On Mother’s Day, actress Angelina Jolie wrote an op-ed dedicated to her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, in The New York Times. In the article titled, “A Mother’s Strength,” Jolie stated, “this year, I’m remembering my mom’s spirit, and the power of so many women I’ve met around the world.” 

Bertrand died at 56 in 2007 from ovarian cancer, and Jolie expressed that her mother’s death was really hard on her. She said, “Losing a mother’s love and warm, soft embrace is like having someone tip away a protective blanket.”

Bertrand split from Joilie’s father, actor Jon Voight, after Voight had an affair. Bertrand, an aspiring actress, decided to give up her dreams and focus on being a mother. Jolie wrote, “When my father had an affair, it changed her life. It set her dream of family life ablaze. But she still loved being a mother.” Jolie expressed how she has also seen her life change, but she expressed how before her mother’s death, Bertrand told her “that dreams can simply change shape.”

As a way of grieving, Jolie had the letter “W” tattooed on her hand. The “W” stood for the song “Winter” by the Rolling Stones, which Bertrand used to sing to Jolie when she was a baby. Jolie wrote, “as the ‘W’ faded on my hand, so did that feeling of home and protection.” 

Jolie is the mother to six children, Maddox, 18, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 13, and 11-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne. In a special edition of Time magazine, a newsletter for parents, Jolie talked about her experiences of being a mother herself. She originally never saw herself has a parent, but she said, “I remember the decision to become a parent. It wasn’t hard to love. It wasn’t hard to dedicate myself to someone and something greater than my life.”

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