Jimmy Fallon gives a sweet tribute to his late mom on The Tonight Show
Jimmy Fallon returned to The Tonight Show last night, after taking a week off after the death of his mother on November 4th. It was the first time Fallon had to address the audience about his mom — and his tearful tribute will reduce any mother to a puddle of tears.
“As some of you know, my mother, Gloria, passed away recently and I cancelled the rest of the week to make arrangements and be with my family,” Fallon said at the beginning of his broadcast on Monday. “She was the best audience. She was the one I was always trying to make laugh. She was such a fan of the show, and everything I did.” He then shared an anecdote about a special thing he and his mother did when he was a child — to show their love for each other.
“When we were little my mom would walk us to the store — me and my sister — and we would hold hands,” Fallon’s story begins. “And she would squeeze my hand three times and say, ‘I love you.’ And I would squeeze back, ‘I love you, too.'”
Fallon explains that he knew something was really wrong with his mother last week when he squeezed her hand in the hospital and said, “I love you” — and she didn’t squeeze back. “I just knew we were in trouble,” he said.
(Actual footage of every mother who hears his story.)
We all have something special like this we do with our children, don’t we? Something just between us? Ever since my children saw Tangled, whenever we say “I love you,” someone responds with, “I love you more,” and then, “I love you most!” We spend so much time trying to make our children’s lives special and perfect. We feel immeasurable amounts of guilt about all the things we may be doing “wrong.” Then we hear a story like this and remember it’s the little unremarkable moments we share together every day that our kids will remember.
Thanks for sharing that special story, Jimmy. For making us all weep into our coffees this morning. And for reminding us how much our kids adore the tiny things we do to show them we adore them.