I'm watching the evening news last night and I see this piece on how Oprah revealed yesterday that she has just learned and recently met a half sister she never knew she had. Story has it that this woman, a single mom of two, learned the truth from a televised interview with Oprah's mom a few years back. She matched some of the information she learned with the the information in her birth records and contacted Oprah's mom, only to be denied a meeting two or three times.
She then tirelessly tried to reach out to Oprah, to no avail. She finally got in touch with Oprah's niece, the daughter of one of two deceased siblings of Oprah, and was able to score some DNA and take a test that proves that she is indeed Oprah's half sister. They met for the first time at Thanksgiving and the entire story was filmed for TV which aired yesterday. I couldn't get it out of my mind. All night I kept thinking about the way the news anchors kept referring to this woman as, "Cashing in on her DNA" and how she "won the genetic lottery." And I thought for a moment about the tragedy in all of this.
Is this all we think of as a society? Oprah=money and lots of it? I was embarrassed to think this is all we could think of. Granted, Oprah is a billionaire. Fact, yes. But she is also a human and must be thrilled at the prospect of having a half sister to call her own. I must admit to even letting my mind go to that place where Oprah's money solves all of this woman's financial issues, but if only for a moment. Wasn't it Oprah herself who, back in the days when she had to work for a living, invented the televised secret family reunion? Didn't she herself make lots of people happy on the backs of unknowing siblings being reunited in the world? The irony is not lost here.
The broadcast went on to say that Oprah decided to reveal the news herself, on her own show, so that her viewers would hear it from her and not some tabloid, therefore making it less newsworthy. Yes Oprah's a savvy broadcaster and a media mogul, and now she's found out that she's a sister too. Personally, I don't think that there is any price tag you could put on that. So what if she is the richest woman in the world? This fact has nothing to do with this story, for she now has found something that her billions of dollars cannot buy.
Why do we need to cheapen it? This is most likely the reason that Oprah decided to handle the announcement. Because our world is a cynical place. We couldn't possibly think for one moment that Oprah's half sister's motives were pure. No, we had to go to that place that says she did it for the money. I hope God blesses them both with a wonderful and fulfilling relationship and if Oprah decides to give her half her fortune...SO WHAT? If Oprah decides to give her NOT one penny...SO WHAT? I think it's more about non-monetary things that these two can give to each other. It's now up to both women to write their own script to this screenplay.
I can only imagine the horrible can of worms the world has opened up on this woman. Her only consolation should be building a relationship with her sister.