Marianne says the act of letting children go is difficult, but it's one of the most significant things a mother can do. "You want to let them go so that they will want to call you. You're not not a mother anymore—you're just the mother of adult children," Marianne says. Laurie is also a grandmother. "A grandmother is every bit as important as a mother," Marianne says.
Oprah says a mother who has spent years teaching her children independence can build that instinct in herself. "Help your children to grow their own wings and let them fly. And then develop your own wings so that you, then, can fly," she says. "Move in a different direction."