A Milestone

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today is the last day…

For the rest of my life…

That I will ever wake up…

With a new Oprah ahead of me.





And you know what? That is the closing of a significant chapter of my life and a significant moment in cultural history.

It’s hard to believe I’ve watched so long but in these last few weeks as she’s brought back old guests and highlights, I remember those shows from 1995…1998…2001.  And even though I don’t remember my mom being a huge Oprah watcher, her show was on in our house for much of my childhood.  She’s been on TV for almost my entire life!  I started watching on my own in high school, and in college you could find me every afternoon at 4:00 on the sofa, with a bowl of Jiffy Pop popcorn, spray butter, and a diet coke {my favorite Weight Watchers snack!}, tuning in to Oprah.

And sometimes I feel like I have to defend my viewership.  Let me be clear: I do not worship at the House of Oprah.  I do not agree with her all of her spiritual philosophy.  I don’t catch every word that drips from her mouth and save it in a jar.

But I love her show.

And as I’ve been watching the last few weeks and last few episodes especially, I will unapologetically praise Oprah and say that she is an incredible woman.  She may be a bit misguided when it comes to Christianity sometimes, and I’m sure it takes a healthy ego to get where she is today.  But that woman has done so many incredible, selfless things with her power that I just watch amazed.  I admire her.  I respect her.  And in a world where a lot of people are going to dismiss Jesus and flub religion, at least there’s been a force for good out there.

As I have watched the footage and montages of the millions of books she has given, the libraries she’s built, scholarships she’s awarded, homes she has built, schools she’s restored, the dolls she gave to African children, the streets she repaved in Louisiana, I am overwhelmed with the good she has done.  I know there were thousands of people and companies that had a hand in that, but you have to give credit to the Oprah empire for bringing it to be.  She has used her powers for good and not for evil; she has changed thousands of lives over many generations; she has shone a light on abuse, body image, self image, grief, sex, divorce… You name it, she has influenced the way our culture deals with a myriad of issues in a phenomenal way.

And yes, I will miss the makeovers, the weight loss shows, the shoes, the fashion, the favorite things {oh, how I will miss those favorite things!}, and the Chris Rock episodes.  And today, I’m sure I will cry like I did when I watched Mattie Stepanek’s funeral or Erin Kramp’s last videos to her daughter as she died of cancer or the man reunited with his dog after Katrina.  I will cry like I have a million other times during her show, but tomorrow will be different.

It will be the last time.  The end of an era… and I HATE goodbyes.

Farewell, Oprah.  Thank you.

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