Hoda Kotb was in for an emotional surprise on Wednesday when her late father’s former secretary presented her with a bracelet that he had gifted her when she was his employee 46 years ago.
The 53-year-old’s father, Abdel Kader Kotb, passed away when she was in college, and she admitted that she was reduced to tears after meeting the woman, Diane, in the Today show plaza — just one day after her dad’s birthday.
Diane caught Hoda’s attention by holding up a sign urging her to ‘ask about the bracelet’ and listing her hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia. However, the anchor assumed the bracelet in question was going to have something to do with raising awareness for a cause.
Emotional moment: Hoda Kotb was gifted a bracelet from her late father’s former secretary Diane on the Today show on Wednesday
Memories: Diane explained to Hoda that her dad, Abdel Kader Kotb, had given her the bracelet as a present when she was working as his secretary four decades ago
‘I thought it was going to be a nice person talking about autism awareness, breast cancer, you know one of those bracelets,’ she told her co-hosts for the day, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt stars Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski.
‘She said to me, “I have this bracelet,” and it looks familiar to me,’ Hoda recounted.
‘She said, “I was dad’s your secretary 46 years ago and he gave me this when he went to Egypt and came back as a present.”‘
Hoda’s father and mother, Sameha Kotb, are both from Egypt, and he worked as a fossil energy specialist. She was a college student when her father died of a heart attack at the age of 51.
Attention grabber: Diane visited the Today show plaza on Wednesday with a sign asking Hoda to ‘ask about the bracelet’
Act of kindness: Hoda admitted she cried in her office after the encounter, and she was so moved she invited Diane (L) and her daughter Megan (R) to Studio 1A to appear on the show
Heartbreak: The anchor’s father (pictured with Hoda and her sister Hala) died of a heart attack when she was in college
Timing: Hoda’s surprise from Diane came just one day after her father’s birthday, and his former secretary called him a ‘very sweet man’
The journalist said she just looked at Diane and told her: ‘Oh my God, yesterday was my dad’s birthday.’
The former secretary encouraged Hoda to give the bracelet to her one-year-old daughter, Haley Joy, and she was so moved by the kind gesture, she invited her Diane and her daughter Megan up to Studio 1A to appear on the show.
‘I just want to say thank you again,’ Hoda told her. ‘By the way, I called my mom, I called my brother, and I called my sister, and they couldn’t believe this bracelet.’
‘It makes me so happy to be able to give that to you today,’ Diane told Hoda.
‘It means so much to me. It really does. I’m just so thrilled to be here and meet you and pass that on because I know it means a lot.
Touched: ‘You made my day. I can’t tell ya,’ Hoda told Diane. ‘I mean I’ve been crying already upstairs in my office, but we cleaned it all up for today’
‘It meant a lot to me. He was a very sweet man,’ she added.
And Hoda made sure to let Diane know just how much the moment meant to her.
‘You made my day. I can’t tell ya,’ she said. ‘I mean I’ve been crying already upstairs in my office, but we cleaned it all up for today.
‘Thank you guys for coming, and thank you for this. Haley is going to love it.’
It’s shaping up to be memorable week for Hoda, who spend the holiday weekend at the beach with her family.
She proudly took to Instagram to post photos from the trip, including a heartwarming picture of her daughter, Haley, and her longtime partner, financier Joel Schiffman, 60, cuddling during a beach outing.
Memorial Day outing: Hoda took to Instagram on Monday to share a sweet snap of her daughter Haley Joy, one, and her longtime partner Joel Schiffman, 60, together at the beach
Family time! The Today anchor also uploaded a sweet snap of Haley Joy sitting on a deck chair next to Hoda’s own mother Sameha, 82
Mother-daughter: Hoda posted a snap of herself carrying Haley in her arms on the beach
Group shot: The anchor also uploaded a shot of herself spending time with her loved ones
Haley, who was born on Valentine’s Day last year, is pictured resting on her father’s chest, with her arm wrapped around his neck, her hair partially pulled up into a top ponytail.
Joel, meanwhile, has an arm around his daughter and stares into the distance, sitting on a deck chair under an umbrella.
Hoda captioned the photo only with two hearts, sending a loving message to her family as she posted the snap. She and Joel adopted Haley together last year, and the proud mother has radiated happiness ever since.
The Today anchor later uploaded a sweet snap of Haley Joy next to her own mother, Sameha, 82.
Hoda also posted a couple of other mementos of her Memorial Day outing, including a photo of her with her nieces Hannah and Ella and a sweet snap of herself carrying Haley in her arms on the beach.