Vernita, who had the TV icon with Vernon Winfrey, passed away at the age of 83 on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, 2018, at her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Winfrey has now thanked everybody who has sent their condolences, including fellow TV host Jimmy Fallon, whose mother Gloria died last year.
She said: “I feel really, really moved by all the people who’ve reached out to me. I got a really lovely note, just yesterday, from Jimmy Fallon saying, ‘My mom’s up there, too, so if your mom has a party, tell her to call my mom.’ I feel like it was as sacred and as blessed as a passing can be.”
Winfrey, 64, also revealed what she told her mother just days before she passed, as she says she made sure to thank Lee for never giving up on her.
She added: “What I said [to her] 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.’”
And the Wrinkle In Time star urged her mother to “go in peace.”
Speaking to People magazine, Oprah said: “Then I told her, ‘You should be able to … you should go in peace.’ I told her because my mother has had diabetes. Three years ago, she knew she should’ve had dialysis and she didn’t want to do it. It was her choice not to do it. I said [at the time], ‘You should do whatever your body tells you to do. Nobody’s going to force you to do what you don’t want to do.’ I said, ‘You made the best decision for you, but now your body’s shutting down. This is what’s happening. Your kidneys have shut down. Your organs are going to shut down. What you want it to be, what I want it to be, is as peaceful as possible.’”