Q03

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

my grandma died just over a year ago... and I haven't seen most of my relatives since... I'm a little surprised that this doesn't affect me as much as I thought it would.

Finnley asked to video chat with his birth mom. Even though he backed out at the last minute, it really affected me in ways I wasn’t expecting. All kinds of insecurities came knocking.

My grandma is finally across the country and selling a junk home elsewhere. This has been 10 years in making and took the fucking family long enough. Did you know I dislike my family?

The birth of my grandson brought more joy than I could ever imagine to my life

It's not exactly a milestone, but I (and later that year) my sister went south to visit my aunt and cousins. We hadn't seen my aunt in fifteen years. What a wonderful thing to find your family again as an adult!

My nephew committed suicide. I was saddened and guilty that I had at times mistreated him and did not get to say sorry.

My 23 yer old son, who is on the autistic spectrum, went to Brazil, Prague and Salzburg to play his cello. It has affected me because I am so proud of him. I am proud of his talent and independence.

My brother got married. I'm really pleased for him. It's great that he's got someone I his life. 3 years out of a nasty nasty split myself - I am a bit envious.

Jocie had Asher and it made me proud to be an aunt, happy to welcome such a happy, cheerful baby into the world and excited about the future.

There has been no actual milestone, but, instead, a long-term life transition has begun to manifest in perceptual ways. The best analogy I can think of is from a story I read about the author Isaac Asimov. He was an avid sailor, and explained that when a sailboat changes course too abruptly - by using its rudder - the rudder can break from the sudden stress. Instead, sailors use a series of small rudders called tabs that can make more subtle shifts in course. It will take longer to change course, but it can be done without damaging the whole ship. Over the last nearly seven years, I've been making many small changes in my life and the results haven't often been noticeable. But, just in the past few months, everything seems to have coalesced into a new, fresh way of seeing and being. I may not see my new course yet, but I know I've passed through some invisible threshold, leading in a very different direction.

My husband died of cancer. I am sad and lonely.

Mum having cataract operations on both eyes. It has been good for both of us. For mum the improvement in her vision and for both of us bring us closer. Though we have always been close spending more time with her at home post and pre-surgery has brought us closer.

My children all seem to be on good paths, happy and healthy. This has brought me peace and contentment.

A major milestone is Christiian finally getting her corrected social security card, birth certificate, and state ID. Now she can make moves and build her life. Though this is great news, the steps they all took to get this result cost me. Their plans were full of holes and it was my bank account that suffered. This year has been a drain. I've nothing (financially) to show of the work I've been doing here. I've reined in my spending, but you wouldn't know it. I resented the feeling that they just saw me as someone tor contact only when they needed money, or needed to vent. I felt they did not waste a moments consideration on my plans and needs because their need was greater than mine. So, the best thing, and the only good thing that came out of this adventure is Christiian finally being able to take fuller control of her life.

My daughter has started to have regular activities out of the house. I can't believe she's old enough to do things without me! It has caused us to lose some of our closeness, but it's an important part of growing up.

My brother's liver cancer finally came to get him. The funeral was a nice occasion, which reflected who he was, with everyone dressed in Hawaiian shirts & bright colours, and a champagne toast in the church. It was nice to catch up with my nieces & nephew. However my overwhelming feeling was to be glad that my brother was no longer in pain, distress & discomfort.

My sister got married! Which fits with my answer last year, because she had just gotten engaged then. I get on very well with my brother-in-law and my co-sister-in-law. It has also started some positive conversations between myself and my partner and our future.

I really can't think of anything other than my stepdaughter buying a house. It is good to see her and her son settling into a home and hopefully will allow my husband to worry a little less about her and our grandson.

My sister finally moved out to live with her girlfriend. I'm happy for her and I think that Mum is glad that she managed to move out but I don't really think that she's happy there.

turned 70 this year ... realize with some element of shock and or amazement that the quantum of my life is heading towards the end ... not unduly worried other than i don't want to waste any of the time that's left with irrelevant STUFF ... what that means exactly i don't know yet ... suppose that this is what i will be dealing with and finding out as I head to the departure lounge ... again must chuckle around this ... humour very NB .... daughter getting married and like any father i worry that she will be fulfilled and "happy" ... this is not a comment on her fiancee but I guess the knowledge that marriage is a gamble of sorts for anyone ... but this is MY daughter ... as well a dispersed family like ours is now more a reality than ever and is highly unlikely to change ... also had a new grandson who is just lovable

Julie became a rabbi! It has changed where we live, how our parnassh is obtained, our position in the community, and the role Julie has assumed. It is a huge blessing and responsibility

Our son had two milestone happen this past summer - one major, one minor. He finished middle school and has moved on to high school (major). He also took his first solo flight (to grandparents in Florida) as an unaccompanied minor. The teenage years are almost always difficult for both kid and parent for tons of reasons. This summer, our son really transitioned into full-time, narcissistic, independence-seeking teen. I am already looking forward to the teenage years being over. :) As a parent, I feel my angst level and my worry level ratcheting up exponentially. Since the lessons I can convey to him, and the conversations with him, have inexorably slowed to a trickle, I hope that mom and I have raised him right - that mom and I conveyed what we feel are the values and morals of living in a civilized society when the window for doing so was open. Clearly, the window is only slightly cracked open right now.

My brother, the youngest in the family got married. And the marked difference in a way the wedding was planned and organised as opposed to my older brothers' weddings before, where I had to be a lot more involved, brought a lot of relief to me. I've always felt a sense of duty to my mom and family, to an extent that it felt crippling. But this time with everyone chipping in, I felt like I could let go a little bit and still have the assurance that everything will turn out okay, and they did. And while 10 years ago perhaps I had worried that it falls on my shoulder to make things better at home, to make my mom happy, to make sure everyone come together, I am proud this time that everyone worked together. With my nieces and my nephews around and my sister in laws - I'm grateful that our happiness at home is no longer reliant or defined only by one occurrence that broke us all. We're all mended, and we've come a long way.

Dan and Emma were married. It was difficult. Made me sad how badly Sarah and Deborah acted, how angry they got, how much they demanded. Emma is a very nice person, and well suited for Dan. I both like and love her. I think we are past the worst of it, but I'm sure there is scar tissue on all sides. Including mine.

Mara got another Long term deal at woodlands - solidifying our stay in westchester for a bunch more years - giving us stability and ability to relax and enjoy the status quo

There haven't been extremely big milestones per say that my family has experienced, but we have been through quite a bit. I found out my dad has been battling Parkinson's for quite some time. He also got sick while he was in Florida this past winter and that was a challenging experience. My brother just moved to Maine as well. I've started to realize that I may not know everything about my family and it has opened my eyes to the fact that your family is still people you need to get to know as an adult, versus the unit you'd known throughout the rest of your life. I'm extremely proud of my brother as well for taking this step in life and moving to another state far away from home.

My son turned 1 year old. It was sad to see his infancy go by. But I am a lot happier and more excited than I thought I would be to continue to watch him grow and see the person he is becoming. I was afraid once infancy was gone the excitement would fade and perhaps I would loose interest. But not one bit!

WOW, this is been a full year. Ron and I took a leap and joined with Molly and Herminio as a result of US moves to permit visits without a formal organization and to allow airlines to fly directly from the US. Just getting a plan together was a milestone. It helped to buffer the results of the US election. Regretfully, the uplift didn't carry us well after trump was inaugurated. It did launch our committment to following through on other planning. The carpet, the doors, a trip to Greece, a reunion with old sailing and skiing buddies, some decluttering and planning and getting out of board commitments. As we wound down to Ross Hashana Rachel's change in direction both with a partner and in her job and plan to move also made us understand that planning for our future -- where when and how needs more attention. BUT that will be for next year - starting now.

Same answer as question 1. It has added more stress to my life. My workdays are longer. My weekends-more chores to do. It's been almost 2 months now. I am very tired. Working on ways to streamline things. I prepare meals on Sunday that will get me through week. My downtime each weekend is more important than ever. I don't get near enough sleep. May have to cut out all social media and tv - each takes a little chunk out of my evenings. Probably need to save those things for weekends. Reading is much more relaxing. Should play with kitties more too since no one is home most of the day.

A major milestone that happened to our family this past year... I can think of a few that I would consider moderate opposed to major. One:my grandparents sold their home and bought into a senior program that allotted them to buy a home with privileges to transfer into full time care if, or when, it is needed. This humbles me to know their safety/support has strengthened and they can still maintain their independence. It also changes the location of family Christmas, nothing too crazy or exciting. Two: my brother proposed to his amazing fiancé! We are all so grateful that she has entered our lives, they are both such wonderful beings. Three: my family accepted me for who I am with minimal resistance or hesitation. I am thankful for each one of them and will continue to be patient with their growth. #OneLove

My husband turned 70. As he grows older it makes me more aware of how little time we have left, and I try to be kinder to him. I tried to be more patient with his daughter's lengthy visit, realizing there may not be all that many of them left and he should enjoy his time with her.

Father in law had to move to assisted living. So scary and sad. Makes you realize there are things you can't control. But also the value of just doing your best and being there for one another.

My father's death is the thing that comes to mind. It has affected me in so many ways, because it leaves my mother in a very uncertain position, which is frightening. If I were to go into this, my answer would be way too long, but suffice it to say our family is fractured and my mother is crazy, and I can't do anything to help her. I've had to learn how to let go, and I'm doing a pretty good job with that most of the time.

There are two: Nathan living with us permanently. He is thriving. He is doing so well in school. He has a normal amount of teenage airliners coupled with an eagerness to please. He no longer shoes signs of a neglected or abused kid. This is hard work, but work well worth doing. Keith is happier. I have given up a lot of my space and alone time which is hard for me. But I recognize that this is temporary. I also have had to work more hours to help feed all of the hungry mouths. This gives me some space from family and I feel proud to help.

Probably for me personally - a big milestone has been Lena staying in Bellingham to work and also moving in with her boyfriend. Now she is not longer the girl but a young woman and she comes home not to stay but to visit. So, the rearing of children is over. Yes, I feel the tug at my heart when she comes home and then drives away again. I am so proud of her though- she has come through tough waters with her dad and is now in the process of forging out that relationship and negotiating it on adult terms. She does well in her life and manages to find work and does not ever expect me to fund her or take care of her. Her dad pays rent- I pay phone and insurance- I feel proud of how I raised the girls. They all seem well launched. They all do well in their jobs and seem happy and strong in their relationships. I feel my age - not so much physically but mentally. At school I am definitely the older teacher- I feel great in the classroom but it feels staff wise that there are more teachers new and so young- Eat lunch in the teachers lounge and it is all the teachers who have been their long- new teachers in one another's rooms. Nancy has gone part time and Jackie will I think accept this job she has been offered. So in all areas I feel the coming of Fall or ha, is it winter in my life?

My mum moved to China and I'm off at university so my dad and my brother are alone at home now. It hasn't affected me much as I've been away.

My sister got married!! She and her fiancé had a small quiet ceremony in January before he had to deploy and their dream wedding at Disney when he came back in August. I am so happy for her and her little unit. Her son, my sweet little ginger, started kindergarten this year too--he amazes me every time I am with him with how smart and sassy he is. All of this doesn't affect me directly, but my sister's happiness means the world to me.

A lot of death this year in my larger family. It’s really put in perspective how short a time we have here. It’s also made me focus on health and making sure I’m doing anything I can to stay healthy and know I’ve done all I can. But mainly to focus on what matters and live the way I want.

My mother and I began speaking again after a year of No Contact. It has been awkward and strange, hopeful and careful, yet we strive to be respectful of each other and participate with each other. Sometimes people are incapable of change, sometimes they are capable. We must give them a chance to try. It has been a difficult blessing.

Our 35th Anniversary- 35 years!! I realize more than ever what those wedding vows meant then and now. We are not the same people with the same lives but a better version of ourselves. We are blessed beyond measure by G-d! I pray for 35 more years together but if not I am thankful and happy for the 35 we have had.

Not much. My family's bond is not that closed as compare to others. For others, ypu can open up easily with family without any hesitation but my isnt. I would rather talk to a a friend or relative than family members. The relationship with one another has been like this ever since i could remember. Dad is working oversease since i could remember. Family had gotten to some issues normally experienced as well by others. I could say that even though the family is still complete and staying together, the feeling is that you are really not home when you are home.

A family gathering in Paris, and a recognition of the continuing importance of family

DEREK JOSEPH MIDDLETON Both June 5, 2017!!! Can't get more MAJOR than that!!! Elated, thrilled, best grand baby EVER!!

my cousin had announced she was expecting a baby but a few weeks later she miscarried. every one was sad but it just brought us closer together.

We tried to sell our condo in Costa Rica and move on from there. Our friend who is not our friend tried to get us a buyer. He kept interfering with the sale and caused us a lot of stress aggravation and loss of money It has affected us because of the additional stress and problems it has created.

Both brothers celebrated their 10-year anniversaries. As a single person, I'm starting to feel less and less like my professional achievements make up for the feeling that I'm behind in terms of relationships.

My partner and I adopted a dog. It has increased our responsibility level, both physical and financial. We are working on improving communication between ourselves regarding caring for our dog, which in turn is increasing communication about other pieces of our relationship. She has brought so much love and hope to my life. I didn't understand dog people until I became one.

My parents paid the last school fees. This was kind of a step into adulthood as I started paying for a lot more of my own stuff and overall as a family we are now all fully adults and treat each other like them.

My daughter turned 12 and hit puberty. Her personality changed and hormones are flying. I'm learning to not take her moods personally. Hoping I can guide her in a loving way and not let my ego get in the way.

This actually started last year, but between work schedules, and some very trying situations, I've had both some of the most heart-breaking moments in the course of my relationship, and some of the best. Because of someone else's actions, we've struggled with trust and accountability, but it's also lead us to be closer and really understand some essential truths about ourselves, and each other.

I turned 60 this year. To much fanfare on the part of my family. Not so much by me--it was fine, but didn't feel like that big a deal. However, as I began to look at the changes over the past decade, I realized that, in almost every way, they have been big. We have lost a whole generation--gone. My parents are now the oldest generation of the family. And we have gained a new generation: two weddings, two new sons-in-law, three grandchildren (named for the ones who are gone). Turning of the wheel of time. I have gone from graduate student through research to PhD and published author. And returned to writing children's books. And our house has been completely redone--inside and out. On the national and international front--I witnessed the first "black" president elected and governing, the rise of extremists on the right and left across the world, and the election of the worst president ever. It's been a decade. I'm glad 60 gave me the chance to contemplate it.

My family really hasn't had a major happening this year. But my family of man, the world in general has had devastating natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. Many people have died and or lost their homes. Dominica was just destroyed with nothing left and my heart goes out to them. It's hard to know how to react with the whole country disappears like that. I feel helpless in the face Of so many in power denying climate change because that's what serves their corporate masters. I'm so ready for a revolution where people take priority over corporate gain.

My moms cancer diagnoses. Made us ask all stop and think about how we really wanted to be living our lives. We were reminded that life is so short. You must live and love as much as you can everyday.

Probably the most significant change in my family was return of my son from college. I really don't want to loose him, but it's getting to be more and more difficult to live with a grown up man, who demands to be treated as one, yet in my eyes behaves as a child. I wish I had an advice from somebody, but whom?

Got married. It made me feel more connected to my husband, even though we have been together for 12 years.

My wife is pregnant with our first child, due 10/15. So excited to be a first time father.

Daughter started collage which has been exciting and yet very scary as she is going away form us. It has effected me in a financial way as my present income dose not allow my to fully pay for her collage,which has been challenging at times

Well I already talked about the birth of my son in another question - and that's probably the biggest milestone for our new little family this year - ie becoming a family!!

My kid graduated HS! It was not easy for him or us but he made it. I am very proud and relieved. It has lessened some of the everyday stress in our home. there are many more hurdles for him and this family but that's one big accomplishment.

Probably the biggest event has been my wife's father really having serious health issues. In the past year he's had a pacemaker installed, surgery on his esophagus, major cancer surgery which kept him in the hospital for almost five weeks, septicemia, and he still has to undergo chemotherapy at some future point when he is able to withstand it. My wife has had to take a lot of time off from work to be with him in the hospital which is a two-and-a-half hour drive away. I've been doing my father-in-law's finances and making sure things are kept up at his house. It's been a huge investment of time that we really didn't have to invest, and we see no end in sight.

Our family climbed a 14,000 foot mountain together this summer. It was my first, and also my young son's first, having just turned 7. I was so incredibly proud of him!

Maddy went to sleep away camp for a month. It was an amazing growth experience for all of us. She had a great time, Abby enjoyed being the oldest and Linds and I continue to grapple with fact that the girls are growing up!

My son moved to Boston and started his first year of rabbinical school. He chose a school outside of the normal Reform movement system because he said he wanted more of a challenge. Moving to Boston was a huge deal for him, and for us. He left the Bay Area without a place to live, without transportation, and with only the clothes and supplies he could pack in two suitcases. Three weeks later he was making dinner for himself and his mom, in an apartment full of furniture in a neighborhood he loves, in his second week at a school where he says he was truly meant to be. As a parent this is extremely gratifying.

One of my grandmothers passed away. A grandfather's health is deteriorating fairly quickly. Both my parents will be sixty. There is a changing generation. I will always listen to my elders, but I am beginning to outgrow my home. These milestones are indicative of the evolution of my family. Not necessarily what they mean to me, but the powers that regulated us up until this point.

the death of my mother hit me hard; surprising, since we had a difficult relationship most of my life. i had spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to deal with her, and now i am still processing her being gone (after 6 months), how this still affects me and how it translates into the new family dynamic. my communication with my brothers is understandably less, and the holidays are looming with many questions about who does what and when. or if.

My cousin had a baby boy a few months ago. This has brought me a lot of joy to now see 4 generations all connected together. It is also beautiful to see the love and support for this child.

No major milestones. That in and of itself is...a little fraught. I really thought I would be married by age 40 and here I am, 41.

My Mom fell twice this past year, and each time has had a profound affect on me personally and on my family as a whole. With my older siblings being scattered across the country and leading busy lives, I could see into the future of caring for aging parents. It was scary, daunting, and left me feeling like I wasn't ready to take it all on. But moments of challenge present opportunity, and having the opportunity to step up and provide meaningful support, offer time and care to her, twice, was the best gift of the year. I now know I can and will step up, provide the highest level of care and support I possibly can for my parents, until one of us takes our last breath.

The "goalie" has been pulled out of the net; Bekah officially stopped taking birth control at the end of her August cycle. Honestly, I was terrified at first, I've always wanted kids, but I wasn't sure if I was ready. There seemed like so much we needed to do as a couple to be ready to welcome a child into our midst. But then, I had a revelation that babies don't pop out overnight, and that even if she got pregnant in our first month of trying, we would still have the better part of a year to get our act together and be ready. And honestly, is anyone ever truly 100% prepared to become first-time parents?

My uncle, the patriarch of my family, passed away quickly from cancer this year. His death was a symbol of my large and nurturing family completely dissipating. He was the primary caretaker of my grandmother, who was like a second mother to me. I've had to let go of a lot of guilt in the process and embrace that I must force myself to be selfish, for the first time. I am too young to feel this old.

Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer

Turning 60 and realizing that I am likely in the last third of my life. I am questioning everything about the past, present and future. Feeling overwhelmed about how to make this next period the best with few or no regrets.

My husband and I have been talking about divorce. It has forced me to look at the both of us differently -- at once more critically and more empathetically.

Hip surgery

I think a major milestone this year was Aaron graduating from Stony Brook. It feels so good that he has completed that stage of his life, and that he is so focused in his field. Also, it really improves the dynamics in the family and in the house to have him around. He jokes that he is a budding astrophysicist/marriage counselor. He influences all of us for the better.

My Uncle Willie Died this past Summer. It was unexpected and a shock to our family. He was one of my best friends and there is a hole in my heart that cannot be filled from his loss.

My dad is about to turn 90 years old. We're in the midst of preparations for a surprise party. I'm reflecting more and more on how things can be more difficult for him as well as life after he's gone.

My parents became first time grandparents, two times over! First T, then B was born. B was a surprise for us, but I'm happy that he's here, and I'm happy that he will get to grow up with a cousin so close in age. It's also made me realize that, while I love my life in MT, I am giving something significant up by living so far from my family (and the same thing is true for Bart, I know). I'm envious of P and A, and how much hands-on help they get from all the grandparents, every week.

Well, this past year I settled with uncle regarding my Hutzler case. This allows my family to move on, and so far, there is still a lot to move on from. Ties are broken, relationships done, probably no recovery from some.

W started Kindergarten. I was worried about how it would go. Would he be too tired and falling apart? Would he be embarrassed and/or discouraged by the fact that he is younger developmentally when it comes to fine motor skills and so writing letters that look how he wants them to look is harder for him than most of the other children in his class? Would he have a hard time being gender fluid as he becomes more aware of the binary in our society? He is leading us through this incredible journey of watching W be W. He LOVES Kindergarten, and his school and teachers and classmates love him (that was never a worry). But he's so inspired, and he's becoming more and more confident every day. He showed me his writing today and was so proud, and talking about the things that are hard for him without getting discouraged. He started off the year in dresses and now isn't wearing them. He says he doesn't want everyone to think he's a girl, but he says it without shame or anxiety. I think of this as a time of ebb in what is sure to have more flows. We are holding the space for him and he is holding it for himself. He has always been an incredibly interesting and passionate and weird and surprising and loving kid. But I worried about him, because he is sensitive, and because of his sensory processing differences, has historically gotten overwhelmed and tired easily. I am so grateful that he is in such a loving place, and that he really knows who he is. And he is just thriving.

My mother is selfish. The past year, after her 3rd husband's death, she has become unbearably so. She constantly puts her boyfriend before her family. Which, honestly, doesn't bother me that badly. But she plans her visitation (with her grandchildren) around whatever bike rally or concert she and her boyfriend are going to, even after multiple requests that she does not visit on weekdays. She is spending money frivolously on material things that are temporal. She is not even fun or entertaining anymore. All she does is talk about herself and what she likes. I don't like spending time with or talking to my mom. It's really sad. The saddest part is that my life is neither positively or negatively affected by that. That should tell you something about my childhood. I've gone so long without a mother that I've learned to live without her.

Well, I married Amanda. It has been so much more valuable, tough, fun, and life changing than I could have imagined. We had an unbelievably hard year last year. Amanda moved in at the beginning of September, we got married in October, I discovered my job was not for me slowly but obviously throughout the winter. To the point of driving me to clinical depression. Transitioning to our new family was hard for everyone. Drew especially struggled. It felt like we would never have a family dinner without tears, or that the relationship between her and Amanda would never be positive. I underestimated everyone's struggle with this new family dynamic. Amanda now had housemates, 2 of which were under 12 years old and one of which was a super-stressed and depressed husband. Somehow we made it through the winter. The time we take to fight things out, walk away and come back. To allow everyone their feelings and then be able to say we are sorry has helped us create a family unit that is. mostly unrecognizable to where we were last year. The relationship that has developed between Drew and Amanda is beautiful, it is obvious the respect and care Drew has for her step-mother and that respect is seen and felt by Drew herself. It is not to far to think of them as mother and daughter. Now I feel closer to the life I want to live, the family dynamics that I want to live in, and the love I deserve to share.

I turned 40 this year, and tried to really analyze my life, what I was doing and where I wanted to be. I don't have all the answers, but I do feel more confident about things I want in my life and am working towards those goals. For example, I made sure that I got away for my birthday, something very difficult for a single mom to schedule, and celebrated with adults. I chose a primary care doctor and am making real strides at taking care of my health. These healthy choices have spurred other healthy choices (better stress management, choosing to exercise more, signing up for a 5k).

Wayne went to state jail/prison. I met Rodney and got engaged to him. I have lost almost 28 pounds in less than 2 months. I already expounded on these things in question 1. Jon Russell and his wife, Kelsi, had a son, Jack. Katie got pregnant and is due Feb. 2018. Hopefully this brings joy to my brother, Mike. One thing that I did not mention in question 1 is that I found out 100% that I am a Robinson and not a Fife. I don't know if I have written about this before in 10Q but it is a long an complicated story. Mother went to her grave with this secret but I discovered it anyway. I, in some ways, wish I had not ever started suspicioned it and that I had not found out for sure, but it is what it is. It is strange to know that Ronnie was my full brother and Mike is my half-brother and that I had a half-sister that is now deceased and I have 3 half-brothers. It has not changed the way I think or feel about Daddy at all and I still feel like a Fife 100%. I found out that Daddy knew I may not be his before he married Mother but decided to marry her and raise me anyway. I feel sad that I did not find out before my sister died because she was the only sister I had and maybe we could have become close and helped each other...I always wondered what it would be like to have a sister. I know I have the 3 half-brothers but I just do not feel a connection to them but I hope that one day before it is too late I will. I just feel no connection to the Robinsons other than what I already had and they were actually a part of my life in some ways since I was a child. I have wondered if Daddy ever knew for sure and I wonder if RT (my biological dad) knew and I especially wonder if Ronnie knew. It is still all strange to me. Maybe in this next year I can embrace it better and reach out to my half-brothers. The thing I hate about it most of all besides the fact itself that I am not a Fife is that I believe Wayne has a right to know and I know that it is going to break his heart that he is not a Fife because he worshipped the ground my daddy walked on. He will be just like me though and it will not change the fact that he is still a Fife just like I am. I am going to tell him, but I don't want to do it while he is locked up and add more to his burden while there. I love my daddy and nothing can ever change that. I will never understand why Mother went to her grave with this secret which was really a lie. Just like Susie and Donette and Randy, everyone knew except me. Mike seems to care even less for me now that he knows than he did before and he never seemed like he cared for me much before. I hope he and I can get close too but I know my relationship with Rodney will be just one more thing he will judge me for. I have wondered how different my life would have been and how different Ronnie's would have been if Mother had used the good judgment to stay with RT and raised us together. Would I have been more stable...probably not because the Robinsons were a screwed up bunch too from what I have learned and I would not have known my daddy nor had my brother Mike. There is no reason to speculate. It is what it is. I still love my mother and I forgive her but I will never understand why she was not truthful with me but then I never understood why she left Ronnie with RT just to marry another man (my daddy) anyway. I wish I had learned more about Mother and RT's marriage and why all this mess had to have happened. I know love for a man makes a woman do crazy, stupid things but I just could not and never will understand why Mother would or could give up custody of Ronnie jus to be with Daddy. There is just no reason to cry about spilled milk now. I just have to continue to move forward with my life and hopefully have some kind of relationship with my half-brothers even is it is just through FB.

Amberlee went to middle school. She graduated. She's left Aimee behind at the elementary level. It's helped in ways as she has to catch a bus and we do not have to drop off or pick up. She has to show her independence by getting ready for work and getting out of the house on her own. It's been rough in that my baby is growing up. She is developing into a person. She is trying to learn to control her tongue, but seems to be having difficulty with that challenge. Her little sister and she are really going at it lately. We will continue to fight this challenge.

We just put down Harley about a week ago. Harley was my childhood dog who just seemed to keep living, so having him finally go was really hard on me. I had to work a shift that morning, and because of all the smoke from the forest fires, the sun was just a hazy red dot in the sky. Rian picked me up after my shift and we went to get coffee at Sterling, though I got jasmine tea, because I had already had a lot of coffee that day. We all just waited around for hours for the vet to come to our house. I laid down with Harley and he gave me a few final kisses throughout the hours. I'm not entirely sure he recognized me at that point, but it seemed like he was constantly struggling to get his tongue out far enough to lick me. The vet was late; traffic was bad. We all cried, but I absolutely wailed when I heard his last breath, knowing there wouldn't be another one. Then we composed ourselves (I used about half a box of tissues), Rian and I hugged for the longest we ever have, and we all went to dinner at a place that was entirely too cheery. The waitress asked me how my day was and if I did anything fun. We all told stories about Harley, my mother, my childhood, and times we drank too much. I had some salad and that's it. When we went home, Dad and I watched an episode of Arrested Development because I was too anxious to go to sleep. I eventually did. Rian and I are a lot closer suddenly, and I respect him a lot more. He's really been there for me over the past week, and is clearly making an effort to be more reliable and someone I can depend on. It's weird to respect and rely on him more than Robert. I learned a lot about how this dog changed my childhood. Without him, my dad wouldn't have been able to return to work full-time after my mom died, and the financial struggles from our medical bills would have lasted a lot longer; maybe even affected whether or not I went to college. Because Harley was there, dad said he felt okay leaving me home alone after school. My parents are really, truly empty nesters now. There's no one to walk or feed at the end of the day. I'm not sure how they feel about that. I think after they retire they might get another dog. I feel a bit lonelier in the world now. Harley is hard to talk about, as in my voice breaks a little when I do even though I don't feel all that sad. He was biblically old; it was time. But I cant help but feel like I'm not gonna have another dog like that, and I worry my love for any future pets will be diminished by the incredible service Harley did for me.

My brother graduated college and became an active-duty army officer (he did ROTC in college). It hasn't really changed my political ideas, but it has made my anxiety about all the craziness going on in the world even worse.

My brother has some anger but finally got the help he needs. He isn't cured, but for the first time in a long time I feel safe and comfortable discussing issues that we may not see I to I. I am really proud of the work he has done this year.

Same as yesterday, I got divorced from the love of my life. I don't think I will ever find a love like her again.

My mom found out that she has the BRCA1 gene mutation: the one that makes you significantly more susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer. Luckily, she found out and was able to take preventative measures, but I still need to get tested. That won't happen for another few months. Whether or not I have the gene mutation—a solid 50/50 chance—it's still my body. Nothing's changed but my knowledge of it, and my knowledge of what I need to do in the future. But it was still strange to find out, and stranger to watch my mother cry as she told me.

My mom had two valves replaced in her heart this year. This has affected everything - from my dad not being able to travel to my cousin's wedding in Israel, to us having to find alternate child care, to my mom reassessing the amount of excess stuff she has in her life. I am always grateful to be living in the time that we do - watching the leaps that are made in between the medical procedures that we as a family go through (which are thankfully pretty few and far between) is mind boggling.

I'm not sure it was a major milestone for everyone, but I lost a job again, lost my condo, had to move, and start over. The start over has had fits and starts, but I still find it to be better, more beautiful, potentially. But it's like, you change your town, you change the channel, you are still you. So I feel kind of fucked. I'm still me. And I don't like it.

My son has really become more self sufficient in the past year. It makes life much less stressful. I have noticed that my husband and I get a long better now that our son can do stuff on his own. We have more time for each other.

The divorce of my brother. We thought that his wife would take my niece far away from the family. And we were very worried that it happened that way. But, fortunately, it happened differently. He wanted to stay with his father.

We moved into our own building this year in March. It has been a silly dream of mine to have a small company with the sign on the building since I was very young and now to see that silly dream come true is a nice feeling. That is more of a personal milestone. The family one would be my daughter starting High School this year. It is crazy for me to drop her off at school which is just next to her pre-school and thinking about how she has grown. Makes me very happy.

I think my marriage went through its most rocky patch this year- we've been lucky to not have much discord in our relationship, but the stresses of a kid and work and a house and life in general really hit us this year-- we didn't give enough time to one another, and that hit my husband particularly hard. It led to a really good conversation about what the expectations are in our marriage, though, which continues. I figure it's going to be an ongoing conversation for years to come.

What would be a family milestone? I am 43 and not married with no kids. I have 2 dogs and a roommate. I recently finished my interior home remodel... the dogs seem to know. we are happier, calmer and come connected...

My younger brother had a baby and this would make the 8th one between two brothers. I have no children. I used to joke about my brothers having my children for me. I love all of them and love my brother's to pieces but I feel a little disconnected. At almost 50 I really don't want to hold a baby again...but man when they get older they are pretty interesting creatures. I have noticed that my brother is including me in more family adventures. I think he wants me to be more bonded with the kids then I am and I am just not feeling it. something to work on as I start the new year.

The kids just started 5th grade (last year of Elementary school) and 2nd grade. My wife took a job in-house at an amazing organization she has been working with for years. There were no deaths, no major upheavals, and while we have been busy, and crazy, we all seem to be moving on a good track in the direction we want to be moving.

My great uncle passed away. He was the last of my grandparent's generation. I'm 31, it's scary to realize that your parents have become the oldest living generation in your family. I'm afraid to to loose the only parent I have left.

My parents are selling my childhood home after 35 years. I realize that even though I have not lived there for years, it was a major foundation to my life on this earth and sense of ground in my body. There has been grief, much larger than I imagined, and also a sense of freedom. It also made it very real that my time with my parents in physical form is becoming much shorter. They are also facing death and figuring out how to live in our society when they cannot afford to retire and their children cannot afford to financially support them. It is not easy.

Alan turned 90. He wasn't happy about it. It coincided with a deterioration in his eyesight and a horrible attack of psoriasis. I do not feel he can stay alone. He thinks he can. I can maneuver around him but I think soon I'll have to confront it because I feel a bit trapped.

Actually starting the process of creating my own family, of course! Its been a rollercoaster of false starts on the pregnancy front and crazy costs and paperwork on the adoption front, lots of arguments with my partner, but overall positive and exciting. By the time I re-read this next year, I'll most likely be finding time to check email despite two crazy babies crawling all over the place!!

My younger son got engaged, married, moved away to graduate school, and his wife moved in with me while she finishes dental school. This has caused a drastic change in my life. I'm so proud of my son for going on to graduate school to earn his PhD. It was undeniable to me that although he is my "baby", he is grown up now. And being able to see first-hand his relationship with his SO has warmed my heart. And now, living with my DIL, just the 2 of us, has allowed me to open up my heart. I see her interact with her family, and am able to enjoy more than I thought. I believe this has made me happier, and more aware of personal relationships and more able to share what is in my heart. These are all such positive changes.

Oldest has gone off to college. She's only an hour away, hasn't been home since. She's been sick, she's been very happy, she's had heartbreak, she's learning, she's working, she's in the marching band. It's only been a month. Miss her, happy for her. Feeling like and extra in her life. Like I'm there, but not needed. She texts, but she's distant. She'll be back, I know. She's growing up, she's creating her own story.

My sister got married, and I recently got engaged. My sister's wedding, while a stressful process, I think brought together our family in a really positive way. Not a lot of people yet know about my engagement but I hope my future wedding will have the ability to do the same (in a different way). My sister's wedding was a truly joyous occasion filled with people who rarely celebrate or experience joy like that.

My son turned 3 and decided he LOVES talking. He has been healthy with no emergency Dr. visits for a year (*knock on wood*) and the fact that those are the biggest milestones and we didn't have to overcome anything is amazing.

We're pregnant again! This has brought joys and fears, excitement and exhaustion. It doesn't feel quite "real" yet, but it's getting more real every day. The real test will come when our second child is born, and we figure out how to integrate him/her into our family. The affects on me personally have been varied. On the negative side, it's set back my progress on physical therapy and getting to a healthy weight. I'm high risk this time around (again!) largely due to my mediocre health at the start of this pregnancy. I broke down in tears in my physical therapist's office when I told her about the pregnancy, and told her how scared I am that this will set back my progress on getting my feet and tailbone problems sorted out. But I'm also proud of how I've been juggling the pregnancy, work, caring for our daughter, taking care of the new house, and (sometimes) taking some moments to myself to remain sane. I think the biggest challenge we'll have as we welcome our second child is making sure our marriage remains strong. It's been difficult for my husband and I to get time together, just the two of us. Our jobs and our daughter take up so much of our time! I want to be sure we continue to emphasize "us" time when and how we can. Not easy, but important!!

My brother got married. It made me want to get married too.

My parents' divorce is now legal. They've been separated for years, but now their divorce is final. It's a relief, and they're both happier. It's definitely affected how I view relationships, and what my goals are in finding a long-term partner. My sister and I, in my opinion, have diverged in our responses. She and her boyfriend have been dating for over 3 years, have a mortgage together, and have a dog -- she believes in love, almost blindly sometimes. It's powerful, and I admire her for it. And yet, I'm beyond cautious. I recently quit dating apps because I was so exhausted and annoyed with the options out there. I feel like I'm in a long-term relationship with myself right now, and I'm looking forward to building that relationship and nurturing it. Maybe there is someone out there for me, maybe there isn't, but I will be the one true constant. It's worth the self-investment. I don't want to wake up in 30 years and take apart the life I built. I don't want to resent my partner. I don't want to repeat history. So I'll make my own. Cautious and risk averse? Yes. Self-preserving defense mechanism? You betcha. Willing for my mind to change? Always.

Our son bought his first house a few month agos. It is very beautiful and is only minutes from where he now works. We are very happy for him. On the other hand, it no longer puts him and his dog on the way home from our trip to the market every Saturday morning. So, we no longer see them as much. That is a down side, but a very minor one. The pluses far outweigh the drawbacks.

My sis had her baby. This has made me think about the bigger picture much more. The beauty and responsibility of a young life. However, it's also made me depressed about being alone and far away from my own family one day.

All of my close relatives have now passed away. The husband of an older first cousin once removed said, "You're like us now, an orphan." And it's true and sad, even at age 52. I think it would be sad at any age to lose your parents and grandparents; to lose your personal connection to the past. Cousins and aunts and uncles are OK, but they can't answer questions about yourself like parents or grandparents can. I feel lost sometimes. I keep wanting to pick up a phone and call them; even though I know they are gone, it's half-muscle memory, half disbelief. So many, in so short a time. I feel abandon. I know they loved me, and I know they were sick, but it doesn't make things hurt any less.

This year I learned that my brother and I are so fundamentally different, it will always be difficult when we interact. I learned that this is ok. Despite my parents' desire that we form some magical sibling bond, my brother and I will never be friends. In fact, we will never see eye-to-eye on a number of important issues, and we will not dialogue in a productive way about them. This is ok. It is not my job to change him and, whether or not he knows this, it is not his job to change me. We are both individual and independent thinkers, and there is no rule that siblings must agree. When my parents pass away, it is likely I will only interact with my brother through other relatives -- my cousins, my uncles and aunts, etc. I will likely never see my brother again, once our deference to our parents is dissolved. This is ok. I hope he finds his peace, because -this year- I found mine.

Our daughter became engaged, the first of our two children to do so. We are delighted. We gave our blessing readily. Amazing how much joy a young couple promising themselves to each other brings to all of us.

My boyfriend lost one of his jobs which put us on a chain reaction of moving to a new city. The experience has been stressful on many levels but I do ultimately think that the pay off will be worth. It did cause tension between my boss and I (I am working remotely now but the process put a bit of a strain on my relationship with my boss). I also learned that I am the care taker and decision maker when it comes to my relationship with my boyfriend.

Wolf and I decided we're getting married. As of right now, he hasn't formally proposed. He says he has a plan for that and doesn't want to give up his moment. But we were making a post-in note timeline of our goals for the next few years, and we both agreed that next year is the year to get married. We've booked the reception hall and Rabbi Miller. I have my dress. When 10Q unlocks this time next year, we will be married (or nearly so). That's huge and I'm so, so, so happy. The other major milestone that happened was smaller, but just as significant to me: Wolf and I were having a conversation and he called Rory "our son." That means so much to me. We really are a family.

I'm thrilled. One of my sisters is pregnant! It has lifted my spirits up a bit.

My daughter graduated 8th grade and is moving on to High School. I am so proud of her. She is her own person. She struggles with anxiety but we are working with a great counselor on this. She's intensely sensitive as I was at her age (and often still am but work with it better) so there were other manifestations for her that were very concerning to us as her parents. But now I see her gaining confidence little by little and am so glad that she is opening up more to me and sharing her discoveries about herself with me. I still worry about the coming years in high school, but as she opens up to me and gains more confidence in herself I do as well.

Jake passed his 2 year sober mark. It has given me great hope and helped to embrace the truth that there is really so little we can control and that keeping faith, prayer and a letting go of what we cannot control is the healthiest way for me to live and to let go of stress over things that I worry about. Now, I try to stop and remind myself- "let it go"!

My dad turned 59. I live across the country from the rest of my family, so I texted him the day before to ask what the family was doing to celebrate his birthday & how he felt – did he feel like he was 59? He responded that he still felt like a "young, young chicken." But that "when he looks in the mirror it hits him hard." He followed up, "I'm sorry I wasn't a better father to you or Jei Jei (your sister)." This was heartbreaking - thinking about my father who is 59 and has lived out our adulthood thinking he hadn't done enough. It has made me realize how important it is to tell people that they matter, that you care about them, that you are grateful for them. In itself, it is important to be grateful.

My teen twins turned 16 and got their drivers' licenses. This is truly one of those bittersweet moment or providing more freedom for everyone in the household and being in a constant state of concern for their safety.

I don't know if it is a major milestone, but my wife and I both got back in shape this past year. We used to be very active, but then we had kids...19 months apart. After our daughter was born, I declared it "The Year of Fat" meaning I knew that the schedule, the exhaustion, etc. was going to make us too tired to exercise. My wife was none to pleased with my declaration, so the "year" ended after 10 months. But despite valiant attempts in 2016, we couldn't really get back into shape. It took some weight loss competitions within our family to get some commitment again, but I'm proud of the fact that both my wife and I are in the best shape that we've been in years.

Travis and I got engaged! I immediately noticed a shift in my confidence from wondering if we were on the same page to knowing that we were equally committed to the hard work that relationships take. Unfortunately, the security of knowing Travis will be there can mean taking advantage of his loyalty. He's called me out many times for treating him unfairly, often being sassy, like I am with my mom, who I am also sure isn't going anywhere any time soon. Sometimes the people we love the most are the ones we treat the worst, and I'm working to become more cognizant of that. But to revisit the more positive point, our engagement has really been good for my confidence and my dependence on and investment in our relationship. I'm more willing than ever before to ask Travis for help; I'm learning that that provides him with an opportunity to express his love rather than an opportunity for me to look vulnerable and needy.

One major milestone my family had this year is my brother and I started getting a long better. Being 13 and 15 we were finally mature enough to stop arguing all the time. We now get a long a lot better and I am thankful for this.

My mother just got her knee surgery this past week and I have been told by my doctors that I will possibly need one in my forties as well.

Camille and I were the first of the children/grandchildren on Mommy’s side to go to college. I’m not really sure how this has affected me Maybe there’s some pressure to perform well? Set a standard? Establishing a structure for how the family is going to handle the kids going to school? I’m really not sure. I can’t really think of any other milestones that happened this year.

After having very high glucose numbers, I changed my diet dramatically and not only did my glucose numbers drop to normal, but I drastically lowered my cholesterol as well. I also had a bout with skin cancer that I've recovered from. My family has been impacted, because it looks like my husband's wife and my sons' mom will be around for a long time, G-d willing.

My husband has found an exciting new income producing possibility that requires long hours and lots of studying. He has been devoting himself to this venture, and is confident in his ability to make money in the near future. His goal is to allow us to phase out of our real estate business, and have a less stress-producing lifestyle. I am looking forward to this shift in our life and I hope that our health continues to support our efforts.

Really no major milestones in the last year. Though I did become more tolerant of what other family members like to do, even when it impacts me.

My parents celebrated 72 year's wedding anniversary he is almost 94 and mom 88 they are doing so well it's hard to believe this milestone. Hope the still have a few good years together

Rachel started the college application process. It's made me look at her more like someone who will be her own person, independent.but it's also made me more scared I've forgotten you did what it takes to get her ready.I'm so afraid she'll be alone.

My husband had a heart attack recently. It has completely changed our relationship. I've lost my team mate in all things. I now have a frail, fragile man to care for. I keep trying to imagine how it must feel to him, but he's not ready to talk about it.

Have not had a major milestone this year. My, what does that mean? I guess that major milestones are MAJOR and so it is not an automatic given that you have one every year. Words do, after all, mean what they say.

My brother turned 75, if he's still alive. I haven't seen or head from him in 25 years. He left home when I was 3 and I didn't really see him again until just before I was 18 and he pretty much disappeared again after our mother's death. Other than that, nothing in the family line. We all a year old, a few more wrinkles and, hopefully, wiser.

We bought my mom her new house with money that came from my brothers estate. It has eased my mind, and that of my siblings that my mom no longer has to climb up and down stairs to shower, do her laundry, clean the litter box and a whole array of things. This has increased my happiness and decreased my worry. All positive things.

My baby turned 20. No more teenagers in the house. It's not a problem. When he moves out, that will be a problem! My son is a good person. I am proud to be his mom.

One brother is dying in secret from Hep C. He still cant access the healthcare he needs or told the family about his diagnosis even though the Dr. only gave him 1 year. My other brother is living in my closet completely dependent on my financial support to stay off the streets. My mother got married- I finally dont have to worry about her getting by.

Jade had a baby. I'm only little Kenzie's cousin, but because of the age difference I kind of feel like an aunt. I actually held her - not well, but I did it. It's weird to think of everyone in my family being just that much more grown up since most of the time I still feel like a kid even though I'm in my mid 20s.

I honestly can't think of anything. I think the biggest thing that happened this year for my family was my graduation. Otherwise, there were no Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, no weddings, and no major events that brought lots of people together.

The year anniversary of my Mother's passing happened this year. I chose the words for her headstone and had it placed. Family, friends, and members of the congregation came to the stone unveiling and we celebrated her amazing life. I had mixed emotions, of course. She lived a very long and happy life for which I was grateful. It was her time. But yet I miss her and wish she hadn't left. At the unveiling, as she was laying next to the grave of my Father, I felt so very proud to be their daughter and the one to carry their legacy. I am strong and independent like they were. But as an only child - even at the age of 57 - I feel like an orphan alone in the world.

My nephew turned 1 this year. Thinking back over the first year of his life so much has changed in our family. My sister has a new role, mother, my parents are now grandparents. But in all honesty I haven't reflected on what this means for me. I love being an aunt, but it does add an extra layer of guilt into my life. Guilt about not seeing enough of him, not being there for my sister enough. I do try to spend as much time with them as possible but there is always so much to do!

My brother left for college in the middle of August. This has definitely put more pressure on me to spend time with my family, as he tended to skip school work and hang out with the family, while I focused on school work. With my work load this year, it's been hard for me to focus on both work and family, and it has caused a bit of tension. My mood worsens when I'm stressed, and I am stressed almost all the time now, so I inadvertently take it out on my family.

The decision to separate from my husband is the biggest change for my family. At this moment we are still living together and there is a lot of sadness.

I would say wedding and landmark. Even though I am the only one who did it, I sincerely made the effort to enroll my family and reconnect. I think the wedding then became another catalyst and now I am closer to all of them way more than before Very happy and want to continue the momentum.

My grandmother died in December. It makes me sad, but I think it makes my mother and her siblings even more sad. It has not shaken my faith, but has done something with my relationship with God. My grandmother was old, and lived a long life...no one should think she was cheated out of years, but there's something about her passing and maybe some milestones in my life that she didn't get to see that make me kind of upset with God. I don't know...I'm still figuring this one out.

My daughter turned 16 and got her driver's license. My son turned 18 and began his last year of compulsory education. Both have affected me by reminding me that my remaining day-to-day involvement in their lives is short, and that we will soon be navigating the development of adult parent-child relationships. I have some good role models for that, and some not so good, but I'm optimistic that I can tell the difference!

My Dad died in February. February 1st, exactly 100 days after his bone marrow transplant. 100 days was the marker. If he could make it that far without complications then his odds were good. We had to watch him slowly die over several days at a hospice center. I don't fully know how it has affected me yet. I was numb for the first few months and have slowly started to feel the deepness of my grief. I am pregnant, due in 4 weeks, and it hurts when I think about how my child and my dad will never meet each other.

My aunt and grandma had to move into this house for 3 weeks. It was really difficult at first because my grandma has Alzheimer's and she's just not a particularly nice woman. She'd lay something down and then scream about how we were all out to get her and hiding her stuff. She's very fickle and spiteful. However, being around her for an extended amount of time helped build my patience. I never yell at Mammy so I'm certainly not going to be mean to another person of advanced age because they can't possibly be more difficult than she is.

We all are adjusting to the loss of husband and father. We lost him June 29, 2016. I'm mothering adult children without him and I find that they still have need of me. I'm scrambling to matriarch on my own. I'm struggling to not be dependent on my adult children. I find that being dependent on one another is good as long as it's constructive. It's a balance and I work on it.

We finally took the European trip we've been talking about for 20 years. My husband and I are closer than ever, and I'm letting myself bring more beauty and joy into our lives. Light breakfast More salami and cheese More pasta More galleries More outings together More Italian wine! Staying in touch with new friends and old More awareness of history and the situations we are repeating More joy in the act of creating Less news Less worry over things I can't control Less feeling that I have to SUCCEED Less feeling that I have to SAVE THE WORLD Less concern that I have to be BIG/make a splash More joy; less angst

my sister is going through a divorce. It is hard to watch and had certainly had me reflecting on the choices i've made, the relationships i've had. etc. In combination with the finality of my interaction with Martin, it has helped me re-evaluate how i am in relationship and what i will do differently in future ones

I placed my feet into the cold ocean! I loved it, the cold water and the small whitewater waves. Just wanted to jump in it, revel in the experience. Getting to drive down the PCH highway from San Francisco to Monterrey was almost magical. Seeing the redwoods whiz by and the huge sand dunes. Even getting to see the Giant strawberry fields with workers tending to the crops, was amazing. Some aspects of the trip weren't the best, but I've learned to just try and experience joy in every possible moment. Even when things are going horribly wrong while stuck in an over-packed bottom level of a double-deck tour bus, I actively stayed in the moment and just enjoyed the scenery going by. Not letting anyone take away from my inner joy during the trip. Travelling is a blessing - I was so excited to travel to San Francisco in July for a week of fun and work. Now I'm actively working to be a happier person, more content with how things go in my life. I want to continue to travel and see new things. I want to experience as much as possible and not let things go to waste. I want to (and God-willing, will) go back to the West Coast and to the ocean - to sit on the sand with freezing water breaking over my toes and legs. I want to have a week of vacation on the beach, to have more time to just sit and smile and cherish the moment... with no rush at all. Blessed be.

A major milestone that has happened in my family was my Mother's biological father reaching out to her after 40 years. This happened at the beginning of the year. My entire family has gone to Quebec to visit him, except for me. It is not something that I want to do. Though my mother seems happy of this new relationship, she has yet to realize the effect it is having on me. Since she has been visiting with her father, there has been a strain on our relationship, mainly because I do not want to meet with him. Growing up my grandmother would always talk negatively about him and what he did to her. Now that I cannot talk to my grandmother about this (because of Alzheimer's), I do not know how she feels about this new relationship. Which is the main reason for me not wanting to meet with him. I hope soon that my mother is able to realize this.

My niece got pregnant/had a beautiful baby girl! FINALLY life instead of death! We've had SO much of that for SO long--it feels GREAT to be a Great Aunt and to see that adorable face! I'm over the moon for them/us to have this positive light :)

Probably this would have to do with my eldest daughter and her recent medical issues. It was a rough year, as we struggled for some kind of diagnosis. While we've got none to date she has improved significantly and seems to be responding well to medication. How has this affected me? It's made me very grateful for the health we do enjoy and shown me just how little power and control I really have. Had this been cancer or an accident it would have been so much harder to handle and I'm thankful that so far we've not suffered anything truly traumatic as a family. It's also helped me to appreciate the relationship I have with my ex-wife.

My dad turned 70. I've been contemplating his mortality a bit

I guess there would be a few if you want to call them milestones: Sydney choose School over Dance, as she wants to take part in Spring Ball 2018 and wouldn't be able to with dance. Sydney learned to drive!!!! Went to Mexico in Feb with Dad, sure can tell he is getting older. Did the HWL retreat - Amazing. Watching Sydney grow up is a bit of a mixed emotion. you want them to be independent But you want them to stay small.

My dad turned 70! Which feels bizarre and totally right at the same time. He's definitely an old man, but still so full of life and hope for the future. Being around him more makes me excited to see him grow and change in this stage of his life.

I graduated college. It was weird seeing how my parents reacted. My dad showed more emotion than I've ever seen and my mom wanted to take an interest in me all of a sudden.

My oldest daughter, married four years, just told us that she is pregnant. I knew that they were trying and I was happy and eager to hear the news. I did not expect the flood of emotions that followed. I did not have a great childhood and I have struggled to become a good parent despite the poor models that I had. After many years of therapy and education, I think I have done a "good enough" job. I did not have good grandparent models either, and my own parents were not good grandparents; frankly, my children did not see them often because of my own past. What I did not expect to feel when I found out about my daughter's pregnancy were the same feelings of fear and inadequacy that I had when I found out I was pregnant myself. Will I be a good grandparent? How will I figure it out? Thank God, I have three dear friends who have recently become grandmothers, and they are excellent models for me. My son-in-law has a wonderful grandma who is still alive that I am close to, and she is a good model for me. I have a lot more confidence this time around. And, most importantly, my daughter and her husband will be wonderful parents and it is about them, not me, at this time. I am grateful and thrilled for this next chapter in my life.

My father's mom died in April 2017, and I just knew that it was time to let go of resentments between the two of us.

Bought a house! Set up for financial stability for years to come!!

It was gradual, but it was certainly a milestone. As I read my answers from last year, I see how devastated I was at the rift that had somehow developed between my two adult children. Here we are a year later, and the rift appears to have been healed. I don't know what caused it, and I have almost no clue as to what fixed it, but they're in communication and speak well of each other to me. Whoa! I said/did what I could -- gently -- behind the scenes, but I really don't think I had much, if anything, to do with the rapprochement. I'm just so very happy about it.

We all went to Israel and I don't think I've ever seen my parents as happy as they were to be reunited with the whole family.

Not my biological family, but still family: my nephew was born!! Technically, he's my boyfriend's nephew. But for my birthday this year, his sister gave me a t-shirt that says in gold sparkly letters, "Best Aunt Ever." So, he's my nephew too! And watching my boyfriend playing and talking and learning with his baby nephew is one of the loveliest things I've ever witnessed in our relationship. We don't know if we'll ever have any kids of our own, but who cares: we get this sweet baby to play with while we figure it out.

I got married! I am happy and at peace. Sometimes I wonder about what else but I have seen that side and it is just darkness. I still lust but I also know that love and lust are two different things!

This year my sister married her long term girlfriend and my 80 year old mother is shacking up and having a promise ceremony soon to seal their relationship - the reality of me being all alone hit hard and has been a rude emotional slap in the face. For the most part I am very happy single and have been for 6 years now- I have an amazing circle of friends, I volunteer for two organizations and stay politically active and informed - but as this year I turned 50 the thought of not having someone to do things with or do nothing with hit me harder than I thought it would - and I am still processing and not sure how I will come out on the other end but know I will.

My Dad has been dead for 35 years this year. He has been dead longer than my parents' were married. I got to ask my Mom about that when we did a Story Corps interview in August. How she thought her life would have been different. I've processed my Dad's death so it doesn't have a profound effect ( the anniversary ) but it's just sad. It is fun being back in CR and running into friends of his- they still just light up when they talk about him. I'm proud to be his daughter.

It was kind of my own doing, but I moved from MN to VT when I got a great job right out of grad school. Definitely a big change from being roommates with my sister and living just a couple of miles from my parents, to living somewhere where I didn't know anyone when I got here. We'd been a separate unit for a while when my sister lived in TX, but now I'm the one that's far away. This just means a bit more travel time to see each other!

My family hasn't had any real milestones this year. It's been smooth sailing.

My daughter is preparing to go to college. I am learning how to let her be more independent, which is hard. I want to squeeze tighter, but I actually need to loosen my grip.

My Mom and Dad have filed for divorce, though it hasn't gone through yet. Mom has been looking for apartments to move to and has settled on one in the same building...10 floors below his apartment. Just... why go through a divorce if you aren't actually going to be that separated. Mom insists that it's the best apartment she can afford. Dad, who is on the admissions committee of the board, said that he's going to twist everyone's arm to vote for her, even though he's supposed to recuse himself. Dad also had his 65th birthday. He invited Mom (who ended up coming), but he also ended up inviting a ton of his exes who he thinks have now become his friends. My boyfriend and I had just had a fight and he wasn't talking to me, and we were forced to sit next to Dad's sister, who spent the whole night complaining about how disgusting it was that Dad invited a bunch of floozies to surround him instead of Mom. (Ironic, considering she used to hate Mom's guts.) Apparently, after the party, three of his exes stayed behind to help him get into a cab with all his presents. I don't think he realized they were all angling to go home with him. Sigh.

My father had cataract surgery on both eyes in May and July. It has completely changed his life. For the first time, I saw my father drive and watch TV without his glasses on. It was weird, and a little frightening, but he is thrilled and it has given him a new lease on life.

Sara has gotten engaged to Kevin...but she continues to sabotage herself with her drinking. So that's a milestone and anti-milestone, I suppose.

The most impactful milestone this past year was learning to recognize my husband’s greatest fears and working to alleviate them. Once I finally understood what was driving so much of his frustration and I chose to acknowledge how I had been passively contributing to his fears instead of actively choosing to remove them, I was able to empathize with him, and my approach to our life together shifted. The year prior had been filled with a lot of angry and heated discussions, and because we work together daily, there was no place to ‘run away’ to when things got tough. I had to focus on being a better partner, maritally and professionally.

My daughter is a senior in high school, and we are looking at colleges. I have been incredibly proud of her over the past few months, but am feeling a tightness in my chest, and my stomach plunges when I think about her leaving. It has only ever been the two of us, so when she leaves, I will be alone with the cats. On the one hand, we both could use this freedom, I imagine, but, on the other hand, I am going to miss her horribly. We still haven't arrived at the final decision as to where she will go, but are looking at Tulane, College of Charleston, Oberlin, Allegheny, Bucknell, and Washington and Lee. I hope the one we choose works for her. I imagine it will, but given her past experiences with social anxiety, I still worry.

We had our 10th wedding anniversary! A milestone that neither of my parents hit the first time around. It's challenging, right? Because life keeps going on and when we have kids pulling on us in a million different directions, it's amazing to know that this person is there for you no matter what. It's a remarkable experience.

Doug's illness has all our lives upside down. I am trying to learn to be self-sufficient, to function without my other half. It's like planning to live with one eye, one arm, half my mouth, half my body and mind. I know it can't be done yet I have to try, if only to show Doug that I'll be OK, and he doesn't really believe I can do it either. He keeps asking everyone to help me. In the end I know I will have to become a different person to go on. In the meantime, the people who love us are here for us in the most amazing ways. Unfathomable how much love they are showing us. And then there are the ones who want to "be here" for their own reasons, so they can think they were and feel OK when he's gone. Baggage. Mostly I have gained an acute awareness of the blessing that Doug has been in my life. He has been my joy, my teacher, my companion, my partner, my protector for almost 40 years. He has shown me how to live every day and has had my back every minute. He gave me a whole life. And that life, whatever it is, is almost over.

The major milestone is that we moved into the lower level inlaw apartment and our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson moved in upstairs. We are so happy to hear B's footsteps as he runs about above our heads. We also love having Shabbat every Friday night - we sing together and have a sweet time - a great way to begin Shabbat.

Sophie got engaged and married and I got engaged this year. The dynamics of our family definitely shifted after this. Adding Mason to the family went great, but the elopement felt so strange. It definitely made me feel like as costly as a wedding is, it's still worth it.

September 9, 2017 marked one year since bringing Wolfie home. We lost our beloved Maxie two years prior and couldn't imagine having our hearts healed the way only a dog can do. Wolf needed us as much as we needed him and though we will always love and miss Maxie, our hearts are feeling much fuller with the love and joy this Schnoodle brings.

I bought a house with my partner! Now we have a home that is OURS (as long as we can keep up with the mortgage payments, of course). No more sweating rent increases or eviction notices or manufacturing stories about our animal menagerie or worrying about homelessness. We have a house we call our home. So one stressor is off the list, at least.

It's made me more introspective.

My mom has had this cough for over a year now, and she has finally gone to the doctors to start the process of figuring out what is happening. My Dad has had psoriasis his whole adult life and is now working on treating it. Both of my parents have put off attending to their health for a very long time. It has been frustrating. I asked them a couple of months ago about end of life plans- which freaked the both of them out quite a bit. But the fact that they are starting to be willing and open to attending to their health and having these discussions is huge. My brother and I have been worrying about this for years and they are finally starting to understand why we have been.

My spouse and I moved across the country to be back near our chosen families and families of origin. We've only been back a few months but it has made a world of difference - his sister is over once a week, and (most of) our parents are within a few hours drive or train ride. As are my grandparents, which in some ways is the most important part for me, as they have the hardest time traveling and we are really close; I feel a lot of scarcity around time with them as they're getting old, and being able to pop down for a meal or a day feels so important. I also feel really lucky that my spouse and I were on the same page about wanting to come back and put down roots for the long term in this city we both love; it has involved some professional challenges for both of us, and I can only imagine how hard that would have been if we didn't agree on its importance.

My sister-in-law got pregnant!!!!!!!! I am so excited to be an aunt :))))))) Less than a month until my baby niece arrives!

My parent's house was sold and the proceeds were split 3-ways between me, my brother, and my sister. We are eternally grateful for what our parents did for us as we now can afford a few renovations and upgrades to our homes and we can likely afford to help our children a bit more financially. We can also donate more to charitable causes. Trying to find time to follow through with renovations is challenging, but it's a great to know that we can afford them.

About one year ago, our then 84-year-old mother became so ill that she almost died. She had to be hospitalized, but getting her to accept that required all four of us siblings to gang up on her and bully her into going to the ER. I was very glad to have the support of my siblings and believe that, ever since then, they have been more appreciative of my "on-the-scene" role (I moved here 3 years ago to live with our mom), and more supportive of me in it. Not as much of those (appreciation and support) as I would like, at times, but sometimes above-and-beyond, so it balances out. Because of that, our mom has stepped up her preventative regime, listens to our recommendations more readily and accepts our help more easily, all of which make my being here a lot more relaxed and easy (most of the time, any way). We are lucky she is doing so well (completely recovered) and is still with us at 85.5 years old. Kenahora.

My sister turned 40 years old. I thought it would make me think about my own mortality more. But instead, I looked outward. And felt content with my age and my time on this earth.

There were 2 and both related to each other. First Kat and Braden were able to buy my house in Utah. No more collecting rent and paying utilities 1500 miles away. So happy for them. The last interaction I will ever have to have with the ex, except marriages and births. With that settled J and I were able to buy our house. A type of home I never dreamed I could afford. Sort of a dream home for both of us. This also was another huge step in our relationship. once you buy a house, especially one with this size investment, you're essentially married because a breakup would end like a divorce. LOL I couldn't be happier, great job, kids doing well and a wonderful partner.

My uncle Rick passed away Oct. 2016 and that really made me realize that I want to be closer to my family. Life is short and my mom isn't getting any younger, and every time I talk with her she is on a new medication for something. So my plan is now to move back to LA, and see her as often as possible and help her to get healthy. That's my goal for the new year.

There have been so many. My dad died, I gave his eulogy, Paul changed jobs, Hurricane Harvey left us homeless and I lost 70lbs. It’s all affected me. Life is in constant flux. All of these endings, beginnings, and change leave me desperately wanting the new year to be slow and boring. I would love for us to have an entire year of quietly going about our business with no illnesses, hurricanes or transitions.

Our youngest son graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman Montana. We are pleased! You live your life wanting to make sure you did everything to push (and sometimes pull) your kids to success and when they go away to school they achieve what you and society deem important... an education. Both of our kids have found jobs in their fields and are learning how to live within their means. Some things must be experienced to better appreciate what those before you did and where you are today.

I became the grandmother of a 10 year old. I regret that, because his father, my son, has not yet met Gavin, I haven't had the chance to meet and get to know him. I did get to know Peter's grandkids more this year and I'm quite fond of all of them. I also took in Alyssa and Layne and they lived with me for 6 months. It's good to have children in my life again.

The closest thing we've really had to a milestone is that this year, my parents have been married for 21 years. It hasn't really affected me in any way, other than making me think about how crazy it would be to get married at the age I am now and then five months later have a kid.

Honestly nothing has really happened this year. That’s sometimes a good thing.

My mom got married last October. That was wonderful and has expanded our family to a blended mix of a jewish Brady bunch. I'm grateful she's happily married and enjoying her life with Larry. He's also been a warm and positive father figure to me. I'm happy about their marriage :)

I moved a thousand miles away. Its been hard on me because I have no one here. I know my parents miss me. I wonder how their relationship is when I am not around. I assume it is better because I caused tension between them. I miss my grandma, my cat, and most of all, my boyfriend.

Our daughter returned from working in England. She & her partner announced their engagement. It has brought great happiness to have them on the same continent, in the same time zone, & in the same state. Their engagement signifies for us their commitment to each other. As individuals, they are both strong, intelligent, amazing. They balance each other in so many ways. They support each other in so many ways. They have located in NoCal & we look forward to news of the celebration plans with his family in Orange County & our family. Mazel Tov to them both & together!

Annika started high school! Mainly, that means a lot of really difficult schedules to coordinate, but it's really wonderful to see Ann coming out of her shell, both socially and otherwise: doing high school level work, making new friends, speaking out more, running cross country... she still has a ways to go though.

This year is the first ime in 10 years where we're not paying any childcare fees - that's huge for us! As a consquence we met with a financial planner last night who will help us both organize our monthly budget and plan for the future.

My twin daughters both announced they are pregnant. The cousins will be 3 months apart. Lots of exciting changes coming.

Do my in-laws count? Cause sadly (or maybe it's a good thing) nothing of dire importance has happened to my blood family. Besides my mom's knee surgery, but I won't / can't even get into that. The biggest milestone was the birth of our nephew. M and I had a lot of mixed feelings before he was born, as we're very close with his sisters and obviously a baby throws off the whole dynamic. Hanging out with them will never be the same. At first this was really upsetting, since M and I are not at the baby stage yet and don't want to lose our close friends to parenthood yet either. But now that J is here, and is so friggin cute, I find my opinion changing. Yeah A&T aren't going to be as fun as they used to be, but we can have a different kind of fun with them. Plus I must give them credit where credit is due -- they came out with us last Saturday for some day drinking and the cute little precious was perfectly content in his carrier the whole time. Granted, soon this won't be okay and he'll be running around everywhere, but maybe that stage will be fun too.

That the trauma line, brain/body/soul impact, hellish cycle and pain --- were klippot... shards fractured away from my inherent God spark. To be redeemed through experiencing my gifts are still evident and ascendant, through love and an ever replentishable sense of wonder.

Baby number two. Our rainbow baby. It's brought joy back to our family and changed the dynamic of our everyday life. I am reaping the rewards of my husband's hard work (and mine too). I have the ability to be a stay at home mom and it's been great. She's a month old already!

My dad is getting recognition and increased responsibilities at work and he's a different man now. He's got self-efficacy, and he replies to my text messages most of the time. He laughs about retiring now because he could, but they need him and pay him accordingly, which is awesome. He seems so free. We have a better relationship now, and I trust it more. It's so cool to see him realize that he's smart and competent and a leader. (My brother and I didn't come from nowhere)

A major milestone with my family... I haven't been very close on a tight milestone level. I pray that this coming year we make it happen, some travel time or a fun adventure. My dad has been keeping in more touch with me lately and I think that I'm in Kenya it's brought him closer to appreciating our bond. All the best for this coming year:)

I’ve had to think a bit on this one. I’m sort of drawing a blank. Lauren moved to Orlando, I moved to Broken Arrow, grandpa has been incredibly ill... lots of change, not sure I would qualify any as “milestones.”

Getting pregnant is going to completely change my life. Plus working through our stuff, hubby and I are both getting so much better at communicating and are less stressed and terse with each other, and loving much more often. Our whole perspective has changed and I absolutely love my life right now.

The major milestone was not a positive one. My daughter's fiance' broke up with her aout of the blue and she tried to commit suicide. It brought the family close together and put my daughter in therapy. She has suffered from depression since she was a teenager but we had it under control. However, she told me that her finance' did not believe in depression and it was mind over manner. She then told me that her finance' didn't approve of of depression so she was off of her meds for TWO YEARS!! He had her take St. John Worts with is equivilent to putting on bandage for a in slash in your leg where you need stitches instead . Her finace' was deaf and my daughter taught herself sign language in 3 Months!! Since then he has tried to win her back but thank God she meet a wonderful Jewish man and is thinking about converting to Judism. I have never seen my baby so happy with her new boyfriend. She is having a much better relationship with the current boyfriend and his family since the former. I truly hope this is the real deal and this time next year she will be engaged.

My mom moved into her own apartment. This made my life a lot harder logistically, and it's been rough seeing both my parents trying to navigate this new development.

My mom has become more obviously impacted by Parkinson's, and it's made me both acutely aware of the brevity of life, and frightened for what the future holds for her.

I went to Colorado with my parents, and my dad brought along a mean letter I had written to my mom when I was a teenager. The discussion was really good for my relationship with my mom. Also, every time I check in with my family I notice a new trait about one of them that annoys me because I share the same trait. This time it was my dad's impatience and my mom's tendency to take things personally when they're not.

Define a milestone. We got pregnant. We lost a baby. We lost our precious cat who was our family. My husband turned 40. We got pregnant again (keeping everything crossed for tbis time). My mother in law killed herself. Battered and bruised and scarred and scared and emotional. I don't know that I will ever quite heal or find the same joy in the little things in the same way as before. But I do still smile, and laugh, and hope, sometimes.

My brother got married. He is four years younger than Me, and though he is 34, I still think of him as a little boy. We have always been very close. I love his wife and I think of her like a new sister, but it saddens me that he is entering this stage of his life with a new family.

My grandma passed away right after Thanksgiving in 2015 so this past year was our first year without her. We were all really close to her and were lucky to have her in our lives for so long. I often find myself thinking I should call her as I havent talked to her in a long time, only to realize she is gone. I feel so fortunate that I was able to be with her towards the end and to have a real genuine goodbye. I dont imagine people get that opportunity very often in life to really say goodbye to someone that they love and this is a memory I will keep with me forever. I will try to remember and focus on all of the good times and not the last days in the hospital. I think my whole family has had to adjust to this loss and for me, I hope that I can keep her memory with me as well as her positive attributes: intelligence, humor, love of family, generosity, kicking everyone's ass at cards or whatever game we are playing, and mostly putting others before herself. I love you grandma and I miss you. I hope you are with grandpa.

I met my husband's daughters from a previous marriage. He has had a difficult fatherhood since he was not present all the time,and it is a major milestone that he told them he has a new couple. We"ve been invited to the younger's hone abd been with the grandchildren. And with the older daughter we had coffee and connected well. This is one of the biggest moments.

Evan became Bar Mitzvah. I'm reeling at how quickly the kids are growing up. Also, its wonderful to see, and be reminded about, how capable they are becoming.

The fact that I have been able to reflourish in my job, opening a medcal practice isn't easy after 50. But I have always more success! Many new patients every week.

There were two. Steve got married to pj in March and Lucy was born in April. Two wonderful, love filled events. Both of our children have never seemed happier and in turn Bill and I were so happy and joyful with them. Plus this signals the change to our generation. We are now grandparents. Joy!

My son started his senior year of high school this year. We are looking at ways to prepare him for cillege and the "real world." He is on the autism spectrum and struggles with executive dysfunction as part of that. We are trying to slowly walk back parts of his 504 to a level of accommodation that would be appropriate for college. I'm nervous about him starting college as he will only be 17 due to skipping a grade. Lots of stress and worry about that but trying to give him space to make decisions for his own life. Hard!

My son's going to college has been a huge milestone for our family. It has been bittersweet for me and his brothers as well. It has made me realize how important it is to enjoy the time we have with our children and knowing this is the time for them to leave the nest, but hoping all of the things we've done will prepare them for life.

My daughter had her second child. He is a total delight and we love both grandchildren immensely, but we are in even deeper financially than before to subsidize all of them. Based on the budget they presented to us, we got them into a mobile home. Almost immediately my daughter quit her job, and my son-in-law realized they "may have underestimated their expenses," and then lost his job. He's gotten another but at fewer hours. Instead of "we get them in and they can then manage the monthly payments," we invested all that money and now have to keep subsidizing them to not lose that. They can't rent on their own due to their income and credit scores. So, here we are, stuck in the same place, working to pay their mortgage. Now there are two babies making it harder to stanch the flow. Rents are sky-rocketing, so I guess this is good: at lease their payments won't go up.

The growth of the grand boys continues to amaze. Lu started school & graduated pre-kindergarten and is now in kindergarten proper, in school until after 2:00, so the rhythm of our Fridays has changed. Their growth means we were able to travel together, so for Fathers' Day, all of us travelled to Hawaii and had a grand time. Lu's school social skills are forefront, and it means that I performed magic at his 5th birthday party. At this advanced age, I was also delighted to score the lead in a musical. The effects have been fulfilling; seeing Lu blossom with school and friends, spending some time alone with Thad while Lu is at school makes for fun Fridays. Also, Fridays have become a little more sedentary with the boys focused on video games & TV in contrast to a kids' pool in Hawaii which resulted in nonstop play, often with other kids.

Hit 66 years old. Filed for Social Security-but no retirement for me. Because of stupid decisions throughout my lifetime----honestly believing that everyone has good intentions----I will be working until I die. I never planned for retirement-thought the plating shop would last forever---worked in NFP's because I thought I was helping people---allowed Eileen to not work to take care of her mother/then her granddaughters. We have no safety net. No retirement, lost anything I had when HER family sued us for not letting their mother die alone, but rather taking her in. Worst decision? Believing in a merciful God? Definitely believing in people. I want death early---I pray for it.

Jen and I had our three year anniversary amid lots of miscommunication , bickering and hard feelings. This has caused some deep and unresolved thinking on my part about whether this relationship is right for me and if it is, what do I need to do to contribute more effectively and support my partner.

Jordan got married! I am thrilled to have To Anne and her whole family in our family. They are warm, inspired, living, interesting. A delightful addition.

Moving out of my childhood home, leaving for my first fulltime job across the country, my brother leaving to start college across the country, and my parents retiring in January. We have always been an incredibly close knit family. We dont even like having 2 hotel rooms, because we would rather be together. Honestly, it has affected every part of my life. In some ways, it made me realize just how grateful I am to have them when I do get to see them. I have reflected and found that maybe it was a bit unhealthy to spend all of my time with them- it kept me from branching out and socializing with people my own age. But at the same time, they're a gift. It has taught me to communicate differently and often, and how I have the choice to stay close to them, and always will.

My grandma died from cancer. It hit all of us hard. I had never seen my mom upset before and I didn't think I could have those kind of emotions

We got over the hump from babies/toddlers to KIDS. It is liberating, and scary as we now have to face ourselves as people now and get reacquainted.

Nothing really, things have been pretty steady for my family this year. No major birthdays, no deaths, no marriages. The biggest thing I can think of is my sister moving out of the house and into an apartment with her boyfriend. It has placed a lot of pressure on me because the majority of my family looks down on those who live together before marriage (even though my sister and her bf have been together for almost 10 years). All eyes are on me to see if I'll be the "perfect daughter" even though I know I'm far from perfect, I'm just good at hiding it.

I think having my step-daughter move in full time with her boyfriend was a major milestone. Hoping this one is a keeper. Hoping we are the verge on a next phase of life for her. First time for us to have potential in-law family geographically close by and interesting people and pleasurable to be with. Don't want to get ahead of ourselves (although they are talking marriage and planning, just haven't had the official proposal yet, so waiting on that!), but hoping this brings new experiences into our lives.

Nothing really major happened - it's more that our kids are getting a bit older and everyone is able to really hang now as a family. Cooper (our youngest) is 3 and not a baby anymore, Logan (our middle) started kindergarten this fall and our oldest Dylan is in 5th grade. We also diagnosed Logan with a dairy allergy and eliminating dairy from her diet has made her a different person! And made meals MUCH more pleasant in our house.

My great nephew was born and after a critical loss of oxygen for 10 minutes, he is now afflicted with CP. But he is doing well! It was hard to deal with because I lost my own son after 1 year and I knew the difficult road that lay ahead for Michelle and Tyler. But I am the person I am today because of that experience. God can redeem our worst trials and remake them into blessing in our lives.

My youngest moved in my oldest got engaged and my middle son is on his last year of college. It has been an interesting year! These are all good milestones and we are all happy and rolling forward with all the good momentum.

My son graduated from college in Chicago, came back to San Francisco for the summer, and is moving to Los Angeles in two days. He is launching. What a milestone! I'm fondly remembering his happy childhood, early education, the blossoming of his personality, interests, passions, successes, challenges; the memories flood in like high tide. I float between present and past. When Josef was very young, we would sit on either side of a coffee table to paint and draw as morning sunshine poured in. I remember his soft body standing near the edge of the table, his little hand holding a paint brush that he carefully moved over white paper. I was in awe of his sensitive marks made with such concentration. As he grew, he drew dozens of intricate, interconnected patterns that struck me as mysterious and intense. I watched silently from across the coffee table, mesmerized by his artistic confidence. I drew clouds. He drew dragons. I drew patterns. He drew hills. I drew little boys swinging on swings held by flowing, curving, budding willow tree branches. He drew rivers. I drew flowers. He drew birds. He called these "Mommy Days" and we were content. Yesterday, I was helping him pack. Mindful of wanting him to feel autonomous, I said, "It's not that I don't think you can do this yourself, it's just that I get great pleasure from helping you." He said, without skipping a beat, "I know Mom. It's great having you here. It's just like our Mommy Days." I float, high tide beneath me.

My niece & her husband separated, I got to watch, with pride, how my brother (her father) helped her - & I feel closer to mt grandnieces & nephew

Daughter & family moved to Florida for s-i-l's next assignment, just in time for Irma to begin her assault on US lands. Thankfully, their places were not harmed. This year the first grandkid turns teen! Wow! Where do the years go?!

My sister got married. He behavior has shown me that she is one of the people who have given less than I have in our relationship, and that she is someone I need to step away from and focus less on, as I focus completely on me, for the first time in a very long time.

My cousin got engaged to his girlfriend. It hasn't really made an impact yet, but the future impact is possibly large. I'm very happy for them, but also intermittently worrying over how I'm going to approach the +1 situation. I've been dating my girlfriend for a year now, and it will probably be 2+ years by the time the wedding happens. We've both met each other's parents, and most of my family knows I'm dating a girl, but my grandma doesn't know. And she's going to be able to tell at the wedding unless we go full gal-pal. So I'm going to need to decide if I want to be outed sooner rather than later. I expect that I'm going to choose later. I could not take my girlfriend, but she is an important part of my life, and if people are going to be weird about it, I guess I'll deal.

I got a new job that I am not too happy with but the change itself has been just what I needed. My first year of working at this job, I was so stressed with learning new technical skills. The stress was crazy. It forced me to look at my life and really examine what do I want especially now that I am in my 50's. Thinking of a Super Soul Sunday show with Oprah and Shondra Rhymes where Shondra discussed her book about her year of "yes". Where she said "yes" to everything. I thought, this year I am going "live out loud. I called it my year of not hiding. I started by walking to work 2.5 miles one way. Every day, no matter what. I lost lots of weight. I feel great and because of my diligence of walking even in the rain and cold, I've become a bit of a celebrity at work. I thought I'd hate it the attention. I've learned to embrace it. When people ask in the morning the questions or marvel because they saw me walking in the rain or very hot weather, I feel good about myself and the journey it has taken me-- new job, new skills, the new decade--new me.

Major milestone - my daughter moved in with her boyfriend. I think it's affected me in that I feel less connected to her. I realize that while still important to her, my role is more ancillary. While I knew this would happen and is the natural order of things, it was made more difficult for me because of where I AM with my own life. I've had to take a step back and start to plan a life that revolves around me. Not an easy task.

My brother died. This has impacted me in huge ways. Most notable, I am more sensitive to things than I used to be, especially with regards to my family.

As noted before, my parents' death is the biggest milestone. But I'd also write about something that is less a milestone than a key experience: the month or so that I've been sharing the apartment with my stepson, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. I'd been worried about feeling crowded and dealing with the clutter and mess. But I've actually enjoyed it. I wouldn't want to live like this all the time, but it's been good to have this casual, fairly intimate, day-to-day interaction. I'll be glad for this to be done, but I'm also happy to have had the experience. Along with enhancing relationships, this also reminds me that I can handle more interaction and mess than I something imagine I can.

My daughter got her driver's license. That liberated me from driving her around - and we also lost our daily time together in the car. That was more significant than I realized at first because she talks to me more in the car than anywhere else. Now when she asks me to take her someplace that she could easily drive herself, I always say "yes" because I know "can you take me to Target?" could really mean "I need to talk to you, Mom."

The sad: My Saba passed away after the second night of Passover. It’s obviously affected our family quite a bit. In a way, we were relieved, because it honestly seemed like doing anything was a struggle for him. He was done and it showed. The happy: I told my family about my boyfriend. This is only the second significant other that I've told them about—and the second truly significant other that I’ve had. We’re figuring out when they’re going to meet. Looking at early October.

My daughter gave birth to a healthy girl on Mother's Day! Cleo is four months old now, and I am looking forward to seeing her next week. She joined her three year old sister, Vivian, who is one of the great loves of my life.

I don't have close family members any more, so it's cousins and aunts and one uncle, plus adopted family. I helped J&A buy a house this year, which is paying forward the support my dad gave me, even though they are family of choice and not blood.

Dave turned 70. I turned 60. Bethany turned 30. That is a lot of 10's. 160 to be exact! We are all more accomplished. We are all wiser. Made me more aware of how precious my life is. Realizing how to spend time in positivity and with passion.

My brother had a baby! I guess it didn't affect me that much except for the marked change in my attitude toward my brother and his wife. I didn't realize how much family means to me and how important those connections are to me until I was faced with the possibility of not having my new nephew in my life. I was willing to put aside differences that, until then, I thought were insurmountable. I haven't met the new baby yet but I hope to over the course of the next year! YAY!

Unfortunately, my brother & sister passing is a major event for me, and I realize I am really the last in the family, besides Stacey, and she will not carry on the family name going forward. Not the end of the world, but it's significant to me. My small family got much smaller . I am not depressed, but I do think about it. I am just concentrating on living my life staying happy, active, in love, and enjoying the years I have left.

Joseph became a proctor at school. I am thrilled beyond belief that he is thriving - and learning to lead with clarity and kindness. My heart practically bursts with exuberant joy when I think of his strength in body and mind as he continues to gather himself into this great ball of fire, fun and friends. Adore that boy.

We shared our home with an exchange student. The experience helped me grow in so many ways- I learned to be comfortable with myself, to recognize new ways of communicating; to see my strengths and have compassion for my weaknesses.

The marriage equality postal survey. While I'll always love my family, I now dislike them.

My elder daughter finally met a partner who seems like a decent and caring man.

I discovered my DNA's ancestry. What struck me as amazing was that I have 18% Irish and 13% Great Britain in me. Sad that I have no Jewish, Native American, or African DNA in me.

The birth of my daughter, my first child. It's changed me and changed everything. I can't remember now really how my life was before her, or how I filled my days. I've never been so tired and felt so frustrated. My husband has had to work long hours and miss days off so although we are a family I feel like we haven't had the chance to enjoy being one yet. It's all been so hard, she was premature and had to be operated on at birth. Both our families far away and my mum then had a stroke a few days after the baby was born. All this being said, I feel so privileged and honored to be her mum and to see her healthy and growing, gaining confidence and new abilities everyday. I'm proud of us for making it this far and hope the next year coming holds easier and happier times

Both of my children have had babies I met the woman of my dreams we've had some very serious major milestones and I have loved every moment of it and it has also been tremendously scary

My mom and sister joined me doing virtual races, we worked to exercise more, and my sister became a huge support in our diet changes.

Nain died at the end of October. Sometimes I remember and it hits me so hard all over again. I miss her and I miss my family being together. I'm grateful that I was back from Malta before it happened and that I got to see her before the stroke. It felt strange moving to another city, another country, and not getting a card with her familiar handwriting turning up in my new mailbox. To have Christmas without her. To know I can never go back to stay with her and Taid and have everything be as it was before. Sometimes I feel robbed of time - when I see other people in my generation with grandmothers still alive and older than Nain was - I feel that it's not fair. I know I was lucky to have so many happy years with her, and to still one grandparent even now, but still.

My parents have officially sold our family home. The money's not in the bank yet but they've accepted the offer and are clearing the place out. I went home for the last time over this past weekend and just cried and cried. I'm 33 and haven't lived there in over a decade, but it's just... my home. I rent, I don't own my own home, and don't expect to for years to come because I'm still paying off my student loans, and besides, my husband is the Navy and we'll end up moving anyway. So I feel un-tethered. Rootless. And the idea that I will never again sleep in my bedroom or sit in the shady corner in the backyard where our cats are buried is **devastating**. 0/10 do not recommend.

My father passed away this past year, in early June. He was 84. He had been suffering from Parkinson's Disease for more than a decade. A few months before he died he began to lose his appetite. It turned out he was losing the ability to swallow. I'm still feeling like I didn't spend enough time with him. I don't feel guilty as much as I feel sad. I did tell him I loved him - many times - so I'm sure he knew that. I know that he loved me, and I think at times was proud of me, though I know he wanted me to start my own business and never understood why I didn't just go for it (during the many times I was laid off and freelancing to make ends meet. I just didn't have the hustle and was frankly too worried about cash flow, but that's another story. :-) ) Sometimes it feels like it still hasn't sunk in, too. Last night at Rosh Hashana dinner at my sister and brother-in-law's house when I went into the den to say hello the first place I looked was the brown chair, where he used to always sit. I half-expected to see him there. I think we're all still adjusting, especially my mom. On one hand I'm sad he's gone, but on the other I'm not. He was truly in pain - all over - and no longer had much quality of life. He was able to die at home and not in the hospital, and we all got to say goodbye. If you can have a good death, he had one. It's still hard, and I keep waiting to feel horrible. I suppose everyone grieves differently, and I feel sort of blank...we'll see where it goes. I do think about him a lot and remember his sayings and quirks, and smile. That's probably the better way to go. Rest in peace, Dad.

Mi hermano tiene un tumor cerebral y ha venido desmejorando. Es muy triste verlo así, pues era un hombre muy altivo y orgulloso, pero también maltratador con su familia. Así que son sentimientos encontrados, pero la verdad es que quisiera verlo de nuevo como era antes y me siento impotente al no lograr hacer nada. Hace poco me enteré que había una pequeña luz para un tratamiento pero su familia cercana, esposa e hijos, no quiso intentarlo por miedo a que empeorara su estado de salud o muriera antes de lo que el médico había estimado. Adicional, como familia, estamos enfrentados por plata y es por plata que aun no tenemos y estamos en una situación muy incómoda de dejarnos de hablar.

Our son qualified for early intervention for his speech and motor skills. We finally decided it was time to have him evaluated. Of course no one wants to believe there child is not perfect but I am truly hopeful that this is what he needs and what will be good for him. It has made me a little sad as a mother. Naturally I wonder what he have done wrong, did he not read enough, watch to much tv. His eating has improved recently which was made me happy. But I still worry. Other parents make it seem so easy. I keep hoping one day he will wake up and start talking. That is how they make it seem. That one day something is unlocked and suddenly your child can speak. That day hasn't happened. It is little bits of language here and there. A moment every other day where he does something knew but it is muddled with his frustration. I am trying to be content in his literally baby steps but my husband as seems so frustrated at him at times. It is hard to cope.

I guess my brother's youngest child getting her driver's license and his oldest being in graduate school already. It is making me feel old. I wonder how time passed so quickly. I think I may be stuck in the past. May be it is time to get with the times.

My mother went to rehab and has been sober for a year. I still don't trust her; but at least she's not a fall down Drunk anymore. I just wish she would've done it while dad was still alive.

Two of my cousins, and my "sister in law" had babies. It's brought so much joy and positive energy to the the family dynamics. As well as a reminder of the family I'd like to build for myself on day.

My favorite cousin passed away, and it is difficult to come to reality, that in fact I will not see him again

A major milestone that happened with my family this past year is Ryan getting engaged. It has affected me because I take a step back and think about what kind of relationship I want with my loved one. I want to make sure it's a relationship I can see building together with the correct one.

I have come to terms with the fact that I don't need to make an effort with my extended family for anyone else but myself. I no longer feel pressured to participate in family gatherings, or to put up with their racist and sexist views if I do. Basically, getting rid of the toxic parts of my family.

that's easy. rob's death. although david's and paula's passings were a close second. how did it affect me? it left a hole in my heart.

Last week my husband and I reached our 30th wedding anniversary. We celebrated by spending the weekend in Brattleboro, Vt. I have been, and continue to be, so very lucky in my husband and my marriage. Of course, we have had the occasional small irritation, but we really have not had a significant conflict or problem in our years together, and we continue to love and value one another. In my work, I certainly often see how difficult and strained marriages can be, and even among our "happily married" friends, we sometimes see them treat one another in hurtful ways. I am just grateful and thankful for our strong relationship.

Discovering my husband's affair was earth shattering at first. It was as if an grenade had exploded in the middle of our family. It caused me to become depressed. It disrupted us as a unit. At the same time, it opened my eyes and set me on my current path of self recovery. In the short term, it was one of the most painful experiences of my adult life. In the long term, it has been transformational for me personally, and for that, I am truly grateful. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is option. I choose not to suffer.

Nothing too drastic has changed with my family this year. If we're including pets, fostering the kittens has been INCREDIBLE (although a lot of work). It's so so rewarding to watch them go from so vulnerable to completely healthy and independent (and SO cute). Interesting to work through the emotional dynamics with Matilda as well. It has made me more confident in my desires to be a mother and also can cause the heartache for my inability to be a mother to hurt more at times as well. But I feel so confident and fulfilled to love on these little babies and literally save their life.

My grandfather (Gung Gung) on my mother's side passed away. He was an extremely quiet man and even though I lived with him and my grandmother (Paw Paw) part-time we barely knew each other. My Paw Paw and I were never close. She was a tough, selfish, difficult woman with little love for her kids or grandkids. Since Gung Gung's passing she has softened. I feel closer to her now and there is much less tension in our relationship. The circumstances are unfortunate, but I'm glad our relationship has improved.

So many. April anniversary, wiley growth, miscarriage, current new pregnancy, job changes. Lots of growth this year

We just celebrated my dad's 90th birthday. It was wonderful to see him in such good health and surrounded by all 4 of his children, all 10 of his grandchildren and many of his great grandchildren. We put a lot of energy into pulling off this family beach reunion. I have been concerned about keeping the family together since our mom died and I decided I want to step up to play the "matriarch" role to help keep us all connected. I was grateful to be able to pull this off.

My brother got married in March. It was such a wonderful occasion to see him so happy and welcome my new sister into our family.

Well, not sure this was a cause and effect but Mom is moving in a week and I am sick and so is Bob though he is better than I somewhat. due to that this answer will be short.

Not a milestone in the positive sense. Probably,what stands out most and caused me the strongest emotions is, what happened in Mau's life. Few snippets emerged, pointing towards that he fathered two children already with two different girls. Has he abandoned the first one, Leon? And in April he was close to be put into jail. I declined paying his for bail or helping him leave the country as he requested. Since then no contact to him, does he receive emails at all? There is no way I could help him . Depressing. Nothing left to do but seeing-like a snapshot- how things are.

I could continue the divorce theme, but I'll interpret this question a little differently. A major milestone I accomplished was visiting my dad's grave. I had never been there, and long resented Carol for essentially stealing him from me. When I got to the cemetery in Chicago I wasn't sure how to feel. Should I be anxious, sad, joyful? I felt peace. I spent most of the time talking to Carol rather than my father. It was comforting to get rid of that guilt and anger I held on to, and just let it go and forgive her. Thanking Carol for everything she was to my dad sparked a change in how I saw them when reflecting on his last days. I feel no animosity towards her anymore, and being able to visit a physical spot for his grave helped me close that chapter of my life.

Sarah got engaged. We're no longer the younger cousins, we are the future generation.

We are planning for separate lives; with the assumption that there will be a future for him. The alternative brought unspeakable dread; I am grateful that stage is behind us.

I have no family

Our daughter went back to school. She graduated college 2 years ago, and worked for a company for 2 years, but wasn't happy of fulfilled. I thought I would be upset that she wanted to quit and pursue something else, but she really impressed me with her reasons and her plans and though it's only been a few weeks, she is loving school and we are very excited for her.

hmmm...i guess a major milestone has been coming to peace with how they are....not that i've totally accepted them, but more than ever before, I see them all as imperfect humans who have their own troubles and worries, and so instead of dismissing them for who they are all the time, i embrace them a lot more. it's still really hard to accept that my loved ones have their ups and downs as much as i do, and seeing them in a more vulnerable state than ever before is hard on me, it worries me a lot, and i fear losing them. however, i also am starting to feel more joy being with them and around them as my perspective becomes more balanced and as also i've gotten better at acknowledging, expressing, and asserting my needs. so yeah, it has also been a milestone that i've lived away from them for a year now, and that has also emotionally impacted me more than i imagined, it's a reality I've struggled to accept, that if you move away from people, you simply cannot be a part of their lives the same way as if you live next to them....and for decades i think i shielded myself against the emotional content of this realization as i always focused on maintaining the relationships, but now that i live away from everyone, except katie, i have realized i can't constantly maintain my relationships because the reality is i gotta live in my present and engage myself with my surroundings, otherwise i feel out of control and unfulfilled by my own life

I can't even think of a milestone. It's been a year of hanging on. Nothing has happened. Is binge-watching Netflix a milestone? That's all I've done. It's depressing to realize that I have no milestones since Sept. 2016-Sept. 2017

Just these last 2 months—getting closer to the boys and deciding that I want to be in this family, all from the planned Pictured rocks vacation. I wanted to go on that vacation because every day with the boys seemed like a chore, and we never got to do anything fun (their mom had all the weekends). So we had a great bonding trip at all my old stomping grounds, including the rock quarry and a meteor shower at Carp River! Truly the best experience of all year. And the boys and I seem so much more close now, it gave me hope. It was a major turning point for me in deciding my fate with this family. I feel much more happy about the future.

Watching my grandpa lose his mind and body has been overwhelming. It’s challenging, and I feel a lot of conflicting ways about it. Mostly I’m sad for my mom. She gets the worst of everything and now she has to be a rock for someone who has only ever been a harm to her. It also made me see more clearly that we’re all aging, and changing, and no one is invincible. I appreciate becoming aware of that, it makes life more important and living more urgent when you watch someone slowing down.

We had our first pregnancy (unplanned), and then miscarriage. As sad as it was, it has shown myself and my husband how ready we are for a baby and to complete our family

Easily, the most impactful milestone for me and my family was the presidential election. Trump getting election was and continues to be a nightmare. Dad being a Trump supported has seriously strained my mom and my relationship with him. It's hard to not feel the same kind of safety and rapport that I've always felt with Dad. I really don't feel like I trust him anymore and beyond politics, our relationship has also been weekend. I want to improve our relationship but it's difficult to imagine doing so without being able to see eye to eye morally.

My 20-year-old son, a sophomore at university, moved into his own apartment. He moved most of the last of his things out of the house where I raised him, and I had to face the fact that he would never really live at home again. ... When I moved to college, my own mother had a breakdown. An actual nervous breakdown. It took me many years to understand how much her confiding in me had propped her up. It was a super-dysfunctional thing, her confiding her most personal problems in me, a teenager who had no experience with marriage, sex, adult friendship, financial anxiety, and so on. It relieved me so much to move away, and I remember warily watching her breakdown from my location a 2-hours' drive away from home. I wanted to take care of her, but even more, I wanted to stop taking care of her. She made it through her breakdown, and when I finally moved into my first apartment (at 21, when I took my first job), she bought me some kitchen equipment that helped me set up house. ... When I co-signed my son's lease, I was glad to be able to feel the grief of his moving out and taking one more step toward being an independent man, and also the relief of having my house to myself. I'm now renting out his old room on Airbnb, which is helping me financially as I pursue another advanced degree. My son and I continue to have a very close understanding of each other—but it's not enmeshed, the way my relationship with my mother was. Changing truly dysfunctional family structures passed down from generation to generation takes a great deal of effort, awareness, and time. It's like reversing the inexorable torque of a millstone. It's possible, with patience, care, and lots of sweat.

Oscar passed away on the 15th of September. My second niece is due tomorrow (23rd of September). My sister moved next door to my mother. I think the biggest milestone has been Helen moving next door to mum. Not only has it meant that I have to see my mum every time that I see my sister, but it has also made it harder for me to see Bonnie in some ways. It is particularly hard for my dad, who has to see his ex-wife every time he sees my sister. It also means that it is hard for me to get as much time with my dad as he tends to stay in Arlesey instead of London now. In other ways, I get to kill two birds with one stone! What it does feel like is a very concrete example of how much "closer" they are than my mother and I. I find it incredibly unhealthy.

Arnon and I decided to make the jump and commit to him taking time to be a stay at home dad and later in for us to backpack South America and then follow his dreams. We haven't done it yet and I'm scared but we're committed to it. In the meantime, some other milestones have been our journey in Ayurveda, ZeroWaste Living, and continuation of yoga and mindfulness.

Upon reflection, we discovered that we didn't have any major milestones until this past month, when my husband was promoted at work. I guess we needed the calm, though, because it has been a long time since we were able to just relax and enjoy the year. No major illnesses (unlike the previous year). No car accidents (unlike the previous year). No move. No deaths. No births. Just... calm.

I turned 60. I guess that's the one. And it was a lovely evening, marred only a teensy bit by A's sulk, which I did my best to ignore (in itself a milestone). Almost all my favorite people were there -- my family, though I missed J, and the other J's appearance at my mother's front door on the day itself moved me beyond words.

I was afflicted with depression this past year, for the first time in my 6+ decades. Ugh! What a horrible feeling! When I used to hear of someone suffering from depression I would think 'just get over it!' - which is probably normal to think when looking in from the outside. Now I understand depression much better. You don't wake up one morning depressed - it sneaks up on you. For me, by the time I realized that days would go by without me accomplishing anything, it was too late for me to try to 'power out of it'. It's too overpowering, it just saps the will right out of you. Fortunately, I had enough gumption left to bring it up with a friend in the mental health profession. After that I saw my physician who prescribed a medication. It started working, and then so did I! As I am self-employed, this has affected my ability to support my family during this time. I am making progress, but I struggle every day with the emotional burden and the pressures to get my business back on track to producing an income.

My eldest son got married in India. We now have a much bigger extended family. It was a fantastic wedding and Rubianka is the perfect match for him. Also in this year our youngest son graduated and is now working. All in all these milestones have given my husband and I a new sense of freedom - financially and spiritually. We have been travelling and remembering how nice it was just to be the two of us. We love all three of our children and they are a super people who have all done well. It is nice though not to have such a burden of responsiblity anymore.

This was not a particularly eventful year for the family. The biggest milestone would be my sister starting to look at colleges. I'm so excited for her and actually enjoying it myself because I get to help her with the fun part of looking at schools, but I don't have to worry about actually getting in anymore.

my favorite niece was diagnosed with dementia she is, fortunately, functioning fairly well so far. it is doubly disturbing her illness is the main concern the second is that she is 13 years younger than me. scarry###

One of the first things I did when I relocated was reach out to a cousin who reached out to me after my mother passed away to say he thought we had a strange family. We didnt communicate very well or something along those lines he wrote in his brief email. I looked for his correspondence but for whatever reason couldnt find it. I could use it as a pivot point or starting point to begin a conversation with him. Strangely when I did initiate conversation though email his response was distant and cold and he never did contact me nor he did seem interested. Ive adapted and tried not to take it personally but Ive especially thought about it during this holiday period when it would be nice to have family. Ive tried to think about things from his perspective. People have issues, I have them and he has them. Maybe what would be easy for me may not be easy for him or what I would do or what I see he may not, he may be blind to. Im sure in fact the last thing he's thinking about is me right now. Whereas Im alone and all I can think about is his selfishness where it may not be so much selfish but reckless.

I guess it would be my brother's college graduation? It feels like not a huge event, but also it feels like it signifies a new stage for my family. He and I are both out of school and working and living away from our parents. We have jobs and lives and our parents are figuring out their life post kids. It's weird. It's uncomfortable. I still don't feel adult enough for this.

My eldest son got his driver's license. Now he drives to school. I now have two more hours in my day. Yes I worry about his safety, but he's responsible and has earned my trust in that front. Can't give into easy mom fears. Helping me grow and mature and be the mom I want to be.

We bought a house (and there's also a baby on the way) and right now I'm sitting here as my apartment gets packed up and I'm just so happy about it, even if it is expensive. I'm ready to move to this next stage and be a mom/bibi and have my own house that is for me and keep moving onwards and upwards.

My wife and I had our second child (and first daughter) . I also left my long time job in senior levels of public service and have been unemployed for 9 months. The latter has unmoored me and caused instability and loss of my sense of self and mission. The former has made me more passionate about my family and mission to raise good kids.

We didn't really have any this year. Maybe that this is the 1st year i didn't have a large emergency that i needed help from my mom to solve. We had a couple minor ones though....so it wasn't totally mom-free. I would like to be more financially independent. But it seems that every time i reduce expenses, another hit happens.

My oldest going off to college is the major milestone. I am still getting used to it. I feel a sense of loss and pride. I am sad and happy. I am nervous but confident. It is a roller coaster of emotions but most of all I am proud of him and how well he seems to be adjusting.

My son started kindergarten just a few weeks ago. In some ways it doesn't feel like such a milestone - he has been in full time daycare for the past 4.5 years. But it marks a big transition to independence for him - taking the bus, buying lunch, etc. - and for me in terms of letting go of knowing everything that goes on in his life (or even most of it). I am proud of him, happy he is doing well, and a little bit sad that my baby is growing up.

No bug miles stones - I guess Ian's health and him stil being here is a mile stone. I try not let it affect me because mum is strong and we save our tears but if he went i'd really miss him

I chose to leave the Life I knew. My occupation, family, & my own money were my security blanket. I was very much independent & things were starting to move forward for me. But yet, I still chose to build a new life in a foreign country. Even though it has had its shares of new & a good opportunity, I realize this was not what I thought or hoped it would be. Not that I'm ever expecting it to be easy; here or any other place, but it seems like I was duped by those I thought were different even worse, people I called "family".

My brother's son has turned 18. This ends a long struggle for him with his ex wife and courts. I have learned quite a few things while observing this process. Some people enjoy being horrible. I used to not believe this. I used to think that everyone in their own way believes they are doing the right thing and feel justified in their actions. Even if they are wrong in that belief, they still really think that they are right. Not so. I have watched in fear for my brother as the woman who left him for the man she was cheating with decided to, with full knowledge and malice, assassinate the character and livelihood of my brother for over 10 years. The reason was so that people would start to question his character instead of looking too closely at her's. It was purposeful and she didin't hide it. But now that it is over, my brother is like a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. It's good to have my brother back, the one who I barely remember but am so happy to see. I have been thinking a lot lately about how this system can be reformed so that it is truly fair and equitable. Without allowing one spouse to emotionally and monetarily abuse the other. I think sometimes about if the roles were reversed and my brother was a female dealing with an ex husband, there would be places she could go for help. Abuse is abuse. Slander is slander. I hope that in the future we can figure out a way to do this better.

This one is easy - my pregnancy! It was such a delight to gather our closest family and share the news back in February, and then to tell folks more publicly a month or so later. My husband and I also finally landed in the same city in April after years of pretending to live in two places, which has been simply wonderful. I'm still a little stunned that I essentially got pregnant on our first try and that everything has gone smoothly so far. That's not to say pregnancy is fun or easy, but my symptoms have been textbook and on the mild side. I am so thankful. Overall, being pregnant has affected me in basically every possible way: physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. It will be over before I know it and then we get to figure out how the heck to be parents. Exciting and terrifying all at once!

Katie got married to someone she really loves that that we love too. That's been a wonderful addition to our family.

My son was thrown in the media spotlight and we are in this midst of handling the repercussions as a family.

Hmmm....I guess it's Hurricane Irma. I really pushed my parents to leave Florida and they actually listened to me!They were very resistant at first but then they got in the car and drove up to NYC. My father admitted that my sister and I were right. It felt good to show up for them and put the pressure on them to leave!!

My family is close, but distant. We can go months without talking to each other, and that feels ok I think. I don't see myself wanting to change it. Anyway, our family dog died a month or so ago. She had kidney cancer and was starting to fade over that weekend. My mom took her into the vet to get some treatment the following Monday, and her body just couldn't take it. She passed away late in the afternoon. It affected us all because we watched her grow from a puppy to a large loaf of corgi for 15 years. We didn't feel failure, just a big gap left by a dog that used to make us laugh. We were proud of the life we shared with her and happy she could be around us. We all feel a little closer now after this, somehow. I call mom and dad a little more, I text my sister things a little more often. I guess I learned that it's better to share a life with a pet, because they need a friend in this world too. It's nice to have a little kindness between you and an animal.

I must say I neglected my family in the past year. I just didn't seem to care, couldn't seem to be bothered. Milestones - we had a baby born to my cousin, my aunt has been going through chemotherapy, etc. My grandfather passed away. All these things seem to have no effect on my. As if I didn't care. Which is sad.

I decided to go to Peru last summer to meet my dad's side of the family for the first time. I ended up being disappointed in some of them because they were selfish. I've realized that I'm an adult now, and I have the choice of whether or not I'd like to visit certain family members. My parent's can't force me to see anyone I don't want to. I've also realized that I can no longer allow my family or other relatives to treat me like a child. I've already stated my independence by moving halfway around the world and getting a job of my own. My dad also decided to meet up with me in Peru, and I was shocked at how old he's becoming. This made me realize that I need to visit my parents back in the U.S. Who knows how much time they'll have left before they're gone. Seeing my dad aging both physically and mentally has made me wonder if I'll have to take care of him in the future. Just thinking about it makes me struggle, as I know that it's part of my culture to take care of aging parents. However, I have to do what makes me happy as I now have a life of my own here in Russia, and I don't want to give that up.

There was nothing earth shattering, but my older son redefined his relationship with his fiance. They decided that living together was not working for them and now that they're living apart, the relationship has been enhanced. A great lesson - there's not just one way to do it.

Dad turned 88 after being on Hospice for 16 months. He is still with me

My brother bought a house today. Also My parents bought a rental house in Miami Florida this week. It seems I'm the only one not with a house. I want one but I would rather buy with a spouse. I feel happy for them but my idiot brother didn't tell me until mom and all of Facebook found out. I don't like to be the last one to know when I'm the sister. What's wrong with him?

Well I guess it's good to be honest, yes? Alex and I opened up our relationship. Now when we met, I was Alex's first kiss, first boyfriend, first everything. He said early on if I was every even interested in doing anything outside our relationship, just break up with him, don't even say why. He was 19, first time in love, thinking the world of me. I accepted it fully. So as he started to hint at, speak about opening up, I was very cautious at first, given that early wish. But over time we had conversations, and started to draw some boundaries. (Beyond that early statement, another side of me said at the time to friends - and maybe even Alex himself - that he's young, and he may find one day he wants to explore more. So in March in Fort Lauderdale, we visited a bathhouse. Didn't play with anyone else, but was naked along with the others, played with each other within sight of others. The place is really nice, outside pool, which helped created a positive first experience. I felt closer after we did it. We also went to basically a big sex party at a club in Amsterdam, which was sometimes weird, exciting, nerve-wracking. Some very positive experiences, and some learning about where my comfort lies and is tested. We have looked since then - our current arrangement for the foreseeable future is only playing together - on apps and such, but haven't had another experience yet.

My grandmother passed away. She was my last living grandparent, and held our extended family together. I am sad that such a great generation of kind, hard working, family-oriented people are dying. I hope that my generation can carry the torch. Boomers sure haven't.

This year my dad turned 70, next year my mom will. I think my parents hitting that age has started making me worry more about how long I'll have them. I'm really lucky because my parents seem active and young still, but I notice regularly how they have gotten older, in looks, in actions, in behaviors, and its scary. I'm fortunate to spend a great deal of time with my parents and we enjoy each other, but as ones parents age, you can't help but start worrying about how long you'll actually have them!

Got a raise. this helps since it only my mom and I. we rescue any animals that need us and this surely helps. we've been doing this for about 22 years and it comes out of our pockets, so this helped!!

My potential new Family began by moving in with Debbie. This has had a significant bangs for the better. I have someone who loves and cares about me unconditionally. I have regained my enthusiasm for cooking because it’s more fun cooking for two.

I retired last June. I had dreaded it for so long but when it came, it was good. I realized that having more leisure time was a luxury I had earned with all my years of hard work. However, after a year of leisure, I was aching to get back into teaching kids again. So this coming year, I'm teaching a few hours a day without the hassles of administrating and fund raising. Just the joy of reaching and teaching young minds. LLife is good!

Hmmm. I guess the improvements we've completed to our old house. We now have a basement that's not leaking and good as a man-cave workshop for my darling partner. He also is remodeling the back bedroom. Now we will fare better if there's another wet winter. Yay!

My brother got engaged. Most of our family, himself included I'm sure, did not expect this to happen-- at least not any time soon. But when he brought home his girlfriend for Thanksgiving, and then we spent the winter holidays with her family in New Orleans, I knew things were serious and that a wedding was on the horizon.

The Birth of our first Grandson, Lucas. It has really bought all of us closer together.

There has been no major milestone in my family this year.

I got married - I've started my very own family.

My cousin and her husband (my friend since elementary school) got pregnant and will be having a baby boy in the next couple months. Shortly after this, their dog developed cancer and passed away. I simultaneously feel super excited and extremely sad for their sudden loss. It makes me put my own life into perspective. As a result I took the initiative to get us a new puppy, and my partner and I have started making plans to get her pregnant.

My sister just got married and I could be happier. It came along with some trying moments with my family, that I wish I'd handled with more grace and patience and kindness, but overall it was a awesome experience. I didn't think it would affect me as much as it did. The experience of helping her get ready, signing the marriage certificate, etc. was so special. I'm not always very sentimental but it got to me.

WOW! I found the strength to move my son and I in a better direction in life! I removed us from a dysfunctional situation! Life is Beautiful! The negative stress is gone. We both feel like we have a second chance of happiness, functionality, and most of all health and love! Super blessed to have my amazing son in my life! God is Good!

Moving out of state to be closer to my family. I really miss my friends and my siblings!

Not sure yet! Realized that my family has grown apart and we aren't... you know... FAMILY. Just blood-related. I am, indeed, the outcast, weirdo, family fuck-up. So far, it feels just... weird.

There were many milestones in my family this year. I passed the bar exam. My marriage ended. I moved in with friends rather than return to my family (unlike previous periods of exile). My adult son has been clean and sober for almost six weeks. I was forced to leave my Sarah, my first dog, the sweet girl who I know rescued me (not the other way around) with my soon-to-be ex-husband because I could not keep her and move into the home where I live now. I have not voiced this out loud, but I know my separation from her is likely a permanent arrangement. The chances that I will still be in Seattle a year from now are, at best, 50% -- probably lower. I can take my docile baby Annie with me wherever I go, but Sarah is another story, and in any event, Austin (as much as it pains me to say this) is Sarah's person. So many changes this year, and so many more to come in the year ahead (finalize the divorce, publish, apply for fellowships, possibly move across the country -- or the planet). But the major milestone that affected me most this year is my conversion. After one year of independent study followed by two years of study with a Rabbi, on September 5 of this year I officially became a member of the Jewish people. Unlike the bar exam, which is a gateway to a temporary job while I finish the work and education I need to become a professor; unlike the end of a marriage to a man who was never a fit for me; unlike my separation from Sarah which is inevitable given her age; unlike even Jeremy's sobriety which affects me but is not about me; becoming a member of the people Israel alters the course of my life in a major way. There will be no more Christmas dinners. My phone is off on Shabbat. No more Bratwurst during college football games. These things seem small and inconsequential in comparison to the "bigger" pieces of Jewish-ness, including, in many ways, an entirely new world view and relationship to the universe. But they are in their own ways all symbolic of my leaving home -- a chosen exile of leaving both my family and the estranged Christian faith of my family -- and a teshuvah -- a returning home to a faith where I feel an inexplicable belonging. I find it interesting that my preparation for conversion was the first thing I ever successfully kept secret from my family of origin. It was simply off-limits, something that was mine and mine alone. I did tell them before my date with the Biet Din and the mikvah -- and I told them from a place of settled conviction. "This is what I have been doing. This is what I have studied. This is how long this process has taken. This is my decision. This is also now imminent, which is the only reason I am finally sharing this with you because this is in no way about you." It's funny, really. I feel pain around the exile from my family, but I am also choosing this pain and this exile, because it is the only way to have the life I am meant to have. To, in the spirit of Teshuvah, return to the person who I have not yet been but who I have always been destined to become. Becoming a member of the Jewish people, choosing a Jewish life, means creating formal distance between myself and my family of origin. It means that I define the boundaries of my world, structured around the tenants of the Jewish faith and Jewish practice, and family will have to adjust. Maybe it is also the first healthy boundary setting I have ever done with my family. I don't know. But I do know that my faith and my practice will grow and deepen in the years to come, and that G-d willing, there will someday be a Jewish husband and a robust Jewish family life. Am I in exile, or did I defect? Maybe that difference is a matter of semantics. What I know, to borrow from Rabbi Kushner, is that just as Abraham left his father, and Isaac left his mother, and Jacob left his parents and a brother, and Joseph left his parents and twelve siblings, and Moses left Egypt -- I have left my family for the wilderness. Critically, I am blessed to be in the company of my tribe. I have set off to wander, but I am not alone.

Ooooof---I feel like the one that comes to mind would either be dad turning 70 or mom retiring from her business and working at the restaurant. Dad turning 70 is always terrifying---you don't know what that means for the day-to-day...any minor health problem is cause for concern---especially after passing out in Chicago last year. I think that I am more heavily considering moving back nearer to home after finishing school. Being away from family is hard, especially when you know it hurts them that I am so far away. Plus, missing that baller 70th birthday party was sad for my belly! As for mom retiring and working at the restaurant, it's kind of sad to see the home business be put to bed, but I know that this is good for my mom. Now, working at the restaurant for virtually minimum wage? That part is sad. Mom---you are worth more than that! I know this isn't your career, but it's physical and hard, and ruthless.

Christian being born. Just could not have the strife In the house anymore. It's like God had to break Us down to rebuild us and make us stronger. Also, 25 year anniversary - like we are the elite of marriages now. We have also been able to take so many trips this year now that the kids are grown.

My kids getting very independent, really on the cusp of adulthood. Travelling alone, earning money, thinking for themselves... I am very proud of them and curious to see what they will make of their lives, but I also feel very nostalgic of the happy time of their childhoods, and that often makes me feel sad.

My husband, who has early dementia but is very competent, retired in June at age 65. I was happy he worked until then and I'm happy about how relaxed and low stress his life is now w/o work. His retirement leads me to think about mine -- which I hope will be many years off. We have adapted easily to this change, partly because he had been working less and less over the past few years, and partly because he's able to care for himself entirely and even do some long delayed chores around the house. All in all, this major milestone has been a good one.

We lost Auntie Margo last August 2016 & its still hard to this day!

This year, my friends: got engaged, got married, had babies, had birthdays, had bbq's, went to baseball games, got froyo. I missed a lot of things this year. I got to be a part of a lot of things this year. I missed having the feeling of being a part of people's lives living so far away. I am committed to two things: 1) Working harder to be a present friend, even if geography isn't on my side. There are so many relationships that I care deeply about and want to preserve. Not even preserve, be a part of, no matter the distance. I need to work to reach out, to pick up, to write, to inquire - even when I'm tired, especially when I'm sad, happy, distracted. 2) Building a network where I am. I will work to not write people off for things like age or stage. I will try to be open to making new friendships in the most usual and unusual of places. I will try to be authentic and know that I am enough. I will reach out. I will say yes. I will say yes. I will ask, I will initiate. I will say yes when I want to sit in front of the fireplace & tv instead. I will find ways to let people in.

I mentioned a lot about my relationship with my father. Actually, my sister is rather conservative as well. Recently, during a phone conversation, the word "liberals" was spoken. She responded by telling me that liberals are "bad." I asked her to repeat herself and she did--I'd heard clearly. I needed to get off the phone. So, how has it affected me? I'm even more distant from my family than before. My father and sister are so conservative that I feel uncomfortable. Added to that is my father's arrogance, judgmentalism and bigotry. My brother and I have never been close and his conservative voting stance doesn't mitigate that. My mother is fairly liberal, but time has taken a toll on her. She's always been narcissistic and a little flaky. I think she's becoming senile and her senility is making her very flaky, somewhat forgetful and constantly expressing hatred of her husband. I feel more alone than I used to with regards to family. My immediate family are people I love, but can tolerate only in small doses. In the meantime, I'm trying to expand upon my connection to other family members, cousins. Perhaps that will pan out.

My life seems to be in order and calm. Except for my daughter. Last night she was snotty. She can be mean. It makes me want to be mean back. I try and look at it with my wise Eye. Then I can see she is saying she needs to be independent. Language skills are so important. So is the ability to read through the wrong words.

My sister and her husband adopted Paxton. He has and will continue to change our whole family in ways we can't even imagine yet. As for me, I'm in awe of my sister's bravery and compassion. It's not something I've found in myself. I don't mean that I'm not brave or compassionate, I mean that I don't think I could adopt a kid. Though I do love Paxton, and I'm very glad he is a part of our family. I am relieved it's not me who has to take care of him. I am excited for my sister to get the experience of raising a boy, and to not be the only one in the family who has been able to experience that joy. I do get bummed out sometimes because my sister isn't as free as she used to be. She's taking care of a toddler again. So he has to come with her everywhere, and her world currently revolves around him. We have always been in similar parenting boats and stages, and now we are in different ones. But, I support her, one hundred percent. It has pointed out to me my own selfishness, and given me opportunities to grow. It is a very good thing.

Two milestones: Our youngest daughter and her husband had a baby and bought a house. My father moved out of his home and into a senior living facility. Both of these milestone events have led me to me look at my own housing circumstances in a new way. I know that I have a complicated relationship with my possessions--and that I have a lot of them. Two houses full of art, furniture, clothes, books, toys, musical instruments, electronics, memorabilia. I have many memories associated with items and many attachments. At 66 years old, I am already thinking about who will want these things when I am gone. And whether I will want them when I am older. Part of me wants to live more simply spending less time in the organization and maintenance of things. Another part of me experiences my "collections" as resources that enrich my life.

I started to save some money for rainy days! It has come in handy!

We were told in January that the doctor thought my mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer's, probably only had 6 months to live. As a result, we drove the 6 hours to see her 3 times this year, and didn't plan a vacation, since we wanted to be available if she were hospitalized. However, my father-in-law placed her in a better facility, she gained weight (she was under 100 pounds before), and now it appears she may be around for some time. All of this has put a lot of strain on my husband, obviously. I have tried to be extra understanding and patient. It's been hard on both of us.

Justin stated HS. He is doing extremely well, both with grades and sports. Makes very happy!

The child went away to summer camp. She came back more independent, stronger, and with a definite Jewish identity. We also grew more independent and solidified how much we love her.

The twins have graduated high school and are in college, while this is recent, I feel much freer. I am enjoying time to do as I please, I worry less since the kids problems aren't in my face and I can focus on myself. It is liberating.

Family is rarely a light topic for me, and this question makes me uncomfortable from the start. I am rather emotional right now, so that doesn’t help either. There were no major family milestones in the past year, but I made some more progress in dealing with my mother, who is an unfeeling and cruel Narcissist. Neither of us has attempted to contact the other in the past year, so that’s an improvement. However, something else has shifted in the family dynamics. My youngest brother and I have been doing great, and neither of us is in contact with Mom. But my other younger brother has been increasingly distant and critical of both of us. We’ve only seen him twice this year, and both times, he came bearing a message from Mom. It is incredibly sad that he has chosen the potential of inheriting Mom’s fortune over a real relationship with us. The 12th anniversary of our father’s death was August 31, and about a week before, I sent an email to both of my brothers to share a great memory from childhood. My middle brother responded with what could have been the words directly out of Mom’s mouth, and he was highly critical of both my youngest brother and I. It was an incredibly obnoxious response to sharing a pleasant memory of our father. In the past, I would have sent a quick retort and put him in his place for being out of line, but I didn’t respond at all this time. I felt the sinking feeling of acknowledgement that the middle sibling in our family is truly against us, and tightly bound to our Narcissistic mother. It’s hard enough to live a life without the love of my own mother, but it’s even more heartbreaking to see my brother follow in her path.

We, (Wendy, Josiah and I), moved to Clarksdale, MS. We have met more amazing people, made more friends and touched more lives in the short amount of time we have been here than I can remember about any time in my past. The challenges are large but the rewards are larger.

My brother graduated college. Since I’m still in high school, it inspires me to keep going because it will end soon.

Realizing that my parents are getting older. Both of them are noticeably older both in gait and behavior (especially my Mom, with her fixation on vegan eating). I feel worried that I am not spending enough time with them as I know that time may be short, and I feel guilty that some of my Mom's behavior makes me so angry. I hope over this year to establish more regular conversations with my Dad and to have more positive interactions with my Mom (meaning, having patience and not expecting too much from her) so that they both are fully secure in my love.

I guess this can count as family- I moved in with Jair. It has made me so confident and supported in everything I do, knowing that I will come back home to someone so loving. I feel empowered to do so much more because he's just a constant source of energy for me.

I'm going to ease my suffering and rather than talk about separation and moving, I'll speak to my son turning 16. Facial hair, buff pecs, driving....'nough said.

We moved home this year from Japan after living abroad for two years. None of us loved Japan (and given the current geopolitical situation, we are extra glad to be home), but it was home for us. We lived in a small community of other Americans and there was a closeness to it that was both relieving and claustrophobic. Most of all, we miss our apartment building, where my daughter had friends on other floors and one of my colleagues lived upstairs. On the days when work was lousy, I'd bake cake and share with the neighbors. We have great people around us again in our new place, but I miss texting people that we have chocolate cake to share and hosting people for a 20 minute chat and dessert. My daughter really misses being able to wander upstairs and look for other kids.

We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. It was so joyous to look around the table at the restaurant and see 3 grown children, 2 daughter-in-laws and 8 grandchildren and they all love us and they all love one another - the best happiness there is

My husband turned 50 this year. I noticed he seemed to have a huge change in perspective about a lot of things. He has become more patient. I am 3 years younger than him so I'm always in the phase he's in at a different time. I try to learn from him as much as I can but I'm finding it hard to be a stay st home mom and have the same perspective. Hopefully I can learn to become more patient and tolerant as well and remmeber it's not about the little things.

My mom died early in the year. After having a non-relationship with her for 20 years because of her meanness and how ugly she was to me, I traveled across country to visit her before she died. And really, it was the first time in decades that I thought she did not hate me. I said goodbye with good closure and no regrets.

My son graduated HS and my daughter college. I could not be prouder of the choices my children have made. They are independent, loving, socially concerned about how the world affects them and how they have the responsibility to take part in repairing the world. As I sit as an empty nester, I realize I have two amazing children who take different paths and know that their home and their faith will always be there for them.

We have had multiple changes this year. In addition to becoming a grandmother and one set of kids moving out, my daughter decided to get her ph.D in biostatistics and she moved back home. My husband and I are busy doing a lot of babysitting so I find I have less time to read and - well -less time to myself. I still work full time so I still feel busy. I haven't made as many plans with friends. I am spending more time with my husband though because we usually babysit together. I have not been able to volunteer at the Homeless Alliance because that's when I'm babysitting. Will spending time now with my grand daughter( age 6 months) help bridge a good future relationship with her? I'm hoping so. We always get her when she is tired and fussy so she cries a lot. We got a gym membership at the Y so I hope I will increase how much I exercise and I get more involved with classes.

Son Daniel. At the start of the year, he had come from university telling us that is "wasn't for him". I get that. But he struggled to answer the question "OK, what next?" He seemed to provide the answers that to me seemed the kind he might think we would want to hear, and it was a struggle to match his subsequent actions with what he was telling us. He seemed to be spinning his wheels. at the end of the spring semester, when his friends were returning home from college, his accomplishments during the same time came into stark contrast with what they had accomplished. At that point, I decided that he needed to find his own place to stay. He look hurt, or scared during that conversation. Now, after he has found an apartment with a buddy, he seems much more self assured and content if not happy. I was ready for him to cut us out his life, but he has not. I am so grateful that he has called upon us to help out. Always on his terms, as it should be.

Nothing at all.

We moved closer to our work/school/friends to make sure our son would be in a good school district when he started high school this fall. It has been great. We are closer to everything we do, and we technically could get more sleep. With our son starting high school, I went through a range of emotions, including worrying that we didn't do enough research in choosing a school that would fit his unusual educational needs, grumpiness that his high school started 2 hours earlier than any other school he's attended before, concern that our kid knew absolutely no one who would be at the new school, to validation that we picked the right school and our kid was doing well, making friends, and being appropriately challenged. We made the right move.

So many things have happened. They have affected me, but in what way, í am a bit upset by the way some people still talk to me, but this year í am not going to stand for it. I might just say something.

This past year we moved into a new home, started a new job and our daughter started a new school. Many, many milestones. It made us closer. It made us TEAM POWER. We now have a space to create our home identity. We welcome new and family friends into our home regularly. It has made me profoundly grateful to have this in my life.

My cousin's wife had a baby. Little Emily is my grandmother's first great-grandchild (my grandma will be 94 in a couple months). It doesn't affect me deeply personally, but I'm happy for my family. This is a very wanted baby - her mother thought she may never be able to have children, it was a difficult pregnancy, all the grandmas wanted a grandchild, and she carries our family's surname. My cousin is the only male from my generation, and those of us who have married have different surnames. This way, baby Emily carries my grandfather's last name, which is very meaningful because he was a beloved man who is sorely missed.

My 18-year old left for college recently. It's an achievement for her and for our whole family. We're filled with joy and pride. But it's also bittersweet. It's a reminder of my own mortality. I miss her noise and drama and clanging around in the morning. Being her mother provided me with a lot of activity and a sense of purpose. Her empty seat at the dinner table is a reminder of time moving on, and the empty spot now in my own life.

The "right" answer to this question (the one that I feel like I "should" say) would be my conversation with Dad this summer. But the answer that came to mind when I read this question was the gift that my parents gave me at Christmas: the picture of all three of us on move-in weekend, standing in front of Bruno, in a pretty white frame. My conversation with Dad was a milestone for us and our relationship, but the gift of the picture feels like a milestone for my *family* (the selection of the picture as well as the fact that it was a joint gift). It was the best gift they've given me in a long time, if ever (aside from A-Camp, maybe). Looking at it doesn't just make me happy, it reminds me that I have a family again, and there's not much in the world that matters more than that to me.

My younger sister decided not to do the nursing school route. The application process was taking over. Now she know what she wants to do, and I'm proud of her for living her own life and not the life my mother wanted for us.

My daughter, Cindy, successfully passed her dental hygienist exam. We all were extremely proud of her.

Our younger child graduated elementary school and started middle school, and our older child turned 13 this year as well and he is becoming a Bar Mitzvah in two weeks. It is hard to believe how quickly time is flying by and how much our kids are growing before our eyes and becoming independent. I feel truly blessed to have such healthy and amazing children to be in our lives.

My dad got lost taking the kids home. It really drive home how bad we are at sharing what's going on, I have no idea if this is a one time thing, should I be looking for alternatives when we're looking at going away etc, and don't feel like I can ask. Not that I can tell them things either.

My youngest daughter LB got married last Saturday. I don't think it affected me very much at all. They have been living together for a couple of years. I do feel kind of let down after the wedding. There's nothing new and exciting to look forward to.

My parents moved deeper into their divorce. In April 2016 they decided to divorce but the dynamics have gotten more complicated since then. It's been really frustrating, awful at times, seeing how my parents are. A lot of my siblings have had deep talks with my parents about how inconsiderate they've been as parents throughout this whole process and how hurtful it's been to see them separate, how hard it is to not have a relationship with them anymore, etc ... which I'm really proud of them for. I hope one day I'll have the insight, patience, and courage to do the same. It's hurtful to have so little left of my relationship with my parents. I know one day it'll get better, I just don't have the urge to talk to them right now. I'm trying to see them as humans and not my parents with all the bullshit they've told me and not told me ... but it's hard right now. Letting myself be okay with that. I wonder where I'll be with this in one year. I'm so endlessly grateful for my siblings though, who I've become even closer with throughout this whole mess. They are the best people I know. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

It's been a little more than a year, but I had my second child. It's hard to say how this hasn't affected my life; in fact, it feels like my life was turned upside down. He has brought so much joy and love, but also unprecedented levels of exhaustion and frustration. I still haven't learned how to work those moments when both my kids need me and I can only go to one- feeling like both are getting shortchanged and fearing that I'm not doing right by either one. I hoped this transition would bring me some perspective but I don't really see it through the haze of exhaustion.

Couple things: 1) Mom's accelerating health issues and announcement to retire in March 2018. ^^ stressful, worrisome because she's relying more and more on us and unable to make good adult decisions. 2) Naomi meeting Josh and moving in together / moving out of our place in Eastlake ^^ happy for her, but bittersweet to end our 3 years of living together.

My daughter is with us now. Looking at last year's answer I since learned he had 3 surgeries and was in a lot of pain and unable to take pain medicine. Major milestone I have my full support of my dad and step mom. I also have a new baby sister

My granddaughter got the help she needed throughout this past school year and into the summer. She is turning into the rose that was hidden behind the thorns.

This past year my dad moved out of the house. I have gotten used to it and it's not that bad because I still get to see him at least twice a week. But now I'm the male role model for my younger brother and it's a lot of responsibility.

We adopted a newborn baby boy, during Hurricane Irma! I have now become the nervous Mom!

George had his knee surgery in Feb. and now we are confident we can do more hiking adventures.

My immediate family all moved within a span of three months - my parents from New York City to Arlington, Virginia, my sister from NYC back to Oakland, and Laura and I from Portland to Seattle. It has reminded me of the power of place. I haven't seen either of their places and it affects my relationship with them. I feel that distance a little. I write this a day before Mom and Dad get to come see my place, which is exciting. I feel like whether they think of the distance the same way or not, it's going to bring us closer together for them to know where we live.

I made peace with us not having children. It was hard fought and hard won. I have let it go and I never thought that I could.

That's easy. TWINS! At long last grandparents. How precious is this event. Last year at this time there were fertility issues and thru the miracle of medicine, here we are. Thrilled. !

My grandma celebrated her 80tj birthday. Unfortunately I wasn't able to join since she had encouraged me to make my own plans, so I did. My family enjoyed celebrating.

My niece reached one year old and seems ready to talk at any moment. It's going to be exciting watching her grow up.

I got life insurance. It pained me for so long that I didn't have it. The guilt ate away at me. What would happen to them if something happened to me? Where would they live? The knowledge that they can keep this house I chose to raise the children in has given me such peace of mind.

Mark left for college. We did a family road trip, including both Dorothe and Felix, as well as mama and papa, and David too, taking a whole week to enjoy ourselves. It was really a special trip, and I know Mark appreciated the presence of his family as he steps out on his own. For me, particularly after Dorothe went home as well, I felt very sad and purposeless for a few weeks. But then, I have gotten to speak to Mark, and he's being much better at communicating than he was as a high-schooler, and so I feel much better also. I've been able to let go of a lot of things that I think were bogging me down, both in terms of physical junk as well as outdated emotional responses.

The seemingly endless cycle of splitting up and making up that my parents put all of us through finally came to an end. They finally realized that they just don't work well together and that they are fine not being together. The events leading to this realization would have probably made someone rich as a reality show. I'm the eldest son, so I play counselor to both of them. Its stressful and frustrating to repeatedly tell someone that they are just repeating the same mistakes and hurting more than just themselves, only to have them do it again. I am certainly happier for the decrease in negativity from them because they are really trying to be happy apart now. I am also happy that things can be a bit more stable for my sibling that lives with one of them. The events between them coincided with my own relationship troubles, so it's nice that things are peaceful for both me and them. Speaking of my sibling, he was finally able to earn income doing what he loves this year, and I am super proud of him!

A year ago, my oldest son had just started his freshman year in college. Less squabbling now that there is only one kid in the house, but he was the one that liked trying new foods with me

The deaths within 6 weeks of both my husband and my sister-in-law made me reevaluate where I was in my life, where I wanted to live and what I needed to do move on into a vastly different future than the one I had envisioned a few months before.

My sister and I decided that we will be purchasing a house together. We are currently in the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage and finding a property that we like.

My brother started at BU!!! I'm so proud of him and I'm really excited to see how our relationship will evolve now that he's in the "adult" world.

My brother is addicted to pain killers from an old back injury. During and prior to that he has made many bad choices and has been in really bad life situations. The most recent was leaving an abusive relationship and moving in with our mother. My mother has always molly coddled my brother - always bailed him out, never let him fall or fail and has crippled him. Because of that we don't have a very good relationship. My brother has always been the center of her attention and worry. She wouldn't know what to do about what he was doing and would come to me for advice or for an sympathetic ear. That was just something I could not do for her. For Mother's Day, I took her to a Nar-Anon Family meeting. I could not be there for her as she needed me, she would not go to seek professional help, she would not even consider that my brother was an addict. She went and found she was not alone and has slowly realized and admitted that he is an addict and that she has no control over that and that the things she's been doing to "help" him was only harming him. Things are not hunky dory with our relationship, but at least she doesn't bring up my brother and his issues as much since she has the group. But I feel our relationship, as well as that with my brother, are damaged beyond repair. I can only love them from afar and wish the best for them. I had to disconnect for my own well-being. That has not been easy, but it feels right. But it is really hard not having a close family connection. But letting those boundaries go does not feel safe, so there they will stay. Maybe one day my brother will get his act together. Maybe one day my mom won't have to worry so much. Maybe...

i have a blood family - severed ties after Mom died and this past year we are straining to rebuild. all my efforts were rebuffed. And then my sister invited me to a museam. This was a beginning of healing ... just a few months agi.

David released from prison and mental institution on his way to living out in the world. We have seen the darkest side that someone can get to and see how family is always the ones you can either count on. We are slowly learning the new David and hoping to be able to welcome him back into our homes.

It was all about survival, family support, extricating myself from a toxic relationship, moving forward to my comfortable life.

We became empty nesters (mostly). It has been less worry AND more worry for me. It has been a much slower evening pace. My husband also changed jobs and is home more which also has ups and downs. We are trying to find the balance and redefine the parameters of our relationship.

I got a new baby cousin!

Two new great grandchildren. How amazing! I hope I get to go see them soon.

I had to put pants on my grandmother, and it was okay. It somehow took me past whatever i was feeling since she entered the nursing home. It put me in a pace where it was okay for me to help her and she was okay being helped... even glad for it.

The family decided to spend time doing thing in pairs as opposed to always having to do all things together. My mother and I running and hiking, and biking. Dad and I going out for food, drinking etc. It's still been hard to find ways to connect w/ Bri and I'm not sure what I want in terms of how much I'll endure to do things with her. IT's weird to think about the future and that she might be my only real family as I've choosen to live away from my family. Thiking more about connecting w/ my extended family now.

Both my sister and my daughter fell in love this year, so I am the only single one. I see my daughter for regular visits the past few months. I am loving my relationship with her & am so happy she's doing so well. I unexpectedly felt like my daughter is "safe" with her new boyfriend. I never knew that feeling would happen to me, since it did not with her previous bf.

I don't' have any family, the major milestone is that I lost my beautiful dog Tessa to a brain tumor. It's so lonely here in the house. I've come to the realization that I can't live alone, and will be getting a new pet next week.

My grandmother (z''l) passed away this year, after a long illness. I loved her so much, and I wish I'd been there more towards the end of her life. It made me realise that everyone I love won't be around forever, and value the time I spend with them even more.

We renovated the kitchen! It SO needed the change! It is a wonderful space to be in now... functional... happy... easy and beautiful. It is perfect. I am happier cooking and hanging in the kitchen. It is truly a central place for our family.

Taught us how to change as a damily

My sister has started trying to have a baby! I wouldn't have thought that someone else trying to have a child would have much to do with me but her and her husband making the big leap has brought all of us together more and changed a lot of our priorities.

My boyfriend of ten years proposed! It has been exciting and kind of nerve-wracking to think about and start planning our wedding, but it's been pretty cool discussing how we imagine the first day of the next big chapter of our lives!

Obviously dad passing away. I still can't believe it sometimes but it hits me that I will never ever talk to him again and it kills me every time I think about it. Also every milestone in my life is a bit sad because he isn't here. The good thing is that it has made my brother and I closer. The bad thing is that it has ruined my relationship with Sally.

Saddened me.

Really nothing has significantly happened since last year. We have our new home which we didnt think we would ever have. We have an awesome life. We are all healthy THANK GOD. We are good.

My daughter just turned 13. Maybe not a "milestone" , but it is a big deal. I'm more aware of how she'll become as she gets older, and that my time with her is precious... she is opting now to spend time with her friends over me. This is a relief in some ways, but also sad. Sometimes I'm worried about being entirely on my own. I've been a single mom since she was 4 - so what's next?

My son finally stopped working on his own and joined a company. This gives him a steady income, benefits such as health care, that he has lacked and a firm foundation for the future. I will be able to be more relaxed and relieved when I think about his future.

My husband and I had our eleventh anniversary I. The middle of a rough patch. I think I've been subconsciously not allowing myself to fully celebrate as I have been unsettled and uncertain. It's made me want to shake my life up and try new things.

I've finally begun to accept my family as who they are - for the longest time, I was miserable because they did not meet my expectations. It has taken a while but something finally clicked and I've realized that I'm imposing my views on who they are and not accepting them at face value. This isn't to say I'm perfect - we still clash and argue a lot (especially my mum and I) - but I no longer harbor as much pain because I'm slowly releasing grievances through the process. It is becoming quite liberating.

I applied for Medicare this year. Nothing like that to make you feel old. In my thinking about this, in my head I still feel like I'm 35-40. I have plenty of energy both mental and physical. Ideas still flow. I'm looking at a transition away from working in the emergency room which I've done for 18 years. It'll take a little getting used to the idea but I'm ready for. I really want to work solely for myself and that becomes a major goal with this milestone. I think there's a part of me that will wish I didn't do it sooner but will see going forward into the future

Job change. Prompted me to be intentional about the stories I tell myself and others about me.

My spouse and I got changed job and we are absolutely thrilled. She was promoted to the director of her division and I changed companies. We are so thankful that we leaned into our fears of what the change might make in our lives but it has been amazing.

Watching our grandchildren graduate from high school and go off to college, one granddaughter come back from teaching ESL in South Korea (great relief) and begin law school, another prepare to apply to medical school to become a public health doctor, another granddaughter going to Thailand on a service project at age 16. I am so glad that they are so "alive" and committed and doing the things they are and feeling good about themselves.

I wrote about this in the first question, but, of course, there's so much more to it. My siblings' mother died this year, as well as my grandma. It has affected me in the way death usually does - heightens my sense of the impermanence of the moment and reminds me to say "I love you" to those I cherish.

My grandmas died nine days apart. I don't have any grandmas any more. I don't have any grandparents, at all. I knew it would happen someday. and I was so lucky to have them all in my life for so long. That doesn't mean I don't miss them. Even before they died, with Alzheimer's and Dementia, they weren't "there". I couldn't talk to them and tell them things they wanted to hear, things that would make them feel happy. They were suffering and I couldn't do anything to help. I could just hold their arthritic hands and chat and hope some of it got through and that they were a little happier, until they forgot I had even been there.

Two major milestones: one is my retirement and subsequent lack of a purpose for my day. I don't enjoy sitting around the house all day watching TV with my spouse, and I'm worried about what the future holds in store for us. After 40 years of marriage, also a milestone, I'm not sure we are very compatible, but I don't know what to do about it. Secondly, my step father died of cancer in July, leaving me with the task of cleaning out and prepping for sale a condo originally owned by my parents, and chock full of 45 years of stuff. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for next year.

Nothing particularly significant happened in my immediate family or even my extended family this past year. It seems self-centered to write that my parents' acceptance of my conversion to Judaism might be the biggest milestone we reached this year. Other than that, I feel like I'm becoming more and more of an independent adult and my parents continue to love retirement.

This year my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. We took a trip to the Liard Hot Springs in northern B.C. where we had gone on our honeymoon riding horseback into the wilderness for a week. We didn't do the week on horseback again but spending two days in the most natural and warmest hot springs in Canada was wonderful. The passing of the 50 year threshold has left me feeling grateful for the years of companionship I have had with my husband. Also, I am happy knowing that our time together is going forward as we share the next 50 years (well, that may be just wishful thinking).

Two marriages, two new houses, two births and a highschool graduation. It is pleasing and rewarding to see the next generation doing so well

So, I turned 60. Made me want to live in the experience and release the stuff. So.....out goes the credit card debt. Away goes a zillion pairs of shoes. More little trips. Doing things not acquiring things. I feel lighter. .

Zachary was finally welcomed into Eric's family this year. He was invited to visit Eric's family in Tennessee and they went for a week. This is the first in the 6 years they have been together. This means a lot to me because it means a lot to him. It breaks my heart to watch him struggle or be in pain and I know being excluded all these years from that part of Eric's life was hurtful to him. Joe is now renting the downstairs of the family home. This is a final "milestone" to the end of my grounding which I always felt when I would go to visit and stay in the downstairs which is the original childhood home. I waver between feeling lost and untethered versus more tied to my home of 31 years that I have lived in and never felt all that attached to. Attachment, the one concept Buddha and the yogi strive to be free from. I've always felt like a Gypsy, no long term relationships, friends, lovers, husbands. It gets lonely...

This past year, for the first time, I did not visit my family on Passover. The previous year had been a nightmare, and not very conducive to having my baby around. I hosted the first night of Passover at my home, and I have no regrets. It has given me the strength to say "no" more often to my family, but also to ask for what I need - both of which I have done in the time since Passover.

This was a year of loss for me. Three people who were very important to me died. Gone are: my cousin, who I knew all my life, had been my playmate and confident; a college friend of 49 years was a constant in my life as I "grew up" and learned to take real chances; and a teaching colleague (and fellow Hoosier) who guided me through the professorial life and taught me to weather storms and celebrate my student's successes. They represented three touchpoints in my life and I miss them. I have other friends, but none of whom that I have that level of trust and honesty. Right now, I feel lonely. I am fighting the urge to call them or to post on Facebook if their name comes up. In my head, I know it will get better, but right now, it just hurts.

My daughter moved in a new house with her boyfriend. It is a cool home and in a really great neighborhood. I've visited a few times, but soon will stay there a week. Usually she has lived in an apartment when I stay for a week to take care of my grandson while she travels. It is a big house and I will be in charge. My grandson is 11 now and has friends in the neighborhood. I'm looking forward to staying in such a lovely home. But I still get lost in it because I have not spent much time there. Also her boyfriend has many of his personal items from his whole life there. How will I handle it? I don't think he will be around all of that time, but I'm ok with whatever happens. I want to be a good guest and caretaker of my grandson. He is on his own now in the neighborhood, so i will need to practice staying alone there while he is in school. And taking care of such a big home. I think I can do it, but at 73, I feel a bit anxious about it. It is all good but just different.

My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. That was definitely hard. I remember not being a let o kiss him and only being able to show effraction through touching elbows. I also remember how he broke that rule and touched us on Peseach to give us all Brachot and I saw a silent tear trickle down his face. That tore at my heart.

The birth of my 4th grandchild was another milestone in our family. I feel stronger and freer to be myself. To feel myself and know I am enough.

My father died. Everyone was relieved. He had vascular dementia. We watched him disappear over the past five years, unable to keep him from becoming less and less able to talk, speak, or care for himself. He sometimes recognized his family and his friends. He died in his sleep on the fourth day after his 90th birthday. We were sad when he died and we were relieved. If he was aware of his condition, he no longer had to bear that knowledge. My mother no longer had the burden of caring for him and worrying about him.

Spending time with my grandchildren. Being able to share my heart with them

Our oldest daughter moved out into her own apartment. I understand why she needed to do it, but wish she could have waited a year or so longer. I miss having her around on a daily basis - even though she is still in the same city and I see her several times each week.

Spent all day in San Francisco today. Took the SMART to the ferry and ferry into the city to take the last part of the aptitude test. Mama paid for it and I like it, but at the same time I feel as though it is kind of redundant because I feel like the results will be predictable. They will say, "Hey, you're really good with people and inductive reasoning and logic and can plan things!." And I'll say, "Thanks! So what can I do with that?" And they will reply, "Well, anything (ambiguity ambiguity ambiguity coordinator this, director that, manager, these, CEO those...As long as you work within an arbitrary field doing important but difficult to describe things on Earth with fellow earthlings." In conclusion, the testing has been fun, but I don't think it will reveal some life changing data that will completely change what I'm trying to do now. I do appreciate it though and it is nice to contribute data to the cause...SCIENCE! And while in the city, I got to have lunch and drink some beers with Matt, which is always nice, especially since I'm going through a rough transition time and he also went through a same thing.... Milestones have been Emma wrapping up grad school in London and the moms buying a house. In general, I guess it's the overall milestone is the family convergence in October: both Emma and I will be living at the newly purchased home in Petaluma. It will be the first time in about 3 years since we've had Turkey Day together and about 10 years since we've lived under the same roof. Although this is not last year but actually the coming month, it is still a milestone of the century! With our forces combined!....

Our oldest daughter was accepted to medical school this year. And our youngest daughter was excepted into a international affairs masters program in Geneva Switzerland as she finishes her bachelors at Smith College. Of course there's a major milestones for both of my daughters. What it shifts in me is this awareness that wow they really are adults now. They are both moving out into the world with the termendous amount of commitment to their paths of service, will power, focus and curiosity. I am Kivelling and deeply proud. I can see how their Waldorf education has paid off in making them both very able to be flexible in their thinking, to juggle multiple tasks and willing to take on difficult assignments in life. I also see that they have tremendous resilience. Liza stepped out of her path as student for one year and lived with us as she was applying for and being accepted into medical school it was such a treat to be with her in this way and she opened her self to both learning and teaching with me a bit about cooking, nutrition movement and exercise. We deepened our relationship and I grew stronger and more playful in the process. - I believe she did as well. It was wonderful to experience my 23-year-old daughter coming to me ready to learn more about my depth of knowledge in the kitchen . So much of what I had wanted to share with her for years she was finally able and ready to receive.

Glennis recently passed away. I am still numb from it and have not processed it beyond the loss I feel. Mark was devastated but has stepped up to help the family handle the unfinished business our brother left. There is much to learn from his passing but I am struggling to think about it now. He lived his life fully with appreciation for his family, his blessings, and the moment. He tried to teach me much and was successful at least in a small way. I can see him smiling at me now.

My older sister and I both moved further away from our mom. I think it's because we don't need to take care of her anymore- she has developed her life to be fuller and healthier and it allows us to be free.

It was and was not a milestone: my mother died at her Dementia Unit 6 states away, as Hurricane Matthew was literally over our heads here in South Carolina. My brother now calls us orphans, a term with a different meaning than we were little kids. It was a milestone because now she is gone. However, it was less immediate impact because with the fading of her memory over the last 9 years she was sort of already gone. It means as life moves on, I am the next in line. Guilt always comes with a death - especially the frustration that I could not fix what was wrong with my Mom. I felt so helpless as she pulled back from the world she knew. So I started missing her years before she left. Still, I cannot call to brighter her day. I do indeed miss that.

This year my father passed. Even though he hung on as long as he could....we were all devastated. They had a love story like no other. He treated my mom like a queen. She took care of him until the end....no nursing home for him! We all rallied! This is what happened to me and my family last November. 😢

Being diagnosed with breast cancer has pretty much eaten everything else in my life. This is going to be a huge milestone, assuming I get through treatment and am declared "cancer free" this year, I will always view everything that happened before 28 August 2017 as being "before". It's changed absolutely everything.

Well, this depends on how I define family. Biological - Jordan's birth in February. It helps open my heart. It also brings up some memories of being a little person with those family dynamics. Bay Area - Claire changed jobs and it was a great, relieving move. Not a milestone but I love it that George and I keep texting every day; it feels safe and warm to me. Mick's trip to Atlanta for BRS group work and then to LA for AIN conference was a big deal. I'm so happy for him and also got to get some healthy separation from that part of me that just wants all Mick all the time.

My cousin and his wife welcomed a new baby! The first person of the new generation in my mom's side of the family. It's very exciting!

My parents moved to Israel. While it was expected, it did remind me that I'm fairly cut off from that side of the family. It has been confusing and a bit painful.

I keep coming back to this, but the birth of my daughter. She is the first grandchild for both sets of grandparents, and for those great-grandparents living, she is the first great-grandchild for all. It's been something I've longed to give our parents and grandparents for a long time, and something I wasn't sure would happen, especially in the lifetime of our grandparents. I'm awed, seeing my parents interact with my child, and blessed for all they have given us and blessed us with - the nursery, saving our home and vehicles multiple times, and so on. I'm nostalgic to see my grandfather with her, remembering my childhood and wishing the rest of my grandparents were still alive to meet her. I'm worried when my husbands mother, a paranoid schizophrenic, holds her - that my child will inherit some of those traits or worse, that my mother-in-law will try to hurt us or Mikayla from the jealousy she exhibits. She already purposely destroys her finances in order to get attention pulled to her instead of the baby. I anticipated seeing my husband's grandparents with her when they meet her at Christmas - to see their faces as they hold her the first time. I hope I can make those positive parental influences in our lives proud!

A major milestone for our family this year was our oldest son turning 13 and becoming a Bar Mitzvah. It was a really exciting time, but it's was difficult to enjoy because of family drama. I learned that a lot of the drama was not real and totally unnecessary. I learned that I need to calm down during the event and just enjoy our friends and loved ones. I'm hopeful that in 2 years when our younger son hits the same milestone; I will have learned my lesson.

A major mile stone that happened with my family is that my dad got a second place at Sonoma Raceway for drag racing. It affected me in a positive way, because people never thought we could make and they weren't friendly to us. But we made it and that made my Dad happy and made our family proud because we got there together.

Two days ago my dad turned 90 years old. We're having a party on Sunday for him and my mom (now 85). I am so incredibly grateful not just to have them both still around, but that they are healthy and happy and living a very full life. It's almost an embarrassment of riches to be able to say that at my age.

My cousin Debbie Chien died this Year one of that last of my parents generation. Her husband Gary remains. They seem to be in such good hands with each other that no milestones that I know of has make a huge difference in its functioning. They’re amazing

Emily and NJ bought a nice, well deserved and needed family home. There were no other milestones....grandkids in school, kids all have same jobs, quiet year. No complaints

I got married to my partner. Our relationship is more committed and we celebrated our love together.

As I answered in the last question, my grandmother died. We are all grieving and remembering and sharing in our own ways. Little things will make me think of her. My dad will want to call her up to tell her sone thing. I miss her. Life goes on, but there is a piece missing. She was short in stature but had a big personality.

I reconnected with my brother. We were so tight growing up, but over the past 10 years or so there's been a growing distance. So it's been sigbificsbt for me to be repairing that relationship. This feels like a selfish response, but I have been selfish this year in that way. And I'm ok with that.

I have a nephew who I've only met one time. I guess I should go help more. Maybe then I wouldn't feel so alone i'm turning 50 next month and I am having a really hard time with it. All these years of electing to live alone have made me very lonely. I hope you have the strength & luck to fix this in the coming year

We're going through one right now. Sister recentlydid her acl, parents are moving through some major milestones with their construction business. It's made me reflect on the difficulties of life we all face and he the inevitability of circumstances like this happening. The realisation is you can't sit around and complain. You have to weigh up your options and then get to it.

My husband had a heart attack. We really are seeing that each day matters and it's important not only to make a gratitude list, but to embrace your gratitude list. Also...we are seeing the role of stress in our lives and looking to counter the effects of this.

Not a milestone per se, but Mom's diagnosis with CML really rocked us to the core, again. Very fortunately, she can take medicine daily to control the deadly mutations, but she may have lasting health problems (her retinas are damaged, and she got a heart murmur because whee blood was so thick). I'm now the only one of our nuclear family to not have cancer. It's a strange and terrible distinction.

I can't think of any major milestones. Our oldest grandson, Riley started Middle School and got his own cell phone. This hasn't really affected me except to notice how quickly the years go by.

My sister came home for a visit and I actually had a decent time with her. It felt good to know we can be civil and my parents greatly enjoyed having us together and not fighting. They really need to know we can be civil.

Danny and I finally moved in together tonight. It has gone mostly well so far. I know this will be the start of a tough, but hopefully rewarding, journey.

Both our kids are now interactive! They express themselves. It's delightful. They're more easily managed. Life is easier.

My aunt Joyce died. Her name was in Hebrew Shimha. I went to the funeral today. I picked up Dore her sister it was a four hour trip to get her from Danville during rush hour. I figured it might be the last time Dore got to see the rest of the family. I got the word out to Michael Debra my mother and Dore my son and his girlfriend and the baby went as well. I said some things at the funeral about her history. Joy hadconverted to Catholicism. I was really astounded that nobody knew her history. I spent hours in traffic with Dore. We rehashed and rehashed one more time rehashed family history of what happen and who did what to who… I realized that I I am the keeper of the family history. I asked Dore why Joyce Son nor her grandchildren knew her history. Dore said who's going to tell them? It was not lost on me that Joyce passed away on the eve of the new year I went to see her before she died and I went to work the next day people ask me how is she doing, and I said, she's going to die. I'm always surprised when I feel the spirits, because I guess most people don't. I guess it's affected me in that I'm glad the family got to be together and that they need to Know what our history is.

I haven't actually had any major milestones. I don't fee; too bad about this, I've watched some people I know go through some stuff and I think " oh, yeah... I remember my late 20's...."

In January we moved Mom into assisted living. We moved her out of the cabin they bought in 1974 for $32k. It was just a vacation home until they moved there permanently 20 years ago. My has been alone in the cabin since Dad died 9 years ago. She made the decision to move which we all agreed. Instead of selling the cabin my wife and I are buying it. It’s a good investment but it has more sentimental value to me than it’s worth. Will we sell it at some point? I’m sure we will. But for now it’s still “The Cabin”

A major milestone was the death of our Boston Terrier, Bosco. We made it only four days before we brought another dog into our lives and we are so happy with - Remedy. I learned that there is a huge space that is felt deeply when it is empty, and when it is full of dog.

Our son started high school, my stepdad had an affair with a married woman. my step-sister had a baby and not necessarily in that order. More importantly, everyone in the family has experienced a year of health, except for my stepdad, who contracted herpes from the woman he slept with. I feel good about being alive.

I have no family.

Getting married, seeing our children grow up and the distance it resulted in with some members of my family. It made me realise that my siblings can live their own lives and they are not my responsibility; all I care about is my own children and that I can offer them the life that they need.

Buddy has been traveling more and he has moved up in his company. Our fun money has increased we have money to spend. It is really nice. I like where my life is right now.

We finally renovated our house. This has been in talks for under a decade and it finally was done. Its basically home 2.0. I miss my old little house but i love the space now. However the money is influencing me and stressing me out.

My father-in-law's prostate cancer metastasized. He now has Stage IV cancer in his bones and both lungs. This has affected all of us in the family. I feel like I need to be there to offer support and encouragement to my mother-in-law. I also feel like I need to support and encourage my husband. And my children. And my father-in-law. I get easily overwhelmed thinking about my responsibility to them all. Then I feel very selfish and ashamed of myself.

This year, my family has dealt in a lot of legal issues and attempted to navigate systems to help my dad. He has struggled with substance abuse for a little while, but has been doing really well lately. His troubles have been insanely stressful on our family, especially the injustice he has faced while sober. Two main ways this has affected me: 1- I am much closer to my siblings. 2- I have a heightened awareness and genuine interest in reform for the systems that have made my dads recovery so much more difficult.

Milestone.....I still don't think in milestones. It's the little things that matter most to me.....inchstones maybe! Having a laugh over the cats doing something stupid. Finding some new music to love. Sharing time with my kids. Connecting with a child and family at work, making a difference. Talking and eating with friends. Connecting with family. I will be 50 next year....does that feel like a milestone? It's kind of built up by society to be. Do I want to mark it in some way, do something special? Hmm .... not sure. Think I'd like to travel a bit in my own country, just enjoy the outdoor space.

I was deeply saddened by the loss of 2 childhood friends. Their loss was unexpected. I wish I had kept in touch with them thru the years but lost touch with them.

Closing out mom's apartment has been a major milestone. Sand affected me because much of her stuff is here now and much of her stuff felt like it was being grabbed by my siblings and it was a little sad that they didn't care about letting mom have her own things to use while she was in my house because they wanted to use them.

I have gained a niece. This is most pleasing for me because of the happiness it has brought my sister. There has been no great affect on me except for the feeling that I too want children in the next couple of years. Mum and Dad seem happier too and our family are in a great place. I'd like to see the in-laws in the same place and maybe our children would help too.

Henry turned 3 this year! When I was pregnant with him and through his infancy, I thought that when he was three all these things would change in our family. We'd have the upsherin, he'd be weaned, more independent...but none of those things happened. He still rocks his baby curls, he still drinks momma's milk. He is more independent and its been a big adjustment for the both of us as we navigate him testing his boundaries and abilities and me figuring out a way to guide and teach him. There have been lots of tears, tantrums, and frustrations. I often feel like I'm failing and raising a sociopath. Other times I think I must be raising the sweetest, most talented, smartest child there is. I have been doing a lot of evaluation of our life and what and where our future is.

My aunt who has dementia is finally in an apartment in assisted care. We cleaned out her house--the house she lived in since she was a girl since the 1940s (the house my father, her only sibling, grew up in as well). My aunt never married or had children and so there were many photos and things of my grandparents who I never really knew because they died when I was young. Getting reconnected with them through these mementos etc (letters were among the items) has given me a level of insight into the meaning of family and the importance of it. I don't know if this is a milestone, but it has made me reconnect with a past I never really knew.

I enjoyed going to Santa Fe for a week with my family and going to Buffalo for a week. Sammy and Tessa are very important to me and i want to have a positive life long relationship with them.

Dad was finally settled in the nursing home and all his related matters were resolved. It's comforting and a relief, but also deeply confronting and challenging. It has changed the landscape of our family in ways I couldn't have imagined. It's also shifted my relationship with him and made me try (often unsuccessfully, TBH) to really treasure and take advantage of our relationship.

My mother turned 70 this year. We had a big party for her, and the planning and theme involved her input. We all try to appease her, but most of the time it's of no use. I feel like she has dug her heels in event farther to remain as negative as she can, even though she is aware that she could be doing so much more with her life. I realized that I have inherited parts of her personality - even her negativity. It doesn't manifest in what I do for myself, because I am very successful and open to try new things all the time. It does manifest itself with the way I treat my wife sometimes, and I did not realize it until this year. My wife suffers from depression, and I unknowingly have been making it worse over the past few years. It hit me really hard when I realized this, and the fact that I acknowledge it has brought my wife and I so much closer. I don't have to take on all of the traits my mother passed on to me, because many of these are things I witnessed and absorbed as a small child. As an adult, I can make the choice to keep some things and discard others, and that is what I am now doing. I would say observing her around her 70th birthday definitely had a huge and very positive impact on me.

We purchased a new house this year. We lived in the same one in another town for 20 years, in which our kids grew up. As we grew older (not that we're very old), my wife had trouble getting up the stairs and I didn't want to take care of the landscaping. However, I miss the large backyard, with the trees, patio, invisible fence for the doggies to run around, in which I would sit weekend mornings and relax with music, a magazine and breakfast.

This year is the first year that my whole family is officially working full time instead of at least one of us going to school. I was the last one to join the full time work force. It has affected me because I have had so many realizations of how things will never be the same again. I moved out of my parents house and I often reflect on how I will never wake up to find my mom cleaning the house while playing music on a breezy fall morning. I won't be able to sit with my dad on a Sunday evening to talk while he packs for his business trip for the week. I have to remind myself to cherish all of those times I had for so many years but the realization is that this is my life now and one day I will miss this too.

My father died. I had retired the previous year, but was still doing major decluttering. Therefore I went from sorting/decluttering at my condo to doing the same at my father's condo (in another city). It has been physically, mentally and spiritually draining.

Lani has graduated high school and since gone to college. Lani is incredibly difficult to deal with sometimes. But here we are living in the same city together. I am hoping to see myself grow in how I deal with her, and see her grow in general to maybe be less difficult and more her own person.

My nephew was born. He is adorable and delicious. It has strengthened/relaxed my relationship with my brother, but I would like to improve it more.

Em is in PA school now, and traveled in Europe for six weeks! We got to see her white coat ceremony in August (so awesome, and mom and I burst out into a LOT of tears). Dad retired. His retirement party was full of graduate students and colleagues and all people who love him, which was so special. Nana passed away -- my last grandparent. We all drove to her on the afternoon of April 20, and were gathered around; she wasn't awake. A lovely woman who knew Nana well came in with her therapy dog, played Nana's favorite opera, Madame Butterfly, and we chatted quietly -- and that's when she took her last breath, with all of us there. She'd told this volunteer she was a professional opera singer -- making us laugh until the very last moment, and then beyond. I hope to be as strong and unassuming and lovely as this woman who bravely marched into a room of mourning people with her dog, held Nana's hand, and played opera for her. She supported us and deeply respected the moment and loved Nana -- and it takes a special kind of strength to be with a grieving family, and to accompany someone in the last moment of their life. These are the people who should be famous and rich. It was the first death I witnessed, and I think I knew for a few moments before the others in the room (it might have been ten seconds, but felt like an eternity). I struggled more than I expected -- I thought I'd prepared for this, and knew she was in pain, but there's no preparing for it, really. There was something sacred and awful about losing my last grandparent, too. It made me miss them all, all over again, and felt like a new kind of departure from my childhood. Perhaps it was being present in the room that made me face my own mortality, or the mortality of my family.

The major milestone that happened to my family has hands down been the birth of my son Isaac! He has brought so much light and joy into the world without even trying. This has lifted my spirits and renewed my faith in humanity.

Eric and I got engaged! Finally! That was a very large milestone that happened in the past year, just before Christmas. It was very excited that he finally proposed and made the commitment to be with me. I feel like it dissolved my doubts of moving. We made the commitment to be together and we work at it all the time to keep it a happy relationship.

My parents have continued to slowly decline, and it has been hard for me (and my sister) to get out to see them as often as I would like. Overtime I have begun to bear their burdens as well as I can. Some burdens are hard to manage, particularly where my father is involved. On the other hand, my mother's burdens are many (illness, arthritis) but she just soldiers on, continuing to visit with her friends, play bridge, and quilt. She is an inspiration to me in how she keeps going without complaint.

I got married in April. While it really hasn't changed much in my direct world, I feel like it's changed my moms. She no longer invites me out to do things or go on vacation. It's petty, but it hurts my feelings. After all sometimes a girl just needs time with her mom.

We went from having three grandsons to FIVE. Our daughter had identical twin boys. It is amazing to have our family grow to this size, and often makes me consider what changes we ought to make to spend more time together. But those--retirement? relocation--are such huge alterations in life as I know it that I am conflicted with what truly matters to me.

My niece graduated from grad school in May and began teaching Kindergarten in August this year. I am proud of how hard she has worked. These events inspired me to look once again at my own teaching career. I think I have become much more compassionate toward my own situation and more self-forgiving. I feel honored that my niece has consulted with me and shared professionally with me.

I think our wedding was a major milestone for our family. People came or didnt come, and my Saba had to make a choice that will have implications for future grandchildren as well. The fact that he came, and spoke so eloquently about our community meant so much to me, and was a real statement to our family about what he values. I felt and still feel supported by him and validated in my life choices.

Seeing Hurricane Harvey drown Houston was terrifying, and I felt so helpless watching the detruction of my hometown online and on TV, while living across the country from my family, especially my brother. I feel weird saying this, but I am so grateful for Facebook. It helped keep me connected to my brother, my uncle, and my aunts. I'm so grateful that, barring water in my Aunt Sophi's home (and it wasn't much compared to the damage so many others endured), my family was relatively unscathed. It's going to take a long time for Houston to recover from this storm. I plan to go back to visit and give the city some tourism revenue, next year.

After my sisters attempted suicide I think we all became closer. There aren't many of us and we need t be there for each other. I never felt comfortable talking to either of them about the things we now talk about regularly. I talk to my mom almost daily now and Shayna talks to me about boys. That's a big step.

My mother died on September 7. I'm still processing.

My mother-in-law passed away after a brief illness. Her health has been in a decline for a number of years, but she always recovered from sicknesses - none of us ever knew how, and we used to joke that she might out-live us all! It is profoundly life-altering to lose a parent. She was our biggest supporter - the head of our fan club. She would tell me what a good wife and mother I was when I least deserved it, and it was always what I needed to hear, because it reminded me to try to live up to her kind words. I don't think I was ever able to graciously accept her compliments, because I didn't feel worthy, but I hope she knows how much I miss hearing them. Also, being at her wake and funeral and seeing a room full of people that she had touched made me start to think about my own legacy and what people will remember about me when I'm gone. The stories I heard over the days just after she died confirmed how loved she was and how important family and friends were to her. I hope that I can be the kind of matriarch and friend that she was for people.

We got a dog. At first, this was frustrating and annoying. But, over time, I have become softened to the needs of both our dog, my husband, and my ability to bond with not-cats.

I got my first full-time job in Los Angeles and it completely changed my relationship with my parents. Now that I don't have to rely on my mom for money, we get along a lot better.

This past summer our mother died. Our father died seven years ago. I was recovering from my stem cell transplant and could not attend my mother’s funeral. It is a major milestone for a family when the second parent dies. It forces a shift in the family psyche. I think my siblings and I are feeling a stronger sense of history and desire to preserve it. Legacy has taken on far deeper meaning for me. Our parents left us an extraordinary legacy, and I think deeply about what my own shall be.

Beth got married and I officiated. She and Adam were so sincerely grateful, but more than that, so sincere in their expression that asking me to do this was obvious, a no brainer. The experience of having someone in my family think that I am of course the obvious person to do something -- really almost anything -- was really great and unfortunately fairly new. And I was really proud of the ceremony I did for them!

My partner decided to follow his entrepreneurial dreams, quit his job and explore various avenues. I am impressed with his courage, determination and optimism. I am excited (and a little worried too...) about what the future will hold for him and for us.

Our last child is on a study abroad. All throughout the journey of raising children we have gone through periods where whatever is happening is the norm. Preschool. children's museum memberships. Applying to schools. As these things are happening, spread over three children I never think about how when the last kid does it we won't be there any more. Last child is a year and a half away from graduating college. Then all those years of college will be behind us. No more tuition payments, yay! But I have so enjoyed their college years.

My youngest sister graduated from college. It was amazing and sad at the same time. She is our youngest sister.

I don't have much family to speak of, so there haven't been any major milestones.

One major milestone that has happened with our family is our limitations in income, it was HARD, and messy and glorious at the same time, because it taught me that in my case, I have an opportunity to create life long sustainable relief for my family through my efforts and goals, for the greater good of all 4 of us. It has shown me that there are so many other Mom's out there that need to be heard, and has filled me with excitement and pleasure knowing that for the ones that resonate with what I have to offer, I can help them find their passion and drive again too.

There hasn't been a major milestone this year, all are happy and healthy.

I learned how to set boundaries with my mother. This has made my life inexplicably better and feels like a long awaited freedom. My mother is still sad and disappointed in me. I think time will ease this for everyone. I hope we'll actually have an authentic relationship soon .. where I can be honest with her instead of trying so hard to please her. I would prefer that and I hope she would too.

Ella is here!

Let's go back to my conversion. I initially dismissed this as a response because it didn't 'happen with (my) family." Or did it? We go through life in clusters, like heavenly bodies bound together by gravity, the whole system in constant motion relative to each other, but traveling together on a larger journey. Earth and moon travel together around sol, sol and her planets and their moons traveling together around the galactic center, the galaxy itself in motion relative to other galaxies... My commitment to a spiritual path brought Carolyn along and seems to have help her to connect both to a specific Jewish community and to shared values. Sunshine won't go to temple but accepts and to a degree embraces the practices. They are along with me and I move toward the spiritual and purposeful life that I want to live. I am blessed.

A milestone a year? What an exciting life! There have not been any major milestones this year for my family.

The biggest milestone is that my brother Mick's fiance is having a baby. My emotional response is mixed. I am extremely happy for him and Jess since I know that this is something they both really wanted in their lives. I am also very happy for my mom and dad, since I think they will greatly enjoy being grandparents. I also am a bit happy myself. I was on the beach last month thinking that perhaps I could have something to contribute as an Aunt. But I must admit that this event did cause considerable disquiet. Part of this happens every time anyone close to me has a baby...The questions arise: Did I make the right choice in not having children? Would I have taken a different path if I had chosen someone that could support me? In ten years from now will I be full of regret and longing? But not even that...I also feel a sense of loss for the connection that my brother, parents and Jess have that I never will. This connection that links everyone. In the end, I cannot imagine having a child in this world. Nor can I imagine myself enjoying parenting more than I enjoy not doing so. I do not think I would have been a good parent, and this also makes me feel that I will not be a good aunt. The latter feelings are things I have shared with no one because I do not like them. Feel they are selfish...but I will share them here since they are true.

Mom turned 90, but it wasn't very joyous. Steven and I are not any better so he wanted to come when we weren't there. Of course, he was hours later than he said he would be. Saw Joel and family, which was nice, although I was glad to get out of there. The whole thing makes me sad; sad, I have the family I have....Dad would be so unhappy if he saw what's happened to our family...

The most major milestone in my family this year is me getting engaged, and planning my wedding for next year. Truly becoming a part of my fiance's family and having him become a part of mine is really big and exciting, and I love all the people who are now becoming part of my extended family. Also my grandma, the only one I have left is turning 90 in 3 days, and the whole family is gathering to clebrate with her in October. I really love her, and can't wait to spend more time with her. I also hope she stays healthy and happy for as long as possible, especially so she can be at my wedding, and hopefully long enough to see her first great-grandchild.

The big family event this past year was Ben graduating high school and moving to Spain for his first year of college. It's left me tremendously excited for his future. I will admit - I admitted to him - that I was surprised and a tad concerned when he indicated his desire to go to a music school - it's a hard path to success. But we went to the Vancouver Jazz Fest with him after graduation and I could see how invested he was in the music (and I learned a lot about jazz). And even talking to him just a few times already, it seems that he's found a good spot for himself, and I'm excited for his future.

I found out my sister is pregnant for the third time. I'm excited there will be another little one in the family, but also feel sad sometimes wondering if I'll ever have kids of my own.

My dad's decline has stressed me and exhausted me. I am grieving and angry and feel helpless.

Two big family milestones happened in the past few weeks. Our first grandchild was born and Chris's Mom passed away. They happened less than 10 days and a few hundred yards apart. About as cycle of life as you can get. I'll add on to that my father's declining health. I am curious to see what my relationship with little Lincoln will be. I haven't seen him as much as I'd like. Unfortunately, events like this tend to trigger my self-doubt about being "good enough". I hope to be close to him. Stella's death and my Dad's health have caused me to reflect on both what my elder years will be like and how I'll cope with Chris's elder years. Also noticing that I feel less engaged by my work. Hard to focus on it.

There have been no major mile stones this year.

There was not a major milestone. I introduced my gf to my family and she was accepted very fast. My Mom loves her. Introducing the gf is a major event because it means something serious. 2017 fortunately is a year of less change after a tumultous 2016. 2018 will be a decisive year again.

There have been two wonderful milestones that we experienced this past year (which I noted in my response to Question #1): 1) Adam began rabbinical school just a month ago, following an incredibly rich year which he spent learning in Israel. On a related note, he seems to have found someone special in his life, and for the very first time has allowed someone into his "inner sanctum"; he seems "smitten", and professes that Rozi may be "the one". 2) Talya and Max have become engaged. After 6 years of dating and living together, they have (finally) decided that they are ready to commit themselves to one another for life. They each seem to be deeply in love and happy with their decision. Both of these wonderful sets of events have truly been milestones in the lives of our beloved children. The effects have been interesting, albeit not unexpected: Perhaps more strongly than anything has been a deep sense of relief, accompanied by feelings of excitement and joy. The relief has been related to a life-long hope / prayer that they would find the person who likes them, loves them, respects them, cares deeply about them, and toward wh0m they feel they experience the same -- the profound desire to share and create a life with that beloved person -- much like Marcy and I have experienced for so many years. I feel an interesting, curious sense of peace that, in a way, they have safely reached this point of adulthood and that they are ready to "fly". As I think about it, part of this feeling is also satisfaction in the awareness that we have played a role in helping them grow into the thoughtful, curious, socially-committed young adults that they have become.

My only daughter got married and both of my sons were groomsmen. It was a lovely event and no one got into any disagreements. It was probably the first time everyone got along for the duration of a family event. It made me very thankful for family and the opportunity to celebrate such a joyous occasion together.

My son is flunking out of college. It is breaking my heart. I just don't know how to deal with it because it is so foreign to me. I think of how he is just pissing his life away and can't really appreciate the long term effect of being such a bum. But I can't make him to do the work. I fear he will end of living with us for the rest of his life and be a very lonely man. It makes me immeasurably sad.

At first I couldn't think of anything, but actually several major "milestones" have happened. My dear, dear grandmother passed away while I was on a yoga retreat in Bali. She had passed away at the exact time I was in the middle of a ceremony with a Balinese high priestess. A month later our nearly 16 year old dog passed away and it was so surprisingly hard for me to cope with. I was there when the vet put him to sleep. So many wonderful memories with that little furry friend, I still can't believe he is gone. My grandmother was very sick with Alzheimer's disease and hadn't really been in this world for several years, so her passing was to be expected (of course it was still hard and sad). In addition to those, I finally had the courage to talk to my mom about her drinking problems and got her to go see a professional to help her deal with issues. I'm not sure how that has proceeded from there but I am hoping it has helped. We aren't exactly the type of family that openly and often talk about issues.

Mom turned 50! And this milestone has me focused on living, eating well, planning adventures and focused on how I need to live the next 50 years.

The girls have not been late to school this year. This is huge for us. We feel like such failures when the kids are late...

We paid off our home mortgage. Our house and yard are officially ours now, not the bank's. I realize how very lucky we are to be able to afford a house in the first place, to be able to pay off the loan, and even to have shelter at all.

My grandmother turned 90 this year and in an effort to appease her and her malicious personality I went to her birthday party. In doing this i confronted many family members I had not seen in upwards of 10 years. These family members have wronged me in various ways ever since/before the death of my mother 13 years ago. They all know that what they did was wrong, especially since I was a child at the time, but refuse to admit it because they have not been through any kind of counseling. But I was strong. I did not fight with them, I made polite conversation, and I did not try to confront them. I was very nervous about this and debated whether or not to go for a long time. But I'm glad I did because it made me a stronger person and sure of what I want and need in my family.

My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's last year. Physically it's made her slower, but she seems so much stronger mentally - she is reflective, outspoken in her care for health and others in the family, and disciplined, traveling to the gym daily and still working from home. I think for me it's scary and I honestly have yet to confront it fully. Sometimes I think I'm running away from her because I don't want to face the inevitable fact that this is her new norm. (From a selfish perspective, perhaps that is in my future too, and it will hit me just as suddenly as it hit her-- except I will have spent many more years building a career that relies on my ability to use my hands) I wish I could say that it brought the family closer together or made me more appreciative of life.. but I'm still spinning the same wheels, chasing the same goals... while deep down I'm kind of sad that we'll never have another physically exerting family vacation. I'll never be in public with her again without having to be on edge, wondering how she feels when people stare at her or when everything takes so much longer. We'll always be accommodating her somehow. This whole thing has kind of made me feel like a bad person. I want to be the person who does more to help, and does more in general, but all I've been doing for now is running away. And I don't know how to stop.

The bigges milestone that happened with our family this year is Rachel's pregnancy. Next year at this time, God willing, I will be a grandfather. This has been a big event because I see it as transitioning to the next role in my family life, from child to parent to grandparent. It drives home the fact that I am getting old, and it ignites in me a sense of urgency about living each day on my terms in a manner that will give me the most meaning and joy.

Deciding to pick up N after school almost every day rather than sending him to after school care. He definitely has benefited from the extra attention and less crazy afternoons with other kids, and in some ways it makes me feel less frantic in the evenings - fewer tantrums on his part, more connection, more time to make dinner and do other stuff vs. packing it into 2 hours. The piece I struggle with is feeling like my work (passion) is taking a back seat to parenting - even if that's the right thing to do at this moment, it still leaves me feeling less important, less productive, etc.

Huh. This question always makes me curious about what "my family" means as I have no children or partner. Can the Johnstones count? In which case Lucy starting middle school and Fish Camp ending. What about the Luzuriaga-Dohertys, in which case Sara starting Yale? Or my parents? In which case Mum's serious illness this summer, and Dad's most recently. Or Aisha? In which case her marriage to Charlie. Started this entry feeling sorry for myself about not having my "own" family. Now I'm feeling lucky about my blessed access to consider myself a part of so many families. And actually, most very recently, the horrible turn in Paupau's health. It, combined with M and D's hospital visits, have started to set the wheels in motion for some pretty big changes. All the feels.

Nathan finished school and went to work. I'm proud of him, want him to take the next step and start a life of his own, but he isn't in a hurry. Diana counsels me to give him time, let him do things in his own time.

Both of dad's parents are dead now. Grandpa Bob passed away. Honestly, this affected me by bringing the family together. We met at the house above the river and saw everyone, all at once, for the first time in years and years. We played scrabble and made fun of Russ and they made ice cream and I got to see the cousins and it was lovely. We laughed so much. It reminded me that family reunions are not always shitty. It reminded me that we are connected in this complicated web of people from all over the country and somehow they will always love us. And that it's okay that I'm way different than them. It set into motion weird things with Russ and the car and family drama, and I think it made Dad very sad. A splinter. But for now, it was nice to laugh over the children and to go running with Mackenzie and to see Alex play with the little ones and to fail so horribly at holding a baby and to see Megan be so inclusive and lovely and to drive in the jeep and to play frisby and to be silly and to hide away with mom when they all got to be too much and the funnyness of alex and i being hash oil gay rights supporters and that was a lovely highlight of my time back in the states, honestly. I don't know what it will mean going forward for us. But for now, it should be a sad occasion but it brought me joy.

We didn't have a major milestone to be honest. I feel that with each year that passes, I feel farther and farther away from my biological family whom I now call my "relatives". I talk to them less and less and I am starting to prefer it that way. I know a huge part of it has to do with how my stepmother and stepsisters responded to my schizophrenic brother disowning the entire family last year. They said they felt bad for me and my dad but that he "wasn't really a brother to them". He has been sick for over 25 years and to expect to connect with him as though he wasn't sick is revolting to me. My dad and stepmom got married 37 years ago so we have been a family for a very long time. I guess I never expected they would be that conditional with their love and because of that, I don't want to be close to them anymore.

My mom moved back to Scotland, I moved to Tucson, and my dad started dating, so this has been a big year for my family. But the biggest milestone came when they all visited me in Tucson this past July. I asked my dad to set aside a morning to talk with me one on one, and he was apparently happy to do so. I finally sat and talked with him about everything that has been unsaid and unresolved for the past 15 years. I asked him about his relationship with my mom. Why did he just watch her waste away for years? What was that like for him? Why did he never address it or speak to us about it? Why did he seem so distant throughout our adolescence, as if he wanted nothing to do with us? Did he ever love her? Did he understand the trauma that we were all living with to varying degrees? And he was receptive to everything. He was so open and genuine in his answers - I felt like I was discovering a whole new man beneath the surface that had seemed so impenetrable all my life. I was able to open up to him too: about my depression and anxieties, my relationships and why they happened, my hopes and fears and aspirations. He was there for me - with me - the entire time. I could tell we had finally fully come to a new place in our relationship. We had become what I had always wanted. Oh, I also broke the news to him about Christopher being queer. Who's to say if that was really my place or not, but I think everyone is better off with that finally out in the open. I'm done dancing around secrets in this family. Wow that feels good to say.

I returned to IDEO. Which sounds like a work milestone, but it's really a family milestone because it's made me a happier person. I don't think I could have survived another year at Omada. My unhappiness was hurting all of us. Now, we just need to get Raleigh a new job...

Just recently, we learned that Aunt Phyllis is having serious medical issues. It looks like it may be Lewy body dementia, though we're still holding out hope that it's a medication interaction. But she's having symptoms of dementia and full-on hallucinations. Aunt Phyllis has been my touchstone, my rock, throughout my life. She was the one adult I could always confide in. She is kind, compassionate, and a deep thinker. I am, so far, preventing myself from freaking out -- at least until we have a definite dx -- but I already realize that in some ways, losing her this way will be even more difficult than losing mom. It's also true that it terrifies me w/regard to my own and my siblings' likelihood of developing dementia in the not-too-distant future. Now we have a family history of mom, her father and her sister all developing dementia. Who knows -- maybe her mother would have, too, if she hadn't died from stomach cancer first. It's depressing/horrifying to think about, and I think I'm basically acting out in response. My inability to focus as much as I'd like on the book may be the result of a "fuck it, might as well enjoy life while I can" attitude. Which I think is a pretty adaptive response. Except that if I *am* going to get dementia, I really really really need to get the book written before that happens. It's the most urgent thing of all, or my life will not hold the meaning I want it to.

My brother is working on his first year of sobriety. For about five years he used opiates and meth continuously. It really screwed up my family, as we were all trying to help him. Especially our parents who would take him in and kick him back out over those years. He said and did things that were dispicable. That is the nature of the addict and also an example of how addiction is a family disease. We were drug down with him. I'll never forget when we called the cops when he threatened my Mom and I with a knife. The drug cops came in an unmarked car and pulled a gun on him. He left but instead of letting him go down for possession, I threw a ball of black tar heroin, worth about $4,000, into the river. We all covered for him and lied for him to protect him (and consequently kept him using.) He is now 11 months sober and it is like he is some completely different person. He is still living with my parents but he works and helps around the house. That is a huge improvement. I'm sure he will move out, and hopefully remain sober, too. It's hard I think for my parents to push him out. They have seen him through the worst and don't want him to feel alone. We all learned from my brother's meth and heroin addiction. This kind of stuff is not limited to inner cities or broken families. Addiction is an equal opportunity disease. It will turn your entire life upside down and you don't even have to be the one using. Hold your friends and family close in this life- we only have each other!

A major milestone this year has been the death of my dad. Though I'm still grieving and believe I will forever be doing as such it has brought my sister, from whom I've been estranged, and I much closer. We've now spoken of our childhood and the torments of our mother and step-father. This was something we never spoke of nor acknowledged. Now we've shared our past and have laid plans for our future - we're becoming much closer through this tragedy and that, I truly believe, has been the greatest gift our dad gave us. Each other.

My mom moved out (again). This time I really think she won't go back. She wrote up a list of 40 reasons and gave it to him. Also it seems somewhat tangential but i think her moving out opened up a possibiltiy for me to I had a long overdue with my father about hoarding. I told him I forgave him and had been really angry with him for Am in time but now realize he has a problem that I think is beyond his control and I want to help him.

A major milestone this past year for my family was the birth of niece. This beautiful baby has become a major part of our lives. She is the first baby in our immediate family in about sixteen years. My grandparents have seen their great-grand child and are enthralled by her. In regard to myself, I am coming to terms of being an adult and getting older.

MY HUSBAND IS WORKING!!! 10 years since his last project finished. Maybe more. I lost count. Thank God for Patrick Lamb. Their friendship has developed into a mutually helpful partnership for the people stuff (Patrick's strength) like getting clients, doing contracts and billing, and design stuff (Victor's strength). I'm praying he can manage his 3 clients. Together they have 5 including Patrick building his own house. How has this affected us? We are still discovering how the extra income will help. As I said before, Mia moving out was a huge deal. She didn't even prepare us. She asked her dad to tell me because she thought I would freak out or cry. I did both. She told Victor on Thursday and was out Saturday. What could I do? I asked her if she would just marry him. She had her "try him out" speech all ready. I knew she would not be dissuaded, so what could I do? I helped her. I took a couple of loads over there for her. I wanted to see the place. It's basically an attic apt. Academically, Mia has really come a long way. She wants to major in Poly Sci which to me is crazy except when I remember I had her in Youth and Government for 2 years. She went to Austin twice writing and getting bills passed. She thinks its fun. Now, she's even thinking of becoming a lawyer after that. Wow. My baby a lawyer. I never imagined.

I can’t think of even one. I legitimately have no clue, because I so rarely talk to my family, which is such a shame. I feel embarrassed to answer this question.

My sister maintained a pregnancy beyond 10 weeks. This has brought especial joy to me in my pregnancy, and healing for her.

Joey and Miranda moved in with my parents, and it seems to be driving everyone apart. My brother said he used to be close to my dad, and now avoids him at all costs. I feel super sad about the state of my family right now.

Being healed. I appreciate the power of G-d more than ever.

Deciding to tear apart my home, and bleed thousands and thousands of dollars, while living through the dirt and drama of a home remodel has been a major milestone... It has made me less excitable over the ever present and recurrent dramas....

Mom's heart attack has slowed her down. However, she is regaining strength. It has meant more care giving for me. We are also working on addressing the next stages of her quality of life. She will get a referral for palliative care next month. This will help monitor her health and set the stage for her moving into Hospice when it is appropriate. Not being able to travel for the family reunion, means a change in how we do that for the next year. We may be able to put that together with Kaila's Bat Mitzvah.

Two kids graduated from college, one from high school. The idea of needing to change my personal 'job' from mom to --- I don't know what-- has been hard. Especially since they are all sort of living at home. I am not sure of my role any more.

Not really a milestone per se, but the realization that my daughter is not a child anymore and in a few years she’ll probably want to leave home and set out on her own. It scares me. A lot.

Family, there's the family you're handed and the family you choose. I love the family I was handed. We have our shit - who doesn't - but we love each other. We're goofy. We're silly. We support each other unconditionally. But when I think of our collective journeys over the past year, I can't name a milestone that had a major effect on me. No, the family milestones that affected me came from my chosen family; and mainly from my on-and-off partner of the past four years. This past year, I almost moved to a different city, from a city I had just moved to, for HIM. I almost did this because I thought our partnership was worth it. I thought I was moving towards stability, towards a future I wanted. But...things fell apart. And I'm glad they did. This final break in our relationship gave me clarity. It gave me perspective. For the first time since we started things, I feel ready to let go. I feel ready to nourish my relationship with ME. I'm ready to go out and embrace the world. I'm ready, I think, to be young.

My son finally did get into Med school. My wife and I are very proud of him. With my recent retirement we will not have the extra funds to help him much financially but he had a good the last year and is eligible for a good line of credit and can get student assistance so I think he will be okay.

My 93-year-old mother gave up her home in Arizona & went to a nursing home in Minnesota, near 3 of my siblings. I'm proud that we siblings worked together really well on setting up this major change, selling her house, etc.

I retired from the State in May 2016. That has changed everything: I work with my husband and son now. I am able to see my parents far more often because I can work remotely from anywhere. And it means that I can keep my granddaughter 2-3 days a week. The greatest joy and learning experience of my life to date.

Living together as a family in Maui over this summer was wonderful. It gave a glimpse into how blissful life can be once you escape the California rat race.

Our younger son, J, started middle school a couple of weeks ago. We had extra time with him this summer, especially when we traveled together to CA when our older, R, was at sleep away camp. And J suddenly really seems older -- more able to deal with the little challenges of life, more ready to go with the flow, more ready to accept responsibility if he misbehaves. The beginning of middle school has meant more dependence on me on the one hand -- longer daily check-in conversations about the logistics of each day, more help needed in bouncing ideas off me, more little worries about, for example, having 2 different combination locks or dropping off the form to request a day off school for Rosh Hashanah. And on the other hand, he is walking home from school and stopping to hang out with friends, and he auditioned for a play and an orchestra and got into both and will therefore have lots of after school rehearsals and has a lot more independence. I'm surprised at how different it feels, and it really feels like the beginning of the end of a life phase -- he really is going to be big enough to go off to college, and it's going to happen sooner than I'd like!

My granddaughter's 17th birthday. We shared a lovely dinner together and had a wonderful conversation.

A major milestone was my dad getting moved to a nursing home/assisted living. It has devastated me but also made me stronger. I practice acceptance and patience when I talk to him and try to be aware of where he's at. Things still get sad though. It's also influenced me by thinking about how I want to live the end of my days and making me aware of how much I am like him when it comes to work ethic.

We put our dog to rest just a few weeks ago. We are grieving,even though it was the right decision. It's lonely without him.

My husband published his first novel last year and is at work on the second. He's been writing since way before I knew him and I'm super proud of him. It's amazing to me that someone can write a WHOLE book. I am in awe of him.

My son, the psychology phd (can you read the pride in that? Sorry), started seeing private patients. This in addition to his full- time day job at a large hospital counseling cancer patients and their families. My husband and I are very, very lucky in our kids and grandkids, and I use the word in its literal sense. Now that our son and daughter are reaching the milestone of 40, how much can we credit ourselves with their good natures and achievements? How guilty should we feel about their limitations and character flaws? Parenthood is a mystery.

Grandma's cancer scare and converting to Judaism soon after. I learned what it meant to be a man and a Jew, in a short time!

The most exciting and important thing I can think of is that my sister, who is an artist and very talented, had her first gallery show this year. A friend whom she'd met through school was looking to curate a show and liked her work, and they set it up in the gallery on her campus for almost the whole summer. Her works were gorgeous. They were real and raw and full of emotion, and matched her aesthetic well, with the colors she used and the layers of the wax. Lots of people showed up to the opening and closing nights, and a lot of her pieces got bought too! I couldn't have been prouder of her even if I'd tried. I think she will be having works in other shows coming up soon, too. I can't wait to see where her art goes. It almost makes me jealous because I wish I had her talent of expression and creation, but I'm just really happy for her and I hope that her art continues to be both an outlet and a future for her.

My mom finally got married. She eloped on Valentine's Day and told me I had to act surprised to the family, even though I knew. She married him alone in a "self-marrying" ceremony in Colorado. I don't love who she has chosen but decided it's not my place to judge, and h she could be much worse. I wish she were with a man whom I felt elevated and challenged her, but I guess that's not what she's looking for at this point in her life. She claims to be happy and he doesn't appear abusive so I have no true reservations, but I think he lacks grit and confidence and intellect, things that I value in myself and my mother. I'm trying to be "nicer" about it at my brother's request, but I've never been good at not making waves or my feelings known....

Our major milestone was getting married. Charlie and I decided that we were ready and that we wanted to get married before year's end. We decided that we wanted to get married in Plymouth Church because it is the place we feel to best represent us in a sacred ceremony such as this and we were surrounded by our friends from the local community who we know. Most of these are people who have mental illness such as us and it was very meaningful for us to have these friends and acquaintances there. We bought nice, new, able-to-be worn again clothes at the store and Katherine also got a small ring so that we could fully involve her in the ceremony. It was important to us to have Eleanor be our reverend as we knew she would use the words that would make this night special. We said our vows and then invited the guests who wanted to join us to come to Perkins for an evening meal. We had a wonderful evening, but even being as minimal as it was, it was exhausting. But we are so glad that we did it and it seems that for some members of our families (especially mine) it has let them know that we are really serious about staying together. They have already become accepting of Charlie because he is such a good man to me and Katherine and treats us with love and respect, but this shows our commitment to each other and is very important in their eyes. It is important to us, too. I am so proud of us for taking this step and when I have my spells of sadness now, I have one less thing to worry about, I know that Charlie and I are bound together and that he really feels this way because he has made a public commitment to me. I love him so...

A major milestone with my family is that my mother died. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's for a long time. So it was actually a relief in more ways than one. Of course, she's no longer suffering, & our family no longer needs to suffer along with her, though she did receive excellent care in the facility where she lived. It's also a relief because I had been worried about $ being drained from the trust fund I'm counting on in my later years. Sad that our loved ones have to die in order for us to be rewarded with $. I'll be waiting a bit longer for that $ because my dad s still alive & kicking. But at least it doesn't feel like the $ is going to waste as it supports him in his final years. Another aspect and a positive one is that I enjoy public speaking and was able to give perhaps the best speech of my life as part of her eulogy. This was very comforting & gratifying to see the impact my talk had on our relatives who were impressed. Nice to think Mom would probably have liked my talk too.

My mother had a shoulder replacement at the age of 94. She has come through it very well but the level of pain she experienced before the operation really impacted on her mobility and her mental acuity. I have noticed a real decline in her cognitive abilities which makes me feel very sad. I feel like it is the beginning of the end for her. In the past she has been able to recover totally from physical issues but this no longer seems to be the case.

My Gram being sick - it made me realize that family is all you have at the end of the day... Real family or chosen family. It made me tougher for family health hurdles. It has probably set me up for the difficulties to come... All in all it has made me appreciate my family

Poppa died a few weeks ago. It was a long time coming. When my mom gave him a kidney 12 years ago, the doctors said that if he lived to see my younger brother graduate from high school, they would be shocked. Well, my brother just started his junior year of college. These past few years, Poppa was very unwell and it was difficult to see him in pain and helpless. At 23 years old, this was fortunately and surprisingly my first exposure to death. I found that the Jewish funeral rituals were comforting, even at a time when I felt disconnected from the religion. I still continue to do my best work, as Poppa taught me, and to never let anyone take advantage of me. But I find that I don't really miss him, rather I miss the idea of what he used to be.

I wasn't able to see my family this past year, other than my mother. Nothing family related is really going on actually. Answering this question though does make me miss them. A trip to Chicago and Southern Illinois will be in effect for the 2017-2018 year.

For the first time this year I did not have Rosh Hashana at home. My sisters each stayed home with their own families. At first I felt sad. I like consistency and I don't like change. Also, I decided this because I was disappointed last year over how the services didn't go according to the way that I liked it - more traditional. As I opened myself to just be and observe, I learned a few things. 1- traditions don't really matter - Every family has their own. What really matters is for families to enjoy the time being together. 2- change is always hard, but it always brings with it life changing lessons. We just have to be open to see it.

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this June. We celebrated in Mystic, Connecticut with my sister and her family. For the first time ever, I helped pay for my parents’ dinner. In the past, I did not have the money to do so, so this was extra special. In addition to dinner, we spent some time at the Mystic Aquarium, Old Mistick Village and the Mystic River Park. It was a vacation to remember.

My oldest son graduated college in May. It was the first major family event that all five of us have participated in since the divorce, and it showed me that we can still all pull together as a family (even though my ex-husband does still get on my nerves). It also marks my son's independence in starting his new life on his own. I think we are still both adjusting. I'm trying to give him space but still be there for him if he needs me. It doesn't feel like he does need me most of the time, though, which makes me a bit sad and nostalgic for when he was younger and we were a lot closer.

No major milestones this year....Sort of an average year.... Although I was asked to be on three boards of directors and I passed on all three. I think I am just tired. Suzanne

My family grew larger as I got married! I already considered my now-husband and his parents and siblings part of my family, but I admit that this is a societally-approved step to make it more "official." I don't feel that much has changed between my husband and me, but I'm glad that we got to share a special day with our combined families. It felt more like a lovely reunion than anything else - it's hard to get everyone together from all across the US.

I can't think of any. At our age things just chug along in the same vein. Our youngest gets older, at twelve he's only got a few more years at home. That's our big milestone, just him growing up. So far that's going well. He becomes a better human being every day. He gives me hope.

My mother arrived to the city from our country of origin and is definitely great having her around for me and my brothers

Two new babies! Sydney Pearl and Jacob Dylan are new blessings in my life. My news neice and nephew bring only joy and gladness into our lives.

I can't think of one. Maybe my life is that boring! ?

Both Bob's mom and my Dad had a health crisis this year; each of them almost died. They are each somewhat diminished as a result; it's a remonder of the limited time we are likely to have with them around, and of the importance of living well always.

I visited them for the first time in 4 years and survived the trip. It wasn't easy all of the time, but my mental health was much more resilient than I was expecting. They were largely the same, but they changed a bit, particularly in the way that they seemed to appreciate me being there in some ways.

No other major milestones except the one listed already. But dad's recent hospital stay has me a little shaken.

My wife's work stuff (and how that affected her) combined with my own kind of broke me. I'm getting better now, but it was a horrible year. I didn't sleep or eat much for about a month. I lost a lot of weight, and while I'm doing better, I'm still not healthy or sleeping (much).

I think that coming home has been a major milestone. I have had the chance to reconnect to my family, who have been so incredibly supportive. Cousins have welcomed me into their homes, adopted me, and made sure that I am taken care of. This is the piece that had been missing for me in israel. No matter how wonderful my friends were there, they weren't family. This has reinforced my decision to move back.

Mum has continued to deteriorate, and I still don't feel I'm doing enough to support her and Dad. Their golden wedding anniversary came and went without any possibility of proper celebration.

I couldn't think of one thing as a milestone. Then I realized that what's ordinary for me would be a milestone for others. We moved into a new house (after moving to a new country two months earlier), and my kids all started at new schools. But in our life this is just what happens every couple of years. It makes it hard to invest in the present when everything -- friendships, a home -- has an expiration date. My kids have never known any other kind of life, but I know how it feels to sleep in the same bedroom for my entire childhood. They gain so much from this life. We've traveled the world and had amazing experiences. But they miss out on a lot too. I feel bad that they don't have a best friend down the street like I did, or a summer camp they return to year after year, or extended family in their daily lives.

There was no specific moment of change to speak of in this regard, but my wife and I both came to realize that we were battling certain things alone, and that we needed to do a better job of opening up to each other. It's a work in progress, but it's made us a better couple, and better parents.

The major milestone was the death of my husband. It has affected me in a way I did not expect. Instead of making me withdraw and fall apart, it galvanized me into action: planning his funeral, throwing myself into work, not sitting at home moping. Yes, I loved him dearly, and yes, I am experiencing grief and a general lack of enthusiasm that I am sure is depression. But for me, it's get up, dress up, show up, and keep my chin up.

MAJOR with cap letters has been the milestone of becoming a Grandfather not once but twice over a two month span this past year. The ultimate high of welcoming two boys into our family, tempered only by the struggles of my two daughters choices. Ethan came in July & the look back on our faces of pure JOY in holding him still lights up any room. Alex in September raised our levels of concern for my daughter Rebecca was & is still involved in a bad relationship with Alex's father. Rebecca herself has learning disabilities & is easily lead astray. Post pardon depression set in and the daily & weekly ride was deeply troubling for all of us. One year later, I am SO HAPPY we listened to our voice and saw those troubled time through. Rebecca has become a wonderful mother, & Alex is a Big handsome baby boy. The Smile on my face when I play with him is all the reward I need for all the challenges we still feel. Adoni has blessed our family with these two beautiful boys & both my heart & hands are full of love.

Both kids doing well in school. Seems like their milestones, but really, it was a family effort.We have raised, and learned from two good kids, two good students who value learning, are upholders and who want to do well. We were never a family that emphasized the numbers - grades, test scores etc. but both kids made dean's list/president's list in the spring, and even better they enjoyed school and the experience.

Milestone in terms of me with my family or just with the family- I don't understand. The latter irrespective of how I understand, can be responded this way- I feel more at ease and at peace with the family while wondering if and how much am I suppressing my own existence in the process.

Lee and I got pregnant in February (after trying for three months). It has affected me more than I ever thought it would. I did not understand how profound the physical changes of pregnancy are. My circulatory and respiratory systems are entirely transformed for the benefit of the fetus. My endocrine system is working non-stop for the benefit of the fetus. My muscular-skeletal system is seriously impacted. Of course, my reproductive system is initiating all the changes. And my digestive system, urinary system and exocrine system are all impacted. I feel like my body has been hijacked for the sake of a being that is not me. I thought when people complained about their bodies changing during pregnancy it was aesthetic (like boobs looking different) and that if I wasn't vain it wouldn't affect me. I had no idea how deep the changes were and that my body would never be the same. It has overall been a very unpleasant experience for me.

Is a cancer diagnosis a milestone? Many shifts in reality and adjustments yet to be made... We are closer than ever and seem to be communicating better in general *

All 3 of my wonderful children are living on their own, working, supporting themselves, developing (or transitioning out of) primary relationship and creating lives for themselves. I am so proud of them. Even though they keep great touch with us, and still rely on us for emotional support and counsel, I am aware that they are setting their own course, and that they must find their own path and direction. This is a little unsettling, even as it is exciting to be watching to see how it will all unfold.

My daughter started school. Her school experience is utterly different than mine; I began kindergarten (hell, pre-K) knowing how to read, and started first grade knowing how to write and count and add a bit. She started from zero, with some pretty severe speech issues...and then she got sick and missed half the year. As such, she fell extremely behind. (I will not get into how I feel about pre-k and kindergarten classes being all day every day, and coming home with homework.) Anya has been a wonder. She has apraxia, and though presently undiagnosed, I also suspect she is dyslexic. I initially wanted to homeschool her, to protect her, because I know kids (and some teachers!) can be cruel to kids with learning challenges. I have given her every opportunity to give up, and she has turned me down each time. She has had to fight to catch up, but catch up she did -- now she knows more than many of her classmates, thanks to pre-k. But it's more than academics. She is thriving in school. Popular. Teachers I can't even name know her, as do many students -- not just those in her class. School was easy for me, but I was not popular. At times I was actively unpopular. To this day, I have few friends. It is mind-boggling, and humbling, to watch my 6-year-old work a room. I don't think I have even half her resilience. If I had faced her challenges at her age, I likely would have given up. She is not merely overcoming hers -- she's teaching her brother letter sounds. I have an amazing little girl. There is much I can learn from her.

Mom turned 90 this year. Her body is giving out, but her spirit is indomitable. Too soon I will have no living parent. I will be the generation that parent vacates. Her age and spirit set an example to emulate. But her age and her body speak of my mortality, too. There are things I will likely wish I had done with her that I have not made a priority of. Yet her independence and my brother's role in her life have left me some freedom to see to my own life after so many years of care-taking with Dad, my daughter, my work team. I am still trying to figure out what to do with this fourth book of my life.

I'm putting the same answer to every question - the birth of my daughter!! I guess that makes sense, that she is the biggest thing to happen and she touches every single aspect of my life. This has affected me by making me a happier and better person.

We had to put our "puppy" Jackie, our 12 year old German Shepard to rest and I MISS HER SO MUCH... I am tearing up as I write this... God it is SO DIFFERENT without her greeting us...

Sometimes the effects of a major milestone can be felt well before the actual event. I come from a family of four, with one older sister in college. In roughly a year, my parents won’t have any kids at home. In roughly a year, I won’t be able to watch Meet the Press in the morning and Red Zone in the afternoon with my dad or help my mom cook dinner. Junior year I was fixated on college, playing with Naviance stats or researching tips to getting in. I thought only of going and not of leaving. But now, as the end of Senior year is distant, yet visible, my family has been bracing for impact. It’s hard to fathom after 18 years of seeing someone everyday you’ll go months without talking. I once heard an admissions representative describe college as a leap. Before you jump over the chasm, you take a few steps back. Those few steps come in different shapes and sizes but I have been trying to embrace them wherever they may appear. Whether it is sitting down with my dad on a Tuesday night to talk about basketball or stories from his childhood. Or just offering to drive with my mom to the grocery store. Things I used to find tedious have become of paramount importance. Everything around me is tinted in the warm light of nostalgia. I have no idea how going to college will affect my family, but for now I am just going to focus on them and figure the rest out in the future.

Mom got re-married. What a whirlwind of emotions that has brought to our family! Between the spontaneous wedding ceremony, and the second wedding celebration a couple months later, and then finding out the truth about how their past, it's just created a weird vibe around our family but we are trying to manage and accept it as the past. I continue to be conflicted but I see how happy Mom is, and I just need to trust that she knows what she's doing.

One day I realized that I don't have to sacrifice my own life and dreams just because my mother can't handle her own life. I don't have to live next door to her, I can move away.

Sis - breast cancer and double mastectomy. I can't lose her, and I realize how important she is to me. After 25 years of her rolling her eyes at me every time I said the word "organic," or "vegan," or "natural." She's finally convinced to start eating organically and using fewer chemicals in her personal care (shampoos, soaps, etc.,) and laundry products (detergent, etc.). Our stepmother died, finally. She was abusive and manipulative so we finally get a relationship with our dad again, which is great. We're closer now than ever. Everyone is relieved that she is gone, sorry to say. She was just so awful. We all turned out okay. Brother in law retired from Navy, 25+ years as an officer. He has more time with my sis now... we're all so much closer. <3 Nephew started college, and he's becoming an adult. All milestones.

the separation and inevitable divorce after 25 years of marriage.

We have not let the physical distance between us make our relationships more difficult than they need to be. M&D are still definitely having a hard time with the distance but Nicki and I put a lot of effort in to try and make it better; after they canceled a trip to see us we went to see them. Now they are coming back out here to visit us.

A major milestone that happened with my family lead to a year without the matriarch. It's been better some days, and terrible on others. It really isn't the same. I saw a cartoon somewhere that showed grief as a large trash bag that you have to drag everywhere, then a backpack you have to put on every day, then a small bag you can quickly throw over your shoulder and barely notice it's there.

My father turned 82 and while it's not a milestone decade birthday, he's aged considerably. It's difficult to think he can leave us at any time and yet it never impedes me from devolving into old patterns with him. He still frustrates me with his impatience and orneriness and as much as I try, I only remind myself to be more forgiving of his ways once he's back home, far from me. I worry every time my mom calls that this is the phone call, the one telling me all the chances I had to be more empathetic, less quick to anger are abruptly over.

Both kids are at college now. I'm broke, and my sweetie and I suddenly have a lot more time for things we put off while parenting. And yet, we're managing to not do a lot of them. Maybe it's us. :)

The many deaths and births that have happened to our family and friend's.. This has affected us in so many ways,just to be more mindful of each day is not promised. Say ,"I love you.. "so much more than we use to... Appreciate all the little things in life, don't take them for granted..

This year our daughter learned to drive and in just a few weeks she will turn 18 and get her driver's license. Honestly, I was far more scared of her driving than her dating. A broken heart does heal, a broken body not always. I knew I had prepared her as best I could for dating and yet for driving, I just wanted to say "No!" It was rocky at first, as it is for us all. My spouse was patient and calm. I found a patience I didn't know I had. We had a few moments of anger, some fear. Yet she is a good driver (ok we may need to work a bit on her tendency toward a lead foot) and responsible. I am proud of her. Now I can't wait until she has her license and can take herself places and run errands for us! Truly, it was much better than I imagined and I am incredibly proud of the young woman she has become!

Dad was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis- good because they finally have something to treat, bad because he is not handling it well and it's very rare for someone of his age to be diagnosed this late. I worry about him and wish someone could find a cure...

Well, for me this goes back to question 1. My family has suddenly ballooned in size. I have a brother. I have sisters. I have more aunts and uncles than I can accurately remember their names.

My brother got married last fall, during the high holiday season (5777). It was a lovely affair, complete with a beautiful ceremony, a moving service, and a raucous party afterwards. It affected me by showing me what I'm missing by doing what I do - living in the 'middle of nowhere,' not being a part of a significant Jewish community, not being around people which share more with me than we differ. I actually cried during/after the ceremony, with no prompting. That was probably most disturbing, but ultimately it was a wake-up call. I still have goals for where I am, but when I'm done with those goals, I'm outta here.

My son has taken steps toward realizing his goals for the future. I am excited for him, proud of him. And somewhat relieved.

Liam turned 21. Cary turned 1. I still worry about Liam's future, but he is going back to school at night. He hasn't met a new girl yet and he is too attached to Peter and Kaitlin for my liking. He reminds me of myself at that age so much. I wish I could spare him all the anxiety. I have to remind myself to not be so nosy with his social life, he is going to be just fine, I was. Cary is busy toddling around and being adorable. I get such joy from being with him every day. I get such pleasure from seeing Ron interact with him, it makes me fall in love all over again with both of them!

Grandpa Len died. It was tough because I didn't connect with h very well when he was alive, and he even stood for some things that I stand against. Contextualizing his life in my memory has been a real challenge, but has really helped me have compassion for my shadow self.

We needed more outside help and had to admit we needed it. This meant acknowledging a loss of independence, but I’m trying with Grace. “Whatever life takes away from you, let it go.”

Kelly decided to take her own sodium channel blocker. She was so manic I could not take it. She would tire herself out and get angry so easily. So now there are better discussions, better patience, better interactions. It was key. Leaving here, ABQ will be a major milestone. Making money on this place will be a huge affect. Having no mortgage will be enormous. I have dropped a lot of fear. I am much more confident, and I really needed this in my life, overall.

My step-daughter graduated in December and made the decision to work in Japan for a year. Through this process, she and I have begun to build the relationship that I have always longed for. Stepping into the role of being a mother to her came at a time in her life when she had unresolved grief from losing her biological mother at a young age. We did fine at first, but the teen years and early adult years were challenging as she resented the fact that I wasn't HER mother and I resented the fact that she didn't respect my commitment to filling the role as mother to her. Taking the step to go to Japan was a huge next step for her trying to resolve the dis-ease that kept surfacing within her. She and I have had weekly meaningful conversations and have built a trust of one another that I have always longed for. I am so grateful!

Learning and mature away from my family has made me appreciate how valuable their input in my life is but also that is all it is input - my decisions and choices are mine and I should make them for me.

Increased my anxiety and depression - and maybe my drinking, too.

We had planned to move to Colorado and it didn't happen. It has made me depressed at times and angry at times, but also grateful at times... My dad was diagnosed with prostrate cancer and because we didn't move I have been able to be here to support him and my mom through this. Tim's mom had her hip replaced and because we are still here, he was able to spend time with her. And Tim's youngest son and his girlfriend had a baby and they need all the help they can get with raising him. So while disappointing, it has worked out for the best. Now I need to just sit Tim down and make a plan (a solid plan) as to when we are moving.

I guess my brother becoming no longer fundamentalist religious. Can't say it affects me. My family only affects me in that it destroyed my personality organization, not in the present.

Our oldest graduated from college. He moved back home to work on his masters and it has been nice to have him back home. It's also great to get to know his girlfriend since she comes to visit him often.

My mom died. It hasn't been fun.

My nephew S moved to L and started school to become a social worker. I am so proud of him. He wants to truly help people and he is working hard to be able to do that.

My grandmother passed away. My dad's mom. This affected me in so many ways. It's such a big topic that I can't possibly cover them all. But I am thankful to be able to say that the effect that this event had on me was only marginally painful. My grandmother went into the hospital after a not-too-long respiratory illness. Maybe she had the flu. We don't know. But her breathing worsened, and eventually, it became clear that she would not leave the hospital. I remember my dad passing the phone to me one evening while I tried helping a Polish tourist along her way in the metro. He was crying and wanted me to be able to say good-bye to my grandma, who, for her own part, was high as a kite (they had her heavy-duty drugged for her anxiety) and chatting about how she was eating (ALWAYS concerned about food! I love her.) and mentioning that she didn't have much energy. I can't remember my exact words, but I told her that all she had to do was relax; that was literally all she needed to do at that point. This was, really, a message I hoped her soul would understand in her moment to leave. I can only hope, still, that she did. She died within the next two weeks or so, while I was at Cafe au Lait in Charlottenburg. I didn't even get to say good-bye to her. I hung up to speed up my payment at the register and leave the cafe, to speak to her from someplace quieter, where I could openly cry. Instead, in the time it took me to ALMOST pay, she did pass on. I realized I felt at peace with that; I believe, to some extent, we choose the moments we leave, and she felt perfectly content to leave at that moment. I am glad she did. We had nothing unfinished between us because we were so openly affectionate in her life. I feel her with me OFTEN. Truly. I do. I feel like, maybe, on some level, our souls are kindred; I even look like her clone. She's with my grandfather again now. We are all happy for that. I wrote something in the days following her death to help myself process my own feelings. It wasn't even meant to be an obituary or a family tribute, but my family found the piece cathartic for themselves. I'm truly grateful for that. Meanwhile, I felt very sad for my father. At this point, neither of his parents is alive any longer. This means that, generationally, perhaps I am the next to lose my parents (unless, as is always possible, they were to outlive either of their children). Within the next few weeks of my grandma's passing, in fact, my mom developed a semi-serious heart issue, which her doctors treated as a major emergency. In the end, there was no discernible reason why she was having so much weakness and failed her stress test, but in the weeks when I was so worried about her, my emotions were challenging. I even had a moment while eating quiche in the food court floor of the Galeries Lafayette wherein I suddenly got ANGRY about the thought of my mother dying when we are both so young, and I filled with tears about this. My dad, in turn, was an absolute wreck that month, just looking at my mom and crying; having just lost his mother, he couldn't bear to imagine then, the next month, possibly losing his wife. I'm glad that we all do still have each other. I hope that neither of my parents, nor I, nor Joe nor anyone in his family, passes away for a long time. Life is beautiful. Earth is beautiful. (My roommate just said that yesterday, as we talked about social ills and people who strive to cause pain: "The world is such a beautiful place." It is. It's a privilege to be here, and I truly hope and pray that this will be a long privilege) Not long after my grandma's death, I was sitting at Dussmann one night, feeling like I wanted to connect with her, and "What a Wonderful World" came on the store's stereo system. I understood that to be my grandma's feelings about earthly life this time around. Letting me know that she was very happy with the run that she had. I also felt her with me as I walked around in March, trying to encourage me to move past my anxieties, saying, "Life is so short!" I had to laugh at that; her "short" life lasted 92-and-a-half years. But yes, in a way, perhaps it doesn't feel long. Why waste a single minute of it? I hope that my life will be at least as long as hers and that I can sow and nurture myself with love and joy in every minute of it. In June, I had a session with Desiree. I had been feeling Grandma and Grandpop with me earlier that morning, and the messages in my session felt very synchronistic. They said, through images, that they are twin flames. My grandma also sent me veiled messages about my own love life. My own "twin flame" situation. I can only wonder what she wanted to tell me. I feel like she's working on it. I feel like all my female ancestors work on my love life. But I'm also happy with the love that's in my life right now; I'm not in a rush to dismantle anything I already, currently feel blessed by. Some weeks after my Grandma's death, I found a card from her. Thank God I opened it before tearing it up inside its envelope. "Grandma loves you very much." That was one of the sweet messages from her. I also smiled because she drew a heart next to her name, as I often do, and it was lopsided, bigger on the left than on the right. You could see that she tried to refine it after drawing it and deeming it to have fallen short of her vision. I do this all the time too. It made me smile to see that we even draw our hearts the same way. In my session with Desiree in June, my grandma mentioned my ability, since I love so big, to help others to open their hearts. I was reminded of how she used to be entirely non-physically affectionate, but ever since I was a toddler, I hugged and kissed with abandon. And then she started to as well. She even used to throw the sign language "I love you" sign. I think. I think she learned this from us. At the very least, she used to blow kisses at her door. I am very thankful that I do not feel separated from her. I can only hope that, as other beloved relatives pass along the years, I can feel just as connected to them, feel their spirits just as alive and loving and supportive — if not more — as I do with my dear Grandma. And I can only hope for the same peace for all of the other members of my family on Earth too. I feel blessed to be connected to so many beautiful souls by so much literally undying love.

Ben turned 21. What a valid reason to visit him in los angeles, from chicago. Yes, I took him for his "first" (hahaha) drink, but that was the least of it. I got to be with two of his friends, wonderful people. And I got to experience his growth, across the board. KVELL CITY!

Mother and Step=father moved in with me. Made me never want to end up old like them.

My step son is in his last year of college. But his graduation is the Monday after I’m officiating two weddings. My wife didn’t look ahead at the calendar, and now most likely I won’t be there for his graduation. I have very mixed feelings about that. He probably won’t care That I’m not there, but I want him to care. And if I’m not there that feels like it matters more than if I am. So, it hasn’t happened yet, but plans are being made.

My brother, after a year of disconnection and rage and drug abuse that ended him in a therapeutic wilderness therapy program in Idaho, finally wrote me a letter and read to me how much pain and chaos and anger my eating disorder has burdened him with. Until that moment, we were two separate entities, so fully aware of the others' pain but seemingly unable to break the excruciating silences. I carried the shame of all the pain I knew logically without a doubt I had plagued him with, but there had never before been even one two-sided conversation between us, as two full humans in the world who were willing to speak our pain and show our vulnerabilities, together. As the conversation unfolded, as he opened himself up to me, I could see his pain was all I believed it to be, if not more; the fact that it was finally real put my heart in knots. But through the raw hurt and through the pain that had been shoved down and was left unattended to for so many years, I was able to begin to verbalize my journey into a new chapter in my life, apologize for all that could not be fixed with a thousand apologies, and ask for his forgiveness. And even now, as each day goes by, I am affected by this as I strive to feed myself and take care of myself as I would any other human being whom I love dearly, for it is only through these actions that we can again become the siblings we always yearned to be.

2017 was a big year for birthdays in our immediate family: Helene's 70th, Melissa's 45th & Debbie's 40th! Three reminders of how fortunate and blessed we are by ongoing meaningful relationships and love! Fortunately, good health suggests we'll all have many more years to celebrate together.

My own wedding was a major milestone in my family. I think it has affected me by making me think about family in new ways...I've been so uneasy about family, because of the heteronormative ways this signifies. And getting married - to a person of the opposite sex, no less - held the potential to enfold me into a system I feel so ambivalent about. But it's been good, really quite good. I would say that it has broadened by definition of family and how it can function in people's lives.

My mom had an accident and went almost completely immobile. My dad and I are trying to take over the household, but we're both very tired. He's working and I'm in my last year of college, hoping to graduate in June. She now had already two surgeries, wednesday is her third and hopefully last surgery. I hope she recovers well, my dad and I desperatly need it.

My parents and my fiancee's parents have all reached retirement age. They are all in the Bay Area (read: high cost of living) half have retired and the other half continue to work for the time being. Both are making me aware of various issues ranging from living on a fixed income to who's going to take care of them when the need arises. A big one in this discussion is then, can I move out of the Bay Area since I can't afford to buy a home here or do I need to stick around to support our parents.

I finally reached out to my brother after eight years of silence. During this summer's "shoulderpocalypse," it had looked like I might have to go to the nearest Kaiser facility in Baltimore/DC... but they wouldn't make an appointment unless I had an address in that region. Did I know anyone there? I didn't want to explain to a faceless administrator that the only person I knew in DC was my brother who I haven't spoken to in eight years. And then suddenly I didn't want that to be the case anymore. With some gentle peer accountability from Alex and Dave, I sent Jeff an email and was pleasantly surprised at how kind and reasonable his response was. He even invited me to Thanksgiving at their place (not sure if she's his wife/partner/girlfriend). I don't think I'll go, but I would like to see him soon now that I'm on the East Coast.

They silently acknowledged that I'm suffering from anxiety and depression. The fact that they've come to terms with it gave me the space I needed to get better.

My grandmother died, and it's changed the way I perceive my aunt and myself. Our differences and similarities. My father died, and it shook me; because of how very little he shared of himself. Teddy died, and it replays in mind constantly. He was a magic dog, and I believe constantly talking to us. I wish so much I could have him forever in the way my mind perceives him. Then, my uncle died, who loved us like his own children. And at his funeral, I found out that I have a half brother. I'm 36, so this is pretty fucked up. So, now, I realize that I don't know my dad. I don't know my family. I don't even know what family really means. It makes me feel numb. And that makes me angry. I enjoy being passionate about life. I made a decision to love my upbringing, and who I am. I thought there were parts of it I wanted to repeat for my daughter...but, now, what do I know for sure at all?

My sister graduated high school, leaving my parents as empty nesters. It's weird to think of my parents that way, and I know that after just over a month of it, my mom already misses us so much. It just makes it harder to be far away from her, even though I love where I live.

I moved back in with my husband. It means really committing to working on our relationship, and remembering I'm in it for the long haul. My actions affect others, and I have to remember that too.

My youngest grandchild became a Bar Mitzvah. This is complicated. Since moving to the Bay Area, my daughter has become increasingly estranged from me; distancing herself despite repeated attempts by my wife and me to build a connection. One casualty of this estrangement is that we are strangers to my grandchildren; as they are to us. This became explicitly clear during the days we spent together in Israel. Their was no emotional connection. My first wife - my daughter's mother - dies several years ago. I did not learn about her illness until hours before it became terminal. I did not learn of the funeral arrangements until it was too late for me to attend. My daughter chose to interpret that as my not caring, although she was the one who had also chosen to keep me in the dark about her mother's illness. I continue to express my availability and openness to rekindling our relationship. In the meantime, I mourn the lost opportunity; having missed the chance to truly connect with my grandchildren during their childhood years.

A major milestone within my family this year was Grandma FL being determined cancer-free. The last year was extremely challenging for her as well as for all of us and I was so glad to hear the good news. Grandma's illness has motivated me to be more explicit about showing her love and appreciation, as well as to everyone else in my family, too. Since she was sick, she tends to doubt her physical ability, so I have also committed to trying to challenge her. She is able to do so much more than she thinks she can. A recent example is that we went to the Orioles game the other night. She enjoys baseball games but she said she didn't want to go because it was a lot of walking. I told her to come and sure enough she did just fine with the walking. I'm very grateful this year for Grandma's good health, and for that of my whole family.

A niece got married against the better wisdom of those in our family. We supported her nonetheless. It has made me bite my tongue and hope I'm wrong.

My mom paid all her debts, and affected me in a good way that she is not worried about the money or if sooner or later the bank is going to take our house, so we can sit quietly and live our lives in peace.

My father passed My brother moved 850 miles away My youngest daughter eloped My oldest daughter got married My step daughter will be moving 530 miles away Sad, mad, hurt, happy.....every imaginable emotion and still running of a cycle of up and down. Not fun!

New things this year: Dad seems to be sober? He did plead guilty and went to rehab for a bit, and he just bought a house. He seems a lot more lucid than he has been. Hoping it lasts. Susanna graduated elementary and is going to Patrick's school. I don't know if she's going to be able to handle such a crazy course load. I hope I can be there for her and for Patrick. Kate is losing it. Menopause. I can just hope that she's gonna be able to work through it with her counselor. I don't want to get in the middle too much, but it kills me to see them this way. This is all stressful, but I'm really excited about the engagement and my life going in a positive direction.

The biggest milestone that happened in my family in the past year was my brother getting into Boston College High School. My brother Paul previously went to Norwell Middle School and decided to apply BC High because I already attended that school. He worked extremely hard in middle school but because BC High is such an exclusive institution, my family and I were not sure if my brother would get in. In preparation to taking the HSPT (the exam required to get into BC High) he met with a tutor every week to work on necceary math and English skills that are tested on the exam. He ended up doing decently on the test but it was his application that got him in. My brother is an outstanding kid who is perfect fit for Boston College and he showed it through his responses to the application questions. In these responses Paul touched on his involvement with a local community service club, his role in his sports team, and how important family is to him. This clear.y meant a lot to BC High because they admitted him and he is officially a member of the class of two-thousand nineteen. After his acceptance to the school, my whole family celebrated because we were all so proud of my brother for working hard to achieve the monumental goal of his. This accomplishment affected me because deep down I always knew Boston College High School would be the perfect place for Paul to continue his academic career and so far he loves it. That is why my brother getting into BC High is the biggest milestone my family has experienced in the past year.

My husband and I moved this summer. Over all, this has been amazing, but it has added a ton of new stress - it's just been so busy with our careers taking off that sometimes I resent having to deal with house upkeep too.

My family was so supportive of me exactly how and when I needed them. When I had my two surgeries, they were the ones that were here for me and took such good care of me. It's made me realize how important the idea of "family" is to me and how much they really sacrificed to take care of me during that time.

only child's college graduation. and subsequent move to another major metro area. i am all alone, have freedom and more time for self first time in 22 years. good and bad affects: lonelier, more time to self-reflect, easier to 'see' what's really affecting me and get on w my life. never felt so alone in my entire life. self; how did I get here? (like the song). Same as it ever was.

My youngest graduated high school and my middle child graduated from college. I am an empty nester. I am alone except for the cat and the fish. I already knew that I didn't like living alone and now there's no buffer left. I am alone and this is what today and the next day and the day after that look like. I'm told I'm a great person and yet I haven't had any luck meeting someone to spend time with. I don't know what to do that I haven't already done. I'm patient. I'm optimistic. I'm not afraid. I'm not depressed. I'm just alone. I'm out of ideas. I'm waiting...

My fathers early dementia has reached the point where my mother can no longer deny that he and she need help. My parents have not traveled in the last 15-20 years. My anticipated move to FL next summer and Dad's failing mental capacity enabled them to fly to FL with me, they staying with my fathers brother, my Uncle, in Ft. Lauderdale while I headed north to my besherts in Palm Beach. They are visiting progressive living facilities. My father got lost walking around my uncles apartment complex, left the complex and was eventually returned by the local constabulary. This woke my mother up to the reality of her circumstances. Now the question is where in FL relative to Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach do they look. I am relieved that my Mom is now conscious of their circumstances and that she is willing to drive them to a relocation, either home in CO where she will only have her ex-daughter-in-law to call on for help, and the winters are cold or in FL where she will have me and my besherts extended family (in a pinch) to call on for help and the winters are hot. I am scared of what his failing mental health will require of me and of what is means for the years I have left before I too loose my facilities.

Dad's 90th birthday. So glad I went to England to share the celebrations.

Dad turned 75! And it was fantastic. We had people send in memories and stories and some were read and shared broadly, but most were for his eyes only. (Don't wait for the funeral, tell them now!) Having my father healthy, hale, with-it and present is a blessing I'm reminded of every day. I work to not take that for granted. And it was beautiful to have some surprises for him, to have him really enjoy and celebrate the company of others and really revel in what his life has amounted to thus far, and it's no small mountain! I know the best is yet to come and we'll continue to honor and cherish him and all that he does for us and brings to our lives.

Ezra turned 2. He is the most handsome and brilliant thing ever.

Obviously the biggest milestone this year is that my brother and I graduated, he moved away, and I moved home. It's been really weird being the only child, but working most of the day and knowing that my brother is off at college is really weird.

My cousin graduation from high school. I'm glad because with us only being a year apart we were often compared so I am glad he no longer is close to me. It has taken relief off that I can be the best self i am.

Solidifying my relationship with my younger brother, which has been fraught in the past because of his wife, who decided after many years to cut off a relationship with me. I'm glad to have him back in my life as we've always been close since we were kids.

With the completion of my son's Bar Mitzvah, all three of my children completed a Bat or Bar Mitzvah service. This was a major milestone because the three previous generations of my family did not celebrate Bar or Bat Mitzvah and I am proud that I revived the tradition.

I think the biggest thing was Mommy and Daddy moving down here to live in Virginia. While I'm not sure it technically happened in 5777 it sure has had far reaching results. Now it is possible to say, "hey, wanna get together for dinner?" Going to see them is not a six hour trip up I-95. It really is lovely.

Being an empty nester now has had a profound effect on me. I'm down more days than up-but starting therapy was great. Additionally, this tRUMP thing has me so angry everyday!

Losing both parents in a short amount of time with my sisters and I in the "older "category. There is so much responsibility with this new position in the family. But as I watch the younger generation live their lives, I feel confident and happy to step back – just to play my eldest card if needed or asked!

I think we’ve turned a corner and are on the “up” of the rollercoaster of life. I have a feeling it’s only going to continue to get better

My child started Kindergarten. It has been tough watching them grow up in front of me.

This is the first year that I've really been a true empty-nester, with all kids now out of college. I have tried to consciously let go of all my kids a little more this past year. I strive to accept that their happiness is not defined the same way that I would define happiness. They are content and if they're not content in either personal or professional aspect of their lives, it's up to them to find their way to contentment. I think that letting go has actually brought some of us closer because I'm open more to listening and not advising; and they seem receptive to sharing with me, without feeling like I'm judging in any way. When I am at peace with this, it makes everyone more comfortable and it helps me tremendously.

I experienced one of my worst moments with my family this past year. I think that unconsciously it really tore at me, and caused me to lash out at the people I care most about. However, this terrible moment has brought me closer to my family and given me more experience in life, and I am grateful for that. It has also caused me to think further into my beliefs and religion.

My kids have gained more independence. I think I was holding off on allowing this to happen, because I love to be needed by them; and because I am super over-protective and want to keep harm away from them. How it's affected me? I have less on my plate. I'm so grateful to have the extra help and to have less to do. It has also brought a tremendous amount of pride to me as I watch these amazing little humans become responsible teens. I'm a blessed mom.

Henry had his bar mitzvah. This event makes me more aware all the time that the years are whizzing by. But it also makes me aware that grandparents have few years to make an impression. The boys are 15, 14 , 13 and 7. The big boys have their own lives and are branching out to be men. So Carl and I are minor players now and that's how it should be. I feel vulnerable but proud to watch their parents raising such fine children and that maybe Carl and I helped that happen.

Elliot learned to walk thus enabling his and our world to expand...GREATLY!

A huge milestone this year has been getting pregnant with our first child. My husband and I have talked about wanting kids and planned financially, logistically and emotionally, but I still know that it's going to be a huge change in our lives that we can't really anticipate. Having to think about taking care of an infant, and how work can't be the top priority all the time, has really reframed what I say yes or no to and is making me more assertive. ps: I am so excited -- 50 days until our little one is here.

My grandfather passed away. My impenetrable, immortal grandfather. He was never supposed to die. He survived the premature death of his daughter and his wife, the death of his eyesight and his hearing, the figurative death of his eldest daughter and the continuous cycle of death and rebirth of the world through technology, industry, medicine, and politics. I suppose all good things do come to an end. About a week before he passed away, he told me that he'd "finally accomplished all that he'd wanted to." What more can you really ask for? His death has left me with a bittersweet sadness in my heart. While it's not painful and aching the way my mom's death is, I miss him dearly. I try to honor his life and legacy by not allowing myself to become enslaved [work harder to pay off my loans!], by finding ways through and around hardships [looking at this year as opportunity for professional growth!], and sharing his writing with the world.

We bought a house! Or rather my parents did. In the midst of discussing the renovations I got a better sense of how dad's brain works -- give him something solid to work with, help him to mediate decisions...

There were three that come to mind: 1) My husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary 2) A first cousin from whom I had become estranged died in an automobile accident 3) Our child went to college The anniversary was a good mid-life celebration of what we had become. It also replaced the youthful elation and excitement that we felt 20 years ago with a more settled, affectionate, comfortable and grounded kind of love. The death of the cousin was a sad event--sad because of the tragic way that this relatively young man died, and sad because so little connected us beyond the common family history that we shared. The milestone of seeing our child off to college, and returning to a home with two adults left in it, is something we are still digesting. At times, it feels quiet, and at times, we feel like Home Alone characters, not being disciplined, judged and corrected by the young person who has her act so much more together than we did at her age or since.

Baby number 3. I think it's been amazing. I think he's added such a needed dynamic to our house. Alternatively, I think my husband could do with a little less kiddo. He's been super stressed and unhappy, and I'm afraid that little David adds in a negative way. I think he's adding a balance that we needed. And I can't wait to do it all again. I love being a mom, and even though the transition has been tough, I still love every moment.

I wrote about this on Day 1 of this challenge, and it's even truer for this question: In early December 2017, my 7 year old son and I got a dog. Not a dog, a puppy. He had been asking for a dog since he was 3 years old, and, to teach him the lesson that if he asks for something long enough, he'll get it (haha); I finally relented. Having a dog has affected me more than I realized. I love her more than I thought I would. She makes me madder than I thought she would. The two of them fight more than I thought they would. I did the math of getting a dog when he was still on the younger side of being able to help and care for the pooch in relation to knowing this dog will eventually die; and I didn't imagine I'll want to have a dog when I'm empty nesting. And now she's in our lives. And now I have to think about her death. Sometimes I do resent her presence, the extra burden of work she presents. And sometimes I just accept her as a member of the family. I'm more intensely confronted with my views as animals as less important beings than humans. I hate when my son mistreats her, because I see her as so vulnerable. I didn't imagine getting a dog would be so life-changing. But it is. She has changed our lives.

Mom decided that she's going to retire. My sisters and I are scared for Dad, haha. It's caused me to spend some time thinking about the stages of my own life, and how I want my retirement to unfold. Thinking about not working doesn't scare me, assuming I'm still physically capable. Mom is genuinely concerned about this, and only doing it because she just can't stand her workplace anymore.

Jimeny. Paula brought baby Jimeny into the world and it was beautiful. Its been transformative to see how our entire family has embraced him. Its given me hope and excitement for the future. It has also been incredibly beautiful to see Paula become a mom. Not only is it inspiring but its also a reality check for me to witness a high functioning couple who loves each other, makes sacrifices and puts each other first always. I know that this will shape the way they do their family. I also know it will challenge me and elevate my standards when its my turn.

A major milestone that happened to my family this year was that 3 days ago, we got WINSTON!!!!!! Winston is our brand-new golden doodle who I love so much! He is so cuddly and fun to play with. I hate waking up to care for him but it's okay because he is so nice and he gives me kisses. We already got him to sit when we say so.

I feel as though my parents have come so much closer to accepting me for who I am as a complete person in this past year. They've shown support for my creative endeavors and my life choices far more than in the past. Although there still is struggle in that area, it makes me so happy that there has been so much progress.

My husband's sten cell transplant in February has been the primary event of this past year. We agreed to go with the tranplant at the end of December, just prior to leaving on a family trip to Hawaii. We started the process extremely anxious: would he survive the process; if he survived would he recover his vitality; how would he feel about himself being permanenlty grounded from flying? Much like sitting shiva, the process of going through the transplant (which we did at home -except for 5 days in the hospital when his counts bottomed out) cemented our family in a different way. The whole process would have been impossible without the help and support of our kids, who were easily equal to me in importance of patient care. We came out the other side stronger, and closer to each other.

I moved in with my Man and his -by now- 17 year-old daughter (The Girl). This meant leaving my City behind and moving away from my Mother. A big step so, but one I took gladly and have not regretted since, even though it took us all a while to adjust to the new order of things. What it has brought me: - some measure of stability - more time to read on the commute to work - patience with my new roomies - appreciation for parents in general - commiseration with the parents of teens - most importantly: love

My older sister just got engaged. She was engaged once before for 13 years, but this time a wedding is scheduled. It makes me feel alone in a way. She has always been the one to say she'd never get married and never have kids, so this change leaves me as the sole representative of the single woman in the family. I don't regret not having gotten married as I never lost a great love. I haven't found that depth of feeling. I guess that is why I am feeling low about this- I don't know the desire to spend everyday for the rest of my life with someone. I can't imagine that desire. It makes me wonder what I am missing.

My boys turned 12 and started middle school. It's been incredible and a little sad. They're doing so well and we love their school and that's fantastic. They are independent and interesting and kind and sweet and hard working and we couldn't be more proud and are enjoying them so much. At the same time, my role in their lives is really shifting. They don't need me as much and I don't have as much access to them emotionally or physically. It has me considering my identity as a mother and a person. It has really presented exciting opportunities for me, but it's also bittersweet.

I graduated and got a job. My brother got into a prestigious high school on a scholarship. Things have been more peaceful within our family. We all help my brother when needed. Our parents mostly let us do our own thing now while they do theirs. It has its ups and downs but so far, so good.

Does it count that my brother is ABOUT to get married? I'll say yes, since it's still this year, dammit. My brother is one of the kindest, most earnest and genuine people I know, and he deserves the kind of love that reflects that back to him. We both have tempers; we both get impulsive; but to find someone who can reel in those parts of him and honour the best parts is something special. I cannot wait to welcome my new sister-in-law Alisha to the family and see my brother, my niece, and my parents overjoyed to form this new family.

Mom passed. Many of us have had no change to because of dad. I keep telling mom and dad how good it is that mom and dad s have us power of attorney. I also am leaning toward letting go of life when it no longer has meaning. Old age is not for cowards.

My dad hit 86 years old this summer, but my uncle just died at 89, a few months short of his 90th birthday. I think this milestone gives me a sense of how much time my dad has left and I need to make more time to see him.

Two graduations took place this summer. Three, in a sense. My younger brother graduated from college and started his job in San Francisco doing software development. My dad obtained his Doctor of Education after four long years of study and research. And I "graduated" from my job, which I'd long become tired of, and returned to school. Our nuclear (and extended) family is spread across the country, so the series of happy events brought us close together for the first time in a couple of years. I'm realizing these times of reunion will happen less and less with my brother on the West Coast, me sojourning in New England for now, and Mom and Dad contemplating relocating from the place we grew up. I'm finding new urgency in connecting with them.

Back to #1. My parents both died. That has meant a lot of change for me, as I am the executor of the estate. And I miss my parents.

Michelle continues to resist taking responsibility for her finances. Still, she does interesting work and wonderful volunteering. Riva continues to do what she needs to do. She has attained her PhD and is working hard. I have gotten past the worst of my depression, and am slowly coming out of my depression. Still, Vita's death has effected us all. I search for ways around this.

I would say a major milestone in my family would be the selling and moving out of my childhood home in Yorkville. I haven't visited my family in there new place in Romeoville, so I am not sure if it feels real yet. It was a very sad day when I walked out of the house for the last time. It is crazy to think that someone else lives there and all those memories are just that now. I won't go back to the pool I used to swim in every summer. I can't go back to my room where I felt safe and secure. The countless holidays and events that took place are not going to happen there anymore. It is going to be weird for the holidays this year.

Greg is on his second sabbatical year this year and they are finally making his dream of going to live in Italy a reality, which means that my sister and the boys will be leaving in a month for possibly, a year. I am NOT ready to be without my sister and the boys but I am so excited for all of them. I think this could be a huge opportunity for growth for all of them. They'll be renting out their house here and I'm thinking I *should* find a way to Italy at some point, despite the upheaval this year has wrought on my finances (mold removal and fan coil unit replacement for all residents, plus bathroom renovation #2 to repair what bathroom renovation #1 caused to me and my neighbours below me = EXPENSIVE YEAR. ugh!) As my lifelong friend Koula has reminded me: some things are more important than money, and going to Italy to visit my family during their exciting year of travel and adventure is an experience that I think I should have.

We decided, somewhat reluctantly on my part, to buy a house. Closing today. It's going to be great, I hope?

My partner and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary this past year. I am happy and satisfied with my relationship with my partner - and it feels wonderful to have this peace.

We've been married a full year. It went by so quickly. I have thought about how I will remember this first year of our marriage as it was so full of hard things (annuerism, father's death, school on mon/wed and less time with Mike, with Julia). And already it feels like a year. A remarkable year but I don't know if I can describe it as good or bad. I hope never to have one like it, the stressful, awful parts. But I hope to have dozens more like it, too. I have Mike. We are stronger, more united. Julia calls me one of her moms. I feel it all in my chest in a soothing and overwhelming way.

We've made efforts to spend more time with my family, and even when it's uncomfortable (mostly for Kiara), we're still glad we did it. I don't think we'll be in Texas forever and I want to spend as much time with these people as we can before we go. I'd rather have some dull or uncomfortable times than live with regrets once our loved ones are gone.

One son graduated! One son got his visa to teach in the US. One son had to drop his key course due to a professor who bullied him about having a seizure disorder. Lots of ups and downs. More ups!

I think my ex and I breaking up affected my entire family, but maybe not in the bad way... I've realized all my family wants from me is that I'm happy, and they are willing to put up with a less than pleasant person if it means I'm happy. This removes a bunch of questions when dating someone like 'what will my family think about him?' In short - it doesn't matter!

Ill start by typing how grateful we are that we didn't haven't had any negative milestones this year. As for positive milesotones: Our son starting his senior year of high school feels like one, and our second son starting high school feels like another. But the family event that impacted me the most this year was my Grandparents moving out of their home at age 98 and 92 and into a senior facility. It was the right move for them and i'm glad they said "yes" to doing it. Their home was a tremendous place of joy in my life for the last 28 years, i was able to visit Florida twice in the last year. I hope to visit their new home twice in the coming year too. Anyway, i am grateful that they are alive and well and for the relationship i have with them. I am also motivate to honor my promise to them to lose weight, to hopefully protect my heart and extend my time on this planet as well.

I hate to have every answer relate to my wedding but to have a happy milestone is never a bad thing.... and it redefined "family" for me. My family will always be my parents and brothers - but I now have a husband. There is something very different about having a husband and not just a fiance. There is a stronger bond and a greater sense of responsibility. Although it's just a piece of paper that changed. A piece of paper, that as of writing this, has not yet even been submitted to the courts. I was never without purpose but I now feel slightly more obligation to make "our" life together that much better. I hope the year to come builds on this notion without feeling the weight of the burden.

My mom passed away after spending 5+ years bedridden and unable to speak or eat as the result of a massive stroke. Her passing, while difficult and sad, also marked the end of one era of my life and the beginning of a new one.

My dad moved away to Texas, and he and his wife had a baby. This honestly hasn't affected me too much, since my dad is still usually angry with me for not calling him often enough.

This past year the milestones for my family include Melissa graduating from college Brian starting college and Heather starting College. I am very proud of all three of my children. I am looking forward to see what they make of themselves as young adults. It makes me wistful and sad sometimes that I could not go back and do college again and do better at it.

Wow my family has gotten so much bigger this year. I'v gotten married. My love and I have combined lives and in doing so combined our families. This alone seems like a huge turning point. We've also added our Niece this year who we both seriously adore and really connected on many levels with my new siblings in law. I am so excited to have expanded my family and hopeful that my mom and brother will succeed better through our success. Onward and upward!

My brother and his wife began fostering their first child on June 11. A premature baby boy. His biological parents are in and out of jail and he was removed from their care because marijuana was found in his tiny system. We are all hoping and praying that within the next year or so my brother and his wife will be able to legally adopt this baby. But we realize that at this point anything could still happen. One or both of the biological parents could get their acts together and regain custody of the baby. A family member or friend could say they want to take the baby. The longer he lives with my brother and sister-in-law, the better chance our family has of keeping him. The foster baby entering our family's life has affected me in many ways. I've always been interested in adoption, but this baby coupled with the fact that my husband and I haven't been able to get pregnant has definitely increased my interest. In the few short months that we've known this baby, he's shown me that DNA doesn't really matter. Of course I don't know what it would feel like to have a biological nephew, but I know that I loved this foster nephew A LOT. He's a delight. It's so fun to watch him grow and develop. After a month or 2 he started smiling and that is just the best. I've only actually seen him in person a handful of times, but I'm already in love and can't wait to see him again. I guess what I'm saying is I feel more confident in my belief that you can love an adopted child as much as a biological child. That it won't feel like there's something missing.

Our foster dog was a larger deal than we expected. I've been toying with the idea of fostering a child and was hoping to get a better feel of what things were like when fostering, so we decided to foster a dog. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out the way we expected. This poor little guy was scheduled to be put down, so we rushed our fostering. The little guy was very appreciative of our rescue but doesn't listen all the time and has had a seriously rough life. He doesn't do well with men or new people in general. It's been hard for all of us. We've gone through lots of training with him, but he's nipped at lots of people and bitten a small few. We do care and love for the little guy, but it's tough especially since we've had him for 8 months now and it's certainly changed our outlook for fostering.

My cousin Caryn lost her battle to ALS. Her death has left a major void in the world. She was, without a doubt, the most caring, giving, selfless, kind woman I've ever met. I feel honored to have been related to her. I am heartbroken that I didn't get to see her in her last months as I moved to Florida. But, I think, in some ways, it has brought my family closer.

My only son left the nest to begin his college career. I am very proud of him and I miss him so much. He has been a part of my life, if not the center of my life, for 18 years. He is 7 hours away and busy with school work and socializing, which he should be. I miss our quiet times together and our outings on the golf course. These natural transitions in life force a lot of reflection. I'm still figuring out who I am without him. And my wife and I are settling into new routines, also redefining who we are as a couple. This is by far the hardest transition in my life so far. Time doesn't stop. But new possibilities always emerge.

I think my sister's relationship with her boyfriend has really affected our family. I mostly like him as an individual, but I really am not happy about their status as a couple. The rest of the family shares my feelings. Their relationship is pretty volatile and often unstable (she's not in danger, they just have disagreements about huge issues that healthy couples normally agree on). I am upset because we're losing her to him and his family, and because I really think she's throwing her life away with him. I'm torn because I want to be happy and supportive, but it's remarkably difficult. The rest of the family feels the same way, and I think we're all wrestling with how to move forward and be supportive/positive. They have discussed marriage/kids and I know both of those will come sooner rather than later.

My grandfather died less than a month ago, this was my family's first experience with death, in a way that felt very close to us. I held my grandfather's hand as he died, and it really helped me with not fearing death and seeing someone go peacefully

We had so many major milestones - everyone is out of diapers, my 2nd grader can read, we can travel much more easily, my little one finished pre-school... we're growing up and moving on! This is both a blessing and a sad moment for me. I'm so happy to be through the baby stage, but I also long for another child, I'm afraid/insecure about working, and I'm not sure "what's next?"

My parents became empty-nesters recently! It was huge, because my brother went off to Africa. Of course, they barely had a week alone before I came home for 5 days for Rosh Hashanah, but there was something different- it was much more adult-y than parental. We are almost friend-like in our relationship, but then when they say something parental it feels like cold water on my red-hot face. I miss my brother, but I'm feeling more adult-like in my relationship with all of my family. What will it mean if my parents settle into being empty-nesters, and then I move home next year after graduation? Will it still be an empty-nest if I'm adult-ish? They keep saying it's going to be ok and they'd love to have me, but what if they like not having us at home? Not that they don't want us, but what if it would be best for me to live close to home not at home??

My older daughter had a Jewish boyfriend and she thought it might be the real thing. She was excited and talked about children. Very exciting, but as it turned out it didn’t work out. So I continue to wait which will require patience.

Our 25th anniversary was earlier this month and it was amazing to reflect on both how far we've come and yet how much of the basis of our relationship today was there already on our wedding day. I'm very proud of us for the work we've put into our marriage.

My youngest son graduated from university. I remember him as a little boy, my baby and then to see him graduate was amazing but also a bit sad. He has worked so hard to hit this goal so I am proud of him but sad that the time of raising him when by so quickly.

I told my parents that I had a problem with alcohol and drug addiction. Surprisingly the response was not abrasive or combative. Nobody yelled. Neither my mother or father immediately booked a stay in rehab. They asked me, "What do you think is best?" Since then our communication has been extremely honest. Sure there are still many things that I don't tell them on a daily basis, but I try my best to be open about my struggles with life- depression, mania, anxiety, the fear that I will never succeed. The result is that I know much more about my parents lives than I previously did as a child. They are more open about the struggles and obstacles that they have faced in their lives. In turn, this helps me realize that a) I'm not alone in feeling the way that I do, and b) I always have two people to turn to in a time of need, crisis, or when I need advice.

My youngest son moved to a state four hours away from a state one hour away. I had been seeing him and his family (wife and daughter) often -- nearly every week -- over the past year. Now I don't see him for weeks, sometimes months. It is a long car trip or a long train ride. His new work schedule does not permit him many days off, so he cannot visit me often. I am sad about this, although I am so relieved that he found a good job after a year of cobbling together many part-time jobs.

My dad died on Sunday, April 30. He was in home hospice care for almost three months, and it has been a wobbly, uncertain several years with his health. Losing him stretched on forever but still came as a shock. I was in Brooklyn the weekend preceding his death, but he had bounced back so many times - from being halucinatory and incoherent to having full conversations hours later. Really, I had decided that I did not want to be present for his death. And it was clear that my brimming feelings made everyone uncomfortable. Oh, the many times I have been told "stop crying" or asked "why are you crying?" So I drove to Phoenicia, and about half hour after I got home, my mom called. I remember seeing the phone ringing and knowing why it was ringing, those moments before really knowing. When I picked up, my mom said, "We've lost him," and I crumpled to my knees. I know the exact spot on the living room floor. I packed for a week plus stay and I drove back down to Brooklyn. I remember I was listening to Tig Notaro's book I'm Just A Person. My dad's death - the before and after - has dominated my life this year. I got a lot of pre-grief in while he was dying. His death felt like a relief. But the effects last, and surprise me often. His death made many months a blur. I feel like his death and my job hunt have been the hoving uncertainties of the year, steering my life while also being weirdly in the background.

Earlier this year my husband was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder and it has been an interesting process learning how it works. I've dealt with his PTSD symptoms as they affect our relationship over the past 20 years, but this new diagnosis shines a light onto some past issues. We drive 1 hour each way once a week for his therapist and I do think he will help my husband learn how to manage better, but it's going to be a long process.

I feel like a broken record, but having my second child was the biggest event. Our family growing was wonderful and challenging at times. We are still in transition, it seems.

My mom got married to her friend. This was after a very short term engagement of one week. My sister and I were speaking very regularly around this time, supporting one another. This was a stressful and confusing time for us but we ultimately let the chips fall where they may and tried to step back from my mom's affairs. She has been going through a lot, and it seems like she always will draw drama and attention to herself. My mom is now complaining regularly about regretting marrying him but she refuses to divorce him. I try to listen to her complaints and support her if I can but it is getting more difficult. I am thankful for how that experience brought my sister and I closer together, however.

My mother has become increasingly frail (she is 86) and although in basically good health, has suffered a few incidents which involved hospitalization. It upset me greatly, and it caused me to develop anxiety. I am working now to overcome this anxiety through meditation and prayer.

I got a second cat and I moved to Austin, TX. The first happened nearly one year ago and I can say that it has brought me so much joy and helped my heart grow fuller than I really knew was possible. The second, I am still in the throes of the large change. I'm excited that I feel like an adult as I enter my thirtieth year. I am scared about all the change and what my life will look like. I was thinking the other day, "This isn't what I pictured my life being" I don't even know why that thought occurred to me--I was never much for day dreaming about the future when I was little. I do know that I am only in control of my future insofar as I am in control of my choices and my reactions.

My brother and his wife had a baby. It happened sooner in their relationship than I expected. I feel so much joy for them and also for myself because I love this little man so much. Initially I also felt a bit sad for myself that I might get left behind - that my brother is younger than me and married with children. I've dreamed of us having children grow up together. I don't know if that will happen - even if I do have a child in the next few years, as I don't if we will be in the same country. It has also focused my thinking on having a child and I have become quite clear that I do want to and that I will do so on my own. Right now I am thinking that I would like to be pregnant around this time next year.

I graduated high school! It wasn't easy and a few times it seemed impossible, but I finished in the top 10% of my class. I think this overall improved my relationship with my family, especially now that I'm out of the house so I am not constantly around them.

My parents FINALLY moved to Delaware. And now the work of adjusting to having them here begins. That is all about boundaries and how we can co-exist so that their time here is positive for everyone.

I bought a house! I added a dog to my family! My dad is turning 70 tomorrow! I am sad that my dad is getting old. He is forgetting things more now, in a weird way that makes people around him do a double take. I dont like seeing him like that. We are good friends. I love my dad very much.

My suicide completely changed everything. I'm realizing that all my answers have to do with it because it was such a life defining moment. My entire life can't be about my suicide attempt, but I feel like this year has been.

My parent's yarhzeits and birthdays and their anniversary--as well as Janice's yarhzeit and birthday--have felt especially challenging this year as Meridith and I prepare to welcome our first child into our life. I am angry and sad and frustrated that these three individuals, who I know would have simply loved the shit out of our child, are gone. It is maddening. It is not fair. And logistically, it is sad and sometimes daunting that three individuals who would have given so much time and support to help us raise a child (or children) will not be part of their lives.

We moved....downsized. Really empty nesters. I see the fragility and beauty of my third act in life.

We backslide a bit with mom. She is very lonely and there is only so much that friendship can fill in a hole that your family has left. My brother has effectively stopped talking to her and she keeps posting sad memes about cutting out people that don't pay attention to you on Facebook and complimenting her daughter for being there. It's incredibly frustrating and guilt inducing and I know why he doesn't want to talk to her. We took Dad on a trip to Nashville which we all enjoyed, but mom took it hard and would not talk about it and was very passive-aggressive. Now, I feel obligated to visit her in Florida.

My mother's increasing deterioration. Not bad enough to move her to a more supportive care environment, but bad enough that she's becoming more dependent on my Dad. I am scared that I will need to get more involved in their care sooner than I had expected.

My brother got engaged. That was technically last year, but I think it counts. Maybe it's that I met Noah, the person I believe I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. I don't like writing something like that in a journal I won't read for a year, but this feels different. My family, my immediate family, includes him. We haven't formalized anything, but I know that it's true. I've become more grounded, more sure about the importance of family, etc. I also realize how difficult it is to cojoin my life with someone else's and the weight of sharing my thoughts and decisions with someone else.

Mom died in March. When she died, a part of me left with her. It has made me appreciate my family more than ever. I am forever grateful for her, and her life. I can only hope to be the person she wanted me to be. I feel like my greatest defender, my greatest mentor, and my greatest advocate in the world is gone.

Empty Nest! I feel exhilarated to have time to unclutter, sleep in if I feel tired, go to bed early for the same reason, eat on my schedule. I think I have slept 10 hours a day since dropping the youngest at college - catching up on 22 years of parenting exhaustion? I am grateful for the opportunity to parent, and the opportunity to recover from the same!

My dad decided to close down his business of 20 years this year. It's a slow process. Most of it was just choosing to do it. But by this time next year, I think most of the hardest part would be over. I think it would be valuable for my dad to have some support as he seeks to do this downsizing, whether with the work or with the emotions. Kinda crazy.

We moved into a new house, all together! This has made a great impact on me. I love the house, the neighborhood, the location, the layout, the places for entertaining and hosting family. It's been a HUGE blessing and I am grateful!

I was there when I saw my grandmother hold her great granddaughter (6 weeks old) for the first time–and her great grandson (4 months olds)! Two separate cousins had the babies and brought them to the weddings of yet another cousin. This year alone, between weddings and babies, I have gained a lot of relatives to love and care about. Six to be exact. It was so wonderful to see her entire face light up as she peered at these beautiful, big bug eyed babies with fuzzy hair and pudgy cheeks. It was the most joyful I'd seen her in a while. My grandma's health isn't the best lately although she's still somewhat "with it" and I am now so very aware of her limited time. As a result, it makes me grateful to live in a world where she continues to be alive and see the evidence of her thriving progeny.

A major milestone that happened with my family. I'm not really quite sure. Dad is out traveling a lot. It's really fun when I get to see him and we have a blast! We started that model which was fun, and we are going to LA as a family soon!! Lindsay started her job at Chompies, and mom and I went to visit her on her first day. She's so grown up!!!!!! Mom has actually been BINGE-WATCHING Criminal Minds! Yes, mom in front of a television!!! Now, she's starting to lock the door at night, guess 'casue of the show. Oh well. I beat mom at Bananagrams (YES A WORD GAME) 4 TIMES!!!!! I know! I a just as surprised as you are! I wouldn't really say that we had many milestones as a family, but lots of individual ones.

Lindsey and I both had hit a wall with our lives in Missouri and especially Rolla. We were unhappy and growing resentful. I know for me I started to hate the grocery store where I would often stop on my way home from school. Every building and every corner was just a reminder of my failure to create opportunities and make things happen for me professionally and us personally. I wanted nothing more than to make Lindsey happy and get her to a place where she would get the opportunities she had long deserved. Taking the job at San Tan Foothills and moving us across the country has been at times stressful, as a 1250-mile move will be, but I have never been happier and seeing Lindsey happy every day has made it all worthwhile. We both miss our families, but neither of us misses a thing about Missouri.

Our youngest daughter left the house to start college Now my wife and I our " empty nesters" and we are developing a new wonderful level in our marriage

Our 40 year old son celebrated his marriage to a wonderful woman, Emma, this summer. It was a milestone in his life, and in ours because of him. And, they are expecting a baby in December! It's not just the community commitment, but also the melding of cultures--Chinese and American. That love can bind together families and friends across the world is a lesson that I know over and over again--and one worth repeating to everyone. To have my 2 grandchildren be part of this at such a young age bodes well for our future.

A major milestone (not a happy one) that happened is that the process of my mom losing her house began. This has affected me in that it has divided our family. I am not sure how this will end.

Since I don't have a my own nuclear family, I guess it would have to be with my 'extended' family. Division. Separation. One brother has insulted, punished, cut off one by one - everyone -when his lies or actions we not accepted, instead of acknowledging reality and wishing to move on. This has included siblings and children, in addition to business and social contacts. Working at moving on from this has been a milestone. How has it affected me? I experience a profound sadness when thinking about it. Worse for his children, then for myself. But it does make me think about how often his statements were lies made to make him feel better or trying to align 'sides'. It's sad. So sad. It's often the elephant in the room.

We haven't really had anything. My cousin Timmy died. We weren't close, but I did like him. It's strange that he was my actual, blood first cousin and I barely knew him, but my other cousins, who are once or twice removed or something, are essentially my brothers and sisters.

In March, my stepson moved from Montana to North Carolina and went from being 2000 miles away from us to around 70 miles away. We haven't exactly been on the best of terms in a long while and I hadn't seen him in years. My husband and he talked by phone but it had been two or three years since he'd seen his son in person. I doubt I'll ever have a warm and fuzzy relationship with Abe, but it makes my husband and inlaws happy to have him nearby. And it's certainly easier to rebuild a relationship with somebody you see every now and again. At least most of the anger I felt toward my stepson for the way he behaved when he lived with us has dissipated, as has the anger I felt toward my husband for enabling his son to treat us and our home with utter disrespect. That's a good thing.

We have a flooding in our house twice in 5 months and that's 3xs in 1.5 years. We haven't been able to use our kitchen (so no home cooking) and we haven't been able to wash dishes (so a lot of disposable stuff which I hate). I've had to let go of a lot of ideals just to keep sane and physically healthy and have had to work twice as hard to deal with stress and anxiety. I've had to work incredibly hard to eat healthy while eating out all the time. It's created a Stressed family who really appreciate kitchens.

Isaac and Allie bought a condo. Mom is recovering from her kidney surgery where she had to give up a whole kidney. I think her illness is more real than ever and is mildly suffocating.

Major milestone with our family. We have all stayed in contact through various hurt feelings and arguments. We all still write on FB, send pictures. Some don't speak to each other but we are all still in contact. I made more than I ever have in my lifetime. I know this income will not continue forever. Trying to use it the best we can.

This milestone technically happened over a year ago but since this is my first time doing this, I'm including it. My sister had a baby. It's the first baby of that generation for my family. One obvious way in which it has affected me is that it made me an aunt. I'm not really sure that concept has fully settled in yet though. Some of the other, more tangible affects: 1) I am now much more aware than I was previously about how pregnancy, breast feeding, and the realities of life with a baby. 2) Family vacations and holidays are totally different now. The entire focus is on the baby. I don't really have a problem with that. It's good for all of us to have something to focus on and it means I can disengage at times without anyone really noticing or caring. It's still new and different though and change is always hard. 3) At times I feel less connected to my sister. When we do have normal, non-baby related conversations it's really great but understandably a lot of our conversations end up being focused on the baby.

This year my family lost my grandmother. She was 99 years old. While we are of course sad to say goodbye it is remarkable that she lived so long and shared so much with us. Because I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy I was not able fly to go visit when she fell ill or attend the funeral. We did however have several Skype conversations in which Grandma was allowed to visit with her only great grandson. After Grandma's death I found out that I will inherit some money from her. Because my mom has already passed my dad decided it should go straight to me and my sister. I plan to use the money to pay off the remainder of my student loans. This seems to be a great way to honor my mother (who greatly valued education) and grandmother (who was a teacher.).

The lost of my late babysitter a day after my birthday this year was disastrous emotionally for me. Knowing that i put down visiting her even when i knew she was sick was a one thing that i vowed to never ever repeat with my parents. family is always first and i was one that never put much thought in that till the recent passing of my dear and always missed babysitter - Catherine Shockman. I'm more open now with my parents given my relationship with a Muslim man and the thought and fear of losing any one of my family members is something that i would not want to feel at lost or regret if i did not do what i wanted with my parents especially.

I realized that I have limited time left with my maternal grandparents and that I need to spend time learning about their lives and being with them. My sister also seems sad more often and I think my parents are pressuring her a lot with school. I want to be there for my sister, but it is hard because I am rarely actually with her. I worry that she is not receiving the help that she needs.

I got to spend at least one day every week with Sam and Jack for seven weeks straight. This was such a blessing. I am closer to them now than I've ever been in my life. I FaceTime them at least once a week, and we constantly keep in touch now. I love them so much more, and they were my hardest goodbye when I was leaving D.C.

Daisy turned 1. And her first word was "uncle" even tho no one will admit it. Lyssa was there. She knows

My brother had a baby. He lives in a different country so I only get to see them every few months or so when they come visit or I travel to see them, but it’s crazy how just seeing my brother as a dad and seeing this little baby boy brings me so much happiness. It makes me miss the feeling of family a lot. It makes me wish sometimes that our parents would get back together, that I would go back to live at home. I guess it really makes me homesick to a home that isn’t there anymore.

A major milestone with family was the confluence of several major things: Jesse going to college. Sam starting high school. Turning 50 It has affected me hugely. It has totally changed my life. I willed myself to finally figure out what has stopped me from being able to inhabit my life. David Baker's illness has clarified the immediacy and fragility of life and brought me in alignment with my highest values. I am no longer hungry for glory, validation, professional kudos. It's almost weird how, as soon as I disconnected from that world of being almost addicted to that -- at work and then as a consultant -- how I completely stopped needing it. Being with those I love, writing as I can, doing what matters is, finally, enough. Thank you, Lord!

Major milestone family trip to Portugal and Spain. The most travel I've done probably ever in my life this past year

The most important milestone that happened this year was having my partner discover FIRE (financial independence/retire early). When he first brought this idea up I must admit I was beyond skeptical, even a bit angry as the idea sounded simply outlandish. I thought to myself, "how could anyone really retire early without debt? Everyone has debt like car payments, mortgages, credit cards, and school loans - just to name a few." As far fetched as it may seem I was wrong. So wrong. FIRE is literally the coolest concept ever. It basically hinges on the principal that you don't need to fall into the consumer debt trap like every other sheep in society. If you live modestly and minimalistic and don't buy unnecessarily expensive things (like a house or new car/phone/tv/clothes/tchotchkes for example) you can sink all your extra money into investments and depending on the market that may be: stocks/iras/401k/roths/taxable investment accounts or even real estate (think investment properties.) In theory if you invest enough in your early working years you can retire early (30s-40s-50s) and eventually live off the 3.5-4% of your investments when you do become retirement age. I had no idea this community existed. I was in theory practicing quite a few of these concepts already. I am not a big shopper when it comes to unnecessary items (save books and organic food) and we do rent an inexpensive apartment (in our areas its actually more cost effective to rent than buy - yeah they have calculators for determining that) and I went to 2 years of community college so I didn't have to pay full price for a 4 year university degree. I even went back to my natural hair color so I didn't have to spend money at the hairdresser. I also had enough wherewithal to invest 10% of my income (granted I wished I started when I first got a job at 15). I also never succumbed to lifestyle inflation so that every time I received a raise I simply increased my 401K and never noticed the increase in my paycheck. These ideas already lived in me and I just needed to listen to a few fantastic podcasts (mr. money mustache, mad fientist, millennial boss, budgets are sexy to name a few) to get on board the frugal train to freedom. This was a life changing concept that I so wished I heard about sooner but very thankful to have found it now. In conclusion, you may think a big house, fancy car, an ivy league degree, and lots of clothes can buy you happiness but it doesn't. The concept of being a slave to society (while you work 9-5 in a shitty cubical, grow fat as rot in traffic, and drown in credit card debt until your 65) doesn't seem like paradise to me. Who cares if I need to be more conscientious of where and how I spend my money currently? The last I heard the outdoors and hiking was free.

Don't communicate much with my family.

I got married, and moved abroad to be with my wife. I've completely changed my life, am working on learning a new language, spend every day with the woman I love, and don't have to live in fear at the end of each month at the rent coming due. She supports me and I support her and it's wonderful to be with someone rather than being alone like I once was.

Today Dad has been celebrating the founders of MK (he is one!) with Prince William. It's really made me take stock of what a brilliant man my Dad is and how proud I am to be his son.

o? My dad went to the hospital. I feel the vulnerability and fragility of life.

2 milestones - I met P. He is wonderful. He is fast becoming my family, although the merging of our extended families has been...challenging. The other is that conversely, my parents announced they were thinking of separating. Although recently my mother described it as "a soft Brexit rather than a hard Brexit." I think they don't really know what they're doing. That was confusing for a while but I've settled into acceptance of it and I'm just letting them get on with it. They'll figure it out.

Is Hurricane Irma a milestone? My concern for my family's safety and concurrent worry during their week without electricity had quite an effect. I've been praying for the earth a lot, I know they will seek safety and be okay.

I think the death of Larry's father was the most impactful milestone in the life of our family. I wonder if it is one of the leading motivations of why he wants to try for another child. It was impactful, also, as it brought us all together, with the cousins and Larry's mom too. It brought Eliana and me to Rangely, which was beautiful. I would like more of that in our future. Being in the wild/nature, disconnected from our smart phones and beholding beauty. It marked time in an important, difficult way. As he was so difficult, the mourning process was difficult for Larry. There is a new layer of peace, and of sadness, in our life as a family. I think, for me at least, but very much for Larry, the understanding that this is fleeting.

I got married on my 10th anniversary this year and I must say I'm still scared I always said I would never get married but having two daughters i realized how it's not about me anymore but about them and although I'm not sure I did the right thing I am proud of the step I took. Our relationship seems to have gotten stronger.

I lost my brother in April. We were a small family of four and now I am the only one. I miss my little family very much but I am not alone. I have my husband, daughter and grandson, my brother's four grown children and all their children. This brings me comfort.

This past year my family has had more open and honest conversations about the current and future state of our nuclear family unit re: my parents' marriage. We are trying to figure it out together, without the expectation of anyone having all the answers. In the last few years I had detached myself from being invested in my parents' lives outside of their roles in our family (just cause it was the easier thing to do), but this year I have been less shielded and focused on logic over emotion.

What is a milestone? Birth, death, graduation, new job, ending or starting something big. I don't know if anything qualifies. My sister was promoted to Captain in the Air Force. I'd say that's pretty impressive. The bets part of that was that she and her fiancee completed the ceremony at home in front of our family. All I want is to spend time with her!

We got through another year healthy and thriving.

A milestone with my family, this one is always a challenging question. Perhaps we are striving to be closer and more respectful of one another. I have come to understand that our current resentments with one another stem from the disrespect that we allowed to endure in our childhood. But the whole world is evolving and reality becomes clear of how things must have been. We were also a product of our environment and culture where perhaps to become tough and thick skinned to face the debauchery of the people meant that it had to start at home. Can't purely blame my parents. They believed our upbringing with religion would made us better characters, and perhaps they were right. In spite of the trauma, we are good people. Now as an adult, I see how it all linked together and how much loving it could be possible to be. But only if we heal ourselves of our own pain, lest we transfer it to our children. So perhaps the milestone was not of the family, but my understanding of it. We did manage to make a road trip to watch the Solar Eclipse in South Carolina, so there is that one good memory.

My daughter graduated high school and began her degree program at VCU. Very grateful for everything she has accomplished and proud she is my daughter.

Mom had a cancer scare. It ended up being diverticulist, but much of her colon was removed. It was a long and difficult recovery. I was torn all the time. I felt so alone being an only child and facing my parent's mortality. My friends were really there for me. It made me want to see my parents really live their best lives. I want to encourage them to travel and make new friends and have the best reitrement. I don't want them to live in fear and encourage them to work through traumas. I got resentful sometimes. Being honest is the best way to counter that resentment.

My daughter got married this year. I am learning how to be both a Mother in Law as well as a Nana. Tough

Jen had a miscarriage. She was incredibly sad about it & I truly felt really badly for her. I tried to say the right things -" it happens to so many women, it was G-d's work, wasn't meant to be, at least you know your fertile, etc. etc. I felt like I missed the mark. The question that I need to learn to ask - is 'what can I do for you - how can I help?' This is always a conflict for me which comes from our relationship in the past where she was hyper-dramatic. I have to try and let go of the past and stay present in the present and not think I can predict the future.

I guess the most significant milestone is that Marilyn and I are getting married! I have already noticed a change in our relationship. We seem closer, more of a team. I'm also very excited that she is ready. I've been ready to marry her for a long time. It means a lot to me that she now feels ready to marry me, too. I can't explain why, actually, but it certainly feels great.

The biggest milestone in my family is my getting a full time job and moving to a new state. Driving from my old home to my new life I kept feeling like my heart it was going to explode. I remember telling my housemate that I now understand the line from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" ............they say that his heart grew three sizes that day. So many times in this last month I have been brought to tears of joy, and I have said Shehecheyanu at every major step, including getting my first paycheck. I truly have moved from a narrow place to a new life.

My teen daughter got very involved in some risky stuff. Self and other harming type of stuff. The final episode resulted in her going into rehab (THANK YOU TO DEPAUL)....two months of hard work and focus. Tremendous emotional and psychic strain on both of us.....after the 'fact' she is working, started school yesterday, our relationship is better (mostly because I am no longer sweating the bulk of the small stuff AND acknowledging her humanity and her age/culture. The Good from the Bad.....Elul rocks.

I've had a bad relationship with my family for as long as I can remember. A few years ago I stopped talking to them for over 2-years as I felt they were so incredibly toxic that it was better for my mental well-being to have them not in my life. When we started talking again, of course we never discussed why I stopped talking to them, but we did walk on eggshells around each other. I think my parents were afraid I'd blow and cut them off, and I was afraid that even if I did try talking to them about our relationship they were going to do the same things as they always did - deny, blame and shame me, and then tell me they didn't remember or I was making it up. The first week of January, my mother called and put my dad on the phone. He proceeded to scold me about how I handled a situation with a legislator he had worked with before he resigned from office. Even though he and my mother had said the same message that I relayed to the legislator, my dad took his side. And, he also defended the legislator's choice to call my parents to respond to me instead of responding directly to me. I'm in my mid-30's, I'm not a child. If I contact you, you contact me back directly - not go through my parents. I was very firm with my father that I felt the intention of his call was disrespectful, not his business anyways, and I would not tolerate this type of behavior any longer. The next day, he called me early in the morning to tell me his was embarrassed, ashamed of me, that he felt I needed to know that. I'm not sure why his 2nd phone call surprised me so much as I should have expected it. But, I was floored that he would have the nerve to be so disrespectful as to do that to me - his daughter. Why would you call someone and kick start their day with such a nasty phone call? I just unleashed and haven't spoken to them since. What was really different about this blow up with my parents was that I immediately realized it was them, and not me. No - I wasn't the negative, nasty things they said about and called me. It was them who were negative, nasty parents. My life has been so much more positive since I have stopped trying to have a normal parent/child relationship with them. I even drove past their house this summer - heading to see my grandparents - and just had this overwhelming feeling of sadness and depression radiating from their home. It was sad - they are sad people.

I think about how valuable life and health is. I am extremely lucky to be healthy as an unhealthy person. I need to take charge of my life in more ways. I can no longer fake it til I make it. I am no longer making it.

My daughter had a baby, my first grandchild. I'm so proud of how she gave birth with little complaining (she likes to complain!) and how well she has done as a mother since. I remain concerned, however, as her relationship with the father (they live together but are not married) is not one that I consider to be built on mutual respect.

March 6, 2017. My parents texted and said they had decided to go to the cabin for a quick weekend and wanted to stop by on their way there. We got excited and thought we'd be going out to a nice dinner and catching up. But --something felt strange and I knew the second they walked in the door that they had something to say. I never, ever would have seen the divorce coming. Because after 39 years together, I didn't think it was an option. I'll probably remember that 1/2 hour in more detail than the strangeness of these past few months. Dad weeping on the couch, Mom emotionless--them handing me this letter explaining they were divorcing and that was that. I was speechless, and shocked. I just kept saying, " I can't picture it" And, even though it's happening I still can't picture this new future. I get it though. I've seen their unhappiness, I've felt the lack of partnership, mutual respect and love between them for years. I have hoped for a change for long, long time...and this is what they're choosing. I feel like this has been a shadow over everything since. I feel guarded, like I'm holding something in and I don't know what to do with it. I'm constantly re-explaining the rationalization, how to accept and allow this change in my life so that I can make it real, so that I can remember that they are people, not just my parents. And they deserve to find peace within themselves and their own lives. When I let myself think about and allow myself to feel this....it hurts more than anything in my life. All the things I took for granted...going home. Going to my hometown. Being together with my family. All those moments I had with just my mom and dad. Looking forward to the holidays. Having that security. It's gone forever. I don't know what it will look like this time next year. What their lives will be like. How all of our dynamics are going to change. But I have to trust in the family they built--we love and support each other through everything. Things will be strange and different than ever before. And maybe, just maybe--it will feel okay.

Our son graduated from medical school in May and is now a first year resident in internal medicine. I was so conscious of how happy his grandparents who are no longer alive would have felt seeing him reach this stage of accomplishment. So, I evoked their memories during the graduation dinner we hosted and invited his two closest aunts and uncles to represent those grandparents no longer with us. This milestone filled me with love and wellbeing, knowing that our firstborn has reached a goal so long and challenging in the reaching. My heart overflows with love and happiness for him.

Oh gosh. This is a tough one. There really hasn't been a milestone. Nothing has happened in the last four years. They've been... stagnant. Stuck in a holding pattern, in limbo. Not wanting to be where they are, but also afraid to move forward. My parents haven't been "together" since July 2013, but they still live together in the same house. They haven't made any true moves to change that. Sure, they talk about it -- but it's all talk. Nothing has happened. I'm not sure it ever will. As for how it has affected me, well honestly -- I am tired of the drama of it all. I am tired of hearing about how my dad irritates my mom, the lies they tell my sister, how they think she doesn't know any better even though she is nearly 11. The fact that they say they want X Y and Z but never actually do it. That they've said they were selling the house for three years now and it still hasn't happened. I'm just tired of it. I don't want to hear about it until they actually make moves. Until then, it's all just noise to me, and not only do I not believe them, I no longer care. It has never been my concern, anyway. No amount of worrying or guidance or concern has made a difference so far. So at this point, I'm just done. They're adults. Yes, they have my sister, but she's just that -- my sister. Not my child. I cannot be her parent. I can only be her sister. So the best thing I can do is be there for her, and just ignore the rest.

Dad has started working part time in Nevada so we only see him a few days a week. It’s been really hard on all of us because we’re so used to having him at home and now he just isn’t. Anytime we have an emergency he says he’s going to come home but we always tell him to stay in Nevada because we know he needs too. It’s really frustrating sometimes and I’m sure it’s even worse for mom.

A major milestone is...nothing. I have a good life and job, but nothing of great significance has happened as far as milestones go. Stevie and I hit one year together, but that just put pressure on me to marry her or breakup, which essentially has put me into a deep malaise. I can't say I have a milestone, nor can I say that I'll have one next year either.

I guess kyle and I became much more committed. It's been scary but also has given me a future.

Parents' aging, nieces and nephews struggling, siblings challenging, and extended family dying have all challenged my family. In particular, the loss of Aunt Shirley, who felt like home and hope, has touched me. I do not know what Thanksgiving will be like, but I am thankful to have loved and been loved by her.

I have to move (34 years here), and it will be a pain in the arse. This has made me realize what 'first world' problems are.

I GOT DIVORCED. I am one happy man!

When I wrote the last 10Q answers, my father had just passed away, and I don't think that we had really adapted to how we would all feel. He had been living with a lot of pain and suffering, and that was hard to see past, to some degree. With some distance, I now am to the stage that I can remember fondly some of the experiences that we had together, things that I learned from him, and also some times that I miss him that I hadn't expected. It has been beautiful to find him in a new way.

One of the major milestones that has affected our family is the recent rapid decrease in health of my father-in-law. He has been suffering and slowly declining for a few years now with pulmonary fibrosis, but this past summer he was also diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma, and he is not responding well to the treatments. It really has created a whole lot of stress and upset for my husband, who is somewhat unwillingly becoming the primary caregiver (despite the fact that we live 2.5 hours away from his parents) and his stress has created stress for the rest of us. His illness has affected me personally not only because it is so overwhelming for my husband, but also because it has been difficult and sad to see such a contrast in the cancer experience I had (excellent medical care, many loving and caring friends and family to surround me and help me heal, many resources both traditional and non traditional to help support and heal me) and the cancer experience he has had (less excellent medical care, many fewer people around to support him, fewer resources, more isolation).

Over the past year I have experienced some pretty major milestones, including my Mother’s death. Although she was suffering from Dementia, and I knew she was declining, I was still not prepared for being a 50-something orphan. But, I gathered my wits and realized that life is short, and sweet and we need to savor every moment with our loved ones. So now I make a point of staying in touch with visits or telephone calls, and never forget to tell my family and friends how much I love and respect them.

The family milestone will have to be the kids going to secondary school and JC and the new school routine of sending Joshua to school in the morning and fetching Chloe from school in the evening. It is a good routine but I'll still like to shorten Joshua's journey home by moving our home to the west when Chloe finishes her JC in 2 years.

His death was tragic. It's broken me in ways I never imagined. I miss you Papa.

My family hasn't experienced a major milestone this year.

both me and my brother had babies this year... makes me think about how we are building our family moving forward..

L became a Bar Mitzvah this year. L may not clean his room, and he eats in his bed when I tell him not too. And he could brush his teeth more often. But L - L thanks for me driving him to school, or for driving him to swim. L thanks me for food shopping and for cooking him dinner. He thanks for me taking him to school at 7 am for Jazz Band. L is a mensch in ways I did not even "show him" or demonstrate for him. He is his own person and he loves his life and world. I am so proud to be his mother. A parent once said (about their son) "It is a lot of fun being X's parent." I feel that way about L. I feel that I have helped him become such a great kid but giving him space to be himself.

My aunt/friend died. I'd like to say it has reminded of the impermanence of everything, but it hasn't.

It's not so much of a milestone, but I feel my time with my daughter has been getting stronger. We are able to talk much of the time, and I think it's helping with trust.

The woman that has custody of my grandson has loosened her strangle-hold on his life a bit and deviated from the court parenting plan. He now spends every weekend here. It has been kind of confusing for me. I wanted full custody and fought a tough court battle that I did not win. But since I did not win, I kind of started to forge out a life for myself as a single woman in her later years, no kids, etc. So with him here every week for 3 days, I really have neither. No custody and not a life alone. I am not sure how I feel about this...seems unfair. But he is OUR family and should be here as often as possible to pass on family lore , tradition, love

My grandma turned 90 this year, which is pretty awesome. The birthday party we had with all of our family and her friends was amazing (kudos to my mom and sister, really) and she had such a great time. It was such a special day and it was really wonderful to celebrate such a milestone event together. I'm grateful to have this time with her and be able to celebrate such happy occasions.

My daughter started kindergarten. Since day one, we have been more organized at home, we have eaten better and at home more, we make a point to read and get to bed on time regularly. We are motivated to give her an excellent start. I have also noticed that we, my husband and I, are communicating better about our parenting situations. Routine is good for everyone in our house.

It may not see major because we've grown into Parenthood, but the day to day actions of raising a child is significant. Trying to figure out all her grunts, pointing at random things, trying to allow her to interact with people on her terms and then encouraging her to do more. It makes me feel rather small in the grand scheme of life. That our child is bigger than us and trying to raise her properly from an early age is ultra important.

Gabriel was born. It was amazing. Katherine was incredible in the delivery room, and this gorgeous little boy popped out who is such a sweetie. My heart has grown in ways I never knew possible, and three months in we have figured out how to thrive as a family of four.

Starting a new job was a major milestone for me this year, especially given all of the quiet rumination and work that went into developing my story and find my way (even if it was analysis paralysis rather than practical application, which it was to some degree). This shift has impacted my day-to-day life, but I also think it resembles the harder-to-describe conceptual advancement in life, being exposed to new problems disguised as familiar ones, and working needing to flex new muscles that might once have been deemed as less important relative to a sophomoric preoccupation with technical execution or something along those lines.

A major milestone with my family...Let's see. No one died, no one got married or retired or really changed in any milestone-ish ways. Ha. That's funny. I just noticed that my answer from the previous year is in the margin next to this typing window. Talk about evidence that not much has changed! Look: "There were no major milestones. No one got married, no one died, no one graduated or had any achievements I can think of...nothing really changed, I guess." Wow. I wrote almost the exact same thing. i know this question isn't about that, but I'm really delighted (and a little worried) at my striking consistency in thinking over time.

My aunt died at age 83. She was one of a kind who lived on her own terms. At times this cost her and it wasn't always wise, but she taught me, my siblings and cousins to be confident and to have a zest for life and knowledge.

Nancy and I have been married 38 years and I feel like this past year we have been more understanding and accepting of each other. Ever learning, never really comprehending, always a mystery.

My sister got engaged and had a baby!! I'm an aunt, and my parents are grandparents!! I'm so pleased for my sister. When I look back at last year's post and remember what a horrible time she had, I almost can't believe that things have worked out so well for her. Which just goes to show that every cloud has a silver lining and it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good and so on and so forth. I guess it's affected me in that it's made me wonder when these things might happen to me. Sometimes I still feel like I'm in my mid-20s, in that I'm doing all the things that lots of my friends did ten years ago - I've found the man I love, I'm settling into a career (misgivings aside), I'm starting to save money... So obviously something like this makes me question when it's all going to happen for me. But I don't want to pick at that particular scab too much!

my brother and his wife split. Only my brother hasn't left the house he's only moved to the basement. I'm judging quite a bit!

I don't know there are so many. Maybe everyone getting together for the twin's Bar Mitzvah. It really showed me how important and wonderful it is to feel part of a familial community. It was deeply nourishing. Also, my mother continues to not be an adult. Her partner lied to her and hadn't paid rent in 3 months. My brother ended up footing the bill. I cried. I mourn her not being a great mother or caretaker of herself, or participant in society. I feel bad for her and I also want to shake her. Sometimes I have more morbid thoughts.

Changing city was the major milestone. Being away from my family pushes me to create a new one here.

The biggest milestone was our son graduating high school. After a long struggle, he was diagnosed in grade 11 with ADHD. That was the turning point for him and he became more focused and committed to succeeding in school. He graduated with high marks and was accepted to a prestigious business program. I couldn't be more proud!

We started the Melodrama at the Adventure Park, and I started the Summer Ballet Intensive with Sleeping Beauty in Glenwood. That made for a huge and active summer that went by in a flash. It also showed me that I can *do* things. Not just execute other people's ideas, but have ideas, get them lifted off, make them follow through, and produce a good result. I don't think I can overestimate how much confidence that has built in me. However it's also had a negative toll. It's maxed out my schedule and I've been feeling, for about six months now if not more, that I'm unable to "catch up" or "catch a break." Life feels unmanageable. Not completely. Just slightly. But the slight edge is enough, over time, to crop up into exhaustion and frustration. I feel like I live in perma-fatigue. Everything was a great success and so we're going to repeat again next year. I feel it's already time to get started, since what I learned with both is that the more time you have and planning you have, the better. If I can set the schedule now maybe I can build in a bit more rest and recuperation? Of course I have dreams for how I want to grow both of them. How do people do such big things in their lives? I guess they get help from others. I think I am on the verge of needing that. An assistant . . .

As I said in question 1, my nephew or great nephew was diagnosed with brain cancer. It really sent me into a dark place for months. I was just so sad all the time. I think doing the cancer bike ride really helped to bring back to balance and hopefulness.

The twins started talking. Their growth and development has brought even more joy. As has the addition of Lorena to our extended family.

in the last year--more and more of my siblings are independent adults! We organized our own family reunion. We tell each other the truth and help each other where we can--it's an amazing transformative thing to stand together and rise up.

Once again .. someone leaving us permanently makes me aware of my 'egg timer' in my pocket. Once again underlining the need to be and live in the moment. Be kind, be patient, take your time... do the things that mean something to you.. cherish those around you... instead of getting caught up in the busy'ness of everything.

My partner of 20 years and I were married. This has brought us closer and has brought our two families together in new ways which I could not even conceive of before the ceremony.

My daughter started doing homeschool and my son started kindergarten. It's amazing to see them grow. It has been nice getting to know the kids and parents in the homeschool program and I think it will be good for my daughter overall.

My child going to school. This has affected me in many ways, positively because I can see now the fruits of everybody´s efforts in being able to raise an emotionally aware child, the so many more options he has in his life and i am part of it. Negatively because i recognized how little i evaluate things, i just researched one school, didnt do pros and cons, just went with how it felt; not the best way to make any decision but particularly who is going to educate your child

My sister had her second baby. I don't know if it's affected me majorly - except now my mom doesn't pressure me to have babies since my sister keeps popping them out.

Nothing really significant has happened with my family this year. No health scares, job changes, births or deaths. It's been pretty quiet for us this year, which I'm beginning to appreciate more as I get older.

My husband's grandfather died. I had long harbored feelings of resentment toward him for various actions of his that I viewed callous and self-centered. He also spent a lot of time and money travelling but didn't attend my sons' brit milah ceremonies or volunteer financial support during when my husband lost his job. At the funeral, I learned a lot about who he was earlier in his life, including truly incredible acts of self-sacrifice. While I still hurt from his inattentiveness to family needs in his late years, I also now see how strong his sense of duty was and that his failing wasn't a lack of generosity but an inability to perceive other people's needs. It taught me a lot about judgment.

After a year of not having any play, my second-youngest granddaughter, India, became the scoring champion of her women's soccer league. It made me happy for India, proud of her capabilities, and so glad for Title IX. it also, along with the horrid outcome of the election, made me feel very militant in support of women. Not to the exclusion of men --I have sons whom I love and admire -- but in the deep wish that human culture can grow up.

Jack graduated from high school and began college. That was one of the bright spots of this incredibly dark year. But even through that I felt sad that we weren't able to focus on him. There was always the strain of the challenges with Luke. As I realize that Jack is moving into his own life I feel sad about how much of his teen years was spent in the shadow of Luke's mental illness struggles.

This year, after several years of fighting between my father and sister which at points looked like it might never improve, my father and sister finally made up and we had dinner as a family for the first time in 2 or 3 years. This made me happy beyond words- I had spent so much time talking to both about the other trying to fix things, and to see them happy and forgiving each other made all the work worth it. It was nice to be a family again.

My daughter graduated from high school. This was something that was a possibility of not happening for a time so it was a great relief as well as excitement when it happened.

Mmm, I think that as a family we're getting to become a whole, more united. I don't remember a particular milestone in the past year, we have so many in the past we don't need another one! If I have to pick one, maybe I choose the Giancarlo's legacy matter. It forced us three bros to stand together, travel and take some time just for us.

my uncle killed himself. we did not have any semblance of a relationship - i've actually hated him for a long period of time. i think what he did was pathetic and it's sad that was the route he chose. it has affected people i love including my mom and cousins. it hasn't affected me because he was never present in my life.

My son got married. Meeting his inlaws has been delightful.

Everyone became independent. While the Pappa is always the Pappa, at least everyone has found their way and is happy. I guess my job now is to steer them to continue going in that direction.

My grandparents moved in with my parents and it has been TOUGH for everyone involved. They're both Trump supporters who watch Fox News 24/7, which has been really hard on my parents. I think a lot of childhood shit has come up for my Mom, too, and I feel really bad for her. Selfishly, I am happy that I am all the way across the country because I think that if I was home and around my grandparents, their behavior and worldviews would cause me to seriously dislike them. This whole thing has made me very happy to have been raised by open-minded, compassionate humans.

This year makes four years since I have had any communication from my son. That rejection sent me into a deep spiral of depression and despair, and I am just now beginning to look around me to see where I am. I have little hope he will ever contact me again and must find a way forward from there. This is so hard and so heartbreaking.

I got a new job, Dan was able to join us in Minnesota, and we have completed our family with the birth of our daughter. I think this is just a perfect manifestation of my goals for the last few years. We're at a really good place.

There were three deaths in my family this year; my mother, my father, and my grandmother. All three happened within 2 months and 10 days of each other. The toll it took on me was something I did not expect. This was the first time in my life that someone that close to me passed away. I had to do a lot of processing as each death meant something different to me. Each death had in it something unique that required me to face things that I had not until this point ever faced. I feel more connected to the world and to things around me. I am much less tolerant of those things that rob life of its joy and reward. When someone is no longer physically part of your life you can't help but to reassess all the other physical connections you have in your life. Unfortunately, there may not others around you that have the same revelation and therefore do not share the same fervor for real, pure, and healthy connections. I have decided that I would not let that deter me from being who I am. I feel as if I have been given a renewed purpose in life, one that considers the frail, transitory nature of our physical existence in light of the greater, more spiritual things.

My niece graduated. My Houston family survived the threat of a flood. One cousin is fighting cancer and she began, with courage, to prepare her adult children for the worse case. I often find her off-putting, but I have to admit that she is a determined woman.

Mari and Ashley had their first child, Nikki Freja, on Jan 30, 2017. She is the first grandchild for my parents and also the first niece/nephew for my siblings and I. Nikki initially had some health problems and was taken to OHSU for some tests and procedures. She was tested positive for Alpha one antitrypsin, which is a protein that protects the lungs from irritants. She did not gain weight for a long time and was also jaundice, so that was probably one of the scariest moments of mine. But now she is doing great. She is cooing and crawling around everywhere. Our family truely is blessed.

Haha, well, that was already covered in Question #1. But let me focus on Jeanne's departure. She had become aware that she was done with this world, and she had voiced to Mark, when he visited in January, that she didn't know why she was still here. I noticed her eating less and less when we went out on our forays and when I spoke to the gal at the front desk of the retirement home where she lived after I had called the police (just because that is what you do when someone dies) she said that my mother had gone down to breakfast, but she didn't eat anything. Then she made her way back up to her room--at 92 without a walker or cane let alone a wheelchair--she sat down in her favorite chair and exhaled. She and her body had an agreement and they just let go of it all and entered the eternal peace. I am very proud of her, Jeanne, my mother, with her fantastic tale of childhood in Java, then five teenage years in a Japanese concentration camp, then Australia en route to Holland, her cultural home, and at last to Boston with my father, a German radio-man from the war who, in the years I knew him, refused to speak German ever again. He went on to become a distinguished journalist at the Christian Science Monitor, and then to lose his way in decades in which we barely had contact. But, so, what is the point? Jeanne's self-determination is the point. She had guts. She divorced my father back in the '50s, a time when divorcees were not looked upon kindly. She dragged her sons across the country to California on a casual recommendation and invitation from a friend in the church. And then she shuffle off that mortal coil, determined not to enter a hospital or be a long-term burden to anyone. She set her mind to these things and then they came to be. And it would be nice if that were the whole story, but Jeanne never really knew WHY she was alive. And this made her a burden to others, especially my brother and me. She could not keep friends--though others found her very engaging and enjoyable--because she would stab them in the chest one day, just as a lark, for no really compelling reason than that she was in a lousy mood and wanted to taste blood. At least that is how it seemed. And yet the question is: how has this affected me? It has pulled me, on the physical level through some ineffable mother-child bond into the soil of the coffin along with her (though I say that metaphorically, as she was cremated and will soon be scattered at sea). I have never lost my spark so completely and so continuously as I have over these past five months. It has been a profound test of my current skills to navigate this along with becoming married and revising my presence at my company. And, at the same time, this has been a profound liberation. I was Jeanne's primary caretaker, and this was quite a burden, especially with a relationship with someone on the other side of the country. And I was worried about what the next step would look like. She was on the edge of diabetes type II, which can have some horrific consequences, and she was barely walking near the end. There were many reasons to be concerned, and we don't have the money to put her into a full-case facility. So her departure is probably the greatest gift she has given me since she gave me life. I am, then, damaged in the short term, but liberated in the long term, to begin living more completely as I wish to, something at which I excel and relish deeply.

My husband and I had our first year of marriage. I wish that I had some huge impact on me, mostly it means that we need to take care of bills.

Honestly family life has been pretty low key. I suppose in a sense that's the milestone, we are settling into a nice happy easy rhythm and I am really loving it.

My mom's mom (my grandmother) died, and my mom became the matriarch of the family. I started to feel the diminishing of the maternal line... and I wondered what it would be like if I were ever in her position? I know I would care or my whole family, and work to keep us together, visiting, and connected. That is important to our family. I also know that I will be a better daughter to my mother. She is one of my best friends, and I'm so proud to be her daughter. She is an amazing woman. I will honor her contribution to this world and this life.

I found out that my mum was possibly leaving to the US, and My dad is going to the uk, at first I freaked out, and a part still is, because i don't want to be without them, i need family, and for a while i didn't think i would be able to cope -- but I have become stronger and increasingly independent, it doesn't mean it will be easy, but definitely easier :)

We were lucky enough to welcome a pet into our home last year and it has completely transformed my relationship with my mom. We are both a lot more kind to each other as well as the pet. Personally, it's given me a small dose of what it's like to care for something in a sense that is not romantic or innate (for family).

My older brother, who has ALS, had to be placed in a nursing home for care as we were becoming overwhelmed with meeting his needs at home. His disease progressed so that it was unsafe to try to provide 24 hour care to meet his needs. This affected me with extreme sadness. I felt as if I had failed him.

My father died in April of stomach cancer. He "actively died" for about 3 weeks until he was literally just skin and bones. It was horrible to see him that way at the end, but also a gift to be able to love on him the entire time and to feel his love for us. Amazingly, he never wavered from expressing his love for us whenever his strength allowed him to. In fact, the last words he spoke were to my mother, the day he died and after being unable to respond for several hours, telling her that he would love her forever. My love for my dad swelled in those last days, and I know I was blessed to see such a dignified death and to have a dad with integrity and love for his family to the very end.

My mom sold the house I grew up in, and bought a farm with her boyfriend. It was painful, realizing I'd never be able to go to my childhood home again, and even if I did, it wouldn't be home. I did get to take pictures to remember it though, same as with my grandma's house the last time we visited her. And the new place seems like it could feel like home fairly quickly. For all that my mom's boyfriend low-key irritates me, he's nice enough and he makes her happy. And the place feels...nice. Safe and comfortable and full of potential. So...sad goodbyes, and new beginnings. Does make holiday planning hard though, since now my mom and dad are further away from each other and I can't feasibly visit them both in a weekend...

My grandfather passed away and it was very emotional and sad.

My daughter started her senior year in college which strikes terror in all out hearts.

Neal's mother moved into an Assisted Living Facility, freeing us of the daily worry of her living alone.

My husband got a job after not working for 13 or so months. Such a financial relief because our savings were getting pretty low. But, even though he is working from home, I miss him being available. And, he has to travel a lot.

This year will be Isaac's Bar Mitzvah and that is huge, last year it was a lot of just getting through and getting done. I'm proud of my boys, and I also feel simultaneously happy to have things done, and sad to see them finish. Soon my boys will be men and out in the world without me.

I don't know that we had a single major milestone. I think this year was a great year for my daughter as she matured out of teens to being a 20 year old. She got a job, got her license, and has a Promise ring from her boyfriend whom we have gotten to know and love as well, got another job, bought a car and pays her own bills and such. both she and I agree it has helped her to come out of her anxiety issues a bit, and the fact that she will get her own medical coverage to get help with that is awesome. She has grown into adulthood rather rapidly this year, I just hope that both my kids are going to be alright when all is said and done.

Two major milestones this past year. My mother's death in August 2016 and my son's wedding in March 2017. My mother's death has been hard, which was a shocker given that our relationship wasn't never great and her Alzheimer's her last 4-5 years. But we great close in that time and I miss connecting with her. And as my life unfolds, I miss sharing with her and learning from her. My son's wedding in March was both a joyous and stressful time for me. I am thrilled that he is happy and has found a woman that takes great care of him and that he is allowing himself to grow as a man and a husband. I was stressed in that while they tried to include and involve us it was done in such a way that was more stressful than it needed to be. I am beyond happy for them, and look forward to feeling happy and included in their lives in a meaningful way. Of course I was super excited to be asked to give a toast and loved that my heartfelt message was received and loved.

My parents finally moved my grandmother into an assisted living home. This has freed them up and aleviated so much stress,

The only "milestone" that comes to mind was my brother's bar mitzvah. It forced me to come to terms with not only how quickly I'm growing up, but how quickly my brother is growing up, and that definitely changed my perspective somewhat.

My father died this year and it is very strange in the house without him. It has been a lesson in who has been there for us in this difficult time and who has not.

The two major milestones that I can think of are the prolonged unemployment situation. I mostly addressed this in Day 1 question. The next milestone mostly affected me, but it occurred when I learned my in-laws sent nasty emails about me (and my husband) behind my back, and they also declined to see my children this summer. (They will see us again when things are 'normal' - which they did not define.) In my mind they are no longer part of my support system, and are not part of MY family, though I will support my husband in his choices.

Oh god, my family. My parents seperating. I dont know how its affected me yet aside from being incredibly sad, all the time. Sometimes we all talk more, sometimes less. I dont know. It feels very uncertain right now

I think my sister Laura had another baby, Brock. I've kind of lost count and haven't met the last couple: Ena and Brock. It hasn't really affected me at all. I was really interested when her first, Rebe, was born, but now they've kind of all merged into one and we're not in touch very much anymore. She has five children now: Rebe, Bennie, Joa, Ena and Brock. It was always a family joke how many children my Aunt Beth had (six), but now Laura has almost equalled her.

I became an aunt and my parents became grandparents for the first time. It is both amazing to have the baby in my families life, but it is also a reminder that I am still not married and who knows if I will every have kids.

Both Riley and I loved other people. That sure felt like a milestone. Not only did we open our marriage with honesty and a sense of adventure, but we thrived and felt closer than ever.

There were no major milestones. It was a pretty uneventful year.

My 17 year old daughter has decided she is ready to move out. I'm going through a lot of changes about this, and so is she. She's learning to live with her bipolar/depression and these have been some very intense years for her. I'm not sure she's ready to leave yet, but I feel pretty good that we've managed to keep communicating with each other, despite a lot of tension at times. I feel confident that she will be able to move out and become independent, and I know she and I will both be happy when that day comes.

My son moved away. I am reminded that life is a continuous experience of letting people i and then letting them go. I feel very sad about that but I'm trying to find peace.

Probably the biggest major milestone is that our middle daughter finally left home. She graduated from college four years ago, and had been living with us (in the proverbial basement) for the past four years - working hard, with three separate part time jobs, and making next to NO money. She did, however, get a lot of good experience AND in her field (music) which is not an easy field to make a living in. So she made up her mind to pursue a graduate degree, with a focus on a marketable - but still music related - career. She applied and was accepted at several schools, and chose to go to one over 2000 miles away because that program was the best available. So she packed up her life - everything that would fit - into her car, and drove away. In a moment, it seemed, she was here and then she was gone. The house is very quiet. She calls me every day, and she is doing very well, but the house is very empty without her. Only one boomerang kid living in the basement now. Two down, one to go. I may have an empty nest after all, someday. Maybe sooner than I thought.

My parents are now officially in their 70s and it scares me. I'm far from them....I've never seen them as old just as I'm certain they've rarely seen me as an adult. I need to learn that the universe will decide when it's time and the time that is now is what's important. Technology keeps us together for now:)

We moved back to the beach! All praises to God the most high! We are home! It's been wonderful. My current mood: content

My son, 28, has suffered anxiety and depression since his teen years. This year, he was able to move across the country to a more affordable area and is now in a serious relationship with a wonderful young woman. I have been hoping for this life for him all these years. I'm so thrilled that he is doing so well and is so happy.

I gave my brother my kidney in february. It made us all stronger as a family. Not only did it bring my parents and my brother's family and I together, but I asked my Aunt Theresa to be my caregiver. She had become estranged from the family because my mother had started keeping secrets from her while my father experienced a long illness. My mom had kept all news of my brother's failing kidneys and my impending donation from her, so me asking her to join us healed that estrangement. We did simple wonderful things together like watching the Super Bowl and watching jeopardy and retelling family stories in a way we have not done since my other aunt and my grandparents died. It was like a miracle. And my brother is healthy and strong and my kidney is doing the good work of keeping him alive and I am so proud and happy! I feel like if this is the one heroic thing I do in my life that it is enough.

I finished my university and my sister went to the university. I came back to Tijuana and she has gone to Guadalajara. I feel like the family dynamics have changed, however I don't particularly feel weird. At least not anymore, but I did when I returned home. Its been a little over a year since I returned, so I now feel at ease in Tijuana. I still want to fly away, but that is a tale for another day

My father got to have a small field in a different part of the town. Now that he is retired that gives him a project to cultivate, quite literally, and gives him a lot of joy an increased serenity. Other than the material, culinary consequences of it, I think it really improved the atmosphere at home. I see my parents more calm and relaxed, and that is really beautiful.

My niece and her boyfriend moved to N.C. Ok, it was huge that she moved with her boyfriend and then to N.C. I'm very excited for her, but I'm scared that she made such a drastic decision so soon in her relationship. So, I don't talk to her enough to get answers and that bothers me to no end. Am I so busy I can't ask her these questions???? This is something for me to work on NOW!

I turned 40. I don't feel old. I had a great party with family and friends and felt very loved.

The loss of Victor's mom following a hospice treatment has really created quite a void in our lives. I still can't quite believe she is gone.

Our dogs both died in the past year. I am devastated. Death is a part of life, but losing them has shaken me to my core.

We celebrated my first cousin's son's bar mitzvah. It was the most meaningful Bar Mitzvah to which I have ever been. Ari is the strongest most beautiful person I know. He is severely mentally and physically handicapped, to say the least. There is no person known who has his disabilities which also makes him the only person known to have his strength and heart. I have yet to truly comprehend the impact that he has had on me, and will have. I am blessed to be his cousin and have him in my life.

We have had 2 deaths and 3 divorces. It scares me to see life so fragile and I hope makes me want to change how much I bicker about the small stuff

There are not many milestones in my family. I've already written about my new hip, and I hope to continue with good progress on that front. It has been nice to recognize that I have my sisters to rely on, and that comforts me greatly. I feel closer to them than ever before. We also had the first boy born to the extended family, and he is a true delight!

My Divorce became final, in 2016, my two eldest daughters moved out and my last Daughter went to University whilst I had minimal financial support and no job. This made me feel like giving up, even considering suicide, everywhere I turned there were blocks and nothing went right but I gained peace and I embraced the challenge/ rock bottom as I know that this too shall pass, I don't know when and how but it will pass.

I met my dad for the first time. It was crazy how someone you have never met can have so many similarities to you. While it was heartbreaking, it encouraged me to do twice as better for myself.

This answer is the same as one of the previous ones - I got married! The process leading up to it was fun and stressful, but it all went beautifully. I think being married makes me feel a little bit more secure - financially, in myself, like I can be dependent on someone else. But in some ways I think maybe it doesn't feel as different as it's "supposed" to.

Leslie and I had our religious wedding ceremony with our family and friends in attendance. It was an amazing weekend and it has left us with some great memories.

1 my nephew is getting divorced- this makes me really sad- He made a bad choice and I tried to tell him about responsibility but it came across wrong

My parents bought a house in France. A long time dream finally made reality. Just shows you can do it if you try hard. helped me realise that its only me in power of changing my life. sitting round hoping it will change wont get me there.

My youngest child graduated from college. If I think too much about what that means I get really, really depressed. On the other hand, 3/4's of our family are in college right now. That's pretty cool.

That Daniel apologized for 2 years of bad behavior, and appeared to understand (at least at that time) the extent of what he was apologizing for. That was life-changing for all of us as a family. More details re: how it affected me in Q1.

I am slowly beginning to be okay with my family. I can tell my Dad that I love him. Still not there yet with my Mother and not currently on speaking terms with my younger brother. Baby steps I suppose...

My great-grandson, my first great-grandchild, was born. This has helped my relationship with my granddaughter a lot. We were basically on non-speaking terms by her choice. I think she now understands a little better why I did some of the things I did raising her. Most importantly, we have another little life and he's such a sweet child. Hardly ever cries and is not demanding of attention. This has affected me by making me a little less hard on Taylor's father. It also makes me happy for my granddaughter.

Well I can't think of anything, so this is a message for future me: hi me it's you I just wanted to say that you better keep your friends from elementary, they're your true friends and they'll always be by you I'm sitting here with your friends and if you lose this great moment you'll always regret it, least I think you will. anyway good luck from past you, <3

I moved to Los Angeles and Vic gave me the car and Mommy came with me and I felt loved and supported. Also Daddy gave me money when I moved here. I would like to be self-supporting, entirely, but I am also grateful for their help as I did something really big, it feels like

I think the biggest milestone of this past year was Brian going to college. At first, dropping him off felt really depressing - both in feeling on behalf of my parents, and also as a response to me leaving college early and feeling that I'd missed out on so many moments. However, Brian and I have started to become closer and - as it was an inevitable event - I think this will be a really good thing for our family overall.

I am going to try and get my black belt this year (2017) and I hope I get it.

the passing of my papou (my greek grandfather) everyone came together closer. it shows you how much you can miss a person once they are gone.

I S A Y I W A N T T O S U C C. L E T M E S U C C. M O M Y E E S A Y I N O C A N S U C C. M Y D A N K M E M E P O W E R M A D E P I C C L E R I C C A S S A U L T M O M Y E E. M O M Y E E S C R E M L O U D. L O L G E T R E K T N O O B. R O B L O C S I S L O V E. R O B L O C S I S LYFE.

A major milestone -- maybe that the triplets went to kindergarten. The parents held them back for a year. Also, they are all in different classrooms this time which is healthy. Melissa actually admitted that Cecilia will go into special education so I really like that that was said out loud. Uncle Peter died on Monday. He was Daddy's twin so that's really sad, especially for his wife and children. I remember how hard it was to lose my father. Jennifer saw Peter, I think, a couple of times last year and encouraged me to visit too but I didn't have the funds. Actually I could have visited over the summer but chose not too. I chose saving money. :( My priorities. I do wish my extended family didn't live so far away. Uncle Peter was my favorite Uncle.

My son turned 3 years old. For me, thinking about him going to school next year really bothers me. It bothers me that someday he will leave my home to be on his own and that I can't protect him from what the world offers.

My father-in-law turned 100. My third grandchild was born. Life is incredible and precious.

My husband and I moved back to a house we own in the mountains and it has been amazing! I love it so much there.

None

A major milestone that has occurred was my mother's return to New Orleans & while it was WONDERFUL move for us, I just pray for her it is beneficial financially & emotionally.

My daughter's birth. Totally changed our lives. Made us more lenient in some ways and more sensitive in others.

My newest nephew was born. Considering my grandfather passed away a year 1/2 ago I was really disappointed when my brother named his new son after a Rabbi that so so many other people had named their child after instead of after my grandfather whom we all loved very much. I was also dissapointed bec it gave the child no sense of individuality, especially as his family lacks the finances to support another child. Especially since I begged my brother not to go ahead with the name, and even shared my personal story of having such a common name in my community, it hurt me to know I couldn't connect with or trust my brother to truly care about my hurt.

I've had a second child. It's made me ruthlessly efficient.

I turned eighty. Got through it ok. My eldest turned sixty. Got through it. Liam turned newborn. Got throughThat. I DO feel effects of age: tired; travel is Harder; recovery times take lots longer. Fragility is always present; but then so is Resilience...right? Until one day it won't be...

I don't think I'd call divorce a major milestone, but it certainly did affect our family quite significantly this year. I guess a major milestone for me and thereby the kids would be buying my own home, in my own name, for my girls and I. It's the first time since I was 22 that I've actually been an adult on my own, and even then I wasn't along much. That makes me feel like I've gotten through this divorce process with strength and perseverance.

In 5777, my father was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Since then, I have come to understand that the man I once saw as an authoritative figure, stern and imposing with traditional views, is just a man. Like the rest of us, he is a person who once had dreams and plans only to find that time and circumstance changes many things, including who we imagine or hope to become. It is only at the end of a life that a person can look back and decide if it was a fulfilling life.

My son past matric. Took away a huge amount of tension and pressure in the house. Created a space for trust and respect to grow. Left me feeling lighter and less defensive.

My husband and I celebrated our 25tb wedding anniversary. We had an amazing getaway that was easy and much needed. I Can't wait to go on another adventure with him!

Having Eleanor go off to college has been a hit in our framework. I am grateful that she found a place that is so well suited to her. A good place that she can grow. I am so saddend by her absence. Surprisingly so. I am curious what 'holes' in her life skills will show now that she is not here with me to support her. I am curious to see how I can grow in my identity outside of my role as single mother.

My long time best friend's husband died of coronary disease and it almost killed me. The worst part that instead of pulling us together it pushed us apart. She distanced herself from me when her family arrived in mass. I hide my pain. Now, I miss them both.

We moved. We downsized considerably. We now rent, have no major maintenance expenses, and we don't even have to mow the yard. It was stressful (and still is, because the house hasn't sold yet), but it was very freeing, and quite fun, to get rid of so many THINGS. Moving and downsizing is part of our "5 Year Plan" for RVing around the US in a few years. It also is meant to reduce emotional and financial stress. We'll see how that goes. In general I feel VERY GOOD about it all.

We became "orphans" and all that brought us closer as siblings.

I feel like after coming back from college for the summer I've gained a level of trust with my parents. particularly my mom is really protective and worried about me all the time. I know she means well and it's just who she is to be worried about my safety all the time, but in the past she's been really overbearing at times. I feel like there's finally some give - some freedom and more trust than before. That's really good, it makes me feel more like an adult and that trust makes me want to prove her right and be more responsible on my own.

We moved to Seattle. This has been the essence of my answers, but it was a huge deal for our family this year. I joined a new synagouge, got a new job and moved across the country.

My first child being born has completely changed the way I think about what is important in life. What seemed to be important with work and career and everything else now seems like background noise to this beautiful baby that I have.

Major milestone was my daughter's bat mitzvah - she ended up doing a great job even though some of the preparation time was stressful. She made a mature decision to have the party indoors when the weather looked poor and everyone had a blast. We visited my mother-in-law in France and I'm so glad we did. She looked pretty good, all things considered and I know it was important to my husband. Kids are officially teen agers and I hope I'm doing a good job of guiding them into adulthood.

We became empty nesters completely as the last child went to the Coast Guard.

My daughter turned 18. She has started to take on the responsibilities of adulthood, mostly with enthusiasm. It has made me grateful for her attitude, and saddened by another child's ability to do the same.

My husband and I are experiencing aging issues that affect our physical health. We both have had cataract surgeries with 1 more eye for me yet to be done. My husband's surgery and results have gone well and he is seeing better. My 1st one has not improved my eyesight and I am worried about getting the 2nd one done.

Three deaths: my grandmother, aunt, andmy ckusin-in-law. I didn't know/don't know how to grieve especially if they are a little further out. It was hard also to be with my dad and reconcile feelings with him. It brought up a lot!

Nothing really major has happened! Both sisters are coupled, but I expect that next year Danielle will still be with Adrian and Juliana will not still be with Evan. I think my leaving San Diego was a big milestone. I was so close to everyone for those six months and relied on them for my social life. It was good for all of my family relationships, particularly with Diana, Dad, Danielle, and Rachel. It was hard on me and mom, and also Joel. I did a lot of work on accepting mom's infidelity this year and trying to forgive both parents - and actually Diana too - for how I felt they dealt with the fall out of that. I also forgave myself for my response to it. In hindsight, this work has really shifted those relationships.

Everyone is graduating! Emerson got his MBA and AJ is about to finish his PhD! Reggie got a promotion and is soon to move back to California - happiness for the kids! and so happiness for me!

Well it is exactly what I wrote in the firat question.. that Dori was born. Maybe 2 more things that are coming to ind now in regard to family is that first, that shani and iti moved back home. Having us all (almost) at home just reinforced the quality of our relationships and how much I love to be with them and appretiate them and all my thoughts after India of how beautiful it is to appretiate the family like this and living togerherlike in the old times and how it is bringing our connextion deeper. I love them!! As well the other significant event is that Yuval got to the Armi. All this process, and now also that he is in the Armi for me js very strange in the sense that I feel I have so much feelings and thoughta about it, cincidering the world of peacebuilding I am in jn the recwnt years.. so all around thia I have nderstanding, saddness, wish that I will speak up more abiut the options of not going to the armi, a wish not to "heavy" on him since I so know what does it mean to go to the armi in our society, remembering me in his age and how ignorant I was regarding to all of the conflict, mourning about it, and inspiration to keep doing what I am doing. and in general I feel that all that innwr conflict of living in kne reality , the Israeli side, and the integration of it with living jn a parellal reality of the peacebuilding came together wih yuval going to the armi.

No major milestone other than learning how to go on without my mom. Coming together when my cousin passed and Mrs king passed. My sister getting cancer again is scary.

Two areas. One my mother completed her cardiac rehab with a good result and because she felt better and made my life easier as a caregiver. And two was I gave up worrying about my Ultra religious brothers Behavior around my mother was. What I noticed whith this question was that a lot of how I feel is revolving around other people. That's simply doesn't work.

My decision to remain cented in truth and with god has made me stonger

My youngest child left for college. It left me devastated for a time. It completely changed the dynamics of our marriage. Ultimately it was cathartic for all of us.

My family on all three sides is extraordinary. Austin bought a condo and a truck. Alex got accepted to nursing school. Grandmere died. That's a hard one. Grandma got engaged. Blake built some empire in China. Dad lost 45 pounds. Mom has a rich boyfriend. They all make me very very grateful to understand unconditional love. This year I learned how many people don't have that kind of support system, let alone successful interesting people. Some actually don't like each other or don't speak to one another. That truth affected me in a quiet sad way but also made me realize that I should never change the way I value people.

No.

The major Milestone for me was when i moved to this new place....

My daughter started middle school. That might seem insignificant, but it is certainly a shift in our relationship. We are now dealing with an emerging young woman instead of a child. It sets me on edge to see her change and struggle with gender issues, social media, hormones and excessive homework. I am simutaneously afraid and proud of her. We all are!

My daughter graduating from college has been a huge milestone. I am so proud of her! It has affected me in several positive ways: I am finally only responsible for myself and I have gained a peer and a really special human being as a friend

My older sister moved back to LA, and in part to see what would happen with a guy that has been in her life for a few years. Things haven't gone exactly as planned, and that has been really hard on her. She's tough, and incredible, so I know she'll be ok, but I feel so bad. I want to slap this guy. But at the end of the day, he's the one who will miss out. I want to help my sister move on and find love with someone who will love her the way she deserves. My little brother got a new job. This is the job he's actually been excited about! He moved back to Cincy, where he went to college, and he loves it there. He was so happy when he got the job, and I'm so happy for him. He's the best. I want him to succeed. He works hard and deserves everything he wants, which isn't much, which is why he deserves it. My mom and stepdad FINALLY went on vacation this year. This is their first vacation in 7 years! I actually changed a "fun fact" on my resume this year: "my dream is to financially support my mom and stepdad." That's the dream, though the reality is that I will be happy if I can pay for a couple more vacations for them, and help them retire comfortably. My mom deserves WAAAAAYY more than she has right now. I just want to shower her with love and happy life. Especially because our Nana (her mom) died, and it was really tough on her, though she didn't show it. I can tell she's thinking about how her life is going to be as she gets older, and I get worried. It motivates me to be successful so I can take care of her. My dad and stepmom are still the same. Successful, chillin, happy. I should probably check in with them more, but they don't really mind.

The largest milestone this past year was Dan starting school. When I write this he is almost done and should start teaching by RH 5779. I was affected by his absence. He had to spend a lot more time studying. Other quick highlights: 1 - Heidi got into her car wreck on Kol Nidre (2016) 2 - Adina was able to go to Kalsman for 2 weeks and UW for 1 week (in Mr. Palmer class) 3 - Heidi finally filed for bankruptcy! 4 - Hal considering moving here in Spring 2018 5 - Disney World with the Pegg's and Felicia (and Hal) Other than that - it was quite (Baruch HaShem)

We had our second child. It's brought us great joy

My dad is getting remarried less than two years after my mom died. He didn't preview for my sister and I that he was planning to get remarried (although we knew he always planned to repartner) and the lack of thought with which they put into the process of telling us really let us down. It's hard not to have my mom around to balance my dad's lack of emotional intelligence. It was a moment of feeling really disappointed by my dad for not acknowledging how we might feel or mentioning our mom when his new partner told us he had proposed (because he wasn't actually the one to tell us). It helps that I have my own new family unit now that we have a child as my dad creates his own new family with his new partner.

Alex got a full-time job, which is pretty crazy. I'm really proud of him, and I know the rest of us are too. Fingers crossed I'll be employed at this time next year as well. But I think the fact of his job - a really good job, making good money, with clear future career paths in the distance as well - makes real adult life feel super real and pretty wild. Definitely in a cool way, but in a kind of scary way too. It feels weird knowing I've just started my last go-round here in Evanston. I try to think of it as little as possible, except to remind myself to really own it. And that's scary too! It's just kind of crazy to know that there's a world out there after school, and it's already beginning to concretely take shape. I want to make that happen as smoothly and productively as possible this year, but I don't want it to weigh too heavily on me either.

When I talk about the past year, really I'm talking about this year (August-September-even July)... There isn't a milestone, but was important.. I'm always be so cold with my family, but at this time, I'm begin to be more expressive, I begin to talk more with them, and they respond at the same way... I think that this help to me and all the family to be closer.. To know that all of us be here for all the family.

I've felt very resentful and bitter towards my sister and her husband, and somewhat the same towards their children. I don't want to be around them when they talk politics. This has NEVER bothered me before Trump came into office, and I felt like it would rip our family apart, like the Civil War split up families. I am HAPPY that Susie is going on a Disney cruise for Thanksgiving, because it gets me out of going to BR, even though I get guilt vibes from Laine. I am thinking of not going to BR for Christmas because I hold a LOT of resentment for my sister (who I grew up with and had the same mores). She does a LOT of church volunteer work (which is great, because she doesn't have a job), but I do feel like she thinks she is better than I am. Her in-laws are sometimes difficult to be around because they make rude comments all the time about Obama. I'm very outnumbered AND a guest, so I don't want to cause a scene, but it is very uncomfortable for me. I don't want to go this Christmas, and am trying to make a plan for it.

My grandparent's moved to a home last August-October (2016). We thought it'd be their last Christmas, but it luckily wasn't! However we still had to pack up and sell their home of 43 years. Which was quite sad, as well as a lot of work. Some people didn't pull their weight as much as they should, others actively made it harder, but most of us put in so much effort and I think it's a great positive that we pulled together so well.

My youngest child is in preschool now. That means I have 6 hours a week all to myself. It also means it's nearing time to go back to work.

J. and B. got married, not quite in this past year, but close to it. Early September. That was good, and a blur, but a good blur. More recently things have seemed hazy again. My family—we are not all on the same page when it comes to gender parity, sexual assault being a bigger problem than men being falsely accused of sexual assault… anyway. It's all a haze. A major milestone that happened with my family this year is I stopped speaking to my mother entirely in December and didn't resume contact until June. I did not cut her off entirely on purpose, and I did not let her back in entirely of my own volition. We're now, as per tradition, pretending it never happened. The silence was good. The silence was critical. The silence should have gone on for longer. But for the silence to have lasting impact, I need to define it and explain it and draw out its boundaries and be brace enough to have its conversation. Like the silence was a black hole, the density of which far exceeds its mass. Or the density and mass exponentially exceed the size. I forget all the science words. Whatever. We didn't talk. We're talking. But we're not talking about not having talked. So we should talk.

Our daughter, our youngest child, received her Master in Social Services from the University of Chicago in June. I felt tremendous pride in her achievement since, although she is quite bright, she had not seen herself as academically successful. I felt vindicated towards the Jewish Community High School that did not support her, was unwilling to provide accommodations for her learning differences and extreme anxiety and hope to put that feeling at rest in the year to come. I feel that this achievement has raised our daughter's esteem in the eyes of my husband and our sons. I feel that I was able to provide her with the support she needed when she was struggling and this, along with her hard work on self-growth, has allowed her to become a successful, adventurous, and thoughtful adult. I am also proud of her interest in working towards tikkun olam and social justice.

On Christmas 2016, my family did not have our annual Christmas brunch. It was due my Uncle Mark getting sick from smoking cigarettes. It was the first time Christmas brunch had ever been cancelled. I was hurt at first but then understanding. I knew my uncle's health wasn't good at the time and they didn't I need the extra stress and people. I missed seeing my extended family from out of state but I also cherished the time I got to spend with the family in town even when part of the Christmas celebration was done at a hospital. I cherish my family now since you never know when is your last day with them.

Paul and I have been together for over a year, we have a vague plan for the future. In a positive way, not much has happened, things have been calm and normal for the most part. Except we got a guinea pig, which is awesome

My daughter started high school. So far, so good.

My daughter was diagnosed with anxiety and started a course of therapy. Little has changed in terms of the issues caused by her anxiety, but it helps to have an awareness of her condition and an acknowledgement of the need for treatment. (Trying not to answer “my cancer” to every question...)

This year my brother "came out" as an alcoholic and addict and started his recovery. When he first told me, I was shocked and scared. Terrified, really. I know that I carry that fear inside me all the time. However, I find it hard to be anything but optimistic because I believe so strongly that he can learn to live with this disease. It has created some tension in my little part of our family because I can see that my spouse carries anxiety about the effect this has had on me and the implications the hereditary nature of addiction has on our family, but overwhelmingly I am grateful for my brother's health and safety, the fact that I am in a place to support him emotionally, and the closeness that we have built over the last year. We were very close as kids and it has been many years since we shared real conversations and joyful times together without conflict. I deeply appreciate our relationship and am looking forward to the year ahead where we continue to grow and support one another.

We marked the forst yahrzeit of mom's mom, my last living grandparent. In a way, the occasion passed without much fanfare (I'm several hundred miles from the rest of my family). Yet there was a finality for me in recognizing a year's worth of birthdays and holidays had come and gone without her. I still use her phone number for accounts and passwords and, in an odd way, I'm glad to have that reminder of her. { little moments ensuring i'll not forget }

I turned 40 this year. I've felt 40 since my wife turned 40.m, but we still had a great party. I mostly feel like an adult these days, though I try to be silly. My kids are growing fast. I need to spend more time with them, much as I think they know I love them.

I had an abortion. It was one of the most unbelievable experiences because wrapped up in the heartache was also a door to a freedom and love that I hadn't known before.

My parents went on an around-the-world cruise and then when they returned, they bought a house in the mountains. They seem happier now. Another major thing that happened is that my aunt had bladder cancer. She chose to have her bladder removed in order to remove the tumor. It was a success, but now she is coping with having to deal with life without her own bladder, which is a huge ordeal in my mind.

dad (I think he hates his job) says he likes his job but i don't think so. My mom has a new job (good for her all a do is sit and watch t.v) and she LOVESSSSSS it (I think?) I got better at making costumes that's good...right?

The discovery of my brother raping my niece and the level of abuse by all our family has colored the year. I'm raw and not quite able to handle it .

All of my grandparents passed away this year. Or rather, the grandparents I had left passed away. I wasn't particularly saddened by their deaths, as we weren't close. But, moments like these continue to show me the vulnerability of my parents, which terrifies me. As I grow older, I keep realizing how fallible and human my parents are. I've tended to see them throughout my life as somehow being thicker-skinned and less able to be hurt. This continues to change. I'm not sure how to concretely say it has affected me. But it has.

Getting married. It means that our immediate families are moving to the next chapter with us, as a unit, whatever happens next.

arthur is becoming a real human, and i am missing it.

I can't think of any. I just feel alone.

Both children are out of the house and adults. There was not a real break between care of children and care of a parent, and it's affected my marriage, and my sense of belonging in it and his family. It's encouraged me to take risks, and to move forward without the appearance of fear.

The birth of our son, and the dynamic changing. Our middle daughter has been acting out, our older daughter seems to feel things more acutely. Of course they love him, but I struggle to adjust to being their mom at the same level as before I had my newborn. Hopefully, as he grows, the problem will be less. But it’s a huge adjustment still at 2 months in.

I moved back to my childhood home. Though at times it's been quite annoying, the forced extra time with my mom has really helped our relationship improve. I no longer cringe when I see her name on the caller ID, and I truly enjoy, for the most part, spending time with her!

I made a decision to become a teacher and tutor instead of a BD rep. This was a tough decision, since I would still rather be out selling than in a classroom. Given my background teaching was a logical choice. After considerable struggle, I finally landed close to a full time teaching gig and started tutoring after school and weekends. I've cut back considerably on my hours driving for rideshare companies, which is great. It's much more enjoyable now that I don't have to rely on it. I'm feeling more hopeful now about the future and am less worried about day to day financial issues.

My family didn't give up on me when I had a tantrum at xmas. We also saw my cousin go through chemo and get a double mastectomy. Another cousin had surgery. When these health issues happen I hear about and I am concerned but I do not take action to call them and let them know I am thinking of them. My brother got a gf and I have not made the effort to meet her or ask about her. I can correct these by offering amends and writing a thank you card to Bert and Benita and Mark. These things I hear about in passing but I don't let them affect me the way a concerned loving cousin and sister would.

Family is a tricky word. With my blood family, the milestone is yet to happen. I am going back to my "home country" for my mother's 60th Bday. We don't have a relationship... any kind of relationship. But she is still my mother and she deserves being celebrated. With my Other family, My kid (not my son, my "godson") moved in with his girlfriend. That made me so proud! And with my friends... I am an honorary Uncle. The Little Dude is here! and he is growing fast! and healthy!

Stephane got a job. I can now see my mother as a person who did many kind and helpful things. On the other issues- she didn't have the capacity for anything other kind of behavior.

Brother and family moved to beautiful new home, sold family property. Gained access to a pool!! Nephew got married, explored new areas of St Louis; gained new appreciation of city and parks; created rift with other nephew, made me sad

Conrad’s Bar Mitzvah was this summer, and it has affected us because it has made Weber and Tyler’s much more of a reality. Eden and I are struggling to understand how we can create an authentic and meaningful experience that connects Weber to our shared culture and inducts him into the community. The fundamental challenge is that I don’t believe in God and don’t want to spend significant time in a Synagogue. Can you have an authentic Bar Mitzvah if you have rarely set foot in a synagogue? What is the ‘shared culture’ that he would connect to if it didn’t include a synagogue. Also, can it be authentic if he isn’t asked to believe in God? I know that thousands of families have done this, so I know it can be done, but I just don’t know (yet) know how for our family.

My grandpa passed away. It changed everything because before my life, and my family's life could at least revolve around duty to see each other, even when nothing else was working when either individually or as a family we didn't know what to do with ourselves. He was an anchor, just like grandma. His death has left a space emotionally and physically, I don't know how to mourn in a way that will have meaning and warmth and help us into a new world without him, I just know how to slowly cradle my sadness.

My cousin just got Bar Mitzvahed, and it along with a few other things have made me realize how fast I am growing up, and has kind of humbled me. It has showed me how little time you have and how you must make the most of it.

No major milestones , just taking care of my husband.

My boyfriend and I moved in together after dating for two years. This is going to sound silly but...it has been SO much fun living with my best friend. Netflix marathons, late night pizza, laying in bed talking about anything and everything...it's been blissful to say the least. We make surprisingly good roommates and I think it has brought us closer together. There's a warmth to living with your partner that's hard to describe. You're there to share cat videos with one another and make each other laugh but you're also there for all the bad moments filled with sadness and disappointment and anger. If anything, moving in together has made me realize how wonderful the rest of our lives will be by each others' side.

I thought I was healthfully dealing with stress...and had a little heart attack. I'm seeking healthy changes and trying to model that for my sons.

My youngest has been frustrated in some of his career searches. This year he found a completely new field that he adores and has found a job he likes and pays well. He and his wife have now bought a house and next....????

The only positive things we did together as a family were my brother playing a stadium show on our fathers birthday that we all attended, and my mother won a big award that we were all there for as well. But the major milestone that happened this year is I had bad cancer tests and had to have surgery and no one cared. Except my Aunt, whom I have become a lot closer to in this past year.

Brandon was able to get out of the job, likewise in education, that was slowly killing him and sucking the joy out of his life. It took months of applying for things but he is, I believe 100% happier than previously. This joy radiates into all parts of his life. His strength and bravery remind me that I too can make the leap and that I am not stuck, only because I am afraid.

The fact that my significant other agreed to move with me across the country. Very grateful that he made the sacrifice. Feel stronger together because of it .

The death of grandpa Bob really affected me. Before we moved to Israel, we made a trip to Florida to visit the grandparents. Upon first arriving at my grandmas house, I was taken aback by how different he looked. I've always had this image of Bob in my mind since I was s little girl. He never aged. Which of course is not how I've known him for the last handful of years. He didn't have hair anymore and he was in his 90s. But this time was such a change, physically, that I couldn't keep it together. I called my brother, who had visited a week before, and who was closer than I am to Bob. He is always good at helping me through that kind of thing. Because I don't have to say much and he'll just keep talking until I'm smiling or laughing at some memory or dumb joke. After the initial shock, things were rough but better. Since he was really unable to eat much nor talk audibly all that well, we didn't eat meals together and he was really out of it for most of our trip. But there was one day and night where it was same old Bob. His mind was sharp, his jokes were on point, his personality shined through, and we were able to communicate and enjoy our time together. He even finally accepted my invitation to play gin together, something we've done for all the years of my life, but that he had refused to do with my brother or anyone. Those six games we enjoyed so much and of course he beat me! After that, he had chemo the next day and was too tired to really spend any of our last day there together. Before we left he took a nap so I wrote him a letter and left it for him to read when he woke up. Leaving that day was so hard. Knowing we were moving out of the country and that while I didn't want to admit or think about it, that it was probably the last time I'd see him, made it especially difficult and painful. He loved my note and shared it with his caretaker and boasted about it and scanned it to his computer so he could read it everyday. He passed away a few months later, once we had moved out of the country. I didn't get to go to the funeral which really was tough for me but I know I spent the best day with him that I could have. And made both of us so happy to have had that time together. His death really impacted my life living abroad making it that much harder for me to get through each day in August, away from the things that felt comfortable and safe. A very trying time made more trying for sure.

None this year. Looking forward to getting my children back.

My husband I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. I haven't done anything for 20 years straight except brushed my teeth maybe.

My sisters and mother opened up for the first time. We discussed the past and it brought tears. For my part I shared with them about my past suicidal tendencies and how I'm currently on anti-depressants. It was a relief at the time but I'm not too sure if it has caused any improvement in our relationship.

My Dad's illness has definitely affected our family dynamic, and potentially for the better. I know that even just prior to that, my brother was super reluctant to forgive my parents enough to have a real relationship with them. After he and I talked and then later this incident, I noticed a big difference. I think he's giving them more of a chance. Things seem more present and mindful and peaceful. My parents have agreed to do the respectful confrontation workshop which amazes me.

My daughter had successful cancer surgery this year. I’m filled with gratitude and so proud of how she has rebounded physically, mentally and spiritually.

My sister got married. Unfortunately she had a destination wedding in Florida, and I really couldn't aford to go. I would've liked someone to help pay my airfair at least, or recorded the ceremony. My sister and I aren't close at all, and this isn't the first time she's snubbed me. It happend when she had my niece and she wouldn't let me in the room during the delivery. At this point, it's like oh well whatever.

My grandmother moved out of the house where my mom was raised, the last place she saw my grandfather alive. I wrote about this, and got my piece, "Abalone" published in an online publication. This felt like a moment of growth. It was a time where I could see how powerful my grandmother really was, how she was a conduit of my grandfather's love to our family, even after he passed. It made me see her as someone completely different, how she kept living despite her husband's passing, and how she was able to rebuild and grow. I often thought that she was weak for needing someone else to feel complete, but I feel like I really understood how it felt to be her, to always have my grandfather, and then to suddenly be alone. It must have been terrifying and disconcerting. But she rebuilt. And she grew. And I am so proud of her.

My leaving my work place and building mental health has allowed me to free up and better engage with most in my family.

My Mom fell and had to go to rehab. All those things that we were going to have to deal with someday, arrived. I tell her, she's my second job.

I turned 70 year old this year. This is the first time I have felt old. We also celebrated our 50 wedding anniversary. I am trying to recognize I have limited strength and am learning I can not do everything. I am being selective in how I spend my time. I don't want to over extend myself and not enjoy what I do. I like to volunteer, take classes and visit with friends.I often go to synagogue services I find the music and prayer soothing, I am discovering I am having difficulty reading the words and let the environment envelope me. This is scary but I really have not shared this reality with anyone.

Ken died. That's about as major as you can get! I've had to check the "widow" box more than once since then. It has put me into terrible financial shape and i just need to keep moving forward.

Patrick and I consulted an attorney on the question of marriage. At the age of 63 should we get married? The answer was it was a good thing we did not get married and the arrangement we made to be two separate individuals buying a house together and maintaining two separate bank accounts outside of mutual bills was a good idea. We have now drawn up papers that will preserve the rights to two people in a committed relationship without marriage. We can change our minds after his school debt is paid off, but until then we have made good choices. I am relieved the papers for health care mandate, last wills, and beneficiary statements are made and will be notarized. God-willing we will make it unscathed to that day and sign the papers. It has taken us 15 years to get to this notarized commitment after two failed marriages between us. It is a relief. And so on 9/29/17 we signed the papers! We enter a new chapter in our relationship and it is good. The ground feels a bit firmer under my feet even as we thing about and prepare for the unprecedented earthquake that is sure to come.

I inherited a chunk of money; not too big and not too small. After having to focus so closely on money for the last two years since I became separated and divorced, this has brought such peace. I am out of debt and have a healthy bank account. I am so fortunate. It's now time to breathe.

Larry, my husband, submitted his life to Jesus Christ before the church and was baptized on October 10, 2016! Praise God!!! after 20 years of praying, and at age 76!! For the first time in my life I am reading the Bible daily with my husband, and our conversations, decisions and focus is from an eternal perspective, as children of the King. We have an Awesome God, that loves us and desires to give us the desires of our hearts! May He be given the glory and honor for every good thing in our lives, for He is good and worthy of highest praise!!

With family, guess my daughter moved back to area. No effect for me. Still remains her own person living her life. List my little girl...my Bijou. We had a special bond that can't be replicated. I understand that and am glad that she was my little shadow for 15 years. Miss her.

The milestone that happened this year was Bette graduating from college. Now both kids are done with school and are wonderful, responsible adults. I am so proud of her. She is in a huge transition now and I am looking forward to seeing where she is next year.

GG's health has been in decline this year and it has affected me in many ways. I am grateful for the many wonderful years I have had with her and am sad that we're having so much trouble helping her to maintain her quality of life. When I'm with her I feel in control and useful but when I'm apart from her I feel manic and dazed. It's also made me envious of the certainty many religious people have in terms of losing a loved one that they"go to a better place" or enjoy some sort of afterlife. I feel ok not knowing for myself but I feel like it would make explaining things to the girls much easier.

I don't have a family. My Dad is still alive but we have never really got on and he's now elderly and in a care home. I live with my partner and he has family. We're not married and don't intend to be. We've been together 21 years so we don't feel the need. So in the traditional sense of the word 'family' this question doesn't work for me. But it does make me think about how we should all think more widely about what family means. If it is the people who give you a home and make you feel safe, I have a wonderful family. There are so many people in my life who have been there for me at important times. Those are my family and being 50 is the milestone that made me realise how wonderful they are. The wonderful gifts, heartfelt words and lovely deeds made me feel genuinely loved. That's family in my world.

The closest thing to a major milestone I can recall is my wife's 40th birthday. To be honest, I didn't do a good job with it. She deserved a nice celebration, and I didn't put it together. I regret that. I feel like it's another example of how I failed her, I wasn't the best person I could be for her.

a New Baby! A new Grandson! Daughter is keeping him at arm's length - anxiety over germs. Way overboard, IMHO.

My Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's, which has added a whole complex, somewhat negative layer to our relationship. For someone who has already struggled with his memory and vision, it has now gotten that much worse. Due to what he choses or is able to remember, I'm concerned that he has now developed this storyline in his head that we don't have a relationship and I'm a "not good" daughter... when actually, we've (I've) worked hard to foster a more positive one for over a decade, despite the times he has broken my trust or has behaved in aggressive/passive aggressive ways. From a physical standpoint, it breaks my heart that his vision continues to decline and that I am now witnessing his tremors develop in his right hand (which of course has to be his dominant hand), particularly when he is experiencing anxiety. I worry about how the rest of his life is going to be, and I wish there was a way for us to have a better, more simple and positive relationship.

I started my own business as of the first day of September, after quitting my job under duress. Peter has been super supportive and wonderful and I'm very excited about how this is going to go.

my sister had a baby -- the first grandchild in our family in the united states. her name is ella. i call her ella-menopee. i've never been around a baby this young this much of the time. i think my sister and her partner are doing an amazing job so far, and if i ever become a parent, i hope to have this experience help me.

Finally coming to terms with our infertility and having extended family accept and acknowledge it. Things aren't as awkward now with the "When are you having kids?" questions and we're better equipped to answer in a tactful but factual way. It's still a bitter pill to swallow, and there are days of meltdowns and questioning why, but we can acknowledge these feelings, address them, and move on.

Colin graduated, moved back home and got a job. He is becoming an adult. He is still here. He sees a future for himself - not necessarily the future we had seen for him, but A future. I'll take it. I can't completely breathe yet, but I'm getting close.

adam deciding to move to near Newcastle- new job new home not affected me yet as this will happen around Xmas but next year ...could be significant esp if Mum or Dad becomes ill. Yes he does far less than Clare or I but even so will be first itme we don't all live in London

My grandfather passed away. His dying and memorial brought our family together. That was wonderful to see everyone and has reignited my connection to my east coast relatives. I feel more reason to learn more about Jewish traditions and to keep them going now that my grandpa isn't around to do it. My mother became the oldest person in our family now. She is the matriarch! I am beginning to sense her mortality too and that's heavy. I see how I have structured my life inspired by the way my grandpa lived his life. I am grateful to have had him as a role model.

The boys and I are in a good place, I have learn to be more accepting, well, I am still learning, to let go of judgements, thats a toughie! we have a great connection and our lives feel like they are in a great place, at least from my view.

Our youngest cousin died from a drug overdose and none of us saw it coming. Apart from the obvious grief, and the challenge of this happening when I was isolated from family, there was a glimmer of cousins coming together to be family. That seems to have faded, but I hope as I become more geographically stable I can do something to build on that.

Well, on Day One I mentioned our youngest daughter being a senior. Because we have five kids there are always big events going on, but this would be the most significant...Looking forward to a new era!!

Hmm... I don't know that my family had any major milestones this year. It seems as though my dad's cancer is dormant for the moment, which is a wonderful thing. A year ago, we thought he was going to die imminently. But that did not come to pass. Oh god... what if it comes to pass this year? That would be a terrible milestone.

Although this isn't a milestone that happened within my family, but the 2016 election was obviously a major event that effected a lot of families. My mom voted as a Democrat for the first time in her life, and neither of my brothers voted. I still don't know for sure if my dad voted or not, but if he did, he voted for Trump. Political differences never felt so personal until this year, and the election (and knowing my father could support someone like Trump) was so painful to me. I never found a way to talk to him about it, and now I doubt I ever will.

Ira's hernia surgery threw him into his usual and desperate mindset, talking of suicide, expressing his personal loneliness and devastation. I go there with him, and then he gets over it and is distant. I realize this roller coaster pattern now and while I will always get in there with him, I need to protect myself against his despair and know that likely it will resolve. He is a tremendous anchor in life for me and so the possibility that he will be dead in my lifetime is not thinkable.

Two of my aunts were diagnosed with cancer - one terminally and the other with a very serious type of cancer. The first has outlived what the doctors said she would which is wonderful but I think everyone is on edge waiting for the other shoe to drop. She will die, the question is just how soon. I am not particularly close with her, but her diagnosis feels very similar to Rose's and so it has affected me more than I expected. The other aunt I am very close with, and so the diagnosis came as a really big shock. Despite her non-terminal diagnosis, this will likely kill her sooner than otherwise. There is a high change of recurrence and the toll that the chemo has taken on her body is very high. I feel blindsided and it really has shown me that my family is aging - not that these things don't happen to other people, but that they can happen to my family is scary. My father is getting older and I worry about him.

As summer concluded, I learned that my mother and father intended to separate. My sister and I will spend the following year with no true home; we will stay in different houses for days at a time, but these houses are not homes. Our family lost its unity, so our previous home lost its validity. This sudden homelessness affects me daily during the most vital times of the day: the moments of purposeless thought. From moments without purpose comes a true understanding of oneself. When I think about myself now, my parents’ separation dominates my mind. Their situation is intricately linked with mine. Such is the bond between parent and child. For my entire life, I had been the one who affected their realities. Their lives revolved around what I wanted and what I needed. Now the opposite is true, and this current state startled me greatly. I do not want my parents to separate, but I must view this new experience as an opportunity to learn. By yielding to my parents’ needs, I begin to understand the world of parenthood. The concept of sacrificing various parts of life for loved one’s cannot be understood without some type of experience. Luckily, the difficulties between my parents permits me to gain this experiential knowledge many years before I plan to raise children.

I started speaking back to my mother this year thanks to my love. My aunt was also diagnosed with dementia which has been very difficult to deal with. My family is somewhat in shambles especially since my aunt doesn’t want to accept her condition. I had to also postpone my master degree in order to take care of her.

This year marks 40 years since I was diagnosed with cancer as a child. I'm not always aware of milestones in life, but with each recent year of focusing on my health and facing the challenges of "late effects" of the medical treatment that allowed me to conquer the disease, I'm more aware of the significance in my life of this anniversary. Though there are ongoing issues that connect me in thought to that experience so long ago, I'm happy to be alive and enjoying my life and am hopeful about the future.

Being able to talk to my mother as a mother. As the mother she always wanted and never got, the kind and loving mother. When she gets what she needs, she flowers. Like, this opens up my understanding of this spiritual truth in Buddhism (that everyone is our mother) in a different way. WE are also EVERYONE'S mother. I am. That's big. Also I love that my folks are embracing contemplative prayer. I wish they would sell their house already and move, but it is hard. Being with them on this journey is going to be prickly. They have a lot of hurtful voices about it. I will probably step on some buttons.

Lots of illness in my family. First my brother in law had a heart attack while I was their visiting. Then my sister Connie has heart problems. She had value replacement and pace maker. Other sister Liz had a minor stroke. Then my nehew in law had a heart attack had to have 4 stents put in. So I'm worried about losing more family members . Trying to figure out how to deal with death

I got engaged this past year and it has completely change my life. My brother also had the cutest baby and it made him really happy.

Grandpa died on Easter Sunday. My sister and I had a fight over a little thing related to the funeral. We've had a hard time talking normally since. I am done with the communication bullshit that has plagued our family for generations. I'm not going to try to "translate" my emotions into logical language for my family anymore.

Nina started 9th grade at St. Pete IB. Nigel started taking the bus home from Thurgood Marshall. With no phone. I told them that, even though it such a weird feeling for me, my job is to teach them to not need me. They both picked up a lot more chores in the kitchen and around the house. Nigel even remarked that his college roommates are going to be so lucky to have him as their roommate.

My sister got engaged. It's been a big milestone because it makes me realize that we're growing up. As much as I still see myself as a kid, I'm not. Adulthood here I come!

I can't think of a family-related milestone, but for me, learning to knit in January has - it's not hyperbole to say - changed my life. I joke that, "this is what a socially-acceptable addiction looks like," but it's true - I know it's an addiction. I would much rather knit than work, and I like my work... I started knitting because I wanted to make my own pussyhat for the Women's March, and then I just couldn't stop. I have, to date, made 24 pussyhats, each of which was sent to its home in exchange for a donation to a worthy cause. When last I checked, my hats had raised more than $800, so I'm really proud of that. I also made a Welcome Blanket this summer, another craftivism project by the folks behind the pussyhat project, and I love feeling like my addiction is actually giving back in some small way. Through knitting, I've also found a new community - some local, some virtual - which one of the most positive things about it (since "community" is sort of my go-to word post-election). My mother, who never got into knitting, had still hung onto all of my expert-knitter-grandmother's knitting needles, tools, and even some of her yarn. I love using Grandma's knitting needles. I wish I had learned to knit from her, but I wasn't interested then and we didn't have that kind of relationship. I've thought many times over the years that, had we been contemporaries, we probably would have gotten along quite well. And I keep thinking there's maybe a story in the whole knitting obsession, talking about generations of women in my family, but maybe it'll just stay in my head.

After two years and three months of battling chronic renal failure, I euthanized my beloved 17 year old cat Tao on February 19th. I miss her every day. I have a new cat now; his name is Ilya Petrovich and he's wonderful in his own right. But caring for a cat with chronic renal failure creates an incredible bond. Tao saw me through a knee operation, a relationship, a decades-long STD-imposed celibacy, a new apartment, a dog, a six-month sojourn to China, and several new jobs. She was the only female cat I ever had. My heart-cat. My fierce incarnation of Bast. Rest in Peace, Tao. I love you.

The past few months I've witnessed the sudden decline of my best canine friend's health. She's a thirteen year-old Belgian Malinois mix named Isabel, with a luxurious wheat-hued coat and a laughing face. Lately her fur has gone white and mottled, her eyes dark and sanguine. Her gait staggers and she sleeps like a dropped marionette. Where there once was an alert conspiratorial wink when I allowed her to join me on the booth at our favorite bar and slipped her a juicy bite of my food, there's now a wan vacancy and occasional bewilderment. It's even harder for my girlfriend who's had Isabel since her puppy days. I've only lived with them both for four years, and I love this dog like she's a part of my actual body, like I'm watching a vital limb turn phantom. How will we cope when this divine animal spirit whirls upward and out of our lives? I never believed in paranormal foolishness like the Rainbow Bridge before, but now I yearn for it to be reality, like Sir Raleigh hoping for the golden spires of El Dorado, that I may see her eyes recognize mine, see her teeth wide with joy, watch her feet gallop and carry her straight into my arms again.

My cousin had a baby! I went to the bris, but my wife wasn't able to make it. We realized, after the fact, that this was a mistake, and that the bris was a much smaller, more intimate event than other one's that she has been to. But no hard feelings, and it has been really nice to have a baby on my side of the family. My mom and dad really seem to enjoy holding and talking to the little guy, and that gives my wife and me some serious thinking to do... the pressure is (ambiently) on....

When I came back to Charlotte from Denver, it gave me the opportunity to see my family in Chicago. The experience brought me a lot of joy. My brother's kids, Rick's kids, and some of the other friends I was able to visit with brought a smile to my face. I really appreciated the time with them.

2017 had some really happy moments thankfully. My sister got engaged on new years eve, and asked me to be in her bridal party along with our other siblings! My brother's family welcomed a new daughter into their family! She's cute. It's something positive for sure. It had me thinking about having children, and if I'd ever be ready for an endeavour like that. I still don't know what the answer would be. I'm really fearful of holding her for some reason my whole body has zero desire to hold her. Maybe because it would make me look vulnerable? Having no idea what I was doing? I don't know. This affected me in the sense that I am now looking forward to the future, and to my own future with a bit lore positivity than I did lasylt year.

A lot went through this year, from losing a dog, a family friend that was too young, to getting to raise 3 puppies with a bottle every two hours, to actually talk about out future and deciding we both wanted a baby, to actually conceiving a baby. It all has taken a toll but in the end forged me and strenghtened me and made me a better person, albeit a less patient one.

The election of President Trump. I wish that I could say more, but I cannot because it infuriates and saddens me so. The plus is that I do feel that it has awoken something powerful in this country...a conversation about what makes us American. People are protesting, talking about their rights, discussing what they deem are right and wrong. People are running for local, state and national seats, they are becoming active, they are...I don't know. American is starting to become a verb, not a lesson in apathy.

Pierce was potty trained this year. this is the biggest milestone for me in a while. It was GREAT. He is still in a pull-up for sleeping, but having him use the potty all day is a complete game changer for us. The sense of accomplishment I felt when I threw out the diaper genie (that was broken) was huge. Best. Day. Ever.

Penny is my answer for every question! Penny has strengthened the relationship between my mom and myself. I never appreciated her enough before. It is so easy now to see the sacrifices she made and I am so, so grateful for all the help she's brought me.

There's been no major milestones in the past year. For my business I did a destination wedding that went very well and a 30th birthday party....nice to have some groups.

Connecting with my dad was most unexpected. Last year we bought tickets to go to Hawaii in January, but we went and came back without my contacting him, and I think I told myself that the window had closed for that to happen. Then his old high school sweetheart Trish found me on Facebook right before my birthday. It felt like falling in love, writing each other many times a day, sharing ideas and reading Yann Martel books. I was so afraid that I'd missed the chance to know him and here he was, healthy and hale at 75, still working full time, full of life and energy, a lover of books and Ted talks. I was in a haze of giddy girly excitement. Then we started talking about our politics and i came out of my swoon honeymoon. Hearing him revealing his support for Trump was one of the hardest things to hear. But what was I expecting, exactly? I know he's been a conservative his whole life. I don't know why I was expecting him to be my fantasy version of him. This has been a difficult thing to address, but so good for me. To remember that i can love and have a living relationship with someone who doesn't share my worldview, to not shut down or shut him down. Our dog has been really sick. I think we're in the last weeks with her. This has taken the fight out of me. I can't begin to know what's to come but it's not my place to withhold my connection to another person based on whether their ideas align with mine. Or is it absolutely my responsibility to do that exact thing? I can't always tell if I'm doing the right thing. The crux is in not being afraid to respond with my voice even if it's not pleasant, or ladylike, or what someone else wants to hear. An honest assessment with the information I have. But it feels so fraught with conflicting ethical material.

Once again we moved and Jim changed jobs. But this time I have retired which makes the move much easier for me. I can focus on making a home here.

I think having one of the biggest misunderstandings with my mom was stressful, but it showed me different things about myself and about love and adult relationships. I think my siblings probably managed it differently, but I thought it was a very complex situation that brought light on many other issues. I guess I'm still processing, but I am taking the good in and learning from my mistakes, while at the same time, take care of myself and set healthy boundaries.

My grandparents definitely started aging this past year. It has been extremely hard to see, and I've felt like they are getting so fragile that a major injury or sickness could be the end. I've never had someone important in my life die before. It scares me because I don't know how I'll react and what effect it will have. I want to do a Death Over Dinner series in order to help prepare myself.

A family member is starting high school. Sometimes it is hard to know when to let go and when to hold on.

No major milestones in my immediate family this year. Which in its self is a nice thing because while I am trying to sort myself out I don't really want to have to sort other peoples shit out too.

My sister moved to Israel with her family and we celebrated my Mother's 70th birthday.

My parents turned 60, which is not a huge milestone except for the fact that they are starting to see themselves as old for the first time. They are eligible for senior discounts, and are thinking a little bit more about how they are going to spend their money pre-retirement (and post-retirement), so that's just been interesting to watch. Another milestone is my grandma's 90th birthday -- it was nice to go out there and see the cousins on my dad's side of the family, especially because as we get older we are realizing more and more that we like spending time together. My grandmother also brought out a lot of old photographs for the family to look through, which is one of my favorite things. She can't see very well, but she was still able to share the joy with us in seeing the photos even though she couldn't see them herself, and it was a sweet moment.

It wasn't necessarily my family, but this year was the 10th anniversary of Justin dying. As the years go by the grief and random spurts of raw emotion have dimmed, but it felt particularly poignant on the actual day. And while I'm not particularly proud of sharing my emotions on Facebook, I am glad it spoke to some of the friends who I know share my grief. Maybe I'll reach out to some of them and try to make plans for next year, to make it a day of positivity instead.

My sister bought a horse. This is a nice addition to our family, I am an aunt to a horse and a dog now. My stepsister announced that she will get married in two years to her girlfriend. I am looking forward to that! And it is great the laws changed and gay couples can get married just like heterosexual couples.

I repaired my relationship with my mother without it even being a thing. I saw her as a human who did her best and felt different and now interact with her with joy and sympathy.

A major milestone that has happened with my family this year is my mother dying. I feel like it has brought us closer as a family, but i feel so broken and lost.

My “baby brother” turned 60, and I realized that I am now among the “elders.” I look at our lives and how much we each accomplished or left undone. Suddenly “saving for tomorrow” seems fruitless .. “tomorrow” is right here, right now. Joy, peace, contentment ... all need to be part of every day. Now.

One of my sisters told me that she and her husband were probably not going to have children. I didn't think this would have me as disappointed as it did. I was actually looking forward to being a godmother to her kid.

Reid being born of course. It affected me in ways I couldn't have imagined. I never expected to leave my well-paying corporate job with no real plan and no desire to go get another corporate job. Ever again!

My paternal grandmother passed away. I wasn't close to her but in her passing it brought to the surfice all the deeper layers of grief I held due to the lack of nurturing and any relationship really with this family.

3 of us moved to ME and started new lives! Jeff didn’t come after saying he was. Days he still is after he gets a transfer to a new post here. Course he didn’t even put in for it until after we were actually moving here I am learning to be strong by myself and starting to realize that I am not going to have a marriage soon Can’t talk about that yet

Moving Don out... Lauren, both here and gone..... Jewel excluding her Dad...Preparing her for college... All of these things have been incredibly traumatic. I remember reflecting last year on how incredibly happy I was. The takeaway for me is that life is transitory and all moments lived are fleeting... I am working towards living the ones i'm in and not past or future. How can I live in joy today....

Both of my kids are in transition years, my oldest being a senior in high school and my youngest starting 8th grade. It's been a challenge to juggle all of the schedules and activities and things that go along with these steps. I have been very busy and I'm constantly checking my calendar to see where and when I need to go next. Still, I am so proud of the young women my daughters are becoming and I cannot wait to see where they go in their lives!

The diagnosis and surgical procedures Mike has had to go through have affected most all areas of our lives. Worry pre surgery and a lengthy recovery have been a challenge we both have struggled with.

This past summer, our son and his girlfriend became engaged to be married. They've been together for almost 4 years, so this big step is welcome and very exciting for us. We're getting to know his fiance's parents and planning for the wedding, a coming together of family and friends. I started a new job in a new area of non-profit community work this past June. So far, so good!

My brother got married and my sister got engaged. Everyone's settling down and getting old and mature and stuff. It's exciting and fun planning weddings and nice getting new family. But at the same time I'm a little sad about my sister not being as much mine anymore, and getting a little more separation. It also puts the pressure on me- am I next, and will everyone be burned out on weddings by the time mine comes around (if it does)? We shall see.

Celebrating Dad's 97th birthday was amazing. Everyone we invited came including friends from San Diego and long ago friends (personally it was fun to talk to people I haven't seen in years or decades!). Dad enjoyed himself but with failing eyesight and hearing he didn't know who some people were. On the other hand it's been painful listening to Dad talk now about how the past 5 year have been the "worst" in his life as the quality of his life has degraded: not being able to drive, hearing loss, vision loss, weakness and instability with balance. He's been an absolute curmudgeon about letting us get him a caretaker and he just relented this week! In this hard part of his life he has gotten clarity on what matters most. I share that so I will remember: "Go make happy memories. When all else fails you still have that. " May I remember his trust in me and willingness to open up and reveal his deepest truths as a very happy memory.

I am glad it was an uneventful year. The biggest milestone was my mother turning 70. And even that passed as just another day.

Amy semi moved in this year. Its been great. Sex has definitely gotten less but I don't think our desire has. I am still very much interested and I believe she is too. We have a nice balance together and I love having her in my home.

My daughter graduated middle school and started high school this year! At first, she was more stressed, and I was more stressed. Everything seemed so much more serious, competitive, like grades and college-applications were the end-all and be-all for future success and happiness. My daughter's grades weren't all that good, and how would she get into a good college? But then I realized something. That there's more to life than grades and going to a top-notch university. Other factors predict success, possibly even more that. My daughter has great social skills. She makes friends easily and is extroverted. She's a wonderful dancer. She has found her second home at the temple where she is learning teamwork and leadership skills while serving on the board. She's a good person. And bright. And has good judgment and common sense. And she's mature and independent beyond her years. I want her to be happy, to find her passion in life, and be able to make a decent living. She doesn't need to go to Yale or UC Berkeley or even a 4 year university. She could start at community college and then transfer, if that is what she wants to do. I love her with all my heart and want her to be happy and successful. And I think she will be. No matter what she does.

My mother's fragility has really increased. My sibling had not spent time with our mother in 8 years and when he visited really saw her present state, and better understood the level of regular care I provide as the adult-child living closest to her. I am hoping this helps my sibling keep a new commitment to visit at least once a year, and to support my suggestions as her decline continues. It was validating to see that he now knows first hand that I am not exaggerating, and that my concerns are reasonable.

Greg retired!! Greg retired!! It's only a month in, barely. Everything is new and unformed. Daily routines are different, but they haven't settled into routines, yet. I am used to life having visible paths forward, fairly predictable destinations. I like to think I can be flexible when things change, but I prefer having an idea of what is most likely. Right now, the future is a bright, pink mist. I see shadows: continuing to sub, seeing family through the normal events of the year. However, day to day is being carved out as I write. One day to the next is unsure. I think Greg is unsure. I know he is. He focuses on small details, on little projects. He has no sense of the arc of his future. So mine is a changing impression as well. However, I expect it to be good. I do not dread the future. I eagerly anticipate its shaping. If something bad happens, well, we'll deal with it, and suffer then.

John finally started working again. I love John so much but I need him to really step up his money game. He does not need to earn as much as me, but he needs to contribute more then he is.

My son was supposed to have started taking at least three classes every semester, but he didn’t. As a result, he will not be able to transfer to a four-year college until the Fall of 2019. I am deeply disappointed in his lack of ambition.

My daughter's battle with drugs and that lifestyle has been won! She did it and broke free. Her trust in God is awesome and what has happened in her life has affected our whole family. This has brought me much joy and peace - although I had to learn how to walk in peace even when she was still very addicted. I am amazed at the lessons we learn from the worst times of our lives. But I can tell you, there is great and deep joy when the milestone is reached.

My son's wife left him and they divorced. It has been very difficult.

My daughter started Montessori school (age 3) in September. It was a milestone to take my first child to school and drop her off with her lunch and bag. I cherish the moments witnessing her wanting to be independent and having her own place to go to. She's ready to fly...

There was quite a bit of drama involving my sister, Lisa, in the past year. I probably talked about this in the previous year, but she was dating a Thai boy named Bean. However, she was actually secretly married to him and didn't tell the family (we all suspected anyway). Well, she had been spending a good part of last year trying to get a visa for him to visit the US. She finally succeeded, and in November 2016, she went to Thailand for a few weeks and came back with him. While Bean is a nice person, his English isn't very good, and my parents were always mildly annoyed about having him around. They were constantly complaining about Bean to me behind my sister's back. And Bean also seemed unhappy. He basically moved from a tropical paradise to a frozen wasteland, couldn't go anywhere without my sister because he didn't have a license or vehicle, couldn't communicate with anyone, had no money, and my sister was constantly working, leaving him alone at my parents' house. I felt really bad for him. I taught him how to make masks for my business so that kept him occupied and gave him some income, but he was still very lonely. In March, which was already a stressful time for me, I find out some serious drama had occurred. Bean was flying out to Arizona to stay with his sister (who had married an American man), and may never come back. Apparently my sister had been cheating on him for almost a year with her boss (who was also married). She told him the day before he was leaving, and he smashed her iPad, yelled at her, and threatened her, so she went and hid at her boss's house. But she told my parents she was at my friend Heather's house. So then Heather was mad because she didn't want to get involved. My parents said Bean was crying during the entire ride to the airport. I feel so bad for him. Anyway, the fallout was that my sister basically lost all her friends because of how she treated Bean, which hit me hard because they are also friends with me. Heather and my sister still don't speak, but I've kept the friendship, which puts a strain on my relationship with my sister. I also found out that my sister had an STD that she gave to Bean, and then bullied him for it. She also aborted a child and doesn't know who the father is. All this is still technically a secret. She doesn't know that I found out. She also lost her job (and her boss did too), so she's been dirt poor and unemployed. I was just so utterly disgusted with my sister afterward. How much she lied, cheated, and effectively tried to destroy Bean. I felt physically ill when I found out. My trust and respect in her was shattered, although I stay her friend because she's my sister. On top of all that, her new boyfriend (Jordan) is an alcoholic and a deadbeat, so there's a lot of drama related to that, which I won't go into... It was just way too much to deal with when I was already going through stressful times because of my thesis and drama with Dave. I really hope my sister straightens herself out in the coming year.

Mia started a new school and it rocked our worlds, and continues to .... Forces all of us to think about how we are raising her (a quitter? expecting things to go her way? openness to new things?), what is a "good" education, and can I have a relationship with my daughter where she feels safe with me, feels open to talking with me.

Not my family but my grandparents dog passed who had been alive for my hole life and who i grew up with, but they did get a new dog.

My oldest daughter left for college a year ago September. I thought I would be devastated by her leaving and for the first month or so, I was. I felt her absence keenly. And then, we sort of settled into a peaceful existence. I was focused on teaching my middle child how to drive a manual transmission and life went on. Then there was the election and all the drama of that. By the time she came home at Christmas, we had adjusted. It was actually an adjustment having her home. I was missing her horribly by my birthday, and she surprised me by coming home for it. That was the best thing ever.

The biggest milestone is that my brother got married just before Rosh Hashanah this year. This is something I don't think any of us saw coming 6 months or even 2 months ago. He rushed into the whole thing and made my parents very uncomfortable. I don't think this has really affected me too much because I never thought much about going to and participating in my brother's wedding/marriage (whereas my parents have dreamed of the day their kids would get married). I think I'll have a more formed opinion of the situation once I meet his wife and see how the two of them interact.

My entire family has been very supportive of my husband and I's decision to move to the other side of the country. I thought I would hear a lot of negativity but they are all very excited for us! It's such a relief!

My family marked the passing of our family cat, and my grandfather, who both passed away a year ago. There was not a lot of time between the passing's, and I am not sure we all mourned as we should have as we dealt with family drama that flared up at the same time. I think it has made me more consciously aware of how much my parents do - specifically how much they do for other relatives. I sometimes have to remind myself that I too have their generous spirit, and should not berate them for doing something I would probably do in their position.

The eternal problem. It does and does not.

Major milestone with family... nothing is coming to me at the moment. Or perhaps I should be looking at the ordinary moments... working through tough moments together, celebrating each other, staying connected and becoming more connected. This is what it's all about for me. What I have been longing for my whole life.

We reached our first year owning Richmond, which was a big push. January we were dealing with the roof leaks and condensation! Then with almost all units turning over, drama with Jahs, and settling in new folks, it's been a lot of work. It's been great to take that on with J and watch her grow, as well as gain more competence myself. We're finishing year 2 and starting year 3 of school, which is always a big accomplishment. We did really well with year 2, lots of cooking and keeping things running at home. Really proud of us with keeping a level head through all the different pressures.

Not sure about this question. Which Family are we talking about? The one I grew up in with one brother or the one I married with three daughters. Both relationships are suffering. Its now three years since I filed for divorce and it isnt close to being over. Just like last year. I recently got a new attorney, which appears to be more action oriented but costs a lot more. We'll see. I have no trust in lawyers now. The last two were pitiful, but I picked them. Being alone for three years isn't good. Not sure if I should get into another relationship or not. I do want someone to desire me and touch me but afraid that will get hurt again or hurting the other person. Need to resolve this being isolated and alone. Being estranged from my three daughters has hurt me too. Their actions show they dont want me either as a Father or another human being. This has really affected me. Oh yea, I'm 65 this past year. Medicare. I'm in the Red Zone of Death now. More depressing thoughts. My focus is on death not living. I wish it would come sooner than later. This question makes me sad and feel I have failed.

I don't know, is moving in with A a milestone? Is A finally having meaningful work in their actual field of study a milestone? Those have affected me pretty personally in positive ways, with the latter contributing to our ability to make the former a reality. Things have come together at the right time for us, I think. :) Less positively, we had to let Lucky pass on this year. My brother's taken it the hardest, which only makes sense; he lost his best friend, who he spent almost all of his time with. It was hard for me, but didn't wreck me the way losing Bella had; sometimes I feel a little guilty about that. I hope E continues to feel better as the months go by.

I got a "real job". It's the first time I've had full time employment in many years. I was very apprehensive about taking this on because we have a new baby which means Kim will be home with her alone every day during the week. But it's providing a stability we need right now and a personal level of both pride and gratitude that I have in being able to have this position. It's definitely life-changing and my new career path and I really love it.

My niece started first grade. It's caused me to think about what it was like for me at that time in my life (answer: it wasn't a very happy period for me). It makes me so grateful that she is having a different life experience than I am, and thriving. She makes friends easily and charms everyone.

My brother graduated from college this year. It's weird that we have the same level of education now, and that we're at more or less the same stage of life -- 4 years had always seemed like a big gap, but it's not really anymore. At this point, I'm not always necessarily going to be the first one to have done things anymore, which is a change in how I view myself.

Accepting our differences and each other has improved our relationship. Slowly we are becoming more tolerant with each other.

Both my sister Arielle and I graduated this year -- her from undergrad, me from grad. Its's a pleasure to see her succeeding so well. For myself, we'll see... the unlimited potential of being a student has resolved to the concrete realities of a dayjob. Can't say I love it, to be honest.

My grandmother's dementia has significantly progressed which creates its own set of family dynamics between siblings and grandchildren. It was compounded by her falling and breaking her hip. I think it is causing everyone to confront the reality that the rock of the family will not always be here, and furthermore, the time could be coming sooner than anyone wants to believe. I'm named after my grandmother and have always been very close with her, so I really don't like thinking about her not being here.

Dad got remarried. Led to reconnection with the “other side of the family.

Election, Ruby, Joey being laid off. Election=depressed, all vulnerable people becoming more vulnerable, so mad, more activism. Ruby=yay! Some postpartum depression. Like Asher, also spurred me to write more. Joey being laid off=Joey shifting priorities more, really deciding what he wants in a job, life. More time with him and Asher and Ruby. More consideration of pain and what to do about it. Acceptance in general.

A major milestone in my family this year...this is always a difficult question because my family isn’t big into family. Yes, we love each other but we never really do anything together or have any milestones. I don’t know if I need to have a better relationship with my family, but maybe just enrich the relationship we do have. I think when I move out I may end up having a healthier relationship with my family. I really look forward to one day having and growing a family of my own. I will make sure we have milestones to write about.

My family (and friends from home who I still consider part of that family) is like a river. Prepare yourself for this metaphor, because I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine tonight. But my family is so stagnant and unchanging at times, but then simultaneously it’s like the river turns into rapids and everything seems totally different in a blink. Mom’s visit to Australia this year would probably have to be the only major milestone (since she’s the only member of my family I’ve seen in the last 12 months) that happened this past year. I think it really bonded us in a way we hadn’t reached before and I like that. I see her as another human in the world now and appreciate her for what she is much more than before. I hope that she knows that.

Easily my cousin getting married would be this milestone. I have two cousins who were born within a year of me, and we've always been close. We're in our early 30s: one with 5 kids, one who just got married, one with no kids nor married. My romantic relationship had deteriorated significantly in the months leading up to the wedding, and I had been doing quite a bit of reflection on what I was doing with myself. While the wedding itself was irrelevant, the time surrounding it that I got to spend with family, and the bride and groom, and, to be perfectly honest, without a relationship to focus on, was difficult emotionally, but incredibly helpful in a 'think critically about your life' sort of way. I think that this time, in and around my cousin's wedding, is when I made my decision to move across the country.

My sister is expecting her first child! The family is happy excited and stressed at the same time my sister hates me secretly i feel, the harmones dnt help :P

My sister and I both had babies, and my other sister got clean. It has brought me and my sisters closer together again.

the realization that my kids are not a part of my life. i always said i wanted them to be free thinking and independent, but I didn't want them to just vanish. was anger hurt something i did or didn't do. i'll never know if and until they talk to me

My youngest daughter turned 18 and graduated from high school. She's had some significant struggles during the past few years and this has been a challenging transition into adulthood. I am trying to take some of the energy I have put into raising her over the last 18 years and channel it into my own health and self-care, and my marriage, work, and friends.

Rebecca being awarded her PhD - accepting Ward's and Rebecca's non marriage status quo as a couple, accepting they will move away for her post doc. Lucy opening up her store front; the extra money we are spending to help support her growing business; how proud we are of her initiative, talent and business savvy.

The election was a major milestone for pretty much every relationship in my life, but especially for my family. Mom became obsessed with her anger and it has been really challenging for Dad and I to figure out how to handle her behavior. It ebbs and flows, but when she is at her peak, it is incredibly difficult to even have a normal conversation with her, and even harder to get her to acknowledge and change her behavior. On a more positive note, my parents had a really enjoyable visit with my grandmother this year and I hope that is indicative of a change in how she treats them. It would be nice by this time next year to have figured out how to have a relationship with my only living grandparent.

I became a grandmother! It beings me much joy. I love seeing my son and his new family so happy.

Dad' said sprurpise 70th birthday party. New relationship with Max Crying for mom/not seeing her Seeing everybody really is human and we all have flaws. Papa seeing the cohen Shabbat balagan and wondering what was taking me so long Most importantly, sitting back with the people I love and just being ❤️ because sometimes that is hard to do, but when we do, great things may come from it

The major milestone of 5777 was Tom's diagnosis with Stage 4 Liver Cancer, becoming his full time in-home hospice caregiver, and staying beside him in the hours before and after his death. This has affected me in many ways. Sometimes I feel very alone and overwhelmed. Seven siblings and no one stepped up to care for him. No one joined me to pick up his ashes. Five months later and no one is willing to help clear out his belongings. But sometimes I feel tremendously loved and supported. My "family" shows up for me in countless and sometimes surprising ways. I am grateful that in my lifetime I never have to feel alone again. I am grateful to experience firsthand the kindness, support, and encouragement of my "chosen family."

I went to Eastern Europe and Israel (first time traveling to a different continent) for five weeks (longest amount of time I ever spent away from my family)

My sister had scoliosis surgery and her recovery process that kinda cured to rage she had towards me, I see it every now and then, but it's mostly friendly nowadays. She seems to be doing good, so I'm good with that. Neither of us apologized over any of the past events, so there's still that.

randy and valerie's divorce- feel sad and excited for both of them and very sad that my relationship with valerie has ended; altho maybe this is an opportunity to create a real relationship with her?? Let's try!

Lena learning to potty train at the beginning of this year. It's meant such a greater level of independence for her. And less stress for us. We can go anywhere now and know she can handle it.

Lost our last two kitties this year. Cino in March, age 17, and Mendo in September, age 17.5. First time in 40 years without any furry creatures in our house. Sounds of silence... We miss them so much, but we have lots of happy memories and photos.

I separated my finances from my husband’s . It was hard but it was necessary because he hadn’t been working and was doing nothing or drinking beer with his buddies mid day and mid week. So I started depositing my income in a separate account. I would have $3k in my account and he’d have $22. That exposed the fact that he wasn’t earning without me having to Star a conversation that would end in me being called a ‘nag’. Actually, he never said I was a bag but I felt like one if I brought up his work habits. I was really proud of myself seeing how much income I brought in alone. I realized that if I left him I’d be totally fine. I can earn enough to pay the rent and take care of the kids. It was hard to tell when we had a joint account. I’m so glad I did that.

This past year marked my parent's 30th wedding anniversary. They are the perfect model of a loving and in-progress relationship, and my siblings faced a great challenge in commemorating this milestone. I imitated a friends' gift idea, and we created a book of testimony in their honor: reaching out to all of their many friends and colleagues; soliciting their warm wishes, stories, photos, and poems; and compiling them into an unforgettable book. Their reaction upon receiving it was of genuine surprise and immense gratitude (and thankfully videotaped). More importantly, as I embark on my own married adventure, they remain an inspiration.

My mom retired (for real this time!). It's interesting to watch her make choices about her next steps at the same time that I am also reevaluating my own path and making new decisions.

A milestone that happened with my family would be my chosen family for the year, in which case they will no longer be around. I didn't think it would bother me not to see his kids again, and then I had not grown too attached to them, but now thinking about not having them in my life saddens me. I know I'll eventually be okay, but it doesn't make it hurt any less right now.

The biggest milestone was the death of Lisa in January. She was so sick for so long that it was a relief, a very hard, sad relief. I have missed her greatly, and have some very sad times thinking of her. But I am grateful she is at peace. I have tried to stay in touch with her parents, Pat and Jack, knowing how hard and sad they are. I feel I am in better touch with grievers as I am grieving. Another family situation is with Jeff. EB worked to get him into a VA home in FL and she has been his support there. She has done a wonderful job. And during this time she has her boyfriend, Justin, and his drug addiction problems. At this moment, he is clean and sober in OR.

I've been trying to open communication with my family this past year, especially when it comes to discussing more negative aspects of our interactions with each other. I've been thinking far more about aspects of my upbringing in terms of the patterns of reward and consequent I learned were to be expected, and the attitudes I internalized as universal. I've been at a low-point in my relationship with my father for a number of years now, and in a difficult spot attempting to manage my mother's happiness in the way she has always managed mine. It affects me in that it gives me an actual motivation to one day raise a human from youth, in that there is an opportunity to set different expectations for communication patterns, general emotional openness and intelligence, and honesty.

Sophia is now in pre-k. It seems more "official". It seems "real" that she is no longer a baby. She is amazing and bright and funny and it just seems to be going too fast! I wish I could hit a pause button. It also makes me sad but appreciative...she may be our only child. I recognize this although I'm not fully comfortable with that notion. But what I do know is, that I need to make better effort to be present and mindful and to capture these moments.