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      By Bloof

There are usually just a few moments in a person's life that change everything. High school graduation. Getting married. The birth of your first child. Landing that first job that gives you disposable income and a future.

These moments are marked and obvious. Sometimes there is ceremony, sometimes cards and gifts, sometimes partying, sometimes all of the above. All of them are precious, memorable and significant to your life, and and everybody knows it.

Then there are the little unheralded moments in your life that change it all the same, but without pomp and circumstance. Your first kiss. The first conversation you had with your best friend. The moment you stepped out of the DoL with your license in hand. The sudden realization that she is "the one." The embrace you share when she walks into the room with an EPT. These moments are not so ceremonial, but nonetheless, after them--you are never the same.

Looking back at this forum after one year, I can't help but wonder how many of our members have had one of these moments, right here, in this virtual meeting place. It's easy to dismiss the notion, especially if we're fairly new to the forum. But when I look back at some of the things that have taken place, it is without a doubt that permanent, lasting relationships have been forged, and people have been personally touched, their souls edified, and have grown socially, even spiritually.

I have seen tremendous acts of charity. I have seen sorrowful souls enter, but leave elated, thanks to a gang of luminous dolts. I have seen pairs of friends linger and bond in conversation for hours, as though nothing existed but each other's company. I have seen conflagrations of temper resolve into spit-handshakes of sweet harmony. I have seen the shy wallflower gradually converted to a social butterfly. I have seen the comfort and strength of attentive friendship sustain persons who have lost loved ones in death. I have seen circles of celebration over the good things shared from each other's lives. I've seen everything that should happen with dear friends, happen here.

For many of us, this has become much more than a pleasant diversion from the rigors of life. It has wonderfully enriched it.

Thank you, friends. Happy birthday, SeahawkBlue.

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