Think about a major milestone that happened with your family in 2008. How has this affected you?

A relative in Florida whom I had long planned to meet suddenly passed away before I could do so. I had put the meeting off out of fear of the intensity of my family in general. I often shy away from encounters -- particularly with family -- that I fear will be intense, distracting myself with pleasant but banal preoccupations instead. We only live once and, once again, fear kept me from an opportunity now lost forever. I don't know whether I will have courage in the next year to face such situations, or whether I will succumb to faintheartedness again.

fathers cancer. made me realize that caretakers are about to need care, from us.

Obviously, the one year anniversary of Ronan, and what an amazing gift he's been for our family. My re-connection with my father and the fact that we've begun a new friendship, as it were. My passover dinner set the precedent for future family gatherings - it was a milestone of sorts.

Papa Dick passed away a year ago. There has been no event more significant in our lives than this. His absence is felt like a hole in our hearts, not just on special occasions or holidays, but every day, in simple ways, like when I need to understand the best way to find a wall stud or estimate interest on a variable loan, or just want to chat about history and science and politics and the world, or hear his voice calling my children by name.

My brother had his second baby. The entire family, my parents, my step-parents, my grandpa were all together for the bris. The night before the bris i had dinner with my dad and my mum and my step mum. the day of the bris i had lunch with my dad, my mum, my step mom, my step dad and my grandpa. And though i dreaded it initially, it was quite magical. everyone got on so well. everyone was enjoying each other's company. and i loved it. loved it. And it made me realize how important family is and how much i miss not having them around on a day to day basis. it's not realistic because they all live all over the place, in different countries and suchlike. but i suddenly felt a strong desire to live in the shtetl times with all my family on the same street. There are things that are very important and very beautiful about modern day cosmopolitan life, for sure, but family, that's what brings a frog to my throat when i think about belonging and loss.

I'm pregnant! Didn't think I could be! Doctors told me I was too old! It came as a huge surprise out of nowhere!

My father turned 65. He always felt like a relatively young parent, even when he got sick for a while, which he did. But sixty-five is a kind of milestone, because it proves by extension that I am old.

We planned a wedding (hasn't happened yet, but the fact that it is now all planned is very exciting).

the biggest milestones in my family happened to me, with the first new birth in both families. but that strikes me as too self-centered. which itself seems to be something that plays on my mind most

My father moved from home into a nursing home because of severe dementia. The family struggled not with the decision - it was an obvious choice - but dealing with his adjustment to living in a facility was hard. Also, his symptoms were no longer hidden at the home, where doctors and nurses could observe them and detail them for us. The absolute most difficult part was supporting mom, who had moved with dad closer to her family for help, companionship, people to talk to about it. But unfortunately, she didn't find that with most of her brothers and sisters. She needed us kids. And I think we did it. But this is ongoing, and mom still needs us. Also, it's time us kids got around to mourning the loss of our "normal" dad; but there's still so much to sort out, so that's stressful and not something easily scheduled.

Pam and I bought a house and got married! my family spent 2008 grieving over our mom. she died august 2007. so it is just over a year now. we will all never be the same. she was the glue. its not easy for us all to stay connected, and yet i think she would be really proud because we have.

My son has concurred some fears of crowds and new things. He has come so far in becoming a more confident person and this has made me extremely proud and happy!

My son is getting Married. The next generation of our family is about to begin. I feel older. I have started to examine my life, realizing that I am in the latter half of my life. I am reminded of our marriage nearly 34 years ago. I realize how young we were, and how lucky we have been, to have such a wonderful marriage. I wish the same for my son and his new bride.

My moving to Australia. I am finally independent, living and studying all by myself in the country side of Australia, meeting new people, making amazing friends.

The deaths of Aunt Bertie and Uncle Sid. Neither seemed unpredictable - both are very sad. The sadness is more about the loss than the shock. I think if anything these losses remind me about the inevitability of loss. And also, I'd have liked Aunt Bertie to have met Rachel. It makes me want to make sure that Silvia meets Rachel

This has been a year of tremendous stress, with my son's serious (life-threatening) injuries (from which he will recover - hooray !), my brother's serious bicycle accident (from which he is recovering), my almost- 96-year old mother's failing memory and depression and my brother-in-law's serious illness (from which he might not recover - we are keeping our fingers crossed...). However, there are also moments of joy (e.g. my niece gave birth this year to a beautiful baby boy). Life goes on and I am grateful for and try to savor each day.

My parents are becoming older and I am becoming more aware of my responsibilities to them. It affects me by making me feel sad about the passing of time, not only that they are older but that I am not young.

Michael dying was huge that brought my mom, myself and kieva together. I was able to do my best to put my own wants aside to show up for them. I saw and felt my own selfishness inside of myself and was able to act differently than I felt. Getting pregnant was another one. I thought my family would judge me negatively for being unwed and pregnant... and if they did they did not show it.

my brother took control of his business. he got through the lawsuit. my parents stayed together , as always. my sister produced and stared in her play. my mother got a sponsor. all of this made me happy, proud and not so worried about their well being and happiness.

my mother and i are finally friends after years of her alcohol abuse and me "hating" her esp after an intervention that seemed unsuccessful at the time. compassion and letting go of it a little enabled me to love her in a more authentic way, a way that she was able to perceive and respond to.

My wife's brother and his wife announced their pregnancy, the U.S. economy is in shambles and we fear for our jobs, and my wife is signing a new three year lease for her very successful business. I think ultimately all of these things have brought my wife and I closer. We are scared, but also more connected as we don't take our past experiences and successes for granted.

actually nothing happened to affect my life. which is kind of strange.

My parents just sold their house and moved into a rental! I never thought it could happen. Almost all of my little nicnacs and favorite family furniture and paintings are gone. I live across the country so it affects me only when I go home to visit, but it still makes me a bit sad to know that it will be a foreign environment and not my cozy home with it's cozy stuff.

There are a few minor milestones, but I honestly can't think of a major one. We went to Hawaii and had a blast. This actually did affect my quite a bit. I love feeling closer to my parents. I am a hybrid of the two of them, after all. I guess the main thing about spending time with them is that it's bittersweet. Their quirky idiosyncrasies reminds me that I do love them, which to be honest, is a debatable statement at times, not due to teenage angst, but because they've fucked up a lot and it's hard to respect some of the mistakes that they've made. At the same time, it's a little bit upsetting that I can see so much of them in myself. My parents are the definition of wasted potential. They're both in decent shape for their age and are both very intelligent individuals. But all they do is sit around and watch sitcoms! They never contribute to their surroundings! My mom has huge traveling dreams, but would rather blow her money on hundreds of travel books rather than saving it to actually GO somewhere. This is what I'm afraid of. Anyway, I had a blast with them, and most importantly, it rekindled my love for the water. My dad and I got to sail together, which I think I will always cherish as one of my greatest memories of him. He's got Howard Hughes syndrome (or at least one of his many syndromes) for sure- He's a mute until a topic he loves surfaces, at which point he immediately transforms into a complete chatterbox. He showed me the ropes, quite literally, and I fell in love with the ripples that chased us over the pristine, glasslike sea moments before a gust hit the sail. I learned a lot about my mom, too. I learned that she had been married previously, to a short boy who shared her love for outdoor activities. They camped and fished and did just about everything together, but she saw him as more of a brother. She said she wasn't very sexually attracted to him, and when he began to work night shifts in Florida, she got lonely. Well, she had an affair with my dad, and it was physically passionate, and he even got her a beautiful pearl bracelet and he showed her a park near where he grew up. She told her husband and he left in a fury. Soon she told my dad she wanted kids, and he seemed alright with the idea, so, either before or after she got pregnant, I'm not sure, he said "I guess we should get married" over dinner at Denny's. Now, I can't tell if any of this is due to the fact that she really loved my dad, and not the other guy. I guess that gets into the deeper question of "what is love," which I cannot even begin to answer. Is it more about passion or more about simplicity? Was my mom merely bored or did she really need something more? She doesn't seem all that happy with my father, though, so perhaps it was more of her tendency to desire new things. I think she just has a hard time loving someone's flaws. She loves someone in spite of them, and they get to her, so she seeks someone more flawless in her eyes. Yikes. I do this. Basically, being an INFP, or whatever the hell I am, I tend to internalize events, so the more important occurrences were the ones that got me thinking about my own nature.

My family reached out and supported me - I feel I got to know them better. Mom and Gregg came out to visit for the first time and absolutely loved the experience; that made me feel really good inside. Michael is going to get married - I wish I could be happy for him but the thought of marriage makes me sad right now. I'm glad I'm closer to my family, but I still feel adrift from them.

My grandmother died this year. It was sad and strange and gave me a new perspective on my own mom and that whole side of the family.

One of my older brother's good friends, Cory, died from a heroin overdose. He wasn't the close to me personally, but I'm good friends with his brother and our families have been friends for almost two decades now. I'm still shaken up by this. After it happened, I would just think of him and be reduced to tears. I'd stop whatever I was doing and sit there, crying, thinking about nothing in particular, except Cory. I remember walking up to his casket and losing it. Tears streamed down my face. I was paralyzed. My parents had to walk me away from him. I remember seeing Genni, his older sister, walk up to his casket and fall on her knees crying. And Kelly, her younger brother, comforting her. Amazingly, he held back his tears. I can't say for certain how Cory's death affected me. I don't think it's sunk in yet. I don't know if it ever will. It just makes me sad and reminds me that life is fragile and I need to show the people I love that I love them.

I finally communicated with my mom about the importance of my lesbianism and that I am with someone that currently makes me happy. This has allowed me to be more open and comfortable and honest with my family. It has also relieved a lot of the anxiety I feel when it comes to my family.

My parents' house flooded, and we lost most of our treasured belongings. The feeling of helplessness as the water rose was something I've never before experienced. I had to watch as I could do nothing. I feel like I have a small, VERY small, glimpse into what people who experienced Katrina felt. I'm not saying that I have it as bad as they do, but rather I can sympathize in a more concrete way than every before. I can't even imagine how shocked/ bowled over/ overwhelmed they must feel. Although my family is pulling through this, it's funny how you'd think this would bring us together in a new way. But we are maintaining & perpetuating the non-communicative ways of talking to each other that we have used my entire life. I wish we could just speak openly about things without "hurting" someone's feelings. The truth hurts sometimes, but then you can deal with it. Not talking about the truth, and dodging the issues, makes it much harder for me to move forward.

I got my Degree(finally). Mom got her Master's. Ben got a job as a mechanic and left his gf. Martha moved home from Montreal and got a job in St. John's. Dad is still in halifax

at the very end of 2007 i divorced my second husband after 8 years of marriage. besides the obvious change of making me officially single, the finalization of the divorce was the conclusion to a regrettably hostile period. the aggressiveness of my ex and his lawyers surprise me (why?) and made me respond in kind (to some degree) for self-preservation.

cori is pregnant

My grandfather passes away early this year. It had profound ramifications on everyone in my family. I'd like to think that we all grew from having our mortality pointed out so blatantly, but I have a feeling only a few really got it.

My Granny continued to decline. That time I went to visit her and she didn't know who I was. That pretty much sucked. It made me not want to visit her. That's awful isn't it. I don't think I could cope with that regularly. It made me appreciate my Mum. And dread the inevitable day that it happens to her. Cos this is how all the women in my family go. My younger brother graduated. I'm so ridiculously proud of him. It made me feel a bit of a failure that I don't have a degree or any sembelence of a career, but it made me want to get one. So I'm trying to go back to college.

My mother had her teeth pulled. This made me scared of getting old. I am preparing myself for the day when my parents won't be around anymore.

Fight, financial etc. - negative effect

Dad told me this summer I HAD to be nice to Sally or I could move out of the house. I've never felt the way he made me feel before. It was like he was choosing his girlfriend over me. I don't see how a father can give their daughter and ultimatum like that. When he yelled at me that day, it only made me despise her even more. And how am I suppused to want to hang out with him after he said all those hurtful things to me? It really changed our relationship, and not for the better. I'm always stressed out with the whole situation and I hope going back to school would help things, but it hasn't. I'm emotionally drained from going through this for over 3 years. It has to stop soon or I'm going to make myself so sick I won't be able ot function.

I thought my mum was gonna die from a brain tumour. Then it turned out she wasnt, and then she was again. Its still there, right at the back of her brain, at the base of her neck, but everything is apparently under control. Mums never been friendly to me, and we've never really got on, but this frightened me and made me realise that my mums not going to be there forever. This happened on march the 14th and its now the first of october so months have past and im sort of comfortable with me and my friends joking about it, but inside it still scares me a bit.

My sister is pregnant, my brother and his wife had a baby, and I broke off a relationship with a married man, who left his wife , who may sue me.

We bought our first home. It's put a bit more stress on to our finances and little on to our relationship but we communicate and love our home and most of all each other.

My grandfather died this past November. He was one of the rocks on which I stood. My world has shifted infinitely and irreversibly. My cousin smoked his first weed. My mother's knee became arthritic.

This year it seems I'm more disconnected to my children than ever before. I'm feeling that they don't need me anymore and I'm becoming a burden to them because, even though they really don't want to, they feel they HAVE to contact me from time to time. The time to times are becoming more and more lenthier.

My son had his first birthday, i remember sitting at the party and starring at my girlfriend being completely dissatisfied with the way our relationship was going. I've taken a hard day's night to think about what i really want and the only thing i can think of is how much more i would see my baby boy if we we're not together. 2008 is not such a good year. But i am happy that my little man is growing into a beautiful young man, i love him alot.

my grandmothers alzheimer’s disease, breaking her hip brought us all close together and made us all think about her life and our own. i reconnected with kristin on a really good level. i really consider her a sister, she's in a great realtionship. i am really happy for her. i was in a realtionship with ben, breaking up with him was really eye opening for me. it was about making decisions for myself. i started doing yoga, it's really been good for me. my mom is trying to start her own business. chaz is trying to get his feet off the ground. collin is moving forward with finishing school. my dad is being himself. connor is growing up. he just turned 11.

The biggest event is the sellling of the seaside flat and how my parents helped me through it. I feel loved and fulfilled. My future is bright and in front of me. I love my parents.

I realized how much my disease was affecting my entire family when I finally got diagnosed and went into surgery. It was difficult to see how much each person has suffered throughout the years because they felt that they could not help me. It was amazing to see everyone show up to support me at the hospital. It was amzing that my parents both drove completely out of their ways to make sure that I wasn't alone the night I find out about the diagnosis. I think life keeps proving to me that family is so important. That they are the ones who will drive at 5 in the morning to pick me up and take me to the ER. They are the ones who call everyday and ask me if I'm feeling alright. I feel so blessed that my family is so supportive! And I feel that I can put more effort into showing them how grateful I am for each of them. I need to visit more, to talk more, to share more.

My family mended all their turmoil when my cousin died of complications from cancer. We are all starting to get to know eachother again, and it is scarey but good.

I don't think my family hit any major milestones but I do think I am finally beginning to truly realize and accept that my grandparents are getting older and my parents are too. As my grandma gets closer in age to 80 and my mom to 50, with myself reaching a quarter century and Caleb almost being 30, I'm realizing that I truly do need to make the most of every day. And no matter how other people in my life feel about it, I think I do have the right to want to reach milestones sooner than later.

I'd say the biggest milestone was the birth of my nephew, Kyle. This was obviously a welcome moment and a time of joy brought about by extraordinary circumstances. He has just started to crawl and has only cried a handful of times since birth.

no major milestone happened, we just all got older.

It's my first year without my daughter here. It was tough. I'm still not used to not having her here.

My mom finally decided to retire - after this year. I never thought she WOULD actually retire, even though she's been miserable in her job for as long as I can remember. She's always been so worried about money after retirement, but I think she finally has come to terms with the fact that money means nothing if you're so stressed out you can barely function. I'm not sure what she'll do to keep herself busy after retirement, but it's at least a step. And I know so certainly now that I cannot live like she has, if I have a choice (she has had a choice, but was always too afraid of change). I will work at whatever crap job I need to to support myself and my family; but if I can at all NOT live that way, I WILL not. I will not be afraid of change. I will not live my entire life just hoping for the day I can retire.

definately my sister falling pregnant. Even though we are scattered around the globe, there is someing in tis that has linked us all together. SOmething happy and exciting. trip to europe with the family and sister. fun fun fun but again, developing the relationship with the parents- a friendship.

My sister flew to Beijing to play as part of the first international band to play at the great wall of china, tianamen square and more during the Olympics. Very very proud of her :)

I, having already left home, didn't return to stay at home for more than a week at a time. My parents' house is now essentially occupied by three people, and they have an existance entirely separate from mine. I miss them, and by the end of the summer I was desperate to go home and be a child again. At the same time as having left my family home I am welcomed into my boyfriend's family homes...so my family are losing me in more than one way. I think I have their acceptance and trust, but I know they miss me and I'm sure they wish I hadn't grown up.

My mother started having back, hip and joint pain and going to a lot of doctors and physical therapy. A few months ago she started experiencing vertigo and the loss of balance that has crippled my grandmother. It is all manageable, but does make me nervous that my parents are getting older.

We acquired Maxwell, the cocker spaniel. Howling at 3, 4, and 5 am, assaults on the trash can, whole bags of bread disappearing from the counter into his ever-expanding stomach...yes, it has been an experience.

It was the end of 2007, but my grandmother's death has certainly affected the family. I think it's made things both harder and easier at the same time. She was not herself for a long time and I feel lucky to have had some distance so that I was able to truly remember my grandmother in the way that she was most of her years. And I'm pregnant!!! Which has truly made me insanely zen. We'll see if I still feel the same way next year at this time, but for the time being, I've really learned to live in the moment and to recognize the things that are beyond my control.

My sister Alisha had Orion Jacob Griffett on February 20th, my sister Rachel had Rylie James Tilley on August 23rd. My dad went from Cheryl to Cathy from Minnesota. Nancy went to live with grandma. Lacie becomes a teenager. I got lasik Miguelito burrito and a puppy named Falkor.

god, this is such a good one. 2008 saw my family reunited in the most amazing, unexpected way. i never thought that noa's father and i would ever be able to have a civil conversation ever again, let alone realize that we still loved each other and wanted to be together. it feels fantastic to be partners again; it feels like going home to a place you thought had burned to the ground. noa is beyond happy to see mommy and daddy enjoying each other....

See answer 1.

My mother had a nervous breakdown. It affected everything about me; witnessing her strength shape-shift into an extremely specific, unformed vulnerability; made me wonder about the lessons seemingly unkind events hold. It challenged my concept of stability and forced me to confront how I was living; where I was hiding in life. What lies I tell myself out of fear(fear of outcomes). This brutal event invited me to become honest with fears I've tucked away. This event also made me very soft--effortlessly I began wondering; for every person I pass on the road, subway..."what difficulty are you privately facing in home, with a dear loved one?" It brought the most gentle layer to being.

After 15 years with Alzheimer's, gram finally died. It's a weird world without her in it, but she has been gone for a long time. Alzheimer's is a disease of contradictions. I miss her. And I realized how little connects me to my parents anymore. I hope gramp stays alive.

My mother moved in. his grandmother became very ill. his grandfather has dementia. he had to deal with the mortality and aging of his parents and the preview revealed by his grandparents. it was extremely depressing for him. I realized that I have no family and my mother does not love me.

Again, it's Dante. Now, I will never think straight.

My sister graduated from academia and is now in the working world. It meant that we've sorta grown up in our ways, my sister and I. This transition gave us an opportunity to work together professionally as well, which turned out well for all involved.

Our apartment was broken into. We moved in with Logan's parents for a few months until we could rebuild and move into our own place again.


My wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. I don't know how, but this will definitely change life. No more selfish actions. Next year this time, we will have a six-month old. Taking care of a human being who can't take care of him/herself will focus my attention to a point that doesn't allow for a lot of peripheral sight-seeing.

My younger cousin is the first of the "cousin generation" (meaning the close-knit children of my mother's brothers and sisters)to have a child. This has affected the family in many ways, as all the focus is now on her. It affected me both in a work sense- I was asked to create the shower invitations- and on a personal level. As the oldest cousin, I always thought I would be the first to have a child, but as I turned 30 on the day she announced her pregnancy, I realized that i am just not ready yet. This admission was both sad and revealing.

Visiting with my grandparents on my father's side as an adult made me realize they are just as boring as they were when I was a kid. :)

mon neveu a repris des études et ma nièce a réussi sa rhéto. Je suis heureuse et fière d'eux mais j'ai peur qu'ils ne partent en Israel, ils me manqueraient trop


My grandfather's death. it was painful, but in a different way from usual, as i had forced myself to come to terms with his diagnosis and the fact that his time was already limited, but it';s never long enough. the one thing i am grateful for was the last serious thing he ever said to me was "we will get through this".

My father's 80th Birthday party ended with my brother drunk and bitter. He is so disappointed with himself and us. He expected things from me, but didn't say so until it was to late.

My parents finally accepted my choice and chose to become a part of my life again. I feel like I am a part of my family, like I am accepted and that my whole life is celebrated.

my younger cousin got married this summer. we are about two years apart and he is like a brother to me. we have a very small family and we are not always close - the wedding brought us together and it made me realize how important family is to me and how i want to make it a priority with my own family, the family i plan to have one day.

My family is all sorta in the same places as last year. My parents have made the final move here. I'm looking forward to finding the happy routine of seeing them. My sister and her husband moved again, but not to far. This will be good for them. and they are talking about a baby for next year. That will be good for me, but I do worry about how they will do it all. Her milestone this year was the AIDS ride. Wow. I'm so proud. It makes me think that I too can conquer the world, and makes me want to figure out what that means to me. What challenge do I want to take? I missed my 6 year nieces' birthday and can't believe that she is that old. All of this is making me feel old. 40 this year. wow. I can't believe it. I do feel old when I say my age. I always remember my 80+year old grandma saying that she still feels the same as when she was 20. I now understand what she means. Because everyone in the family is doing pretty well, it makes me feel stable in this economic disaster.

My brother graduated from high school, and my sister entered high school (9th grade). My Aunt Rosie had a heart problem and almost died, and was the first in my immediate family to know. My family recently got a dog. My aunt had twin girls. I realize that nothing too major has happened to our family, and that I don't know much about what has happened outside my immediate family.

While not pushed by the best of circumstances my parents are now heading out together to visit family overseas for a few months. They may even be stepping up their plans for moving over there to live. This is both a positive step for them and one for my sister who will have to look after the house herself and hopefully get started on finding a place of her own.

My father had to move to Dallas to work. But while I was in San Francisco already in boarding school, this did not affect me directly as much as it affected the rest of my family. But somehow, it has brought us closer, and what we would've treated as any normal time spent with each other before, has now become something more meaningful and uplifting. To be with my family is now a beauty.

My mom realised her marriage is not worth it. My dad doesn't know it yet. It will affect us soon.

once again, my wedding...it's brought me closer to everyone in my own immediate family as well as my new in-laws

sister, brother moving away distance from them feeling their absence trying to make myself mature and grow and be a big sister to others

My dad started smoking again. It makes me upset cause he was doing so well for so long. Its cause the stock market and the economy suck and it is very stressful for him.

We visited my now-distant Uncle Andrew for the first time in two years. He seemed surprised and guilty that we had shown up. It's made me understand that isolation is a horrible way to live.

Henry became a part of our life. I think about things as if I were looking through his eyes sometimes, and it makes me see how awesome even ordinary sights and ideas are if you are experiencing them for the first time, like a baby does. I am trying to appreciate life the same way he does now. Not often succeeding, but trying. I am also struck by his sweetness, openness and his innocence, and it really breaks my heart to think of him being hurt or being disillusioned by this tough world. I wish we could all hang onto this kind of purity, but I guess that's not possible. The best I can do, and I hope, hope, hope I can do it, is to help him feel as safe and secure as possible in our family so that he can go out into the larger world brave, strong and unafraid.

son got into parsons this year after a miserable year at another college.

Things haven't changed much with my family and our situation at home. My parents still remain civil with each other, though I do believe my mom still loves my dad to this day. I've recently spoken to my dad and am on good terms with him after a short hiatus. My brother has quit his job and is planning to attend culinary school soon, and I hope this plan of his not only pushes through but will be successful for his own sake. I still wish my family could go back to the way we once were, but at least things have become manageable for me now, and I've become less dependent on my parents for my needs. I guess that's maturity.

major milestone...a long term (5 yr) relationship has come to an end - how has this affected me? Not in a negative way, it's been a learning experience, it's been an "experience". My favorite aunt has been dying, and it looks like it won't be long now, yet she still wrote me a bday card and send me a gift, and i want to support and help my cousin.Not thrilled about this whole people dying in my life thing.

My husband and I got married and that was a major test in getting along with family, practicing patience, and putting my selfish nature aside for the sake of others. Hopefully I came out a better person, but you'd have to ask my husband to know for sure!

My dad started a business in Newcastle. I feel this has given me a chance to get to know him. We can have drinks and cook and chat as he is home every weekend or so. It has brought us closer.

The biggest milestone this year has definitely been my parents bankruptcy. while it (should have) helped me financial aid wise, it has been very incredibly hard to watch my parents go through the stress of it and still make the sacrifices they do to help the family.

My sister and Mark separated. My brother stayed home all year to "recover" from irvine. All of this has affected me in my living environment. I stopped seeing mark regularly, and with that went Matthew. But probably thanks to this, I began to see Matthew just on an "us" basis and developed a real relationship with him. My brother's depression can be suffocating from the room over, and I hope he recovers mentally before he leaves. My mother turned 50 and now officially calls herself crazy. My dad snapped and restricted me from seeing Matthew... my sister chopped all her hair off and had an affair. Busy year.

My niece borned in september, she and i have a very special connection, i love her a lot...

I decided what family was this year, and lived accordingly. No more toxic.

My mother changed jobs. She was with the same company for twenty two years and it was probably one of the hardest decisions she's ever had to make. It's been really difficult because her income has decreased and the poor economy hasn't helped. I made the decision to drop out of college because I knew we couldn't pay for it anymore.

We've finally reached a point where we aren't worrying about money so much any more. Spunky died because he didn't get his insulin while the family was on vacation, and I still kind of blame myself for not being more assertive about the need for him to get it. We got a new puppy, Steve is applying to colleges, hopefully he'll get into Columbia and we can see each other more.

My Dad's heart attack made me realise how far away I am from my family and how much I love and miss them. It has made me question whether I want to stay in the UK or move back home.

I got divorced from my wife. I'm very happy now because I hated her so much. This had a vey big and sad impact on my loved childre but all the hate between me and my ex-wife was riuning the life of our sons way worst then the actual separation.

I moved to Hanoi, my family lives in the US. It was a step I took to be a environment that gelled better with my perception of the world. I made the right decision but my heart aches for my mother, sisters, and their children.

Nada significativo. ótimo.

my dad got a pacemaker put in! that scared the living crap out of me when i found out. he's doing fine, but being so far away during times like that really make me feel alienated and separate from those that love me.

In 2008, the whole family on my dad's side came together for the first time in 30 years. Not all the cousins were present, however all the uncles and aunts were, and that's all that mattered for my grandma. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was amazing to see eveyone together.

My dad recently quit a job that he had for years now, i even worked for the same company in high school because he got me the job. He left there without knowing if he would actually have a job and thankfully he found a new on within a week with a small firm. This has majorly affected the amount of money that i save and spend because since he got this job he hasn't been paid as much so we've had to cut back on costs alot

Nothing major has happened with my family besides what was going on in my life- which I guess in turn affected my family. My mother - since I am an only child - has gone through unimaginable withdrawals. My father works nights, and sleeps all day, and my mother is usually home by herself- wondering why I am not there. She has been very lonely lately, and my father works all the time. For me it makes me sad, the more and more I work at my job, the more and more I just want to move away and do something insane. Go to Australia and work as an intern, move into my Godson's house in Nicaragua...but I can't, because of my family. It's not like I feel held back by them, but I feel a responsibility to be close to them, since they can't have each other, I have to be their peanut butter to hold them together.

My generation of this family are now the adults. we are the ones who must keep these extensions together and hold onto the bonds. I think my immediate family has grown together closer than ever. I expect to spread that out to the extended family as well as the healing progresses.

It has been a full year of college, which also means a full year of writing and a full year of school and art and thinking and managing friend relationships and my girlfriend and it has all been very new to me and it has made me a better and a worse person all in all.

My son had his Bar Mitzvah. His hormones also kicked in, and he is much more of a force to be reconned with around the home

My dad got a new girlfriend (again). Not heroic.

My family is all sorta in the same places as last year. My parents have made the final move here. I'm looking forward to finding the happy routine of seeing them. My sister and her husband moved again, but not to far. This will be good for them. and they are talking about a baby for next year. That will be good for me, but I do worry about how they will do it all. Her milestone this year was the AIDS ride. Wow. I'm so proud. It makes me think that I too can conquer the world, and makes me want to figure out what that means to me. What challenge do I want to take? I missed my 6 year nieces' birthday and can't believe that she is that old. All of this is making me feel old. 40 this year. wow. I can't believe it. I do feel old when I say my age. I always remember my 80+year old grandma saying that she still feels the same as when she was 20. I now understand what she means. Because everyone in the family is doing pretty well, it makes me feel stable in this economic disaster. But now at day 10, Yom Kippur, I am very worried about my cat. This may be a major milestone in my own home. I'm not sure how this affect me. I don't know what is wrong with her, and I would be so so very sad and scared to not be able to give her the treatment to get her through this. How will I look back at my actions of this next week in a year from now? From the meditations - Life is like a scroll, be sure that you are proud to have your actions written.

Moving back home after leaving my abusive relationship helped me to bond with my family in a stronger way. I learned a lot about my parents and can appreciate them in a grown-up way. We communicate much better now.

Mi sobrino Yael nacio en junio

My parents had their 25th anniversary. It was a brilliant day with lots of friends over to celebrate. My parents have always been a source of stability and love over the years and it was so amazing to celebrate the 25 years they've spend together.

My family: Kurt finally kicked his habit. (hopefully) I feel like I'm seeing my brother again for the first time in years. My New Family: Got engaged. Niece to be turned 1. Nephew to be is trying to get potty trained.

we talked? i have been MIA for years. living abroad, isolated, made me realize how important family is, even if you have nothing in common. i came back and have made an effort to be in touch. not as big as an effort as i Should be making, but an effort non-the-less. it's also amazing to see how they welcome you back after you've shut them out for so long. i might not be making a phone call every week or every month for that matter, but i'm not going to let it go for so long again. regular correspondence is a goal i would like to achieve. on that note i should email my sisters.

My uncle getting ill has been pretty rough, especially on my parents. It hasn't affected me hugely, just that obviously I want him to get the heart transplant, and I'd like other people in the family to cope with it a bit better.

I got to spend a lot of time with my grandmother who has Alzheimer's, which transformed my relationship to family and responsibility as well as my thoughts about aging and death. This also gave me the opportunity to be of help to my mother who is having a hard time with my grandmother's mental decline. I feel closer to my family than I ever have before, with all their (our) flaws and dysfunctions.

My father had a stroke in early September. He was lucky, struck in front of a coworker, treated immediately and well by some of the best talents around, and supported by friends and coworkers. Since, I've made a resolution to stop dicking around, treasure my friendships, and stop smoking.

my mom met her brother after 15 years after he ran away . he is in a very poor health . my mom is with him now and it has been like having a surprise visitor.it has not affected me in any way, jsut wanna be in touch with everybody now.

I turned 30 this year. I left my 20s. I wish I could say that more has happened this year. My mother turned 65. Retirement age. She's still working though. Which is great. I like to see her happy. Strange, I'm sure there are more but I'm at a loss to think of any.

Daddy has moved to work in Brescia. He left mom all alone by herself just to pursue his career and she's having a hard time.

My grandmother died this summer and it definetly strained my relationships with my family. My mom was under a lot of stress for an extended period of time and we almost cancelled our trip to Israel. Since both of mom's parents have died, she now feels guilty over our lack of christianity. After numerous fights about religion, I have decided that is better to not talk about religion with my family. It something I have to pursue in private.

My sister completed her PhD, my father retired from his professorship, and my partner and just celebrated 21 years together. Still trying to figure out how this has all affected me.

I officially came out to both of my parents. I'm much more relaxed and not having that over my head allows me to enjoy their company more.

bypass surgery. one of us really opened our eyes and heart to the reality of what is instead of what we wanted or thought we wanted. important changes, not all of them wanted, but all of them embraced as lessons along the road we're traveling. The difficult part is that since this actual brush with the ultimate return to original status, I am less patient with the things in my life that don't work, that I tolerated before. I'm spending more time alone because my partner wasn't, isn't, and doesn't show any interest in loving me in tangible ways.

My father's continuing battle with cancer has really changed the dynamic in the family, and suddenly I don't feel like the "responsible" one anymore, not only because I can't be physically present to assist my family, but also because I'm not mentally prepared to deal with the situation.

I think the biggest milestone was my mom's health deteriorating and the fact that I needed to step up for her in caregiving.It is an honor to do so...

casey casey casey casey casey. casey fell apart this year. my baby sister fell apart. she's sick - completely sick. she doesn't want to talk to us & seems to believe she hates us. how has this affected me?! well initially i was sooo angry and hurt by everythign she was doing to my parents, our home, and our happiness. she was tearing things apart - and the happy normalcy i once believed in is gone. now that she's been gone for about two months now i feel like i'm doing an awful job at being a good older sister. i don't know if i'm doing enough - probably not. casey has always been the sibling i related to the most - and i would like to think i was her favorite older sibling... now i feel like i've let her down in some sort of way. i don't know - i go back and forth with being upset with her and then worrying about her hating me and thinking i've abandoned her. i just hope that she gets to go to the school in Utah - i think the space & peace would be especially healing for her. though i will always feel like i've lost my baby sister.

My granddaughter had her confirmation the same weekend as my son and daughter-in-law celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. These events bring the family closer and more thankful for the blessing we receive

got car freedom

My husband was very ill but it did bring our family closer together. We have the greatest disfunctional family. Everyone really pulls through and does their part.

A major milestone that happened this last year was when my mom moved back into the house. All my senior year, she lived away from us in an apartment with my brother. The second week of this last year she moved back into the house with my dad. This has affected me a lot because even though my family is dysfunctional, it seems like i have a family back together again, and it really shows in my desire to actually go home again.

We found out that my dad has cancer, my younger sister graduated high school and moved away to college, and I moved to the biggest city in the state with my boyfriend of 2-and-a-half years. Mostly I miss spending time with my parents. I miss my mom. I miss my dad. Now whenever I see them, it is a rushed weekend, and I always feel sad saying goodbye to my mom when I leave because she always looks like she is heartbroken that I ever left her, and she wishes I would stay just a little longer.

The death of nina. My family will never feel the same.

i got pregnant!!!! i am so excited to be a mom next year. it has grown me in so many ways already and will continue to NO DOUBT i think somehow it is leading me to be more direct and speak my truth more. even to get pregnant i had to listen to my heart and truth ( and not doctors and drugs) and intuition...

My family's vacation house--a home we've had for 24 years--burned to the ground last October. I miss that house--all the memories, all the warm happy comfortable times. I miss how relaxed I felt the minute I walked in the door. And I know that the rest of my family feels the same way. Out of the tragedy and loss, I have realized what a gift that house was for us as a family--and I feel so lucky that we had it for as long as we did. I need to find that kind of comfort, contentment, and relaxation in my life again. That's my goal.

My sister was very sick during this past year. She was hospitalized and I was scared she may die. I prayed for her and her safe recovery very often. I would hear she would get better, then worse, then better. It made me miss being able to be with my family on any occassion I was needed for support. Having little money and time to make it home, I was still considering moving back if something were to happen to Stacy. Thankfully her health returned to her, but it showed me that family is very important, and that I have broken from my pack in an effort to find myself. My family is close, but not healthy, and I needed time away. I still love them all dearly, but would lose sanity once again if subjected on a daily basis. However, it makes me want to work hard to have the freedom to come home when I'm needed. I love to visit.

It is a series of things that reveal a status of my family progress. These included: my elder daugher got a promotion in her professional engineering position; my second daughter passed her first year accountancy in the university; my youngest daughter will be sitting for her secondary school leaving examination end of 2008 and my wife have finally understand that the children can go their own ways and need not necessary to show up for family dinners of events every time(she also stop cooking dinners regularly).

My mother turned 70. it brought all the family together for a brief period, which was nice. my brother in law turn 50 which was also a great family ocassion. my younger brother got married - another great family ocassion. my father turned 80 - also amazing. a lot happened in retrospect. makes you realise that life is always moving. every moment counts - got to embrace and respect every moment.

I became a stay-at-home mother for the first time. Although I work part-time from home now, I had never been home like this before. I think it has generally been terrific for everyone. It has brought down the tension level, and the harried-ness, in our household, and has allowed me--though not always--to be more patient with my children, with my husband, and with myself.

Given my first response, my answer is now my daughter's 8th grade graduation. She looked cute in her cap and gown. She also showed some admirable qualities in her speech. She refused to give in to the pressure to praise her headmaster and his assistant. That's my girl!

My dad lost his job in July. That's been huge. Not only am I worried about starting life and making money like every other college grad, I have to worry about doing it with a very very small safety net. A wrong move means so much more right now, with me being the only one in the family with a job. Also, I am worried about him not ever getting one. Right now, my family is ok on his severance, but I'm worried about what happens when it runs out. How can I help? If things are working out for me when that happens (ie, career is shaping up, relationship with Jonathan is going great, thinking about buying an apartment), will I abandon what I've always wanted to help my family? I don't want to struggle because I have to support a family with a salary that would give me everything I want.

My mum and dad downsized their house, I hope that when I get this back that they will have both retired. My daughter started school, my baby is growing so fast and time is slipping through my fingers.

My son improved his school performance. Relief. But know that his struggle, and our need to support him, is not over yet.

My son started preschool. My baby boy isn't a baby any more. He is his own independent self with wishes, desires and emotions that are separate from me. I am still mostly the centre of his universe, but I can see that slowly changing. I am so proud of him and his development. Not for it's reflection on me, but for him in his own right. I am sad that as he gets older I will know less and less of him, but I look forward to the continuing evolution of our relationship. I turned 30, and for a brief moment at that time, they thought I had cancer. Facing my own mortality, the inevitability that I am going to die was truly devastating. I wanted someone to look after me, to take care of me, and there was no-one there to do that. I wanted to be a little girl again and not have to worry about death or loss or what will happen to my family if I die.

Mama obchodziła 50 urodziny, Asia zaszła w ciążę

Well i dont really know, i guess Jets death changed us subtly. Our thoughts on tom etc. and how easy it would be to lose them.

I lost my grandfather. he died peacefully and did not suffer. I love him and i always will. he was such a modest, wonderful and giving soul. I met him three days before he died. I told him i loved him. he said "i know". we talked little. He fell asleep. he said he expects nothing more from life. he said he just waits. I left and went to church and lit a candle. i asked the lord to take him home now. and he did. i grieved for my loss but i am also filled with gratefullness that i had him. I'll never forget him

The death of my grandfather caused quite a lot of pain within my family, and it's marked the end of an era in my life, as my grandmother has developed cancer as well, which means that the house where they live next door will probably be sold quite soon, and someone else will be living there. I spent a lot of time trying to cope with this, but I found comfort in renewing my faith - funnily enough praying, or whatever you call it, before going to sleep appears to make me feel better, and helps me face life's challenges a little better.

My two oldest children got married less than two months apart. Honestly they made me think my work is done. If I died today I have helped launch two sets of families than in large part share my values and will carry on centuries of tradition. It made me feel less anxious that I have much left to do with no guarantee on how long my life may be.

My daughter got pregnant.Excited

Death of papa mike and the drama that followed...division of family negatively affected me. hard to deal with, family divided. Dad is also sick. Mom is stressed and nervous. David is quiet and doesnt like to be around me.

My brother was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident when he was 18 years old. He met me in NYC for the first time and tok a ferry to Staten Island to see the Statue of Liberty. He also went to jewish services and wore talit, prayer book. I have never seen him so happy. It reaffirmed to me that who you are is who you choose to be. And it's stupid to ever think that society or other people can define or label not only who you are but your limitations.

It was my daughter's Bat Mitzva at the end of December 2007. It was a wonderful family occasion and brought us all together in a happy and joyful way. The way everybody said their speeches or poems well and the effort my husband put into the video presentation, made me appreciate what a great family I have and I wouldn't have it any other way!

My brother started doing better, responding to meds & got a beautiful, kind girlfriend. This has brought me joy & peace. Aunt Eve moved to Massachusetts to fulfill her post ad Geography professor at UMass Amherst. This warms my heart as I get to see her and my cousin Ari more often. Bunny started getting very sick. This saddened me, because I love her and attribute one of my greatest successes to her (the Shakespeare company in China). But now she is doing better, which also puts me at ease.

My daughter went to high school. It makes me feel old sometimes, but also excited for her. It also makes me a bit scared because of all the possible pitfalls of adolescence -- sex, drugs, emotional issues, eating disorders, etc... I am hoping she has a good enough head on her shoulders to avoid the worst of it. Her going to high school also reminds me of my high school days which were miserable. I hope her experience is better. I also know that this is a time for me to work through some of the old stuff and issues left over from that time for myself.

My son spent the the summer in Israel working in a high tech security company. He survived on his own, learned about the company products and assisted with technical manuals... but most important recognized the importance of his education and is now doing very well in his third year of engineering at Durham College... I am very proud of him and when he is doing well then life is good for his family!!

2 of the 3 out of the house. Both in the army (IDF ie conscripts) Made me think about what it is to be a mother in this situation. How they are sort of independent and sort of not so. How much to "spoil" them - domestic services and parcels to the army particularly How to best use the time instead of waiting for them to come home and using their absence as a waiting time till I was needed for my Real Job

My daughter now has a learner's permit, and is driving as much as she can. She even drove an hour, including lots of highway, to my parents for Rosh Hashanah dinner. My baby just keeps growing up, so I am both happy and sad about this milestone, as I guess we usually are about many of the ones that are age-related. More happy than sad, though!

The major family milestone was that I didn't and possibly can't start a family. It has left a wedge between me and my partner that I can't seem to remove even though I want it gone.

No milestone that I can remember.

After not speaking with my father for 12 months, I decided to forgive and forget the pain he and his wife caused, and called to say hello to him and apologize for myself....as if I caused the problem. My motivation was from the Commandment "Honor thy mother and father". HE was glad to hear from me.

I turned 18 which made my family respect more my decisions and what I do with my time and friends. Ray got divorced which made me realise that even after 20 years relationships can still fall apart.

Family Reunion 2008: I love getting to see my family and catch up with them. I wish I could be closer with them, and that desire for closeness is a big part of why I want to go to the Northeast for law or grad school, whichever I go with. Steve's getting married is awesome and Nick and Jamie being engaged is huge and excited. Being up in there, it really made Jerry's death feel more real, 3 years later. It made me regret not insisting on going to his funeral, I missed out on family connections. I really wish that Andrea had been well enough to make it one last time, not even knowing that she was sick until we got there hurt...and having her gone is a horrible loss for the family. The ones that hold the family together are the ones that we are losing, which makes it that much harder. Daniel proposed to Kristen. Which is huge, it's strange to realize your sibling is an adult and can make adult choices. I know he's only 23, but it is something that I am only just getting used to. I hope he and I can become better friends. Andrea's death. Andrea is one of the kindest people within the family and it is a huge blow to realize she is gone. I hope that Doug will still feel welcomed as a part of the family and that we won't lose touch with him, because he has always been one of the people I have looked forward to seeing most.

My mother turned 87 and our family got together for a big celebration for 3 days, which I organized

I want that my kids be more friendly one with the other

Jessica going off to college and becoming 'an adult' was very eye-opening for me. It made me realize how much I truly do value my family and how much I want to be a part of their lives. I'm no longer feeling as though my goal in life is to avoid them. I have worked over the past year to strengthen my relationships with them and I think that I have done a good job. I am looking forward to being able to do this to a larger extent when I am in America.

My sister went off to college - pressure to listen and be a shoulder to lean on without shedding advice. I've been reminded of my own college experience and how scary it was - and rightfully so at times. I've seen my sister in a new light - understanding that she is experimenting and experiencing things that normal college students do, knowing that she's not a little girl anymore and not judging her because of the choices she's made/is making. Her unhappiness at school has been a burden my parents have been carrying - worried about her, not knowing how to guide her or provide support. It's been a stressful element to our family and will continue to be as she decides whether or not to transfer, relocated, etc.

My parents were close to getting a divorce because of my dad's alleged infidelity. It killed me to see my mom so hurt and broken. I promised myself I would never do that to someone I love, yet I find it hard not to stray.

Hmm - There haven't really been any huge major mile stones, no weddings births or deaths, no major traumas. It was my nana and grandads wedding anniversary this year, we had a huge family get together and it was also the first time my new blokey met the whole family. It was a nice feeling of family and getting together.

My Dad dying. It's a big deal, and it's brought me to understand how important family is to daily function.

My grandfather died. He was orthodox and was largely the reason I have major issues with religion. In some ways, his death took some of the pressure off me to act religious, or rather, it gave me permission to try to find my own way back into Judaism. It's interesting that I found my way to Reboot right after his death. I'm not sure it is something he would have understood.

Ma and Pa learned book readin'.

My younger daughter left for college. While I am so proud of her and happy for her to be setting and reaching her own goals, it's so sad for me as a mom to let go. I thought I would be sad for a little while then be ok, but some days the grief takes my breath away.

We joined a new syangogue!!! Its sad, its different, but we are meeting so many nice people and making lots of new friends! Its been so nice. Different for me, but nice. Our 5 year old started Kindergarten. That was a huge milestone! I was worried abotu him being so little and goign to mindergarten and being with "big" kids until I realied that he was the same size as all the other kids that woudl be there too! He is doing well and loving it! Our 2 year old started a new school and loves it as much!

The death of my grandmother affected everyone the month it happened. She died of complications associated with diabetes and no one chose to see they're own health concerns or risks. I chose to appreciate my life more and will slowly urge whoever will listen to focus on taking better care of they're health.

my step sister had her 3rd child, my step mom decided to convert to judiasm, both were impactful, but not majorly so.

Marc shared with me his cultivation of Cannabis in his apartment. It brought me a sense of trust and a renewed effort to help him stabalize himself.

My older brother and his wife had a second baby. He's 34, I'm 30. He's heterosexual and married; I'm gay and single. I'm very excited for him and his adventures, and proud to have two nephews, while I'm still not sure having children is in the cards for me. But I try to recognize with this development in my brother's life that we all move at different speeds; that life happens at different times; and I have to do my best to not compare my life to his (or to anyone else's).

Penny being diagnosed with bowel cancer, it freaked us all out and then she just... got better. And it is like Penny and Pa are superheroes, they always seem to be okay. Somehow it doesn't seem fair to mum, but dad is so lucky, and it was such a relief.

My daughter started High School and gained many personal freedoms. I have been anxious about it all. I am learning to relax and trust her more.

My step-grandfather died. For the first time ever I felt a genuine concern for my step-dad's well-being. We've always had an okay relationship but I've never truly felt close to him. I wanted so badly to ease his pain. It was heartbreaking.

My sister got a GED and started attending Lakeland. She is growing up, whether we like it or not. She is not the same little sister I had but is turning into an adult. This will be an interesting transition for my parents as she grows up and will not have children left in the house. I am still going home to "baby sit" her when they go out of town and I wonder what will happen when she turns 18 and goes off to college. Now that she is at Lakeland, you would think that she would be trusted a little more and given more responsibility. My parents need to let her go and give her the freedom to make her own decisions/mistakes. I hope that she goes away to college and finds the independence and maturity that I did.

not close at all to my family.

everything seems to come back to my moms death. it affected us all in ways that we wont feel for some time. i feel it brought us all closer together at first, but i also think that its the first step in our family falling apart. but i guess life does go on: carter, owen and ian