The morning show star opened up about her spouse's health battle in a statement released on Monday, Dec. 7. "From the day we first met, Michael and I enjoyed 12 wonderful years together," she began in her message to Today. "He brought so much compassion, patience, understanding and stability to my life, and taught me more about love than I could ever put to words. While I have always been more comfortable sharing my life with the public, Michael was more private."
In April 2019, Marion suffered an ischemic stroke. Thomas told Today Marion "worked hard to recover from his stroke and had made such progress that he was making plans to return to work," where he served as an attorney. However, she said he was later hospitalized once again. "He landed in the hospital due to problems involving several organ systems," she noted in the statement, "separate from his stroke of 18 months ago, and unrelated to Covid-19."
In her message, Thomas noted that her husband "was sensitive and silly, yet so stoic, and brave beyond my comprehension." She added, "I will be forever grateful for the time I had with him. He was so worth it."
She also expressed her wish that "people could have been more intimately aware of how worth it he was" and why she "would do it all again and again without a second thought." As she wrote, "He was a rare, devoted force of unconditional love in my life who made me feel so loved, so beautiful, and unequivocally supported."
And while Thomas acknowledged viewers may not have known Marion, she claimed he knew them. She recalled how he "beamed at" the well-wishes they received when they tied the knot in 2013 and how he "took encouragement from" every positive message the couple received when they shared their IVF journey before welcoming son Miles in 2015.
She also recalled how "every note of support that came his way during his recent medical struggles, gave him strength."
At the end of her statement, Thomas offered a few words to her followers. "To anyone and everyone else struggling or suffering right now, please try to hold onto what you do have instead of focusing on what you don't," she wrote. "One thing we all have is kindness. Absorb it, extend it, exhaust it. Because in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is love."
She also thanked them for their support. "I am so grateful for all of the love that the Today Show and all of the viewers have shown Michael and our family over the years," she concluded. "It has meant the world to us."
Marion died at the age of 42 on Dec. 1. According to an obituary published in The New York Times, Marion was born and raised in Bethesda, Md. and was a graduate of the University of Michigan, the George Washington School of Law and the NYU School of Law. Per the publication, he was a "partner and office practice leader in the Tax Transactions group at Mayer Brown LLP."
"Beloved by his many friends, colleagues, and extended family, he had a smile that lit up every room he entered," the obituary stated. "Loving husband of Bobbie Thomas, adoring father of Miles, dear son of Vivien and Lester Marion, devoted brother of Sara (Udi) Kish and uncle to Benjamin, Ari and Sam. His memory will live on in our hearts."
In a post shared to Instagram on Sunday, Dec. 6, Thomas reflected on the power of love. "If you're lucky enough to have it, please appreciate it, every moment, every day. Especially during the hard parts," she wrote in part of the caption. "There will never be enough time and some of our forevers are much too short. As I type through tears, I embrace gratitude ... holding our precious son Miles and memories, of the time I did have with Michael, closer to my broken heart."
According to the obituary, a private burial was held Dec. 6. "The number of people who were speaking about Michael at the service was unbelievable, work colleagues and friends," Hoda Kotb said on the Dec. 7 episode of Today. "I don't know. I've never seen that kind of love come out. It was beautiful."
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