"I'm doing okay, I'm healing ... nobody likes that phone to ring in the middle of the night to get that call," Daly said Wednesday

By Aurelie Corinthios
October 04, 2017 12:01 PM
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Carson Daly made an emotional return to the Today show on Wednesday for the first time since the death of his mother Pattie Daly Caruso.

The 44-year-old joined co-anchors Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Hoda Kotb on the morning show, where he opened up about his late mom, who died Sept. 17 of a heart attack.

“I’m doing okay, I’m healing. Still in stock — really rough loss. Nobody likes that phone to ring in the middle of the night to get that call,” he told his colleagues. “Of course, my heart re-breaks for everybody in Las Vegas, who just lost so many people. They also got that call for somebody that they loved was suddenly taken away from them. It’s an incredible pain, so my thoughts and prayers certainly go out to everybody in Vegas.”

“But I’ve learned it’s a process, and I have great faith, great family, incredible friends,” he continued. “You guys have been unbelievable — first people to reach out to me the day after. Matt, you’re the first person I spoke to. … I mean, the people here at the Today show are the highest quality human beings, not only that I’ve ever worked with — forget that it’s a TV show — that I’ve ever been around. I can’t thank you guys enough. I really could not have gotten past this without my faith in God and my family — you are my family and my friends.”

“When she walked in this room, she lit the place up,” said Kotb. “There was something special and unique.”

“She also stole everything!” said Daly with a laugh. “I’m telling you, going through her things, it’s an example of how much she loved life. She literally was a kleptomaniac. If it wasn’t nailed down, she took it. I’m talking about wine corks she would write on, ash trays, menus from around the world, rundowns from the Today show. She died at 73, but she lived a life that was passionately twice as much, so she really died at 146.”

“By the way, you guys gave my mom the greatest gift ever by employing me on the Today show, so she could watch me every single morning in her kitchen and I know that she did,” he added. “There’s no place she’d rather have me be than right back here.”

Later, Daly shared a photo of a slew of treasures he had stumbled upon, including a heartbreaking letter his mother wrote to him and his sister in 1998 when she was battling breast cancer.

“My sister & I just discovered this ‘goodbye’ letter Mom left in her desk drawer. It was written in the thick of her breast cancer battle,” he captioned the post. “She clearly thought she might not make it. We never knew. This was 1998. She lived almost 20 years longer. She survived and thrived. Never give up. #PinkPowerTODAY #NationalBreastCancerAwarenessMonth.”

The letter read: “Take good care of yourselves and each other. I’m so proud of you! Each of you have brought so much joy! Walk closely with God, and be faithful to His word. Teach my grandchildren as you have been taught. Live each day and celebrate life — it is God’s greatest gift! You can feel my love even now — know I am with you always, your Mommy.”

“Digging thru the treasures,” he captioned another photo of some of his mother’s belongings, including a license plate, a Bible, old photographs and a “Carson’s Mom” t-shirt.

“1st wave of many of mom’s items arrives home,” he added. “She loved life so much she literally held onto it. I miss you so much.”

Pattie’s death was announced on Sept. 18 on the Today show — one day after The Voice won the 2017 Emmy for outstanding reality competition series.

“We’re sorry to start this hour with some sad news,” Savannah Guthrie began. “Our thoughts and our prayers are going out to Carson and his family over the sudden passing of his mom, Pattie.”

“We spoke to him, and he wanted to share this message with all of you,” said Matt Lauer before reading a statement from Daly.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our mother, wife, grandmother, Pattie Daly Caruso,” the statement reads. “She passed away peacefully on Sunday, Sept. 17. Kiki, as she was known to her grandchildren and many others, touched so many lives with her kindness, her giant spirit and her love of life. She’ll be terribly missed by her family and the world, but her spark will shine for eternity.”

“Carson, we are so sorry,” Lauer said. “Our thoughts are with you and your family.”

“What a devoted and loving son Carson is,” Guthrie added. “Pattie was just a force, and our love is with him.”