In this week’s Wednesday 5, our last for the year, we highlight some of Women’s Voices’ more notable and popular stories of 2012. As our readers, your visits to our site, comments, emails, Facebook shares and likes, and Tweets let us know what stories mattered to you and why.

The Dr. Pat Consults Series became a staple of our weekly Medical Mondays; posts that continued to bring laughter and humor, like those from Roz Warren, gave us refreshing perspectives on all things mundane and serious; the Women of Reinvention Series served as a dose of inspiration and motivation; the Family Reunion Series reminded us that when we are with family we are never alone (although sometimes we’d like to be); and the women of Fashion Friday (and their favorites) were a sight for sore eyes.


1.

Dr. Pat Consults

This year, our Dr. Patricia Yarberry Allen dedicated much of 2012 to consulting with the best medical minds on medical concerns that were of utmost importance to our readers. Dr. Allen is a collaborative physician who believes her patients are her best partners in providing diagnostic information—as long as they are asked the right questions. In that spirit of collaboration, she embraced our readers’ questions with the utmost care and urgency. One notable example was Dr. Allen’s partnership with Dr. Elizabeth Poynor, a practicing gynecologic oncologist and pelvic surgeon, in answering the question “Does Vulvar Melanoma Always Look Like the Photos in the Textbooks?” It was a most informative and relevant response (since pigmented lesions of the vulva—moles and freckles—appear in 10 to 12 percent of women) that revealed  the details on the detection and treatment of vulvar melanoma. Dr. Allen will continue her commitment to her patients with her “Dr. Pat Consults” series in 2013.

Related: The “Dr. Pat Consults” Series

 

2.

How to Know if Ducks are Unhappy

The irony that an article by Roz Warren on “Google Analytics” was one of our popular pages indicated by our Google Analytics data is not lost on us. But we are not surprised, since  Roz  has been a consistent source of laughter, humor, and joy throughout 2012 with her musings on life, relationships, books, and everything in between. Most importantly, we value the unique “perspective” she brings to the mundane as well as the serious facets of life. In “How to Know if Ducks Are Unhappy,” Roz shared with us the implausible searches that bring people from as far away as India and Bulgaria to her website. The big picture, of course, is not about Google Analytics, but, as Roz tells us, it’s about the often clumsy and funny ways we find ourselves navigating and mastering this new digital era.

Related: Roz Warren in 2012

 

3.

Women of Reinvention

from left: Paige Morrow Kimball, Cherokee Black, Diane Bradshaw

Women reinvent themselves over and over again. Perhaps that’s why our aptly named series struck a chord with our readers. The  Women of Reinvention series acknowledged that the concept of reinvention takes on very different meanings, and is often redefined at various points in our lives. For some women, reinventing themselves is about survival; for others, it’s about new beginnings.

Our readers delved into the story by Paige Morrow Kimball, director of Ending Up, a film about nuances of divorce via the lives of four women. Based on the Facebook traffic received for the article on Cherokee Black, a former model who left the industry to take care of an ill sister and is now returning decades later, we learned that her message to  “transform with grace” resonated. And, there was Diane Bradshaw, an actress for 25 years, who took the risk at 52, of law school. Diane, as did Paige and Cherokee, taught us a thing or two about reinventing life in middle age—or later.

Related: The “Women of Reinvention” Series

 

4.

Family Reunions

Image: “Friendship” by Panic_Button via Flickr; from Renegade’s Reunion by Laura Baudo Sillerman

Many of you are in the midst of holiday family reunions as we speak, proving that it not just a rite of summer. As you already know, sometimes these gatherings are awful—and sometimes they are energizing, inspiring, and even surprising. That’s the kind of reunion we decided to focus on this past summer. In Maine, recalled a harmony of cousins on a sweet-water lake; in Michigan, Toni Myers described the fireworks on the high dunes; on a houseboat in Kentucky, Laura Baudo Sillerman shared a “we-union” of adventurous girlfriends. This collection of  reminiscence is WVFC’s paean to the joys of that old-fashioned get-together, the  family reunion.

Related: The “Family Reunion” Series

 

5.

Favorites from the Women of Fashion Friday

Of course, we couldn’t have a notable year without the favorites from our women of Fashion Friday. And although it’s winter, we thought we would remind you of warmer and breezier days. On their Summer Indulgences, we were immersed in the decadence of stylish women like Maria Canale, Susan Yalof Schwartz, Elizabeth Dalling, Marion Fasel, and and Harriet Mays Powell, Pamela Fiori, Deborah Needleman. And to bring you back to the present, Winter Fashion Essentials by our fashion editor Stacey Bewkes still remains a resource for many of you.

Related: The “Fashion Friday” Series