Monday, January 22, 2018

So long Meredith Vieira

I doubt Meredith Vieira would remember me if she tripped over me but I will always remember her, both as a gifted host and interviewer, and as a person. I’ve had the great privilege of meeting her a few times, both on the set of The View and on The Today Show.

Once, I brought my mother along (former head of public relations for the Metro Toronto Police), and as we were waiting in the green room of the Today Show, Meredith Vieira came out to say hi to whomever was in the greenroom. She fussed over my mother, even though, truthfully, I was the least important person in the room, which I’m sure Meredith knew.

In person, she radiates kindness and warmth in ways you don’t always see in on air hosts, often so very focused on much more important things than what PR person and her mother are in the greenroom. But not Vieira. She is very human, and in superhuman ways.

It exhausts me to think of her schedule. From galas to very early morning calls for the show, she must have so very little time for herself. Her commitment to community recently worked very much to our advantage. Our friends at The Event Group in New York were able to get her to participate in the Solving Kids Cancer Spring Gala, where Megan McNeil was honoured. Megan, you might remember, was a singer who wrote a beautiful song called The Will to Survive, and who advocated for childhood cancer awareness until she died in January at the age of 20 from the cancer she’d fought since she was 16.

Meredith Vieira is leaving to spend more time with her family. She has earned it the chance to rest and to be with the ones she loves more than anyone else in the world. I’m sure she will remain active in causes for which she cares deeply, and continue her work in new, hopefully less taxing ways.

I for one will miss her on air presence very much. And I wish her great joy as she transitions from one life to the other. She is one in a million.

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