Bobbie Thomas on Late Husband's Friends Giving Her Son 'Priceless Memory'

Bobbie Thomas is giving thanks for the "priceless memory" her son's seven new "Michig-uncles" made for him nearly two years after he endured the loss of his father.

The TODAY Style contributor shared over Thanksgiving weekend how a group of her husband's old friends from the University of Michigan took her son, Miles, 7, to the campus to see his father's favorite old spots as well as take in a football game.

"How my son lost his father but gained seven 'Michig-uncles.' When your husband's closest friends fly across the country during Covid to not only honor his passing but to also embrace your son, you understand the meaning of friendship," Thomas says in a voiceover in a video.

She shared an emotional video of Miles getting hugs and high-fives from his father's friends and then responding after she asks him why Michigan is a special place.

"My Dad went to college here, but sadly my Dad died," Miles says.

"That's OK, he's going to be with you," Thomas says.

The video also shows Miles decked out in Michigan gear and cheering on the undefeated Wolverines in their 59-0 win over the University of Connecticut on Sept. 17.

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Next month will mark two years since the death of Thomas' husband, Michael Marion, who died after facing multiple medical issues while still working on his ongoing recovery from an ischemic stroke he suffered at 40 years old.

Marion was a University of Michigan graduate who went on to earn degrees from the George Washington School of Law and the New York University School of Law.

He always cherished his time in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and his old friends Andrew, Koonal, Howie, Al, Brent, and Ari are making sure his son will have those same fond memories.

"Looking back at Michael’s old photos, it was amazing to see the bond that this band of brothers had forged, from the college years to careers and more," Thomas says in the video. "And to know when it mattered most for Miles, they stepped in to bring him into this very special inner circle."

Marion had molded his son into a Michigan fan "before Miles could even walk," so rooting for Big Blue has been all he knows. He had never seen their football team play in person until his father's friends flew him out for the game in September.

"This year, when the guys were headed to Ann Arbor, Miles was not forgotten," Thomas said. "Special arrangements were made to pick Miles up bright and early to whisk him off with the crew, and without me.

"Miles was so brave, but I admittedly was pretty nervous. I trusted that this was a meaningful connection to foster."

Her son got to hear the group's heartwarming memories of his dad from their college days before seeing the sights and sounds at "The Big House," the famed 107,601-seat Michigan Stadium.

"The guys brought him and their own children all around campus to share special spots of Daddy’s before heading to the game!" Thomas said. "Miles was amazed by the crowd of thousands and embraced the Michigan spirit. Miles’ 'Michig-uncles' gave him the time of his life, a priceless memory and an endless bond."

Patrick McMullan Archives (CLINT SPAULDING/Patrick McMullan / Getty Images)
Patrick McMullan Archives (CLINT SPAULDING/Patrick McMullan / Getty Images)

The memorable trip comes during a difficult time for the family. Thomas has written poignantly about her heartbreak in the wake of losing her husband and the emotional journey of Miles going a long while without a haircut during that time.

She also spoke with Hoda Kotb on TODAY last year about the pain of her husband's loss.

“If I could have him back at his worst ... I would do it, because when you’re truly in love, you care for someone else’s wellbeing equal to your own,” she said. “Instead of worrying about that I lost him, I think the little time he had, he gave to me. (I’m) really, really lucky.”

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