Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An Apple for my Teacher: Oprah

Excuse the tears. 
I had to write this while it was fresh, while the raggedy paths on my face were still wet.
Oprah, I'll miss you.
You looked fine in your pink dress tonight. And your hair was fantastic. Lord knows, you've had yourself some wicked hairstyles in the past 25 years but tonight it was beautiful, all bouncy loose curls brushing against your pink cheeks. You looked slender and regal, composed and wise. How did you get so wise?
I haven't been your biggest fan. I can't lay claim to that, but I have been a fan. We've grown up together, after all. You've been like my slightly older sister, the smart one, who I haven't always paid attention to, but should have. Every once in a while you'd grab my ear and I'd lean forward on the edge of the chesterfield and my eyes would well up and I would get you, get you right here in my pounding heart. After 25 years, you'd think I would have learned all your lessons. Tonight, though, watching your final show, it was like I was hearing them for the first time.
Follow your calling, you said. 
You are responsible for your own life, your own happiness, you said. 
You are worthy, you said. This is what struck me the hardest. It was like you slapped me upside the head with it. You are worthy. Everyone, you said, is missing the same thing in their lives. Everyone. You. Me. Our parents. Our children. We all want validation. We all want to be heard. It was like I heard this for the first time. "I am worthy." I bawled like a baby. Then and there I decided to make sure the people in my life know they matter to me. Angus, Sam, Dave and Mom, my sister and my brother, all my family, all my friends: you are worthy. You matter. You are every bit as important in this world as everyone else and more so, to me. Sometimes it may seem that I don't hear you, that I'm not listening, but I hear you where it counts, in my heart, and I know I need to tell you this all the time, especially you, Angus and Sam, especially you, because in your growing years, in your hours of fear and uncertainty, I know you need to hear that you are valuable, that you are important, that you are loved. No matter how many times I holler at you, know that I never, ever stop believing in you or loving you.
Funny, Oprah, that you always wanted to be a teacher. Funny that it took 25 years for your lessons to sink in – I never said I was the brightest kid in the classroom. I just want to say thanks for being my favourite teacher because, really, you are. I want you to know that tonight I do feel worthy, that writing in any form is my calling and I will accept that, even though I have never accepted it before. I have always sought confirmation; I wanted to feel my writing was worthy. But now it's all so clear. It is worthy. I'm worthy. I really am.
This apple's for you, Mizz Oprah, looking all pretty and pink.
This apple, and this post, is for you.
This apple, by the way, is called a Pink Lady.
I know you said there are no coincidences, Oprah,
but I didn't know what type of apple this was and, in fact,
never even heard of the Pink Apple, until I googled "apple."
And this came up.


  1. Oprah is such an inspiration. I grew up watching her show, and while I wasn't a fanatic, I always thought she was the bomb. Sorry to see her go.

  2. Well written Cathy. Thanks for the nice compliment. You are worthy! so is the rest of my family. Love Mom

  3. Oprah has been on since before I was alive. It's sad to think that she is finally saying goodbye to her show, but I am looking forward to her ventures with OWN.

  4. Hmmm...I can't stand Oprah. I won't lie. I think, well, I won't say what I think about her cuz it would be tacky.

    I'm 32...33 in June...I literally grew up with her. I watched her show everyday after school from 8th-10th grade. I was a huge fan. I know the moment I turned on her. I remember it clearly...I will say that she's extremely intelligent and has tried to handle herself with class.

    Strange that a stranger I've never met--nor will ever meet--can come to feel so familiar, make such an impact on myself and others.

    I'm glad that she was all of those things for you, Ms Cathy. I'm glad that her message sank deep. I think that's the bit that matters most. Not her long career, not her controversies, not declining matters that she was able you illuminate what you already knew and inspire you to act. Big hugs, chica! :)

    Just imagine if we could all do that for those we love...

  5. I do like Oprah, but I am going to do a sarcastic post about her in a couple of days. Please do not be offended. I think she has done so much good in the world.

  6. She wasn't my deal (I'm a Charlie Rose guy), but Mom and one of my girlfriends loved her. I'm glad you got so much out of a program, Cathy.

  7. A fitting tribute to an icon, Cathy... Hope you've been well.

  8. That was really sweet of you to say, I am sure that her PR people have already shown her your blog. Oprah was truly a great source of knowledge. I already miss her show.

  9. Oprah has been with us for so long, it is hard to imagine that her show is done now.


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