Today is the first day in years that my DVR has been unoccupied at 4pm. I miss you already.
Sure, over the final years you often interrupted your guests in a way that was totally maddening and often inappropriate, given the fact that I wanted to hear what they had to say for g-d sakes. And of course, I've never in my life heard a person repeat their sentences more than you did, but, it's all good. Because when it comes down to it, whether people like it or not or whether people like you or not, your show did in fact change the world. And it changed me.
Without you, there would have been amazing, inspiring, life altering stories we wouldn't have known about, people we wouldn't have learned about, conversations we wouldn't have had, and feelings within ourselves that wouldn't have surfaced. The design world might not have known cutie patootie Nate Burkus. The medical field might not have celebrated Dr. Oz. The world of cooking might not have fallen in love with Rachel Ray. And the psychology field wouldn't have had the opportunity to secretly watch Dr. Phil while telling their therapist friends that he's irritating as hell (yes, that's totally what happens.)
We wouldn't have been able to make fun of Tom Cruise all these years for jumping up and down on your couch like a freak show in an attempt to convince the world that he did not in fact, have Katie Holmes sign a contract vowing to be with him forever, bare his children, follow Scientology, and never tell anyone that he's gay. The whole thing really made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, so thanks.
Because of your show I was, from a very young age, both invited and able to have conversations with my mom about sex, body image, relationships and everything in-between, which were always followed by her saying "If Oprah were on when I was growing up, I can't imagine how much closer to my mom I would have been."
Because of your show I've witnessed my husband cry while watching stories about children, families, and parenting in a way that further locked in my belief that he is, in fact, the best human being on this earth.
Because of your show I've had endless conversations and ah-ha moments that have contributed to my becoming an expert in my field on a level that I'm deeply proud of. And, since applying to have my own show on your new OWN network, my life and career have totally changed for the better.
As a person who follows news, politics, sports, music, and both pop and celebrity culture with both my intellectual and emotional brain, the stories on your show have been exactly what I wanted and needed every single day. I don't care that some people are "so over" you, I've known all along that even if someone has never watched a single episode of your show, the topics and conversations you scooped up have always and will always, spill over into people's daily lives every single day, in the most amazing ways.
Self Reveal: Sometimes I didn't agree with you. Sometimes I thought the things you seemed surprised about were things you ought not to be surprised about, given your space in the world. And, it has always upset me that you've said you've never gone to therapy. But, my frustrations with you have helped me grow, and that's what I'm most thankful for. I was challenged to formulate my own opinions and create my own tool box of life lessons when I watched you...even when I screamed at you through the TV like a frat boy on game day. For that, for you, and for the last 25 years -- I'm forever grateful.
Cheers to you Madame O, you will be missed like mad.