|Photo Source: Harpo Inc./George Burns|
Yesterday, was Oprah Winfrey's last episode of her t.v. show. She has created her very own network, aptly named OWN (for the Oprah Winfrey Network) and will be spending her time over there. After 25 years of being on the air at "Oprah", she never missed a day of work. Talk about deserving a gold star, for that achievement alone! As we all know, she did a lot more than that.
I was not an everyday viewer, but I always knew that she was there everyday at 4:00, and would watch the shows that shouted out to me. I am glad that I was home yesterday, reorganizing our kitchen, and watching her last episode. Oprah really spoke to me, straight to my heart, on that last show. She motivated me to keep going, keep my chin up, and to keep searching for what I am supposed to do next. I felt like God was using her to talk to me yesterday (even though I know she was talking to multi-millions at the same time and not everybody came away with the same message as I did.)
I do remember Oprah from her very beginning. I used to watch her when she was on Phil Donahue, when my babies were little, and I was at home and t.v. helped to fill my day when they were napping. I enjoyed watching her in The Color Purple and Beloved. Oprah is just so real. We watched her through it all, as her weight bounced up and down, as her hair changed styles, as she "lived" with Steadman, as she had fun with her best friend Gail, as her dog died, as she told us about her uncle sexually abusing her, as she started a book club and a magazine, and as her empire and influence grew.
We watched all those interviews. Who will ever forget Tom Cruise jumping up and down on the couch when he was manic over Katie? And those specials, such as Lisa Ling's Puppy Mill episode that had everybody in tears. I remember the sweet lady whose husband burned her face while she was at work, and how she had overcome her obstacles and was such a loving person without bitterness.
Oprah gave us the sweetest goodbye yesterday, and for me she was very inspirational and motivational. She told us that if she could do it, we could do it. Maybe not be on t.v. with our own show, but that we can help others within our circle of influence and that we needed to each use our voice. Oprah said that God has a plan for our lives and that we need to be open and listen to what that plan is. She said that often the Lord speaks to us in a whisper, and if we don't pay attention, it may lead up to a brick wall falling upon us if that is what it takes.
Oprah said that she herself is a miracle, beginning with her own conception. Her Mom and Dad "did it" only once, under a tree in Mississippi, and wah-lah, Oprah was created. She believes that everything happens for a purpose, and that there are no coincidences.
On a side note, I know that there are others out there who are more cynical about Oprah and her influence. Some call her empire The Church of Oprah. In 2008, before I began my own blog, I enjoyed reading a blog called "Living Oprah". Robyn, a young married woman in NYC decided to partake in a year-long experiment to do everything that Oprah suggested on her t.v. show and write a book about it. She was able to watch Oprah in the morning, and sometimes watched her again in the afternoon if she need to review the show. Robyn read her magazine and took the suggestions offered there, read all of the books that Oprah suggested, cooked the suggested alternative Thanksgiving dinner, etc., etc. And she blogged about the whole thing, trying her best to "live your best life" as Oprah suggested. It was very interesting. Robyn wasn't cynical or mean in her blog, she was just trying to figure out if she did everything Oprah said if she would come out happier in the end. If I remember it right, she was glad when that year was over. I haven't read her book yet though.
Oprah found out about her. Matt Lauer of the Today Show came to her apartment, and interviewed her. I remember that she had a stack of things that she had bought, unopened, and that she was going to return them after her experiment was over. She kept careful track of how much she was spending on Oprah's suggestions during that year. Anyway, that was when Kindles first came out, and Oprah sent this lady a Kindle. Robyn really wanted to keep it, but felt that it might sway her perspective, so she sent it back with a nice thank you note.
Reading Living Oprah drew me back into watching Oprah's show again. I joined in on the chat room topic on puppy mills, and had a couple of my well thought out posts of my bad experience of getting Dana at the pound were deleted by the administrator. There were angry activists who eventually took over the discussion, telling people that they shouldn't have a dog if they didn't have a fenced back yard. Even if you lived in a condo with a Yorkie that you walked several times a day, no backyard proved that you couldn't afford a dog. Crazy stuff! I finally just stopped reading that thread. That is also where I learned that some people didn't really appreciate Oprah and said that there during the discussion sessions. That was my first experience with blog bullies.
So, anyway, I just wanted to give Oprah a shout out and thank her for all of her years helping us to celebrate the positive. The last thing that pops into my mind is the part yesterday where Oprah said that everybody needs to be heard; needs to be listened to. And that we need to take the time to do that for others. She said that is what kept her going, keeping that point in mind as she interviewed 30,000 people over the years ... the nice ones as well as the horrible ones.
We all have a story, we all need to share it, and others need to share theirs too. Below are links that I pulled from Oprah.com and a couple of other sites about yesterday's show. If you are interested, please check them out. I think they'll be worth the extra few minutes.
Have the best day ever, and thank you so much for stopping by to visit!
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