block out the noise. I remember that the noise was a major discomfort for Sandy after his kidney transplant. We're a bit in limbo at the moment. I think the main aim is to drain the fluid from his abdomen. He will then eventually get a colonoscopy to assess the situation. No doubt he's in for a raft of hospital and doctor's appointments. I guess it will make me cherish the time I have with him even more - if our Thursday phone calls resume. I'm reading "Coasting" by Jonathan Raban, which he recommended to me, so that I can discuss it with him. I don't know how much longer he will be with us. We're also going to visit next weekend. For both of our parents, the number of times we've still got to see them is probably in the low dozens. For Tom it might be less than that: single digits? It's weird to think about it that way. Another milestone, on the near horizon, is my brother, Richard, is getting married to Zoe next month. We're all going up to Dornoch in the far north of Scotland for 5 days. My sister, Laura, is the celebrant, so that will be really special. All six of us will be together again. It's been a while since that happened. When was it? 2013, 2014? In Bristol, after 2012, because I was wearing an Olympic Ceremonies T-shirt in the photo. I'm really looking forward to going swimming with Laura and Richard. We talked about this during lockdown: how it would be great to all meet up and go swimming together in the sea. That's finally going to happen. Gregory is also going to brave the long journey, about a year after he started dialysis. He went to a friend's wedding in (I think) Northumberland a few weeks ago and had a great time. It proved to himself that he could venture further away from his dialysis. I'm not exactly sure how it's going to work. I think he just misses a treatment and then has to catch up when he gets back. Another milestone is that Moira and Sandy have ordered an electric car! They're getting the new version of the car we have: a Kia Niro EV. It should be with them in 3-4 months. Their Audi diesel was starting to be too expensive to run with numerous repairs and faults. I'm delighted that they've made the switch. I think we managed to persuade Sandy that he could go fully electric and not get a hybrid. Moira was already onboard. We are also thinking about our next car. We've got less than 11 months left on the lease. We've done some test drives already: VW ID.3, Tesla Model 3, Kia Niro EV and Kia EV6. I need to think more about the costs. I think this time we might buy it via PCP rather than get a lease. It was too hard to predict our mileage on the lease. We've driven it about half of what we predicted and are therefore overpaying somewhat. By this time next year we will have made the decision and we may even have our new car.
Obviously having Adar. It's changed our family model and I really like the dynamic. It's changed everything but it's also still the same. Number 3 is a totally different ballgame, but I think in a good way.
I went through a couple of surgeries that are necessary for having a baby. It has been easier and less unpleasant than I expected, and it was nice to feel supported and cared for by my husband (and other people around me).
Getting pregnant is a pretty big one... It has done some great steps in making my relationships stronger. My Dad in particular is stepping up and being more involved in my life. Mum is constant and is very excited about this new chapter. I feel like my relationships with the boys, individually and collectively, have massively improved. I feel happy and secure in my relationship with David. I hope this new life will continue to bring us all closer together, for the sake of this tiny babe.
the death of my grandmother from dementia in January this year. It made me feel far from them and also created a lot of family arguments. I realised I really don’t fit in the family
My brother turned 60 this year. For the first time since we were children, the whole family gathered to celebrate a birthday in my generation. I found it moving and sweet to be with my brother and honor him in this way (although that is not his choice of verb at all!).
Zachary’s friends suicide. I found out how fragile his mental health is, and how little I can do to nurture it stronger.
P had an ok time in lockdown but a harder time coming out. She went to therapy and took to it. The skills took hold, the suggestions for our family to try structured the way we held her, and eventually karate took it from there
My mother has both started to develop dementia and has had to grapple with breast cancer. Simultaneously, my sister found out she is also BRCA2 positive and has had her ovaries out, and will shortly have a full mastectomy. I'm still parsing through my feelings about all of this but I am realizing I need to pivot to being the family caretaker. It's that time. And this is going to require increasingly more of me in the next few years.
Mi madre fue operada de cancer por segunda vez y tratada con quimioterapia, luego estuvo con unas diarreas durante meses que la debilitaron y la hicieron bajar mucho de peso. A pesar de eso sigue fumando, yo dejé de fumar después de este incidente y no comprendo como puede no querer vivir.
Again, I made tenure. I turned 40. My kids were able to get vaccinated and boosted (even though they got COVID right after their initial set). By and large, life has returned to "normal," even though it will never truly be normal. There is less fear of COVID in my house and we know that masking is another layer to a strategy that even allowed us to vacation over the Summer.
My sister having surgery changed me, for sure. I don't think it changed much else although my older of the two brothers (I'm still oldest) called me to talk turkey and to discuss financial responsibilities for my Mom. I respect that.
Emma's coming in this world and my Father's passing (again as in question 1). This has made me the "matriarch" of my family. Emma has brought a lot of joy and filled my timetable of busy working Granny.
The anniversary of my Dad's passing was in March. It was very difficult....I'm thankful for family and friends who carry me through these things.
I earned my teaching certification and began my career as a high school teacher. This has had an extremely positive impact on our lives because we can now get back on track financially and help lower stress levels.
COVID. Mom got it, and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. Swift intervention and being vaccinated, combined with monoclonal antibodies saved her life. She never got "that bad." But I really grabbed the reins on everyone's health care and vaccinations. Husband and I contracted Covid this last May, but because we were vaccinated, boosted and received monoclonal antibodies, our cases were very mild. There has been severe fallout between my husband and his eldest right-wing, Evangelical, anti-vaccine daughter. Of course "she has read all the research," and has even called ME to dissuade her 84 year-old father to NOT get the Covid vaccines and boosters. She refuses to get vaccinated, despite any information to the contrary, and despite her father being elderly. She travels, and is "out in the world," with others who share her beliefs. We are uncomfortable with (what we feel) is the hypocrisy of her staunch "pro-life" views, and yet her lack of respect for the lives and concerns of those folks already here. My husband will still talk and text her, but there will be no physical visits. It is what it is. We are resigned to it, and are moving on. But it HAS cemented in me that it is ok to part company, (albeit regrettably) with others, including family. It is ok to put one's own health first.
This year was the first year where I did not spend an extended stretch of time at home. I was home for all of September 2021, and I will be home for all of December 2022, but in between those months I've been home for three stretches of a week each. This kind of travel feels more like an adult visiting their parents. I no longer live at home; it feels more like I am from California but live in Wisconsin now. My patterns of returning home may not be an "event", per se, but they illustrate this shift in my relationship to my family.
I started grad school. It's been the most challenging and rewarding thing I've ever done. I'm so proud of myself for taking a chance on my writing, and for doing something that I've wanted to do for a really long time.
My family is considering depriving me of being able to attend social events like funerals, weddings, and the Christmas season.
It took most of the year before it happened, but my wife's family gathered (except for 1 of the 8 siblings) to reunite without their parents and remind themselves of all that they have in common, to enjoy meeting their grand-nieces & nephews, and to share a meal. It was very good to witness and great for my wife's attitude toward her siblings. I'm so glad to get the chance to renew friendships with a few of her siblings that I have been closest to.
This past year, my cousin Jeremy suddenly passed away. He was in his early fifties, had struggled with cerebral palsy his whole life, and he was absolutely one of the best people I've ever known. Due to some estrangement with my mother, I didn't really get to know him or his sister (Cindy) until my Bat Mitzvah, but as soon as he bounded into my life, he really made an impact. He was so kind, so generous, and so genuine, and I feel so lucky and honored to have known him (even though it was just for a couple years). I also think that I am the reason for bringing some of my family back together, or at least I started the ball rolling. When I convinced my mother to invite Jeremy and Cindy to my Bat Mitzvah, and when Jeremy came (and Cindy came to my brother's), it rekindled a relationship seemingly lost 15 years ago (which gives me hope for me and my estranged cousins)! It also brought us closer to my great uncle which is really wonderful. Jeremy's death was a surprise and it really affected me, I was really sad for a while, but now I look at his (EXTENSIVE) legacy and I feel proud that I had such a wonderful giant in my life.
Parents moved from home location in mountains. I am sad because I did not get to say goodbye to my dog Shadow.
Our son began riding the public bus solo! I can see and celebrate this tremendous growth of spirit and independence he is in. I thought the ongoing move apart would hurt but I actually feel we are closer as a family with his anxiety lowering, his freedom raising and his heart expanding.
My dear friend Linda had a mastectomy in December and I feel helpless to support her. It is like pulling teeth to get her to open up On the upside my niece and family are starting a new life in SD. A goal realized. Abundant happiness for them
My daughter graduated High School and started college. I am so proud of her! She has had a tough couple of years but persevered. Now an empty nester I am adjusting to the situation. It is a very liberating experience, and in a way my life is mirroring hers, as this is an opportunity for both of us to take charge of our individual lives and shape it as we see fit.
My little brother has started driving. It’s been really up and down. I just can’t imagine him being on his own and driving around. He’s growing up so much but at the same time he seems so little. I miss when he was that tiny but that’s like the way life works I guess. I just know I’m gonna cry like a baby when he turns 16. I just remember and see the little man six years old as I’m leaving for college.
My mother moved out of her home (where she had lived by herself for 16 years after my father's death. She moved into a nursing home. She was 99 years and 9 months. I have experienced a range of feelings and emotions: feeling that I had betrayed Mum, feeling utterly exhausted with nothing left to give but still needing to do things to care for her, often being near tears, wondering what my purpose in life would now be.
My older grandson has started drafting school. I am delighted- that he’s going and that he loves it. His biological father did drafting.
We have a granddaughter. The difficulty just takes adjustment. The joy is worth everything.
We started our little used bookstore, Gladewater Books 15 years ago in March of this year. It’s thriving. And still growing. There are now adults who remember coming here as kids. We are so proud of it.
My grandmother passed away and it was a big loss. She helped me grow up.
In these weird pandemic years, it feels hard to pinpoint big major milestones. I feel like it was a milestone that we started going to shows and concerts again. I suppose adding a second dog to the mix could be seen as a milestone. His energy and personality are fun, but add a level of chaos that our house had not seen in some time.
I can't really name a milestone. Aislyn still attends TU, Sophie and Sam are both in high school, and Sophie is finishing her cosmetology program. But we are all healthy and the kids are doing well in school. Our marriage is strong. Those are milestones enough.
My husband passing in 2021, after being married almost 55 years, was probably the biggest milestone we faced. We have accepted our loss, we grieve and miss him still. I try every day to be stronger now.
We moved to Seattle. Huge change. Never thought we would leave CA. The impacts are multiple. We miss our friends and many aspects of the Bay Area. It seems more difficult to find a community here. OTOH, we no longer worry about droughts and fires. The PNW is amazingly beautiful. We have started activities that we never did in CA - e.g. kayaking. Loving it.
Brittany marrying Mike is as big a milestone as our family is likely to have. I was honored that Mike asked me to marry Britt, honored to walk her down the aisle and honored to give the "father of the bride" toast. The day was spectacular, the desserts were memorable (even if the food was not) and it was fun talking to family and new family. We have another memorable event to look forward to next summer.
I turned 50. I never think of myself as being over 30. It's been difficult to realize how many years have passed by in a blink.
Our grandkids went off to college. I was actually thinking about the effect on my sons. I spoke with them about what it may feel like for them. I think they understood.
Sean and Haily got married and it was so wonderful to know my son has found his soulmate. They are such a meant-to-be couple. For me it means happiness for them but also the knowledge that all of my sons are now with their partners, really really wonderful partners. So, maybe now, I will see the life partner I have been seeking enter my life forever. I am ready and open and with all of them settled it can be about me.
This year Hayden asked to live in Bolinas with Grandpa and me and go to COM. At 17, he was finished with high school, but still had another year to complete. He took the high school equivilancy test and passed with flying colors. I am so proud of him and can see his life unfolding for him in a new way. What a privilege to be part of his everyday life! Go forth and prosper, Hayden!
My son Brendan got married. I’ve never seen him so happy. One of the most amazing things about it was how happy his brothers and sisters were. Both Jeff and I. Our entire family and he is so loved by her family. She is so loved by our family. It was magical. One of the most beautiful and meaningful moments of my life. Knowing what Brendan has gone through and seeing him where he is now is amazing
My last birthday I turned 60 years old. My aunt and uncle have almost been married for 60 years. My brother's youngest daughter has graduated from college. It is making me feel old.
No major milestones: but we did make it through 2021. It was a tough year. we achieved Finding a new place to live, moving,. We achieved a trip out west. I realized my hiking potential is limited to ADA accessible. We’re looking at the future for a milestone of Our daughter graduating from college, and our permanent place.
It has now been 11 years since my son broke off all contact within me. I have lost hope of any reconciliation in the time I have left on this earth. I feel as if I have spent over s decade struggling to keep an impossibly heavy door open; I can’t do it any more. I feel such deep grief and loss.
I got a new job which was a big leap. It wasn’t my wisest decision as I didn’t get on that well - particularly at first - and I found it a real struggle but it’s gradually been getting better and I feel like I’m settling more. It’s changed some of my perspectives about my self-worth and competency but we are heading for a recession so I plough on
I would hardly call it a major milestone. More like a final death knell. My eldest son confirmed to me what my youngest expressed almost exactly a year ago. He no longer has a desire to reconcile with his brother and the only reason he's even considered it these past seven years is that he knows it's important to me. And while I deeply appreciate that he understands how meaningful it would be to me, I cannot tolerate feeling as though I'd forced them to do something that clearly neither one wants to do. I've tried to accept to, but my heart breaks when I even think about it. Family means so much to me and yet mine is so terribly fractured. My sons don't speak. My siblings don't speak to each other, just me. How did I end up in the middle of all of these dysfunctional relationships? I wish I could change things or simply stop caring, but I don't have the ability to do either.
We two celebrated our 55th on board the cruise ship at the fancy restaurant. Our long term growing love is a milestone that improves our lives each day. I still am amazed by my Sweetie and delighted to awaken by her each day. I wonder how much of this love is related to a Holy Love? Will I learn that eventually?
We are STARTING our family this year! We just purchased "baby dust" after a long and arduous journey and found the perfect unicorn donor for our family. This is a HUGE step forward for my partner and me.
My grandma turned 100. This affected me because it gets more and more realistic that her time is getting shorter. I’m in charge of her estate and affairs so it’s getting more stressful to ensure she has funds to cover her care.
I'm not sure that this counts as a major milestone, but my ex brother-in-law, John Fernandes, died. I had been ring bearer at age 6 or 7 at their wedding and he was a significant part of my life for many years. He was gruff, but I liked him a lot. It is another sign of my own aging, my own mortality. I am sad for his passing, but he was over 90. So, it also gives me hope that I still have many good years to go.
So Sheila got cancer. It was a tumor in her intestines. They got it all right away. However she’s been going through chemo for six months. She’s only 90 something pounds or maybe it’s 110. I did spend a week with her this summer and she’s good ol’ Sheila. She has a good week and a bad week. I guess she gets chemo every other week. Amanda‘s been amazing organizing people to come take care of her and be with her for a week at a time. At first I was scared and worried, then I remembered how God took care of me after my heart attack and I remembered his care and love. She’s going to be fine.
My partner's beloved grandmother died 2 weeks ago. It has affected me in several ways: she was a cheerleader for our queer relationship and loved me and I loved her and miss her. She was so good to my g'friend, who is deeply missing her. But also, her family spent the summer caring for her and it brought them closer together -- for that I'm grateful.
The new granddaughter came on March 5. Some health scares preceded and followed. I visited in May when early infancy was a struggle, but mom, dad, and baby all made it through and are now thriving. I visit again next month. I’m heartbroken that I’m 2900 miles away. While I once felt in the middle of the family system now I feel like a satellite. I hope I can be a meaningful grandpa from so far away. Technology will help I suppose.
My husband became a citizen. He’s not afraid anymore. He can leave his job and follow his passion without concern about staying in the US. After 20 years, he’s free.
I feel like this question is aimed at people who are partnered with kids and shit... I don't think my niece and nephew starting 1st and 2nd grade counts as a major milestone for "my family" even though they are, of course, my family, and i love getting to be a part of their lives. my dad retired officially in the beginning of 2021, but it has still been fun and interesting for me to observe/be part of his retired life. he leads such a fun, meaningful life, and i'm so happy for him, and aspire to have such balance! i think/hope my mom is happy, but my dad and i find joy in more similar ways so it's easier for me to see. when I was living at home there would be days when he would go on a bike ride, do yoga, meditate, watch the kids, then bike to get beers at a local brewery with a friend. and i would think, WHAT A LIFE. and then need to remember that he worked very hard and very intensely for ~45 years and has not always galavanted around like this.
There wasn't one. It pretty much stayed status quo, which I guess is fine. My mother's health is good and stable - albeit a slight decline in her cognition due to her stroke 5 years ago - and the dementia. I suppose one milestone I could mention is that I did finally have surgery for my cyst on my left ovary, and they removed the ovary with the cyst. I still have my right ovary, and uterus. They also removed my fallopian tubes. I wasn't technically supposed to go into surgical menopause, but I think I did. I started having severe hot flashes within weeks of my surgery so I've been on HRT. I'm about to leave for LA to sell my Elevated script so I'll include that as a milestone as well. Even though I am my mother's other and have a soul contract with her; I need to move the needle forward for my own life. Lately I've been selling off some more of my things...letting go. This time, it's pretty much cleaning house and down to the minimum. I am making space. I feel like I'm doing this in preparation for something, but I don't know what. Actual physical death? My rebirth for living out my highest purpose after I head to LA? IDK. Time will tell...it always does. I actually have a pretty massive headache this evening and don't feel so great. It's similar to the way I felt right after I moved to Tucson almost 5 years ago. I am not really sure what it's about, TBH. Nothing was ever detected. But...if it is something lurking/hiding with my health and suddenly I do die, well...I suppose this will be a futile thing that I am doing this time around with 10Q. Hahaha! I don't care though, I love it. And at least I did something I love before I left this earth. Maybe it's just my body being weird and unhappy for a day - and all is well. Then when next year rolls around, I'll read this and laugh at how crazy I can get in my head - trust me, it's easy to do when you are a Libra.
My brother adopted Tyler a little baby in August 14. I’m happy for him but I’m sad that I don’t have my own family or nice boyfriend.
My dad was able to buy a house finally, that has been a good change. It has probably contributed to the reason my dad has stopped taking me to shul.
Allon my son has decided to move from DC to LA. I believe that overall it will be a good change for both of us. I only hope that he will be able to make some friends and a community for himself. I’m concerned that he might miss his deaf community in DC. I pray that it will all be positive outcome.
My MIL and FIL finally sold their home of nearly 60 years and moved into an addition on their daughter’s home. It was more than a year-long project to accomplish, and it involved, along the way, a whole horde of emotions. It has spurred me to begin my own winnowing-out process. It has strengthened my resolve to do all I can to protect my health and vigor. It has inspired me to reflect on what it means to participate in a family, including the privilege of becoming bound to another family unit, the joy of welcoming newer members, and the responsibility to help share burdens and serve as the need arises.
Both matriarchs died on my mother and father’s side of the family. My mom’s brother died of alcoholism as well one month after her mom died. We also finally got together to celebrate and spread the ashes of my dad, papa and nanny. The wave of death and loss that washed over us has gifted me with greater insight and clarity as how I choose to live.
My son graduated from high school and moved out - I am very proud, worried and most of all I really miss him in ways I did not imagine
My partner and I agreed to start trying for a baby. I got pregnant in September 2021 but lost the baby in December. I haven't been able to get pregnant again because my cycle shortened, due to my age. I've been on clomid for 2 months. We had some huge arguments about how to time sex while he's feeling so depressed about the near future (and clomid amplifies my emotional state.) I'm feeling like IVF is the next stop, the end of every TWW is agonizing, and it all just feels increasingly frenzied and unlikely. Like I had 20 years of probable fertility, and I only woke up with the clock hands on 11:59.
Always working on better communication, boundaries and mutual understanding with Walrus Snr. Our relationship dynamic has been much more harmonious and stable. Helping Dad with the warehouse and his business contributes to greater connection and involvement in his world. It feels good to help him and I want to continue to help him organise his warehouse. Andrew is involved in this too and it’s become a family M-squad effort. Getting Bailey has helped my relationship with Mum. We love Bailey and discuss raising him and all the cute things he does. It’s brought joy into our lives and relationships and it’s helped her more than she realises. It’s taken the pressure off our relationship and made us into a mini Bailey family.
We became empty nesters again after sharing our home with a younger person for two years. Our house and our relationship breathed out. I gained a greater appreciation for solitude and space. And I discovered the limits of my tolerance for crowding, the limits of my ability to change another person's life and perspective, and the art of letting go.
This actually just happened one week ago for me, and I'm still reeling from it and processing the news. I think the reason I got so physically sick recently with Coxsackie virus, which doesn't usually affect adults, is because I'm still in shock. When we went to visit my mom last week, she took me aside privately, and told me that my dad is gay. She said that is the real reason she and he got divorced five years ago. This is a lot of information to take in when you're 39 years old. The thing is...I don't even know if it's true. I love both my parents, but both of them are what you'd call "unreliable narrators" if they were characters in a book. My dad is such an outlandish, larger than life character that you could tell me literally anything about him - that he was a secretly a Russian spy, say - and I could believe it. But this could also be something my mom made up to justify the divorce, to make leaving him seem like the unquestionably right thing to do. When my mom gets an idea into her head, she believes it, whether or not it is true. With the two of them, I don't know if I'll ever know the truth. If it is true, I feel really heart broken for my dad. All my life, my dad has been a staunch Republican who has made many homophobic comments over the years...but that doesn't mean anything; he could be like the movie, American Beauty. If my dad really is gay and has had relationships with men, I wish he could just be open and honest with us about it. But if he is gay, he's obviously fiercely closeted. The whole situation is just tragic. I'm having a hard time not being angry with my mom because of the way she told me. She said "I feel like such a burden has been lifted off of me, now that you know." And maybe it did lift the burden off of her. But it put that burden on me. It was only one week ago...I haven't even talked to my dad on the phone since then. And when we talk, what are we going to talk about? My mom made me promise not to say anything to him. And I'm not sure if I would have anyway. But now it just feels like one more thing my dad and I don't talk about, just one more wedge of awkward silence between us. This isn't the kind of relationship I want to have with my parents. I want to have a relationship of openness and honesty...but I can only do my part of that; I can't do theirs. My son is only one years old now, but I hope someday, when he's a grownup, if I'm hopefully still around, that he and I communicate a lot better than I do with my parents. I pray that I won't ever add to his burdens.
This is not a single event or even really a “milestone,” but the first thing that comes to mind is how much sicker my mom has gotten over one year. It is hard to watch her now when she can barely walk across the kitchen without being out of breath. She can do one thing and then she needs to rest. It really makes me anxious and afraid for her and it makes the reality that she is going to die much more clear for me. The other major milestone will be on Sukkot this year. Five years since my suicide attempt. I feel like I need to mark it in some way but I haven’t quite figured out how.
My youngest was asked to leave college for a semester, he then withdrew. He's much happier now at a community college, and I'm seeing him thrive. He's also home, which is nice. It's also less expensive, which has let me not work weekends for the first time in over 20 years. We're all happier.
Omg my sister getting pregnant and telling our parents! Just grateful for the gifts of life and adulthood. So happy for her, and for all our family, and really very okay and in acceptance of my own lack of children. It’s still awkward to explain to others, but I have peace about it within myself as I think about my sister’s experience. <3
We were able to visit Alaska with our family this year. It was a wonderful experience, and quite beautiful. It made me appreciate nature and the Earth. I have also started laying tefillin every day, except shabbat. My practice continues to grow. A mitzvah begets another mitzvah. But as the Rebbe Nachman says, “Do not be strict to the point of foolishness.” I try not to beat myself up too bad when I mess up. I am slowly adding more observance to my plate when I start to feel comfortable where I am.
Last year, I wrote about how Grandpa was sick and bouncing back, and about how Granny and Papa were declining. This year, Grandpa and Papa are dead. Watching my parents both stand to say Kaddish has been really hard, and I feel like as soon as we started to come back to normal after Papa died, then Grandpa died. It's been a really long year, and I've felt so supported by the synagogue community and my friends and family, but this feels so isolating and painful. I'm so glad that my friends don't really relate to what I'm going through because I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I would really love to have someone to talk to this about who gets it. I think the closest I have is Renana, and she's been great. We have made some really fucked up jokes and it's so nice to just have her to talk to and know that she gets it. Something that doesn't really feel like a milestone but has affected the family is the rift with Michael and Sharon and the kids. None of them came to Grandpa's funeral, and it really solidified how I feel about that relationship. I was also talking to Dad because I made a recipe for RH dinner that Sharon shared with me and it made me feel really sad. I don't necessarily miss the drama, but I miss the relationship we used to have. Losing that is a big loss, and even though it happened in 2020, officially, it still feels raw.
A third grandbaby!! Barrett has a new job and they sold their house...moving to Chicago! We bought our first single family home in Chicago. Our 2-year-delayed trip to Italy. So much....and all good. <3
Making the choice to leave Hospitality after 12 years and putting so much effort, so much extra learning, networking, blood (literally), sweat and tears (SO MANY TEARS!) While I feel like I have lost part of myself, as I can see Hospitality was an identity to me, I am now free to make new choices (I mean I've always been free to....) about what serves ME in the greater good and not what serves OTHERS in the greater good. I know that I have and always will have a serving heart, but there are boundaries that must be made AND enforced. Pouring from an empty and/or broken cup does no one any good, let alone myself. I've always wanted to live a life full of passion and purpose. I am and always will be a passionate person (even in interviews for jobs I don't get I'm told that I'm passionate), so it's time to explore more of the purpose side to get back on track. I need to balance both to find the peace I'm seeking.
There wasn't one. The year's been dull and dreary, one day just like the one before. We briefly hoped to attend a science fiction convention but it fell through. So we sat home some more. Reminded ourselves we were lucky to have a home.
Tessa lost her last baby tooth. I didn’t expect it to hit me so hard but playing tooth fairy for the last time broke my heart. I love that they’re old but it broke me that this part of our lives has been ended.
My brother and I both moved out of parents house and I think that's been a bit hard. It's difficult to get used to living alone and being far from them and my partner and college friends. I'm getting used to it and I hope that I will continue to grow as an independent person. Sometimes I feel guilty about being far from my parents, especially when I go visit them but I think that's just part of growing up.
My daughter got a cat. After living alone she took the big step of adopting a rescue animal. It has changed her life in many ways -mostly for the better. It has impacted the conversations between her and my husband and myself. I think it is a step in the journey for her to find a way to make a family for herself.
Open heart surgery for me in March changed the year for us.
Well, I got closer with my extended family through the death we experienced. Given that my aunt, my dad, and their cousin all came to the ends of their lives after long encumbrances with their health, we have all made an effort to be in touch more. At first we all began talking with one another in a triage format–updates when someone's health took another decline, updates with the state of someone's estate, and funeral plans. But at some point we realized we were only coming together when there were problems, and we did enjoy spending time together. So we committed to visiting more; across state lines, on family Zoom calls, over text. We were grieving the loss of people we loved before we could grieve their loss of life, and when the time came to grieve properly, we were just exhausted. All we wanted to do was hang out and relax. So now we're committing to seeing each other more and catching up to talk about the good. But the love feels like a double-edged sword, everyone is so concerned about me because I'm single and far away from where they are, and they think I need a mom. Or at least a clear support system. Josh has Maddie, I have me. So as we're all getting used to another normal, I have to keep in mind that I've been my own parent for quite a while, and the aunts didn't know. And now they feel like they're in an appropriate place to do something. So I appreciate the love and hope they know it. I should send them a card every once in a while.
Our kiddo, whose fifth birthday is today(!), was not offered the opportunity to start Kindergarten early, and is instead enrolled in preschool for this academic year. Our school district has a pretty strict Sep 1 cutoff, and this has brought up lots of feelings for me; I also have a September birthday and I did start K "early," and I see it as a very formative and right-for-me choice that's had untold largely positive ripple effects on the rest of my life. But my kid is not me! And while I still think she would have excelled in K this year, and preschool is freaking expensive and we'll be stretching our family's budget more than ever before in the coming year, I've mostly accepted that this is her path and it's a good one. The preschool we landed in seems pretty great, and I sincerely appreciate how it is truly full-day, has very few days off, includes meals and snacks(!), and is a readily-bikeable 0.9 miles from home. Plus there will be a lot of chaos on the home front with welcoming a new baby soon, and COVID essentially prevented us from enrolling our kid in any kind of classroom environment between ages 2 and 5, so maybe throwing her into an academically challenging environment with tons of school breaks and the need to constantly juggle aftercare would have been... unwise. I do worry she will be academically bored in elementary school, but that is a problem for future-us.
I became a mom! Well, first I had severe preeclampsia and stayed in the hospital for almost three weeks before she was born. I’m lucky to have a great support system in both my family and my husband’s.
My mom's health has significantly declined. This has made all of her children think more deeply about how we might care for her in her old age.
The major milestone feels personal and perhaps subtle. My daughter has shifted into a new level of healing and I have more independence than I have had ever as a parent. As she takes more responsibility for herself, there is room for my son to do more work on himself, healing that has seemed invisible that is now becoming visible. The family system is changing and the stuck places are having more pliability. This has allowed me to set clearer boundaries with my daughter, to feel sad and upset about my part in our family system dynamics that have hurt my son, and has given me a chance to be bolder in the world with my own choices and freedom.
Scott sold his practice! The stress of the process definitely impacted me. I stuffed and stuffed and stuffed my stuff down so as not to add to his stress. Then, there was a mass shooting at the 4th of July parade in town. It's hard to say how this affected me. I wasn't there - I was, as I now say, trauma adjacent. Still, it was so unsettling, especially on top of all the shitty things happening in the country and the world right now. I feel the need to leave the country so urgently. I hope our trip in the Spring will bring clarity and purpose to us both. I WANT OUT!
This one is hard! I think there are some challenges we're holding - my parents aging, the challenges of helping my mom fulfill her dream, my sister deciding to stop talking to me....And yet - I also felt that I could support my family's ancestral healing. I knew that I was on a journey for a reason - to reconcile parts of myself that they hadn't been able to heal. Also, if Mariah Carey can do it, so can we. She's stepping out STRONG. And then a 'hero' comes along... that's some full circle shit <3
My left knee will need replacement within the next year but I had a cortisone shot to help me through the next few months. Softball is the major focus but I have stepped back from attending or assisting with scorekeeping. I was needed to be available for workers on the remodel and I found that I didn't miss the softball. My husband is learning how to take care of the details of going to the games/tournaments without me and without me handling all of the details.
A major milestone is that my husband and I have come to the agreement that we won't adopt a child. We don't have children of our own and have decided not to have biological children for climate change reasons (as well as many others) but we were seriously exploring adoption. This year we have reached the conclusion that it is not right for us at this time. It has been a huge weight off of my shoulders but also a decision that I know I'll regret in the future at different times too. Very conflicting feelings.
In late June we found out that our daughter and favorite (OK, only!) son-in-law were twelve weeks into her first pregnancy. Our first grandchild. Aside from being so excited for them, I was struck, once again, at how we could have possibly created a new human being 30 years ago out of our own love for each other, and how she has grown into such an amazing person; smart, dedicated, caring, and loving. Now she and her husband are creating a new human being of their own, and I can't wait to see how he grows, who he will become. What will his passions be? Will he have his mother's off-beat sense of humor, his dad's deep-seated goodness and sense of service, and JOY for life? I understand now why people yearn for grandchildren.
My widowed European sister-in-law, 88, moved into a retirement home, close to the apartment where she lived for 5 decades and raised her family. Her stalwart brother/my husband, phoned her daily during this enormous transition. He listened to her fears and assured her she was doing the right thing. He rightfully praised her courage. Her adjustment has been downright triumphant. Meanwhile, my husband, just a few years younger, is aging himself. I watch him having difficulty hearing, speaking, walking, understanding. I have to adjust, I have to be patient the way he’s been patient with his sister. And I have to come to terms with my own aging and apprehensions
My niece came out as non-binary, graduated high school and was accepted to Americorps in Colorado. Last kid in the immediate family who is still something of a kid, but looks like not for long! Arrives this week, then heads out West October 11 for her great American adventure. Go Elisabeth Alex!
After almost a year of pretty decent health coming off hospice last year, Dad's condition had deteriorated enough to go back on. This time there will be no recovery to reverse the situation. He fancied himself much sicker and closer to death than he really was and wanted to start canceling activities; he was certain he would not live until his 95th birthday, which he did want. He made it to 95. A big hurdle was giving up his car, which hospice workers were able to convince him to when family couldn't. He wanted to cancel all his standing social engagement (a number of people come to his home for visits on a regular basis) but we convinced him not to; it is easy to cancel even at the last minute, but getting visits to start up again would be harder when he realized he has longer to go than he thought. A plus side is that it confirmed what I already knew about having a great family. We each have roles and responsibilities and are supporting each other and sharing the load. A down side is that it makes us (mainly me as #1 hands-on) hesitant to make any plans for travel that could need to be canceled if he takes a sudden turn. I had thought during the previous round that as his needs for help at home increased, I would simply move into the spare room or at least go down for a while every day. Now that we have the grandchildren coming every day, I could be forced to choose if I can't cram it all in somehow. It weighs on my mind somewhat, but I am determined to not waste today dwelling on and fearing "what if" when I can't know how things will go. I have been forced to look at my schedule (part of Q2 and being proud of letting go of some responsibilities) and be more diligent in monitoring my rest and making time for myself. That's a plus as well.
My wife achieved a lifelong professional goal and I was so happy for her! It validated my role as a husband and her main supporter. Now comes the difficult part: what do you do when you've achieved your professional goal years (and possibly decades) before retirement?
I finally got pregnant! After 2.5 years of trying, we had a successful embryo transfer on June 1. June 10 I found out I was pregnant, and unlike previous times it has stuck around. Currently I'm almost 20 weeks along, and due in February. In addition to making me puke for four months and making me exhausted (so exhausted I ended up dropping out of school this semester), it also has me feeling anxious/excited/terrified about the ways our life is about to change forever.
My baby girl, Phoebe, started her senior year in college. The beginning of the end. It's bittersweet. I'm so proud of her and have so much confidence in her. But she's my baby girl and she's growing up into her own life now.
Losing my pup. It’s been hard
Adam moved to Texas in July 2021. I really have missed him. We tried going there for Thanksgiving 2021 but it was a debacle due to Covid and issues related to Bubbe. We ar excited about his upcoming move to California which will also involve Thanksgiving travel for me so I can help Jess and him unpack :)
A major milestone - Bill's adopted son made contact with us and we made a visit to meet his girlfriend and her young daughter. We visited once again for the 4th of July, and the little girl and I are pen pals. My stepson is now engaged, and we're hoping to build a more-normal family unit filled with love.
I can not recall any major family milestones from this past year. I mean we lost someone, a cousin, 18 years older than me. It made me wish that my family stayed in touch more, that I actually knew some of them better.
My son going off to college has really thrown me for a loop. I am just now realizing how much my life was defined by being his mom, and having him at home. My whole life revolved around him. I realize I have to start working on me and making my needs a priority.
No major milestones
As previously mentioned, I am engaged. I am finally on the path to creating my own family outside of the one that I originally came from. It is so exciting to recreate my own identity in the frame of wifehood. My first niece, Lucy was born yesterday (my brother's 3rd child). It is an exciting time for our family and the excitement is palpable. Everything feels so fresh and full of new beginnings. The future seems so bright. It's incredible.
I won't call it a major milestone but, last year I was further disconnected from family and friends. While one of these disconnects was not my choice, the others were. All in all after a fews years of disconnect and withdrawal from people, I must say I like it. More time to introspect and feel at peace.
Survived covid. Survived lockdown. Finding it difficult to return to real life. Not entirely sure what that looks like or who I am in it anymore. Stay tuned.
My mother died in October of last year, may her memory be a blessing. It's how to say how it has affected me. To some extent, it's taken a lot of pressure off of me because I'm no longer constantly worried about her health and general wellbeing. It helped me to realize I don't need to hold onto things for posterity, since I don't have any kids to pass anything on to, and it looks like my nieces also will not have kids, so our family line will end with them. It's sad to see our family line die out. It makes me think that after I die, nobody will be left to care about me or my life. I know that's may not be entirely true, since I have non-family members in my life who care about me, but still.
My sister visited briefly and it was the first time I had seen her in 4 years. It really made me realize, that time is really flying and that not having seen family in 4 years what not right and to do what I could to make family matter more.
My Mum is turning 80 this year, unfortunately her party has been postponed, because 2 of us have now got cancer and half the family is in USA. So Pg the party will happen soon. It has affected me, because I have cancer. So I am not allowed to travel abroad.
UGH ! The divorce is finally over. It's been several years of absolute hell !!!!!! Our family is shattered and scattered. I am recovering and I am starting a new life. I am grateful for the connection with my kids. I hope that connection grows and I get to see them and interact with them more in the coming years.
My grandfather passed away this past February. I'm not really sure how it made me feel, it all happened so quickly, and it's already been almost 8 months. Time flies. I've never really been someone who's big on "feelings" and because of the speed with which everything happened I didn't really have time to process things, and I'm not too sure I have yet, but it's okay. C'est la vie.
Given that the "fallout" with my mother happened on 10/25/21 (sometimes I hate that I remember exact dates), that was within the last year. It was awful. Not much else to say. It left me questioning everything about family, bond, roles of parents and children, and stages in life. It was "repaired," but is anything ever really? I feel more empowered, aware, assertive, and also angry and resentful as a consequence of it.
Dont really feel like any major milestone. Same ole...girls with devices, attitudes and dont really talk to me. Sarah and I are the same and talk here and there but barely any cudding or deep conversation except when the girls arent around. Although as I type I think about Penny. We got a girl dog and shes a bit shakey but has really improved and the big man Pretzel has taken her under his wing...fur and done really well with her.
A major milestone involved my decision to end sending a daily free email to 90 subscribers of my choice of a news commentary or humorous article. I often also shared their feedback. I gave it up to invest instead in my own book writing, and I have both relief - and regret - as it was fun. As well, it was a info service.
Grandparenthood - the precious and incredible blessing of having a beautiful, healthy, vibrant, curious, loving grandchild. I vividly recall feeling many similar emotions when we became parents, yet this experience seems to be even more intense and pronounced. Perhaps its the perspective of seeing our own "little girl" become a parent herself and the pure joy she clearly feels; perhaps its the vanatage point of being a generation removed and being able to more fully enjoy him in all his many dimensions without feeling the same degree of worry and uncertainty that we felt as yong parents ... perhaps other components , as well.
Everything is in flux, with children out of the house and attempting and succeeding in becoming more independent, and us working toward our own changes. This is a time of more significant external change, and I feel it strongly. It’s ultimately a good thing, healthy, needs to happen -
It is a major change that Dan's mental abilities are diminishing. His loss of memory, hearing and cognating create great frustration for both of us. He just turned 84 . My increased caretaking is not yet a problem for me, but his misery certainly is.
Last fall my friend (since we were eight) with dementia died. My other friend from those long years ago, who was caring for him, lost her mother shortly afterwards. This is all the family I have left. It has been hard.
Daughter and husband announced that they were trying to get pregnant, but that Clare might not be able to. The immediate effect that it had on me was wow, I finally have the chance to be a grandmother, and wow, I might not get to after all. Somehow, knowing that they would LIKE to, however, makes me feel less sad for myself, but more sad for them, wanting the experience, but being denied.
Sitting here in the public library (internet at home is still awful) with my aching back from being on my feet all day, feeling little one kicking occasionally in my big old belly, I can hardly believe I'm the same person who wrote all those things last year! I'm doing well on my antidepressants and have a check-in scheduled with my therapist this weekend as well as an OB appointment next week. This weekend we will be ordering the paint and flooring for the nursery and next week the in-laws are going to help make that dream a reality! My little one will have three cousins on my side and vacation next year is sure to look very different from the last time we all got together!! =D <3
Our family is mostly in LA now. My cousins who live in NYC moved there a year ago. My sister and my nephew live there and i now have a grand niece and nephew! I am more aware of time passing due to all the death in my live now. 2 more friends waiting to die right now. I want to see my daughter more and hopefully get along better. Of course part of that is on her. But I miss her and I miss my sister and I being close. Though my sister seems to have only passing interest in getting back to where we were when we were younger. We were close. But no more. Really sad.
We celebrated my dad’s 95th birthday in Kauai. What an amazing gift to be able to play tennis and swim in the ocean with him still! Unfortunately there was lots of drama around his alcoholic girlfriend. I realized that the girlfriend has relieved me of a lot of responsibility for checking in on my dad regularly, but she is highly problematic and I will need to get more engaged with him, while keeping firm boundaries with her. This will not be easy and I need to remember to fully involve my brothers in this.
There were no major milestones this past year. Because of the death of a close friend we have begun to think more of our own mortality and how to plan for that.
My parents bought a house this year for the first time in their lives. And whilst things are now fine, it was an incredibly stressful and difficult process which I thought might actually break our entire family dynamic. But we managed to make it out the other end.
My mom started seeing a therapist and has become (again) the mom that I'd forgotten I knew!
Helena starting kindergarten was probably one of the biggest things that happened this year family wise. We were lucky to get into ANCS and since it goes through middle and Misha can also go there, it keeps us grounded here in Atlanta for the foreseeable future if that’s what we want to do. The move to the Nest has been good too. Misha seems very happy there. Having good, stable child care and an education for the kids is huge. Until we lost the reading lessons book before the kitchen move, Helena had been doing great, and increasingly was more patient. Either way, I’m confident she will learn how to read this year and will love it once she gets it. Finally, misha and Helena have turned a corner and them getting along (often times) is great to see and helpful. The fighting does not stop of course, but it does feel like Helena has finally accepted the fact that she has a brother and we are now more of a complete family.
Right around Rosh Hashana 2021 we celebrated our 50th with an absolutely perfect celebration both in Philly and here in AZ. It was beautiful to hear Jason and Adam (our 2 neurotypical children) describe growing up in a home with a disabled brother where complaining wasn’t allowed and having rich life in every way. We never discuss problems only solutions. They’ve become such mensch’s they say because of thier upbringing. So seeing Adam and Jason become great partners with Jewish families is all you can wish for. I often think about getting older and our ability to care for our precious Jared and what will happen at end of life: his or ours. We care for his every need and he’s a happy guy these days but there are dark clouds on the horizon. I need to think positive.
My son graduated high school. He got his first job over the summer, and he is now starting college. He has matured a lot in the past year. I am very proud of him.
Ian has become a real issue - he doesn't respond to family invitations but then wants to show up his way and have us all participate - Meghann won't come if he does. Andy is having multiple health problems and then having constant stress from Ian - I'm afraid of what his life is becoming - when he finally is at a time in his life for enjoyment
My father fell off a ladder just a couple days ago. He's fine apart from some scrapes, bruises and a swollen ankle. It scared me. He's 85, and I'd like to ban his ladder use the same way elderly get keys taken away. It must be hard for him to acknowledge is own aging and what he can't do any longer. I told him I love him, and he told me the same. None of us want to see him go anywhere quite yet. My hope is he's learned a lesson about asking for help for things he cannot do on his own any more. I've offered (again) to come down more often to help with such things. We'll see if he heard me or not.
My mom retiring, no more money coming in for the family, parents getting older and not working anymore! It’s made me become less lazy and to work as hard as I can!
It brought so much joy and pride, but as it was something I’d been thinking about from the day our son was born, the come down and the flat feeling afterwards was something that I was not prepared for.
My dad finally sold his house, even though he's been living with me for the past 4 years. All those treasures came to my basement. While organizing the boxes, I learned a great deal about my late mother, and it's been fascinating!
Lol, yet another surgery for mom. She did this one to herself though. Maybe when you're 72, you shouldn't take those corners so sharply on a quad in the sand.
Mom turned 80. Wow. She wasn't sure she'd see that date. My dad wasn't sure he'd see it either. I have 2 elderly (over 80) parents. It means their time with me is limited. They still worry about me. We take care of each other, I suppose. And I think about what it will be like when they're gone. Scared, sad, and also curious in a way, just to see what it would be like. Is that weird?
David's back injury. It really limited him, and still does in some ways. It affected the way I think about him and pain, since he has always had a very low pain tolerance. I'm usually the one that needs help, not him, so it changed our dynamic.
The biggest milestone from this last year was the loss of our family cat Nikko. He was everyone's favorite and loved deeply. Losing him reminded me of how temporary life is, and showed me how to navigate grief again.
All but a brother and a sister are dead. I do have some cousins in other states that I'm in touch with, but haven't seen in person since we were teenagers. (Most of us are in our 60s and 70s now.) I can't think of any milestones. I decline to have any contact with my brother, because he is a psychopath who is a White Supremecist. My sister, whom I dearly love, is kind of a lost soul, and our relationship is a difficult one. When we are communocating,, we have a wonderful time. And then there are these "what just happened" moments, that really throw me. I always feel like I'm walking on eggs when we are talking, and then suddenly we're not. It can last for as long as a year. And I have to wait for her, follow her lead. It is painful, and difficult, to have to be this patient, and not be resentful or angry. There have been no major milestones this year. Just the same pain and heartache as in years before. Outside of my family is where the milestones have taken place, and I think I'm probably the only one who has seen the milestones.
My beautiful baby daughter came kicking and screaming into the world in the early hours of 2nd September. It's true what they say about your life changing in a snap - I finally figured out the meaning of life and my new purpose.
Mindy’s death hurt me deeply. I managed and pushed through, but 7 months later I’m still in pain, still miss her as a friend and colleague. In both roles, she is irreplaceable.
I wrote about this in question one: my father-in-law died. This has changed the family dynamic, making me less and less a part of it. It has freed me to see the challenges in my marriage and has led to my decision to end it. Now I need to sort out how to move on.
Even more significant than the house: I got pregnant! It seemed like a long journey at the time, since it took several months to conceive, but of course our experience was quite typical. Pregnancy has affected me in pretty much every aspect of my life. I no longer drink alcohol, I eat very differently (less for health reasons and more because my pregnant palate is extremely picky), I spent much of the summer feeling vaguely sick all the time, and my brain feels like it's operating on half speed. And of course, I'm never exactly NOT thinking about the little human growing in my body. More significantly, being pregnant has changed almost all of my future calculations about money, life plan, career ambitions, etc. Baby boy isn't even here yet, and already I know my life will never be the same.
The biggest thing that happened in my family is the my dad died. He was so so sick for months before her passed — and 13 years in total of living with advanced, aggressive prostate cancer— but I still cannot believe he is gone. I miss him every day. I cannot comprehend that I will never see him again. On the flip side, there is a real relief in knowing that he is not suffering any more. And also not living with the daily stress and panic of “should I be at home with him?” And “is this it?”
My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Neither of them go all out for anniversaries or birthdays normally but my mam said 'it is a bit of an achievement isn't it?' They're not a romantic couple, more like housemates who've lived together for a long time. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've seen them kiss each other but they really do love each other. I worry what will happen when one of them dies, I play out scenarios in my head all the time and wonder who will f go first and what my relationship with the other will look like afterwards.
My defibrillator went off after 17 years of having it and not needing it! June 25, 2022. I went into an episode of Atrial Fibrillation with a very fast ventricular rate. My device triggered twice within a few minutes. I spent the night in the hospital and medications got adjusted. Hopefully I will not have another episode. It hurt like HELL!
Grand babies. There is joy and there is anxiety. It amplifies the concerns I have about my son's wife. I have to continually remind myself to detach from their choices, which is hard. I'm challenged to love them exactly the way they are - whether or not they ever change.
It’s been 5 years since my dad passed away. It’s crazy to think it’s been that long. It might sound bad but I didn’t remember his pass away date this year, making me think that I have really started to heal more. I think about him all the time still.
We renewed our wedding vows last month after eleven years married. It felt even more meaningful to me than our actual wedding. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family, and after having been through so much - the loss of two parents, the birth of two children, a reckoning with substance abuse, an abortion, heartbreak, rebuilding - it was beautiful to fully commit once again to the life we are building together. It has made me feel more grounded and present in my marriage, and so proud of us for the work we've done to invest in and tend to it. And it's made me aware of the abundance of love I have the privilege of experiencing every day.
Auntie died. She was my first understanding of chosen family. When I was 7 and she was 76 she showed me that sometimes the people who see you are not blood relatives. Sometimes the people who are family are the ones you found along the way. She found me and she found so many more people. I was terrified of going to the funeral, I thought I would cry too much, grieve too much, and break apart. In the end, I laughed. I met the rest of her huge found family and we all smiled at the memory of her. At 98 she had no blood relatives left and yet her church was full of family. I walked to her coffin intending to say goodbye but once I was there, the only word on my mind was "thanks".
Son taking time out of uni, daughter going to uni. Worried, excited, stressed
I don't think anything major happened to my family that could be delineated as a milestone. Our beloved Sookie reached the age of twelve, which was a milestone for a Golden Retriever. It was a huge loss for all and we miss her very much. The doctor came to the house and her death was as gentle and peaceful as one could hope.
Living with my sister and her family for three months while I was literally homeless (sold my condo and looked for my new place) was tremendously humbling and reassuring to know that my family has my back and will care for me when I need them. I love knowing that they enjoyed having me and I LOVED having family around me after decades of being on my own with no one in my space. It was humbling to share a space again and learn how to communicate honestly and constructively. My family is amazingly generous and loving and I am so grateful for them. Auntie Dianne passed away suddenly just before my birthday this year - and despite EVERYTHING she'd been through, she was doing SO well and enjoying her new routine - we just weren't expecting it. The family drama between her brother, my cousin and Mom is just too much for me to want to get involved in, in any way, other than to support and protect my Mom. I miss Auntie Dianne; thought of her yesterday and wondered if she's eating honey cake in the next plane of existence :-)
My parents sold their business and officially retired. It’s shone a light on the value of work and how much of it filled their lives. Now that they’re retired, they’re having to regain their sense of self, and deal with feelings of redefining who they are and their interests. Growing up I never thought my parents liked each other - they fought a lot. Now that I’m far away and they have more time, the fighting has returned and it worries me about their quality of life together and as individuals. It reminds me that relationships and communication in relationship was modeled in unhealthy ways for me, which has been a hard realization. It has gone on to affect my romantic relationships and how I express myself too. I’m going through my own internal work, I’ve been able to share it with my mom, who has been thinking about it all for herself in ways she never has before. It feels like a small gift I can give to her through this to give time and patience for more self awareness and compassion for herself
Major Milestones: I must speak of my Mom again reaching 99. Wow! I'm just so happy that I live close to see her on a regular basis. I'm am so grateful for that. Also, I actually seen my oldest daughter and her 2 yr old son (my only grandson) in person. (First time in 8 years) I thought that would never occur. I'm am grateful for that connection. Until you asked this question, I haven't really expressed my emotion on this. Thank you.
This year my brother and sister-in-law had a baby (and I became an aunt!) . It has been really special to see my brother take on this new role and I think that he is going to make an excellent father. I was lucky enough to be able to go to meet the baby when she was under 2 weeks old, even though I live in a completely different state. It has made me reexamine where I want to be and how I want to live my life, because I want to be an aunt who is available for my niece and I want to be able to spend a lot of time with her. I definitely do not want to be a stranger or only a person she sees on very rare occasions.
I suppose the milestone that immediately springs to mind (perhaps because it's only recent) is my middle nephew going up from prep school to senior school and as a weekly boarder. It's challenged my common disbelief that he's not old enough to be leaving prep school, but more than that, it's challenging my feelings about boarding school. I can see that the school is right for him in so many ways, but he's only just turned 14 (3 days ago) and that's incredibly young to leave home and receive parenting from teachers.
Ah milestones. This was the year for them. I turned 50, and my kids turned 21, 18, and 16. Impact? You betcha. I had drinks with my eldest. My middle started college. And my youngest is driving. They are living their best lives, being their best selves, and I’m at peace, so proud of them. Life goes on, and I am content.
I officially asked Tina for a divorce in February and we have been working toward ending our marriage this year. Usually when I'm thinking about my family, I'm thinking about my mom, brother, nephews, and my relationships with them. But this year, I decided that I no longer wanted to be married to my wife, which makes me think about family differently. Though we don't have kids, I no longer see the two cats that we raised together since they were babies. We are not a couple, not a unit, not a family anymore. A spouse is not just a family member, they are supposed to be your life partner. I chose to no longer have a life partner and to unwind all of the different bonds and ties we had woven together. I agonized about making this choice and the process of taking apart our marriage has been deeply painful in multiple ways. My own divorce makes me reflect on my parents' divorce, my brother's divorce, and makes me think about family relationships through the lens of marriages ending. Now that I am learning more about my own relational patterns and dynamics, I see so much about how those patterns have been learned and passed down in my family.
This year, at the end of the year, we lost Grandpa Roger. This was a big deal for my family because we now have no living grandpas left. This still feels fresh for us because at the time I am writing this, he passed away less than two weeks ago. It is making me think a lot about grief at the time of holidays and how to manage the diversity of emotions we have.
My grandmother turned 100 at the end of December. It was a big family event in Florida at the Ritz. My uncle John, 79 and fighting cancer, was briefly there, and frail. He had always been strong, fairly outspoken as a conservative. He wasn't ready to go, but grandma has articulated that she is, and "doesn't know why God is keeping her around". It all speaks to circle of life, mortality, living in the now. The last being a value I hold and strive to continue to improve at.
My nephew got married. No real impact on me.
Coming out of Covid and becoming fully aware of the weight of a cancer diagnosis of my partner. Feeling deep deep sadness.
Dad had a heart attack recently. He's better and home with many medications. Brought family members together in the hospital. My nephew really stepped up to help. I'm very proud of him.
We got our basement remodeled which was super exciting to expand the space for the kids. Ethan started Middle School which is exciting and Ellie 1st grade (1st year at EHSI on her own). All in all it was a wonderful year and continue to grow our friendships within the neighborhood.
Getting both kids vaccinated was a huge milestone. Now that it's in the rearview mirror, it seems like they've always been protected, but for so long that wasn't true. It was almost two years into the pandemic before we got shots for the older one, and then another six months until the little one could be immunized. During that time there were so many holidays, trips, get-togethers, and other milestones that had to be canceled or adapted because one or both of the kids was still at risk. Having them both be vaccinated freed us to return to some semblance of normalcy. It felt like we were finally able to rejoin the rest of the world.
My answer from 2021 included this line: "Today, I found out that the company I have worked for for 15 years is being acquired." The past 365 days have been so filled with emotional and mental highs and lows, I cannot even begin to quantify it here. There have been times that I felt secure in my job, and times that I have been certain I'd be unemployed soon. This process has taken up so much brain space that it has really overridden so many other situations this year. The beautiful positive in all of this is that I have secured a new position as Midwest Sales Operations Business Manager as of mid-July of this year. It's exciting, and I'm so thrilled to have this opportunity. It has been an exhausting process, though, to make the change from my Programs Coordinator position to this SOBM position. There have been many late nights and some working weekends as well. It seems like something of a lame answer to this "major milestone" question, but truly it has been the focus of the majority of my waking hours. In fact, recently I wondered if I am still putting too much thought into this, simply out of habit. At what point will I step back and begin to have normal work/life balance again? I pray it's soon. Oh, and, there is a new granddaughter. She is a joy and a blessing. She is definitely a huge milestone. :) We just don't get to see her all that often, which is frustrating. Fingers crossed that changes soon as well.
I can't think of one with my relatives, which is refreshing. When the big news is "I was going to try to visit but I couldn't get a flight" or "I want you to think about a family vacation in a couple years" it's much less stress than pretty much any other option
The major milestone was me becoming legal guardian for my grandchild. Everybody was on the same page, so it was heartwarming. The two of us are very compatible (most of the time;) so it’s a win - win situation, I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to experience intergenerational living. I am learning so much! Sometimes I get teased for my antiquated language. My response is, “Hey, I’m not only of a different generation, I’m from another century!” LOL! May Love prevail!
A major milestone for me has been letting go of my mother. I no longer engage with her chronic mental illness - her personality disorder. I have distanced myself emotionally from her, and physically (I rarely see her, maybe at most once/month). I see things in myself and recognize where they come from, and I work to be a person who behaves differently. Sometimes Sandy says things about how Mom behaves, and I think, "Oh. I did all those things with Michael. That's not healthy." And it's eye-opening. I am so glad to be out of her maelstrom. This sounds terrible, and I will type it anyway: when she dies, I will not be sad. I have grieved enough over what we all have lost, and what she never experienced. I will be relieved. I actually think I'll be glad that she's dead. (and nope, I'm not sharing my name on this answer!) Not because I wish her ill but because her poison will no longer be a presence in my world. That will be such a relief. I read over this answer, and I want to emphasize: it will be such. a. huge. relief. when she dies. I don't think I can even imagine how free I will feel.
My local found family moved on with their lives- got married, moved, started families. It hurt, because I'm not there yet in my life. I had to come to terms that the place I was living was not the best for me, and I was only still there because of them. I moved and I'm on my own now, which is scary, but I think things will work out for the better.
I finally realized how much I was doing for my parents' approval (especially my mom's) and started setting up some boundaries. I feel so much more free to live the life I want even though it doesn't look terribly unlike what they want for me. I'm sure they'll guilt trip me for some of these decisions but it's just a relief.
Mom turned 100 last October and Paul and I organized a dinner with just us, the grandkids, great grandkids and Pauls ex- in laws Paula and Scott. Everyone made it in and the get together meant lots to mom. Lauren sent out a request to our cousins to record a memory to share with mom. All 11 cousins sent something in and Lauren hooked it all together into a video. Mom has watched this video repeatedly and enjoys it very much. A couple of take sways: we share a responsive loving family and we are able to get together without any drama. I’ve been blessed with this wonderful mother and family. And I’m lucky to have been exposed to family that know how to act as family. This is all on my moms side of the family. I think my dad’s family is different. They stopped talking to my dad when they were angry with him. I think I only have 2 cousins that are alive on that side of the family and we are not in touch. So I think a family that goes out of their way to keep in touch is rare and special.
We have had our 9th grandchild, and while she is not related to me biologically, I do love her. What I notice about her parents is that they seem to welcome my involvement with her. They are not looking for advice. They just want her to be around people who will support her being herself.
Both sides of me affected. The good. Kids are independent. Daughter became a doctor and started top residency. Son celebrated a year at his job and a promotion. The bad. Parents are no longer independent. Moved to assisted living. I wish closer to me. This is the first time ive really seen them struggle. My mon has major anxiety which makes it even harder. They will no longer be snowbirds. Its sad to see and unclear how long this phase will be and what my ultimate role will be. The mental illness in my mother is the hardest to deal with.
My husband retired this past spring. As a result I am a bit more anxious about money (especially in the context of the current diminishing value of our retirement account). Mostly, though, I am thankful to spend more time with him, and to only rarely have to be awakened by an alarm clock! Unfortunately, we haven't been able to pursue traveling as much as had we hoped we would do after we were both (mostly) retired, due to continuing concerns about Covid
It was a calm year. Justin broke up with a girlfriend. Lauren is on her post Covid honeymoon. Lauren published her second book which is incredibly inspiring to me. Syd snd I are moving to a smaller, less attractive home that affords I can retire any time. Extraordinary freedom. You know? Maybe the significant part was everyone was good to great this year without major milestones and that’s wonderful.
Lucy was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. She's doing fine, but it has made us think a lot more about food - what we eat, etc. This was already an issue for me, and to some extent the family, but now its a bigger area that we have to figure out and improve.
I moved to Durham NC! I feel more independent than when I’m Baltimore and so close to home. I know my mom is nervous having me far from her but I think it’s good to get a little distance from her.
My niece Andrea got married this Spring to the person she has been living with for past few years. She had a short tumultuous marriage that lasted less than a year 7-8 years ago and was heartbroken. I am happy she decided to get married again. She is 37 years old. I am happy she has opened her heart and trust she has found joy and in Love.
This could easily be the same answer as my first question. Death. I’ve always found it a little strange to contemplate the realities of death and the afterlife. It’s even stranger when it’s your father.
No big family milestones this past year (sadly, my plans to find a partner didn't really come to fruition) but I my Dad *did* have a bit of a health scare, which he was very tight-lipped about (not surprisingly). In spite of his having to get a stent implanted, it turns out that it's for his bladder and not his heart but still scary nonetheless. Although I don't think any of the kids knew what was happening until it had already happened, it definitely put some amount of fear in me and made me realize that he's growing older. I'm doing what I can to spend time with him in LA and I do think that our relationship is as good as it's ever been.
My mom’s health issues- not a milestone exactly but there have been two times this year where she almost died, and then pulled through. She was in the hospital for Thanksgiving and Christmas, lived in assisted living for a few months, and unbelievably moved back home. The worry and hurt around this has been extreme for me, and the relief is tenuous. I’m very aware how fragile the future with her is, and never stop thinking about it- pre-grieving. I’m also astounded by the power of her hope and achievement orientation that has caused her to rebound from so many things the doctors thought she couldn’t. The refusal to accept the limitations of her health condition are maddening but also awe inspiring.
My Mother in Law died ... aged nearly 90. Quietly in her own bed. I sat with her body for over two hours till all the formalities were completed. She was so serene and her skin had a glow to it. I did not touch her, but lit a candle and texted a pic to Nili (my S in L) while Alon and Miri just LEFT HER LYING THERE ALONE and spoke of how they had to rearrange the furniture for the shiva CONTINGENCY - there was noone else to do it so I did. Very clearly and matter-of-factly. Just to be a Presence. And kept in mind that it would be noted and talked about and not to let it go to my head. And I haven't.
Marshall has moved into his own apartment. I worry that he'll hermit and become too seclusive but so far he hasn't. I worry about Paula's Jim. She seemed almost disappointed that his atrial fibrillation is treatable by medicine, as if she isn't getting the chance to prove what an amazing, soulful caregiver she can be.
Letting Jani go to Canada for 6 months, having my mother in law stay with us for 6 months. Quite the experience… bonding, setting boundaries, letting go and weaving the tissue of connection over and over again.
My sister and her family moved back to this state last year. She and her family have lived thousands of miles away for over 10 years, but late last summer they moved to within 2.5 hours driving distance. Since then, I have been able to see her and my nieces and my nephew multiple times, when before, I may only see them once per year (when I was lucky), or even go several years between visits. I have been able to do little things, like go to one of my niece's soccer games, babysit, and just spend the afternoon with my sister. I missed my sister so much over the last ten years and had a lot of regret that we did not see each other often. This change has been a phenomenally good one.
Athena keeps delighting us with how quickly she is growing and learning. Still waiting to hear her call me "Oma"! We still watch her one night per week, and I treasure the connection we have. Other than that, we appear to be settling into semi-retirement due to the drastic slowdown in business. I can't be too upset, though... this has been an opportunity to tackle hobbies and projects.
Hilary, as usual, is on the brink of- who knows what. I hope she won't return to NM- and specifically Albuquerque. I guess the milestone is Roger's death. He took care of her for more than 30 years. Soon she will be evicted from his house. All of this has put the entire family into uber worry mode. Not much we can do. I will help. However, I won't be her guardian or conservator. Skitzophrenia affects the entire family.
My brother got a Bar Mitzvah. Not much
My family is a very small quantity of people. My parents parents were very old, and some had passed, when I was born. So there aren’t many left. My aunt Ruth is still with us, and I haven’t seen her in several years. This year, I went to see her in Nebraska. It was the most wonderful 3 days, and seeing her brought my heart so much joy. We talked and laughed and looked at photographs, and sharing the time together was so special. It’s not a milestone, but to me it was a high point.
My wife's aunt turned 90 years old in April. It both encouraged me that perhaps I can live that long in such relatively good health as she has, and it has also reinforced that I am past the halfway point of my own life. My health and capabilities are probably at a peak right now, combining experience, maturity, cognitive, and physical abilities. I thought about that as I celebrated how special it is to turn 90.
We recieved the visit of my sister in law, which was very important for us. She had a health problem that made me very much in contact, and now she is recovered and well.
Ilan‘s bar mitzvah transformed him and put my mind at ease about who he was becoming. Prior to his bar mitzvah he seemed lonely because of Covid and unsure of his intellect because of reasons I never understood. But after working hard, creating one of the most thoughtful drashes I have ever heard, and performing with confidence, leadership, and presence, he seemed transformed And has remained that way ever since.
My granddaughter is a senior in high school and looking at colleges, my grandson in 8th grade and looking toward high school. It reminds me that no matter what we've faced in the past year, life still has a way of moving on and foreword.
My 91 year old mother-in-law passed a few weeks ago. While her health had been failing for the past four years, it still hit hard, and she will be missed. She had an infectious smile, and I've needed to step up and support my wife and step-daughters through it. It has caused a tremendous amount of extra stress. The tightness and trust within our family will help us get through it though.
Andrew graduated HS. We did not know if he would ever speak or grow up to be independent. we’ve had many bumps, scares, setbacks and also amazing milestone achievements. We are so proud of him and so proud of him for going to such a difficult school, facing his fears, going far away from home, living independently and taking hard coursework. This has been such a year of growth for my son with autism and other developmental delays. It’s affected me in that I basically gave up my life to raise him and always provide him with the best therapies and support systems. Together we have achieved great success and I can’t Wait to see where he takes it.
After the unexpected death of my mom last year, my dad is learning how to define his life in her absence. He and I have had to learn how to have a relationship that isn’t defined by her. It’s been bittersweet. We miss her and will always feel the hole that she left behind. But we’ve also reached a really good point with our relationship. It’s the best that it’s been in my entire life. I’m grateful that we’ve been able to get to such a good place.
My older sister had a kidney transplant this past year. The donor was my niece, the daughter of my younger sister. Her sister also volunteered to donate her kidney. The successful transplant was not only a medical miracle, but a demonstration of what it means to be a loving family. I was so grateful to both nieces who stepped up - what generosity, to be willing to give the ultimate: the gift of life to their aunt. Thank you, mom and dad, for raising us with these values and passing them on to our children. Family is everything!
Maybe not a major milestone, but my partner changed companies and the transition took longer than expected. Since he is not salary and his hours with the new company are coming in slow, I ended up paying all the bills for two solid months, and will likely be paying the majority but not all for several more months. I always assumed I could do this, but I didn’t realize the level of financial sacrifice this would be. I haven’t felt this unsure of my available cash in awhile and I hate it, but there isn’t much I can do about it, so that’s also tough. I know this is not what he wants either and he feels inadequate, but I’m trying not to show my own frustrations about the situation.
I reached the age that my dad was when he died. I don't think this was major milestone for my living family, but it was for me and I believe it was for my dad on some cosmic level.
Milestone? I can't think of anything we were trying to reach but to survive. I'm a bit too exhausted to set up goals, so I've got nothing.
My parents sold their 2nd home in the mountains. They are getting too old to be able to maintain it, especially since winters bring snow and frozen pipes. There is no nearby hospital in the town they were staying. I know that it was a hard decision because it's such a pretty house and location, but it was logical to sell it. Another major milestone is that my sister and brother-in-law retired and started out on their road trip adventures. They sold his flat in San Francisco, they packed all their belongings in their car, and drove all around the U.S., focusing on visiting National Parks. It's impressive that they did most of it camping in a tent, although they also stayed in AirBnBs as well. They are still traveling, even after a year has gone by! Now they are in Europe, taking a train to explore. The biggest major milestone that happened to my own family unit is that my husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 throat cancer. He went through all of the treatments (chemo and radiation) like a champ, and eventually beat it! He's gone through all of the hardships, and now he's in 100% full remission. He went skydiving for the first time to celebrate! I am so proud of him!!! I'm inspired to live life to it's fullest!
After nothing joyful going on in our family, my younger daughter got engaged to be married in December of last year with a wedding planned for next year. It's been fun watching them plan a life together and has brought joy to our entire family. Also, for the first time in years and years, all 3 of my children are employed at good jobs paying a living wage that they actually like. That's a major milestone.
This incoming baby if it chooses to come through me as a portal is going to mark a major milestone in the family. I’m a bit tired all the time. And I know there’s going to be a HUGE change.
1. I got afflicted with an autoimmune condition, PMR, which caused extreme pain, very limited mobility, and took months to correctly diagnose. I saw my husband really step up to help when I was at my worst. 2 of our kids and 2 of our grandkids were extremely concerned. Our oldest did not seem to be, nor had she told her children, ages 16 and 19. This forced me to have a serious discussion with her about her behavior over the past year. 2. Abby died. Abby was our son’s dog and had been living with us since lockdown, 2 1/2 years ago. I loved her like she was mine. I watch her decline and had to be part of the dreadful decision to let her cross the Rainbow Bridge. I am grateful that I could support Ethan in this decision and be in the room with him and Abby when the Laps of Love vet came over to euthanize her. It was a blessing to hold her little paw and tell her I loved her as she slipped away. It was a gift to share this sad day with my son. 3 Our darling grandson Aidan received a diagnosis of Level 1 Autism, which used to be referred to as Asperger’s Syndrome. None of us were surprised, but an official medical diagnosis does have one pause. I have tried very hard to support Ashley on her journey of advocating for Aidan and making sure his needs are met, especially as he has transitioned to middle school. Aidan is a brilliant, talented and sensitive little boy, and it breaks my heart to see him struggle. Fortunately he is now on a new med, a mood stabilizer, that is working wonders. I would lie down in front of a truck for this child but I can’t “fix” this.
We finally held the unveiling for my dad which had been cancelled earlier due to a covid scare, and I had flown there for nothing. It was rescheduled 6 months later, and I flew there again and was finally able to sing the song I had written about my dad for the unveiling ceremony. This was very fulfilling for me like it was my destiny to finally sing that song.
My husband passed away just before Christmas. I am devastated, humbled...there are no words adequate to describe the depths, and different kinds of sadness. I don't know who I am without him, and don't know what my place is in the world anymore. My boss has made sure I make enough to stay in my house. My family and friends have been so very supportive. I am so glad that I have a refuge in God. Without Him...
My parents both turned 70 this year, and are looking much more like how I remember their parents. It's scary to be slipping into the phase where my parents will be declining in health and ability, knowing I will have to face my relationships with them as they need more care. Right now I want to support them living their best lives and enjoying every day.
Holy crap, what a year this has been for milestones!!! Let's see: we finally bought a house, we moved to another state, my youngest started preschool after years and years being my little buddy, my oldest started at a brand new school, my little sister got married, my dad had a remission, my favorite uncle got cancer, my parents sold their parents' house after so much work.
Aaron and Tina got pregnant and started the process of buying a house, Lolya turned 90, me and Jenya went on the Cape vacation, Ben took a year off of school and turned 20. Nothing really major...
My mom, sister and I are learning how to navigate honoring milestones and celebrating the Jewish holidays since we lost our husband (Mom) and step-dad who were adored last year. We’ve not enjoyed the lack of community and are making a commitment to be a family who celebrates together for as long as we can.
Total knee replacement. I learned how to deal with pain, take control of my recovery, and not rely on medical professionals who were less than stellar. And once again, I realized how very grateful I am to have Bob in my life. He has been a constant, patient hero through all this.
During the past year my father was ill. For some time we did not know how severe the disease was. It gave me a scare. I always saw my father as a strong man. It was scary to see him this fragile. My boyfriend had a difficult time when he had doubts about his career path. This impacted me as well (his mood was not good). I’m happy we are past that and he made a decision.
Hm... Yet again I can't think of anything specific. Ori and I are both doing such wonderful and adventurous things though. Ori spent 4 months in Berlin and he's just moved to London. I'm exceptionally proud of him! Evan has moved to Toronto and Joel is traveling to Italy for an indefinite amount of time. Unfortunately a challenging event for Elana was her divorce. I still haven't had the chance to speak with her about all of this.
The youngest of my three kids got engaged, the first to do so. I was dismayed for several reasons, but realized that I just need to accept it and move forward with a positive attitude. I feel sad that my son seems to give preference to his fiancée’s family over ours, but hope that our relationship will evolve to be more inclusive of us over time.
This Spring, my Aunt karin died after a very long and valiant battle with cancer. 22 days later, her daughter celebrated her wedding. It was such a bizarre experience to be all together as a family without her that weekend. And to be in this state of grieving without the space or time to process it. I admired karin so much as a parent, a family member, and a hostess. I loved seeing her interact with kids, silly and creative and kind. I loved being at her house for holidays and have wanted for so long to be the kind of thoughtful and detailed hostess she always was. I have looked up to her for so long, in a way I never looked up to my own mom. It isn't just the loss of karin the person that felt so big this time. It's also the loss of her house, where family has gathered for the majority of my life. It was as familiar to me as my mom's house...maybe even more so. Grammy's house sold in 2019, and karin's house sold this summer. I'm sad to lose those anchors of my life as well. I'm realizing that the reason grief isn't linear is because you can't understand all the small ways and days that you're going to miss them. Things pop up randomly; the habit of calling someone when you're reminded of them, of waiting for them to call and wish you a happy birthday, of remembering the moments that made you feel loved and cherished; and then the remembrance that the memory is all you'll ever have now.
Rachael, my closest friend, got diagnosed with AIH, Autro-Immune Hepatitis, last November, 2021. Rachael is an Ultra-marathon runner, having run 100 milers for several years, and had just retired as a psychologist working with marginalized people. AIH is a genetic roll of the dice, and she was unlucky. I miss her so much since she returned to Chicago where the transplant program is better than ours here. We need a liver donor and I hate that I am too old to qualify to give part of mine. This is so hard. I am trying to prepare for the worst, and hope for a living donor.
No major milestones for other members of my family. Just me changing jobs. It's a good thing.
We moved to a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood. It is so peaceful that it helped me find peace of mind, finally.
All these answers revolve around my brother’s illness and death. It forced me to pull closer to my birth family, which was intolerable. It drove me to be more intentional and invested in my chosen family.
The two that stand out are kids going back to school, and the family going to Ireland. Back to School has been incredible. It's like their lives and development fast forwarded compared to quarantine. So much social and emotional development and change. So much quiet and productivity for Tara and me. It's been scary, but I'm so glad it happened. The Ireland trip mostly just impressed me with how mature and respectful the can be. They both really understood things like behaving on the plane, and trying new things while traveling. I'm so proud of them.
To be determined: relationship with Brittany and her children. So far so good, loving mama and earning the right to show up in her and their life one day at a time. I was able to grow my relationship with my own mother. As a youth, I pulled away from my mother and pursued a relationship with my father caught that was primarily filled with selfish and self seeking motives. Over the past year I’ve had the privilege of earning my family‘s trust And developing a relationship with my mom again. It’s been challenging with her diabetes however it’s been incredibly rewarding. Having structure and a place to stay fulfilled a sense of security for me that I needed. I was definitely insecure in my own personal security and not comfortable be around my father. I never felt welcomed there and thus I don’t believe I allowed myself to flourish. This time last year I had nine months of sobriety today I have 21 months of sobriety. I am trusting God and growing. My relationship with my family in general has gotten better, with the exception of my brother-in-law and sometimes depending on her mood my twin sister. My sister and my father have a lot in common. My mother although she has dementia lives primarily in the present. She has a lot of joy and is happy. She tries to relate to people and talks about things but is never actually troubled or upset. In January when I moved over to keep an eye on her, take care of her as much as I could, and prove my own emotional well-being, and also save money so that I could improve my financial security… Begin making amends to people, she did not know who I was. Today she knows who I am. Although she might forget my name from time to time she knows me as one of hers. And although she may not be able to articulate that I am her child from day today, she knows that I am her family and a part of her clan. She gave me a hard time unlike my father who constantly gives me a hard time my mother rarely gives me a hard time. But she gave me a hard time about being overweight, just like her father did when he was in a nursing home. I never went back to visit him when he said something. Today I did something about it and I lost weight. Today my mom will acknowledge that I’ve lost weight and that I look good. I can rest some satisfaction in knowing that I make my mom proud some thing that was very hard to do with my dad. She also gives me a hard time similarly to my dad when I ever grow my beard out. She likes a clean face but she likes me to have whatever little hair I have left on top as evidence as she sometimes picks on my brothers hair or lack there of. I hope to be able to restore and repair the relationship with my father my twin sister and my brother-in-law. But for now I’m incredibly grateful that I have been able to be present and close to my mom again. I always chose the good life and what seem to be a better way of living in staying close to my dad but my mother‘s heart cannot be valued enough. She made me into a very loving person. She helped me foster love in my life. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but I hope to Keep an eye on her stay close to her and be available to check in on her from time to time as she progresses down the road of dementia. I’m grateful that I could get back up and build my life back with the help and love of a woman Who didn’t really know me that well but knew in her heart that she love me.
My estranged father died. It brought me back with my brother. He has been released from his tortured life. All is well. I knew enough to call my therapist for extra work. We all have done really well around this. My mother gets money, I get money, my brother gets his house. It’s a sweet end to a sour life. And not because of the stuff. I felt him release from the hate about 6 months after he died.
My son moved into our upstairs. He and I are having a very positive relationship. I appreciate the man he has become and I think he appreciates what I have done with my life as well as respecting my counsel.
I retired. This has given me more time to care for two disabled family members and run myself into the ground.
Parker has gone off to college. I'm so grateful that he's not too far away. It has certainly changed the dynamic around here. I'm definitely a bit nostalgic for when all three of the kids were small. And John just misses him so much.
My niece became a Bat Mitzvah this year. It was such an enormous moment to be together with my family to witness Abby reading from the Torah and conducting the service. My great-grandmother, Lucy, looked on above Abby's shoulder from the video screen. I don't think I will ever forget this day. The event symbolized the next generation of Jewish adult in our family and the chain of life.
Last November, my sister was declared cancer free. She was diagnosed the February previous, and it threw my family into seasons of chaos and heartbreak. I've never had to face the mortality of a family member, let alone my sister - she's my big sister, isn't she invincible? Furthermore, going through this crisis in the middle of a pandemic created even more challenges in an already difficult time. One that has been weighing heavily on my mind, is that my parents and I never made it to visit her. She lives in upstate New York, my parents in Baltimore, and I was still at college in Western PA at the time. While my parents and I had begun to relax our corona restrictions, my sister tightened hers. I wanted to go and visit and take care of her, and yet I knew that she wouldn't have been comfortable receiving people outside her bubble - let alone a germy college student coming from a campus of 2500 people. We did our best to support her, from weekly zoom calls to flowers & food to stuffed animals, but what we desperately wanted was to visit her. But she was clear that she wanted to be locked down tight. Now, in hindsight, I'm wondering - should we have visited anyway? Should I have packed my bags the moment I heard about her diagnosis and drove to New York to be with her? There is a part of me that wants to ask, but I know that bringing it up now would serve only to ease my own conscience, and I think that that would be selfish of me. All I can do now is repent and give this guilt to God.
There have been new babies and weddings in my family. Unfortunately due to covid and distance I’ve not been a part of those.
My parents moved into an assisted living facility. The previous couple of years were agonizing on my end. Worrying about Covid, dealing with my mother's anxiety over my stepfather's declining facilities and her own diminishing strength, really started to suck the life out of me. Not that life has been all gravy since they moved, but it sure is a LOT better.
My son and grandson visited for a week this year, and it was great spending time with them. And I just received a text from my granddaughter inviting me to one of her band competitions. I feel so gratified that they think of me.
Las crisis de BPD, afectan a toda la familia. De la misma manera controlarlas y superarlas, ayuda para bien.
Ten years since Phantom closed passed by at the start of this month. It took me ten years to get back on track to go out on a professional stage. I've always counseled patience to others and to myself and I guess this shows why. There IS more out there, but there are no short cuts. Good things take time, hard things take time, worthy things take time, doing things right takes time. I was such a different person when Phantom closed. It's almost as if the closure of that show set me on the path to becoming the person I would have needed to be to *really do it right* when I had it. Not that I did it wrong. I honored it and cherished it every single day. But I didn't realize I needed to *serve* it and I really really really didn't understand that I needed to serve the PEOPLE of it -- from my co-performers, to the crew, to the creatives, to the audiences. It has taken a lot of work to get to the place where I can grab onto that idea so deeply and immersively, to understand how fundamental that is not just to "doing a good job" but to being in the world in the way that I believe creates the greatest opportunity for goodness, progress, and enrichment. The ten years offstage have made me more prepared than ever to give onstage. I will always wish I got here sooner, but truly it feels like a miracle to have gotten here at all -- "here" being a place where I don't just realize this, but actually have the opportunity to practice it. What an incredible gift my life is! What an unpredictable path I am walking. Keep going, friend. You have what it takes.
I got married! It felt like this was a positive thing for my family, like everyone was very joyful and happy to have something to celebrate. My dad and my brother both gave wonderful speeches. Also, I now have a new family - my inlaws :)
We haven't really had any milestones this year. Instead, I think we're having a slow evolution in how we connect, as my siblings and I rely more on each other and are finding times to be together, including a trip coming up with just the 3 of us, no spouses or kids. I'm grateful for that, not only because I know many families don't have this kind of relationship but also because we are becoming ever more central in each other's support networks, despite living far apart and having quite different lifestyles.
My grandma turned 101 and I turned 50. This has caused me to think deeply about being at the midpoint of my life and how I want to spend the rest of my days, if I am perhaps only halfway through. I ponder: What makes me most happy? Do I want to stay married? Do I want to start over? What do I most value? With whom do I want to spend most of my time? How honest about my needs and wants am I with myself and others? How can I gain clarity on what to do next?
My mother's death and taking on the administration of her trust, and interacting much more regularly and more intimately with my brother and sister has impacted my life tremendously this past year. I am closer to my siblings than I have ever been. I have gotten to know them so much better. All of this has resulted in self-reflection, less judgment and more acceptance of each other. Gratitude for my husband and how he stepped fully into many tasks related to my Mom's death in the ways that best suited him and me.
I am exhausted but ready for the nextadventure.
Deborah moved to PA. We scattered Bob's ashes last November. What else? Life moved on.
After only 6 month's that we moved into the same building that my mum, she had a horrible fall and as I was leaving for 3 month's she went into a nursing home and decided to stay. As much as it could be ok for her I fell a bit unhappy that we will not get the chance to have lived close by and spend more time together. Because I have worked for so long in that nursing home I feel like she is there just waiting for when her final day will come knowing that she would have wanted to die at home like my dad.
2022 On one level, our nuclear family has now disintegrated. The five of us dispersed this year. Joe had returned home for two years as the pandemic raged. Madeleine came home for about a year also. In 2022 they both moved into homes of their own with their mates, and, as I mentioned earlier, we are now house-free. We have three offspring who live in a space that spans 1,100 miles (1,770 km). We can't just travel to one spot to see everyone. We have to hop around from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara to Tacoma, or one or more of them has to hop. Madeleine is applying to medical school, and if she settles in the East that will make that span even greater. This milestone makes us sad and happy. Happy that Joe, Madeleine and Sam are independent and thriving, with jobs and very good mates and, in Sam's case, a little fellow. But it's sad that we all are not at the table every week, or at least seeing one or more of them spontaneously. This had been happening slowly over time, but now we do not live together and there’s no building of ours to come home to. We have been Mama and Papa for 30 years. That is all we were to some extent, caring for them, giving to them, supporting them when they needed it, hassling them when they needed it, listening to their dreams and fears and desires. Now Tootie and I have each other. I find myself doting over her, making sure she has what she needs, coffee in the morning, a made bed, something nice to eat for supper. We have to adjust to this houselessness, this roaming, this being together all day without distractions like kids and work. We are needing to adapt!
A great deal of home changes: me settling in at my cottage-now-house, my niece buying a house near her sister, my sister buying a condo for her son to move forward in life, her stepdaughter marrying, another sister starting the pare-down to move to an apt in town soon....just seems like a lot of positive home changes 😀
The milestone has been putting our words into action, searching for and selecting a house. The purchasing and moving process is still to come, but turning the goal into a decision into an action has been huge! It's felt scary and empowering. I feel like my dreams and potential are attainable.
Realizing that my sisters and mother do not know or respect who I am and that they are toxic for my wellbeing so I will have to continue this life without them in my life
My uncle, the last family member I still had contact with, rejected me for becoming Jewish. It was very upsetting, and I feel a lot of resentment that nobody in my family ever loved and accepted who I am. Also sadness that I never had the loving family I needed and deserved. It also bothers me that so many things, including this question, assumes that I have any family contact.
I turned 65. I don’t know major that was for others but for me, it’s been a huge adjustment in my self image. I can barely get the words out when describing myself as “old” or a “senior” but that’s the truth. I feel a bit hopeless when I contemplate that so much of my life is behind me, and yet I still want things that typically come to people when they are far younger than I. Did I really miss my chance? Looking at the answers of others, I realize that so many other milestones have happened since last Rosh Hashanah. My beloved Aunt Jeri died and it’s left a surprising hole in my life; more because we didn’t see each other often, but she was so important to me and when we spoke or saw each other, I felt loved. And closer to my father. I’ve lost both my aunts in 2021 and my mom’s dementia is growing. So perhaps it’s all of a piece: the women to whom I turned for love and support (fraught as it often was) are lost to me and I feel my family shrinking and I’m lonely.
My daughter turned 16 and got her permit and visited a college. It's the beginning of the long goodbye. Sniff.
I really answered this in the previous question but i opened up channels to brother and sister. Oh and i also opened up channels to my cousin Murray who i have always felt close to. It has affected me positively .... i dont feel so alone anymore
Linda had hip replacement surgery. I was willing to give her assistance when needed.
Kirsten is pregnant with a third and Michelle is getting divorced. Both have made me focus on being less judge mental and more flexible. They will both do great as they are great kids- I just have to focus on this and be positive about it
My son got engaged. I am happy for him but it shows his moving further away and growing into full adulthood.
No major milestones that I can think of. But a continuing one with my relationships with my two children: I have gotten progressively closer to my daughter, who confides in me and trusts me after many years of having copied her cruel father. However, my son is still not talking to me, and that makes me both very sad and also resentful, because I was a wonderful mother to him up until I wouldn't put my own life in jeopardy to keep him here in my very small house during his radiation therapy.
My brother stopped talking to me. He is the only survivor with me of a very dysfunctional nuclear family. I got angry with him because he never checked to see if I had survived Hurricane Ida (my town was severely impacted), whether I was homeless because of the storm, whether my husband had survived it. After a month and a half, I called him and told him I was upset about this. He married a woman like our mother — mentally ill and vindictive — and she has instigated this dislocation. It is not the first in my family. My brother was for years the only one who was still talking to me. My whole family considered me the black sheep when I was growing up. I was a punk rocker would-be intellectual high school student, and my parents disowned me. Our mother was bipolar and lied to the neighbors, told everyone I was dying of AIDS when I was studying at the University, then working in Paris. I neither have HIV nor have AIDS. I found out how many lies she told only this past year when my aunt reconciled with me, having believed a large number of wild lies my mother had told — and the whole family apparently waited for me to drop dead. My aunt started reading my published work in the past two years (and I suspect others in the family have) and finally asked me this year if all the wild lies my mother told about me — that I was on drugs (I have NEVER EVER done them), that I was dying of AIDS (Again, I am healthy, baruch ha Shem), and that I had no friends (I have plenty of them), and that I was unemployed (I teach at a Southern University and am engaged in a variety of community projects). When she found out the truth, she re-owned me. I have perhaps disappointed them by living in health, by surviving big storms. I am not sorry I have done so. I am only sorry that they mostly never talk to me. Many of them were kind until they heard lies about me. I miss that. But I have never done them any harm, continue to wish them well, and will not apologize for my life that they have disowned.
I finished cancer treatment. It's caused so many changes in our lives. We're taking some time off from work - or maybe have stopped working completely. I'm more focused on my own health and wellbeing and regaining strength and stamina. We've slowed down a bit with activities and try to spend more time together. I feel like we're much better at living in the moment.
The closest we came to a major milestone was our 37th anniversary. We were able to get away for three days in a favorite place. Looking back over life, I realize how fortunate we are to have found each other. Over the years we have come to take much for granted, but I'm convinced we saved one another. I can only speak for myself, of course, but without the influence of my wife it's doubtful that that my life would have amounted to much. So, in retrospect, the most significant event of the year is that we are still together, in good health, financially sound, and know that fate was kind enough to have us find one another. I am grateful for another year spent in the company of a woman who has been at my side for so long.
My heart surgery. You'd think I'd be living every moment of my life, but I'm not. Hopefully it's just because I'm still so out of shape and that it comes back as I get in better shape. Trying to tell my kids how much I love them more.
We got our kid safely off to uni. And we got our bivalent boosters soon afterwards. There’s been much more socializing and less masking. I’ve enjoyed it but still need at least one day of downtime each weekend.
Grandson Derek started kindergarten!! That's a pretty big milestone! Tandy turned 40! (five more years and we'll be the same age!) Bill turned 75?!!! My 1996 infinity nearly died from the price of gas, which is nearly $7.00/gal - bought me a "new" 2008 Toyota Camry - paid CASH, no car payments and still have a nice bit of cash in my savings/IRA account - all good!
This year I have continued to work on rebuilding my relationship with my family. I have worked on honest open communication with them and clear healthy boundaries. It feels good to have them in my life in a relatively healthy way.
A rabbi agreed to sponsor me for conversion, even over distance. I started more formal conversion and began the process of finding a more local community. It has made me focus more on living Judaism and less about attaining knowledge. It makes my husband commit to my lifestyle and it is interesting to envision the future with my conversion in mind.
I'm ever so happy and grateful. We've drawn closer together. We've traveled for fun and for funerals (there's still "fun" in funerals). We've done everything except have a baby (does a puppy count?) and are appreciative for it all. The support from family has humbled me. They've been fabulous.
Basically, everyone I considered to be my family has exited my life in the past year. I’m devastated, barely afloat as a result of these events. And I’m still here. Breathing out, breathing in. *Sigh*
My 70th birthday. It made us happy and made me think about who our real friends are. It made me even more grateful than usual for health, family and friends. It also involved a decision that our money is here to be enjoyed and as Suze Orman says, people first, experiences second, things third.
See question 1. That little guy! I want to live to see him reach 20…I’d be 90. Fingers crossed. I’m so proud of how Michael has stepped up to fatherhood. He’s extraordinary especially when I think about the shit father he had.
Ben and Cassandra gave birth to Izzy. I became a Safta. We just visited with the whole family, including mom, and it was wonderful to see everyone together holding and loving Izzy without any drama.
Got engaged! It's definitely been a source of excitement and joy for my family and they love that they have something to look forward to with this wedding. I wish I could say the same for my fiance's family, who oppose our interfaith relationship, but I'm trying to focus on the positives and enjoy with the people that support us.
We sent Kid 1 off to college. The initial shock and absence really messed with my head, but now we’ve adjusted to the remaining three of us, and thankfully, we hear from him fairly often in an organic way (not forced communication). His absence also begins to prepare me for the “What’s Next?” aspect of 5-10 years from now when Kid 2 is gone and retirement is the plan. That still scares me…
My mom started hating my oldest brother, resenting his behaviour. She has been fine with him in person, but spits venom about him to me. She has a long history of mental health issues, is always a victim and never learned to deal with anger or other issues in a positive way. I understand and have compassion for her history, but refuse to accept her behaviour and gently try to get her to talk to him. Does it affect me? Well, sometimes I lose my temper with her, but I have a fairly detached view on it and how she interacts in the world so most of the time I'm not affected.
Nobody's died or done anything so exciting, and it's still really covid so family gatherings have been few and far between. My favourite was my 83 yr old great aunt's bat mitzvah. I had suggested the idea and she took to it with the foreboding of an adult but still some of the excitement of a child. It became a gorgeous occasion to gather the family and celebrate not just her but each other, making up for those missed opportunities of the last few years. Otherwise, mum and dad carried on working, my brother went away for the year and really became an adult without us even realising, my grandparents grew their tomatoes and ran the synagogue library and life carried on as normal. I can only hope to report that everyone is still happy and healthy next year.
There were a couple. The ex that stole, lied and was a meth addict was convicted. I had another girlfriend that was also a liar and quite mean. Omer and broke someone's heart and through this met someone quite special. My daughter has turned 12, my sister is talking to my father again and I'm working albeit I struggle with the restrictions a bit. I have renewed confidence in my ability. Thinks have turned a corner and I'm looking forward to the next phase of my life.
I dont think any major milestones affected me much. I suppose my mum seems very unhappy and erratic recently, a legacy of covid and lockdowns and accelerated cognitive decline. Nobody will acknowledge it but i see it. And it has made me very sad and a tad desperate to know how to become the kind of person who can be a good parent to her mother like she has been to me. It has in many respects made me step up into negotiator mode, peacemaker, trying to giddy up my temperamental and sometimes difficult family to identify how i can become close to everyone and figure out how to diffuse tension created by the difficulties arising from my mothers frustration, often anger and sometimes sheer rudeness. I think my mum has aged a lot, as a result of not being allowrd to see anyone during the pandemic. Maybe its dementia, maybe it is old age. So this isnt her fault. Shes ageing and shes unhappy. But her behaviour, alongside the short temperament of our entire family, makes things really hard and takes a toll when i see them. Because i wish everyone would listen, be gentler, have more humour. I keep trying to fill in those gaps. The ultimate answer is, these familial changes have forced me to become a different person, slowly, and i prefer this person but im not sure if im being false and pretending to be more mature, more placating and patient, or if I am two faced. I hope the former.