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Tonight was the last episode of The West Wing. We had a little party in my apartment complete with a handful of quotes and pictures from past seasons up on the walls of my place (two in the bathroom for a chuckle). The episode was good and the series ended very well, I think. Not the fast-paced episode that would have come from an early season, but a moderately paced story that said farewell in a calm, quiet fashion.

But I will miss this show for other reasons as well. Since as long as I can remember, The West Wing has been a time for me to gather with good friends that I wouldn’t normally see outside of church or work. While time with these friends can still be had in spades and with little excuse or reason for the gathering, there is something bittersweet about this particular avenue being closed. Bitter because it is over, but sweet because it isn’t.

What’s next? My Sunday nights are no longer scheduled. I plan to not do anything too structured for the next one or two, but already have an idea or two for something to not just fill the time or get the “old gang” back together. Trying to repeat the past or hold on to something that has gone by the way just isn’t healthy, as much as I still find myself doing that from time to time. But finding another way, a deeper way with more fun and richness is definitely worth the effort. It may not be the same crowd and it probably won’t be over a TV show, but it will be good.

It’s a testament, I think, to The West Wing that it was the only show that I watched almost exclusively with other people. More so, it’s a testament to my friends that we faithfully gathered in such a fashion for each new episode (and even repeats when they were still running repeats during the season). I will miss the stories and the fun, but look forward to the newer things yet to come.

You did a wonderful job guys. Thanks for seven seasons of challenging thoughts, witty remarks, and characters we loved to watch.

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