Oprah Winfrey: I told my dying mother ‘thank you’ for choosing life

Oprah Winfrey O Magazine

Oprah Winfrey’s mother, Vernita Lee, passed away this year on Thanksgiving Day. She was 83. Oprah shared with People about the time she was able to spend with her mother in her final days, time she called “sacred” and “blessed.”

Winfrey said of the experience, “This is the beauty of my life. There’s not a thing that happens to me, that I don’t look at it as a teaching, learning, experience. I knew my mother was dying. I got a call from my sister (Patricia, whom Lee placed for adoption in 1963) that she thought it was the end.” Winfrey changed her work plans to make a surprise visit to her mother.

READ: Steve Jobs on how his mom chose life: ‘I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion’

Winfrey spent several days with her mother trying to find a way to say what she felt she needed to tell her. She asked herself, “‘What is a way I can have this conversation about the end? How do I close it?’ I just thought, ‘What is the truth for me? What is it that I need to say?’”

What she was finally able to say to her mother was profound. Winfrey explained to People:

What I said was, “Thank you. Thank you, because I know it’s been hard for you. It was hard for you as a young girl having a baby, in Mississippi. No education. No training. No skills. Seventeen, you get pregnant with this baby. Lots of people would have told you to give that baby away. Lots of people would’ve told you to abort that baby. You didn’t do that. I know that was hard.

I want you to know that no matter what, I know that you always did the best you knew how to do. And look how it turned out.”

Despite Oprah’s own personal family history, she has promoted the Shout Your Abortion movement in her O Magazine. This pro-abortion movement doesn’t give women the full story on the damage that abortion can do, nor does it promote the beauty and hope of adoption.

Winfrey’s biological sister, who was given life and was adopted as a baby, also reconciled with their mother, an experience that Winfrey called “sacred and beautiful.”

Winfrey says after the experience she feels “complete.” She told People, “I would say to anybody—and if you live long enough, everybody goes through it—say the things that you need to say while the people are still alive, so that you are not one of those people living with regret about what you would’ve, should’ve, could’ve said.”

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