With love and gratitude to Oprah

Later today, for the last time, I will repeat a ritual I’ve been faithful to for 25 years.

I will watch Oprah’s final show.

My darling 17-year-old goddaughter Julia will join me – along with Wilber, the cat.

(Other than shows with birds twittering, Wilber pays no attention to television. But when I’m watching Oprah, he is glued to the screen, too! )

Wilber, as always, entranced by Oprah

As for Julia, watching Oprah together the past few years after summer camp became “our thing.”

Snuggled into bean bag chairs, snacks in hand, sharing Oprah opened the door for us to talk about dating, divorce, love, life and loss and everything in between.

I’m sure you, too, may have your own special watching-Oprah stories.

Still, for those of us who have belonged to the world of Oprah and relied on her comfort, wisdom and leadership, the question is:

What now?

I’ve lived long enough to know with every loss, there is “gold in the grief.”

What will that gold be?

As a Woman on Fire, I am deeply grateful for the path Oprah paved.  Against all odds, she proved strength, kindness, generosity, vulnerability and authenticity — powerful women’s characteristics — are a winning combination.

Leaving the familiar, she is handing over an amazing legacy of how to become, as she would say, our very best selves.

What will we do with it?

When I last saw Oprah in person, at Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference last October, she had us all in tears, urging us to go for our dreams, with her simple statement:

“You know if I can do it, you can do it, too.”

So, I am asking myself…

If I am to become my own Oprah, what does that look like?

More importantly, what would becoming your own Oprah mean for you?

As for you, dear Oprah, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve done to heal and expand goodness in the world.

And, for your inspiration of what is possible for each of us to live our dreams and make a difference.

We will put the spring board you’re leaving us to good use.

I promise.



P.S. What about you? I would love to hear how you feel about this and what you are thinking. Please leave your comments below.

  • http://www.shannonmcc.com Shannon McCaffery

    I LOVE this Debbie!  Well said, and I so, so agree with you on so many levels. I feel like I've grown as a person, as a woman from watching her show for so many years.

    What else I noticed in my life is before I got into watching Oprah (I was never a big TV person), YOU were my Oprah, introducing me to self care, Marianne Williamson, meditation, Omega Institute and SO much more… So thank you Dear Debbie for being such an inspiration in my life and being there and being my Oprah. XOX :-)

    • http://www.debbiephillips.com Debbie Phillips

      Shannon, dear Shannon, thank you for your love and praise..and for all the years you have worked on yourself to shine as the exquisite human being you are!! YOU are an inspiration and I am deeply grateful for the role model you are in the Women on Fire community.

  • Mandy pratt

    there is “gold in the grief” ~ thank you for sharing this Debbie, this reminds me of when I was going through a very hard chapter and you helped me use my grief as a gift. YOU are my Oprah :-) xo

    • http://www.debbiephillips.com Debbie Phillips

      Thank you, angel Mandy!! I have so much love and pride and joy for who you are in this world. You've continuously learned and paid it forward — what a gift you are!

  • http://www.tunedinworkshop.com Molly Lord

    That first day with “no Oprah” peeled off those final fingers that gripped the side of the pool off my life.  No more stories. No more waiting for one more line of inspiration. It wasn’t just time to paddle, I felt the call to do the BUTTERFLY!  That day I knew we had all been cut loose to spread the magic ourselves. I’ve chosen to do it through the avenue of my music workshop TUNED-IN. I thank Oprah for the fine-tuning she offered my life so I, in turn, could help bring harmony to this world via MOTOWN, Beethoven and The Rolling Stones!  It’s been a wild 25 year ride….       Thanks Debbie for acknowledging the gift.