Over twenty years ago I was watching your show when something you said shocked me. You were interviewing a young girl and the way you phrased a question caused a response that shook me to my core.
It changed me.
You have given people a reason to reach for the stars when hope was lost. You’ve made us laugh, you’ve been silly, honest, trusting, controversial… you have been real. You’ve brought to surface conversations that otherwise were deeply hidden as sometimes we find it easier to hide from a topic than reveal a truth… you taught us that truth can set us free.
You’ve introduced us to amazing people… shown us that the inside of an individual is so much greater than the outside. You’ve taught us to “think bigger”… expect more. You’ve taught us that we all fall down, that forgiveness is powerful and while it’s something I struggle with… I’m working on it!
When we’re faced with horrible tragedies in the news, heartache in our lives and a desperate need to know what life is about… you showed us there were wonderful and good people out there, that life is worth living and miracles happen.
You’ve shown us your wisdom, honesty and sincerity and when you didn’t have the answers, you connected us with the people who did.
I’ve relied on your friendship to guide me… to push me forward. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and the daily problems that surround us but every now and then a show would make me realize how lucky I am… how blessed I am… how normal I am. Every now and then something you said would give me the strength… the power I needed to push myself to be the absolute best I can be.
While living life and raising kids, I’ve certainly not taken the time to watch every single day but enough to know that I have a power within me to be spectacular… to raise caring, respectful, thoughtful children… to live a life full of love, goodness and happiness surrounded by wonderful people.
Two of the most powerful things you’ve taught me is that “everyone has a story” and “passion is power”. Doing what excites you, what you’re passionate about… can change the person you are… lift you up… make you whole. Well… I’m telling my story, doing what I love… and can honestly say my life is enriched because of it. Chasing my dreams has healed me in ways I never thought possible.
As this chapter closes, know that you’ve been an important part of my life and the lives of many people all over the world. We’ve watched, we’ve listened, we’ve laughed and we’ve admired as you’ve changed the way we think. You’ve made us step outside ourselves and see a bigger world. You’ve educated us, changed us… we’re better for knowing you.
Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. I look forward to the next chapter and everything you have to give. You’ve made us your own… and we are forever grateful.