Is This Good-Bye?

Pretty sure I’ll still be here tomorrow. Fairly certain I won’t be enduring more agony than discovery of another chin hair, and emptying the cat box. Thinkin’ the rapture was called off on account of life. Doing what it does. Turning pages in a book not nearly finished…

But there will be a good-bye in the near future. Wednesday. Oprah.*

Didn’t watch her every day. Sometimes wasn’t interested in the topic. Sometimes, like with any long friendship, our bio-rhythms didn’t match, neither did our diva quotients. Found her annoying. Looking at herself all the time on that damn magazine cover.

But, also like friendships counted in decades, she has my respect and affection. And she awes me. You know how I am with that combo. Loyal to the core. And so is O.

She’s stood by through a lotta life. I counted once. The biggest of huge events that Bestie and I have seen while watchin’ Oprah.

Bestie’s parents died.
As did my husband.
Bestie’s girls were born.
Her husband left.
We changed careers.
Our children leapt from our arms and into their own lives.
We both remarried.
I had breast cancer.
Friends got sick, and got well.
Some said good-bye, forever.
We laughed, every day.
We cried, sometimes as often.

It felt, in particular moments, that the emotional flooding from those events would wash us away. But Bestie and me, well, we learned to body surf and O, she was splashing right along with us, make-up smeared, hair messed up, drippin’ everywhere. And we have loved her for it.

So, Oprah, this is my note to you:

We’ve had mentors who chose us, guided and taught, and knew us well. And some that’ve never seen us, don’t even know we chose ‘em. Don’t know how you did it. Made your way on to both lists. We’re feeling lucky you did.

I’ve learned when the earth is moving fast and you can’t find north, even with your Girl Scout compass, truth will point you home. You have spoken truth. You have spoken for those who don’t, won’t and can’t. Given glory to guts when some only wanted to see pretty, and easy, and popular. You still showed what needed seeing.

I know by now life is a mix of hellos and good-byes and sometimes you can’t tell one from the other because a tale’s not all told. I’m thinkin’ this is one of those times. 

I've thought on occasion, ‘please, how can I miss ya if you won’t go away’ – even with my loved ones. But you? Not thinkin' it with you. Hopin’ you’ll linger. Press your luck. Stay a while longer.

Thanks, O. Thanks for hangin’ 'round, same time, same station for 25 years of growing. Thanks for truth-telling, thanks for tellin’ on yourself, makin' it safer for us. Thanks for the good you’ve done and the lives you’ve changed.

Take naps now and then. Goodness knows you earned 'em. But only for a while. Then shake it all off and rise refreshed, stretchin' into something surprising. 

Meanwhile, we’ll all be lookin’ forward to findin’ out this was a false alarm. Really, one of them hellos.

See ya, on the other side of the rapture. Where I expect to be left behind. With Oprah, laughing and crying, ready to tell more stories.

*Guys, you've stumbled into a chick flick. Be gentlemen. You may cross your fingers privately and hope it doesn't last too long. I swear it won't.


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