Vernon Winfrey, the father of Oprah Winfrey, passed away earlier this month. Age-wise, he was 89.
She released the eulogy she gave at her father’s funeral some weeks after his passing. She discussed a wide range of topics in it, including her father’s influence on her life and their last interactions.
Vernon Winfrey Appreciation Day was celebrated by Oprah four days prior to the 89-year-passing old’s in Nashville, Tennessee.
Oprah confirmed her father’s passing on social media, writing, ‘Yesterday with family surrounding his bedside I had the holy honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, draw his final breath.’ At his passing,’ we could feel calm come into the room.’
Oprah acknowledged in 1986 that her father had aided her in navigating life.
Oprah said to the Washington Post in 1986 that she would have taken a different path if she hadn’t been transferred to live with her father when she was 14 years old.
I could have been a successful crook. These same impulses would have been applied differently by me.
Oprah described how her father told medical professionals that he wanted to actively treat his illness because he wanted to live to reach 90 years old.
She said, ‘Tommy [Tommy Walker, Vernon’s son] and I didn’t want it, but he persisted.’ And that initial chemotherapy treatment was a knockout blow.
You just got hit by Muhammad Ali, Tommy said to him in the hospital. You’re in serious trouble, bro.
Trying to get back to standing up. You’re too weak to take another blow. Tommy’s comparison of boxing persuaded him to unleash the chemo.
In one of his last moments, she recalls her father asking Oprah whether she believed he would live to be 90 years old.
‘Dad, I don’t think God’s functioning from a number in your head,’ I remarked. Look at all the individuals who failed to reach the ages of 17, 44, 72, and 28.
They have target demographics in mind. But the service is what matters, not the number. Have you fulfilled your mission?
What you came here to do, have you completed? I think you leave when you’re done. Making a number is not the point.
He softly remarked, ‘Well, that’s another way to look at it,’ as I could tell he was taking that in.
She stated in the eulogy that was published on her website that ‘death is a tremendous teacher.’ ‘Even just watching life ebb from my father’s body as I sat in the room taught me a lot.
Breathing beside him to gauge how distressed he is. 32 breaths per minute, followed by 24 breaths and then 9 breaths. ‘What was underlined more strongly than ever for me was’.