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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.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Joy

These clips of orchestras pranking their conductors is solid gold

Sometimes you come across something that makes you smile out of sheer uncontrollable delight.

World famous orchestras prank their conductors.

Sometimes you come across something that makes you smile out of sheer uncontrollable delight. Oftentimes when that feeling takes over, it’s about something small but sweet. These world famous orchestras pranking their conductors on their birthdays is the wholesome dose of serotonin you need right now.

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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