Did you see Oprah’s final show yesterday? If you missed it, the transcript is here. By the time she walked off the stage and into the hallway to celebrate with her staff, I was sitting in a puddle of my own tears. It hit me much harder than I expected. It’s not just that I’ll miss her show, but also that I realized I’m losing, along with so many others, a trusted and beloved companion. Yeah, I know that sounds overly dramatic and a little pathetic. But I think it’s true. 
My grandparents lived in a suburb of Chicago and I always adored watching Oprah whenever I’d visit, even before she went national. Then, when she hit the big time, I wrote her a letter {I think the theme was “please don’t change now that you’re famous”} and she wrote me back. I was probably in 5th or 6th grade. I have got to find that letter; it’s on pastel stationery with her name signed in purple. I think I’m more amazed now than I was then that she took the time to personally write back. That letter hung over my bed well into my high school years, during which friends would jokingly call me “Oprah” because they were sure I’d follow in her shoes someday. Ha! 
When I was in junior high, I snuck into an Oprah show – sort of. I didn’t meet the audience age requirement, but a family friend got tickets for me, my grandma and mom so we just HAD to get in! I was beyond excited! I got all gussied up in one of my grandma’s pink work dresses and heels to match, with gobs of make-up and teased hair, hoping to look much older than I was. We went down to Harpo Studios with fingers crossed. We made it through security and into our seats – score! The highlight was at the end, when the whole studio audience lined up to shake Oprah’s hand after the show. She was lovely {and my tween self could not believe how much make-up she had on!}.
Yesterday, as I listened to her meaningful monologue, I kept thinking about how rich her voice sounded and how her parting words were so carefully-crafted and deeply authentic. The viewers aren’t the only ones who have been changed for the better over all these years; I feel like we’ve also watched Oprah blossom into a modern sage – one who’s walked through fire, beaten the odds, let faith light her path, embraced her potential, revealed her own greatness – and now wants us to do the same.  We couldn’t ask for a better friend. 

P.S.!!!! I just got an email from Amazon and they’re offering a subscription to O Magazine today ONLY for just $9 for the year. Click on the magazine pic to get to the deal!