A missing piece. Al Roker received an outpouring of love after he was forced to skip the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in nearly three decades following a hospital trip for blood clots.
“Back home in time to catch a little bit of the #macysthanksgivingdayparade,” the 68-year-old reporter wrote via Instagram on Thursday, November 24. “Missing being next to @savannahguthrie and @hodakotb.”
The weatherman shared a photo of himself cheering on his Today show costars Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb from his house. Roker worked the event for 27 years in a row before his health scare earlier this month — and his absence was felt by many.
“We miss you so much!!!!” Guthrie, 50, replied in the comments. “Not the same without our AL!!!!” Kotb, 58, added.
The New York native raised eyebrows in November after fans noticed that he was missing from the NBC morning show for three weeks. He gave viewers an update on his health on November 18, revealing via social media that he was undergoing treatment for blood clots.
“So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I’ve been. Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs,” Roker explained at the time. “After some medical whack-a-mole, I am so fortunate to be getting terrific medical care and on the way to recovery.
As Guthrie and Kotb kicked off the New York City parade on Thursday, they reflected on how important Roker has been to the tradition — and wished him well on his recovery.
“For the past 27 parades, at this moment, Savannah, we would turn to Al Roker, who is our Today show colleague and our best pal,” Kotb said during the broadcast. “But as a lot of you have heard, Al’s recovering — he’s recovering very well from a recent medical issue. And we just want to say, we love you Al. Wondering if you’re watching, but we wish you a full recovery.”
In his place, fellow Today reporter Dylan Dreyer stepped in. “We love you, Al. We’ll see you next year,” Guthrie added, before turning things over to her costar.
Dreyer, 41, shared a message of her own, saying, “Good morning, guys, and Happy Thanksgiving. Al, we love you, we miss you and we’re thinking about you!”
Roker, meanwhile, kept fans in the loop on his own Thanksgiving plans, revealing that he was released from the hospital that morning.
“This is my version of the Thanksgiving Day Parade — getting ready to leave the hospital!” he said in an Instagram video as he walked the hall. “Time to blow this taco stand. Woohoo!”
The journalist captioned his post: “So much to be #thankful for on the #thanksgiving day. Leaving the hospital and home for #thanksgivingdinner.”