Matt Lauer Honors His Mother in Moving Essay: Her Strength Is 'Her Greatest Gift'

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Mama's boy! Matt Lauer penned a moving essay about his 87-year-old mom, Marilyn, in the May issue of Men's Health magazine. "My mother is a strong woman," wrote the 59-year-old Today show host, "eager to stand up for herself and her family."

Marilyn and Lauer's father, Jay, who died in 1997, divorced when Lauer was a child. "Her strength," continued the newsman, "comes from being tested by life's unpredictability. It comes from soldiering on for her children, even when she might rather have given up. I know it hasn't always come easily, but I also know it's her greatest gift."

In the piece, which marks Mother's Day, Lauer recalls a recent time when his 15-year-old son Jack was chatting with Marilyn."As I listened to them talk, I marveled at the way she focused on him, connected with him and questioned him, and teased him in a loving way. I couldn't help but think how lucky he is to be her grandson and how lucky I am to be her son."

Marilyn has previously spoken out about encouraging Lauer and his sister, April, to pursue their dreams. "I have always told both of my children to try their best and to find something that they loved to do and it would never seem like work," she said in the 2008 book Mother Nurture: Life Lessons from the Mothers of America's Best and Brightest. "To find something that they were happy with was much more important."

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