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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.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Golden retriever has cutest reaction to sister walking.

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