Meredith Vieira was moved to tears after a touching surprise on the Mother’s Day episode of her show, with someone very special dropping in to give her a heartfelt greeting.
In the episode, producers told Meredith that she had a mystery guest waiting for her, but that she first had to guess who it was. The guest helped out a bit, giving her hints while using a fake voice.
“I saw you at this year’s Super Bowl and you might say you actually gave me my start,” the guest told Meredith. “I’ve known your husband for more than 20 years.”
Vieira seemed to get on the right track, asking if he was a reporter and then asking, “Are you Gabe?”
When Meredith Vieira found out that it was indeed Gabe — her middle son — she burst into happy tears. Gabe brought her a bouquet of flowers as the audience cheered.
Meredith then shared her joy with the audience, telling how proud she was of the work Gabe had been doing.
“This is my favorite child. No, only kidding,” she joked through tears. “I’m so proud of him because he graduated from Northwestern and on his own, he got his first job in Spokane, Wash., and he’s a reporter there and he’s doing a great job.”
Meredith Vieira has always been open about her work to juggle motherhood and a demanding career in television news. She got her first big break from 60 Minutes in 1989 when she was just days away from giving birth to her first child.
The New York Times reported on her situation back in 2006.
“She had had three miscarriages before this successful pregnancy, and all she was thinking of at the time was the finish line. But David Burke, then the president of CBS News, and Don Hewitt, the force of nature who created the program, made her the only offer she could not turn down — taking the slot just abandoned by Diane Sawyer as the only woman on the weekly newsmagazine.
“Vieira had watched the iconic show since college, and sometimes she would think, I’m going to be on that one day. The attraction had only increased since then. ‘It was the only job I’d really aspired to,’ she says now. ‘And there I was, about to have a baby, and that’s when they offer it to me. That’s like having two babies at once. I jumped on it, then immediately began having second thoughts.'”
Vieira went forward with her dream job but said the constant travel made it difficult to raise a family. In the book Divided Lives: The Public and Private Struggles of Three American Women, author Elsa Walsh wrote about how Vieira would often cry when she had to leave her young children to report from location.
Now, nearly three decades later, Meredith Vieira has traded the tears of frustration about missing her kids for tears of joy for seeing them.
[Image via Meredith Vieira Show]