Years ago, I wrote a column in the Jackson Free Press about my mother's greatest dream. The gist is this: She wants to meet the Bee Gees. The clearest way she can see to making that happen is through Oprah Winfrey.
For years (a decade?) she bugged me to write Oprah a letter, the kind that would inspire Oprah to have my mom on her show for a private Barry Gibb concert. That column was my sort-of giving in. I mailed it to Oprah.
A few months later, I got an e-mail from the Bee Gees manager.
"While Barry Gibb cherishes the idea of a mother and daughter bonding over his work, he is no longer able to tour due to severe back troubles. Please send your address for an autographed photograph."
I called my mother, thinking she'd be excited. "So," she dead-panned. "He doesn't want to meet me?"
She hadn't given up hope, but this week has been a sad one for my mother's dream. First, the Bee Gees (minus Maurice, who died a few years ago, sending my mother into a three-day wailing period of mourn) appeared on Dancing with the Stars. My mom updated her Facebook thus:
Then, today, the nail in the coffin: Oprah Winfrey is retiring.