Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford are true friends who are best friends with the tissue box on their final “Today” show hour every morning. The chatty ladies of the morning make no secret of their feelings or for their sips from wine glasses that do a lot to settle the emotional shifts. The past two weeks have held moments worthy of wetness from the eyes, even without a descending Kleenex being ready at the rescue.

Hoda Kotb was more touched than anyone to introduce Kathie Lee coming to the stage last Thursday and singing her own song of faith and enduring life and love in honor of her late husband, Frank Gifford.

Kathie Lee had not sung on the “Today” stage since 2008, so this occasion had to count. Kotb reminded her partner on Monday that the song, “He Saw Jesus” even pushed past Taylor Swift on iTunes. Besides being so meaningful to those in grief, the song’s proceeds are benefiting storm victims through Samaritan's Purse.

This week, it was Hoda Kotb’s turn to receive an emotional and meaningful honor, and Kathie Lee spoke from the heart about why her “girl” deserved being named Mother of the Year after only months on the job, but a lifetime of preparing for it.

A mother’s dues

It was only six months ago that Hoda Kotb celebrated her return to her “Today” routine after being on maternity leave after the adoption of Haley Joy. Tears filled that momentous morning, too, as the new mom described the wonders of just holding her daughter, deciphering the meaning of her cries, and seeing that gaze in an infant's eyes only meant for “mama.”

Kathie Lee acted as though her words would be something like on their morning gig.

“I don't know what I'll say,” she sloughed off to her friend. The American Cancer Society gala didn't seem to daunt her. “I’ll figure it out when I get up there”

It wasn't long before everyone listening was brushing away tears. Gifford let her heart do the talking, calling Hoda “my Egyptian Sun Goddess.” She added that “the only thing bigger than her smile is her heart,” and insisted this morning that she was surprised at the emotion provoked by the remarks because they were only “truth” about her friend.

Real mom time

Kathie Lee spilled that mom Hoda was “losing it all over the place” during her acceptance words, and exhaustion, more than elation, was likely the cause. She had a rough night settling Haley Joy down the night before, and no intercession of soothing worked, so like many other moms, Hoda showed up after a 48-hour shift of no sleep.

In her acceptance words, Hoda recounted writing the time of 11:54 AM down in her calendar, knowing that her life would be forever changed from the time of that phone message from the adoption agency.

She’s here,” was the simple announcement on the other end of the phone that fulfilled a lifelong calling for the newswoman and host. Hoda Kotb is seldom at a loss for words, but she can only echo from Lin-Manuel Miranda in saying “Love is love is love is love is love is love,” and the emotion of her voice spoke all she meant.

Hoda Kotb has been very real about her motherhood journey, sharing the dilemmas of feedings and burpings, to dealing with a full to overflowing diaper just when a flight is taking off. Like nature, babies have their own sense of timing. This mother doesn't want to miss a moment of the sticky, the slimy, or the smelly moments of motherhood because those all come in the same package as the unforgettable moments of love and bonding beyond life itself.

The 53-year-old host took home the trophy for this particular honor, but millions of moms earn Mother of the Year every day.

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