I thought I had nothing left to say.
And then you all gave me the greatest day of my life on Thursday with the exceptions of the day I married a woman whom I can't wait to run home to every day, and the day the two greatest kids in the world were born.
For many years, on days I would struggle with things, I watched this -- one of the greatest moments in the history of television.
And I always thought, wouldn't it be nice to go out with such love?
And then, at 4:29 p.m. on Thursday, I did.
It would be my preference you listen to the extended interview and then all 2 1/2 hours, but if you want to cut to the chase, then scroll on No. 3 to 29:40 and you'll pretty well get the picture. Let the love wash over you. And take note of the song that plays after.
Before you keep reading ...
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After that, I got a chance to cry my way through my goodbyes to the staff of The Current, providing a wobbly bookend to the day, which started with a poor attempt to get through my remarks to the newsroom.
As I told my colleagues later, "this is what happens when you wait 27 years to tell people how much you love them."
Then it was a session with Jana Shortal and Carly Danek. And, again with the crying.
And then Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan read a proclamation declaring Friday Bob Collins Day in Minnesota.
All that and two lengthy pieces from both Morning Edition and All Things Considered too.
It's going to take awhile for me to process what happened and at some point I'll write something meaningful, probably at my old blog, Stirrings From the Empty Nest.
Though I've made my living in the last 21 years online, I will always be a "radio person."
I don't read scripts when I'm on the radio (one of the reasons, I think, I was banned years ago from membership drives at MPR) and I never let show hosts tell me what questions they're going to ask, because I always figured if I can't tell the story off the top of my head with the words from my heart, then I'm not ready to tell the story at all, especially on a medium that should be nothing more than a conversation.
I wasn't sure how this radio career would end at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. I trusted Mary -- as I've always trusted Mary -- to get us to the moment we needed to get to, and allow you to share it with us, just as radio intended.
And so it gives me a great satisfaction that the last words I'll ever utter on a radio station -- and the last words I'll write on this blog are the same: "I love you..."