Confession: During my sophomore year of college, I would often watch The View. But only because I thought Meredith Vieira was awesome. I remember thinking that she was funny, attractive and that I wanted to do something cool enough to get me interviewed by her one day. But I never felt like I could fully enjoy her because she was on The View. Then in 2006, right around the same time I made a transition in jobs, she announced she was going to be an anchor on the Today show. Finally! She was going to be on a show I could watch without shame.
In 2008, I had the opportunity to lead a group of high school students on a missions trip to New York City. Part of my preparation involved going on an orientation trip with other leaders. I loved being in a city I'd never been to before surrounded by things I'd only ever heard or read about. Hands down my favorite memory from that trip was when our group leader took us to Rockefeller Center and we were right outside the set of Today. It was around 10pm at night on a weekday, so there weren't too many people around. I peered through the windows of the Today set, but could only see one guy cleaning up. Although I didn't get to see Meredith in person, I made sure to take a picture of the next best thing:
Now, as I make another job transition, so does Meredith. This morning was her last day on Today. I don't watch regularly, but set my alarm to wake up and watch. I didn't really have any expectations for the show, but thought it was one of the best send-offs I've ever seen on TV. Below is video from what I think was the best part of the morning:
Yes, it might be over the top and a bit cheesy. But what stood out to me the most was how that surprise (and the other things they did for her) displayed how well they knew her and appreciated, valued and loved her. It was all so intentional. Maybe it was a ploy to get some good ratings, but I thought it was a great display of care for another person and it reminded me of the good good-byes I've recently been given. I admit I'm probably a bit of a sucker for this kind of thing right now with all the changes I've had going on, but who wouldn't love to have something like this put together in his/her honor?