The story of one woman's up and down relationship with an overbearing, but always caring, mother. Oprah Winfrey has broken her silence about the days leading up to the death of her mother, Vernita Lee. Vernita Lee, Oprah Winfrey's mother, died on Thanksgiving at her home to Milwaukee to live with her mother, a relationship that was difficult.
Oprah Winfrey's relationship with her mother, Vernita Lee, was complicated from the start
The baby, which was premature, died, and Oprah and her father saw that as a chance for a fresh start in life. She was soon on the honor roll and then headed to college.
She worked every day as a maid. He simply knew what he wanted and expected. He would take nothing less.
And so I have provided a great economic life for both my parents. Lee appeared on her show, on one occasion getting a makeover with a lot of input from Oprah.
- Everything We Know About Oprah’s Relationship With Her Mother, Vernita Lee
- Oprah Winfrey addresses the emotional final days with her mother
Lee was interviewed through the years — and it seemed as if their complicated history was rewritten along the way. The sacrifice that that requires, day in and day out, to give up yourself is a lot. Oprah looked for her own mother figure elsewhere, later considering famed poet Maya Angelou a mother, mentor and sister.
And having decided not to have any more children herself, she has acted as a mother figure to the girls at her leadership academy in South Africa.
Oprah Winfrey addresses the emotional final days with her mother - CNN
Love knows no boundaries. If the love is real, the caring is pure and it comes from a good space, it works.The Mother Who Was Addicted to Plastic Surgery - The Oprah Winfrey Show - Oprah Winfrey Network
She just liked having all these people. She said she asked Lee if she thought she was "going to make it?
But she ended up returning to Milwaukee, because she said she felt like there was more left to share with her mom. The former talk show host has been open in the past about her difficult childhood and the struggles her mother faced.
A look at Oprah's relationship with her mother, Vernita Lee
Lee was born in Mississippi and gave birth to Winfrey as a young woman. Lee and Winfrey's father, Vernon Winfrey, never married. Moving to Milwaukee where she worked as a housekeeper, Lee entrusted her mother to raise her daughter. At the age of 6, Winfrey joined her mother and half-siblings, Jeffrey and Patricia, in Milwaukee.
She moved to live with her father in Tennessee at age InWinfrey revealed on her show that her mother had placed a daughter, also named Patricia, for adoption at birth and the family was reunited.
Winfrey lost the brother and sister she grew up with in Milwaukee and has since formed a strong relationship with the daughter Lee placed for adoption, Patricia Amanda Faye Lee.
In those final days, Winfrey said she played gospel music for her mother and had one of the genre's stars, friend Wintley Phipps, perform via Facetime for the matriarch.
The music "opened her a little bit, because my mother's been a very closed down person. I could see that the music gave me an opening to say what I needed to say," Winfrey said.