On October 21, 2003 I wrote my very first Journal entry. Almost five years to the day.
Like many other AOL members I shared a lot of my personal life with the world. Reading other people's Journals brought me enjoyment, laughter and sometimes, tears.
I'm happy to say that I've made many good Internet friends. I cried while watching one member lose her fight with cancer. Worried about a few Journalists who left without apparent reason, never to return again. Kept my fingers crossed while one member got divorced and tried his best to be a good father to his kids. I've prayed for one writer who sadly described her sister's slow decline into Alzheimer's Disease. Held my breath as another divorced her husband, packed up her bags and moved to L.A. to start a new life. I remain hopeful that one friend will finally find Mr. Right, and that she'll stay safe while she searches for him.
I've shared stories with new mothers, abused women and recovering drug addicts. Sat back in amazement at the profound wisdom of a certain sensitive friend from Florida. Watched people fall in and out of love. Enjoyed looking at pictures of their trips to fabulous, exotic places. I've laughed at the antics of other people's children and shared my own stories. The birth of my grandchildren, the purchase of my house, my menopausal misadventures and my On-Line Dating Site experiences.
Now, AOL has decided to put an end to the On-Line Journals, to "concentrate on more popular interests". If our Journals weren't "popular" then why did they decide to use our entries to pimp out unwanted advertisements? Once again, it was without our permission or even opinion on the matter.
Oh, they've given us "helpful advice" on how to transfer out work onto other sites, but speaking for myself, I haven't been successful as yet.
All things considered, I've had quite a good experience writing my On-Line Journal, except for one hurtful episode. Like life itself, our community has been through good times and bad. Scandals and legends. At least we'll always have the memories.
Today, on October 5, 2008, all I can say... is good-bye. Good luck to all of the Journalists who have graciously invited us into their lives and shared their experiences with us... total strangers.
And thank you. For the laughs, the pleasure of getting to know you, and for taking the time to get to know me. I'll always be grateful for the encouragement you have given to me through your comments and even occasional E-mails.
Thanks, guys. I'll never forget any of you.