The phone call that made me realise why Sam Armytage quit
WHEN my eldest sister was dying of cancer and I was working from her bedside in a palliative care ward some years ago, it was a call from Sam Armytage then that first shed some light for me on her decision to walk away from Sunrise today.
Losing her mother Libby in November last year, Sam would have felt that earthquake I did then - when family duty calls but your career is either on the line, or the only thing stopping you from completely drowning.
She was full of compassion and support for me back then, as I am for her now as she confirmed her momentous decision to call a halt to her TV career and breathe a little.
As she wept this morning, reading a prepared statement outlining her exit, I felt nothing but pride for another woman having the courage to do what's best for her and her family.
At the top of her game, with a hefty contract to cushion her withdrawal, the Sunrise co-host could not have sent a stronger message on International Women's Day: you do you.
After all, the feminist celebration has always been about giving women the right to choose.
Choose careers, choose family, or a bit of both.
And after years of having her single status pilloried and plastered all over glossy magazines, the newlywed TV star has made her choice, and for now, she has chosen family.
It was a decision steeped in pain and grief, and that sense of loss we have all felt at times.
When she tied the knot quietly and without fanfare on New Year's Eve, I felt a pang of sadness for her as her special day went ahead without her beloved mother.
As she told Sunrise viewers today, the last six months had been "bittersweet" and now, the call home to care for her widowed father was understandably too strong.
She leaves with Sunrise still ruling the roost at breakfast, and with a new podcast, Something To Talk About set to keep her in the headlines for some time yet.
In fact, there will be those who point to her podcast's first episode as the catalyst for her departure, when she said the TV industry was littered with sociopaths and narcissists.
Anyone honest about that statement could not agree more.
But in this moment, all that venom should be set aside for a little humanity.
For another who has found a safe place to fall in the arms of her loving husband, Richard, and for a country girl whose heart will find its happy place with family, on the farm.
Originally published as The phone call that made me realise why Sam Armytage quit