As Oprah closed her last seasons show she ended with these words:
“I want you to know that what you have to say matters to me. I understand the manifestation of grace and God, so I know that there are no coincidences. There are none. Only divine order here.
I am truly amazed that I, who started out in rural Mississippi in 1954 when the vision for a black girl was limited to being either a maid or a teacher in a segregated school, could end up here.
It is no coincidence that a lonely little girl who felt not a lot of love, (this is when my throat got choked up and I could feel the tears relating so much to her words) even though my parents and my grandparents did the best they could, it is no coincidence that I grew up to feel the genuine kindness, affection, trust and validation from millions of you all all over the world.
From you whose names I will never know, I learned what love is. You and this show have been the great love of my life. Every single day I came down from my makeup room on our Harpo elevator, I would offer a prayer of gratitude for the delight and the privilege of doing this show. Gratitude is the single greatest treasure I will take with me from this experience.
The opportunity to have done this work, to be embraced by all of you who watched, is one of the greatest honors any human being could have. And I thank each of you for allowing me to speak in such a way that, no matter what was happening in your life, you could see the best in yourselves.*
For everything there is a season, we know and our time together on this platform is coming to a close. In a few moments when the final credits roll, I see it not as an ending, but as an extraordinary beginning. One chapter closed. The next chapter beginning for all of us.
I’ve been asked many times during this farewell season, ‘Is ending the show bittersweet?’
Well, I say all sweet. No bitter. And here is why: Many of us have been together for 25 years.
We have hooted and hollered together, had our aha! moments, we ugly-cried together and we did our gratitude journals. So I thank you for all your support and your trust in me. I thank you for sharing this yellow brick road of blessings. And I thank you for tuning in every day. I thank you for being as much of a sweet inspiration for me as I’ve tried to be for you.
I won’t say goodbye. I’ll just say…until we meet again.”
You might wonder why I have spent so many ‘days’ writing about Oprah and sharing her last closing time with the viewers. I guess it is because I see in her a ‘winner’~ someone who did not take her ‘lowly’ beginning and leave it to be ‘her lot in life’. She looked beyond what was known at the time and pressed forward into a new and more hopeful direction. She is a self made house hold name although she said, “God had his hand in it all the time.” So many times I remember watching her show and finding the courage after to press forward into my own healing, pressing forward in to what I knew I had to do to get better and be well. As a mom I listened to her and often was encouraged by her even though I was older than her by a few years. I do not worship her nor do I think more highly of her than needed. But I do see her as a ‘up and coming’ Maya Angelou with wisdom and strength clothing her every move. I think she is a real authentic person who is wonderful and I wish her great success in her ‘new direction.’
I think Oprah’s story of survival and success is a wonderful tribute to herself and to all women.
You can better yourself even if you start one day at at time.
She said ‘gratitude is a treasure’ and I believe when we become grateful and thankful for where we have started from and where we have ended.
Then the journey is worth every deep and dark and desolate hole we crawl out of to get well.
If we find wholeness and hope and realize gratitude is our treasure.
Then it is worth every step we have walked to get there.