Today, Beyonce, Diane Sawyer, Michael Jordan, Tom Cruise, Madonna and a crowd of 13,000 helped say goodbye to Oprah Winfrey during the double-episode farewell taping of her TV show, which will air at the end of the month.
Oprah announced in 2009 that she’d retired her show this year, and the date is set for May 25. I’m among the many who have been moved to tears by her talk show or cracked open a paperback touting the “Oprah’s book club” stamp. Oprah’s been at it since before I was born, and the end of the show marks the end of an era.
Looking through today’s photos, I wish I’d won one of the lottery tickets Harpo Enterprises gave away to attend. Tom Hanks emceed, Aretha Franklin sang “Amazing Grace,” Beyonce danced it out, Usher did his thing, Steve Wonder rocked the piano, Kristin Chenoweth Broadway-ed the audience with a song from “Wicked,” and those are only the a few of the entertainment acts. Seeing all of these celebrities and reading about the huge turnout in attendance, it’s clear her farewell is an event in itself.
Many people might have mixed emotions about Oprah leaving, but I share the same opinion as this woman:
Bessie Carroll, 70, of Chicago came to the show with her daughter. “I think we’ve gotten everything we could have and more than we should have from her,” Carroll said. “If she feels it’s time to go, we have to release her and let her enjoy her life.”
Reading up on Oprah, I’m reminded that she’s a force of nature, and a woman like that knows when to say goodbye.