I actually 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.

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…”

Being a member of the MPR News staff for a little over a year, and located outside of the St. Paul office, I’ve only had the privilege to observe the NewsCut magic as many readers have, with interactions through emails and reading Bob Collins’ words.

But the one time I got to meet Bob in person turned into my favorite NewsCut moment, and it doesn’t even appear on this blog.

After Bob published “Nothing irks some white people like accurate history,” I noticed that a considerable amount of traffic came from the Twin Cities subreddit.

I had to share the first two comments with Bob.

No one should be surprised by his response.

“Pick one.”

Which led to this gem on YouTube.

I was lucky enough to be in the St. Paul office that day, and when I introduced myself, we shared a chuckle over him reading a bedtime story to the internet.

The Starlite Drive-In Theater’s neon marquee sits alongside Highway 22 in Litchfield, Minn. on June 29, 2018.

As editor of NewsCut for about seven years, I’ve read many NewsCuts. Some were brilliant. A few had the feel of a get-me-over fastball on a 3-0 count: kind of a grace-under-pressure circumstance.

But the thing is, you couldn’t scroll past Bob Collins.

He came in every day and made stuff that people wanted – really wanted – to read. That’s the best compliment anyone could ever get as a writer and reporter.

He has one more post scheduled for later this afternoon. You’re gonna want to read it.

Before then, here are some of the stories I remember best. If you have a favorite, please add it in the comment section or tweet about it with the #bestofnewscut hashtag.

There are more, but you see the themes. Resilience. Perseverance. Keep going. Find a way forward. Remember the past.

Those are his heroes. He made them ours.

Here are a couple that appear ordinary until you read them.

Grace through the hospital doors doesn’t seem like much on its surface. But then he writes:

The chances are pretty good that just down the street from you right now, there is incredible drama taking place, none of which we can tell you about on the news. Joy, tragedy, people going above and beyond to help someone they may not have known a day or two ago, and grace — so much grace.

In the absence of these stories, we can often succumb to the perception that life is just as awful as the steady drumbeat of tweets and posts tells us it is.

Yes, you will read the rest of that.

Then there’s this one: On birthday, soldier surprises dad at the ballpark. You’ve read this one a million times, right? You’ve probably seen these live at the ballpark.

So, I’m reading it (I’m his editor, after all), and I get to this:

What happened next was that moment when your heart is sort of broken, and then it’s not. That moment when your kid shows up.

Man, I just went someplace and cried for a few minutes.

He came in every day and made these things for you, for us.