Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?
This year was quiet. But my daughter is about to have her first wedding anniversary. Her wedding was pretty huge as far as a representation of the next generation of the family coming into their own. She had designed it to be just the bride and groom from the beginning, even before Covid. Some family members were hurt by this, I must admit it was sad not to have my mother of the bride milestone but I was also ok with it for a few reasons. Do I want to be with all the other people that would also need to be there? No. Would there be drama? Yes. I am a pretty drama free person so I was not too upset about forgoing one of the motherly milestones to watch the beautiful drama free wedding of my daughter through pictures and video. Since Covid happened anyway, the other family members who were upset by it, I think probably came around to accept it.
Two major milestones. Jessie getting married and Russell and Meg having a baby. I am happy for both of my kids. I am looking forward to playing with the grandchild of a kid I raised. I am a little wary to be truthful as I don’t know how Meg (and thus Russ) will respond to my carefree, fun parenting style. I am afraid of getting a scowl and “we don’t do things like that” from Meg and a loyal agreement from Russ. For Jessie I am just happy for her. She has wanted to be married to Nick for years and he finally got around to asking her. I wish them bliss. Another milestone was getting the Covid vaccines and booster. What a relief! Thank god for the scientists and geneticists who figured this out. COVID has been hard on all of our family and the social isolation has been hard on our kids. I am glad to see a glimmer of that ending.
Chosen family - I found my tribe. For the first time in a very long time, I feel net into something bigger than myself..
Joel went to college!!!! So crazy!!! I was so afraid of it feeling horrible, being the only "kid" at home, but it's turned out to let Sooka stay upstairs, which makes me feel a little more like an adult. which is awesome. So far, having the space isn't as exposing and uncomfortable as I was afraid it would be. I am looking forward to having an apartment that isn't just the upstairs of my parents' house though, lol
At the end of July, Macy got lost while we were visiting Lauren and Tony in Seaside, CA. I have never lost a dog before, or even known one someone who lost their dog. She got loose from the yard when we were out with the kids at the aquarium and Tony was home alone with the dogs. She went missing on a Monday afternoon and we found her that Friday afternoon after much searching, flyering, calling for her, and spreading the word through social media and kind strangers. It was one of the worst experiences of my adult life (somewhere on the emotional pain scale between losing a grandparent and totaling my car). It was a blessing though that we were at least with close family who helped us look for her and who emotionally supported us throughout the week. While it was an extremely traumatic experience that I never wish to repeat, I was amazed and floored by the outpouring of love and support we received, even from people who didn't know us and had never met in person. This experience also brought Theo and I much closer together, especially in the days where she was actively missing. It illustrated how well we are able to come together to get through a crisis, which makes me hopeful for the inevitable devastation and losses that will come throughout the lifetime we plan to share together.
Due to the pandemic, my partner's mother feels that it's our obligation to entertain her, so when we make plans to go somewhere just the two of us she either invites herself or my partner feels guilty and wants to include her. She was already dominating and self-absorbed and now it's even worse - she doesn't see or care about the impact that her requirement that we include her in all our activities/travels has on us as a couple. I dread making plans anymore.
Having a deep talk with my dad around Christmastime talking about my childhood trauma. We reached forgiveness together and a deeper relationship. And hiking in Norway with my mom! Also bringing us closer together and helping me see her with love, without judgment.
I was able to assist my brother with an agricultural business opportunity that he was very passionate about. It is too early to see the results of the venture, but he seems so happy with his new life!
My wife was diagnosed with cancer. She's battling it and winning, I'm quite proud of her. Our daughter is also growing quite well, and is becoming quite a handful. I'm busy supporting both, otherwise fine
Z also left our shitty old job and went immediately into a new job out as herself for the first time ever! I’m so fucking proud of her! The change in her was almost immediate and impossible to miss. It turns out not wearing male clothing and being dead named/misgendered and also deadnaming and misgendering yourself can have profound, life changing effects. Seeing her blossom has been one of the greatest honors of my life and has truly inspired me.
My Mum's illness and death has reconciled my brother and I which I am very happy about.
The birth of my niece and nephew. It has affected me massively because I am now the only sibling without a child which makes me want to start a family with my husband. It also has made me realise how much I need to keep in touch and visit with my family more often as we all live in different parts of the country
My mother’s death, after years of dementia-related decline. As her primary caregiver, the last 6 months of her life were so painful for me, that her death was almost a relief - almost. But it also means I am now the matriarch (!) a role I struggle to see myself in.
Both my daughters graduated! One from college and one from High School. My youngest is now off to college and our home is less lively. Feel a little lost.
I was able to give my mom and grandparents a hug after we were all finally vaccinated. Now so many idiots are afraid of the damn vaccine that now they are purposely not getting vaccinated and they are fucking dying. Stupid people. It's a darwinian stupidity.
My aunt died and it shifted my thoughts very intensely towards aging and death. We were with her the day before for her 85th birthday and she was healthy, sound of mind, and on her own two feet, so I know that that meant everything to her. But it was a shock, and taking care of her estate has been incredibly difficult for me and Jeremy. I am working very hard on accepting aging and death and trying not to live in fear about my parents. I like what Marc’s teacher said… That we are in changing relationships with our parents at this point in life, but it’s not about loss! You can’t prepare for loss, you can’t start saying goodbye when they’re still here! It’s pointless and depressing. You just have to accept that they are different in some ways but that you have them now.
I guess my sister selling her side of the duplex to me so they could move to Texas. It changed the financial direction we were taking but it was just a small reroute, things are still progressing in the direction I want them to.
My mom moved out. After almost a year with us, she moved into her house. It was weird having her with us for all of that time, and now it is weird having her gone. We got used to having her. It was good. I won’t lie - it’s nice to be able to wander around the house naked and to do whatever we want in the house whenever we want but I miss not seeing her every day. That hasn’t happened since I was 17 if you stop and think about it. In other news, I got a new job. We bought a new truck. We spent $60,000 on our house. It’s a lot.
I became an aunt and started figuring out how I want to be an exemplary adult role model. I got very annoyed with his parents and grandparents trying to get us to FaceTime with a baby, but now that he's growing and learning to talk and walk he will be more interesting to be around.
I think all of receiving our vaccines was a HUGE thing. It allowed us to relax slightly, even though we're still masking, social distancing & not really going out too much in public. But, we were able to go on our yearly vacation that we had to miss last year & a bunch of smaller day adventures, that wasn't just driving around & looking out the window. Also, my daughter going back to school & starting high school was another huge win for all of us! It's still a huge transition for her, but so far, so good!
I chose to be more active in my nieces lives. It makes me look forward to something.
No milestone in the way of a specific event such as the celebration of marriage, birth or death. A quiet year. One of nesting. Celebrated our 3rd anniversary and my 67 birthday with such a deep sense of gratitude and joy. Despite the reeling world, my life has become the life I had always dreamed of and yearned for; wonderful marriage, health, beautiful home, creative expression, satisfying work and amazing family and friends. I've never been happier.
Both of our daughters being off at college meant we had to redefine ourselves. Added to this were the effects of the pandemic. My husband is home. Every day. All-day. I am still trying to understand what this means to and for me. Suddenly there are meals being requested and time being asked of. The balance has shifted.
Getting vaccinated was huge. It really felt like we might be able to come out of this afterall. It brought hope back into my life.
My grandmother was no longer able to take care of herself. This has impacted my parents much more significantly than me as they had to give up their independence to take care of her. I know they appreciate the time and are grateful that her needs coincide with a time in their life they are able to play that role and I also know they feel burdened and disappointed that the first months of their retirement have been absorbed by caretaking.
Dad died. I am so grateful that my sister and my father were close, and that they both had planned so well. I see the selling of my childhood home (which can't happen fast enough!) as the last connection to my life as a young person.
A few major milestones: Finally graduating out of private preschools into public elementary meant a bit more money, of course less commute, more friends in our area. Physical health diagnosis of eldest son means a bit more certainty and a bit more uncertainty. My own diagnosis of ADHD means a lot more self-knowledge. A lot of milestones with or without the Pandemic year. Of course gratitude that the presidential administration has changed, too!
I'm not sure there's been a 'milestone' moment - but my dad has had health issues and it is the realisation that he is not invincible.
My major milestone this year was having my grandma move out of the house that holds so many childhood memories for me. Surprisingly this change has affected me more than I realized it would.
It was a little bit of a wake up call to hear about Ong Ngoai's health, knowing that he could pass, and I would lose the opportunity to talk to him or hear his stories. But then again, I might never really accomplish that, so at least I should take more initiative with my own parents when I can.
Bill got a-fib, was in and out of the hospital 4 or 5 times in January, no longer drives. He's adjusting, but is challenged by it. It was hard on Mom. She now wants us to take him to dinner, to do this, to do that. I understand it, and do it some, but not as much as she or he might want. I love Bill deeply, appreciate all he has done and is doing for our family. He also talks a real lot and I am challenged to be at peace when I'm one on one with him. I know he can't change his ways... I know I need to learn to accept it more, and to decide when and how it happens. There's also a gnawing recognition that Mom also may not live long, and I want more quality time with her. I want the fun times, the cups of tea, her telling stories. And I recognize, perhaps unkindly, that spending time with Bill alone is not spending time with my Mom.
We actually had a conversation - I emailed mum and dad, and spoke to dad in person, about how I feel about Simon having lived with them for all that time and the advantages he gets from it. I'm not sure how much of it went in, but at least I said what I wanted to say.
Moving across the country, new nephew, sister's bro-in-law's sudden passing. Parents for the most part very consistent and healthy (knock on wood). Everything reminds me - how precious, tenuous this life is!
i didn't get to see my family very much this year due to covid but i did get a kitten who is now an extension of family. she has been great company while i've been in covid lockdown for the past 3 months.
We now have two of four kids out of the house and it helped me realize how quickly time flies, how short life is, how important it is to use every day to its fullest and the time and effort we need for each of our holy children. It is still challenging to not be able to go to Israel due to COVID-19 and hope that changes speedily in our days.
My brother visited us in Florida and spent time with my dad for the first time in over a year and a half. He and I were able to begin repairing our relationship. There is more to go, but the fact that he is now attending meetings to address his alcoholism, and that we so enjoyed each others company, are very good signs. His several instances of helping me with the boat are also positive markers. This has made me very happy.
I guess it would have to be H's job change in July-August. The job loss was sudden, and the new job is so very different - different hours, scope, engagement, pay, benefits. And of course his working from home is HUGE. Surprisingly quickly, it enabled me to do a LOT more things, including extensive business travel that I really wasn't expecting. I got a little bit of myself back, or at least that is how it seems so far.
There is a major milestone coming up, and that is Brad and Elizabeth's wedding in November in Jamaica. My son-in-law and his fiancé have been together for a couple of years, and I really like her. I didn't think that Brad would get married or want to have children, so I am excited that he is planning for both of those things. I like approaching this next stage of life, being the (step) grandmother, and I can't wait to see Gary as a grandfather. He is going to be awesome!
My sister had a baby. I have been stuck in a different country but it's hard to imagine this happening. It's brought a lot of joy and kept everyone busy. The experience has shown me that things you never thought would happen actually can.
We celebrated Mom's 86th birthday, and our community showed up to shower her with love, stories of how she changed their life, and flowers. It reminded me that our business isn't in selling tacos, burritos, etc. - it's about creating a community in our neighborhood.
Will had his first knee replacement! It's going to be a long road, but I feel optimistic. I really hope that he will be in less pain and then that will lead to him being less snappish with the kids. It was really rough at first when he had a bad reaction to the pain meds and could neither sleep nor keep food down. But I think we learned from it, and now we'll be better prepared for knee #2. The major effect on me was that I had to take over all the roles that he does: cooking, cleanup, laundry, family wrangling. And although it was a full-time job that I could not have done well while teaching, I think I handled things pretty well! I surprised myself at my ability to keep the house in order and the kids happy. I also learned how incredibly hard Will works every day. No wonder his poor knees couldn't take it. Caring for our home and family is SO. MUCH. WORK. He does it so well, and I developed a new appreciation for him.
I moved to my new house! I spent a lot! But it’s all worth it. I got spaces for myself and I’m enjoying every second in my house.
We found a potential egg donor, who is currently in the final stages of screening. This has been a wonderful gift and even though there's still at least two years before we can get a kid, I'm thrilled that I'm FINALLY making tangible progress on my dream to be a mum.
I really believe that my sister has undiagnosed ADD. This made me realize that all her disruptive, abusive, and inconsistent behaviors throughout our lives and against me were not personal. On the other hand, it shows me the limitations of my future relationship with her. Rather than constant frustration and conflict, I'm stepping back from her and lowering my expectations. I have been doing that for years but with guilt and self-preservation. Now I'm doing it out of awareness, realism and self-care. It's sad but that's reality. Other milestones include: my mother still knowing who I am, and my daughter reaching 6th grade and doing amazingly well in the pandemic.
My stepmother sold the farm I grew up on, and had been in the family for four or five generations. Of course it's her decision and I don't begrudge her for that, but there's part of me that thought it would always be there. Compounding this is the fact i am unlikely to see it again before she exchanges - I cannot see regional travel being permitted before that time. That hurts
My mom recently got her business up and running. I think it made the house a lot more cluttered and the garage just full of her stuff. but it also made me appreciate her more, i mean for her to come from where she comes from, to have made it this far, i'm really proud of call her my mom right now.
My oldest son has disengaged with the family, and with me specifically. I am not upset at this choice - he feels that I am disturbed and he can't see a reason to continue relating to me. I thought he would get over this quicker - but I think he has now gotten himself in a situation that his ego will not let go. I am sad about this and hope that it doesn't greatly affect his relationship with the rest of the family.
In March 2021, I flew out to Denver to meet my granddaughter just as she was celebrating her first birthday. There were many logistical challenges affecting this meeting: getting the vaccine, flying during COVID, having unexpected surgery days before leaving for the visit. And still with my sons' support, I was able to manage it, enjoy holding Ozi Ariella in my arms, and get to know her in the flesh. On May 9, 2021, Max Elan Felder was born. His brother Lior stayed with me while we waited for Anna to undergo a cesarean section to bring Max into the world. It was an intense couple of days with Eitan, Lissa, and my collaborating to make sure that Lior felt secure and that Anna and Nathaniel could focus on a safe delivery for their newborn son. I rejoice in each grandchild's temperament and personality. I hope to continue to be able to show each one how special and loved they are. I also must create as many opportunities as possible to spend time with them while remembering how to maintain self care.
We all got our COVID vaccinations. It gave me an enormous sense of relief.
Last year I spoke of my 1st grandchild, which was a major event in the family then. This year its my Mom reaching 98 years old. She has outlived everyone on both sides of the family. Its a wonder because I dont think I will reach that age. Plus what she has lived through is a miracle. Her poverty while growing up in Blue Rocks, NS. Surviving her dysfunctional marriage and her selfish in-laws is a miracle. How she did that and not affecting her positive outlook is something.
Not quite major, more of a bit of a disappointment -- it was exciting when my mother first got her hearing aides, but they're working less well, or she's not willing to wear them for longer. If we can talk without shouting why wouldn't she want that???
1. Prepared for a possible move abroad (which didn't end up happening)—gave me a thirst for adventure and ideas for future plans, increased my confidence, made me realize I can be happy anywhere 2. Spouse finished LOTOJA—we bonded over supporting him and are considering doing the relay as a family 3. Oldest child entered high school—it's great to see her out in the greater world after being home for so long during the pandemic. 4. Spouse turned 50 and I turned 40. Feeling a bit old, but also feel a fire to live life as fully as we can while we are still healthy and active.
The therapist thing. It blew up my life. It made a certain individual finally open their eyes.... although I fear that they are slowly closing up again...... These questions are honestly super stressful this year. It has been a rough year.
My step daughter went on her first real date/ dance Devyn Jade found a path that allows her to feel whole and needed with an income!!!and she found courage to face school and start that again.
When my father got sick early this year, I had a fear of what's going to happen if anything happens to my parents and I'm unable to see them because of the COVID-19 travel restrictions. I try not to think too much about it but I'm more aware now of how short a time I have left with my parents.
I suppose the biggest milestone was me moving back home to NJ for 7.5 months! At the time we didn't know how long it would be, though I assumed it would likely be through the end of 2020. Moving home affected me by allowing me to get closer with my parents and Jeremy, Lila, and Eloise as well since they came to visit so often. It really brought the family closer together and allowed us to have so much great quality time. I am grateful for that time that we would not have otherwise had together.
The closest we came to a major milestone was our 36th anniversary. We were able to get away for three days in a favorite place. Looking back over life, I realize how fortunate we are to have found each other. Over the years we have come to take much for granted, but I'm convinced we saved one another. I can only speak for myself, of course, but without the influence of my wife it's doubtful that that my life would have amounted to much. So, in retrospect, the most significant event of the year is that we are still together, in good health, financially sound, and know that fate was kind enough to have us find one another. I am grateful for another year spent in the company of a woman who has been at my side for so long.
Bob and I received our COVID vaccinations, so we felt a little more secure in venturing out to see friends and go to restaurants. Also, I resumed being a Loaves and Fishes jail visitation volunteer.
My 2 nieces and my nephew, who I’m very close to, all got married in Zoom weddings. Although I was disappointed that we couldn’t gather in person, due to Covid, I’m very happy for all 3 of them!
My dad’s decline. Effected me with stress and worry and the endless jigsaw puzzle of decisions to care for him
Since Rosh Hashanah I learned that Mama Elly has cancer, but it's too soon to know anything more. We don't know the stage or the prognosis or anything. It's an awful kind of limbo, because I don't know how to feel or what to think. I think one of the other major milestones I experienced with regard to family was telling my family that I was assaulted when I was 14-15. I had never told them and it was really hard to do. I almost had a panic attack when I was telling Mama. I was crying so hard I couldn't breathe and I was choking and I couldn't say it out loud, I had to write it down. Then she told my dad and my brother so I wouldn't have to. It was hard but I'm glad I did it. But it also didn't change as much as I thought it would. I had thought that once I told them everything would be better, because it was the not telling that had made it bad. But telling them didn't make everything better. It didn't make it unhappen. I'm not so alone in it, but it still happened, and I can't ever make it go away.
There really isn't much family left. I would say that Judy and I are finally getting more comfortable with each other. I spoke to Marta and Val, but generally, feel the wall of sorrow of knowledge that I really don't have a biological family.
Having moved overseas the same year covid hit, I was unable to see family for two years. This Rosh Hashanah we were able to have parents in town, along with new chosen family together to celebrate. Celebrate our together deeper than before. With political and pandemic futures being tenuous, this occasion will be held in a special place in my heart.
Stell Bell passed away. It felt like an end of a era. Stella was with me through all my angsty mid 20s-30s. She was a true loyal companion and I really think she saved me in a lot of ways. She gave me purpose - something to take care of, a way to socialize, confidence in just going somewhere alone (with her), and a good judge of character for all who came into my life. I feel guilty that I did not give her very much attention once the kids came along. She was happiest when it was just the two of us and honestly, I miss that sometimes too. And now we have Peggy. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder what I was thinking when I decided to get a puppy.
I found out in August that I am pregnant and please God due in April. Everything will be changing.
The only real change in terms of my family is that I've been in contact with my cousin Adrienne much more than any time since I left Brooklyn. I recently mentioned that for the first time since3 1984 when my mother died, I've been feeling deeply nostalgic for New York and am seriously considering going there next year in September to experience Autumn. Adrienne emailed and told me I could stay with her and they would take me wherever I want to go. When I began considering going back, I finally designed the tee-shirt I've been thinking about for months. It says, "I'm a Newyorangeleno, Brooklyn to Los Angeles, 1974." That was like opening the floodgates and I've had a number of amazing experiences including Ellie Kahn telling me about the group she works with in Fort Green, getting the NYCgo newsletter with all kinds of events in NY, discovering the movie, "Summer of Soul," and the Studio Museum in Harlem, and coming up with a plan to honor the original design of the Statue of Liberty where she was holding the broken chains that represented the United States finally ending slavery. I can actually feel excited about visiting New York for the first time in decades. The trauma I experienced there no longer destroys my joy and pride in being a native New Yorker.
My ex wife seems to be finding it easier to be around me since we had the chat about magic mushrooms. This brings me so much joy. This is totally crucial for raising our kid.
My son got appointed to both the Alameda County and San Francisco County Labor Councils as a delegate from his union, MM&P. I am kvelling and I know that his father would be too. I am also so proud of him for the work he did to help a San Francisco chocolate company form a union.
I visited my parents again and i see how old they are getting. I see how hard my mom works to take care of my dad. It’s like really seeing her for the first time.
Maybe Ronen learning how to read has been a major milestone. I think it just helps all 3 of us do something relaxing together. The other milestone is Gary quitting his job. He is infinitely happier and I’m happy that the person I fell in love with returned.
Not so much a milestone as a marker in life of a different sort: Moving to a senior community where all levels of care are included.
Oy. My dad had two pretty major surgeries and I travelled to Florida to help take care of him and my mom and gma. While a pandemic was raging I overcame my anxieties and got on a plane, went to hospitals, took care of everyone, cooked… this definitely brought me closer to my dad
My health. Forced me to let go and focus on what i need.
I supported my husband to buy a farm. An expensive one. I took a bank loan which I am still paying. My plan is to give him a source of income to relieve the pressure off my salary. Its working so far.
My oldest daughter turned 5 and is now in Kindergarden. We never intended to send our kids to school. I was raised to have lots of kids and homeschool and even when we got out of that religious group we still assumed I'd at least keep them home K-3. But here we are and it's going well. She's adjusting well and loves her school, and I'm working through my emotions about so much change.
The major events of the last year were all regarding my family. I have already touched on the loss of my son, so I will highlight another aspect of the broader family, my grandfather's death... He was a business titan, but I did not know him as such. History will note that he was the president of Douglas Aircraft, but I know him as the troubled yet committed family man, who did not believe in divorce, and made it his mission in life to give and not take, inspire and not be mourned. He inspired me with his strength, his devotion to contribute to society, and his ability to persevere. I believe I owe him my intellect and my strength, and those elements of him live on, beyond his days. Thank you, grandpa. We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
My brother re-entered my life as a person in severe medical crisis, and I would say mental health crisis, though his view may be different. I've become a primary caregiver with his adult children, out of towners, who are seeing their parents' mortality for the first time, and navigating their feelings for rescue and flight, as we all do when we enter this phase of our lives. I never wanted to return to caregiving (deeply for my mom, lightly for my dad) though I was grateful for all it taught me. There are new things for me to learn and I'm resisting a bit. I'm grateful I have a loving community around me to catch me when I fall.
Cary started pre-K. I would drop him off at school mid-day and he walked into the door at Setauket Elementary (main st. school) that I used to walk out of during 4th and 5th grade. It was surreal to think my grandson was seeing the same halls and classrooms I saw almost 60 years ago! Liam decided to work full time for the music store after finishing up at SCCC. I am happy that he seems to enjoy work and is learning a lot about instruments, repairing them and playing them. I'm proud of his passion for music but I worry about his financial future. Will he ever go back to school and get a degree? Should I even care? I want him to have a happy and fulfilling life, period. How he gets there is up to him. I've also become aware of how I don't treat him as an adult and I am trying to stop that. He has moved in with Alec, just this week, in order to help take care of the kids in the morning and I think this will be a good chance for him to become more independent. Selfishly, I am glad I will still be seeing him often. Hopefully this will improve our relationship and his relationship with Ron too and I truly hope it will strengthen his bond with Alec as they really seem to get along well and have become friends. We visited Marsha in the spring and it was a disaster. She got very drunk and acted inappropriately at her 75th birthday party. she fought with Saga and Sasha and she and i had it out later at her house. We left on good terms because she decided to ignore the fight and pretend it didn't happen. I feel I must constantly remind myself of how important she was to my life and what really good times we have had. She reminds me of Daddy the way she's so different when she's drinking. So arrogant, so bossy and loud and mean. I'm not so blind to not see these things in myself too and am consciously trying to drink less and behave better myself. I hope Marsha and I will be able to share good times again someday but I don't know how this will work. She seems to be happy in her red state community, gossiping and putting down NY. I worry about her future and I will continue to pray for her health and happiness and try to remember better days.
My father fell ill, with two stays in hospital for pneumonia (not COVID-19 related). The second time he was in hospital/rehabilitation center for eight weeks. He had never been hospitalized in my lifetime prior to this summer. I have observed how his choices and lifestyle have brought him to this point. The first time I saw him in ICU, and when I went to tend to his home, I went cold because I could see his reality become MY future… something I simply do not want.
I passed my thesis - as amazing and underwhelming as I was told it would be. My sister turned 30, right in the middle of the November lockdown. That was really hard but I'm looking forward to making up for it all and more when things are safer.
A major milestone for our family last year was saying goodbye to one of our beloved pet dogs, Vader. His health was so poor for so long that mom finally found the courage to let him go. It's an odd thing to grieve an abstract event like this from afar. I am hit with another wave of grief while typing this because even though it happened months ago, I still have not been able to visit my parents since then due to COVID. I think this is particularly complex grief for me because losing Vader also feels like losing the idea of my childhood nuclear family. Vader is gone, Chewie will be next, and then my parents will die as well. It is unimaginably difficult for me to be far away from them all as time is slipping away like this, and taking parts of my family with it.
My grandfather's death showed me that you should never take the anyone in your life for granted, especially the people who have watched you grow. Appreciate each day with them, each conversation, each written note, each phone call, and each of the little things they bring to your life - like an addiction to chocolate chip dunkers and a commitment to lifelong learning. I've learned that grief comes in waves, and that every day is different. I want to cherish the time that I have with my living grandparents and make sure they know how much I love them.
The biggest milestone I can think of is that I retired at the end of June, at age 61. It has affected me greatly! I have loved every minute of it. Making my own schedule, doing what I want to do. . . it's been great. I am trying to keep a handle on doing what I want to and not what others want me to do. So far, I think I've done okay with that.
There have been a lot of milestones this year. 1. Tracy got a job. This has been a long time coming and I am so extremely proud of her! She is such a gifted and amazing teacher. However, it is very hard for me to have two jobs and Lupus in a flare up when she is starting her job. 2. I got tenure! How I was able to complete that portfolio with the COVID-19, mono, and Lupus is beyond me - sheer will power and the help of colleagues like Marisol Lopez. I am so happy, so proud. It feel unbelievably good. I hope that somewhere my mother knows about this. 3. I got my first rating of Highly Effective! I am beyond overjoyed. This and tenure are all I wanted for the last six years and I am so honored to have achieved it. 4. Josie entered fifth grade, which is considered middle school at Kinneret. She is only ten but she is so old! She is behaving like a true tween.
A major milestone was my mother finally getting her dream job! The whole family was so excited!
My mom turned 72. It's scary to think about how old she is getting- and I see it sometimes, I see her age. And there are moments where I get so frustrated or annoyed with her because she is my mother after all. But also, I'm trying to be present in the moment and appreciate the time we do have together.
My wife and I decided to give it another go and treat each other with more love and respect. In the short term, it was somewhat of a relief not to have to deal with the complications of divorce and the prospects of having to find another kindred spirit to be with. In the long term, I'm still not sure the marriage is sustainable, given the large differences that have developed between us and the lack of real closeness.
Watching my mother and father rapidly decline has been difficult. Parenting them is both difficult and fills me with discomfort
A's legal name change! My position shifting to Assistant Director ahhhhh! Name effect: it's been nice to see A starting to feel more comfortable with holding boundaries about names & pronouns with their family, and hard seeing pushback. AD effect: it's meant I haven't been forced to substitute teach in-person for financial stability, or during that long surgery recovery. And, it's not been anxiety-free - everything's compounded/layered together messily, emotion-wise
We got engaged!!! Ahhhhh so exciting. I'm the luckiest man in the world for being her partner. Milestones like this make me think back to the beginning of our relationship, the countless paths we could have gone down, but we chose just the ones that led us together in this exact way. I love you Jules
My cancer journey has taught me the importance of a balanced life… being assertive, in control needs to be balanced with being the receiver of care, with letting go. Like the serenity prayer says — having the courage to move forward, to change, the serenity to accept what can’t be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I went to visit my big brother, Gregory, in hospital last weekend. He's been in and out quite a lot since his kidney transplant last August. His mental health has declined, making it much harder to manage both conditions. At times I've lost hope and was starting to come to terms with the fact that he might not survive for much longer. I was relieved that he made it to Christmas. He knows himself that he lives too hard and doesn't take proper care of himself, or is not capable of taking proper care of himself, or doesn't want to take proper care of himself. I was apprehensive about going to visit him. I hadn't seen him since my wedding in February 2019. I was nervous that he might attack me verbally or be angry about me and the rest of the family. But that didn't happen. I was actually quite hopeful after seeing him that he might have a brighter future ahead. Maybe it's because I set my expectations so low. I feel more at peace with it now. I was able to hug him twice (at his insistence) and tell him that I love him. Hugging is supposedly verboten in NHS hospitals at the moment, where social distancing is still required. I wouldn't have hugged him had he not wanted it. And once he offered, I couldn't refuse.
Michelle has stepped up to financially take care of our family. With me out of work, this has given me a sense of relief.
My daughter Rachel moved from Iowa City to Oakland, CA. This will certainly make it easier to visit my kids as they all live in the same town. Also I met my significant other this past year and life is so different now. Totally more fulfilling!
Ari and Jer told us they were pregnant with baby number 2!! It was so exciting because Stella has already brought so much joy, so we can only imagine the excitement baby girl Stando will bring to the fam. And to see Stelly as a big sis will be exciting too I’m sure
Ruth and Vic married and they live with Liam in their own house - no more co-housing. I miss the community and shared cooking and unpredictability, and I also cherish the couple life Bob and I are building together, and the continuing closeness with grown daughters and growing grandkids.
I've spent a lot of time on my mother already. The things I'd say are the quickness of her declining frailty and of her cognitive decline. My understanding - limited as it is now, growing as the year goes on - of the extent of childhood abuse and its affects on me. The major milestone right now is the end of my relationship with Michael. I am - surprisingly to me - devastated. I've not felt this way before, not even when Chris and I ended our marriage. I know I haven't loved like this, and with this as context, I'm not sure I've truly loved before. I feel so alone, and he's the person I would always go to to talk about whatever's come up for me. His absence. It's near-physical. I am - again, surprisingly - devastated. I don't know how long it will take me to recover from the end of this relationship. I... I can't even find the words. Devastated, distraught, bereaved. Even his absence as my friend. That's enough to despair. Will I find another person who will be as good a friend to me as he has been? I don't know. He filled a hole that has been empty for literally DECADES. How will I recover from this? I will, because I am resilient; and I don't know how. Or how long it will take.
We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. It felt like a big deal because I nearly died a few years ago and we both know how close we came to not celebrating.
Bought a house. Major benefit to general happiness. No idea whether it will prove financially sound
Other than my mom dying, I think another milestone was having my kids go back to school. While it was a huge milestone for them to start High school and middle school LAST year, they didn't have a fully functioning school year. This year is a big deal.
Sorry all of these answers are the same, but obviously I'm thinking about mom all the time right now. We thought we had more time. We thought we had at least a few more years worth of Risk games and maybe babies. We thought the acupuncture might help, the alternative treatment might help, the blood pressure meds might help. We didn't think one day she's just lose the ability to breathe so soon. We were so focused on the MSA we missed all the signs for the lungs. It's been pretty shitty on my family. Dad is running this toxic narrative of Joey and Jimmy and Stephanie being unloving towards him. Grandma is starting to tell us what she really thinks of dad. I'm waiting for the bomb to drop of dad trying to get the four of us to sign the house over to him. None of us know how to be sad in front of each other. I'm trying to get the siblings into family therapy because I think that would be healthy. I need to get better at being sad in front of other people. I can't even do it with Berg. I've cried in front of three people since this all went down, Joey on the stoop when the ambulance took her, Berg in bed when I can't stop crying and Margaret when she came up to tell me dinner was ready but heard me crying through the door. I am reminded that mom was the one who helped me with this in college when she knew I was cutting myself and asked if I was getting help. I said I didn't want to worry my friends and she said, if they were going through this, wouldn't you want them to tell you? And she was right. I had no rebuttal to that. I know she would want me getting more help right now. It's just hard.
Lauren moving to third grade,entering the world of big kid. I am so proudof her. Shewill be starting hebrew school and sings in the new ( to us)temple chorus and it fills my heart. She was so joyful at erev rh and making family dinner , staying up late talking. She also has tap,acc,dives off the diving board. She has been so resilient and ahouldnt have had to but she has grown so. She is the best of me
We adopted a dog! Max has been an amazing addition to the family though the first couple weeks were pretty rough. She’s a cuddle bug and nap fiend that loves cheese so she’s fitting right in.
This is a meaningful question this year because I had my first ever milestone with my newest family -- getting engaged. I'm really grateful to feel like I've found the right person to build a life and family with. I feel excited about what the future holds and nervous about the paths not taken at the same time. But this milestone is the first of many (I hope) to come as we solidify our commitment to one another and build a physical home together as well as a spiritual home together. Then, more milestones as we grow our family and welcome additional members into our home and then eventually celebrate their milestones. It's crazy to reflect on this moment right now, knowing it will be so different in 1, 5, 10, 25 years...
There have been no major milestones. Every day seems like every other day. Which I guess, that realization is a major mile stone to take time and resources a lot more seriously
See number one. My aunt died. The first of my parent generation to go. It makes us seem more frail. Less substantial. Closer to the end.
Seeing my daughter fully engage with her recovery and in particular, seeing how she dealt with a relationship break - up has been a joy and inspiration. Hard to believe that this is the same young woman who made 7 attempts on her life in one year.
We had our basement flood on the 4th of July and had to replace the water line to our house. It has made me less concerned about material things and focused more on relationship.
We've adopted a stray cat! I've always wanted to take care of one as a kid, and I'm glad that it's happening now. So much love and gentleness from this little creature who've been through so much in her life. She's my anchor to the present as well, whenever life gets too scary and overwhelming for me. May she lives a long, happy life filled with morning sunbaths together with us.
Nothing really has happened with my family this year, and I'm thankful for that. I'm not naive enough to think that will be the way forever, but I like that this year was peaceful for my family.
Uncle Bill died of heart failure and old age. Suddenly no one is sending me letters, Ruthie is alone and lonely in New York, and mom and Ruth are just kind of trading back and forth over text. The ongoing pandemic makes it so hard to want to visit and expose aging relatives to possible infection that my own immunity can withstand.
The kids played their first season of soccer (and started the second one as of this writing.) Seeing them grow and develop fills me with hope, wonder, and excitement - and also makes me hope it's not too late for me to be the good mom that they deserve.
When my daughter saw me the first time after I'd walked seven days a week, followed WW closely, and lost 30-35 pounds, she said, "Mama, you're so skinny." Twice! I felt like Sally Field when she'd won her second Oscar, "You like me. You really like me! My self-esteem is so much higher. The last time out to lunch, she ordered a salad. I was happy for her and hope she takes my lead after I've suffered all of my life with my weight.
Don't know how to answer that. I don't have a partner or kids. Used to feel I had a strong chosen family. Family of origin is so far away, in distance and emotion. Who is my family?
My father is getting older, my brother is terminally ill. I have become startlingly present.
One of my mothers turned 50 this year, and my brother graduated high school and started college. Both of these made me feel kind of old, especially the second one. Having my parents be empty nesters and all of my siblings and stepsiblings in college makes it feel like we're in a different phase of life, more so than when I started college. My parents are now older with adult children, and I am now more fully an adult. My relationship with my brother, and to a lesser extent my parents, has changed as a result of this; those relationships seem to be shifting to more of a friends relationship than before.
Other than the things already mentioned in other questions, I can’t really think of a milestone that has happened other than something that happened just a few days ago. We learned that Rick’s son Justin Wayne was arrested for murder/domestic violence in KY. What Justin said happened was that he and his girlfriend were in the car going down the road and were arguing. They pulled over and continued to argue. He pulled a gun out and pointed it at himself and at her. They began to struggle over the gun and it went off striking and killing his girlfriend. His bond has been set at One Million Dollars. Rick has not really had much reaction to learning that. He just said, “Well, that’s what happens.” He has said nothing else about it to me but surely he is feeling something inside that he is not voicing. I pray for God’s mercy on Jusin. I pray he finds peace and I pray he is shown leniency. I immediately thought of How Wayne and I both barely made it through 2 years of his being locked up. I pray for peace and strength for his mother and for Rick. Neither of them were in Justin’s life when he was growing up. He was rejected by Rick then and again when he was 18 and went to live with Rick and Kisha. I was told by Flora that Kisha came between Rick and Justin and Rick ran him off because of her...I don’t know the details. I do know that through the years I have tried to get Rick to reach out to him and he would not. Surely Rick is thinking about that too. I am glad that Justin was here with Flora Michelle and her family on Christmas Eve.
My mom died, though her dementia took her away long ago. I am relieved (1) that she suffered little; (2) that my responsibility has ended. I’m sad when I feel that I wasn’t always emotionally available or that I was less generous to her than she always was to me. I’m proud of the life she lived and of the celebration of her life we held with our family.
Two new baby girls. I have six grandchildren. I feel like what I prayed for, always wanted has come true. I am so, truly blessed...when I was 27 I wrote that I wanted to be a Matriarch when I was old and I feel that has come true. I have close, special relationships with each grandchild. Went to France as soon as I could in June. Love hearing "Nana!"
This year is such a unique year to reflect on. We managed to grow together during a global pandemic and still maintain a heartfelt connection. We all grew and stayed relatively grounded through it and are coming out ahead rather than behind.
We spent more time together during the pandemic than we would have otherwise. It's wonderful to have them. I'm so thankful that I'm blessed.
Everyone is alive and healthy, and that is a sufficient milestone for this year. Maybe in the next year we can actually see them all in person.
The major family milestone of this past year was the death of my parents. It has caused me to reflect more on the importance of family. I am thinking about the ways I could use my paid time off to better connect with family or friends. I’m trying to reach out more to people who are important to me. I’m beginning to explore my work / life balance and asking if it reflects my priorities and, if not, how will I change it. I’m not sure I will have the answers right away. I believe that this exploration will be my focus of thought and exploration this year, with changes to come in the next year.
This past year laid bare the fact that the family I’ve “loved” my whole life hasn’t taken the time to love me in a very long time (if ever). I’ve learned what I never had, I’ve learned what I’ve never let go of - and I’ve learned what true familial love really is. It’s late night calls when someone needs a caring ear or to be talked off a ledge. It’s staying with someone while they recover from surgery. It’s saying “we don’t have to be done talking about it if you have more to say.” It’s handmade (or carefully chosen) gifts, hours-long phone calls, surprise visits, unquestioning material support, and kind challenging. Everything has happened with my family. I’m an entirely new person because of it.
My grandfather died. The memory of Papa will live inside of me for as long as I live. It has effected my relationship to my grandma and family. We were already small in number. Now, we are closer.
My husband had a stroke last Yom Kippur and just turned 85 last month. I am so much more aware of how vulnerable we all are and how precious every moment is.
MARRIAGE. Moving away has improved my relationship with my parents. I've gained the best in laws in the world. I inherited my husband's great friends. I love being in RI. I got to have my cousins in my wedding and my sister in law filmed... yeah a lot has changed. My mother in law single handedly pushed me to start volunteering at church after years of procrastinating. They make yummy desserts I can eat with my allergies. I found someone who loves me so well.
The closest to major milestones was the passing of two pets: Maui and Bagheera. Maui was only with us a short time, but was lovable and I'm glad we were able to give him home life and individual care for his last few months. Bagheera's passing left a hole in our lives and I'm very glad that he was part of our life. Many changes during his 17 years, He was born a barn cat, lived with friends of ours for 2 years, and then with us through many pets and through the growing up and leaving of our children. Our house had 4 kids, 3 dogs, and 2 cats at one point and we are now empty nesters with a much quieter home. He rolled with it all.
We got our first grandchild! My daughter had a rough pregnancy, and Covid prevented us from getting together and being an active part of the process. Another positive is my relationship with my husband is getting better and better!
I helped plan Gommy's 80th birthday weekend after spending two nights at Gommy and Poppy's house in Mamaroneck just the three of us. I've never felt so close to them and for the first time they feel like a positive, steady ficture in my life. I also loved seeing Jennifer, Andrew and the twins that weekend. It helped me see how inconsequential any of our differences are and how joyous and meaningful it feels for us to all spend connected, dedicated time together. I really hope to keep those deepened relationships more active than they were in the past.
My dad and I bonded and I came to him for help. It was transformative that he could respond effectively.
I almost died a handful of times. Now that the kids are older (10, 7, and 3) the impact is significant. They don’t know the details, but it’s pretty clear they all have fear and discomfort around my absence and medical care. This is the legacy I have created for our family.
We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, pandemic style. Just the kids and grandkids at my daughter’s house. FedEx supplied gilt Hawaiian leis, cardboard crowns and, for the grandkids, cotton candy. Our love and mutual respect has only grown over the years. I’m so grateful. And proud, though it might just be dumb luck.
It was a BIG deal to choose to put our 6yo back in school this fall. We are okay with it because our district is masking, but it's terrifying with the COVID-19 numbers where they are and the low level of vaccination in my county. We discussed it for months and ultimately came down on it being so important for his development. He has blossomed with having other kids to interact with, and loved being able to come home the expert on something, even if it is something that happened at school that day.
my son turned twelve and his first order of business was to get vaccinated! his first covid-19 inoculation dose! it’s giving me a lot of home and the tiniest hint of peace. he also broke his arm a few weeks earlier. at the hospital, he kept apologizing to the nurses and doctors for taking up a bed, and he kept thanking them for their help. he was inquisitive and brave. we really shined as a family unit. when he came out from under anesthesia, i sang to him. he joined in… “bills are all due, baby’s got the flu. everything seems to turn out rotten that i do but here’s a little promise that i aim to keep — baby i’m getting my shit together. next week.”
My son now has a wonderful girlfriend. and I have met her family who are great as well. Having something in common that is meaningful to both of us makes me very happy and gives us alot to talk about. Met her family and feel very comfortable with them.
In January, my baby sister had a baby. I'm an aunt already through my husband's brother, but this was the first grandbaby born into my side of the family and we were not able to be there when he was born or meet him in person for three whole months. Meeting a baby on Zoom is really insufficient when you can't kiss those soft cheeks and feel the snuggles and let him recognize your face! Luckily, I've been able to spend more quality time with my nephew (the cutest baby alive - OK maybe I'm just a bit biased!) since all the adults in the family finally got vaccinated in March and April, and I just spend a weekend with my sister and nephew in DC, including a trip to the zoo to see the baby panda. My sister-in-law is also now four months pregnant, which came as a bit of a surprise. I will be getting a niece in January 2022! Since receiving some unfortunate personal news in the fertility department last year and having had two miscarriages since January, I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and jealousy sometimes, but I love my growing family and hope that by this time next year we might have found some answers. I've got upcoming appointments for further testing and treatment options, so we haven't given up hope just yet, but it is hard to feel like I'm not able to talk about it with most people as they would not understand what we are going through.
We gained a Sarah! Our bear, a gorgeous little sister for our Nina, stretching our triangle of loveliness into a square. Somehow the addendums 'bear' and 'bean' have stuck for now, and I'm pretty sure Nina thinks their full names are 'Sarah Bear' and 'Nina Bean'. We are all still adjusting to life as a four - it's hard! There's no down time! Nina still thumps Sarah pretty often, or cuddles her much too hard, or even one kick in the face last week... but in general it's amazing to see the love between them already, and imagine them running round, thick as thieves, in years to come.
There are now only 2 of my father's siblings left. 2 out of 6. For our branch of the family this means that we are 2 people away from my generation being "the old folks". Most of us are in our 40's and 50's now but we're still getting used to being the "adults". I pointed out to my cousin that once her mother goes she will technically be the matriarch (as the oldest female of our line) we laughed because she's the only girl in the group who never had a kid. We agreed that as long as one of our parents' cousins is alive we're not the old folks yet.
Welcoming our second (and final) child to our family. I have to pinch myself sometimes and humbled to think that I have a partner, two wonderful children, my health, while being relatively young (36 years). I feel incredibly blessed because none of these things are a given in life. I am grateful!
My mother-in-law was diagnosed with white matter disease this past year. Being forced into retirement and then being isolated due to Covid-19 probably accelerated her disease. We're very close and to watch her progression -- the forgetfulness, the changes in mood and personality, the out-of-character aggression out of left field -- it's been difficult, to say the least.
We lost our income, nearly lost our home; I personally lose my job at the end of September. It's been straining on my relationship with my partner. It's made me sleep more and hide away from people/socializing. I've drank more than normal, and stopped communicating with my partner daily; they're at 'wit's end' with me- I don't know if I entirely care about anything anymore.
My eldest sister, Marie turned 70 in July. I can't believe how fast time is going by and I'm only 8 years away from that age myself. It's kind of scary to think about. While aging, in general isn't the issue. It's the fact that there is less time to do what God has sent me here to do - better get moving!
Our glorious unexpected early arrival of our daughter brought maladaptive relationship patterns in to sharp relief. Kids will do that. Preemies make it that much harder. The sharp edges have softened over time through mutual exhaustion. Having a child has brought a deep awakening and keen awareness of all the barriers I have erected to handle my deep trauma and need to soothe, calm, and try to control chaotic situations. I do not want this little girl to carry forward my baggage, or to talk herself into prioritizing peacekeeping over her needs.
It is only I in my immediate family. But if I consider my extended family, I would say I was struck by and proud of my pregnant niece's fortitude during the panademic. She did all that she could in Texas to keep herself, her baby, and the rest of her family safe before and after the birth.
Beginning my career as a teacher has profoundly affected me and my family, as this has been a lifelong dream.
The major milestone: My last child's graduation from college. It has made me more aware of how my children's lives have been so central to daily thoughts about how my time was taken up. I have spent 28 years of my life creating the space for them to grow into the people they've become. Now it's time for that space to be mine and I am frankly afraid. I am not regretful at all. I don't like the uncertainty that lies ahead for myself.
I got MARRIED!! To a stunning and smart and loving woman! I never thought id findd someone so accepting.
I finally moved out on my own and decided to avoid getting in a relationship. This has given me confidence that, although lonely moments happen, I can be strong on my own, sit in the lonliness and not need to fill it with another person.
My nephew was born! It's made me continue to think about my stance on having children, and I continue to grapple with it, but his existence is the biggest blessing.
A brother died from ALS. He was a center for the 4 of us brothers. I've not grieved as I thought I would. Maybe I'm all done with grieving, or went through it while he was alive and declining.
Ah, the beauty of timing. If this question had been asked yesterday, I might talk about my mom turning 70, my baby sister turning 50, my mom's final sibling passing away & leaving her as an only, Jon & Kat finding out they are having a baby, refinancing the house. Today, I found out that the company I have worked for for 15 years is being acquired. It isn't very likely I'll come through this with a job still intact. My answers to these questions one year from now will be significantly different than they were just yesterday. Truly, the passing of my Aunt Margaret is the most significant of the past year. It impacted the family dynamic, certainly. It impacted my mother and how she views life. It served as a stark reminder that generations do pass, and we need to strive to live life, make memories and preserve those memories.
We had our 15th anniversary. Which honestly, there were some times I wasn't sure we'd make it to it. But... I love my wife, she is my person, and I'm slowly coming to understand more pieces of my identity. We had a fancy vow renewal (she got to wear the poofy white dress of her dreams) with our children involved and it was fantastic.
Dealing with trouble ttc, made us disappointed with each other, frustrated, but also made us talk more about difficult subjects
We had Lev and this affected everything. I'm a different person now. My home, body and sould is meant for him. I don't hate that I had to give up liesure time-most of it was unproductive silliness.
As I wrote in question #1, I believe the largest transition for my family this year by far has been the birth of our first child. This is also the first baby in my generation on both my mother's and father's sides of the family (third baby on my husband's side of the family). During my pregnancy, I would daydream about how sweet it would be to see our child bonding with and loving various family members. Particularly, I am touched at the tenderness and devotion I have seen Jon and my Dad display. Seeing them be doting fathers and grandfathers (respectively) inspires me to trust and love them both more.
We had a baby. She changed everything and everyone! She’s phenomenal. The first baby of her generation in our immediate families.
Last year my child was born. It is the major milestone and the major thought in everyone's mind on 2020. I have been the very center of the family during pregnancy, cuddled and cared. After having birth suddenly I wasn't the center of the family anymore. That made me think about how traditional and old fashioned is still our culture.
Grandpa Holden's Stroke is the definitive end of the era. He isn't in charge or making decisions any more. Grandpa Holden's Stroke hit me With Some of the worst PTSD symptoms I've had Since my dad's murder. Today . I realized just how much I need to choose me again. To make that real Commitment to my own health and needs that l did when l was engaged to myself.
Living with my mom and my brother for 15 months really forced us to learn how to deal with each other long term, and even though it was stressful, I think we're closer for it.
I can't think of any in my biological family, but my adoptive family in CHCH had a biggie. Glen nearly died for about a hundred different reasons and he MADE it! It certainly affected me by plunging me into some PTSD related anxiety around health and death and helplessness. Landing in CHCH and reuniting with him and Delwyn was JOYFUL and reminded me just how much I'm loved by these people who hardly knew me a couple years ago. They've added so much value and depth of care to my life -- the sense of belonging has been healing, and Glen surviving something so rare and fatal was beyond a relief. My visits with them just got even happier and more poignant.
We moved into our own place and got away from the abuse. That alone is a huge thing for us
I have two new nephews! My brother and sister in law adopted a baby from South Kore and also had a biological baby! This has brought a lot of joy during a year filled with it's fair share of sorrows.
I don't know... my family... My brother and my dad are doing well. My sister moved to another country. My dad is well. After a hard year (who didn't have a hard year?) both economically, but especially with his health, he is doing better. To be there for him is all I care about right now. Then there are my other families. "My kid", who is not a kid anymore, but will always be "my kid" with his university studies and his girlfriend. He moved out of his mother's house and now he is living alone. Which is something that makes me so happy! And then there is Maya Sestra. Her new job. Her newfound freedom. It moves me. And I want to be part of those changes, of that journey. I know I am. But I want to keep doing my part.
My wife had COVID and was very sick. I was so afraid that I would loose her and so happy that I didn't. We have been married for 20 years now and it has been great. Now it is a stronger pillar of my life.
I guess one thing is I started to think of my husband's adult kids as my family. My own biological family I do not feel close to.
Wow all of them. First baby, first house, new city, surviving a pandemic. I feel like I've been transplanted into a different world better than I even dreamed of.
Well... we're all leaving. N was already in London and M away from home but four children in four countries must be pretty intense on the 'rents. They're perfectly capable adults who have lived without kids before but I do worry about them. Will they find breaks from work to enjoy themselves and spend time doing things they care about? I wish Dad would draw. I also worry about staying in touch. We aren't great at calling eachother for better or worse. Not that we should feel obligated to but I do think it's valuable. I'd hate for this to be the beginning of the end in our regular interractions as siblings...
My daughter left for college. Too soon to fully know the impact but so far it is sad, exciting, an opportunity and wistful. But we’ve done well as parents and that’s good.
My youngest son got married. He moved several years across the country and even though he is a great kid, it seems like we will never live in the same geographic area again. He and his wife do not want any children, which is a disappointment to me but I realize it is his choice. I know he would make a great father.
Wow, looking at my answer from last year, this year has come full circle. We just went to uncle Steve's unveiling and we were able to be there for dad in person and give him a hug and support him, which felt great. Just shows how crazy this year has been and how things changed. I think getting to come to the US and see my family is huge. What an exciting opportunity finally! Plus getting preggo on the first try is quite the molesting in our medical history.
This isn't really an acute milestone so much as it is a dawning realization. Over the last year I realized a lot more that my mother is becoming an old lady that isn't 100% in possession of her mental faculties like she used to be. I know that is something that happens to all children of aging parents if they are lucky enough to still have parents; it's just that I've realized it's now happening to me. I've really had to lower my expectations of what my mom can remember, think about, contribute to, weigh in on, and organize. It's really hard for me because my default is to still see her as a middle-aged (but not "elderly) person who is completely in control and "with it", which means I get impatient with her when she can't keep up mentally. I expect her to communicate clearly, be conscientious, remember what she commits to, etc. (all the stuff she used to be able to do) and she just isn't capable of that anymore. Rather than blaming it on her, I need to be more gracious about it, adjust my mindset, and see it as an opportunity to practice acceptance and love.
No milestones, per se, but I think that after my close encounter with death, I may take a new approach toward approaching difficult tsks.
My dad is in year two of living with an incurable cancer. WE are all adjusting, and thankfully he still has a great quality of life, but every time the phone rings my stomach goes into knots.
My Mom passed away and my step-dad entered a dementia ward. I was glad to be there for my Mom as she began her journey to leave us. It allowed me to grieve along the way to the point that when she passed I was happy for her and settled in my heart. I didn't need to cry - I'd grieved the whole way through. As for my step-dad, I'm able to get to know him. He was always in the shadows or on the sideline.
We gained legal custody of our bonus kid. Going from 2 to 3 teenagers in our house and really impacted our grocery bill.
Visited family in June, and had breakthroughs with my parents and with David around how I am with them. I am still affected. Also see my dad is having more health challenges, and my mom is closing ranks as his caretaker, opting to not get dad dental care he needs.
I am still not sure what the real definition of family is anymore - my mom, my sister her wife, etc... but then I am in a relationship and my partner has 3 children and we are trying to discover what that looks like - I am not their mother, they have one... I don't wish to parent them as they have 2 parents - so struggling with the navigation of all of these has been a challenge this year coupled with COVID and restrictions - we did make a family vacation out of going back to meet his family, but his children are spoiled and very entitled and I am not good at dealing with their behavior when it is so nasty - so we keep trying -we continue to have separate homes, but did just recently purchase a home with the plan of us all living together at some point - my desire is to wait until his daughter is graduated and out of the house, who knows at this point - this has created stress I would rather not have in my life and we are doing the best we can communicating needs and desires - the kids aren't used to having a voice, but we keep trying - it is a grind as they are so conditioned the other way - i am confident we will find our way to our true family home and family - but right now just not entirely sure what it will look like.
We moved halfway across the county and bought a house way over asking price sight unseen. Mom, dad, 2 little kids, dog. I was extremely sick and couldn't walk when we moved. At 33 years old I was walking with a cane and in a wheelchair in the airport. It fucking sucked. It's going to take us months, maybe even a year or 2 or 3, to recover from this tornado and to feel settled. I was so excited to move when we decided to go through with it, but after all the crap that happened as a result of the decision, the fun and enjoyment of the process was completely snuffed out. Sigh.
My mom and Steve finally got married! It was a beautiful celebration, and felt miraculous that it even happened. No smoke or delta or any other million things got in the way, and we got to have a family gathering focused on joy, not sorrow. We needed that! Yes, it was chaotic and challenging to parent and be present but I'm grateful. Especially for our time at the beach afterward. I don't think them being married will change a whole lot about our relationship, but we'll see! It is definitely a big moment for my mom.
Our younger son is in a committed relationship for the first time and our older son eloped, rather than wait for the pandemic to pass. I am happy for them both and at the same time, putting aside my fears about their choices. They chose lovely, loving people but they are not "perfect." Not that anyone could be!
We bought a condo! Besides just allowing us to visit and work from the beach, it has also been a demonstration in living with much less than we have here in Colorado. It also makes this house in Colorado seem large in comparison to our little place in Florida. It makes me want to clean out stuff from here.
Becoming pregnant with baby #2 in the midst of an ever-changing school year. It has made me feel a sense of hope and excitement for a new life added into our family.
We moved! We sold our condo and moved into a house with my folks. It has been very positive although not without its own challenges. Honestly it has been a blessing. I love that my daughter likes to hang out with her grandparents any hour of the day!
My husband turned 101 & my grandaughter married her longtime girlfriend. In both cases I have been able to 'kvell' with joy & gratitude to be able to 'come to this day'. Shehekeyanu moments, for sure.
My oldest granddaughter started kindergarten a few weeks ago. I'm so proud of her, but it saddens me to think how little time I've been able to spend with both of my granddaughters. I love them both so much, and I miss them terribly.
My father died. Because of COVID the opportunity to see him was nearly impossible. I feel that loss greatly. During the last six months, as it became increasingly difficult to talk on the phone with him, the void was profound.
What first came to mind was my mom turning 60. It's really great to see her active, overall healthy even within her multiple health conditions, and to have her actively present in my life. I'm grateful I get to spend time with her, discuss on different topics of life, and support each other through life's ups and downs.
A major milestone that happened with my family has been working on our house. It's been rewarding, frustrating, difficult, and expensive, but I have learned so many skills--I've also learned when to keep my mouth shut, when to offer help, and when to ask for help.
My husband had knee replacement surgery after years of suffering. I have hope that he will walk normally again. I feel great relief.
December 2020--my older sister had a baby :) this has made everyone in our family more hopeful, loving, and joyful.
Lisa decided to change her work status. Still at NTID, still doing research on technology for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, on July 1 she went to half-time, half-pay, full benefits (like health care). Right now she's sifting and sorting through the work, work relationships, grant writing needs, and self-definition and identity. I'm trying to be supportive!
Having a second child has changed everything. It's shifted all of our relationships, and brought new challenges. It's also brought an interesting sense of balance that has given us moments of really unique joy and peace. My first child has adapted beautifully, with moments of extreme anger and sadness. Our ability to navigate this incredible spectrum of feelings and experience together I think will be something that bonds us forever. Having a second child has also pushed me further in the direction of prioritizing family over my very demanding job. I know I need both - I will not feel whole without my own goals, work, and identity - but I find it easier than ever to know when to say it's time to turn inward and protect and love on my partner and kids.
There weren't any major milestones this past year. Any that there were have been completely obliterated by my husband's death because they would have been things accomplished with him - he was my family. It was just the 2 of us out in Texas. After he died I had to sell our house because I moved back to CA to be with family. I guess you could say doing that and buying a vehicle without him for the first time ever are milestones. But heartbreakingly they are just mine, not ours.
We are coming up on our 10th wedding anniversary but are still working through what this milestone really means for us.
I turned 80. It has focused my mind on what a short time is left. I have to deal with my limitations and get as much out of life as I can.
My estranged husband moved up to ME and had committed to our marriage. I’m excited but cautious It has made me stronger to be able to stick with my convictions
My aunt is in serious decline. She was a vital friend. She was a mentor. She was my Auntie Mame. I've felt a special bond from the time I was a little girl. And now it's over. She's alive, and somewhat mobile, and can speak, but as happened to my father after his stroke, she needs constant care. Her wife (and her aid) do all of this work, but there will never be another dinner or road trip Other than brief breaks, there won't even be any more alone time. Her brain works, but it is very slow and somewhat spotty. And the frustration makes her quick to anger. Quicker to anger. It is a major upheaval in my life, which is drastically different than before the pandemic.
A major milestone is everybody growing a year older. One of my younger brothers are just about ready to graduate high school and the other is ready to transition to High School. I feel the need to make preparations so that I can assist them in chasing their dreams as much as possible. I want to be the older brother that I never had growing up. Parents are getting older and I just pray to God that he keeps them alive long enough for me to thank them back for all that they have done for me.
The ability to live confidently in the world as a person openly living with DID due largely to an amazing support system has felt heroic. I'm now hoping my openness will help someone else, especially if I never know about it.
My nephew going to university and my niece doing well in her GCSEs. There's sadness that I'll never experience those milestones with children of my own, but I'm glad I can feel pride from a distance.
Got into nursing school!!!! Made me realize I am able to change what I am unhappy about
My foster son finally had his wedding, despite the pandemic surge. It was amazing to see him so happy and settled. It was fun to see all of the young folks who are now grown and thriving. It was humbling to be accepted into this diverse extended family. It was also a bittersweet, realizing that while I parented this young man for many years, he really is no longer "mine." No matter how happy I am to see him reunited with his birth mother, it still has a bit of a sting.
David's health and physical abilities are seriously declining. Resent having to be a caretaker at this stage of my life. Mom turned 100! She's happy, comfortable, and has a good quality of life.
Idk. Oct 31st is gonna be 16 years since my mom died (i know thats in the new year, but hush). This year seems to be harder than the previous few years. I don't know why. Maybe an awareness that I will never get to know my mother as an adult, maybe because we didnt go visit her on the mountain this year (I'm pretty sure my dad, who has long since remarried, forgot it was her birthday), maybe because of all the ways I'm realizing my life would be different had she stayed here with us. She learned she was going to die when Katrina hit. On the other side of the country, my mother watched coverage her entire stay in the hospital. She'd live for another couple of months, but she'd be in a coma just a few weeks later. When Ida hit, all I could think about was her, even though I knew I should be thinking about the people in Louisiana, all the way up into New York. I wonder what I'd think of her. I wonder what she'd thing of me. Mostly I try to remember what her voice sounded like, and all the other things I've forgotten. I miss you very much, mom.
The birth of my grandson. It has changed how I view myself. It has allowed me to help my daughter in ways I haven't been able to previously. He is amazing and they are great parents. My company let me work from London for a month- which was wonderful! It was very hard leaving and it is hard having him so far away. We are all navigating that process. Technology helps.
My grandma died. She was my last surviving grandparent (I'm going to be 40 this year!) and she is the matriarch of my mom's family (5 kids, 12 grandkids, 19 and counting great-grandkids). She has also been such an important connection to the past for me. She had so many stories about World War II, how life had changed over the past 90+ years. When my grandma was on hospice, my sister called me. Because of COVID, my grandma was able to spend her last days at home, but family members had to stay with her over night. It was our job to make give her morphine and to call the hospice nurse if she were to die. My sister had volunteered for an overnight shift, and I immediately said I would go with her. My grandma died less than two days after we stayed with her. I am so grateful we got to say goodbye by caring for her. Her loss is causing so many ripples in our family, but I am at peace with it in a way that surprises me.
My father received a prestigious medal this year from the American Bar Association, and I was lucky enough to travel to Chicago for the presentation ceremony. It was a bit bittersweet - it was the joyful celebration of a long and illustrious career, but also it had the feeling of an ending. My dad has Parkinson's and it's very noticeable, so it's hard not to be keenly aware of the passage of time. I was glad I went. Not to brag, but family events are always more fun when I'm there! But I came home trailed by a little cloud of sadness.
Our major milestone was Dan having a son. Of course, he already has a 14-year-old, but he didn’t raise that one. This child was born in wedlock, and he was very wanted by both parents. This is my first experience of being a grandparent from inception through the child’s life and I really like it. We’ve had disagreements about child-rearing, but I think overall Dan and Tina are doing well with Ezra. I love that Ezra grins when he sees me. It’s a good feeling and his being around has changed my experience of Dan as well. It’s better between us.
Death by Covid!!! My younger brother died because of Covid in spite of being very careful. We have been devastated BUT embracing life as each one of us feel best!
My parents have sold their house and moved to a senior community. My mom recently diagnosed with Parkinsons and needing more help. My dad also w some signs of at least mild cognitive impairment. I am the oldest daughter and a doctor and the only one of my siblings living in the same town so I'm acclimatizing to a new role providing more direct support to my parents. I am glad that I am here and have saved some money so that I was able to quit my job so I have time to help them w this transition and to also regroup and take care of myself.
We lost my Aunt Ann and my Uncle Frank this year. That leaves MOm and Uncle Izzy on Mom's side. It has affected me because I have been there to help Mom navigate these times and also brought her to visit Frank in Florida and reconnected with my cousins.
My sister is finishing an Ironman right now as I am writing this. It’s been 2 years of training (last year’s race was canceled because of COVID). She has 11 miles to finish in the marathon. I am so so proud of her.
Again, I think adjusting to all the previous year's milestones has been the work of this year. My husband got a new job, so getting into a routine with that has been good. I guess even though the layoff happened the previous year, the months of him not having a job were mostly in this year. I think it helped him with some aspects of parenting but was also difficult emotionally.
A major milestone is buying a home with Vanessa - it affected me with much better stability and a feeling of security. COVID has continued to interrupt my ability to spend time with my kids - so I hope 2022 is a better year for visits and getting better connected to them. So the year has had some stabilizing influences and some continued destabilizing influences.
I think there were a lot of them, but maybe Shawn going back to school or going to camp CAMP. It was so clearly a transformative experience for him and how proud my mom is of him is just so obvious and good to see. I think he did a lot of maturing over the past year which has helped his relationship with my mom and the entire family dynamic. It makes me feel better about leaving in that I think they can handle each other and co-exist in ways they weren't able to before.
Sister-in-law lost her shit. I’m enjoying the time away for all that drama. I wouldn’t mind if we ended up keeping our distance. I need less drama in my life. J and I have been together for 6 years now.
Getting through lockdown together. Kids having covid and getting through that. The upside is that we have spent a lot of time together.
The major milestone for the family is that everyone who was eligible to receive the vaccination have received it. There was no hesitation. We followed all suggestions from Dr. Tam and local officials and we have all survived thus far.
Is it bad to choose my engagement? I can’t think of another major family milestone. Something else I’m thinking of, less of a milestone, and only newly being thought of as my family, but the hesitancy/refusal of Kat and Thomas to get vaccinated. I haven’t personally been involved in the conversations around it, but I know it has had a big effect on Connor’s family. It’s so easy in our largely blue bubble of friends to think that some of these issues won’t touch us. I still have so many friends and relatives who remain firmly in their blue bubbles and can’t fathom how these issues affect families. It’s been eye-opening and important - while of course extremely frustrating and infuriating - to witness how close to home these conspiracy theories get. It’s also been an important lesson in not just assuming everyone around me always shares my beliefs. While I still think my beliefs are right! People should get vaccinated! It’s good for me to remember that I can’t always just say whatever is on my mind because I am not always surrounded by people who agree - and oftentimes people WILL be offended by my sentiment. I mean, I’m not going to hold back when the setting is right, but I need to be mindful of the impact of my words in Connor’s family, for sure. Thinking of Connor’s fam as my own, another major milestone has been Connor’s uncle, Ernie, spending several months in the ICU following a freak spinal aneurysm that happened out of the blue. It’s been hard for Connor, of course, and has affected me as I continue to learn how I can best support, show sympathy, or sometimes just come rub his back.
Hmm. I'm not sure this is a milestone, but it's a major development that I've written about in answering other questions. It's that my husband and I became parents and made it through a year during a pandemic. We've discovered new sides of ourselves and had to reassess our priorities, such as how much energy and time we put into our work and what does "free" time look like together or as a family. I honestly really miss my alone time, the almost daily habit of journaling and praying or being able to go to the gym. I'm not doing any of these things any more and I miss them. On the other hand we have new routines and habits that are enjoyable to do as a family. Evening walks, dinner together, night time routine with reading and metta prayers.
We moved! It's giving us a great new start.
Making it to 40 has transformed my perception. I feel old, I feel like life has continued and I finally have some understanding how soon it will be over. It has really put a lot of perspective.
Oma went into nursing home. Has brought siblings closer together
The most important milestone was moving my grandpa down to GA with us. I didn’t expect it to happen this quick but my grandma got sick and passed within two weeks of the diagnosis. It has been really great having him down here. I’ve gone to temple with him a bunch. I had never gone previously, or not consistently.
I moved out of my mother's house (well, technically it's neither of our house--we're renting, and my name was on the lease, but the power dynamics were such that I was still treated like an errant teenager, though to be perfectly fair, I acted like an errant teenager). I would never have been able to own up to my part in the breakdown of our relationship before moving out, because there was so much misplaced pride and shame within me for as long as I lived there. I can put that away now and live my own life like the sort of grown-up I want to be, and not like the one my mother wanted. And I know that disappoints her, but it also means that I'm finally growing up on my own terms, and that's all I ever wanted from her: to let me do just that. I believed that if I tried to ease her, one day I'd succeed, and then she'd give me her blessing, but that was never gonna happen. I know that now.
I think we've all grown closer. It took about eighteen months, but we've all had a chance to get to know each other (especially my parents and I) and learn to respect and understand each other's quirks and differences. There is more trust and understanding now than there used to be.
My niece fell in Death Valley and survived. All grateful and feel very lucky.
Cuddles and I moved, finally, away from the place we got stuck in after her mum died. We now own outright, a nice mid-terrace. This was huge. No more rent, no mortgage, just our house, in both our names, and we never need to worry about it being taken away, or not affording rent, etc. For poor folk like us, there's no other way we'd ever have managed to own, even with a mortgage. So it's a pretty big deal! We have our space, for us and the animals. And we can host friends there. And it's just...our sanctuary, for always. Everything leading up to it was hellish, everything went wrong, but we made it through! And our little family is now safe and sound and happy here.
A major milestone that has happened is that we have all gotten vaccinated. I'm not sure that it has affected us in any great way since we expected to be doing more things, but sadly, the pandemic continues to rage and we are still basically in a pod. We do, however, eat out once a week for breakfast, but we have absolutely not returned to pre-pandemic activities.
We bought a house! It's felt like a wonderful right of passage to suddenly know and care a whole lot more about "boring" house stuff. We have lots of improvement projects going, all in different states and stages. On a different note, Dad is having health issues again. We are still very much in the middle--maybe even the beginning of this "milestone," I'd say.
my daughter had a little boy which is why we came to australia during the pandemic ... this has created many emotionally difficult issues to deal with
*10th May - The loss of my fur-baby, Meeme 🐾🌈😢 It has affected me tremendously - She was my baby, my best friend, my bodyguard.. I miss her every day ♥️💕
My mom told me she's thought I have ADHD ever since I was little but never pursued a diagnosis. It's made things hard, I have to keep forgiving her for that. It's very easy to hold a grudge, but it's not worth it in the long run
Oy so much, lock down cycles navigated. Jobs found and kept. I miss being able to see my parents. I’m so pleased my mother and me kept learning Hebrew on Wednesdays, going through Amos Oz and Yehuda Amichai. She is a phenomenal teacher!
My grandfather died in November 2020 (two months after I did 10Q last year), and that changed the family dynamic, by a lot. My parents have always been averse to "bad news," and it seems to me they've dug deeper into their comfort zones since then. It seemed they reached out to me only for trivial things, which is what (it seems) they can handle. At first this made me feel more isolated from family. But now I accept it. I'm not upset, although I was very sad about it for a few months. This is just the way we've all respectively grown. My family may have a diminished role in my daily life, versus just last year. I think I needed to acknowledge and accept the "old ways" simply weren't going to work anymore. I understand my parents don't track what's going on in my life -- at least not the things that are important to me. (They forgot I work in marketing, that 75% of my band was leaving said band, and that my partner and I were going to New Hampshire for four days in July with her family. I have/had explained all of these things previously.) It's liberating, really. I feel like I don't have to push so hard to communicate what's going on on my end.
The biggest thing that happened this year is that we got a COVID puppy. After having deciding never to get another animal, the distancing and staying home got the better of us. However, the loving and exercising has been good for us. She keeps us together and gives us plenty to think about. It will be an issue once we can travel again, but for now things are beautiful.
I told my sister and brother-in-law that I had an abortion. This wasn't easy but lifted our trust in each other to a different level. It makes me feel more at home and loved and held.
I had a baby! It has affected everything. One example that comes to mind: my closeness with my own mom acquired a new dimension as she shared her experiences with new motherhood with me.
We started doing family dinner, and I am so proud of us for doing that. Because my kids are such picky eaters, it has always been easier to feed them separately. They aren’t any less picky now, but they understand that family dinner is a time to try new things and be together as a family, eating the same meal, even if they don’t like it. It’s hard, and there are definitely days that I just don’t want to go through the mental burden of deciding what to eat and getting everything on the table. But when the four of us sit down together and tell stories and laugh and enjoy each other‘s company, I remember that that is truly the goal.
Finally asking for help and doing individual therapy. And, more recently, starting couples counseling with my husband. Since last summer (2020), I've been on a 'healing' journey. Much of this doesn't even have to do with the pandemic. It's about recognizing that in order for me to move forward with big goals, dreams, and aspirations, I have to face my fears and finally seek help for my struggles. I learned I have a 'trauma brain' from a childhood filled with fear, abuse, addiction, and bad decisions of my caretakers. And that doing work now to put my body and mind at ease has profound effects. Removing myself from a constant state of flight, fight, or escape through social media, I can better tune in to my body and give her what she needs. Often it's rest, meditation, better diet, fresh air, friendships, creativity, and self-care.
Beth and I have survived another year of COVID. We’ve developed a rhythm to our days. Getting the vaccine has allowed us to get a little back to normal with other vaccinated friends and family. It has also caused a rift between family members that are unvaccinated.
I had to cut my mother out. It was difficult, but my life has improved massively.
My children, my husband, and my siblings with my mother gave support and love to me. We all became even closer than before. I had asked for support during my lung cancer. They all wanted to fast and pray for me. I asked if we could do a active prayer. “Would each of you give something up that you no longer need that is toxic, will you run this marathon race with me and not stand on the sidelines or sit in the grandstands?” I asked. They did, we ran the race together each of us having to sit through the pain and uncomfortableness of giving up what is toxic.
One major milestone was my son becoming a Bar Mitzvah. This has made me so proud and happy that we made it through all of the ups and downs of life. I learned that everything happens in its own time, and nothing happens overnight. The journey we are on happens no matter what plans we make.
I’m the oldest of three. My sister, who is a year younger than me, retired last year. My brother, who’s the youngest, retired a few years earlier than that. I was surprised at how hard I found it to handle the fact that I was still working, with no retirement date in sight. I realized that I was equating retirement with success. As the oldest, I was always seen as the most successful, and the fact that they both retired before me made me doubt myself. I had to remind myself that as a result of my work my by family was incredibly blessed. And that I was the only one using retirement as a measuring stick.
Emily, my youngest niece, turned 18. The last of the generation below us becoming an adult did make me realise how old I was!
My daughter has become engaged. We are very fond of Michael. He is smart, talented, funny, and well spoken. He seems to like us as well (if not, he's so good at masking it and behaving well that it's the same thing). I am disappointed that they're getting married in Michigan instead of here at the family church, but it is a very small disappointment. They've chosen a lovely place on the lake. It will be very small--40 people or so--so it's not a problem of getting everyone from here (MD) to there. They're in their mid-30s, so they know what they want and have the skills to paln everything the way they want. Gannett has great organizaitonal skills and excellent taste, so it will be lovely. I'm hoping that we can help with it. My baby is all grown up!
My mom retired! I have shown up for her well during the pandemic, which feels great - after many years of feeling like I wish I had been better to her, it was great to come away from the year with a sense of satisfaction that I was there for her in general, and specifically related to her retirement. More importantly, it's a huge shift for her and our family. I worry she will have a hard time building a retired life that really works for her, but it was definitely the right choice and she seems to be relieved from not having to deal with the crap from her job. I am trying to help her more with the stuff that gets harder as she gets older, and will continue to stay in closer contact than before the pandemic.
It was just over a year ago that my dad had a stroke, and then had to sell his home and move into an apartment. He has struggled ever since, and in learning who I want to be and can be at this point in his journey, so have I - with my sense of what is right, with my level of energy, with my awareness of my own shortening years ahead. In some ways I think it has made me kinder, although I have had moments of anger with his wife, and even with the past.
My step-mom had breast cancer and my step-brother had the first child of the family. The baby girl was a welcome distraction for her as she fought the cancer. She is a nurse so she knew what to expect, and I'm happy to say that while she is done with her chemotherapy, she had 3 positive lymph nodes and the border of one of her masses was not clean. So all the disease is gone but her recurrence risk is pretty high. She will be doing 4-5 weeks of radiation followed by 6 months of oral chemotherapy and that will put her recurrence risk to 30% for the first 5 years and 5% after that.
Oh wow. Well this year mom moved in. I was expecting strife and pain and what I have received was love and understanding. My mother said to me this year “Steph I don’t understand your relationships or your life and I certainly couldn’t live them, but I’m happy for you and I’m proud of you. Your people are good for you” and that…was something I never expected to hear. I cried for weeks just letting out ages of pain and emotion. The acceptance of my mother was something I never thought I would value as much as I do. It felt unreal. And we are all the closer for it.
Entering my seventh decade in 2020 gives me pause. Who knew I would still be me and, hopefully, a better, wiser, more loving human.
The year anniversary of losing my job, still jobless, and when I decided to temporarily move my life to a different place (moved into my mom's apt in NC) knowing no one, going somewhat blindly in the hope that things would get better. Unfortunately, they got worse but things are starting to look up. However, reaching these anniversaries knowing all that I tried and risked is something I am proud of.
We had a number of major milestones. Death of my Mom and birth of Hailey are the top two. Both have had a big impact on me. The death of my Mom I talked about in the first question. But beyond what I said there, it has brought up a lot of old feelings for me. My Mom’s death has brought out sadness for my loss, and has reminded me of some ways where I wish my Mom had been different - particularly more nurturing towards me and less anxious about Margo. (I do understand why she was anxious. Don’t really blame her, and I still wish it was different.) The birth of Hailey has impacted me in a number of ways. First, the birth of a grandchild is hopeful. Second, I am having the pleasure of watching Rachel and Felipe raise their family. Like other healthy couples in their 30”s, they are focused on spending time with their friends who are in the same stage of life. I am a part of their life, and a part of my grandchildren’s life. But it is central to them and tangential for me. My job is to build my own life, with my peers. To be part of my children and grandchildren’s lives, but not central. So, my job is to build my life the way I want my life to be. To be still enough to allow my own inner wisdom to emerge. To be loving and kind. To figure out what energizes me, and to follow that path.
COVID separation and anxiety!
This past year, I feel like I reached a new level of understanding with my dad about going to the Vineyard, and what I learned reinforces my belief that he is a selfish asshole, as he basically just took it and said nothing. I know damn well he's gonna wanna take me there again next summer, or use my not wanting to go as a bartering chip against mama, or some shit like that. I love Papa, and I have a lot to learn from him, but I have absolutely no trust for him anymore.
sadly the kind of milestones was not fun or easy - covid and forest fires made it hard for us. We didn't even celebrate my birthday and I almost forgot my husband's birthday. It was a lost year of nothingness
Major milestone with family would be that I am a better listener. I try to connect with my husband and my three adult children more often. I try to offer compassion and let them know that I have trust in them and that they have done amazing things and should be proud of themselves. I have done better with advising and even stating that I may not be the best person to offer advise. This has given me some freedom from worry and lessened my need to fix things. Some things just need to happen and this leads to growth.
I can’t think of any major milestone other than Soraja turning 16, Nadja turning 14, and Anissa turning 10. All those kids in double digits. My brother, mother, and I all got both our Covid shots but Jennifer didn’t until recently.
Definitely the conversation with my dad. Biggest thing I've done thus far and I'm still processing/recovering from it. I still am having moments of anger and confusion and sadness about our relationship but I hope one day things will be different. I will have created the life I want to live and be living in it without any doubts and be able to invite my parents to visit my world. Not the other way around. I am clear that I am worthy and his inability to love me or even be decent to me has nothing to do with me. I deserve everything I desire and I get to have it. I got to let my father wounds go last month and i'm still mid-releasing them and I'm going to keep going until they are all gone. I'm ready to heal my need for validation - that came directly from the dad convo and im so grateful.
Mia and Seth did get engaged at Big Bend! Even though my knee trauma and absence happened, it didn’t start the beautiful moment for them. Is it being a big secret to Miah so that’s why I made him go on and go camping even though I was headed for the hospital. Getting the Covid vaccine was a big mile stone as well. Miah got up at 1:30 in the morning and drove me to corpus or Sarma‘s company was vaccinating people under 65, no questions asked. I had to time it just right so that I can go back to school protected. She drove me back for the second dose a month later. I’m really proud of her for the way she’s been trying to take care of me. Things are kind of back to normal. She is a little irritable with me as usual but we also have the connection of being the emotionally connected ones.
We lost not one, but two cats in the last five months -- one to cancer, one to kidney disease. Both lived long, healthy lives, but it was still heartbreaking to let them go. While we still have two cats (one we adopted in between the two deaths), neither really looks to me as "their person", as both of the other two did. It has left me bereft, and I am still adapting.
Scheduled 45th anniversary two day celebration at Inn Above the Tide in Sausalito. First entry on our travel agenda in 18 months!
I didn't see my family this past year due to travel restrictions globally, but it highlighted very clearly who in my family has the same value system I have and who was willing to put in the extra effort and time to maintain relationships - including who I was willing to put the extra effort into maintaining relationships with for family and friends.
My mother went into hospital and into care. She is now in a care home. Before I talked to Penelope I felt I had to call her every day , now that I call her much less I feel more free
The milestone that has affected me and many others the most was the pandemic. Basically, navigating through this space is difficult and rewarding at the same time. My sister did get engaged and others in my family have had relationship success or career related success awarded to them as well to acknowledge.
Can milestones be bad? I haven’t seen my family in over two years because of Covid. It’s tough, I miss them. And yet, I feel close to them. It’s reassuring to think that we’ll always be there for each other no matter what.
Interesting that I would literally say the same thing as last year. my son going to school, the aging of our parents, the aging of us!
Unfortunately, I caught COVID back in late November. And what was even more unfortunate, my family caught COVID b/c of me, and my sister really resented me for it. I felt extremely guilty watching my parents suffer and I would’ve killed myself if either of them would’ve died b/c of me. I felt suicidal during that time, especially when my dad had to go to the ER at one point. I realized that my sister started to hate me for catching the virus and spreading it. Thankfully my mom stood up for me when my sister kept blaming me. This whole experience has made me see how much my mom loves me and how precious my parents’ lives are. As for me and my sister, we’re okay now lol. When I moved out to live on my own, my dad gave me his blessing. It was the 1st time ever he had ever given me his blessing so openly. He then promised that he and my mom will always be there for me until their last days. At that point, he cried. It was the very 1st time I ever saw my dad cry. I broke down to. Even though it didn't work out living on my own, I'm REALLY glad that I'm BACK to living with my family. I don't want it any other way. My mother and I have grown A LOT closer this past year since I came clean about my suicide attempt. She showed nothing but love and compassion towards me. She really has become my best friend. I had the chance to FINALLY meet my half-brother! It was a surreal experience. My dad went through a hard time in his past and unfortunately lost his family due to alcohol. He then remarried and had my sister and I. I've always known that I had half-brothers. I thought it would've been an overly emotional experience, but it wasn't that bad. It was just sad that my half-brother doesn't call my dad "dad". Other than that, he and his wife were very nice people. It's been hard losing a couple of family members: one cousin back in January b/c of COVID, my godmother's husband b/c of lung cancer, and my maternal grandmother b/c of old age (she barely turned 90). I feel like this year's theme has been death, and I've come to accept that we're all heading down that road. So I need to love and hold on to my family as much as I can.
Our family moved from an apartment in one area of the City to a house in a very different area. I couldn’t have imagined that I would ever move here, but I love it. We are so close to a beautiful park. The neighborhood is idyllic, our neighbors are great, and our quality of life has improved so much.
My sister moved out of state. Didn't really affect me that much, though it provided yet another excuse for her to be mad at me and the family. The other milestone is that my wife's father died. That made me very sad ... for her, for her family, and for me. He was pretty amazing and I loved him very much. Also, I got very sick while visiting my wife's family in New York. I got to see just how amazing and lovely her family members really are. Although I was sick, being with them was a blessing.
The kid started high school! Ae's loving it and I'm proud of aer.
My son got married, with 18 people present, yet did not feel this was a real wedding because it was not a jewish wedding. He insists on having another large wedding next year. I am disappointed in him for wanting to spend so much money just for a party
I have ambivalence about my kid being able to drive now, and to go where and when he wants to. I have to remember that this freedom will temper itself over time, but right now my heart clenches up when he pulls out onto the road, away from me, away from home, away from safety.
family! uh. my brother moved! at least its not about divorce this time LOL. also getting the fish. it was nice to see yoni and i think he is moving towards marrying sarah which is exciting things are happening!
My father's passing. This Major change has left me adrift
It's become clear to me and one of my sisters that our 75 year old mother is not ok mentally. But she is incredibly stubborn. She doesn't know when to stop or when to say that is enough. I think we are at a point that she is going to need some sort of care. My dad could potentially provide that care if she would accept it. This turning point of taking care of my mother is coming entirely too soon.
My washing machine broke down on Rosh Hashanah. It’s only been a few days but I think that I will call this episode the spin cycle. I am in a family business and for 13 years I haven’t gotten a single penny. I have been asking to be bought out for over a year. I want to get bought out of the business because Family keeps making terrible decisions and costing more money and I am 100% liable even though I am a minority owner. When the washing machine broke down I started to cry. I can’t afford to go to temple for the high holidays. I certainly can’t afford to fix my washing machine. When I asked for help from a family member they said, they feel sorry for me and not to bother them. It has caused me to Think at great length about the last 13 years and realize that they never had any intention of paying me anything ever. I realize they practice this phony religiosity and they are not virtuous. They want to be written in the ‘book of life’ but are not willing to pay me what I am owed. They are dismissive of my hardship. It was/is really eye opening.
Josh completed his Masters in Public Health and began working at the LDH, analyzing COVID data. It has given me new insights into the spread of the disease.
I finally got to be back with my family IRL. Always good to be together in person, although does show me how much I appreciate the space...most of the time.
My grandson turned 13. He is now a moody teenager and it saddens me that he is not that interested in being with us, and I am worried about his depression. Not only is he a teenager, but he is living through the Covid era AND they had to evacuate their home for weeks this summer due to wildfire.
My children bought their first house. I moved to be nearer to them. I've been able to see my daughter and the boys much more often, and it's been so refreshing.
The only thing I can think of that would qualify as a milestone is our adoption of another little cat, Arden. It affected me first that it took me by surprise that I would get cat #3 but something propelled me to do it, next it affected me (and still does) by the challenge to integrate her into our family of cats. Since it is not going so well, I need to adjust how I relate and engage with each of the cats since my dream of three who get along is not reality and may not ever be - but I have not given up. They are individually each so excellent.
Not to be self-centered, but my open heart surgery tested family dynamics like never before. I've always felt we had a close family, communicating with our adult children often, deep heartfelt hugs. But to have them come before and after my surgery, Daniel's help as he stayed with us, how they checked in so much with me. Meant the world.
Bobbie turned 90 without fanfare due to Covid. It was weird, she is such a narcissist, but was very cautious due to covid, so nothing. Seems sad, because is it not likely that she will have any more milestone bdays. So many people missing so much, first birthdays and sometimes last birthdays. No time to celebrate together, or honestly, worse, grieve together. I am learning more and more to live without people and i really wonder how I will ever come back from that. Well, not without people, without people in my space. Even when there are people, it is strange and I find myself backing away.
Now that we are both retired I continue to do the things I did before, trying to give space and not smother. I am starting to organize myself. “How do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time” How do you get work accomplished, one task at a time and less multitasking.
No major milestones to report. Maybe that's a good thing. Both my brothers are well; my stepbrothers and stepsister are well, and their children are well. Boring, but better than the alternative.
Two things a wedding and college graduation These have been wonderful as we spent fun times together I love my family
I am having trouble thinking of one major instance, but Corey and I did start couples therapy in December 2020 (proactively) and it has brought us closer than ever before. Our relationship just keeps getting better with time, and I am so lucky to have him as my life partner.
Oh yeah. I had an abortion. It wasn't a major milestone, but if I hadn't done it, I'd be on the precipice of newborn awfulness, and my kids would have a new sibling. YIKES.
This year was the 25th anniversary of both of my parents deaths. They died four and a half months apart from one another. I cannot believe that it has been that long for it seems like yesterday. I think about my parents everyday. I sometimes even talk to them. I often reminisce about them to my brother, sister, cousins, and friends. For these precious memories keep them alive and they are blessings. I usually watch home made videos and look at pictures several times a year. I either make their favorite meal or go out to eat to celebrate their individual birthdays.
My daughter, my youngest child, had her first baby. The experience has caused me to reassess a lot of things in my life, as well as led me to examine my relationship with her.
My 95-year-old dad lived with us Recovering from a fall and keeping him safe because of Covid, then we had to sell his house, transition him to an assisted living. And we are moving! We also moved our daughter to Drake University in Des Moines. I have had many tears. But no lupus flares. I am trying to rest and relax and remember to take a day off per week. It has made me appreciate my support circle. It also helped me understand peoples a appreciation of things. Some people view it as memories Momento some people view it as just stuff to throw out. It has made me love my husband more
So many. Baby turned one. We got together with family to celebrate. It took a while for emotions to hit me but I’m not sad she’s older…. She’s a lot more fun, easy, and interesting at this age. I just am amazed at how quickly a year has gone. I feel like time is going so fast.
My daughter turned 16. There was a party, possibly the most uncomfortable party I've every attended because my dad and step-mom are not talking to me. I attended and I maintained my dignity. I did not fall back on self-deprecation, which had been a coping skill/means of breaking up tension. My oldest daughter moved away to college. We all moved her in (including my ex) that went well, but when I got home, I realized how much I was going to miss her. Life continues to move forward. I'm proud of both my girls and I can't wait to see who they become.
Significant 70 year birthdays for both Alison and I. Had i paused more throughout life to “celebrate’ or mark birthdays it would feel like a more significant event in life. “Minor” health issues indicative of the future makes one realize that the end is around the corner. If I’m lucky I have 1000 more weeks in my life. Is it wrong not to stop and say today is a really important day and I should stop and reflect on it?Maybe not, every day is significant or just a passage of time. Too much reflection might make the situation worse?
Again, no "normal" milestones. But we had a lot of COVID related antics, my dad had two serious accidents, I moved home, etc. In December my grandma kept getting exposed to COVID from her caregivers and we decided that we (me and my retired parents) should drive to stay with her instead. In the meantime, my dad's first cousin Bob got sick with COVID and my dad was his medical power of attorney and had to coordinate all of his care, questions about DNRs and ventilators and heartwrenching shit. At the same time (on Christmas day) my dad randomly fell on the stairs at Molly's and had to get surgery on New Years. On approx Jan 10, my parents and I drove across the country to Milwaukee, reliving the trauma from my dad's car accident with me in 2015, with my dad in a brace and crutches, and arrived in Milwaukee at the same hour as Bob's funeral, graveside, freezing cold and gray. And we fought so much about how strictly to quarantine before going to my grandma's, the answer to me was an obvious VERY STRICTLY because the whole point of going was not to have covid. It was so stressful and terrible. And then on July 3rd, right before I moved home, my dad had his worst bike crash thus far and had to be airlifted to Denver and had a terrible concussion and spent 4 days in the hospital and it was a whole damn scary thing. And when I got home he was still recovering and every day a friend would come to visit him, which was amazing.
Sara lost her husband to alcoholism in July then Mark lost his battle with cancer in September. I was not nearly as affected by Daniel dying, mostly because I expected it and did not really care for him. Losing Mark devastated everyone who knew him. Mark's passing has been more painful than any other previous death I have endured.
Leela died. Our dog of 12 years who was always watching, always full of anxiety. A snuggler who stayed close by. Rarely complained and sang when she knew it was time to eat and she always knew. She was a rescue, saved the day before she was supposed to be euthanized because no one picked her. I still look for her everywhere and miss her in ways I don't have words for. It's made me want to stop listening to people complain about the same thing they complained about yesterday and last week. There's not enough time and I don't want to donate any of mine anymore. I can't solve it, they don't want to. I want to find better things to do.
The development and popularization of a new way (internet video conference) of communicating with people in different towns, states, countries, and continents is rather a milestone - perhaps, at my age, more like an epoch. It has opened an entirely different concept of community - one that's only bound by the technological wonder that allows for such socializing... and the people who use it.
No major milestones for my family this past year, for better or for worse. I did have kind of a milestone birthday turning 35. In addition to generally feeling like I'm really an adult now and not that young anymore, turning 35 really got me thinking seriously about how few years of (potential) fertility I have left. I have to get serious about planning to try to have a child soon.
Our two oldest grandchildren became engaged: McKayla to Nolan first; Braedon to Lexi soon after, while they visited us. We're thrilled & anticipate the possibility (perhaps probability) that we may become great-grandparents in the not too distant future!
The breakup with R was that, in and of itself, since he was at the centre of my idea of family: he was the most important person in the world. He was the one I trusted and nuzzled and cooed at and nested with. Being thrown out of the warmth of that togetherness onto the hard and cold earth, alone, was traumatic. I still haven't fully processed it, yet, I don't really understand how someone who loves you for years can leave so abruptly and without any attempt at repair. I wonder if I will ever understand. I'm running out of energy, but I have to say, this new wound went along way to healing another... my family were there for me, in ways they haven't been for years. I flew home, my family spent days and weeks with me, making sure I was ok, feeding me and bathing me, sitting with me when I wanted to kill myself. My mother and father travelled interstate to help me move, my mother talked with me every day about the decisions I was facing and listened to my anxieties. I wish I had brain space to do this question justice. But basically it's like I lost R... and gained my biological family back.
My mom has finally retired from being a correctional officer. It's something that she put off much later than she wanted to because it was hard. Covid made it harder. I'm grateful that she gets to have peaceful days without being surrounded by criminals, I'm glad that she seems to be comfortable with her pension and insurance. She worked so hard for so long, I'm thankful that I was able to help her have something nice.
I've cut off contact with my siblings and will have naught to do with them again. It's what I need to do, as they are not quality people and do not deserve a place in my life.
This year was my Sabas 80th birthday and it was a major milestone for my family. About 8 years ago my Saba had many health problems and went into surgery and had a heart transplant. None of us new if he was going to survive and thank g-d he did. It was amazing for all of my family to come together and see him healthy at 80 years old after so many health problems.
A major mile stone that happened was us reaching the 1 year anniversary of changing jobs to be around for the girls and have more time for me to be at work and for Steve to be at home to help care for the girls and work on his poetry. It also marks one year of us living in a budget... It's Incredible that what we worked out and planned is actually working.
Two major milestones have happened for my family this year. The first is that my second niece, Poppy, was born in April. She is such a delight, so easy to be around, and just a genuinely awesome soul. I was the only visitor allowed in the hospital besides my brother due to the pandemic. When I held her for the firs time, it cemented the desire I've had for a long time to have my own child. If my children are half as special as my nieces, I will be so grateful. The second milestone is that my dad had both his knees replaces. He is still recovering from this intense procedure, but he is demonstrating amazing strength and resilience. I see the way that my mom and dad are working together as a team to work through this tough time, and it brings me joy to see love in action in this way. It's also been a real marker of my parents age and a reminder that they will not be in good health forever, which is a turning point in our relationship.
We tried for a pregnancy this entire past year, with no luck. I've tentatively decided that I dont want to pursue medical intervention. I'm trying to hold all this lightly, so as to not descend down the road of becoming obsessive or hubristic. If it happens, it happens. If not, well.
Our youngest began her freshman year at college in the fall of 2020. We began our life as "empty nesters". I guess it has affected me by pushing me into a new pattern with my husband and with my daughter. It is the right path, but has taken some side journies.
I signed up for Medicare and started taking Social Security benefits. At first that made me feel old but now I am very accepting of my age and actually feeling proud of my age.
My daughter finished school for the time being. She's only 16, and it's weird for me, but with the trade system here I think it's the right choice for her. She's in the midst of getting her working permission sorted, but hopefully she'll get into a groove and find her path with some success under her belt!
My DVT that created so many blood clots in my lungs that I almost died, sent me to the ICU and then getting a cancer diagnosis a few months later changed my whole life. After the doctor saved me I understood that I had a role in saving myself. I have completely transformed my relationship with food and exercise. I have lost 40 pounds and don’t feel like I’m on a diet it’s the way I live now. My focus has been on my health and not work which has resulted in a 60% decline in my business. I don’t really care. My focus is on myself, not work. For many months after I got out of the hospital I had a whole assortment of therapists who came to the house to help with breathing, moving, etc. it is ASTOUNDING how much stronger I am now!!!!! I couldn’t walk a block and today I have walked over 7 miles.
In the last year, my son was born. We've been building toward this for years. And it is everything I hoped but it's been so much more difficult than I ever thought because of the pandemic. I kept thinking I could just hold on a few months and then "the Cavalry" would arrive. I'd be able to have a day off and sleep and get to be the parent I wanted to be. But that's not going to happen. He won't be an infant anymore by the time I have any help at all. I've been with my infant almost every second since he was born without breaks. The longest I've been away was seven hours. I have no idea how this is supposed to continue.
More walks with my husband. More time with my children and as a family. We played music together. We watched shows. There was something nice about being forced to be together. We are lucky we did not drive each other crazy.
A parents’ bout with cancer (and then some) Tighter bonds with sibs, poignancy of simple moments, how fleeting is our time together
My son is getting married to his long time partner. I am delighted.
My brother hopped through a handful of countries and successfully married his Chinese girlfriend, against all odds. I am happy for them. At the same time, I am anxious about what life will be like for them when they come back to the US. They still have to finish navigating the visa system. But my brother got a good remote job and appears to be well on the way to supporting his wife. I am kinda envious of them, that they have a pretty good idea of what they want in life and they are determined to pursue that goal together.
My mom getting sick again was huge for us. I took care of her a lot growing up, and it’s really shaped how I love now so I don’t regret it, so this time around it has been learning about how to set boundaries despite always wanting to be there for everyone all the time.
This year's milestone was getting proper care for Mom. Of course there have been problems, but the biggest one is P. I'm still so angry that they didn't listen to me years ago when I predicted this and tried to avoid it. We're here. Now what? "I told you so" isn't exactly helpful.
6 years married. I wasn't expecting to make it this far with my partner. Not out of personality conflict, just out of I don't 'sit still' for much longer than 3-5 years. Obviously, I'm committed to my relationship, it is work.
Depends on how one defines family. Since mother died what little blood family connection there had been has dissipated leaving family of choice, which has been the real family for decades.
Matteo going to school. Marco and I going to counselling. Relising I am not going to have other children and time is passing. Covid and learning hiw much we have and we need to hold tight and be happy about.
My sister got married. Both nephews got a girlfriend. I hang out with them more. We hang out more altogether. That's big in my family and a huge milestone.
Sam and I got married, and also froze eggs and an embryo. The latter wouldn't have happened without the former I don't think but ... it does feel different having done the legal thing and the ceremony. It feels more legit. I like saying husband and that I am his wife - as loaded as those terms can be. There is a nice completeness to it and I think I do feel more equanimity and more adult. My colonized mind! :)
We became a family? Like, added a baby. I think this has changed just about every aspect of my life. But really it has solidified that "my family" means the family I live with now. My partner, child, and our kitties. It has added a new element to my identity - parent, mother.
Dad died. I don’t know how this has affected me yet. It I know that it has profoundly affected me.
The divorce has aged me. I have plantar fasciitis, the smile lines around my mouth are more prominent, my 8 year-old is obviously sad and lonely, and I'm certainly depressed. But funny enough, I'm definitely not lonely, and have friends that I can call out for lunch, and I can look out my window and know that I live a stone's throw from the nation's capital. I'm on a dating app and get occasional bursts of ego-trips from my young male coworkers. I joined a mothers' group of those getting divorced and have plenty to share. And the father of my first son and I are talking a lot about our own divorces. So although the milestone is divorce, I am not alone. I am not lonely!
My spouse and I seem separated from all of our related family groupings. No get-togethers or telephone calls or notes. I am spending more time talking with my spouse and developing longer-term relationships with people through Zoom and other web activities. My spouse "nests" at his favorite coffee shop/cafe and is involved with volunteer work. We feel more self-sufficient and independent and easier with each other. A lot of trust has built up between us more rapidly and deeply than in the previous decades.
My wife and I have six adult children aged 25-33. The oldest is married. But, the others (except our youngest) have not had any kind of relationship with someone else for years. Last winter, our oldest son met a woman and they are now living together and will probably get married at some point. As well, our youngest daughter met a woman and now they are living together and will probably get married at some point. I'm glad to see our kids happy.
husband's back surgery. See answer to question 1. son in kindergarten at public school. accepting that
The woman I was married to at the start of the year asked for divorce in February. While this came as a surprise, and I would have preferred to have had a successful marriage, the divorce has allowed me to rediscover myself. I have reconnected with my interests, discovered new passions, and been relieved of stresses that I carried for too long. I also feel like I finally have the freedom to be the parent I have wanted to be, and my relationship as a parent with my kids has flourished.
My daughter got engaged December 2020. This is a significant milestone because she and Derek have been together for over 7 years. Ilana is my only child and her upcoming wedding/marriage is the positive event from this horrible pandemic. It is affecting me in so many ways - from happiness that Ilana has found love, to saddness that I am losing my daughter, to nostalgia remembering her happy childhood with just her and me, to being a proud mom in that raised her the best I could as a single mom. I love her so much.
The biggest major milestone was our daughter starting school (in the middle of the pandemic no less). Although it started off really hard, the separation has been good overall. It has shown us how important it is for us to maintain a life outside of our children, and how vital that is so that they can flourish and grow.
Still Covid really, being unable to see anyone has been really hard. as well as not being able to see my far away friends. But I have been in contact with my dad more, pretty much once a week or every two weeks, and I love hearing the stories he tells me and sometimes realising he's told me this one before, it makes me feel lucky and glad for having such a close relationship with him and being in his life to hear things multiple times. I'm very very lucky to have such a wonderful dad who I care for so deeply.
I became a great-auntie last month when my nephew Bryson and his wife Anna had their first child. It was a huge moment for our family, but I was heartbroken not to be able to visit and meet the baby because of Pandemic Times™️. I’m still very happy, but it is bittersweet.
Major Milestone. Eli moved out to his own place - that is a new shift in our home dynamic, for certain. He's still in school, but now he's paying bills and living in a household with others. I feel proud and also sorta sad that a part of my life is definitely coming to a close. A new one is opening, which is exciting, but I mourn the world where I am an active daddy for two boys.
A major family milestone this past year was my son's engagement to an exceptionally sweet and intelligent young lady. I am overjoyed with their decision to get married and maybe even start a family. These two individuals are incredibly "right" for each other. They complement each other in many ways and they are great for/to each other in too many ways to list here. I can't think of a better person for my son to share the rest of his life with.
My daughter graduated from college and my son graduated from high school. My son is beginning his college career. This time last year, he didn't think he wanted to go to college. I am so proud of both my children! My husband and I are now empty nesters and we LOVE it! We have earned this time in our lives together.
CL just moved to JEC. Will see how that works out. Other than that... DH got a new job at TigerS. It's his first office job and he is working hard to maintain it. He is trying and failing to use his CPAP machine. He is finally realizing he needs to exercise more which is insane and great. He says he is turning 40 and half his life is over.
My entire life, when people asked me what my father did for a living, I told them, "I don't have a father." I was the product of my mother's ache to have a child and a sperm donor's disease-free genetic profile, and until this year, I was secure in the belief that I had no longing to know my father, and no trauma associated with not knowing where half of my genes came from. I was right, mostly. This year, Tony reached out to me, and asked to be a part of my life again. While we don't share any genetics, he was my "Daddy Tony." He bought me Barbies against my mother's wishes, hand-fed me ice cream, and spent weekends taking care of me while my mother worked. I was never confused about Tony's role in my mother's life, as he was dating Tommy, but he and my mother were the two strongest pillars holding up my childhood. I remember walking into a parking lot holding both of their hands and being lifted up into the air and swung between them, and laughing gleefully, feeling the simultaneous lightness of flying and the safety of their arms. And then Tony disappeared from my life, when I was around five. We moved to Japan shortly after that, so I was too distracted to question his absence. I know now that he fell into alcohol and drugs, broke up with Tommy, and spiraled into depression, and had no capacity to keep being my father. And yet. When he reached out over Facebook, and wanted to chat on the phone, I agreed. Then when he called, I let him go to voicemail. I couldn't bear to talk to him, and the realization of the pain of feeling abandoned by my father, the only father I've ever known, rushed up to the surface, strangling me. The trust broken by a father abandoning his child is not a trust forged in genetics, it turns out. The trust I had in him, knowing without doubt that he was my father, and expecting him to fulfill the roles a father took - this was an understanding I had of familial relationships that transcended whose genes I carried. I knew we weren't related, and yet I also knew, without question, that he was my father. And he abandoned me. And so I answer the question that was posed to me so many times before: my father was a nurse, but he is retired now. I hope someday I can forgive him.
Our daughter in law’s pregnancy was a surprise announcement, and her tragic miscarriage has affected us all. I think I am more tenderly empathetic toward them. Pandemic notwithstanding, we still managed to gather in Maui as a family, and the boys (now confident in the water) have even started taking to enjoying play at the beach! Having Heather come over to tend our vegetable garden gives us more Tim with her than we have had for years, and I savor these times! Karen has sold a couple of pieces in the last year and the direction her work is going is quite exciting. With each solo show, she shows tremendous range and development! For me, I have been cast in our fall play and have rejoiced in returning to rehearsals with the (vaccinated) cast of Scapino!
O. was born, J. lived with us for this year, we adopted Benny. A lot of work was added, but also a lot of joy. I feel like I could probably focus more on the joy and less on the work...
Many of us met big age milestones this year, with parents and in-laws turning 70 and spouse and I turning 40. At times, it feels very strange to recognize that I inhabit the life and body of someone who's been around this long, feeling a mild shock that I'm no longer in my 20's. When I recount old memories that I'd forgotten or different phases of my life, I'm both grateful and surprised to have been healthfully living this long. On the flip side, I also feel many of the things associated with that cliche of a midlife (later life?) crisis: a bit of a panic now that the reality of physical decline and death loom ahead (not that they didn't already, but the illusion of invincibility becomes more difficult to uphold). It is strange to note that my young children will have really old parents by the time they become young adults, if we are so fortunate to live that long. I awoke the other day gripped by a great anxiety that if I've lived half of my life, I only have 40 more years - how will I fully embrace it and live life to its fullest? Or as Mary Oliver wrote, "what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" It's both exciting and daunting to consider.
My bro had a baby. I want to be there for this baby and for his family. I want to step up. I want to be the aunt who is there for her family. I want to be the daughter who is there for her parents. I want to be the sister who is there for her brothers. I love my family so much. I'm ready for the move home!!!
My sister and I have started talking more about our childhoods and our relationship with our mother. This has grown out of the therapy that my wife and I are currently going through as a couple. It has opened things up for my sister and I. Even though there is still a huge wall up between my sister and mother, my sister has been trying to get through to move on and maintain a good relationship with my mom. This is extremely difficult, because my mother never wants to show appreciation for anything my sister does, and my sister still carries a grudge that she has passed down to her own daughters.
We got out of debt. We also purchased a mountain condo. The RELIEF of no more debt is absolutely FREEING. I am grateful to have been able to do all of this -- it is all due to the inheritance from my parents. I wish they could see how much less stressed I am today, vs. a few years ago. They'd be so happy.
My mother turned 90. In her family it is both the norm and amazing to be so long-lived, so my siblings and I are watching her quality of life and safety so that she can stay as independent as possible. The last time I saw here was January 2020 - when I got home to Australia the Pandemic began and I have been unable to leave the country (and my state) this whole time. Not that I would willingly go to the US with our stupid insistence on 'freedom' that costs others their lives and health! Rant over. Now, that means the kids and I missed being with family and her friends to celebrate. It was slightly melancholy to have our party for her via Zoom. I'm aware that so many other people commemorated more significant milestones from afar, and that made it easier for all of us. 90 is a grand age. It signposts that we are all aging, all reaching the ends of our lives, and has encouraged me to be authentic, live fully, embrace the wonder and love everyone, every minute.
The holiday season didn't really happen. Citing the pandemic, none of the usual spirit was around the house except for the family dinners with wine. The year ended anti climactic with me nursing a mini bottle of Prosecco at midnight on 12/31 as everyone else went to bed.
I was able to have an honest conversation with my mum about my childhood and experiences with her, without it ruining our relationship. Because of that, our relationship has become better, and whole not perfect, it’s certainly more healthy!
nothing has changed.
Another loss of life. Marilyn, my sister, lost her husband Ted. While he was suffering from alzhiemers, he contracted Covid and was gone in a moment. It was a hammer on the head that life is fragile especially at our ages. It makes me even closer to Marilyn and Maynard and Gale. It also makes me more directed at the relationship with my grandkids. I want them to have good memories of time with their Zaide.
My husband and I had our 20 year wedding anniversary. For the most part, I think this was more of a negative impact as I have been frustrated that we continue to have the same struggles over and over. My hopes and expectations were that we would be in a better and stronger place, especially after years of marriage counseling. However, when I let go of those expectations, I am able to be present and appreciate the relationship as it is now and all of the things we have overcome. We went out of state for several days while the kids were at camp and that was great but I wish we had done more of a group celebration so that the kids could realize how significant this milestone is.
My daughter is now engaged. We are all very happy for her and her future husband is already part of our family. We are looking forward to the wedding. We are truly blessed.
My sister retired early from her job. It’s had me looking at my own retirement strategy as well as my commitment to my job and career
My mom started a new position after 27 years and it really effected me to see her like that. She doesn't have a degree to just go anywhere else and the position they put her in isn't really working out for her. She's not learning at the pace they would like her to. It's hard to see her stressing and losing sleep over this. they don't value her as an employee and basically kicked her to the curb in the financial aid office.
My niece's wife, Gen died. New nephew to be, Jaxon was born. David moved in, after 8 years together. Lots of things all over the board.
Katelyn turn 18 - a new adult! We did our best to make her celebration not just one day, but many days so she could really celebrate this milestone. I am happy that we could make this happen for her during a pandemic. And, I can't believe I have kids that are now 20 and 18! Time goes by very fast.
my mother is a fighter and has overcome her health issues, but this I do know, the day she passes, she will be in Heaven!
My daughter got her learner's permit. It's simultaneously thrilling and terrifying. I want her to be solid and independent, but I also worry about her attention lapsing while she's on the road. I'm having to learn to stay quiet and still when I'm nervous in the car--not a great skill for me--and decide when and when not to give directions. Today, she drove us to the first day of 11th grade in busier traffic than she's ever been in before. Fingers crossed!
Recent—my brother’s partner died. Really quickly. We all deal with grief in different ways, and I feel like my brother is dealing with a lot of sadness as anger. And I get that—like: life isn’t fair… I’m trying to be kind and understanding, but it also makes me realizes in the moment how much my family just doesn’t “see” me because I don’t have a family of my own. Some really tough things have happened to me in the last year, and there was no place for me to put them. I felt like I had to carry so much alone.
No major family milestones. It's been a calm, uneventful year, primarily due to the pandemic isolation.
Mom turned 90 Has made me hopeful that I’ll be long loved but anxious about losing bodily function
My grandson was born a day before my birthday. I feel lucky that I have been able to get to play with him because they moved here. It's such a joy to be a regular part of each other's lives.
This year makes a decade that I have had no contact with my son. I know that silences are harder to break the longer they are maintained. I have pretty much lost hope of a reconciliation. Every morning when I waken and remember his rejection of any relationship with me, the ache is almost unbearable.
My daughter starting high school. Everything is going so fast and I'm so worried for her. Am I doing enough? Am I supporting her? Am I too focused on her performance and grades? Does she know I love her? Does she know I'm so proud of her and her accomplishments in fencing? I've never worried more and I just want what's best for her health and well being.
My Divorce. It has affected me in so many ways I am not even ready to list them because the repercussions of that are still unknown. It has affected me, emotionally, legally, financially, but the thing that hurt me the most is the way this is affecting an innocent person: My youngest son It has affected me in positive ways as well. I have learned a lot about myself, about my resistance and my witts, about my strength and I have come to realize I can accomplish almost anything if I put effort and sacrifice. I have been living in fear for 18 months and would like that to go away, but that will take some time.
Daddy died from COVID in November, just before Thanksgiving. I was devastated, and still have major grief.
Obviously COVID has had the biggest impact on lives everywhere. That said, my cousins have decided finally, with all of us fully vaccinated, that we could meet in person again. It has been wonderful. The same is true with my closest friends, my havurah. I've missed all of them so much. Now with the surge of COVID again (delta variant) and possibly the need for booster shots, we'll see how much we can continue to socialize. We are holding high holy day services live (and livestream) this year, but requiring vaccination records and masks for live attendees. I've attended a few outdoor gatherings, like a play, and have traveled on airplanes (masked). It's nice to be out doing things again, but I'm willing to quarantine again to guard against COVID. I retired from teaching part-time, which frees up my time to do other things.
Dad died July 22, 2021. Mom died years earlier, so now my brothers and I are orphans. We’re all in our 50’s with our own kids, but I feel orphaned. No one to call about the little things, or the bigger ones like the book-group we shared, or bigger things, like politics. I miss Dad in the specifics, the details. Mom? I missed feeling her there.
The biggest milestone is the birth of my grandniece, which is a lovely thing, but I can't say that it affects me much beyond being a source of pleasure. And that's not nothing!
We all got together to have a memorial service for my grandfather. It left me feeling like a box of broken glass, sharp and delicate and in that limbo of being seen as what it was rather than what it is. It left me never wanting to see them again. How am I supposed to feel when at a gathering after someone I loved dearly died of covid, and half the people there refuse to be vaccinated or wear masks? Throw in the amount of times people were told what my name is and it wasn't either of the names I use... Throw in every time someone used my pronouns, they chose the wrong pronouns. I have one living relative now who I had thought of as loving me unconditionally, but despite years of me using these pronouns she asked how she's meant to use them and rather than using the name I asked her to, she has decided I get a nickname. It's- it's something I would only allow from her, but it's still a blow to that love and bond. Maybe I am meant to not have any connection to anyone.
I was promoted to LT. The pay raise was significant and our QOL has increased greatly. I'm very grateful to be employed during this time of uncertainty for so many.
Betsy moved from her Batavia house into independent and then assisted living. She has moderate dementia. This affected her the most, obviously, but it has caused some sad undercurrents. It's Eric vs. Karen and Paul. Quality of life vs. safety. It's made me think about what I want to say to my kids about late life. People think they've been clear and thought through what might happen, but it's not that simple.
We moved to NJ! My mom and sister’s purchase of a beautiful and spacious townhome in the suburbs inspired my husband and I to consider moving to NJ as well. Having grown up in Brooklyn, it was a change we’d never considered before, and could not have imagined for ourselves. But, after spending a year at home in our cramped apartment with noisy neighbors, we decided that space, peace and quiet, and a lower cost of living was more important than living in the city. We sold our place and are now just a hop over the tunnel and enjoying the best of both worlds with a quick commute into the city a few times a month.
My son moved into an apartment with his girlfriend a few months ago. This kind of elevates their relationship to a whole new level, and I'm beginning to come to terms with the fact that home is no longer the house he grew up in. That's kind of a hard concept for me to grasp. Hopefully I'll learn to adapt!
A close family member is currently sober after struggling on and off with alcoholism for many years. It feels amazing to talk to him and to know he is really there, listening to me and responding thoughtfully, being curious about my life and reflecting on his own. I'm so glad that he chose to be a part of this world in all its complexity.
I married the love of my life!
This was the year of milestones. 1. I fell deeply madly in love and committed to live with a wonderful man (I'm 59 and this was a first.) 2. I encouraged this man to move his elderly frail mother 3,000 to be closer to us. And I am committed to make her remaining days, weeks, months, years as happy, comfortable, and filled with love. 3. I met my biological parents and 5 full blooded siblings and have committed to building a relationship with them all individually. 4. I have accepted that liking/loving this new family is not being disloyal to the family I grew up in. 5. I think I have a good/decent respectful bond with all 4+ of Scott's kids. I like them all and think they like me. I always felt whole, confident, happy, and complete but now somehow I feel even more so. My heart is full - but I can always squeeze in more people & pets.
It was a year of battling the tedium of Covid - and this year we fought back with 4 trips to the West Coast already and a Midwest visit a month ahead. We have blocked travel plans for Europe on a cruise as well. Also, our precious daughter is now growing and walking quickly and just loves her Grandpa. Her presence is a splash of spices on my life.
As for everyone else, this last year was the winter of Covid. We learned to be together on line through ZOOM, which is actually a pretty handy tool when your family lives scattered about.Between ZOOM and that problematic FACEBOOK, in some ways I am closer to my (extended) family than ever.
Two milestones: Our daughter moved out to an apartment and went back to college in person while our son moved back home and into our garage. Both have ambitious plans for their future livelihoods and my wife and I are grateful that we are able to help them.
We had our second child. Somehow, we didn’t expect it, but it was much harder transitioning from one kid to two kids than it was to become parents to begin with. Even though we have done all the infant childcare before and had everything we needed already, keeping track of the needs of two children at different stages is more than twice the challenge. We love them both dearly, but it is quite a challenge on many days!
My 24 yo son decided to move from west to east coast. I fear it will be the beginning of a shift to being disconnected.
Expecting another grandson. Delighted to enjoy this one; or I would be if my daughter-in-law wasn't having such a horrible pregnancy, with HG and SPD.
We haven't really had a major milestone this year. I suppose there is some comfort in that. I am grateful to have years with few milestones. It's those years without them that often define the kind of lives we live. I am grateful for mine.
We agreed that Dad's dementia has reached a point that Mom can't manage the situation on her own. I found a caregiver -- and seem to have found an exceptional one that not only is a gift to my parents, but also has created a situation that improves her (the caregiver's) life and buils important bonds in my own. I am sorry to be losing my father, neuron by neuron, but we always knew this was coming. I feel good that I played a role in creating a "good" response to a difficult situation.
Both Diana and I changed jobs in the past year or so. That was a big change, for the better for both of us. Rachel moved home, not sure for how long, but this has been a big adjustment for all of us. I feel pretty good about all of it but our ability to look ahead and plan for the future has been compromised because we have to take others into account more so than before.
My mother in law died. My sister in law died. My daughter moved to a new town to a new job and a new life separate from her family of origin. Losses all. But some things have been gained. In the case of my mother in law, we have been pulled together in a way that we have not been before. I have been in communication with people that I have not seen in years. I have learned things about my mother in law that I don't think I would have learned otherwise because we never really talked that way. In regards to my sister in law, I did not like her, but I love my brother and went to the funeral to support him. There I reconnected with family with whom I had been at odds and learned things about my sister in law that were fascinating and I could see how much she had loved my brother. Her passing has also allowed my brother to move forward with his transition to living in the world as a female and henceforth, my sister. My daughter has launched into the life as an adult, not without pain or feat, but with persistence, like a child learning to walk. I am so proud of her, and I still get to send her love and support, more from a distance than before, but still there. These milestones have opened up my heart I think. I feel more deeply, more vulnerable to the people in my life. They are gems that I do not want to let fade into the background of the tedium of my life.
The children are getting older! Not a specific milestone per se but they’re not babies anymore. They fun, funny people with big needs and emotions and they need our help and support but they also have thoughts, opinions, interests, interact amazingly with each other and other people. I’m so proud and love them so much and want them to be happy and nurtured and supported. I miss”little them” but look forward to everything the future holds.
Auntie Dianne had a pretty tumultuous year and it affected all of us, but Mom and Jeff, mostly. They're all so close and Mom is so used to seeing and talking with her sister on a regular basis, so the dementia was making that more difficult and Jeff had to start navigating the reality of long-term care; during COVID. When she suffered a series of mini-strokes in November/December, she was placed at the rehab institute, where she progressed really well; but then after her first dose of Pfizer in March, she suffered her major stroke and Jeff thought the two were related even though I advised him to consider that she'd already had a series of strokes, so maybe this was just a terrible coincidence. She was in hospital in isolation after the stroke. Then she went back to the rehab hospital and suffered a fractured hip after she fell, which landed her back in hospital for surgery. We honestly didn't think she'd pull through; she'd just been through so much this year, but she survived the surgery and returned to the rehab hospital. After getting placed in an emergency transition home, which preceded her move to long-term care, she was not in her preferred place and the care was really sub-par. Jeff managed to get her moved to her first choice long-term care home and they were encouraging all residents to be fully vaccinated. Their protocols for infection control are really strict and we're relieved about that. Jeff contacted a stroke specialist to ask his advice about the second vaccination and after he reviewed Auntie Dianne's CT scans, he reported that her major stroke was not caused by the Pfizer vaccine, but by a calcium deposit that was clearly evident on one of her scans; nothing else made sense with the timing or the mechanical etiology of a stroke, in the doctor's opinion. So that was a lucky thing to discover, insofar as Auntie Dianne was able to get fully vaccinated and is now progressing well in her stroke rehab, living in her preferred long-term care residence. Other than being pretty skinny, she looks and sounds really good.
College graduation! I thought that the worries of parenting would be over. They aren't. They are just different. But as they make their way in the world I remember that this is the adventurous part of finding their identity in adulthood. I'm trying to keep that perspective and finding a way to see the joy in their mishaps take center stage.
We've started really trying for a baby – like, going to doctors and stuff. Strangely, I am less stressed now than before – I feel like we're doing everything we can, and whatever happens, happens.
None really. My narcissistic bio-family has sort of doubled-down on gaslighting and ignoring reality. I've psychologically distance myself enough to not take it personally or try to make anyone take accountability or wake up to the truth. It's been freeing.
No, thank goodness.. no major milestones. Just the disconnect really of families. We all seem to be living in our own little bubbles.. so even the milestones that we would normally celebrate.. we can't. One big one I suppose was reconnecting my brother and his grand-daughter. That was cool. Nice milestone was the abilit to celebrate a good friends 60th. And the acknowledgement that we have been friends for 42 years.
My eldest child has started secondary school. My first born is on the road to becoming an adult. We need to support his first steps into independence, it really feels like watching the baby giraffe with its stiff legs faltering away from its mother.
Birth of two kiddos, baby Philip + Ava. In addition to Alixandra + Asher, they bring so much joy to our family, especially after so much death (dad, Adrienne, grandma, + grandpa).
My dad got married. While his marriage relieves the burden of my worrying about and potentially managing his social/emotional well-being, his new wife adds another player in the emotionally fraught dynamics of my family. This new player, my new stepmom, is a big unknown, especially during this pandemic. Because I understand my immediate family and most of their motivations, I can often support them when they need help translating, but I can't do that with this new person who I don't know, and I don't know when or how I can safely and honestly get to know her.
My spouse came out to me as transgender, outing me more publicly as queer. It has emboldened me to be less gender-conforming, and has allowed me to see my partner as their truer self.
My Mom died from Covid in January. It has made me angry with people who refuse to get vaccinated, especially my nieces because they should do it in honor of their Grandma who they loved so much. I still get sad and miss her tremendously.
I'm not sure this was the year of milestones in my life. I am excited that Jason and I have been married 5 years-that is a huge accomplishment. I guess just that we've survived and are still going. . . not much choice in that though?
My daughter escaped an abusive relationship that had kept us apart for 5 years. Yipee!
I have continued to cease contact with my mother, which has resulted in a closeness with my father and his wife. I'm grateful for having family members who are loving and sharing and with whom I can be myself. I am also grateful for the chosen family I have in a dear friend in the south and one in LA. Our bond has strengthened over the years and even more over the past few months during extended travel with each of them.
We bought a house, my sister moved + got pregnant + miscarried, I got a new job. How do I pick only one milestone?! Lots of things have changed. I am busier than ever but also more professionally satisfied, which is nice. Covid is still here though. There's more home-related stress and expense now that we have a house with apparently the world's most expensive dead tree in the backyard. But I suppose it's all made me happier to nest and ready to have kids.
We moved! We celebrated our one year anniversary! It was hard to make it this far, it's been difficult to open up and let myself be vulnerable. I'm always embarrassed about my thoughts and opinions but I did it, and I hope to keep doing it for years to come. I want to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary together, with my mother and my nana by our side, G-d willing.
My brother and I both worked at a vaccination center and it lead to us becoming more eligible for higher-paying jobs.
It has been 4 years since my mom has died. The time has flown by and I continue to miss her everyday. There have been so many times I wish we could have just hung out, talked together and I could share my life with her.
Mike and I have not had a housemate living with us in a year and a half now. We had previously lived with others for 7 years. I was really tired of other people and did not get along with our last housemate so it was a relief to have our space. It feels like we can enjoy our home and spend time in living areas. I like coming home and not having to wear clothes. I like not feeling someone else's energy, good or bad, in my home. We've been happier, as a couple. We also celebrated 10 years together this Spring!
Seeing my parents in person for the first time in a long time and seeing their health decline. Strengthened the connection between me and my sister as we realize that we are responsible for their care more than we used to be.
My youngest graduated college in 2020! And then after taking some months off he started grad school. I am so proud of him. I have watched him work thru COVID anxiety and build a new relationship and make some smart decisions. I am so grateful that he came home for all of this, well supported.
Probably this is similar to my answer for #2, that we have decided to move to Washington. I'm hoping it goes well. I'm hoping we are happy there and that the move isn't too upsetting for the kids. I am excited to reread this question in a year and see my thoughts, and how things worked out.
I saw my mother for the first time in a year. Our relationship has changed for the better and the distance allowed us space to start over.
Thanks to my autism diagnosis I've been more self-aware and I've learnt to be more selfish so I can practice self-care instead of always sacrificing my wellbeing to make family members happy. I've been finding ways to show I care and ways to demonstrate my love that better suit me and the way I function. It has been soothing.
I would have to say that our family was not badly affected by covid19 ..Tricia was sick early on and we never did know whether it was covid or not, but she has been fine since... Dealing with the fear of covid has changed everyone, but we have come through it ok and I am very thankful. I might say another milestone might be our financial security now. Tricia finally found a job she enjoys just as her unemployment ran out, and I truly am not worried about our money situation now. I feel like I can buy something if I really want it , and not worry about it.
Sadly, the major milestone is that I became a full orphan. It happened only a week before Rosh HaShanah, so I don't really know the full effects, except I won't be going to Minnesota regularly as I've been doing for the past several years, as she aged. My siblings will have to figure out a new way to stay related, if that's even possible.
Mick and Jess finally bought a house in Columbus this year, just this summer. It is a real milestone for them because they are finally settled. I also am thinking that this will represent a larger familial shift. They bought a giant house and my parents are getting older, so it makes sense that maybe we begin to have some of the family events at their place. Things cannot stay the same...it is even weirder I think, when because I don't have children. It seems there is this natural process of replacing ones family traditions with your own family traditions but I do not really have any that stuck. The holidays are a time to be with others. Change causes reflection on the choices that wound their way toward this moment....and yet we can never go back only forward.
My children are in daycare and are thriving. I am blessed
A major milestone of this year has been our 30th wedding anniversary. For a period of time, especially early in the year, I wasn't sure we were going to make it there intact. We got excellent help from an online couples' counselor and it has made all the difference. We are now so much more resilient as a couple than we have ever been in all these decades.
Three family members died this year and they are greatly missed.
I learned that I will become a grandfather next year. The first affect was to stay quiet with sharing until the pregnancy was further along. Today came the good news the genetic tests and sonogram are good, and the baby is a girl! Now the good news can be shared. It is bittersweet that my grandchild will be born so far away. Family issues are in flux but we have hope because we are staying connected and willing to listen and go deep to work on our issues.
My father went off chemo. His doctor said, "come now." I flew out immediately. It was the first time in two years that I'd seen him. The change in my parents' circumstances was dramatic and the decline was so much more than I expected. I had hoped to spend some time alone with my father but much of my time with him was spent watching him sleep or talking my mother down from her anxiety about his health. Additionally, other family was also in town during this weekend, which took away from my time with him. I truly thought this was the last time I would see my father. But remarkably (or not so remarkably given his quirky medical history), now that he's off chemo, he's more alert, he has a better appetite, he has an better quality of life. Yes, he's still on hospice. Yes, he's still facing end stage kidney and heart disease. Yet, somehow he's doing better than he was several months ago. We were totally prepared for a funeral. We still hold this in one hand. And in the other, we fortunate to have him still with us – and doing better than he's done in months. I'm not sure how I'll feel about his actual death. I'm trying to process all sorts of emotions and all of the things unsaid and that cannot be said. Mostly, I'm glad that my mom still has her partner for a bit longer.
We didn't hit major milestones this year, but we are seriously mobilizing to sell the house and get into one we can actually afford, and this has been helpful in organizing.
Aside from getting pregnant, which I wrote about in question #1, we celebrated Shuba's wedding. I now have a new brother-in-law, and although I don't like him the way I used to, he's not a bad guy, and I'm glad to see our family growing. He's a pain in the ass, and he really doesn't get along with Craig, but that's the price you pay for having a bigger family: not everyone is going to like each other. I'm glad that Shuba is happy with him; it's much better than having her be single and miserable.
I had a new granddaughter. Also, my daughter graduated college. Two big milestones. Both made we want to move closer to them, to be a bigger part of my granddaughter's life and to be able to have my daughter be able to have a home base.
The death of both of my wives parents within 3 weeks of each, changed everything for the year. My one concern & priority became helping my wife through this.
We adopted a cat named Shalom. She makes me very happy and calm.
I turned 70! I had been really excited about 50, and 55 seemed unimportant. 60 and 65 were big and were happy as they were celebrated on trips with friends all turning the same age that year. I began dreading 70 a few months before the fact. Not being able to celebrate much because of COVID didn't help. I was depressed for several months, but slowly came out of it. It helped that all my age-mates began having Zoom meetings every month to celebrate our 70 year. The main impact has been for me to realize I have no guarantees about how much time I have left, despite longevity ruling my family. I began to make sure I had ways to make a positive contribution to family members and my community. And I am increasingly aware that it is never too late to improve my diet and activity level. In the end, getting old created a fresh start.
My mother turned 98 this year. In seven weeks she will be 99. I am enjoying this time with her. There have been difficulties in the past but they are largely unimportant now.
M&J got married on July 24th. Such a beautiful and glorious day. How has this affected me? It has given me such peace of mind knowing Michael has formed his own family and now has a wife who is supportive and loving. He's not alone and that is the best feeling in the world. It brings me to tears when I really think about it. It was so wonderful to hear from different people about Michael (best man and co-worker) which gave me another side of Michael. Such a caring, hard-working person. I'm beyond proud.
I adopted Athos, my Great Dane. Initially I had placed a holding fee on him the week before my other Dane, Gunnar, died. I wasn't sure if I was going to go through adopting him, but I am very grateful that I did. After Gunnar's death I was struggling, my pitbull, Bella, was depressed and I was worried for her. Athos has helped us both heal and have fun again. He is really funny, super sweet, curious and playful. He has people and dogs that are his favorite beings and his joyful reaction brings such joy to others. He bounces like a Lipizzaner at times and is a bit tricky to train, but he has added so much to our lives that was missing when Gunnar left us. I love him so much and am very grateful for his presence.
I completed the divorce process and fully transitioned into a co-parenting, co-living relationship with my children's father. It was a major milestone but everyone has been thriving with the arrangement
My son’s pubic hair started growing. I am thinking more on how to parent my children through adolescence. I am afraid of the negative messages of popular culture
My family really consists of me and my animals now. I have extended family but I consider myself my core unit. And I officially moved states and bought a house. That was a HUGE milestone for me. One I have dreamt of for many years. It has affected me by helping me to feel stable, mature, inspired, rooted and empowered. It has also affected me enough to reach out to my father, with whom I’ve been estranged for 5 years now, just to share a little love. I feel very “in” myself to not worry about his reaction or response. That’s not exactly a milestone, but it’s a significant action this year.
Nothing special has happened this year, but I did get closer to some of the family members, even though I didn't see them that much in person. I've also used the respite between the Covid waves to visit my aunt, whom I hadn't seen in a while. So yeah, a nice year family wise
The biggest family event this past year was Lynne's cancer diagnosis and death. We weren't prepared for either - and definitely thought we would have more time. It has been hard to watch Jeff grieve his Mom, and I think it's been hard for me because our relationship with her was complicated (and has been since Jeff and I met). I think he has many, many good memories prior to the more recent past and feels guilty that he wasn't a "better son" and I understand, but don't endorse this. I also do worry sometimes that I wasn't a good DIL, and waver between feeling guilty vs proud for setting boundaries. We both worry about his Dad and what will come. It's sad that G has a very small family already. I think it has reminded me that life is not promised. I hope that Jeff can continue to heal.
A major milestone.... Hmm this last year has been extremely lacking in milestones- just a daily scrabble to keep up with work and bills, no end in sight. Mike, my best friend and business partner just turned sixty, and although he would have said beforehand 'age is just a number' it hit him surprisingly hard. He suddenly felt old, and aware of all the things he hadn't achieved. He'd imagined by this age he'd own a small house on some land and be looking to retire (while never having done anything to plan or save towards that). Me neither until this last year, so far I managed to save 5000 euros, which is nothing in the great scheme of things, and if I do leave Russ, it will probably take that whole amount to set me up renting another flat.
On January 12, my father, of blessed memory, died. There is much that I am grateful both in the way my immediate family came together before, during, and after his death. I found that I needed and wanted to join a morning minyan to say Kaddish. The virtual prayer spaces made necessary by COVID also enabled me to say that daily Kaddish. My mother always joins; my siblings sometimes. I don't always pray, but always hear others. I always say Kaddish. I sometimes feel sad. Sometimes just tired. I miss him. I am glad he left (and it feels like he picked his moment when enough was enough--his life was becoming increasingly constricted and painful) when he did, with some dignity. It is hard though, particularly as time goes by.
THE major family milestone for us was that Action Face got funded $9MM. Almost all of the lifeblood of our family went into that fundraising effort over the last three years. What it meant for our family is that Daddy finally got a pay check and at least a year of financial security. What that meant for us was that even though Daddy is still working the same crazy hard hours with the fear of failure biting at his heals, we can at least use money to help ease the pain. E.G., we can hire the cook, the basketball coach, the Hebrew tutor, buy the clothes, give the housekeeper a raise, pay for camps without spending as much time on financial aid applications, pay for massages and other healthcare. We still wish Daddy was around more and less stressed, but hopefully that time will come some year soon.
After about a year of COVID quarantines and increased isolation, my mother seemed relatively happy and content to be living her life mostly within her apartment with her books, her radio, and Jeopardy. But for the few months beyond that, until everyone was vaccinated and felt safe enough to visit again, she experienced a bit more of a decline. Her memory loss has increased a bit, her mobility declined, and she just seemed so much more frail overall. So began another round of sibling discussions with her and each other about what would be best for her going forward. This has caused me considerable stress--first because it seemed that I was the only one of my siblings actually listening to what our mother was saying she wanted for herself, and I found myself constantly battling to hold off on decisions that might make her miserable even if they alleviated my sister's anxieties or were more convenient for my brother--and even if they might decrease physical risks to her. And most recently, when our mother seems to have changed her mind on some of these issues--enough to decrease our sibling conflicts--I feel the painful awareness of her limited time with us. I certainly appreciate visits with her and even ritualistic phone calls consisting of little more than repetitive chitchat because only a couple of days have passed since we last spoke. But I'm feeling sad, regardless and worried about the upcoming year.
I think my dad misses me. I miss him and my sisters too
In the past year, the second two of our four children moved out of the house, making us empty nesters. The two younger ones are not completely launched, so we haven't cleaned out and redecorated their rooms yet, but they're gone more than they're here. We're proud to see them move on with their lives. The house feels more spacious now. Our daily rhythm, habits, meals and conversations are so different with just the two of us. We enjoy the peace and each other's company, and yet, we feel a little sad.
Milestones generally are stuff like birth, death, marriage, divorce. Technically, none of that happened in this year to me, in my direct family. But we lost Caroline in our circle, and that is huge. Her presence is so missed, our world has shifted without her in it, and, because she and Joe were compadres in cancer, we were close to the story, close to the bone of it. Joe was facing end of life and that was huge, we are still reckoning with that, and know it can/will come again. It has been over a year since Big Joe passed. Therese's time is near. It feels like a time of recognizing these passages, some have happened and some are imminent but unknown.
My son joining the National Guard. At first I was concerned that he chose a wrong time to sign up, but there really isn’t a right time. When you are ready you’re ready. I didn’t think I could be more proud of the man he has become. But I will still refer to him as my boy!
My marriage!!!! My wedding brought my family back together after almost 18 months apart due to the pandemic. And it solidified the beautiful relationship between my family and my spouse’s family, and turned us into one family. I never imagined just how significant my wedding would be, and I’m so thankful.
What a blessing it is that I can say another year went by and still I have all of my family members; it’s an added gift to say everyone is doing well. The most significant thing that happened this year was a joyful thing. Dad got married to Michele and had a wedding in which everyone attended. Jennifer was even my date :-) Thomas and Sarah seem to be excelling in their paths with their beautiful daughter. Sara and Dylan bought a house and their kids are doing well. Although I had massive doubts about Max drinking handles of vodka while he was in New York he seems to be taking the sober train and he and Cassie are going strong; Surprisingly her kids are the nicest to me. Mom is the same as ever, working nonstop all the time. It’s almost to excess where I feel like retirement won’t be realistic because there will be too much free time but I am happy that she’s happy. Outside of the wedding, dad and Michele seem to be doing a good part of working and enjoying life, as much as dad can :-) my extended family seems healthy and happy. In my immediate family, Tessa had a toe removed which seems to have alleviated her from a lot of pain. I only wish the surgery could’ve happened sooner. Although she’s been an asshole to everyone except me since live in New York she seems to be very happy in her home. Although it is such a small group of blood relatives I am so thankful that there has been no pandemic, natural disaster, or human malfunction that has created anything negative in the family.
My son will be getting his name on one (or two!) academic papers on computer science. I feel so proud of him, especially because he is still an undergraduate! I feel more comfortable knowing that he will be able to have a good career that he loves, and will be able to support himself. I worry, though, about Max, my other child, because they feel bad about themselves because Noah is so far ahead of them academically and career-wise.
My Dad had his 75th birthday and my parents celebrated their 51st anniversary. I see my parents aging. I get frustrated with them. I want them to be quicker, in their speech and thinking. I don't want them to grow old. But, maybe I am also ok with it. For the first time, maybe I feel that way. I've been spending a lot more time with them this year, it's been a major change that has been mostly welcome. Jenson gets the benefit of his grandparents, and that has been so good for our family, more love, more fun, more people to share Jenson with.
This is a continuing theme. We sold the over 100 year old family home and moved grandma into an assisted living facility. After clearing the entire house, I brought back several boxes of photos and family heirlooms for my mom to sort through and will likely be going back again this year to get the rest of grandma’s belongings from the home that her and Bob shared together. Again, I am grateful that my lifestyle is such that I have the freedom to be of service when it’s needed. It was all very emotional for the family and I feel happy that I could help in the transition.
It was a very happy occasion my granddaughter went off to Yale and we had a party for her it made me very happy. I’m excited for her
My husband became disabled, possibly permanently. I took it all on, with part of my mind acknowledging that I could move forward, alone, without him.
Our daughter had a baby-our first grandchild! I have learned to honor and respect our daughter’s parenting, subscribe to her guidelines for his safety and well-being, and support her and her wife in ways that help them. Additionally, I have gotten the opportunity to feel deep love for this new family member! Deep!!!
My Grandson? hasn't affected me really, maybe made me realize that I really do love him.
Visiting with and getting to know the British kids was so uplifting, so affirming of my worthiness. Unconditional love and affection with these brilliant beautiful youngsters really healed my aching soul. That and remembering that the Dalai Lama loves me.
My boyfriend and his son moved in with me and my son. We spend holidays together which is lovely. I do enjoy my son on his own and they are not Jewish but appreciate our take on spirituality. We had rosh hashanna dinner with them and it wasn’t like getting together with extended family but it was still a celebration for which I am grateful.
No major milestones for me. The deaths of Levonne's beau Jim Sullivan and Masaru's father were unexpected and sad.
I gave my mother à dog só she can go Out more during confinement. But her cat depressed, didnt eat or sleep because of the dog. And I bad to bring the dog into my house. New routines, go Every night with her, had to move cat food só she cant eat it. Sleep with her, make peace with the cats often and receive and vive lotes of Hugo, kisses and love. We are in love with each other.
One of my sons, who had moved back home last August, post-graduation without a job during COVID, got his first real job in January and moved out into his first adult apartment in May (and bought his first car). So many firsts for him! It was bittersweet for me. On the one hand, my mission as a parent has been to prepare my children to be independent and live successfully on their own. On the other hand, it was really life changing for me to have him here with me for ten months, especially since he was the kid that was the biggest challenge for me while he was growing up, and I miss him now. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know this wonderful person as an adult, and share daily life with him again.
The major milestone this year has been my baby niece. It's been crazy how much she's grown so quickly. She's turning 1 at the end of the month! It's been nice to see how much we all love her, especially my parents. I think they were very, very ready to be grandparents. I'm thankful for her and for having the chance to see my parents dote on her so much.
And aunt and uncle passed away. The were the same age as my parents so I decided to move closer to home. Not back to my home country but to Europe at least.
My daughter graduated from college - a positive event and one that we were thankfully able to attend in person. She is staying in the town where she attended school, and has a job that so far, she likes. I am so very happy for her and pleased with her progress towards adulthood. I know she's not had it easy, between losing her brother and other personal losses and I am grateful that she is comfortable enough to share (most of) her thoughts and feelings with me. I only wish I could help her better navigate some of the rough times she's had.
The death of my mother earlier this year. She lived to the age of 97 and I am 59. I spent a lot of time over the last decade as her primary caregiver so her loss has left a large hole in my life and my heart. She has been gone for 6 months now, so I am coming to terms with her loss and looking forward to a future where I don't have to always be thinking of my caregiver duties before making a decision. The only thing holding me back now is our ongoing COVID lockdowns.
My mother went into care and passed away. I am still dreaming of her at different ages, living in her house, that I had to clean out and sell. She and my Dad feature heavily in my dreams
I would hesitate to call it a milestone, but my brother and his wife, whom I adore, came for a visit, as did my other sister in law. I had not seen them since the pandemic, so it was very special.
I'm not sure if we've had any serious family milestones around here. I'm grateful we've come through the pandemic so far happy and healthy. I guess maybe seeing my mother for the first time since the pandemic started? Setting Serious Boundaries with my father? But there haven't been any new births or, thank goodness, deaths since last Rosh Hashanah. And that is in and of itself a small miracle.
In the past year I lost my mom. it's strange because i am happy that she finally passed. she was in such a bad way that she's better and out of pain now. All fine. Im more aware of the passage of time than ever. it has made me want to see my daughter more!
My stepdaughter's marriage was a milestone for our family. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception. It was wonderful to see all their friends come together and work to make everything perfect for the day. It was also so very hard to participate in just 5 months after my daughter's death. It was difficult not to think about the fact that I will never see my own daughter have that celebration. I know I still have things to celebrate and look forward too, but they are a little tarnished and hard to see right now.
Youngest grandchild turned 2. Possibly (probably) the end of a 12 year period when there were babies in the family. I feel so lucky that all the kids are growing up healthy and well loved. Also sad that we are at the end of the baby era. My husband’s sister died—first of our siblings to go. Very aware of my own aging and waning stamina.
We renovated our house, and moved in. It's been such a huge change to live in the quiet, and have this wonderful house.
One thing that happened was that my dad got diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is common among men, and they were able to remove it, so it isn't that big of a deal I guess. But it awakened in me an understanding that, because he has this suppressed immune system, he is more vulnerable to cancer than he otherwise would be. I hadn't realized it fully before. And now I have a feeling that the next one is just a few years away... that this is his life now: vulnerable to the pains of older adulthood in a deeper way, because his immune system is literally suppressed. I also see that he doesn't take the best care of his health. I do feel that his is in his decline now. It is sad to see and I am treasuring for moments together more now.
It made me question if the path I'm on is the correct one for my loved ones. After last year I realized that I am the head of this family, and that my father's role in it would be forever diminished. I struggle with this responsibility, but up until now I've been the one who has met the challenge. It is important however that I define which members I'm responsible for, and up to what extent. I'm still struggling with that.
Well obviously the most major milestone this year is we became parents - ivf, pregnancy, birth, all in the past Jewish year. But there it were other milestones for our family as well - I don't know if difficult things count as milestones, but my mom had open heart surgery and a quadruple bypass this year. Thankfully she survived, but it still feels surreal that she hasn't been able to meet our baby. I know it would have been stressful having her up here, and yet, it's stressful not having her too. I'd always assumed that when I became a mom my own mom would be there. I think I just feel so alone and unprepared right now; I really just want someone to lean on. And instead, I am the person getting leaned on, literally, by this new little person. I've never felt so utterly unqualified for any role in my entire life as I do for motherhood.
A major milestone for my family in this past year is me acquiring Calli. Having a dog really gives me so much more patience, love understanding.
My Dad's girlfriend moved in with him/us and it's been great! I think she brings peace to my dad and their relationship is incredibly healthy, so it's been great having her around.
I feel like I’ve been pretty stuck in time with the pandemic. Misha went to daycare and Helena went to pre-k. Parkside felt like regular school and that was hard, especially with the lead teacher out. College Heights has been much better. I’ve realised how Helena is no longer a toddler and the old adage “they grow up so quick” is really true.
I have become widowed, and my children have lost a good father, my grandchildren & great-grandchildren also lost someone who was dearly loved. We take life one day at a time now, and treasure the memories we are left with.
My husband turned 80. In four more weeks, he will have outlived both of his parents. He has a number of health issues, and had a rough year medically in 2020 (two hospitalizations, three surgeries, numerous other procedures, but thankfully no COVID). It has made me (16 years his junior) realize how precious the time we have together is. I am trying to savor every moment, and to evaluate what I'm doing in terms of what I could be doing instead.
My daughter, Beren, started talking to me again. It started with my grandson Paul's Bar Mitzvah in November. She missed me and told me she loved me and that has been the case ever since. I am so totally relieved. Her rejection has been devastating to me and this gives me hope for the future. What I had to do was to give her space and not push. Happily that worked. It took over 4 years but I was patient and that paid off.
We buried my mom's ashes in July, two years after she died, delayed due to Covid. It was a heartfelt ceremony led by my brother, and I also spoke. There were about 20 family members there, and it was beautiful. I helped lower her urn into the ground with my siblings and it was a comforting and loving act.
Sarah and I are hitting 40. We finally went to family counseling. Think the girls just said what they needed to get out but I also think Sarah and I took some things out of there that we needed. To this day things can be rocky but we have different ways to work with things
Empty nest - girls gone to college & bought AP home. Both are life changing. Sad for 1 and excited for 2.
I turned 60! And the fact that things were safe enough to gather together with loved ones outside was a pretty bfd. I'm glad I got to do that.
I finally see my mom for who she is: a woman consumed by fear and out of touch with reality. she's broken my trust a couple of times in major ways now, and she refuses to discuss the incidents without deflection. and she's rigidly putting everyone at risk as an anti-vaxxer. I think maybe I can let go of the attachment I had to our relationship-- let her live her life far away from me. I think I might need to for my own wellbeing, in case this damned virus takes her. Chosen family is more important.
The extra time in Florida together was a big milestone. I don’t think it affected us as a family as much as the first quarantine period together did but it was still a big one. I’ve gotten a lot closer with my dad as a result and talk to him about more topics. My relationship with Laura has also developed into a more adult relationship. We also both got our first jobs which has had its own set of stuff
I completed seminary and was ordained! This brought relief and celebration to my family. We also had the blessing of opening our home to our son and his girlfriend for many months in the pandemic. I am grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with my adult son and to get to know his girlfriend better
Both kids are now in high school- older one is a high school senior and has a drivers license! How do I feel? Proud, hopeful, scared, and feeling that I shouldn’t be old enough to have a college student next year! :0
35 years of marriage, baby! I cannot possibly be this old.
Did I mentioned we're having a baby?! Deep breaths I guess, holy cow it all seems surreal right now. Wife is due in a few weeks. I'm normally very relaxed about things and I feel as if I have all the time in the world to get anything done, but now I feel like there's not going to be any time for anything.
Mom turned 70! Which feels big cause I think it hit her in a big way. Her aging is hard to reckon with because she is so vital and full of life, but at the same time is oddly reassuring that she's facing it?
My grandson was born in Israel in November and I traveled there in June. He was learning to pull himself up and I learned to catch him. His sister quickly remembered me and figured out that I was often willing to take her outside. Even now, when we see each other on the video phone, she asks me to go outside. Yesterday I showed her my outside - the green grass and trees, but what impressed her were the cars in the parking lot! I have learned that there is always room for more love.
My father's death. It's the worst thing, and yet has opened my life up immeasurably.
My husband's aunt died, we went to a memorial service, and I was able to meet some very nice relatives, and catch up with others I had not seen for over 2 years, due to the pandemic.
Not too much has happened in my family. My grandparents sold the family business and now own a ranch. They're planning on building my mother a house on their property so she can help then run things and take care of them later on in their lives. I'm further learning the value of family and community, and I relish the opportunity to build something worthwhile of my own. So I guess as far as that affected me, it's just provoked many different lines of thinking
No more changing diapers! I’m grateful!!!
My kiddo turned 10. As a single parent largely by choice their whole life so far I don't get a lot of time to reflect on how much we have both changed in that decade. I was an outwardly calm but inwardly anxious and insecure 24 year old pregant and choosing to go ahead with the pregnancy on my own and it was daunting. I had a lot of things going for me, a supportive family, an ok paying job that offered maternity leave in a country with government support for parents and a lot of experience with pregnant people, birth and children. I still don't own a house, but I have changed jobs several times and now have an above average salary in a job I enjoy. I still have some insecurities but I have an inner circle of supporters who I can share my fears with and get so much support from and I am much more connected to who I am and who I want to be. And my child has developed into a whole person in that time. They have an amazing personality, a kind and tender heart, and an incredible imagination. They are developing independence all the time, and despite being fragile right now due to another tense and lonely lockdown they are still my favourite person in the whole world.
My family is discovering that things aren't always the way they seem. My mother, uncle, and aunt my not have the same father; which would mean that my grandmother might not have been faithful or may have messed around with a number of men. I'm constantly questioning whether or not I should be upset about this whole situation.
the pandemic made my family grow closer together
The major milestone was the birth of a grandson. It has impacted me in that I am thinking even more about the message I want to leave him and my granddaughter if I died tomorrow. I hope I live long enough that they get to know the true me.
We did not have any major milestones in our close family this year. Everything seems put on hold. Everyone is holding their breath, waiting, it seems, for the other shoe to drop, the green flag to wave, the declaration of pandemic independence to be proclaimed. The one thing that did happen was that my husband's uncle passed away at age 99. This would normally not have affected me very much. He lived a long life, and I believe he was ready to declare victory and move on. However, we had moved my mother in law into the assisted living where he lived, so that the two of them would not be alone during the pandemic. Now she is alone and lonely. I feel guilty, because I was part of the cheering section for this process, and also sad for her having to spend her last years mostly alone in a place where she is clearly unhappy. We visit when we can, but the 10 hour drive from here is exhausting and difficult, and she does not get the attention she needs in between visits. It seems like it should be reversible, but she is so infirm and easily tired that she doesn't think she is capable of moving again. I have a lot of regret over supporting and encouraging this decision.
When you lose a parent you loved so much, it changes you for the rest of your life. I still think of calling him. It's been just over a year (by days) and I think that once I'm gone, the memory of him is gone. We will both pass into anonymous history, no longer missed. It's natural, but the movement toward eternity is as painful as birth.
We got COVID! Myself, my brother, my sister in-law, and my dad. I couldn’t help but think I was the one who brought it to them. Thankfully, everyone accepted it with grace. Outwardly, no accusations were made as to how or where it came from. And, we were all blessed for having symptoms that didn’t require a trip to the hospital. The children and grandchildren were not affected. We dodged a bullet.
Vaccinations rolling out! No, life is not back to "normal" but it is much safer. They allowed our kids to go back to school which is the most important thing for both of them.
My daughter Blair resigned from her job at Akron's Children Hospital. She put her life on hold and picked up to go to Israel. I know this is a dream of hers and I am very happy for her. I am going to be a little selfish in saying that I am scared this is going to go so well, she will want to move there. I only want the best for all my daughters, Blair needs this to find herself and get into a good place. I wish for her the best and I know this will be amazing for her. I just hope and pray Blair, be safe and always know what is around you. I am so proud of you and love you to the moon and back!!!
Our kids went to high school! It has made for a crazy schedule (suddenly they seem to have all kinds of events and social activities) after the quiet "nothing much" of our COVID year. I am hoping they both stay as happy with high school as they seem so far.
We all got vaccinated. I felt so thankful that everyone was over 12. It felt like we could taste freedom...and safety. It didn't disappear completely but was hampered by delta. Hoping for brighter days ahead. We also survived 18 mo--or so--in quarantine and kids finally went back to school.
A new niece: we all had to think carefully about travel during COVID, and exposing both a toddler and newborn. We appreciate sib/-in-law's graciousness in allowing us to meet her!
I survived a brain aneurysm I got married My daughter is pregnant and I will be a grandmother next year My son is getting married I'm overjoyed and appreciate all of the good things life has to offer.
My mum turned 80 this year. We weren’t able to celebrate this event until April as restaurants were closed, Madeleine & Claire were still in lockdown & my brother couldn’t come up from Melbourne due to COVID-19 state border restrictions. We ended up going to Bathers Pavilion on the most perfect day. My Dad hated the food so ended up paying $150 for a glass of Coke!
Our cat Impy died, or rather we had him euthanized at home. I felt so guilty for that, although I know that his life quality was very low by that time. Both of our cats, Impy and Sparks are now gone, and I miss their sweetness and love; on the other hand, as I have aged, it became increasingly difficult to care for them. I guess it's all part of the life cycle.
I have applied for a two year Diploma in Theology that starts in 5 days. This is a goal that I have mentioned before in my 10Q answers and it's finally happening! Very excited. It has affected me in such a positive way as am getting to do something challenging and new.
No major milestones, but my cousin Jane has partially moved to Tiburon, and I have now seen her twice, and it is wonderful for me to feel my family expanded rather than diminished.
The milestone, I think, is our kid getting a reasonable amount of his shit together. Obviously, it makes us very happy.
Oh that’s easy. My daughter got into a sobriety program. Although it’s been a lot of work, a lot of driving back-and-forth, and a lot of adjustment, it’s been very worth it. She now has a sober friend group and we have a sober parent group. Since her biological dad is not participating in this, and is still using substances, it has Been good to Solidify where she gets her support from
I haven't seen my family in the last year (actually, almost two), so there haven't really been any milestones.
The death of my uncle, who is the first of my mom's siblings to die. It made me realize that I wasn't conscious of how old they were getting. I get sad reflecting on it and the potential of losing more members of my mom's generation that I'm close to.
We started a new tradition for Thanksgiving. For years, it’s just been the two of us and my mom always flaked at the last minute. It’d always hurt my feelings, but as I’ve gotten older I just have tried to accept we all have to do what makes us happy. With COVID, we thought we’d get out of the house for a change of scenery so we booked a cabin in Boone for a week. It was wonderful. Sunrises with a view, trails, hikes, an easy Thanksgiving dinner, skinny dipping in a hot tub overlooking the mountains. We discovered egg nog AND how delicious it is with peanut butter whiskey. We’ve already booked the cabin for Thanksgiving 2021 and I’m so excited to repeat this new tradition just the two of us.
We survived. Both my and my partner's immediate family survived the year. And we have been able to get everyone vaccinated in both countries (except one in the US). It gives all of us a sense of relief. Even my partner - has eased up on his fear of the virus. We know we are not out of the woods - but we have done what we needed to do to protect those around us. And...when we can...we will get our second vaccine.
My son was hit by a car and required surgery and a long recovery. He was able to walk after three months in a wheelchair. This made me want to talk to him every few days to check in, just to speak with him and hear how he is.
Milestone? Millstone? How similar those words are! What exactly does it take to for an event to be considered a "milestone"? No problem defining "millstone". Dragging around regrets of any kind--that's a millstone. Feeling obligated to rustle up a creative, attractive and tasty dinner is time consuming, but not quite a millstone (but maybe if I add up all the "pebbles" (of obligation, of necessity) I shlep around and gather them in a single sack, well, maybe they'd add up to a millstone. Is the completion of high school and acceptance at a top University a milestone? Yes, for our oldest granddaughter—but it's not a milestone that relates directly to me. Our younger son's decision to leave New York after more than a quarter-century…he's happily ensconced in Seattle with a new position and new mission—his milestones, not mine. I'm 79 and I can't really identify any milestone that has ever "happened" with my family. I must be missing the drift of the question which has put me adrift. I have no answer.
My brother’s Parkinson’s became more apparent to me. I hadn’t seen him in three years and his head was weaving back and forth one foot to each side. I got dizzy just looking at him. And he kept repeating himself over and over about politics. Finally, his wife asked to change the subject. It was quite alarming and when I returned to my friend’s house, I started to cry.
My father passed away a couple of weeks ago and while it is recent it is also probably the biggest milestone for my family. He and my mother had been married over 60 years and she is lost without him. Lost and now injured due to a fall and in skilled care. I’m not 100% sure how my brother is dealing with losing our dad. My brother lives farther away and has been disgruntled with our dad for a while due to my father’s absentee approach to grand parenting. My the time I became a parent I had already seen the inability-or lack of desire -to be an active and engaged grandfather so I had no expectations of my dad as it relates to my child. But ooh, my brother resents that our dad checked out on the grandkids. I think that it may be hard for my brother once it sets in that our dad is gone forever. And the grands…my brothers kids may take it hard because of lost opportunity. As for me, I think I’m holding up ok, but then all my focus has been on my mom. I think my dad’s passing will hit me later and possibly like a ton of bricks. I hate that I will never see his smile again.
My nephew is about to start 1st grade in school. He's going to the same school I attended from 1984-88. I'm very happy for him and I really hope he'll be placed in the same classroom as me. I don't think the classroom is still arranged the way it was back then but if he sat in the same place as me, that would blow my mind and make me explode of happiness!
We lost our patriarch. His long-time-coming death wore out my MIL, and now my husband and I are her caregivers. I am reminded that life is short and enjoy it as much as possible. Then I'm reminded that Covid is making that difficult.
After an intense conflict with my brother I finally have the feeling that we are in the progress of respecting each other as valuable parts of each other's life's. Only by going through conflicts we can develop into something better.
Got diagnosed, somewhat by accident, with bladder cancer. This has brought on a lot of treatments regimens, so far not too successful. An added element of uncertainty about my future. In a year with many other uncertainties. Feel the "squeeze" as my time in life is diminishing.
Family is not as close - Jed was only one of his generation that came to family gathering. Morris died - he was a dear part of our family. I feel less enthused about being the one to keep the family together
My parents and I celebrated Christmas apart for the very first time, due to covid. It was strange having Christmas Day with my partner and cats, rather than with my parents, in my childhood home, but in the end it was really nice, and far less stressful than the normal family Christmas. It helped me see that growing up and moving on can be a really good thing, even when I find it scary.
We became pregnant! We also suffered a pregnancy loss. We also got vaccinated against COVID19. We also watched Bette really grow up and take her first steps and start speaking sentences. We also bought a car! We also planned and canceled a lot of trips!
I don't know how major it is, but my parents got on their first flight. I feel that they are more at risk than we are, but they don't seem to be worried. It just makes me second-guess our decision to keep Louis isolated.
My sister came out as transgendered. I'm glad she finally felt as though she could be her true self, but in all honesty I miss my brother. She wants to say that he's dead but at the same time I'm not allowed to be sad that he's gone. Again, I'm really proud of her and I'm so happy that she's doing well. I just wish she could face the mistakes that she made as Him and move forward as a better and happier person, versus pretending that he's dead and all his choices with him...
My mum got eye surgery and start seeing again. She was so scared, but she did it
A major milestone was leaving my children and grandchildren behind to relocate to South America which was a big decision and I do miss them but I am happy with the move!
My gorgeous granddaughter has started school, she is more than ready. It’s a whole new chapter/adventure for all of us. I have never been happier!
Our dog passed away this May and it's still hard to process that fact. I take Lima's spirit with me now, she was so lively and insisted on doing things her way. At the same time she was gentile and sweet. I will take her traits and carry them with me in my soul. Sounds super sappy, but it's true.
We celebrated thanksgiving outside in the snow and Passover finally inside- it has shown me just how important family is and how much I rely on them
I guess it would have to be being all together after over two years. That Nancy would arrange and fund a week of our being together is amazing. It has made me appreciate her even more. I realize how much I love and miss my sisters. Of course, getting to be with Bryan was also a huge milestone. Seeing his house, meeting his friends, just being with him in person. He's amazing!
I am thinking about my brothers and their milestones - one moving in with his partner, another getting engaged, another starting business school and one starting high school. overall it is exciting and bittersweet to watch us all grow up. I am so thankful that we are now all in the same time zone and looking forward to more time in person together. It would be dishonest not to acknowledge that the recent engagement and subsequent wedding madness has been irritating, it feels like it encroaches on my own upcoming wedding and marks the first discord at this level in our sibling dynamic. I hope that by the time I review this a year from now, things feel differently, but I fear they may continue to be unnecessarily dramatic.
Of course mom's passing has been the biggest milestone of the past year that affected the whole family. This affected me deeply by bringing my own mortality to the forefront, and to focus on my own life instead of Mom's.
No family. No milestones. That's the problem
Mom’s Surgery and behavior in recovery has committed me to NOT being sedentary and deconditioned as I age. I am on week 51 of working out every day.
Some major milestones: - Moved into an apartment with my boyfriend - Started a career DJing - Became an aunt I've become more happy and in control of my life. I'm doing things that I love, with people that I love. I've also gained a type of independence I've been craving for a very long time.
It was hard when my grandmother died. The last time I saw her was on FaceTime a few weeks before it happened, and I miss her to this day. In fact, I'm welling up a bit just writing about her. It was especially hard that I couldn't be with my family for her funeral. It was my choice, but at the time it felt necessary not to expose my family by traveling from the epicenter of the virus. It was hard when my aunts and uncles decided to post racist memes and status on Facebook, and it was even harder when I tried to confront them about it. Overall, this year made me consider my relationships with my extended family more closely. I have always looked to my parents to tell me what family events I "have" to go to, but this year made me realize that I'm the only one I have to answer to. I don't have to go to anything that I don't want to. I can choose to engage in political conversations, or I can stop engaging and preserve my own energy. That realization was very empowering to me.
I sold my house and moved into a small condo. This move helps me to live within my means much easier since my roommate moved. I had to sell and/or donate a lot of my possessions which was a very freeing but frightening experience! My daughter was very supportive of this and my son was not so supportive. I really like the condo and the convenience but I do miss the park that I used to walk in every day.
Major milestone is all the babies!!! But just with Jonathan and Emily the new babies are the glue, and it all makes me so happy!! I love having such good relationships with my kids. Baruch Hashem.
My husband Alan dying suddenly of a stroke - devastated me how life had suddenly completely changed - although it didn’t hit me immediate - now having to rethink my purpose in life and what I’d like to achieve - as well as enjoying anything I can…..
Both my daughter and my son's girlfriend were diagnosed with cancer during the year. While they are both doing well and in remission now it was a sobering reminder of the uncertainties of life and that while we are worrying about covid-19 there are other health concerns out there that we need to watch out for!
Getting vaccinated was a huge deal because I was finally able to see my niece, brother, and sister-in-law after 18 months after being apart.
Probably the biggest milestone of 2021 has been Andre and Kaitlin's wedding. But I have already written about that. The other major milestone has been the loss of my brother-in-law to Covid in January. He was my brother-in-law for 48 years and was a friend of our family long before he married my sister. He was the closest to a brother I will ever have so his loss was painful and deep. I still can't quite believe he's gone and it's been seven months. My sister was also hospitalized with the virus so January was a miserable month with almost daily text updates from my dear nephew. It took her a while to recover after she was discharged. Her four children and her friends provided wonderful support for her in the immediate aftermath of her illness. Under "normal" circumstances, I would have been on a plane and arriving in the UK as soon as I heard that she and my brother-in-law were ill. I think it was the fact that I couldn't be there that made it more difficult than other deaths. I always had a lot of love and respect for my brother-in-law but his death showed up his life in all its fullness and beauty - a man who served his family, friends and community in deep and lasting ways and who never wasted a moment. He is and will be greatly missed.
This year, again, I'm focusing on my brother. He got elected national president of NFTY! He's continuing to weather the nonsense storm of pandemic life, and I continue to be nothing but proud of him.
Will turned 40 - I'm about to turn 40. It's felt like every major milestone that could be has been swept under the carpet. Actually, the kids just started school. That's momentous and incredible and I'm feeling so proud of them. And somewhat lost at the same time - which is ridiculous because I have dreamed of this day for a long time!
My Zaidy died in May. This effected me, albeit me not being connected to him in anyway besides blood, to put me farther from my parents and made me feel less connected to people.
Everyone was vaccinated. This has led to us feeling more secure in our day to day lives, and a sense of more normalcy.
Simple one. Bat Mitzvah one year postponed of my parents' "surrogate" granddaughter. (Her folks are distant cousins, but they're great people serving the purpose I, the only child failed: repeated visits, breeding, more warm fuzzies...) Glad to see it happen, and so proud of the way everyone handled the delay--mine seemed to be the end-all and be all of my childhood and in retrospect...
Biggest milestones are babies this year! My sister delivered her first, Minetta back in May and I am 20 weeks pregnant, so the biggest change are babies. This has been a very positive change and I think brings hope to the family and will strengthen our relationship, but is of course scary, as adding a kid to the mix will change everything.
My daughter started having her period. I stopped having periods. It's been amazing to navigate the brave new world of menstruation with her. They have special swim suits for this! Underwear! Thin pads! Her descriptions of things are both hilarious and cringe worthy.
The major milestone is that we did not have any major milestones. Right now, that's a good thing.
Six months ago I moved out of my parents' house after moving back in for a year because of the pandemic. I moved only an hour away, and I realized that I really enjoy being with my family more than I feel a lot of my peers do. I go home to visit my parents most weekends and I think a lot of my friends find this strange, but my family relationships are really important to me and I don't think I realized quite how much before.
Our baby got sick and it really stressed me out. I felt resentful that my partner was not as involved, and didn’t seem to care as much. I felt alone at times and it affected our relationship. But we are working on it and trying to find ways to make time for each other despite not having other family around
I don't have a family as of late 2019. - I think this question could do with an alternative.
My brother stopped talking to me after I called his misogyny out. It's been almost a year. I worry about him, miss him dearly, but am not going to apologize because he's annoyed at me. It sets a weird precident for his sons who ask me about why...but it also reinforces that I don't need to apologize for the way he feels.
Just this past week, Drea’s father passed away. He was in deteriorating health, and the past month has been a great strain on her mother, and on the rest of us given how reliant we are on her. While we are grieving and there will be some loose ends to clear up, I’m hoping that we can find a new normal soon and that life will calm down a little. So it is unclear how it will affect us moving forward.
Our oldest grandson just turned 10 years old. That hardly seems possible. While I don't think that makes me feel old, per se, it makes me think of our daughter--my baby--as older. In three years I would love to look forward to a Bar Mitzvah, but doubt seriously that will come to pass, given our daughter's secular approach. We are far from deeply observant, but the lack of Jewish tradition in her household saddens me from time to time.
It would be weird to call going out to eat in a restaurant a milestone, but it kind of felt like it at the time, since we hadn't done it in so long. Otherwise, I honestly can't think of any major milestones we've experienced in this past year, outside of living life in a pandemic and going through the day to day life that we're living.
I have a hard time separating the pandemic into years, so I’ll reflect on it in total. The first year of the pandemic we integrated my dad into our household. During that time, we decided not to have any more children. I love Alisa and I love kids. I wish we could adopt or just keep the possibility open. I feel a longing around what more could I do? What could my body be capable of? When you Fam literally make nice people, why not make more? I feel like it is a certainty I should hold onto, though. I appreciate Lars setting a boundary and I do so love our family. We take really good care of each other. Alisa is really happy and supported. We work really well as a team.
We all received the vaccine for COVID and thought life was returning to “normal”
My 19 year old nephew was diagnosed with juvenile Huntington's disease. I am profoundly sad, and yet committed to making every moment with him matter. Indeed, I am reminded that every moment is precious.
A major milestone was Liz finishing up her doctorate and moving to New Jersey. Liz is my daughter and she lived with my husband and me for 4 years as she worked on her doctorate. Liz and I grew even closer than ever. However, she didn't get along with her dad. She pointed out some concerns she has about him that I overlooked in the past. This definitely created some tension in the household. And I think this has altered our family dynamics and maybe, not in the best way. Now that she has moved out, I hope to work on improving my relationship with my husband. In some ways, we have drifted apart and I feel more distanced from him than before. And I'd like to get back to our old selves if we can.
Our son graduated from high school and started college, where he no longer lives at home. As it turns out, I found this spring (after much searching) a DVD ripper program that worked with my old computer, so it was a blissful coincidence that I transferred all our home movies from DVD to mp4. Obviously, I needed to check each transfer, so effectively, I went through my son's whole life as he prepared to graduate. Back when I was young, I could have gone down a career path that would have had me on the road often. It was a potentially lucrative career path, but while I have some pangs about my choice, those pangs end at all those home videos. I have them because I was a) there b) present in the moments. Had I not been around for all those moments - rather than being a largely absentee husband/dad - I would never have made it through high school graduation.
I'm completely missing milestone after milestone for my family due to the inability to travel. My nephew's growing up, missing birthdays, holidays, etc. I'm pretty depressed (and angry at the forces of evil that haven't done everything to communicate clearly and protect us from COVID) and continue to feel like the world we live in post-Trump/COVID is a terrible one to spend the rest of my (ostensibly many years to come) life in.
Almost precisely a year ago my younger brother died of chronic heart disease. This left a hole in the family, and really slammed my elderly parents emotionally and, I think, physically. This brother was the sibling who lived closest to the parents (within an hour's drive, as opposed to we other siblings, who live in distant parts of the country). He had been our Dad's business partner for many years, and they spoke on the phone on an almost daily basis. He and my Dad suffered from similar heart ailments, and so they exchanged information and commiserated. My brother died after a risky heart operation during COVID, and I flew to attend his memorial service. As soon as I arrived at the airport in the Midwest, I could see that precautions around COVID were lax, and as my stay went on, I was alarmed at how little people observed safe practices. This was true at the service, attended by more than 200 people, who all ate together in a large hall. All of us in the immediate family were infected with COVID except my surviving brother. So as an aftermath to my brother's death, not only did the family feel a need to regroup and reconnect, but we were also sick with this scary virus. My father was especially ill, and as a result needed emergency heart surgery in December. He was advised not to go through the surgery, since his chances of survival were so low. But he did not want to live with the level of problems he was expected to have without the surgery. This was particularly frightening because my brother had died just after his own surgery. So I went back to be with him and my mother, another trip without vaccination (it hadn't been released yet) and without adequate precautions (though this time I had recovered from COVID). My dad made it through the surgery very well, fortunately, and I got back to California without incident. My surviving brother contracted COVID in Arizona, where he lives, and his case was very grave. He was hospitalized for three weeks and left the hospital with damaged lungs, needing to use oxygen at home. Then the following March my mother needed surgery on her hip and hamstring, and since she was going to have to stay off her feet for six weeks, I went back out to be with them for the two weeks following her surgery. This was difficult, because she is politically very conservative (sometimes to the stage of conspiracy beliefs) and we sometimes had conflict around her statements, particularly about race, but about other issues as well. I had to bite my tongue... and she was a very difficult patient as well. Fortunately my younger sister, who has a smoother relationship with her, relieved me after two weeks. We have now all emerged on the other side of this trying period, the parents have recovered (if a little weakened and more limited in activity), my brother is off oxygen (though he still suffers from difficulties with breathing), and no one killed anyone over politics. But all of us were made aware of our mortality and our need to hold on to one another, despite our difference and the distance.
I've been divorcing myself from my birth family a bit more everyday, at least in my headspace. Other than a select few, only two of which I trust to continue caring and supporting me when they learn of my religious ventures and the extent of my gender confirmations. And those would be my siblings. I guess the milestone I've hit is realizing that a true family will support me even if my religion doesn't match theirs, even if they don't understand my gender (they don't need to), among many other things. It's been freeing as well as painful. There's a longing for a sense of community in my soul. I hope that will be eased in my conversion to Judaism and am hoping for peace for myself.
I don't know if it's a milestone. I was apart from my daughter during Covid while she did gymnastics in New York. As the sole parent, of one child, the milestone was getting through it, and learning to miss her. I think we grew closer.
I got engaged. It's made me feel do much more grown up and settled in my life and more in love.
My older son, unemployed and isolated in his Los Angeles apartment, during Covid, got so depressed that he decided to drive cross country, with his Siberian husky, to visit with us for a month (November) in New York. He did not stay in our home, as this was pre-vaccinations and we are "older", but rented a room nearby. It turned out to be a good time for bonding and spending time together in a way we hadn't done for quite a while. We took long daily walks with the dog, often with another local friend and her dog, had chilly, socially distanced meals in the garage, and had some good discussions. And the trip got him through his depression and able to return home in a better frame of mind.
I don't really see any "milestones" this year. We got through the first year of the pandemic. I'm still sane and the lockdown didn't make that easy. I completed my year of commitment to the VLA project - I guess my full follow-through may have been a milestone...maybe not because I've done it before. 30 years of sobriety celebrated last September. That was neat. Nope. No milestone, really. Don't need those every year.
I'm proud. My son took initiative, showed maturity in preparing to do a thing, and followed through. Why is this big? He's a kid in a man's body, autistic, disabled. I bought him a FitBit, knowing it would be used well. He noticed it could be used in the swimming pool, and decided that was a good reason to add swimming to his exercise routine. He went to the neighborhood pool, investigated the rules, and started a regular swimming routine through the summer. I'm so very proud of him!
I just moved my son into an apartment, not student housing. Hopefully, he will enjoy living with his friends. We had a great weekend together, but when it was time to go, it was time to go. I checked out a day early and he put together his desk himself. He and I put together the bed. I feel our relationship has strengthened this year. We are a good team. But there are definite times I miss him. Coming home from this weekend, I felt extremely lonely. I don't want him home but I'm a bit tired of being alone.
I realized that my worry about my adult son's well-being was somehow more about me than it was about him, and that this worrying was only actually making things worse for him. I'm still here for him, but in a much less controlling and intrusive way. Seeing him as helpless is only perpetuating the original parenting fail. I can't guarantee anything except that continuing that will end in disaster.
There was a marriage, move and baby for one of my nephews and my mother is having issues. I am going to the hospital a lot.
Our son being diagnosed with ADD. It feels like a lot or worries can be let go of. Also, our daughter moving out temporarily - this feels like an initiating life-transition for all of us.
Our family had no marriages, no births, no deaths, no bar/bat mitzvahs, no divorces, no new jobs, no new houses. The miraculous-ness of this year was simply surviving global milestones in terms of pandemic deaths, a cautious return to some normality, a constant re-assessment of what we "should" do or not do.
In a strange year filled with quarantines, limiting social interaction, family members spread out across the country, and generally less contact with other humans, it's hard to think about milestones in the context of effecting our family. But, as expected, my granddaughter was born which has been a blessing and a delight. And yet, my sons are still not speaking. My youngest recently made it clear in a way not previously expressed that he really needs my hubby and I to back off and stop pushing or 'encouraging' them to reconcile. It's not like I didn't know that the possibility was very slim, it's just that hearing it and accepting it hurts on a different level. Additionally, my hubs and I turned 65 this year, medicare and social security need to be navigated, and the feeling of aging requires constant vigilance to not internalize and manifest. Our sons are blissfully unaware, as we were when our parents faced the same. Perhaps that's something we should correct. Like mothers who don't talk about menopause with their daughters, leaving them to reinvent the wheel as they figure everything out for themselves. My youngest son will be married in a month without his brother, his only sibling, in attendance. Another milestone marred by their rift. Another emotional hurdle to clear as joy and sadness clash.
Mom's estate was finally settled in October. The practical aspects of this are most tangible: I knew where I stood, financially. That, of course allowed me to make major decisions about how to handle what remains of the money, and I made a very safe, conservative investment. Paying my brother for his half of the house was a strange experience. By Mom's wishes, he received less than I did. But I also chose not to include in the value of the estate the 19,000 in cash Mom had in the bank at the time of her death. Instead, I used that money for estate expenses and the amount left over, I simply kept. I justified it because of all the work I'd done, not just with the estate, but in the last years of Mom's life, when Charlie barely even called her. I also justified it because there will be ongoing expenses in maintaining the house, which Charlie will inherit should he live longer than me. I still feel a bit guilty, and yet I continue to justify my decision by reminding myself that I will manage the money well and should Charlie be in financial need at some point, I might be able to help. Since the closing of the estate and the settlement to Charlie, we've returned, again, to barely being in touch. It's sad but not a surprise. Settling the estate also helped shift the energy around whose house this is. The title is now in my name. Slowly, I'm outgrowing the habit of wondering what Mom would think of this or that change I've made.
Selling house and moving - I feel like for the first time in a long time a clean, organized house is within our grasp. I love coming home and sitting in our side-by-side recliners.
Probably the biggest milestone was Shirley's death. While it was incredibly sad to know that she was gone, we were relieved that she was not suffering any more. It was hard to watch what was happening to her towards the end. I think we all have coped pretty well. It was hard waiting to have the ceremonies for her, but I am glad that we waited and they were special. It has made us appreciate family and health even more.
No special milestones, except that my older son, who has been unemployed since the start of the pandemic, finally got a job - YAY!!
Lauren and I made up after a year of not talking. I realize I can't go back into the past to correct her version of things...ie I spill the beans with her mother-in-law and Aunt Bridget. I read somewhere people write their own narrative and versions of things. To wait till they 'understand' your version may never happen.
Money problems no hot water major house repairs needed suffering from anxiety
After settling my mother's estate I have mainly been in contact with my sister in Denver but Covid has cut off any travel and visiting possibilities.
I became a widow, and it changed my life completely. I knew the pain would be emotional, but didn't know how much physical pain it would cause. my brain changed. I'm not tha same person I was before.
I refused to go to a family gathering, which was such a great feeling.
My Dad was in and out of hospitals frequently this year because he's getting weaker and more incontinent. When he's feeling okay, he uses a walker to get around. He finally got a new diagnosis of Hydrocephalus when he got some tests on one of his ER visits. That is "water on the brain", and explained so many symptoms he was having. Well, many months later he got his surgery to fix it. This was a month ago. The procedure is to drill a hole into a person's skull and put a shunt inside so the fluid could drain out into his abdomen. It's like night and day now, about a month later. He's coherent, walking better, and better overall! He even goes to his community gym every day to recuperate. Another huge thing that happened recently too, my sister and her husband retired!! My sister is 50 and her husband is 51. They are beginning a long road trip today. My husband and I are waiting it out to retire until we're around 65 when we've got a good amount saved up. I worry that my sister and brother-in-law will run out of money in their old age, but I am happy for them anyway.
Ah, the beauty of timing. If this question had been asked yesterday, I might talk about my mom turning 70, my baby sister turning 50, my mom's final sibling passing away & leaving her as an only, Jon & Kat finding out they are having a baby, refinancing the house. Today, I found out that the company I have worked for for 15 years is being acquired. It isn't very likely I'll come through this with a job still intact. My answers to these questions one year from now will be significantly different than they were just yesterday. Truly, the passing of my Aunt Margaret is the most significant of the past year. It impacted the family dynamic, certainly. It impacted my mother and how she views life. It served as a stark reminder that generations do pass, and we need to strive to live life, make memories and preserve those memories.
My grandfather passed away this year which was a big hit for my family, although it is something I had come to terms with a few years before it definitely was different when he actually passed. I feel like my boundaries have reshaped with different members of my family and feel more clear.
This is a really hard question for me. My family of origin is not a part of my life, and has not been in many years. My own little family is doing well, but has not had a milestone of significance in 5781. There has only been one notable transition: my age turned another decade. Each of these decades (zero-years, as I call them), has brought changes in my life but it is yet to be seen how this will happen this time. I have no other answer to this question.
My spouse and I haven't had any major milestones per say. I feel we are in slow-grow mode of gradually improving bits and pieces of our lives. Doggo is getting older as doggo's do, and we are doing our best to keep him in tip-top old man shape. For my childhood family, it's been a tough year of watching my parents and siblings largely go down the rabbit holes of increasing conspiracies and right-wing prejudice. It's incredibly difficult to watch and there's really nothing I can do but choose my own path. We seem to have found a boundary-truce of not really talking about our disagreements when we are together, which I suppose is progress.
Son in law retired after 20 years in Army. Now that daughter has full time job, feel more of a commitment to help with granddaughters.
My mother passed away 9 weeks ago. July 11, 2021, after a long long illness. She was a fighter and I miss her. I miss chatting with her on the phone and her advice for handling the growing children or work. I miss her gifts to the children or her cards to me. I miss just knowing that she is... there. But, also I am enjoying my dad's company more. Right after she passed away, we saw him every day of the week and then 4 days a week and then 3 and then 2 and now it's been over a week since he's come over for dinner. Life is getting a bit busier now in the evenings with kid activities and I'm starting to miss him, too. I will give him a call tonight while my son is on the soccer field. How else has her passing affected me? I'm so grateful we had a funeral -- it was good to see her family (her brothers and sisters came out) and reconnect with them a bit. I'm grateful the children and I each had a turn to say our goodbyes in the week/days before we suddenly died. My anger with the healthcare system's floor dropping out from under us that weekend is dissipating. I finally crossed the threshold I was keeping myself from in talking with a therapist. Both the grief counselor from Hospice and my new therapist, April, help me to feel "normal" and not "broken". Tim has been tremendous, but he hits a wall every now and then, too, and I try to be careful to not take his help for granted. We have had good weekends these last couple of weekends -- camping at our favorite spot at Big Bend, reconnecting with family friends, taking time at home and at Camp, sailing. The weather broke it's awful heat and humidity. I welcome September and look to put the most painful parts of this summer behind me and carry grace and peace forward...
The girls have really developed a special bond. In December the girls requested to share a room. It is so special to watch their bond grow. Additionally, I have mended the relationship with my mother. Over the past two years I was able to put myself in her shoes and realized the struggles she was going through. It doesn't mean that I didn't go through trauma or that I wish things could have been a little differently but I have let go of the anger and welcomed another kind and loving person into our family. The girls enjoy their visit to see Beebee and my mom and I know it means a lot to them.
My nephew graduated high school. It made me think about family, about having one, about the type of relationship I’d need to be able to have to enter into that.
My mom came down with uterine cancer. It made me be more proactive with my own health
My horse had surgery. She is recovering. Her prognosis was not as good as we hoped. It made me very sad. But, in her recovery, she’s doing better than expected. She’s a loved part of our family and we want her to have the highest quality of life. It’s been an expensive venture but she’s worth it. I’m very grateful I can afford this care.
My mom's 70th birthday happened in July 2020 and we weren't able to be with her because of the pandemic. We made up for it this summer with a trip to Ocean City for a week in July 2021, but missing the date affected me more than I anticipated. First of all, my sister and Zach opted not to come out to celebrate this summer, which really bothered me. Also it one of the things that contributed to me thinking about how we handled pandemic distancing well and how we didn't.
Easy. The birth of my great- niece in January 2021. How can that NOT be significant?? It affects me as I alluded in yesterday’s answer in that I now have a responsibility of helping impart/ pass on/down the values, traditions, and memories that bind one generation to the next; to serve as role model, and protector, teacher, counselor, guide, supporter for her as she grows- for as long as I live.
The loss of my cousin Jake to his valiant battle with addiction. It has made me incredibly sad and angry and wonder everyday what I can do each day to make this world a better place to live in.
I realized my dad is homeless in a sense. He’s never taken care of his finances, health, or intimate relationships in the way he should have, now he’s suffering from the consequences. It’s affected me a lot because I am his only child. Loving my dad but seeing his flaws has brought up a lot of resentment, anger.... I feel I’ve gotten the short end of the stick with my dad. I’ve all realized, his life is his life and mine is my own. I want to make him proud and I wish to be proud of him however. He makes his own choices. Working towards patience, new/better boundaries and more time spent together. Realized a lot of the treatment I receive in my female relationships come from accepting petty, passive aggressive behaviors from my mom. She’s a great parent overall... I still feel I am blessed and fortunate to have the mom I have. I am so grateful for her
My cousin gave birth again. I’m happy for her!
New grandson. More love
My nephew and his wife are divorcing. I have experienced a range of emotions that caused me to look deeply at our family of origin for clues, patterns, lessons that might inform our choices and ease the journey for us all.
This past year brought two major milestones for my family. We adopted a horse and found a family home. It Made me feel settled and gave me the feeling of safety and freedom.
Our family feels closer than ever. It feels really good to be with them for the most part. This last year was really hard but wow it sure rapid launched us all into what matters and caring more deeply about each other beyond our differences. There were some moments of deep emotions and also such high highs with C's wedding and what not. I feel like my parents see and support me in such a beautiful way now and I am able to have tough conversations now to support our relationships without shutting down or projecting as much. And yeah they just really see me as an adult now and in my empowerment and its fucking rad. I feel super supported and am really enjoying them.
I'm having trouble thinking of a major milestone that happened in my family this year ... I suppose Oliver starting senior school last September (year 9) was fairly major. Certainly it was for him, and it made me realise how grown up he's getting. I've deliberately reassessed how I speak to him and treat him.
My brother found out he has congestive heart failure, but the good news is he has changed his lifestyle and we are hoping it will help.
Hard to pick just one, as it has been a year full of significant changes. While my mother had been suffering through the progression of Alzheimer's for years, her death seems to be the beginning of many changes. As horrid as it may sound, not all the impacts are negative. On the one hand, I am finally able to mourn someone I lost so many years ago, and work hard to remember who she really was before the disease took her away from us. I am relieved not to be watching her slip further and further away. On the other hand, I miss her guidance, her perspective, her voice, her hugs. I am sorry my kids also no longer have that wonderful resource that was my Mom. Of course, we lost that so many years ago, but her passing brings it all back. What was lost. What is gone. But her foresight is leaving us all the wherewithal to hopefully continue family traditions she started, To emulate her by traveling, by continuing to question and learn about the world, to wake up every day and know that THIS is a day in our lives. And to live it.
I think the milestone was realizing that family is a choice and I don't choose mine. We're not bound forever to our relatives, and family can be found in other places.
Chris and I got married and represented the first on either of my sides of the family in our generation to do so. There was a lot of pressure to have it just right, it majorly stressed me out. But it turned out great and everyone had an amazing time.
We were able to spend time in person again this past year, which was a huge relief. And my partner and I decided to move in together, which is new and rewarding and bittersweet, because my life feels less split up between places, but also it has meant leaving a lot of family of origin and chosen family in another city.
I was deeply affected as I had to move to a new place for a job, and as a consequence I had to stay away from my family for a year. The pandemic made it very difficult to visit and to maintain more physical contact, and most of the interactions happened online. I felt very alone and abandoned, sometimes lost and had no hope.
My father died at the end of 2020. He was the fifth person I knew to die last year. Two family members, three friends. Two to heart related problems and three to cancer. It was a hard year. My siblings and I now have no living parents. I think it hard for most people my age to even fathom that. I didn't have the best relationship with my father but I loved him and the loss did affect me, but not the way my mother's did.
Two come to mind. First, Julie went off to college! It's been exciting and scary. The kids miss her, but are able to video call her on the regular. Julie is anxious and worried, but also having fun and settling into a groove. Second, I fell in love with H! It's given me so much joy and contentment, and I think the kids can tell that I am happier, and they are happy for me.
When I reflect on the last year in regards to family life, I think that the most major milestone that we hit was reuniting in May. I am grateful every day that we all are in good health at the moment. Going home for the first time in almost two years was very intense, mostly emotionally. I cried seeing my mom for the first time, and got to hug the new dog for the first time! It was strange to go to a place that I hadn't been since before the pandemic at a time when things had loosened. It almost felt like the pandemic never happened, but I know the sentiment would have been similar if someone had come to visit LA. I got to see my entire family when home, and that was special. I just enjoyed the simplicity of time together, and try to hold onto that memory for time together in the future. Time together is fleeting, and I am trying to take advantage of it to the best of my ability.
My husband and I had our 25th anniversary this year. If you look at my answers from two years ago, this is a day that I thought might not come. The good news is that our marriage is stronger than before and we are committed to spending our lives together. This security is a great comfort. He is my other half and we will work through anything together.
Our daughter completed a masters in Special Education~ a 2 year process, and with a 4.0 gpa. This is a major milestone, because school has always been challenging for her, and as a consequence has been source of sadness and support and ongoing soothing parenting. The pride we feel is amazing.
Me and my children reconnected in 2021. I finally have their respect again - it was 4 years of going without them, and then, slowly, they reappeared on my horizon, asking advice, and trusting my reply, telling me about what's happening with them, I'm blessed.
There were no major milestones that I know of that happened with my family this past year. I am pretty much out of the loop on both sides of the family. No one really keeps in touch with me. I myself did have a milestone, I have now lived longer than either of my parents. Mom passed away at 38 and Dad passed away at 58.
My family life changed drastically and our priorities changed, not in a philosophical way but in a very real way: am I going to eat or go to the bathroom, or do I attend to the needs of my child. We had to learn to work through a lot of conflict within a very short period of time and we're learning how to build structures for the future to be a better family unit.
This was a year devoid of all but the most nominal milestones. Nothing happened, we're all just a year older.
I guess this is similar to yesterday’s answer, that my sister died. She is the first sibling. She’s not the first, first cousin (Charlie’s boys, Donny and Eddie, are both gone, and so is Lilly’s daughter, Madelyn), but the proceeders were so much older. Also, maybe because it was less than a month ago, it dominates my thoughts. I am in better communication than ever with my brothers, but I expect that will return to our normal, sporadic exchanges once the estate is settled. Last week we celebrated four years since husband’s ICU admittance with WNV (which was closely followed by several near-death events) but it hasn’t changed anything. We also were married for 40 years in February, but because we also had recently celebrated our 46th year of togetherness a couple months before, it didn’t seem like that big a deal. I can’t remember any other real milestones! The past year has been a blurry, but not unpleasant succession of fun and routine days, interspersed with a few trips and special times. None of these qualify as milestones, though.
I get on with them
Ha! Same answer as question one: my husband and I had a baby! When I think about how it happened with my family (our families) as a whole, though, the milestone that stands out is everybody adapting to their new roles. As I learn to be a mother and Peter learns to be a father, our parents are having to adjust to being grandparents. Their physical distance at this time has made that a little tricky; I feel a little squeezed, sometimes, by their expectations. Before having this baby, I would never have guessed it would impact our parents so much. I was expecting the huge shift in my own identity, but not theirs. It's been eye-opening, to say the least.
Ouch. Things have of course been building up to this for awhile, but I hit a breaking point in June; I was very low on spoons from major upheaval in my living situation along with Everything Else and while I mentally steel my nerves before Big Nasty Default Minefields like Xmas and NYE, it just didn't occur to me to prepare myself for the June Father's Birthday/Father's Day nexus. It's always bad, it's always awkward, it's always painful, the politics around gift-giving are toxic/transactional/insoluble, the inter-generational trauma coats everything with a biofilm of pain and dread. I had my big post-lockdown *AUDIBLE SNAP* moment, ( colloquially referred to as a "self-loathing inspired Impressive Bender" ), thankfully only after I got my shots, and spent over a month in a very specific hole. THAT SAID, if I hadn't, would I have had a meltdown? No pressure to travel, no pressure to deal with gifting drama, no pressure to ignore the critical mass of elephants in rooms? Pressure, but pressure w/zero leverage? I've finally gone... not NO contact, but close enough. I've been trying for years. I've been trying especially hard over the last 5, despite copious evidence that I wasn't going to get anywhere without nullifying my entire self to support a prodigal-son-flavored narrative. I'm not completely severed, but I do feel calm, I do feel free, I do feel so, so, so much viscerally lighter in the head and the heart. Full acceptance is the pain of resetting a snapped and fractured bone, a slab of calcium and marrow that happens to have serious grievances and intimate knowledge of all of your soft spots. It is necessary pain. It is temporary pain. It is not closed off to the possibility of change, but it is firm, solid, tethered. It understands the futility of trying too hard to erect scaffolding around entire monuments celebrating the cheap grace of magical thinking. I still hope he... changes, I hope he finds some way to heal and find some solace. I would not/am not betting on it.
Well, my parents moved. But even more so: we had some hard conversations. That was, for me, the real milestone. Talking with them about the reality of what was happening, my needs, asking — and though I didn’t get the answers I hoped for at the time, it put inot motion some things that needed to change. It put into motion…motion.
In November 2020 my mother fell and broke her femur. It was right in that sweet spot between COVID surges, so I was thankfully able to stay with her while she was in the hospital for a week. I will forever be grateful I was able to do that, because she was immobile and in a lot of pain, and the nurses were understaffed and overworked, and I don't want to think about how that would have been if she had been on her own. After she came home from the rehab hospital my father, brother, and I figured out a system for getting her to and from her therapy appointments and making sure she had all she needed. This was the first time I've really ever seen my father in a caregiver role for one of us, and I was amazed at how he stepped up. He helped her shower and dress every day. He stepped in to run all the errands on his own. He started doing tasks I've never seen him do in my lifetime. Although my parents have what is referred to in India as a "love marriage" they've never been particularly romantic, and this really allowed me to see how much father loves and cares for my mother. He is not a natural caregiver, but he did it for her. It was not an easy situation at all, but it had its silver linings. It also made me realize how grateful I am for my chosen family. My friends stepped up big time throughout this ordeal. While we were in the hospital they brought me meals and clothes and sent funny videos to share with my mother. Friends who live out of town called and messaged to check on us both and to remind me to take care of myself in addition to my mother. Kache' took over all of my duties at work and kept things running until I returned. I am so, so grateful for the people in my life.
I quit my job to start my own business. This meant more flexibility for my family, and a happier me. On the other side it does mean that we have to keep a very close budget. As a person who likes to spend this is actually a very good lesson.
Joyce, my wife, received a kidney transplant from cousin Nora. I am in awe of her generosity and Nora’s husband, Dean’s willingness. Also, a friend, Bill Friedman, offered to watch Joyce as a backup which enabled us to get it done. I am happy that Joyce is much better.
Me and Ivan got pets! First I brought home Zaj and then we got Xitu from Ivan's mom. It felt like we became a family when we had pets to take care of. It's amazing to watch Ivan take care of Zaj, play with her and teach her. It's also been amazing to watch Zaj, this pitbull, patiently take care of a tiny little mischevious white furball Also I bought a house in the past year, but that still doesn't feel real, although it allowed us to get pets!
Our major milestone was buying and moving into a family home with way more space for us and the animals. It has affected myself and everyone is a very positive way.
My brother adopted a baby girl Erin Rose from Honduras mom but lives in Texas. My parents didn’t like the idea at first but when they met her, they fell in love for becoming grandparents finally. I’ve yet to meet her and she will be one this September. I’m happy to be an aunt but the way my family kept this from me until the night before and still yet to meet her, is just wrong. My grandma was able to see her last thanksgiving at their house. I came to visit during that week and told my brother, and he didn’t invite. Covid was the excuse, but parents saw her when she was just born and grams came to their house same time I was in town. I saw pictures from that day. It’s sad and I’m done with this stupid family drama. That’s why I’m not close any more to him and I don’t consider him as my brother anymore and don’t plan on visiting or saying happy birthday. She doesn’t know me any way. Maybe when she’s older. Only G-D knows!!!
Lost both my parents 10 months apart. Really difficult, especially with the pandemic going on to get closure.
My partner lost his father to COVID-19, nearly 2 years to the day after his mother passed from cancer. Obviously losing a parent is horrible, but during the pandemic is was harder. His family is in Texas and COVID cases were pretty high so he didn’t attend the funeral, which he was very conflicted over. Additionally, he has two other brothers and navigating his father’s will and finances has been a challenge for them as well.
There are so many. The girls got vaccinated. I got vaccinated. Robin got vaccinated. School started. I got recruited. Some of these, I don't know what the implications will be. I think right now the biggest things are vaccinations and School. The kids desperately needed to be back in school, and much as they don't like it, I think they're happy. And the vaccines are what makes that possible.
Dejah moving to Israel. It forced and enabled me to go to Israel. And gave us space and I am happier having her there as she been very successful at integrating.
Well sweet Cocoa passed away, and my mom fostered Enix, and then I adopted Enix! And Christian and I bought a house for her! And we got engaged! Our life now feels very different than it did just a few months ago, pre-Enix. She is a handful and I love her very, very much. Having a house feels great, but it also adds an anxiety because it's very expensive, so we wouldn't be able to afford it if Christian lost his job.
I just loved seeing kirsten and Tony and spending so much time with them. I feel like I am a more present and better GP than I was a dad. I think my relationship with both my kids is going really well. And I am trying with Danna's kids. I know I can be judgmental and am working on being nicer and trusting her to be better
Omi was diagnosed with bladder cancer in the spring and went through surgery to remove the tumor and then six weeks of treatment. It was worrying at first, but she made it through everything so far amazingly well. I hope I can make it to 94 and still be as healthy as she is!
At my age there are no major milestones.
My kids are well, they look happy and that's what matters the most. And me- well I moved back home, split up with my partner and starting a new chapter of my life. Its all happening just before my 50th birthday.
I turned 50. Is that a milestone? Kind of yes, kind of no. I don't mind birthdays but it's hard to think of myself as 50, since it seems so OLD. It makes me aware of my age, and of being an older parent. I'm more aware that I need to take care of myself...but struggling, this year in particular, to do so.
Covid 19 changed my ideas about people and society. I decided to avoid people
Two major milestones this year were my wife and I hitting our 5-year anniversary (and 10 years dating) and my brother and his wife having their 2nd child. It has made me evaluate the importance of family, my love for my wife (and the stability of our relationship), and has made me strongly consider having a child. Life is great as is, but I do worry I will regret it if we do not at least leave it up to the fates and go from there, which may be the biggest change of my life.
The first thing that comes to mind is my parents' evolution pre- and post-vacc. They went from using yard sticks to measure our distance and needing to wear masks while visiting in their garage with them to going out and running around town every day, truly getting out and thriving. I am SO happy to see this and feel extremely blessed that my parents are in such good health for their ages and continue to take good steps. As far as my nuclear family, I saw Jen get a catheter put in her. That's a milestone. LMAO
Losing my beloved Mom on Nov 28th was the most major thing that has EVER happened to me and my family. It has affected me deeply - 1) made me extremely grateful that I moved to Portland when I did, Aug 2020, 2) helped me focus on what was important (moving Gordon, cleaning out her stuff, being with family), and 3) has made me open my eyes and look at the world perhaps a bit differently; thinking how she looked at the world. Wish she was around so I could ask more questions. Miss her (and Dad) every day.
My wife initiating a divorce. It’s made me live alone for the first time in my life
Corban was born in April and it has changed our lives. In many ways it isn’t as hard as I thought it would be to have two kids. Corban sleeps better than Jon ever did and adjusting to two kids isn't as hard as it was to adjust to life as a parent. I can't wait to see who he grows up to be once we can get past this baby stage. Jon is really great with him, though I can see that he is struggling a little with the loss of attention. We have done a pretty good job of making sure he still gets a lot of time with us, but it is going to be hard in a month when Joe is deployed and it is just me.
My parents celebrated their 65th anniversary. I turned 60. My oldest turned 35. I guess those would all be considered milestones. Of course, COVID hampered the celebrations. We missed 4 weddings.
Loved ones passed both human and fur friend. Grief of course but greatful for the privilege of having them in my life for the time we had.
I’m thinking to myself, major mile stone? We didn’t have any big birthdays or anniversaries, for me I think the death of my uncle and he was a major mile stone and it made me realize that my elders, including my dad and stepmom, I’m more fragile than I felt when I was younger myself. I hope that this realization continues to lead me to spend more time visiting my dad.
They all left! Corah graduated and moved to Washington. Lenny time job in the keys. Market went and stayed with him for almost two months. I was alone. It was difficult at first then amazing!
My son has moved into a new apartment with is girlfriend, a major step in affirming and deepening their relationship. I realized for the first time that I may have grandchildren, and I cried at the idea of sharing Pesach and Yamim Noraim and Chanukah with them. And then I also realized that the decision to have children is solely my son's and his partner's, not mine. If asked, I will share my hopes, but I must also accept the possibility that she does not want to be a mother.
Our grandchildren embracing my husband with a big hug after a year without seeing each other. I was so moved. Especially since pre pandemic they were not children who would show affection.
My sister got married. While I’m so happy for her, I’m so aware of being 36 and not anywhere closer to that milestone. I want to get married and have a family.
My best friend's dementia is much worse. My other best friend is struggling to care for him and also for her aging mother. I cannot help, since I can just about get through the work week and still have the energy to care for myself. This isn't a milestone, I guess, since there's no clear demarcation.
I learned to live with, & love, a dog. My heart opened a new chamber & I am now able to understand why so many people have pets. I can’t fathom why they dress them up & carry them in their purses….
Blair was born. She is the 10th grandchild. I am so happy. Feels like the perfect 10. Maybe there will be more grandkids. Or maybe we will wait 10-15 more years and a new generation will come along. Either way, I feel deeply connected to the future. I want to fix global warming, climate crises, COVID and other threats. I want bees and other insects to recover. Animal and plants to thrive. And for this rich wonderful world to heal and offer sustenance for these little people. I sometimes think that the grandkids will offer sustenance to the world and other people. They will think up the solutions and create new hope and new ways of being that are healthier than what we have now.
My grandfather (Poppy) died, on his birthday, at age 94. He managed to make it through the worst of the pandemic only to have a stroke the day after he and my grandmother were both finally fully vaccinated, and then spent months in and out of the hospital. It was so hard to balance the potential risk of visiting (and maybe getting one of us sick) with the potential for never seeing him again; in the end I got to see him twice, and he got to play with Edie as one of the last conscious things he did. How has it affected me? I’m grateful to have had him as long as we did, feeling fiercely protective of and sad for my grandmother as she navigates life alone after a 76-year marriage, and just wanting to connect with my family all the time even though we drive each other nuts.
I got a nephew. Wtf. My brother is 5 years younger than me, and I don't feel equipped to raise a kid yet. He's adorable though, its fun buying things for him. He's also taken a lot of the pressure my parents were unconsciously putting on me to settle down and give them some grandkids.
My niece had a healthy baby boy via invitro fertilization of her sisters eggs. Her partner left her before the delivery so she is a single parent, but is extremely happy nonetheless.
The birth of a great-grandson was just about a year ago. His middle name is Ray and he has brought much Sunshine into our lives. For me, it is a chance to feel valued and a needed part of the family. I had begun to feel I was just around because they should ask me to come to be with the family group but not to be a contributing part of that group. Baby smiles all over when GG comes in!
Early this year I started babysitting my bonus daughter. She is the newborn sister of my son, and the child of my ex and her husband. After my ex and I broke up, we had a bit of a rough period. Both of us took care of our son, separated but in equal time. After I did a fair amount of innervision- and shadow-work for myself, I learned a lot and started living more relaxed. My relation with the morher of my child grew closer, ultimately resulting in her asking me to watch over her new child on a weekly basis. She and her husband told me they appreciated my existence in rthe life of their daughter, since I was also connected to them through me and her son. To me, this said so much about trust, and how they see me as a parent. This affected me in a positive way. Me and my ex see each other even more nowadays, besides dealing with parenting over our son. Our bond has grown deeper ever since. And my bonus daughter and me, we're actually not family by blood, but she feels as family to me by heart. I am very grateful to this event in my life.
My third daughter moved out and is now living in a different province attending university. I has affected me in that I feel like this is the path to my empty nest. I have one kid still at home and she just had her first day of school. I am excited and concerned about my eventual empty nest.
My dad died from covid. Tis affected me in one way because I inherited a lot of money. I also wrote a song about my dad. I have been able to sing it before a large audience! and will be auditioning for America's got Talent with this song. My former husband also died. This made me sad because he sacrificed a lot for me and others as well. His death has also reunited me with my sister-in-law. I had missed his family after our divorce.
We just had Luca. He is an incredible gift. He and Caleb will have each other even after Matt and I are gone. I can't even comprehend how much they will do for each other and how much Luca will do in his own right. We love thinking about it all and dreaming of good things to come. I am feeling more relaxed about growing our family now that our fourth member is safely here. And grateful pregnancy is over.
We remained in good physical health, but I expect my midlife crisis diminished our happiness to a greater extent. I miss my mom, and felt very diminished by the behavior that was exhibited towards me. I guess I expected people to judge me kinder, probably because I feel like a child. I'm also angry at the circumstance, but am able to share so much love for so many who have lost... I expect I'll get over it. So that's a milestone. She would've been 75, the year I was born. I wish she could've experienced a pandemic, we would've thrived together... or died trying. tear.
I have begun a new adventure advocating for recognition and supports for those dealing with FASD, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. This is 2 and 1/2 times more prevalent than autism yet it is invisible to most. It has ignited my energy and giving me the direction of my mission in life.
My mother has chronic anemia. She moved to Arizona and it took too long for her to get on a regular blood testing & transfusion schedule. Her condition deteriorated quickly, and now she appears to be headed into dementia. We have started the process of moving her so she can live near me. This has all caused a lot of stress, especially since she's hard of hearing and is having trouble using email now, so we have no way to communicate directly with her.
We got vaccinated against COVID-19! We are still waiting on vaccines for the kids (P turns 12 in December), but it is such a load off of our minds to acknowledge taht we still have to be safe and have the potential to get sick, but the odds are much lower and the impact should be not as great.
Covid has been hard on my family. There has been disconnection and mental health challenges. It is hard to know what to trust in the media. Covid has also created so mich divisiveness.
I think I've come to terms with really having left the U.S. a quarter-century ago and the minds of my not-immediate family there meanwhile. It is somewhat freeing and saddens me at the same time. There were no particular major milestones that come to mind among my first-degree relations as they did all survive the pandemic (thank G-d), but among the more removed ones, I've had some wind of other events and am no longer kept in the loop. These relatives don't need my approval, nor I theirs. Only my brother remains interested in questions of genealogy, for example. My first cousin's marriage, her brother's third child, my other first cousins' children growing up - the events end up on Facebook but having left that platform in 2016 has removed me for good from being informed, unless my brother goes out of his way to copy me in. It has brought some transparency as to the weight of these relationships.
I guess it’s the kids starting middle school and high school, but I don’t really feel it yet.
Both of my half sisters died. As Mary Oliver tells us “I hope they soften.” They were unhappy people who treated me badly for my entire life. I don’t miss them.
My Son started as a police office and we didnt get to see his passing out parade due to Rona...that sucks..he worked hard to get there and I wanted him to see how proud I was.
My cousin had a baby. I am in Switzerland, he is in Argentina. I could not visit the baby. He is straight, I am queer. Being straight creates traditional milestones for family gatherings, while being queer does not. I wonder if/when I'll have milestones to celebrate with my family. Also, I wish I had a chosen family.
We moved our daughter onto campus. I had expected to be fairly gutted but I'm not. I miss her. I'm happy for her. But I'm not overly emotional which surprises me. Mostly steady on for us.
My nephew proposed to his long term girlfriend. Personally, I think he’s mad but I’ll support him, of course.
My brother died. He was the first member of my family to die. It made me reconsider my connections with my family.
Cora turned 1! We love her! She's a literal dream come true. Louis turned 3 and is a precious jewel. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! We're so happy and it's the perfect house for us - we love it! And Michael and I feel very proud of ourselves for working hard, saving, and buying a home for our family. The only thing missing is the dog we will eventually get! Uncle Barry died, which I think made everyone in the family sober up a bit. Life is precious in that it ends. It is worth is to make every effort to make life GOOD, but also to give yourself lots of grace. Sometimes dirty hair and hot dogs for dinner IS good.
I'm not sure there's been a major traditional milestone for my family. Laura's success as a writer has been so exciting and we are all deeply thrilled by it --not just because we are proud of her but because of what it signifies for her about her future. I just love this whole experience. To see how proud and unselfishly thrilled her brother is for her -- this for me means I have done something I really hoped -- to ensure they love each other, don't compete with each other and just feel joy for each other; just as my sisters did for me. I'm not sure I was always that person but my sisters taught me that by the way they behaved around my successes -- something I marveled at at first but came to realize that's what being siblings is really about. How much we've had to overcome in this regard as I consider my mother's horrible jealousy and resentment and anger toward her sister. Perhaps my father influenced us more than I thought?
I learned I was pregnant in April 2020. Pregnancy forced me to slow down and relax this past summer. I have felt closer to my sister-in-law, Emily, as she has helped me prepare for baby. I also have obviously gotten closer with Andrew, as we prepare to be parents.
My mom married her longtime significant other, Dan. I am still processing how much it has an affect on me, it's been overshadowed by his illness and (hopeful) recovery. Because of illness and the threat of pandemic, I wasn't there for the wedding. There wasn't really even a "wedding" to speak of, but a courthouse ceremony. Those run in the family. And my mom sent the vows. I know that it affects them more than it does me, and I am so happy that they get to share this in their relationship. But it's complex and I can only begin to wonder how it will affect me.
Hmmmm, sadly the milestones have been negative, with my children, as I venture forth into my new relationship with Sandon. I will always love Richard. He was my Mr. Wonderful, but my "adult" children need to understand that as much as we'd all love to have him back, their daddy isn't ever going to come walking through my door again. Sandon has no desire to replace Rich, only to add to my life, and heaven help me, I've fallen deeply in love with this man. I'm almost 65 and it's time - for the first time ever - to put me, my happiness, my wants, my desires before those of my kids.
3/4 of us got Covid just as the secular new year arrived. What I hoped would be a moment, even brief moment, of celebration, would not happen. We were lucky, we all had symptons of a bad flu, grateful that we can recover at home. And it was also scary. Following our recovery, I was constantly concerned with a relapse and pulled back even further from the outside world. My family and a small pod of friends was enough for me. Slowly I would find ways to return to small spaces of joy outside my home. And then by spring, I was able to return to work a few days a week. It felt unfamiliar at first, but within a couple of weeks, I was joyously returning to work, excited to have my own work space back and be able to focus without the distractions at home. I still worry, but I choose where I feel safe and what I need in my life. Wearing a mask is worth the enjoyment of being together with others and it makes me feel safe and protected.
The most major milestone really was losing mom. I miss her every day - and continue to appreciate more about her - her quirks, her love, her energy, her reaching out to so many people, her inspiring so many, her love of her kids and grandkids, her never ending support of and pride in me, her strength, her passion, her love to do and go and be engaged and important - her amazing sense of humor, MOM, I LOVE YOU
There are a few, but Dad's health always jumps to the front. He's made it quarter by quarter through the continued chemo and it's been three years since his huge surgery. This ongoing journey has reshaped my perspective in a few ways. First, I spend more time with him and want to keep doing that. Second, I'm appreciative of all this "extra" time and try not to lose sight of that, even though I know it won't last forever.
My mother sold the house I grew up in. It was her choice and we all supported her. It was hard to watch her leave so much behind - my sisters and I expected more sentiment and more nostalgia - I think we felt like she was letting us go too. But then we went through everything she left we found that we didn't want most of it either. Spending the last night there with them, after mom moved out was a wonderful way to say good bye to our childhood. It's strange not to have a home in NY anymore. There is a freedom in it - my time when I visit is more my own but there is such a sense of loss too, for all the memories it held and for my dad, who never left there.
My father had a stroke. Instead of bringing my siblings together, it has really shown where the fissures are. I wish I could say that I'm sad about my dad, but because of his rejection, I just feel pity for him. Pity that his grandkids and great-grandkids don't know him - his choice. And lots of anger that it didn't have to be this way. We could have built wonderful memories, and now it's too late. He's now just an old feeble man who talks out of his mind, and will never be the same. I'm angry.
I became fully financially independent from my family, which unlocked a new sense of freedom for me.
Death of my father has challenged me to define what I want in life.
We survived the school year. Not necessarily well or in a healthy way, but we survived. We took in another foster kiddo that seems to be a great fit for our family, even with all of the chaos of schedules and different schools, etc.
My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he had to tell my brother and I over zoom on the internet because of the pandemic restrictions. It also meant I couldn't see him before his operation. I'm so pleased the operation went well and I was able to see him afterwards and he is doing good with his recovery.
With my Barcelona family, the milestone has been to move into a bigger better longer term apartment and to co-sign the rental contract. It made me feel like we were starting fresh and in conditions that set us up for success much more than our previous flat that was too small, moldy and driving me completely mad. For my Montreal family, my sister’s pregnancy, her diagnosis and her emergency c-section all were pretty intense and made me feel so far from home. Unable to provide the support I wanted to. At first the diagnosis just took the floor off from under me. I thought there was no way a world without my sister could really exist. Now that we’re more informed of the impact the disease has on her life I feel better, even if we could all have dive without it.
My daughter went back to college after 15 months home. She came home March 202o a second semester freshman, the school closed to in person learning through Fall 2020, she elected to stay home Spring 2021 and returned to campus a junior this past August. I loved being able to "meet" my daughter as the adult she is becoming and enjoyed having her around. I think dropping her off this time was more difficult for me then for her freshman year.
My wife & I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in January. While a year before, I felt estranged in our relationship, over that past year we had grown more connected, supportive, and loving. I don't believe it was due to the pandemic risks, but it did trigger a "sh*t or get off the pot" moment. Something switched within me at least. When January came around, we planned a vacation and experienced a kind of newlywed joy being together. Also, the youngest child turned 21. It feels like the family is turning one page, where our job as parents to young children has transitioned -- no longer responsible as their managers...now we are just here to offer coaching.
At this point I certainly consider my primary partner family and him losing his first grandparent certainly affected me in unexpected ways. Having to be a support, feeling confined to heteronormative dynamics and his sadness were new experiences for me. I also noticed some callousness within myself in part to having lost majority of my grandparents at a younger age and I think in part to my line of work. Since the deceased was very much the matriarch, it also feels like I'm entering a new iteration of this family system and that perhaps I'm missing out on some magic there. I'm anticipating my brother's wedding next month, which I don't anticipate creating an internal shift for myself. At the same time, my family is supposed to be all together for the first time in a while and that feels like a special moment.
Having our youngest start middle school and oldest junior year. Its been great seeing how well they are doing this year. I did feel old not having a kid in elementary school and know we only have 2 years left with my oldest. It did make me want to stop and tell them I love them more often. We only have so many more years of childhood left.
I haven't had any major milestones with my family, unless we count being able to hug/reunite again for my birthday this year post-vaccination. So things went kinda back to normal for awhile. I'm not sure if that's going to continue now, of course.
My sister's death. It was huge - shocking and hard and sad and releasing and freeing. I learned things about my family and myself. I made choices like I never have before.
Last year in September, I was about to get married. My parents hadn’t been all that supportive of my relationship with my now-wife - at best, they had been tolerant; at worst downright hostile. The wedding was going to be small because of covid, just a couple friends. I wasn’t even going to tell my parents, since they wouldn’t have been able to come to Germany for it. But I ultimately decided to, and their reaction was completely unexpected: they were overjoyed. They started celebrating. My mom giggled at the spontaneity of the whole thing (versus the year or years of wedding planning you normally see in the states…). My dad apologized for the way he had reacted, told me he loved me and my wife and was trying to be better. The following weeks were full of pure joy, celebration, and love. The blossoming of support from my parents was like a cushion for my heart after years of emotional exhaustion. My parents’ individual relationships with my wife are so wholesome, so genuine and caring, it’s been a gift to both of us to experience.
I finally escaped my abuser and am now raising my kids on my own. It’s insanely challenging, harder than anything I ever could’ve imagined, but worth it.
As I mentioned in the answer to question 1, my brother in law Ron died this August, just a week shy of his 76th birthday. He and my sister had been married for almost 40 years. He was her second husband and her first is gone to distant memory for me, I recall little other than he had an outsized ego and seemed to make my admired, super smart sister fade into the background. Ron came along not too long into her first marriage and then that first one was over, a mystery that she never explained, and she was remarried and seemed much happier. Over time, Ron became an emblem for us of someone who needed and wanted to control his image, and his image seemed to be deteriorating. At last, after a few years of gradual decline followed by a rapid downhill slide and numerous hospital stays, we collectively figured out that he was dying of alcoholic cirrhosis. It was excruciating, he was so incredibly weak, so stubborn, difficult, delirious, angry, and to us, his old bombastic self-centered self in dying and death. Incredibly hard to watch from afar, I couldn't be there due to my leg fracture, COVID, and her refusal to let me come to support her. So I did that by phone. Now looking back about a month later, it was so incredibly hard. I had all sorts of childhood stuff rear up about my sister - someone 6 years older than me, who I admired so much, she always seemed smart, beautiful, successful, happy. I so wanted to please her and have her admire me back when I was her kid sister. And our family's deep habit of not saying or doing hard things tripped me up a lot, made it an uphill struggle for me to be authentic and truly helpful for her, to not just mirror her manner of talking and being which is, in her own words, to keep it light. This situation was anything but light. I held steady and called on my medical skills to help her, most of the time. Once in a while I really tripped up and got triggered to be the pleasing, peace-keeping youngest child. Our relationship has, in some ways, reawakened. I am hopeful that that will continue and will grow. I am hopeful that the admired older sister I had in my life long ago will start to grow and unfurl again, unburdened by caring for her slowly more ill and demanding husband. I am hopeful that I will get to know my sister as an adult and a human, at last.
My grandma got moved into a care facility. Qui-Qui and I cleaned out her house for weeks. The family was rude and dismissive of us and anything we did. My mom said she was going to save a vase for me and didn't, when I told her it hurt my feelings she ranted (via text message) about how it's my fault she didn't and accused me of being manipulative. So I stopped talking to her. The peace of not having to think about her has been great, but I wish it didn't have to be like this. I wish my family was full of caring people instead of selfish assholes.
My sister-in-law's death (breast cancer) hit hard. Yes, it was expected in a way, but the decline once it started was shockingly fast. She was just a couple years older than me. She was the "cool aunt" to my preteen daughter. We had become friends over the years, as well as being relatives by marriage. Hers was truly a life unfinished, and that scares the hell out of me when I think about that it could easily be me and when I watch how quickly life has just moved on along in the months since her death. What has surprised me a lot is how much more her death has impacted me than my mother's four year ago. Maybe it's the age difference? It feels like it's more than that though, and I'm still trying to figure out the why of that.
We got a dog! Or, more accurately, that dog got us. I haven't been this hands-on with a peeing, tantruming member of the family since my three kids were in diapers. (I wouldn't swap her for the world.)
My wife’s mother past last January. Not from Covid, but Covid restrictions in the nursing home did not help with quality of life for her. It affected me beyond the loss of a good Mom. It created more tension between my wife’s siblings and estranged most of them. It’s a shame as there are several brothers I enjoy.
Ooof, well... to continue on a theme: Dad died in November. How has it affected me? How *hasn't* it affected me?! I'm still adjusting to a world without him. I worry about Mom being alone and being lonely. I want her to leave SC and go back to NY where she belongs and where she didn't want to leave in the first place. I worry about how to care for her from a distance. My reference point for life has fundamentally shifted, while at the same time feeling like grief is simply the cost of love: I'm weirdly grateful for my grief... it has granted me entry into one of humanity's shared experiences/shared mysteries. We grieve because we love and have been loved. It's more profound than I can muster the words for at 6am.
I cannot recollect of a major milestone - not sure if that is okay or not okay. However, some 'normal' life events have occurred. Skylar started college, Keaton learned to use the potty (one week of training) and Garrin retired from the Army after 23 years of service. The latter is great as now he will be able to control his own destiny and not have to rely on a 'chain of command'. The latter event makes me happy as he can continue his most important job of being a husband to my daughter and father to my three granddaughters without the Army affecting his destiny.
My ex-brother in-law passed away. This man has been the bane of my life since I was 15. The first time I met him he tickled me till I was gasping for air...thinking, wait? what? this isn't right for him to be doing this and then at the age of 15 I'm thinking I was going to die until someone, can't remember, my mom maybe made him stop. That was the start of 56 years of abuse to my sister and my family. He did only two nice things for me the whole time I knew him. The worse was throwing my mom and I out of my sister's home when we were looking for a new house, my sister and him were divorced and my sister let him do it. We were homeless 11 days. I have never discredited the death of someone but I'm happy he's gone.
My dad retired, my brother and his girlfriend moved in together. I think my dad having more time on his hands has been good for him- was maybe hard for me because I was there and he needed to be entertained so much? And he's still hard to be around. I'm glad my brother and his girlfriend moved in together- I like her a lot and it's good to have a sort of "outside eye" on my family, honestly. We have the same music taste.
Life Sharing for Naomi, hopefully on the way to her own home. Major impact upon Holly and me. Trying to help Naomi develop executive and parenting skills. Major challenge! Naomi is slow to learn, although she does try at times; she is weighed down by autism and learning disabilities. Martha is a joy but also a challenge for her parenting needs. Martha is strong willed and can be pugnacious and resistant around transitions and when she does not get what she wants. She craves playing with friends especially with our next door neighbors’ children, and has hit - especially Evan. Martha seems to have a challenge to express herself in words when she is frustrated with others. (Yet Martha also expresses genuine empathy for others when they are hurt - as she did when Holly had sprained her ankle.) Bed time has been especially difficult. Martha resists going to sleep, and often climbs up to her grandparents to resolve contention with her mother. Yet, it is a privilege to have this time with Martha. She radiates joy in life and lights up our/my life. Martha is one of the best things that have come into my life. How much I love her! And want to help her grow into a powerful and beautiful and I hope truly good human being.
Covid! Maybe mummy got it? And she has lumps in her throat that they’ve needed to remove and she’s weathered that like an absolute hero and mac bought a house!! He manifested his dream it’s amazing and we had a great sibling vacation it’s been an inspiration.
My grandson was born and I think more about my health because I want to BE THERE as he grows up. I’m constantly counting how old I’ll be when he reaches different milestones. I have been much more diligent about doctor appointments.
My son went to Israel for 3 weeks. It’s the first time he went on a trip so far away without family. He loved it and I was so happy for him. It was a very helpful experience for me as a parent. He is entering 11th grade and I had started to worry about my ability to let go as he will soon leave the nest and go off to college. But when he was in Israel, I was so happy that he was happy and having such a great experience that I didn’t feel sad that he was away. I actually felt bad that he was returning so soon, since he loved it so much. I realize that 3 weeks is different than 4+ years of college, but this experience gave me some faith in my ability to put my personal feelings aside and take joy in letting him spread his wings
I went on holiday. Peleg drove us to and from Eilat (via the scenic routes and with lots of stretch and loo stops as well as super views and new countryside He and Linoy were so kind to me and it was wonderful to be OUT. I saw lots of desert as well as mountains and the Gulf of Aqaba/Red Sea and the reef. I learned a lot and saw all kinds of things I'd not seen before eg reef fish, desert, Eilat the sweet little town. It was my first real holiday since 2016.
We were able to gather to celebrate Bryan's life with a big family and friends get-together a few weeks ago. It was really hard and really important. I know Josh thinks about him every day and misses him every day. I do too, but in a different way. It's not the same without him on this planet.
I’m not sure about the word milestone but a few largely impactful things happened with my family in the past year. My nana was extremely ill and hospitalised and it revealed some people’s true colours, as well as how love can be healing. I genuinely believe she couldn’t of got through it without my grandads devotion. Later on my older sister came out to my grandparents after being with her girlfriend for three years, with a surprisingly supportive reaction from my religious grandad and a shockingly negative one from my nana. I can’t imagine ever coming out to them myself, but I’m glad she doesn’t have to hide her relationship anymore. I don’t care about hiding really, I am what I am and I prefer not being known by all anyway. People don’t have a right to know you just because you share blood. Even when you tell people the words to try and make yourself seen (gay, trans, or whatever you may be), they still don’t always see. Sometimes, they see something completely different to what you are, despite you telling them. So why waste your energy? It’s only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine De Saint Exupery said it best. :)
The Pandemic forced us all to stay away from each other for long. I have lost one year of my mom and, in her conditions, it feels like 10 years. This makes me incredibly sad.
My son finally got a job after much prodding from both myself and his dad.
Both of my children graduated from college! I hope it continues for generations!
This past year, my sibling has been undergoing a gender transition. This has been a learning and growth opportunity for all of us as we switched the pronouns we use and adjust to the new reality of not having two daughters in the family. My parents have become active members of PFLAG, and we have all become advocates and allies for transgender people everywhere. I feel much more strongly connected to transgender issues now that I have this personal connection to them and am continuously thinking about how to make the world safer and more secure for people who don't fit in the gender binary like my sibling.
Noa was born in April! I am in love and want to move to Maine.
My dad retired. Makes me realize that time is going by so quickly. And I need to save my moments.
Major Milestone - same answer as question 1 - Bill and I celebrated our 40th anniversary, Oct 18!! Doesn't really have any great affect - doesn't seem like 4 decades have gone by - we're both healthy, better financially than a year ago - thanks to unemployment/covid/PCH win. Just another day in Paradise!
My mother got ill and it shattered any illusion I had that she'd always be around. She wasn't at risk of blood clots but yet she had them, travelling further and further around her body, while doctors continually misdiagnosed her. I'm more scared of losing her but also I'm happier for the time we now get together - she should be fine now, but we're all going to be wary for a little while yet.
Seeing my parents look older was supremely difficult for me. I've been wrestling pretty nonstop with their mortality--which makes me think of my own--and ask them A LOT (in particular my mom) about whether they're doing everything they want to be doing. I know I can't force this, but it reflects my own fears.
Infection with Covid-19 and longcovid as concequence. It was a very heavy time, but it was a period of learning, especially acceptation of life just as it is, a matter of cause and effect.
My son finally got a driver's license and a vehicle this past year at age 22. It feels like a major milestone, because where and when I grew up, it was a rite-of-passage into adulthood. It makes me feel relieved to have my youngest child "adulting" --as they say now. :-) I feel more accomplished as a parent, which is silly because he did this all on his own and surprised me. I fondly remember my children when they were young, and kinda miss those days, yet seeing the adults they are becoming, I am looking forward even more to watching their futures unfold. I am content and happy.
Again, mom died. Reduced stress for all of us, especially JoAnna. She can travel more. Kylie fell in love so I was "solo" for the first time in Duck and thereafter. Many new opportunities for me. Time to decide what I want to put "in my basket." I was ready to travel internationally more but it is still not safe enough despite vaccinations. Basically all positive and creating opportunities.
Well, a major shift has been the fact that everyone knows I'm gay now. It just came out on its own accord. I had told my mother a few years ago already and plainly suggested my father and his wife to face this reality as well. But not much reflection, talk or sharing had followed. Not besides with my mum at least. My father even told me once, after I asked whether we'll ever talk abou it, that he'd rather not. I accepted it as it is, knowing that it's out my control to make my dad see it in any way. And not even having a chance to show myself in any way for that matter, as he had decided to keep the gates shut. Therefore, it resulted in me retreating from any kind of closeness or the pursuit of it with him or the other family memebers on his side. I think I subconscioussly thought it finally gave me the right or a reason to be distant. Something which I had always felt to be. But then I told my granny about my lover and the fact that I'm gay and that I've always been so. That helped to open up about the hurt and the struggle and show her a side of myself that she had been completely blind to. Somehow I had built up the courage and confidence (or was it just carelessness) that made it possible to plainly share my story and help her find understanding. Thus, the topic was on the table and not long after, grandpa found out as well. This resulted in some authentic sharing and a surrender to how things really are. It's definately a big change in our family and in their hearts. I somehow have a feeling it helps us to find the underlying stuff of relationships - the love we feel for ourselves and eachother. Be it hidden under layers of conditioned hardness, silence, awkwardness, vulnerability and emotional unavailability. It is there. And it is out of my hands - it will shine thorugh in confronting ways.
Mom's oldest friend Larisa passed away and Mom only found out about it a month after her death. Made me think about connections we make in life and if anything is worth anything. Larisa's son Misha never called Mom to tell her the news even though his mom and mine were best friends since first grade.
Kindof. I didn't see my family for a long time because of the pandemic. Living here and them over there, I thought and missed and focused on when it would happen. How would it happen? And then it did, like no-big-deal. I just got on a plane and we were all together, with no acknowledgement or sentimentality of the yearning of being far away. So, I wondered if I had anguished alone. I saw their lives run together, and far apart, and together again. They are like a stream, which finds the flow of water and then breaks off again. My father is the flow, which we all come back to. And then it was sort of normal again. I was there. My dad was here. My sister was here. Perhaps, in some small way, we cherished it more. Or perhaps that's age happening to us. Or perhaps nothing was different at all..
Other than my dog dying (sorry to go on about that one), I don't think there have been any major milestones for me. Processing that grief has been the main thing. There's not really been any other news or landmarks.
The milestone is yet to come, but getting married and getting pregnant have been pretty big milestones for our little family. Losing and gaining jobs, moving to a new apartment (and new neighborhood) has also affected us, but I think for the better. We are happier where we live, we are thrilled and excited to be married and overjoyed at the prospect of our baby boy's arrival eminently.
Losing my dad :( It's made us become closer as a family but individually we are all broken a little bit. Atleast I am. It's put me in a perpetual state of grief. I'm a statement away from tears at any point.
Major milestone. Hmm. Christopher turned 10 and puberty is definitely looming; Caroline made the transition from Langgymi to Kurzgymi and we'll see how that goes; I finished my theology classes but the jury is still very much out on whether I'll write the papers to complete the program; Dan worked from bedroom for a whole 'nother year. Oh also I quit my job. I feel like I talked about that already in the first question, though. Maybe the major milestone is that for a whole year we never ventured farther afield than Germany? On the one hand: this is fine. It's a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle and we are far from exhausting the list of things to explore, even just around here. On the other hand: can I really imagine a long-term commitment to this country that so frustrates me? Oh right, that's the major milestone: we've been here for 10 years. Longer than I've ever been anywhere, ever. Maybe I'm committed and I didn't even know it.