Gloria died peacefully on Nov. 4, surrounded by her loved ones, while Pattie died on Sept. 17 of a heart attack. Fallon made an emotional return to the Tonight Show on Monday and paid tribute to his mother with a story about a sweet childhood memory.
"When we were little, my mom would walk us to this store, me and my sister, and she would squeeze my hand three times and say, ‘I love you,’ and I would squeeze back, ‘I love you, too,'” the host recalled, holding back tears.
"Last week I was in the hospital and I grabbed her and squeezed 'I love you.' I just knew we were in trouble, you know?" he continued. "I feel so grateful to be able to do this every single night and I’m very appreciative of all the support from all of you that my family received over the past week. We’re going to continue to work really hard to bring some light and some laughter into the world. Thank you for watching, thank you for helping me and my family recover from this loss. Mom, I’ll never stop trying to make you laugh. I love you."
Taylor Swift made a surprise appearance for Fallon's return, performing her new single, "New Year's Day." Coincidentally, the lyrics include the line, "You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi."