bobbie Miles celebrates husband's birthday 1 year after his death

Bobbie Thomas and son Miles celebrate father, a year after his death.

It's an old truth that bears repeating: those close to us are never truly gone. They live on through our memories, our traditions and, most importantly, our love.

Just under a year ago, in December of 2020, style editor for the TODAY show Bobbie Thomas suffered the tragic loss of her husband Michael Marion. In the blink of an eye, she became a single parent to their 6-year-old son Miles.


Showing undeniable emotional resilience, Thomas recently posted a quick recap of her October, sharing that it "was a month filled with celebrations (& sweets)." She then added: "up first was Michael's birthday…"

The post included two side-by-side photos. One showing Michael's birthday a year prior, with the whole family gathered around the cake for that last, final time. And the other showing little Miles on the beach with donuts, "remembering daddy." Bobbie shared that donuts on the beach was a "favorite pastime" for father and son.

Bobbie previously told TODAY that keeping Michael's memory alive for Miles was an utmost priority, saying that it not only helps heal and navigate through the uncharted waters of grief, it also helps alleviate the knowledge that she can't always protect him from pain.

The post continued "A few weeks later, I turned 47... not being able to share that day with Michael made his loss a hyper reality…"

October is usually a time to kick off more family bonding, to don silly costumes and begin celebrating the simple joys of life. But for those like Bobbie, holidays can often serve as a devastating reminder for what is now gone. Luckily, she had her son Miles, who stepped in to help Mommy deal with grief. Apparently it was a piece of cake.

"Miles was a rockstar and asked our neighbor to help him get a piece of birthday cake (all his idea she said)," Bobbie captioned. The photo depicts Miles sporting the proudest grin, clearly knowing he did a good job, and a fantastically decadent cake slice. A rockstar indeed.

And just like that, poof, a moment that was at first sad and lonely transformed into a beautiful memory to cherish. Say what you will about sugar, desserts have a magical way of making certain moments that much sweeter (though kids seem to never forget it).

When Bobbie lost Michael in 2020, she shared an Instagram post with the message: "Hold onto what you do have right now instead of focusing on what you don't. One thing we all have is kindness. Absorb it, extend it, exhaust it. Because in the end the ONLY thing that matters is love."

Bobbie and Miles are living out that statement with every beach donut, birthday cake and moment of remembrance. Does it take away the pain? No. But it does remind us that love is stronger and eternal. If there's someone near and dear to your heart who has passed, it's never too late to feel gratitude for the impact they had on your life. Like a delicious piece of cake, savor the sweetness of their spirit and they won't ever be fully gone.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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